Euro Watch: Review of weekend matches

Euro Watch: Review of weekend matches

Well, the wait was well worth it, as football returned to our screens and stadiums with a bang, and at ACL Sports, we aren’t left out of it all.

So, with the English Premier League and French Ligue 1 having already kicked off, we bring you the review of what transpired over the weekend, from Arsenal’s unbelievable match against Leicester, to Neymar’s perfect debut in France and then, we cap it off with what happened when Real Madrid visited Camp Nou for the Spanish Super Cup.

We kick off with the most competitive and exciting English Premier League, where there were nothing but goals, goals and more goals in the opening week of the PL.

Lukaku and Rashford celebrating Man United’s first goal against West Ham

We start with the match between Manchester United and West Ham United on Sunday, where the Red Devils, inspired by new striker, Romelu Lukaku, thrashed the visiting Hammers 4-0. Lukaku scored a brace on his PL debut for the 13-time English Premier League champions.

Lukaku opened the flood gates in the 33rd minute, after an exquisitely threaded through pass from Marcus Rashford cut open the West Ham defense.

The Belgian doubled the lead minutes after the break, before two late goals, from substitute, Anthony Martial, and Paul Pogba sealed an easy win for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Elsewhere, Tottenham defeated Newcastle United 2-0 courtesy of two second half goals by Dele Alli and left back, Ben Davies.

Totteham players congratulate Dele Alli after scoring opening goal against Newcastle

West Brom defeated Bournemouth 1-0 at the Hawthorns, while Southampton and Swansea played out a goalless draw, in what was the only opening day fixture in the PL to have ended without a goal.

A late goal at Watford denied Liverpool all three points, as they shared the spoils at Vicarage Road with Marco Silva’s men, after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

At Goodison Park, it was all about former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, as he made his second debut in the PL for the Toffees. The Ronald Koeman side defeated visitors, Stoke City, 1-0 thanks to a beautiful header by that man, Rooney, who is now one goal shy of becoming just the second player to score 200 goals in the history of the PL.

Wayne Rooney celebrating his goal against Stoke

At Selhurst Park, newly promoted Huddersfield played like a seasoned PL side, as they brushed aside Crystal Palace and their new Dutch manager, Frank de Boer,  0-3.

At the Bridge, home of defending champions, Chelsea, history was made when three first half goals were enough for the Burnley to record their first win over Chelsea, who lost an opening day fixture for the first time since 1998.

Chelsea were without three key first team players, Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Victor Moses, three players who scored when the Clarets last visited the Bridge.

Their absence seemed to have inspired the visitors, who went on to score three first half goals, though the Blues played with ten men for most of the match following a red card to captain, Gary Cahill, who was sent off for dangerous play.

Chelsea’s Gary Cahill shown a red card against Burnley

Chelsea were renewed in the second half, with record signing, Alvaro Morata, replacing Michy Batshuayi.

Despite going down further to nine-men, following another red card, this time to Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea mounted a spirited fight back, inspired by Morata, but Burnley held on for a famous 2-3 win as the Blues became the first defending champions to concede three times in their opening match of the season.

At the Emirates stadium, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud came from the bench to inspire Arsenal to a come-from-behind 4-3 win against Leicester City.

It was going according to plan in the opening match of Craig Shakespeare’s first full season as manager of Leicester, but the Foxes were denied all three points, as two goals in the space of three minutes from Ramsey and Giroud sealed a remarkable comeback win for the Gunners, with Leicester leading 2-3 with seven minutes left to play.

Alexandre Lacazette scored Arsenal’s first goal against Leicester

So, after game week one, Man Utd sit top of the league, thanks to a superior goals difference, on three points, same as new comers Huddersfield, in second, with Man City and Spurs completing the top four.

In France, Neymar inspired his new side PSG to a comfortable 0-3 away win at Guingamp, after scoring one and making another for Cavani, to ensure it was a perfect debut following his remarkable €222 million world record transfer from Barcelona last week.

Neymar scored on PSG debut

In other matches played in the Ligue 1, Radamel Falcao inspired AS Monaco to a 1-4 win away from home at Dijon, after scoring a hat trick.

Marcelo Bielsa and his Lille team failed to build on their impressive opening day win over Claudio Ranieri’s Nice last weekend as they were torn apart 3-0 by Strasbourg, while former Man United winger, Memphis Depay scored with a beautiful free kick for Lyon, as they ran out 1-2 winners over Rennes at the Roazhon Park.

Nice lost again, after falling 1-2 at home to Troyes, with Nantes also losing at home to Marseille.

Amiens lost to Angers 0-2, with Bordeaux winning by same margin against their visitors, Metz. Caen were defeated 0-1 by Saint-Etienne, while Toulouse secured a 1-0 victory over Montpellier.

Olympique Lyonnais sit on top the league table on six points, followed closely by PSG and Monaco in second and third respectively, also on six points.

Olympique Marseille complete the top four in France, they too are on six points, but with an inferior goal difference.

We conclude with a trip to Spain, where European champions, Real Madrid faced rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super cup first leg match at the Camp Nou.

An impressive ten-man Real Madrid side outclassed Barcelona at Camp Nou, as they continued their brilliant form under Zinedine Zidane, with another title in sight.

Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Asensio in the second half, after a Gerard Pique own goal early in the second half, gave Madrid a comfortable 1-3 lead heading into the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo scored in Real Madrid 3 -1- win over Barcelona

After a barren first half, Madrid found themselves in front. Pique slid a Marcelo low cross into his own net.

Barca equalised via a penalty, after Luis Suarez was fouled by Keylor Navas in the Madrid box, with Lionel Messi stepping up to level the score at 1-1.

Los Blancos were back in front, ten minutes from time, when substitute, Ronaldo, who replaced Karim Benzema just before the hour mark, finished off a fantastic Madrid counter attacking move led by the excellent Isco, with the Portuguese unleashing a belter into the far top corner.

However, moments after giving his team the lead, Ronaldo was given his marching orders, as Madrid would play the remaining minutes with ten men.

The 32-year-old was sent off after receiving his second yellow card, for diving, after initially getting a yellow for celebrating putting Madrid 2-1 up by taking off his shirt.

On the stroke of the ninety, youngster Asensio scored what could be a very decisive goal going into the second leg at the Bernabeu, as Madrid take a 1-3 advantage, and looking as assured as ever to add another silverware to their collection under manager, Zidane.

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