The ill-fated Haaland hat-trick, Lewandowski on fire, Firmino’s rise

Another weekend of headlines, golazos and unexpected finishes in Europe’s biggest leagues. From Liverpool’s 9-0 attack at Bournemouth, to Robert Lewandowski who scored another brace for Barcelona, ​​there was no shortage of drama.

ESPN reporters Rob Dawson, Alex Kirkland, Julian Lorenz, Sam Marsden, James Tyler and James Ole explain the important things you need to know this weekend.

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jump to: talking points | best goals | Team in trouble | The best player of the weekend

talking points

Haaland the city looks ominous

Manchester City scored 99 league goals last season on their way to a fourth title in five years, but they are already on track to break that record after just four games this time around.

Thanks to Erling Haaland’s hat-trick in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Crystal Palace, Pep Guardiola’s side have already plundered 13 goals this season and you have to go back to March for the last time they failed to score at least two. In the Premier League match.

Lucky for them that they score freely because, right now, they’re having trouble getting them off the other end. Palace led the league by two goals, while City fell by two goals for the fourth time in the last six matches in the league. Despite this, it is remarkable that they did not lose any of them, winning twice and drawing in two. Palace looked comfortable in the first half but when City stepped up after the break, they had no answer.

Meanwhile, Haaland is mocking claims that he may not be able to do so in the Premier League with six goals in his first four matches. Only three other players – Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero and Mick Quinn – can match that start to the Premier League era, and worryingly for the rest, Guardiola says there is more to come. – Dawson

The best and worst Premier League groups of the last 30 years

Super Sumer stifles Bayern

Why are people suggesting that Bayern Munich start every game 1-0 when there are goalkeepers like Jan Sommer? The still long Swiss international spent Saturday frustrating the German champions with a 1-1 draw for which they had to work so hard, which I didn’t think happened in this league anymore? (Important).

After Borussia Moenchengladbach took the lead frequently against the course of play before the break – and we have to admit that Sadio Mane were two goals offside here, though Dayot Obekano should have done his best to cut a long ball, instead Marcus Grants. Thuram ran undisturbed 40 yards and finish – Bayern threw the kitchen sink at Sommer and was ready for it, setting a league record 19 saves in 90 minutes to keep the tie. Bayern tried everything (including 33 shots at 2.82 x g) to break Sommer, but had to settle for one point thanks to Leroy Sane, who appeared unmarked on the edge of the penalty area to hit a low cross with his left foot.

Watch again: Bayern Munich 1-1 Gladbach (ESPN+, US only)

Sommer was caught screwed up to the front on that occasion, but he was standing on top of his head for most of the match; He started with a sprawling strike to block an Upamecano header in the first minute, and rarely found calm at the Allianz Arena throughout the afternoon, using every bit of his veteran experience to frustrate the raucous Bayern fans.

This draw should not stop Bayern Munich from vying for another league title this season, but Sommer has shown Bundesliga critics that it can be done. Can. – Tyler

Peace in Paris

When Paris Saint-Germain received a penalty kick Sunday evening at the Parc des Princes against Monaco, everyone waited to see what would happen.

Two weeks after the “penalty gate” and the debate between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over who would take the penalty, there was no story this time around. Mbappe is the first choice to take the penalty kick in Paris Saint-Germain, but the two stars had a conversation after the penalty kick by the referee and the Frenchman decided to allow the Brazilian to carry it out. No controversy or new storyline, just a mature conversation between two teammates to determine who was the better player at that moment in time.

Credit goes to Mbappe for letting Neymar take it. He scored to equalize Paris and despite not winning (he finished 1-1), at least the French champions avoided more drama! – Lorenz

Lewandowski transferred to Barcelona

The focus before Barcelona start against Real Valladolid on Sunday has been on Jules Conde, who has finally been registered in La Liga and available for the first time in defence.

But by the time the final whistle blew at the Camp Nou, it was another summer signing, Lewandowski, who grabbed the spotlight with an irresistible performance. Lewandowski scored twice – and hit the woodwork twice – in Barcelona’s 4-0 win and every inch seemed like a world-class player the club worked hard to sign from Bayern Munich.

Finishing touches took center stage, with a masterful acrobatic touch in the far corner to connect with Ravenha’s cross and put Barcelona ahead, followed later by a clever flick with his back heel – albeit thanks to defender Joaquin Fernandez’s deflection – to score. 3-0.

Lewandowski has already scored four goals this season and there will be many, many more to come.

However, they are not just goals. He may have a reputation as an old-school penalty box predator, but his touch, vision and play of play have influenced the Barcelona shirt so far. Whether it’s Rafinha, Ousmane Dembele or Ansu Fati at his side, Lewandowski’s intelligence means he has already developed a keen understanding with his teammates in attack, and that’s bad news for LaLiga defences. – kirkland


Sumptuous again from Trent

These persistent questions about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defense have already resurfaced this season, but there is no doubting his quality on the ball and Liverpool’s third goal on Saturday in their record-breaking 9-0 tie against Southampton provided another example.

Initially losing the ball inside the Bournemouth innings, the 23-year-old recovered the ball and played a double with Roberto Firmino before lining up a 25-yard run past Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers aloft into the net. It was an ending that any striker would be proud of. – Oli

Chuamini helps Real Madrid move from Casemiro

Vinicius Junior capped off a brilliant move for the team to open the scoring as Real Madrid racked up three wins out of three with a 3-1 win over Espanyol on Sunday. Summer signing Aurelien Chuamini was at the center of the goal as he delivered a performance that suggested Real Madrid could not miss. Casemiro As much as they feared.

After a period of possession, Tchouameni played a one-two match with Karim Benzema before feeding on Vinicius for a fine finish from inside the area.

Real Madrid didn’t have it all they could at Barcelona, ​​although Espanyol equalized through Joselo and a late brace from Benzema to earn the three points. Benzema finished at the far post after a superb job by Rodrygo in the 88th minute and then netted a free kick in stoppage time after goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte was sent off, and forced defender Leandro Cabrera to dissolve it. – Marsden

Sargent made us take notice

Is this a pimping? Perhaps, but the US needs a striker in their talent pool to find shape before the 2022 World Cup and Josh Sargent She’s surely been a hit so far for Norwich City this season. His goal in the game against Sunderland on Saturday was his fourth goal of the tournament this season, and while not a masterpiece, he was in the perfect place to turn a superb pass from play into three points for the confident Canary side.

Given the creative talent Americans must have in Qatar this winter, sometimes being in the right place is all you need from your number 9. For a long time it may last. – Tyler

Team in trouble

Seville’s struggle continues

The look on Julen Lopotegui’s face on Saturday in Almeria was everything.

Sevilla was beaten up again and their frustration and anger was evident on their manager’s face. Three league games, one draw and two defeats, only 3 goals scored, 5 nets conceded, 15th in the table is not where they should be at the end of August and not where they were aiming either.

Lopetegui can be criss-cross, but he is partially to blame. Some of his calls were weird – like take off Oliver Torres Against Valladolid for example – but that’s not all his fault. The summer has been tough for Sevilla, with two central defenders – Conde and Diego Carlos – missing to take their place only so far. Tangwi NyanzuHe is talented and promising, but he did not play much in the last two seasons with Bayern and Markau from Galatasaray.

Sports director Monchi has left Sevilla and Lopetegui down for now. Recruiting Isco is a gamble and the team still lacks a real scorer. The future also doesn’t look great with Barcelona welcoming next weekend in LaLiga and Manchester City in the Champions League. – Lorenz



Sadiq Omar’s goal in the 55th minute Almeria 2-1 Sevilla

dies as a son caught naps

It seems cruel to continue to attack a proud club that has gone through so much pain in the past three or three seasons – including one of the worst Bundesliga campaigns ever in 2020-21 – but Schalke 044 was their first year back. The summit trip after this disgrace portends another long campaign ahead.

Without a win in the season opener and with two wobbly draws (including an injury-time penalty for a point against Gladbach), Saturday’s 6-1 win at home to Union Berlin showed this team is ill-equipped for the challenge. And they’ve already introduced over a dozen new players to the Veltins Arena this summer! There are a couple of nice games waiting before the September 17th trip to Dortmund, but shape is not their friend at the moment. – Tyler

The best player of the weekend

Firmino pulls performance from the past

It looked like a scene from several seasons ago. Anfield, full of sunshine, sings from his heart: “Ce Senor, pass it on to Bobby Firmino and he’ll score.”

Saturday was too much for Firmino’s day. Possessed the match from the start with two goals, three assists in the 69th minute in which he remained on the field. He’s back to his best, as in the old days he made Liverpool a special team. He was an essential part of everything good Jurgen Klopp’s side had, but then, between injuries, poor condition and fresh blood, he walked alone for a while.

At 30 (he will turn 31 on 2 October), he will not always be the same on Saturday against a Bournemouth side who scored 9 goals and were intimidating, but he has proven he can still do business with this club as the contract expires in a year. – Lorenz

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