The Real Madrid Fans Jeer Gareth Bale and Other Important European Soccer News
The best domestic soccer leagues in Europe returned after the international break. The weekend was relatively quiet in some places and explosive in others.
There was a lot of action in England, for example, but what happened in the Premier League is a subject of a different post.
This one will be focused on Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. There were plenty of games and some exciting events, such as the boos targeting Gareth Bale and the impressive form of Bayern Munich.
Let’s take a look at the most important takeaways this week from some of the top European soccer leagues.
Spanish La Liga Recap: Gareth Bale’s Situation Getting Worse
Real Madrid won the most interesting game of the weekend by beating Real Sociedad by 3-1 at home. It was a solid match that demonstrates the progress of the side, but it wasn’t all positive.
The home crowd jeered Gareth Bale after what many see as an offensive joke during his time with Wales. The forward showed a banner saying “WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER”, and many supporters were unhappy with his behavior.
Bale wasn’t in the easiest position to begin with, and the situation is now getting out of hand. His teammate Thibaut Courtois tried to defend him, but I don’t think that the long-term future of the player will be in Madrid.
I expect a sale in the summer, and I won’t be surprised if we see Bale in the English Premier League once again.
The rest of the favorites had rough games but mostly did their job. Barcelona scored twice from set pieces to snatch the victory against Leganes. The La Liga leaders were down early in the match but showed character to come back.
Sevilla also had a difficult job against Valladolid but won 1-0 after a nervy second half that saw Lucas Ocampos sent off.
The only team from the top 4 that failed to register a victory was Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone’s players were much better in the clash against Granada but missed multiple opportunities. They only drew 1-1 and are now a step behind the rest of the leaders in the Primera Division.
German Bundesliga Recap: League Leaders Gladbach Stumble While Bayern Keeps Marching
The German Bundesliga saw a number of exciting games this weekend. Everyone expected league leader Borussia Monchengladbach to beat Union Berlin on Saturday. Someone forgot to tell that to the team from the German capital as Union dominated the match and won 2-0.
That was great news for both Leipzig and Bayern Munich that both showed no mercy to close the gap at the top to only one point. The reigning champions are looking stronger by the minute, despite the fact that Robert Lewandowski finally didn’t score in the Bundesliga for the first time this season.
I don’t think he will be disappointed, though, as his side completely dominated Fortuna and won 4-0. It seems that Niko Kovac was really the problem, as Bayern is flying under caretaker Hansi Flick.
The same can’t be said about Borussia Dortmund. The side continues to struggle for form, and the devastating loss against Bayern before the international break was followed by a disappointing draw against Paderborn at home.
The last-placed visitors were 3-0 up at half-time, but Borussia did salvage a point after Sancho, Witsel, and Reus scored after the interval. I don’t think anyone is particularly happy with this point, and the team needs to improve fast.
The early struggles of Bayern and the competitive top half of the Bundesliga mean Borussia still has a chance. That won’t matter, though, unless the side starts winning again.
Italian Serie A Recap: The Chaos in Napoli Continues
The hottest topic in the Italian Serie A certainly is the chaos surrounding Napoli. The club is in dire straits right now, and there’s a war between the board and many of the players. A large chunk of the squad will likely leave in the January window, but I don’t know how far this situation will go before that.
Some of the stars are openly refusing to train and clashing with the head coach, so Napoli started issuing fines. The players are expected to react and send the lawyers against the club. It’s getting really ugly, and I feel that the supporters won’t enjoy this season.
The team did fine against AC Milan this weekend, though, earning a point away from home. Not a terrible result under the circumstances, but that’s five matches without a win in the Serie A now.
The toxic atmosphere is ruining Napoli’s season, and something has to change fast. The team is now seventh in the table and could miss the UEFA competitions altogether.
Lazio is the other team that deserves a lot of praise after a fifth straight win. The gap to the top might be too big, but the Eagles are in a pole position to fight for a Champions League spot for the next campaign.
French Ligue 1 Recap: Angers Still in the Top 3
I don’t think that many people expected to see Angers in the French Ligue 1 top three after 14 games. The team is battling hard in every single game, and the 1-0 victory against Nimes was no different. I don’t think that Angers can finish in the Champions League places, but I didn’t see it in the current position, either.
Another team that struggled before winning this weekend was Marseille. The side had a boost at the end of the first half when Steven Moreira was sent off. Despite their huge advantage in possession, the Marseille players didn’t create many chances.
That’s when Dimitri Payet found Dario Benedetto with a clever pass, and the striker opened the scoring in the 70th minute. Radonjic added a second three minutes later, and that was enough for Marseille.
Bordeaux won as well to climb to fourth in the table after Saint Etienne and Montpelier failed to score against each other.
League leader PSG remains on course for another title after a comfortable victory against Lille. Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi scored in the first half, and both men look pivotal for the club right now.
As always, you can use the comments section to share your opinion on the topics I’ve touched and add your own highlights of the weekend.
It’s still early in the season of the top European soccer leagues, but it’s getting hotter after every matchday. My fellow writers and I will continue watching closely and sharing our insights on all the latest from Germany, Spain, Italy, and France.