European Paper is back with its third edition and a lengthier one this time as we had two rounds in Spain, Germany and France and a regular one round cover from the Netherlands and Russia. There were some interesting results and some world-class goals, so let’s go step by step.
Spanish Primera Division (Liga BBVA)
Round 5 in Spain brought us the end of Barcelona’s winning streak as they were held to a 0-0 stalemate in Malaga. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid didn’t have any problems with Almeria and Elche, respectively, paving their way up towards the top of the table. Valencia easily beat Cordoba, while Sevilla with the goal of Deulofeu, got the three points in the tough match against Real Sociedad to show that they should also be considered in the fight for the Champions League positions. However, in round 6 things became a bit more clear. Barcelona beat Granada with 6-0 in a match in which Neymar scored a hat-trick. Real Madrid managed to win at El Madrigal against Villarreal with 0-2. Atletico Madrid destroyed Sevilla with 4-0, while Valencia was held by Real Sociedad to a goalless draw.
After six rounds Barcelona is still at the top of the table with 16 points and 17:0 goal difference. Valencia and Atletico Madrid now are sharing the second position with 14 points, followed by Sevilla with 13 and Real Madrid and Celta Vigo with 12. At the bottom, Cordoba are stuck with three points and still winless. Athletic Bilbao leads the group of four teams with 4 points from 16-19 position and only one win after 6 matches.
Rounds 5 and 6 in the Bundesliga brought a few changes at the top of the table which, however, didn’t affect the champions Bayern Munich who created a two point gap after their two impressive wins against Paderborn and Köln. The two wins in as many matches last week also brought happiness on the faces of Borussia’s players, however not the one everyone is thinking of. Hamburger and Paderborn weren’t strong enough opponents for Moenchengladbach as Breitenreiter’s players remain one of the four teams who are yet to lose a game in this year’s championship. Bad news for the other Borussia team as the “millionaires” are in a three game winless streak that brought them to the miserable 12th position, definitely not where Klopp saw his team at the beginning of the season. Bayer Leverkusen recovered from the defeat to Wolfsburg to get 4 points in these two matches and get back in contention for higher position.
After round 4 we have Bayern at the top of the table with 14 points, as we mentioned before Moenchengladbach with 12 and Leverkusen with 11. On the other side of the table we have Freiburg on the 16th position with 4 points, Werder Bremen are 17th with 3 points and Hamburger are still stuck at the bottom of the table with only two points after Lucas Piazon denied them a draw with this screamer in the final minutes of the game.
French Ligue 1
If there is a surprise at the beginning of the season, then it has to be the French Ligue 1. Marseille led by Marcelo Bielsa is playing amazing football and after 8 rounds they have already made 5 points advantage from last year’s champions PSG, who after beating Caen away from home in the midweek fixture, failed to bring the three points from Stadium Municipal in Toulouse. Bordeaux are still refusing to give up on the title chase and they proved that by beating Rennes and drawing to St.Etienne away from home. Metz used the opportunity and beat the strugglers Reims and Guingamp to climb to the 5th position on the table, while Evian TG are not last anymore after clinching their first two wins of the season in a period of three days.
After 8 rounds, as we mentioned, Marseille are leading the way with 19 points ahead of Bordeaux with 17 and Lille with 15. The reigning champions remain the only unbeaten team and are leading the group of three teams together with Metz and St.Etienne with 14 points. At the bottom of the table, the infamous 20th position now belongs to Guingamp, Reims are 19th with 7 points, same amount as Evian, Lorient and Bastia who are above them due to the better goal difference.
Round 7 of the Dutch Eredivisie brought us loads of goals as the strikers were in excellent shape scoring 38 goals in 9 games or excellent 4.2 goals per game. The highest scoring game was played in Dordrecht, where the home team suffered a heavy defeat to Vitesse conceding 6 times while managing to score only 2 goals. PSV suffered their second defeat of the season after being outplayed by Heerenveen, the champions Ajax destroyed Breda away from home with 2-5, while Zwolle got back on the winning track beating Heracles with 4-2.
After seven rounds we have three teams at the top of the table sharing the top spot with 15 points including PSV, Ajax and Zwolle, closely followed by Heerenveen with 14 and Twente, the only unbeaten team in the league so far, with 13. At the other end of the table it is a question how long will the losing streak of Heracles last as they have 7 losses in 7 matches so far, Dordrecht are 17th with 5 points, same amount as G.A. Eagles who have conceded one goal less than them. Stay tuned next week as Ajax hosts Zwolle in a direct battle for the top of the table.
Russian Premier League
The ninth round in the Russian Premier League brought another series to an end, that one of Zenit St.Petersburg, who were held to a goalless draw at home by Spartak Moscow. CSKA Moscow beat Ural in a remarkable match which brought us 7 goals and the win for CSKA was secured by Doumbia in the 89th minute. Dynamo and Kuban shared the points in an interesting 2-2 draw, Lokomotiv beat Amkar with 3-1 and in the last match of the round, Rubin Kazan came back from one goal down to beat the struggling team of Torpedo Moscow.
Nine rounds since the beginning of the season and the leaders are still Zenit with 25 points, however, now only 4 points ahead of CSKA. Dynamo Moscow and Kuban are closely following with 19 points and Terek Grozni closes the circle of top 5 teams with 18 points. At the bottom end of the table Arsenal Tula still has only 1 point and their relegation can be already sensed, Ural, FK Rostov and Torpedo Moscow are just above them with 4 points, while Amkar seems secured for now at the 12th position with 7 points.