Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid win big; Barcelona end winless streak

Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid win big; Barcelona end winless streak

Liverpool, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Manchester City registered convincing victories after the international break. Meanwhile, the Xavi era at Camp Nou began brightly as FC Barcelona beat RCD Espanyol by a solitary goal.

We recap results from the weekend’s action in major European football leagues.

English Premier League

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane combined to help Liverpool thrash Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield. Mane opened the scoring in the 39th minute, while Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah, and Takumi Minamino added their names on the scoresheet in the second half. Alexander-Arnold grabbed two assists, and Mane set up the third goal.

English Premier League leaders Chelsea blanked Leicester City on Saturday. Antonio Rudiger and N'Golo Kante gave the Blues a two-goal cushion at half-time. Christian Pulisic added the third goal in the 71st minute. It was also Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's seventh clean sheet in the league this season.

Manchester City remained second in the points table after cruising to a 3-0 win over Everton. It was Raheem Sterling who broke the deadlock in the dying minutes of the first half. Rodri doubled the advantage in the 55th minute. With four minutes remaining on the clock, Bernardo Silva poked home from a close range to make it 3-0 for City.

Manchester United parted ways with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after suffering an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Watford. The Red Devils went into half-time with a two-goal deficit. Donny van de Beek, who replaced Scott McTominay at half-time, pulled a goal back in the 50th minute. However, Harry Maguire clattered into Tom Cleverley and earned a second yellow card. Watford netted twice in the added time to clinch a thumping win.

Spanish La Liga

Real Madrid eased past Granada CF and climbed to the top of the Spanish La Liga. Marco Asensio drew the first blood in the 19th minute. They doubled the lead when Nacho tapped home from a Toni Kroos pass. Vinicius Jr. and Ferland Mendy added a goal after the break to complete the rout. 

FC Barcelona registered a narrow win over RCD Espanyol at home. After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Memphis Depay converted a spot-kick early in the second half. Barcelona received the penalty after Leandro Cabrera tripped Depay inside the box. Espanyol forward Raul de Tomas twice hit the post, but the Catalan giants held on and ended a four-game winless run in the league.

Defender Felipe netted the winning goal for Atletico Madrid against CA Osasuna at Metropolitano Stadium. In the 87th minute, the centre-back leaped high to nod Yannick Carrasco's corner past the Osasuna custodian. Carrasco also saw his attempt from near the halfway line hitting the woodwork in the added time.

Italian Serie A

Inter Milan ended Napoli's unbeaten start in the Italian Serie A season after a thrilling 3-2 win at San Siro. Piotr Zielinski put Napoli ahead early in the match. However, Hakan Calhanoglu and Ivan Perisic found the net to give Inter a 2-1 lead at the break. Lautaro Martinez extended their lead in the 61st minute. The Italian Serie A champions sealed all three points despite Dries Mertens' goal in the 78th minute.

A second-half fightback went in vain as AC Milan suffered their first defeat in Italian Serie A 2021-22 campaign. ACF Fiorentina led 3-0 at the hour mark. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave his side a glimmer of hope with two goals in quick succession. With five minutes remaining, Dusan Vlahovic scored the fourth for Fiorentina. The visitors pulled one back in the added time.

Leonardo Bonucci struck twice from the penalty spot in Juventus' two-goal win over SS Lazio on Saturday. Danilo Cataldi gave away a spot-kick after he brought down Alvaro Morata. Bonucci beat Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina from 12 yards to give Juventus the lead in the 23rd minute. Reina was the culprit for the second goal. He fouled Federico Chiesa inside the box, and the defender completed his brace. Juventus remain eighth in the table, 11 points behind league leaders Napoli.

German Bundesliga

FC Augsburg handed Bayern Munich a second defeat in the German Bundesliga this season. Goals from Mads Pedersen and Andre Hahn gave FC Augsburg a two-goal lead within the opening 35 minutes. Robert Lewandowski scored Bayern's lone consolation goal. The Augsburg backline produced a gritty performance in the second half.

Marco Reus tapped home a rebound with five minutes remaining as Borussia Dortmund picked up all three points against VfB Stuttgart. Donyell Malen had put the home side ahead in the 56th minute. However, Roberto Massimo leveled the game for Stuttgart seven minutes later. Dortmund wingers Thorgan Hazard and Reus combined to score the winner in the dying minutes.

French Ligue 1

Lionel Messi scored his maiden French Ligue 1 goal in PSG's 3-1 win over FC Nantes. The Argentine, who played a crucial role in the second goal, sent a left-footer into the bottom-left corner in the 87th minute. Earlier in the match, Leandro Paredes' long-range attempt was deflected into the net by Kylian Mbappe in the second minute. Meanwhile, PSG played the final 25 minutes with ten men. Goalkeeper Keylor Navas received a red card for a foul on Ludovic Blas. With their 12th win, PSG picked up 37 points from an available 42.

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