Kylian Mbappe’s hat trick, and title races heat up in Germany, Spain
While Chelsea and Manchester City were treating the Premier League audience 4-4 throttlethe rest of Europe’s top leagues were cooking up something equally exciting with unlikely title contenders overtaking the giants of the Bundesliga and La Liga.
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From Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen matching Bayern Munich’s feat to win in Germany, to Real Madrid and Barcelona chasing Girona in Spain, to Kylian Mbappe scoring another three goals and somehow coming out of the weekend as the bad guy, things are getting very interesting for the very few UEFA Champions League teams across the continent.
Let’s bounce around Europe and catch up on the highlights of the weekend…
Ligue 1 Highlights – Kylian Mbappe bags hat trick in 3-0 win for PSG
Former leaders Nice dropped points on Friday, leaving the door open for PSG to go top of the table for the first time this season. Kylian Mbappe walked through that door, put the ball in the back of the net three times and was criticized by his manager after the game.
It’s always something with PSG.
I am not very happy with Kylian today. Why? Because managers are so annoying. About goals, I have nothing to say, I have no complaints. But I think he can help the team a lot in a different way because he is so important.
I’m going to tell him first, and after that I’ll never tell you because it’s not public. We think Kylian is one of the top players in the world, no doubt about that, but we need more and we want him to do more things, that’s my opinion.
Bundesliga Highlights – Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen win again to stay in the top flight
If Bayern Munich are to claim their 12th straight Bundesliga title, they will have to go through Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen to do it. With regular title rivals RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund already six and eight points behind, respectively, Harry Kane and Bayern Munich would already be on course for another title in any other season.
Only, this season will probably be remembered as the one in which Alonso rose to prominence and fame as one of the game’s next best coaches. 11 games into the Bundesliga season, Leverkusen (10W-1D-0L) and Bayern (9W-2D-0L) are the last two unbeaten teams and are 2nd and 1st, respectively, in both goals scored and goals conceded. The 2-2 draw between the teams back on September 15 represents Leverkusen’s only points drop this season.
On Sunday, they matched the four goals scored by Bayern the day before, and kept a clean sheet to boot, to make it seven straight victories and stay two points clear at the top of the table.
La Liga highlights – Real Madrid, Barcelona win but still trail Girona
Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last seven La Liga games after a 5-1 win over Valencia on Saturday, but Carlo Ancelotti’s defending champions remain two points behind surprise title challengers Girona, who have won five straight after coming back to beat Rayo Vallecano. 2-1.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo each scored a brace as Real Madrid were without superstar Jude Bellingham for the second game in a row. Bellingham could be ready to return after the international break.
Barcelona are still very much in the title race too, just four points from the top after Robert Lewandowski came to the rescue on Sunday. Xavi’s side went 1-0 down in the first minute, but Lewandowski scored a brilliant goal in the 53rd minute and converted from the penalty spot in the 78th.