Immense poignancy casts a shadow on a luxuriant weekend in football.

Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan kicked started the weekend in a grand style with PSG ending on a high later on Sunday night.

Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan kick started the weekend in a grand style. The wonder kid from Norway bagged a brace in front of the home crowd as Dortmund completed a 5-1 rout against a helpless FC Koln. AC Milan saved the winner till the 71st minute at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti to hand Brescia a big blow.

Also live actions from England as the fourth round of the FA competition took place. West Ham and Burnley were the only sides from the EPL that were dealt a huge blow. Newcastle, Tottenham and Liverpool were all forced into a second leg replay by their oppositions. Big wins for Leicester, Chelsea and the two Manchester teams. A game in hand for the Gunners on Monday night, that are away to Bournemouth

Moving over to Spain, the home of La Liga Santander, Barcelona became the latest casualty in Mestalla Stadium after Valencia ended their 13 year unbeaten run at their home stadium. Atletico Madrid still invisible in La Liga in their recent games. Where did it go wrong for Los Colchoneros?
Nacho Fernandez saved Los Blancos blushes to place them 3 points above their rivals.

In Germany, it was all goal galore in the nine fixtures with Bayern Munchen being the biggest winners as they scored 5 goals without conceding.

asn’t a good outing for the two competitors for the Scudetto. A draw for Inter Milan and a loss for Juventus at Naples. The title race is still very wide open. And not forgetting to mention a seven nil trashing of Atalanta against hapless Torino.

The editor takes you through the three things we learnt over the weekend.

1. Barcelona on the fallout. Ever since the beginning of 2019/20 season, the Blaugranas has failed to find their footing. One of their worst starts to a league campaign in years. 4 games lost already. An opening La Liga game defeat to Bilbao at San Mames, followed by a shocker from Granada and Levante. The latest being the defeat by Valencia. Following the dismissal of Ernesto Valverde few weeks back, Quique Setien was primed to take over and effect changes but it still seems the problem lies there crude. Three games in for the Spaniard, they’re still struggling in front of goals. The shape, pattern and tactical consistency are pointers to what this Barcelona side might have been lacking. Speculations on messy management behind the scenes but what do we know? Everything would pan out when the time’s due.
2. Manchester United on the limelight with a rare win in Prenton Park. After enduring an iffy start to the new season, the Red Devils grabbed a rare win over Tranmere Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The fans, relieved a little bit with the win, still expects better from the team.
3. The “Fantastic Four” in Paris poses a threat to opposition but Mbappe has a lot to improve on. Playing a game away from home is tricky but playing four games away from home can be more exhausting. PSG ran away with 3 points thanks to Neymar Jr two goals that places them 10 points above second placed Marseille. The quadruple of Angel Di Maria, Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi have been productive for the Le Parisiens. Their weekend game against Lille was a tough work as Neymar had to drag them out from discomfiture. Kylian Mbappe wasn’t at his best as he ended up being displaced as many times in the game. He was utterly frustrated by his performance. Might sound decent to cut some slack for the young lad but truth be told, much more is expected from him. He has got bigger responsibilities at 21 and he should always improve as time flies.

Natheless, the world of sports was thrown into sadness on the news of Kobe Bryant and 13 year daughter together with a baseball coach, his wife, his daughter and four others who had their life abruptly ended in a helicopter crash. May their soul find peace.


Football Writer/Analyst

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