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Europe roundup: Liverpool, Juve continue perfect start as Barca, Chelsea drop points

Europe roundup: Liverpool, Juve continue perfect start as Barca, Chelsea drop points
September 24
09:30 2018
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Here is TheCable’s roundup of the top performances in European leagues last weekend.

England

Liverpool defeated Southampton 3-0 to make it six wins in as many league games, courtesy of an own goal, Joel Matip’s header and Mo’ Salah’s close-range finish in a blistering first half.

Fresh from defeating nuevo-rich PSG in the UEFA Champions League, it took only 10 minutes for Anfield to start rocking as Xerdan Shaqiri’s shot was deflected in by Wesley Hoedt for an own goal.

Matip rose highest to convert from a corner kick on 26 minutes, while last season’s highest goalscorer, Salah, turned in the impressive Shaqiri’s free kick which fell gracefully to him after hitting the post.

Man City, defending champions, thrashed newly-promoted Cardiff City 5-0, with Algeria’s Rhiyad Mahrez scoring twice in the second half. Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan had earlier scored three first half goals.

Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw at West Ham to halt their 100 percent start to the season, thanks to two heroic saves by the Hammers’ keeper, Lukasz Fabianski. The Pole stopped Alvaro Morata goal late in the second half after thwarting Ross Barkley earlier on, as Eden Hazard was kept in check. West Ham also missed three good opportunities to earn a first home win of the season.

Similarly, Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford by dangerous newcomers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, in a game that marked the return of Sir Alex Ferguson after undergoing brain surgery in May. Fred gave United an early lead but Wolves equalised early in the second period through Joao Moutinho and comfortably held out for the draw.

In other games, Super Eagles’ Kelechi Iheanacho scored the leveller and assisted the third goal as Leicester City heaped more misery on winless Huddersfield Town with a 3-1 comeback win.

Alex Iwobi saw 20 minutes of action as Arsenal continued their rise on the table with a 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium, their fourth successive league win.

Spain

La Liga defending champions, Barcelona, dropped their first points of the season after a pulsating 2-2 draw against Girona in the Catalan derby at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi converted Arturo Vidal’s pass via a low hard shot on 19 minutes to hand Barca the lead with his fifth league goal of the season.

The Catalan giants were reduced to 10 men on 35 minutes when defender, Clement Lenglet, was adjudged to have thrown his arm at Girona midfielder, Pere Pins.

Striker, Christian Stuani, held off challenges from both Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique before producing a smart finish for a 1-1 draw at halftime.

The veteran striker scored again on 51 minutes, rifling in a rasping shot after the ball fell kindly to him following a Pique slip. Pique, however, equalised after 63 minutes but his team could not find the winner as Girona held off Barcelona for a deserved draw.

Real Madrid maintained their unbeaten start and are joint leaders with a narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu. Wonderkid, Marco Asensio, drilled in a low shot to give Real a first half advantage which they saw out despite dodgy defending by the home team.

City rivals, Atletico Madrid, managed a 2-0 win over Getafe for their first win in three league games and a first away win of the season.

Summer signing, Thomas Lemar, was instrumental in both goals. His long range strike hit the bar before nestling into the net via the goalkeeper’s back, while he coolly converted the second for Diego Simeone’s side who are still not playing at their best.

Italy

Cristiano Ronaldo was instrumental as Juventus won 2-0 away at Frosinone. The hosts defended doggedly, stifling their opponents until the 33-year-old made the difference like he always does in front of goal.

On 81 minutes, the former Real Madrid striker, who broke the duck last weekend, drilled home for his third of the season, while Federico Bernardeschi added the second in added time to maintain Juventus perfect start to the season.

Elsewhere in Europe, PSG made it six straight wins in the French Ligue 1, thanks to a 3-1 victory over Rennes. A fortuitous own goal gave the home side an early lead, but goals from Angel Di Maria, Thomas Meunier and Cameroon’s Maxim Choupo-Moting ensured victory.

Bayern Munich also continued their perfect start to life under new coach, Niko Kovac, with a 2-0 win over rivals, Schalke 04, in the German Bundesliga.

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