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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021
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Eurostar: Zlatan swoops again as PSG finally take off

Join us for our weekly whistle-stop tour of the most important action from Europe’s top leagues. All aboard!

Image: Jacques Brinon/AP/Press Association Images

La Liga

REAL MADRID KICK-STARTED their stuttering La Liga campaign with a simple 3-0 win against 10-men Grenada on Sunday night. Cristiano Ronaldo scored either side of half-time to put Jose Mourinho’s men in the driving seat but still told reporters afterwards that he felt “sad” for professional reasons. Is he getting bullied in the Madrid dressing room for not scoring as many hattricks as Lionel Messi?

Borja Gomez was sent off for two bookings before substitute Gonzalo Higuain wrapped up the win.

The ease of Madrid’s Sunday stroll was in contrast to the challenge Barcelona faced when Valencia visited the Camp Nou. Adriano’s powerful shot was the game’s only goal, giving Barca their third straight win in the league, though Victor Ruiz did see an equaliser ruled out for offside on the hour mark.

Elsewhere, Valladolid lost their 100% record in a 2-0 defeat away to Athletic Bilbao; Sevilla squandered two penalties in a scoreless draw away to Rayo Vallecano; and Mallorca and Malaga both kept in touch at the business end with 1-0 wins against Real Sociedad and Zaragoza respectively.

Goal of the week Adriano’s strike wasn’t exactly a shining example of Barcelona’s tiki-taka trickery but boy did he give it some welly.

YouTube Credit: BoxingFightsHQ

Serie A

JUVENTUS AND ROMA both sent out early-season statements of intent with crushing wins on the second weekend of the Serie A season.

Looking to build on their opening weekend win against Parma, Juve were helped in their task when Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic was sent off after 14 minutes. The champions took full advantage with Arturo Vidal, Mirko Vucinic and a second-half double from Sebastian Giovinco helping them to a 4-1 win.

Napoli (2-1 v Fiorentina), Lazio (3-0 v Palermo) and newly promoted Sampdoria (2-1 v Siena) join Juve at the top of the table with two wins from two.

Hot on their heels are Roma who turned on the style in a 3-1 win against Inter Milan. A brilliant pass from Francesco Totti midway through the second half sent Pablo Osvaldo through to put Roma 2-1 up with a brilliant dink before Marquinho wrapped up all three points from the tightest of angles in the 82nd minute.

Antonio Cassano scored Inter’s consolation but it was the man who crossed the city divide to AC as part of the same deal who stole the weekend’s headlines. Giampaolo Pazzini scored a debut hattrick as Massimiliano Allegri’s men won 3-1 away to Bologna.

Goal of the week It was a toss-up between Roma duo Osvaldo and Marquinho and the through-ball from Totti just shades it in favour of the former. Marquinho’s isn’t too shabby either

YouTube Credit

Bundesliga

A WORD OF advice: don’t take the lead against Bayern Munich. They don’t like that.

After falling behind to a Martin Harnik volley, Bayern hit back with a vengeance and put six past Stuttgart in their first home game of the season. Thomas Muller sparked the comeback before a Toni Kroos thumper and Luis Gustavo made it 3-1 at the break. A six-minute blitz at the start of the second half completed the rout as Mario Mandzukic, Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger all scored in quick succession.

Joining Jupp Heynckes and his merry men at the top of the table are newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt, who hammered Hoffenheim to extend their own 100% start to the season. Alexander Meier (2), Pirmin Schwegler and Martin Lanig got the goals in a 4-0 win.

Elsewhere, reigning champions Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw away to Nurnberg while 19-year-old Felix Klaus made history when he scored Greuther Furth’s first-ever Bundesliga goal, giving them a 1-0 win against Mainz.

Goal of the week Watch from 0:55 for Toni Kroos’ thumper against Stuttgart. Ain’t no stopping that.

YouTube Credit: MundoESPN

Ligue 1

IMAGINE A WORLD without Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It really doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

The super Swede needed just 27 seconds to get off the mark as Paris Saint-Germain ended an opening run of three straight draws with a 2-1 win away to Lille. Aurelien Chedjou levelled up matters on 12 minutes but Zlatan was on hand to poke home what turned out to be the winning goal in the 22nd minute. He’s flying the flag by himself though — his four goals are PSG’s only ones in the league this season.

Marseille continue to set the early pace at the top of the table after a 1-0 win away to defending champions Montpellier. French international Andre-Pierre Gignac scored the game’s only goal in the 77th minute.

Elsewhere Michel Bastos scored his third goal of the season as Lyon beat Valenciennes 3-2 to move up to second place. In the Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux looked to have taken all three points against Nice when Henri Saivet scored four minutes from time before Mahamane Traore equalised in the second minute of stoppage time. Toulouse needed a late, late goal of their own as Ben Yedder scored in the 89th minute to give them a 1-1 draw at home to Reims.

Goal of the week Troyes’ Mounir Obbadi gets the nod for his equaliser against Brest, but couldn’t stop his team from falling to a 2-1 defeat.

YouTube Credit: Ligue1official

(All tables via ESPN)

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Niall Kelly

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