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Eurostar: Levante lose, Juve win and Hazard is going

Pack your bags as Paul Ring heads off on a whistle-stop tour of weekend’s European football, featuring a Halloween treat from Barcelona’s Dani Alves.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte (right) and midfielder Claudio Marchisio (back pictured) celebrate the winning goal against Inter Milan on Sunday.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte (right) and midfielder Claudio Marchisio (back pictured) celebrate the winning goal against Inter Milan on Sunday.
Image: Antonio Calanni/AP/Press Association Images

La Liga

DRY YOUR EYES, the dream is over.

Osasuna were the monsters on Halloween weekend that ended Levante’s unbeaten run and destroyed the romance in Spain.

Alvaro Cejudo and Nino scored in the first half to give Osasuna a 2-0 win. Real Madrid and Barcelona now occupy first and second in La Liga. It was nice while it lasted.

Barcelona went into their game with Mallorca without Xavi, Puyol, Pique, Inestia and Cesc Fabregas and still predictably romped to a 5-0 win. Lionel Messi netted a first half hat-trick; all three were within an eighteen-minute spell. His bewitching brilliance continues unabated.

But it is Real who are top dogs for the moment. A somewhat scruffy 1-0 win at Real Sociedad did the trick with the winner coming from Gonzalo Higuain. Can we call him Golazo Higuain yet?

The goal: Dani Alves doesn’t always get these long range shots right but when he does….

The headline: Marca have made the plan simple for Real Madrid. “Objective: to reach the clasico as leaders.” The game of games is approaching and the phoney war will be stepped up in the coming weeks.

Serie A

Can we assume that Juventus are the real deal? The Old Lady of Serie A rolled up to the San Siro on Saturday night and left Inter in the depths after a 2-1 win. Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio were the scorers.

Juve and their manager Antonio Conte suffer from unrealistic expectations based on their standing in Italy. Despite going unbeaten this season, anytime Juve suffer the indignity of a draw questions are raised about Conte’s tactical system (a variation on 4-2-4) and the performances of certain supposed leaders (Chellini, Pepe).

Yet they now stand top, unbeaten and are increasingly looking more fluid as the season progresses.

Inter Milan wouldn’t mind some of Juve's problems. They are now a mere one point off of the relegation zone after Saturday night’s loss. The scale of the job Jose Mourinho did there is growing by the day.

The goal: Marchisio’s winner is beautiful in its simplicity.

The headline: La Gazzetta go with Inter saying “This is no time to look back.” The paper also reports that they have no plans regarding Carlos Tevez. Just don’t put him on the bench, Claudio.

Bundesliga

Normal service has resumed for Bayern Munich and Super Mario Gomez. He scored twice as Bayern routed Nurnberg 4-0 to stay top by four points.

Schalke are second after a 3-1 win against Hoffenheim. Raul was amongst the scorers -- he’s still got it.

Borussia Dortmund were thankful to leave Stuttgart with a point having fallen behind, while Werder Bremen have gone fourth after a 3-1 win away to Mainz.

The goal: All of Bayern’s goals are worth a watch but Bastian Schweinsteiger’s is the pick.

The headline: Bild speak to Franck Ribery and he is quite the happy camper in Munich: “I want to play with Bayern when I am 35.”

Footballers don’t change their mind right?

Eredivise

The game of the week in Holland saw second-placed PSV clash with third-placed Twente. Twente took the lead through Douglas but goals from Labyad and Marcelo gave them the lead. With twenty minutes to go though, Kevin Strootman was sent off for PSV and they lost the lead soon after. The rollercoaster of a game finished 2-2.

Ajax breezed past Roda 4-0 with the sublime Cristian Erikson in fine form. AZ Alkmaar are now six points clear at the top after a last-minute win against Heracles.

The goal: FC Groningen thumped the once mighty Feyenoord 6-0 over the weekend and Leandro Bacuna scored the pick.

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The headline: Right, Dutch lesson number one. De Telegraaf’s headline Van der Vaart “Tottenham beter dan Arsenal” means the Holland playmaker reckons his Spurs side are better than Arsenal.

Why does Dutch have an unfair rep for being difficult?

Ligue 1

PSG remain top in France after a 4-2 win at home to Caen. They are motoring nicely now with a healthy three-point cushion on top. The gazillions spent in the summer has nothing to do with it.

Lille had a disappointing scoreless draw away to Valenciennes while Lyon needed two late goals to overcome St Etienne.

Marseille’s mini revival continues after a 3-2 win away to Dijon. Montpellier stay second after a 2-0 win at home to Nancy.

The goal: Take your pick from PSG/Caen. I’m going for Menez’s for pure comedy value. Play to the whistle lads.

The headline: L’Equipe had Eden Hazard talking and he was pretty clear: “I’m ready to go.”

The winger has been constantly linked with Real Madrid in recent months with some reports of him signing a pre-contract agreement with the Spanish giants. He says he will not leave in January and despite reports of PSG ready to pay €50m for him, he would rather move abroad. Real it is then.

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About the author:

Paul Ring

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