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Messi reacts to Barcelona's loss at the weekend.
Messi reacts to Barcelona's loss at the weekend.

Eurostar: Real reign, Juve lead and Cruyff wins again

Our weekly round-up of football action across Europe features some particularly spectacular goals this week.
Nov 29th 2011, 12:18 PM 520 0

La Liga

LA LIGA IS over. Or so we are led to believe. Barcelona’s shock 1-0 loss away to Getafe coupled with Real Madrid’s now routine slaughter of city rivals Atletico has all but ended the championship chase.

That, of course, is rubbish. Six points is a sizable gap, more so when you realise Real have not won the championship in the last two seasons, despite finishing with 92 and 96 points respectively.

The margin for error is minuscule between these two giants, but it is still only November, with two clásicos to come. The first of which is in a fortnight and has all the ingredients of living up to its vast billing, given Barca now need to win.

It wasn’t quite a seismic shock that the champions slipped in Getafe. They have been plundering goals as usual at home this season, but their only away wins were tight games settled by one goal in Granada and Gijon. If a slip was to come it would be away. That said, this was their first defeat in any competition this season and the first time in 43 away matches they have failed to score. Hold the obituaries for their title hopes.

The goal: By now, you have probably seen Inigo Martinez’s wonder strike that won the game for Sociedad against Real Betis. Here’s something he did earlier this season. Eerily familiar.

The headline: Marca are getting giddy about their beloved Real. “The Mou team II exceeds the Mou team I.” They may have a point though. Real look the best team in Europe at the moment. Fellow Madrid-based paper AS clearly added an exclamation point to the following headline as a mistake “Barca are six points away!” Either that or they are quite pleased about the fact.

Serie A

Juventus, it appears, are here to stay. The Old Lady left Rome on Saturday with another three points thanks to a 1-0 win over Lazio. Simone Pepe hit the winner, but Gianluigi Buffon deserved the plaudits for delivering another tour de force in between the goals. Juve now have a single-point lead at the top and play their game in hand against Napoli tonight.

AC Milan stay in second after a 4-0 win at home to Chievo. Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to prove how useless he is by following a goal against Barcelona in midweek by scoring his 100th and 101st goals in Serie A.

Man City’s conquerors Napoli needed another Edison Cavani goal to salvage a draw away to Atlanta.

The goal: An awful lot has been said about Adrian Mutu. But whatever about off the pitch, on it, the boy can play. Here are his two crackers over the weekend.

The headline: The University of Naples has conclusive proof that Edison Cavani literally rocked the city with his two goals against Manchester City in the Champions league last week. Matthew Barker tweeted the results:

Bundesliga

Things are getting a little sticky in Munich. Bayern lost their second successive game on Sunday to slip to third in the table. Losing to champions Borussia Dortmund is just about acceptable, but coming out on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller against lowly Mainz is certainly not.

Dortmund have recovered from their slow start to the season to now sit top by one point. They dispatched Schalke 2-0 at home with minimum fuss. Jorgen Klopp’s side continue to play with daring and panache, and their restoration to the title race is a welcome one.

The goal: Everyone remembers Paul Scholes’ volley against Bradford. Make your own mind up if this effort from Jan Schlaudraff for Hannover is better. Personally, I think he shades it.

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The headline: Bild have gotten to the heart of Bayern’s problems: “Bayern have a leadership problem” They go on to say that in the absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger, they are too nice. There are some in Germany who might disagree.

Eredivise

AZ Alkmaar remain comfortable leaders in Holland after a 2-0 win over FC Utrecht. Rasmus Elm was on the scoresheet and his is a name you might hear a lot of in the coming months as he is being linked to a number of Europe’s big guns including Manchester United.

PSV thrashed Groningen 6-1 and managed to have six different goalscorers in doing so.

Ajax had Miralem Sulejmani to thank, as he scored twice in their 3-0 win away to NEC. The Amsterdam side remain ten points off the top however, having played a game more than AZ. 

The goal: Here is a fan's eye view of why Rasmus Elm is rated so highly.

The headline: De telegraf have the scoop on the seemingly never-ending political strife at Ajax. “The supervisory board give way” Johan Cruyff was a member of the five man board that drew up a blueprint for Ajax in September. The other four members, including Edgar Davids, wanted to install Louis van Gaal as general manager. Cruyff was against the move and threatened to go to court, and late last night, Ajax announced that a new governing board would be appointed. Put your money on Johan sticking around in some capacity.

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