Arsenal guaranteed leadership, Real Madrid are playing catch-up with Girona, Milan were inspired by Ibrahimovic’s visit

The main events of Sat­ur­day in Euro­pean foot­ball.

England: Gunners hundred

Eng­land. Pre­mier League. 14th round

02 Dec, 18:00. Emi­rates Sta­di­um (Lon­don)




No mat­ter how the oth­er teams played, it became clear on Sat­ur­day that Arse­nal would retain first place at the end of the round — in the game with Wolver­hamp­ton, the Lon­don­ers crushed the oppo­nen­t’s defense in the open­ing. The goals of Saka and Ode­gaard are like ref­er­ences to the best exam­ples of com­bi­na­tions from the time of Arsene Wenger. This is espe­cial­ly true for the sec­ond goal, where the oppo­nent sim­ply could not keep up with the favorite’s thoughts.

New­cas­tle ignored Unit­ed. Ten Hag’s team suf­fered through­out the match

Saka, by the way, scored the Gun­ners’ 100th goal in the cal­en­dar year. In the top 5 leagues, only Man­ches­ter City, Real Madrid, Bay­ern and Bay­er have sur­passed this grand­mas­ter mark. In the end, how­ev­er, Mikel Arte­ta’s team had to wor­ry. Instead of calm­ly fin­ish­ing the big score, she missed her chances, includ­ing Trossard’s goal, and gave Wolves the oppor­tu­ni­ty to reduce the deficit in the score. But all’s well that ends well.

Spain: the character of Girona

Spain. La Liga. 15th round

02 Dec, 16:00. Mon­tilivi (Girona)




The race between Real and Girona con­tin­ues, and the Cata­lan team amazes not only with its results and qual­i­ty of play, but also with its incred­i­ble char­ac­ter. Michel Sanchez’s team scored exact­ly half of its points (19 out of 38) in match­es dur­ing which it was behind in the score! This was the sit­u­a­tion in three of the last four rounds, and the cur­rent sce­nario turned out to be the most dra­mat­ic. In the 82nd minute, Valen­cia was still win­ning, and then the Girona leg­end spoke. The 37-year-old Uruguayan Stu­ani came on as a sub­sti­tute and with a dou­ble scored, Real Madrid again turned into catch­ing up. Incred­i­ble! But it is nat­ur­al, since the oppo­nent also played for such a con­clu­sion, show­ing the low­est per­cent­age of pos­ses­sion in La Liga match­es since the 2005/06 sea­son (24 per­cent).

Spain. La Liga. 15th round

02 Dec, 20:30. San­ti­a­go Bern­abeu (Madrid)




Real, how­ev­er, returned to first place two hours lat­er, which was eas­i­ly pre­dict­ed. Madrid host­ed a team from the rel­e­ga­tion zone, which at the San­ti­a­go Bern­abeu could only count on the effect of nov­el­ty after the appoint­ment of Alexan­der Med­i­na, a Uruguayan who had not pre­vi­ous­ly worked in Europe, as head coach. Only this illu­sion was dis­pelled by Brahim Diaz, who rarely makes it into the line­up, but at the same time con­sis­tent­ly scores points. Hav­ing scored after a cool pass from Kroos, it was as if he had received com­pen­sa­tion for the last round, when, due to intesti­nal prob­lems, he was urgent­ly replaced by Rodri­go.

Mean­while, these play­ers are good togeth­er, which was demon­strat­ed after the break. The Brazil­ian, who scored in the fifth match in a row, scored on the fin­ish after Belling­ham’s shot, but Diaz did every­thing in this attack. At the same time, it is obvi­ous that Car­lo Ancelot­ti’s team did not play to their max­i­mum. But what was shown was enough to cope with Grana­da for the fif­teenth time in a row. In their his­to­ry, Real Madrid have only had one more impres­sive win­ning streak against one oppo­nent — 17 games against Rayo Val­le­cano from 2000 to 2018.

Arsen Zakharyan in the Osasuna match —  Zakharyan in the game. Emer­gency sub­sti­tu­tion, dan­ger­ous cor­ners and grow­ing con­fi­dence

Italy: Maignan as playmaker

Italy. Serie A. 14th round

02 Dec, 22:45. Giuseppe Meaz­za (Milan)




Milan, after an unsuc­cess­ful peri­od in Serie A, won for the sec­ond time in a row. Was Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic real­ly so inspired by the vis­it to San Siro, who could not miss the game with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of his name­sake who plays for Frosi­none? This is undoubt­ed­ly a joke, but some­how it must be explained how Jovic final­ly scored his first goal for the Rossoneri. And he also added a pass to Tomori. In fact, it can be stat­ed that the Serb respond­ed per­fect­ly to the threat of the guests, who had a one-on-one approach stopped by Maig­nan. That’s who the real hero of the evening is! The French goal­keep­er saved and helped dou­ble the lead at the begin­ning of the sec­ond half, record­ing an assist for Pulisic, who dou­bled the score. The Amer­i­can, of course, solved the episode cool­ly, but what a Maig­nan! The only goal­keep­er in Europe to pro­vide assists for the third sea­son in a row.

Germany: snowfall against Bayern

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 13th round

24 Jan, 22:30. Allianz Are­na (Munich)



Union B

The pro­gram of the first Decem­ber round in the Bun­desli­ga was short­ened due to the can­cel­la­tion of the Bay­ern — Union match. The rea­son was snow­fall, which par­a­lyzed not only the work of the Munich air­port, but also pub­lic trans­port. This did not guar­an­tee fans the oppor­tu­ni­ty to enter the Allianz Are­na. In addi­tion, when decid­ing to post­pone, the orga­niz­ers were guid­ed by the safe­ty of spec­ta­tors. A new date for the meet­ing will be announced lat­er. And the Berlin club, despite the ter­ri­ble series of six­teen match­es with­out vic­to­ries that start­ed back in Sep­tem­ber, is not dis­cour­aged. The club’s social net­works even host­ed online games for foot­ball play­ers snow­balls.

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 13th round

02 Dec, 17:30. Red Bull Are­na (Zen­tral­sta­dion) (Leipzig)

RB Leipzig



Thus, on Sat­ur­day in Ger­many, two teams from the lead­ing group met, and it all start­ed with the vic­to­ry of Leipzig. She could have been more con­fi­dent in the score, but the bulls showed sur­pris­ing extrav­a­gance. Yes, tak­ing into account two hits on the wood­work, Hei­den­heim was lucky, but Open­da, who was tear­ing apart the Man­ches­ter City defense in the mid­dle of the week, could not score from the game, even jump­ing up one on one. As a result, the guests almost snatched a draw in the end, but every­thing end­ed as it should have. Mar­co Rose’s team has tem­porar­i­ly returned to the cham­pi­onship four and may remain there, as Borus­sia Dort­mund faces a dif­fi­cult match with tour­na­ment leader Bay­er Lev­erkusen on Sun­day.

Ger­many. Bun­desli­ga 1. 13th round

02 Dec, 20:30. MHPAre­na (Stuttgart)




Stuttgart, which was in third place, also lost a mon­strous num­ber of chances. It was as if luck had decid­ed that the Swabi­ans had cho­sen the lim­it when, in the open­ing, the Werder goal­keep­er deflect­ed the ball onto Undavu’s foot. The for­ward, on loan from Brighton, did not imme­di­ate­ly find him­self in the Bun­desli­ga, but since the end of Sep­tem­ber he has eight goals in eight rounds. This helped almost pain­less­ly cope with the tem­po­rary loss of Guiras­si, who demon­strat­ed phe­nom­e­nal per­for­mance at the start. Today, the Guinean squan­dered his chances, only scor­ing his 16th goal from the penal­ty spot and com­ing with­in two accu­rate shots of the Bavar­i­an Kane in the sniper race.

France: Nice has been disenchanted

France. League 1. 14th round

02 Dec, 23:00. Stade de la Beau­joire — Louis Fonte­neau (Nantes)




It had to hap­pen some­day, and on Sat­ur­day Nice found them­selves on the rebound for the first time since the start of the sea­son! To be pre­cise, the Eaglets were unbeat­en in League 1 for 1,307 min­utes. And their dry streak, which last­ed since the Sep­tem­ber match against PSG, was inter­rupt­ed by Mol­let. His goal remained the only one, result­ing in Francesco Far­i­oli’s first defeat in the French cham­pi­onship. His result — the first thir­teen match­es with­out mis­fires — is the third in the his­to­ry of the tour­na­ment. The record hold­er with 20 games is Thomas Tuchel. But what is much more painful for Nice is not the end of its sev­er­al cool streaks, but the very fact of defeat, which gives a chance to com­peti­tors play­ing on Sun­day — PSG and Mona­co.

Sta­tis­tics of the day
In the his­to­ry of the Pre­mier League, the play­er who scored twice in the open­ing 15 sec­onds of the game was Burn­ley strik­er Jay Rodriguez. His goals were sep­a­rat­ed by 10 years and a day.
5:0 — the largest vic­to­ry in the his­to­ry of the Pre­mier League for a team that start­ed the tour in last place. Burn­ley won.
6 Stuttgart strik­er Guiras­si scores in home match­es. He is one game behind club record hold­er Gomez.
13 match­es — since the fall of 2021, when Man­ches­ter Unit­ed was coached by Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer — the Red Dev­ils have not been able to beat an away oppo­nent who start­ed the tour in the top eight.
15 In recent sea­sons, the only Spaniard in the top 5 leagues has scored at least one goal — Lazio winger Pedro.
126 New­cas­tle haven’t had a streak of three clean sheets against Man­ches­ter Unit­ed in years.