The main events of Sat­ur­day in Euro­pean foot­ball.

Spain: Falcao is the threat of top clubs

“Celta” — “Barcelona” — 3:3 (Aspas, 52, 90+6. Noli­to, 74 — Fati, 5. Bus­quets, 18. Depay, 34).

In the morn­ing, the blue gar­nets offi­cial­ly announced the appoint­ment of Xavi as head coach, but he will start work lat­er: his offi­cial debut will take place after the break for nation­al match­es — in the der­by with Espany­ol. Well, Barcelona went to Vigo under the guid­ance of sec­ond team coach Ser­gi Bar­juan. And from a sta­tis­ti­cal point of view, this was a unique game, since Celta nev­er led the score at their home sta­di­um Bal­ai­dos this sea­son, and the Cata­lans did not achieve an advan­tage on for­eign fields.

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Post­ed by FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona)

One of these series was inter­rupt­ed by a spec­tac­u­lar goal from Ansu Fati, with each suc­cess a con­stant reminder of who is now play­ing as num­ber ten. How­ev­er, Xavi’s address to the fans today inspired every­one. And Depay, who dis­tin­guished him­self in the sec­ond round in a row, and even the for­mer part­ner of the new coach Bus­quets, who scored on big hol­i­days. The Blau­grana’s per­fect first half was spoiled only by Fati’s injury.

How­ev­er, a crush­ing vic­to­ry for the cur­rent Barcelona would be a fairy-tale sce­nario. Celta, in a dou­ble-edged game, reduced the gap to a min­i­mum, staged a final assault, and in the sixth minute of added time, Aspas put the ball into the cor­ner with a bril­liant long-range strike. The Gali­cian cap­tain is Ter Ste­gen’s night­mare, scor­ing more against the Ger­man than any oth­er play­er (7 goals). And Barcelona lost a three-goal lead for the first time since Jan­u­ary 1998, after which they have won 276 match­es in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions. What hap­pened only serves as a reminder of the depth of the team’s cri­sis and the fact that Xavi has a lot of work ahead of him.

Real Madrid — Rayo Val­le­cano — 2:1 (Kroos 14. Ben­ze­ma 28 — Fal­cao 76).

Real Madrid had fin­ished goal­less in their two pre­vi­ous home match­es but beat their Madrid neigh­bors for the 11th time in a row at the San­ti­a­go Bern­abeu on Sat­ur­day. For a long time it seemed that the only dif­fi­cul­ty for the hosts would be the mis­take with the can­cel­la­tion of Kroos’s goal, which was cor­rect­ed by the VAR who did not see Vini­cius Junior off­side. When Ala­ba cut a cross to Ben­ze­ma, who scored his tenth goal, there was vir­tu­al­ly no doubt about the final result.

They were returned by Fal­cao, who with­in ten days had scored goals against both Barcelona and Real Madrid. And since before that Rayo hit the post, the cream had to wor­ry. And if there had not been a reverse sub­sti­tu­tion for Fal­cao, who played only 7 min­utes, the guests would have had a bet­ter chance of sav­ing them­selves. But even with­out the Colom­bian, stop­page time includ­ed Kroos’ clear­ance from the goal line, Cour­tois’ save and a scan­dalous episode when the ref­er­ee could well have award­ed a penal­ty for Camavin­ga’s hit on the oppo­nen­t’s leg.

The top­ic of the judges’ love for Madrid will again be rel­e­vant in Spain, but for now Car­lo Ancelot­ti’s team has become the leader and is wait­ing to see how Real Sociedad will play on Sun­day.

England: a chance for Liverpool and Norman’s first goal

Chelsea — Burn­ley — 1:1 (Havertz, 33 — Otter, 80).

Com­pared to the Man­ches­ter der­by, the game at Stam­ford Bridge looked pre­dictable. Well, what kind of intrigue can there be when, on the one hand, there is the sole leader of the cham­pi­onship, and his guests are the bur­gundy ones, which are in 18th place? So Havertz’s goal was tak­en for grant­ed, and the only ques­tions were how many goals Chelsea would score by the final whis­tle.

How­ev­er, as time passed, the Lon­don­ers’ advan­tage did not increase, and Sean Dyche made no mis­takes with the sub­sti­tu­tions, refresh­ing the attack with the intro­duc­tion of Rodriguez and Vydra. As a result, the first one opened up behind the defend­ers who had lost their atten­tion and car­ried out a dis­count on the Czech, who had not scored in the Pre­mier League since April. Burn­ley was clear­ly inspired by their first cham­pi­onship vic­to­ry in the last round, and Chelsea, which had not stum­bled in the Pre­mier League since Sep­tem­ber, gave Liv­er­pool a chance. A win against West Ham on Sun­day will see the Reds close the gap on Thomas Tuchel’s side to one point.

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Post­ed by Burn­ley Foot­ball Club (@burnleyofficial)

Brent­ford — Nor­wich — 1:2 (Hen­ry 60 — Nor­man 6. Puk­ki 29, penal­ty).

For­mer Ros­tov mid­field­er Matthias Nor­mann scored his first goal in the Pre­mier League. It seems that this is exact­ly what the “canaries” need­ed for the long-await­ed first vic­to­ry of the cur­rent sea­son. That leaves New­cas­tle as the only team with­out a win, who saved the game against Brighton on Sat­ur­day in front of their future coach Eddie Howe. But Norwich’s suc­cess did not pro­tect Daniel Farke from being sacked.

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Post­ed by Nor­wich City FC (@norwichcityfc)

Man­ches­ter Unit­ed — Man­ches­ter City — 0:2. Review — here

Italy: Atalanta coped without Miranchuk

Juven­tus — Fiorenti­na — 1:0 (Cuadra­do, 90+1).

The defeat of Zen­it after Mas­sim­i­lano Alle­gri closed the team at the base, not to say that it revived Juven­tus. The first half of Sat­ur­day’s match went accord­ing to the sce­nario of Fiorenti­na, who played brighter and before leav­ing for the break were dis­sat­is­fied with the deci­sion of the ref­er­ee, who did not award a penal­ty after the ball hit Danilo’s hand. The Turin team, as in the lost meet­ing with Sas­suo­lo, did not have a sin­gle shot on tar­get in 45 min­utes.

After the break, the Flo­ren­tines even improved, but in the 72nd minute the guests received a sen­si­tive blow in the form of the send­ing off of Milenkovic, who received a sec­ond yel­low card. The Serb stu­pid­ly fouled in the cen­ter of the field, and only in the pow­er play did Juven­tus play as expect­ed of him. Chiesa hit the cross­bar, Mora­ta scored from an off­side posi­tion, and final­ly, in stop­page time, Cuadra­do stumped the goal­keep­er with a shot into the near cor­ner.

Alle­gri made a suc­cess­ful sub­sti­tu­tion, and the Colom­bian brought the coach his 200th vic­to­ry at the head of the Bian­coneri. Since the launch of Serie A in the 1929/30 sea­son, only two spe­cial­ists have pre­vi­ous­ly reached this mark — Gio­van­ni Tra­p­at­toni (319) and Mar­cel­lo Lip­pi (227).

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Post­ed by Juven­tus (@juventus)

Cagliari — Ata­lan­ta — 1:2 (Joao Pedro, 27 — Pasal­ic, 6. Zap­a­ta, 43).

With­in a few days, the Berga­m­as­cos recov­ered from the missed vic­to­ry over Man­ches­ter Unit­ed in the Cham­pi­ons League and extend­ed their unbeat­en streak in the cham­pi­onship to five match­es. If we talk about the heroes in the team of Gian Piero Gasperi­ni, they turned out to be famil­iar. Zap­a­ta has not left the field with­out a goal for four games, and Pasal­ic, if you count from Octo­ber, is the most pro­duc­tive mid­field­er in Serie A. The for­mer Spar­tak play­er has two goals and three assists in this peri­od. As for Alex­ei Miranchuk, he did not play again and watched from the bench as Ata­lan­ta rose to fourth place at least until Sunday’s Roma match.

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Post­ed by Ata­lan­ta BC (@atalantabc)

Germany: new Bayern record

Bay­ern — Freiburg — 2:1 (Goret­z­ka 33. Lewandows­ki 75 – Haber­er 90+3).

Bay­ern took a test from the main trou­ble­mak­er this sea­son. Chris­t­ian Stre­ich, who began his coach­ing career back in the last cen­tu­ry in the Freiburg youth team, in his tenth year of work­ing with the main team, built anoth­er inter­est­ing team, which climbed to third place, did not lose a sin­gle match and before the vis­it to Munich was three behind the lead­ing cham­pi­on points

The sim­plest thing to do is to say that Bay­ern put the upstarts in their place, but that would be prim­i­tive. In fact, the oppo­nent forced the favorite to work hard, and in the end he com­plete­ly frayed his nerves, reduc­ing the gap to a min­i­mum. As for Lewandowski’s next goal, his suc­cess is notable for the fact that the Bavar­i­ans increased the num­ber of goals scored in the Bun­desli­ga in a cal­en­dar year to one hun­dred. This is a new club record, and in the entire his­to­ry of the tour­na­ment only Cologne in 1977 has dis­tin­guished itself more often. A cou­ple more accu­rate hits, and that achieve­ment of the “goats” will fall.

Leipzig – Borus­sia D – 2:1 (Nkunku, 29. Poulsen, 68 — Royce, 52).

The meet­ing between the two for­mer Salzburg coach­es end­ed with Jesse Marsh’s con­vinc­ing vic­to­ry over Mar­co Rose. Per­haps the only bright spot in Borus­si­a’s actions was Menier’s pass to Reus, who tore open the Bulls’ defense, who scored his 102nd goal in the Bun­desli­ga in a yel­low-black uni­form and now shares fourth place with Stéphane Cha­puisat in the list of Dort­mund’s best snipers.

Leipzig has an undis­put­ed hero — Nkunku. The mid­field­er, nev­er known for his pro­duc­tive play, has already scored ten goals this sea­son. In addi­tion, with the score 1:1, the French­man hit the post and then assist­ed Poulsen. The Bulls, who had not defeat­ed Borus­sia for four years, played more con­cen­trat­ed­ly in defense this time than in the last round, when they were left with­out a vic­to­ry by Ein­tra­cht in the 4th added minute.

France: Neymar’s sad anniversary

Bor­deaux — PSG — 2:3 (Alice, 76. Niang, 90+2 — Ney­mar, 26, 43. Mbappe, 63).

The Parisians are still play­ing with­out the injured Mes­si, but Mbappe and Ney­mar is there. Already in the first half, this tan­dem orga­nized two goals, but the Brazil­ian cel­e­brat­ed his suc­cess­es with emphat­ic restraint. And after the first goal, he showed off a spe­cial T‑shirt ded­i­cat­ed to the mem­o­ry of the pop­u­lar Brazil­ian singer Mar­il­ia Men­donce, who died the day before in a plane crash.

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Post­ed by Bleach­er Report Foot­ball (@brfootball)

Mean­while, Neymar’s suc­cess­es can­not be called ordi­nary. First­ly, he hasn’t scored from open play for PSG since last sea­son. Sec­ond­ly, for­ward chalked it up to your account The 400th, and then the 401st goal at the pro­fes­sion­al lev­el. Nine­ty accu­rate shots came dur­ing the French stage of his career, and the most pro­duc­tive peri­od was dur­ing his per­for­mances for San­tos (136).

Statistics of the day

4 Lille’s win­less streak is the reign­ing French cham­pi­on’s worst run since Mar­seille in 2010.

5 Español strik­er Raul De Tomas scores in La Liga in con­sec­u­tive rounds.

8 Man­ches­ter City won away der­bies in the Pre­mier League, becom­ing the most for­mi­da­ble guest at Old Traf­ford. Among coach­es in this indi­ca­tor, Josep Guardi­o­la leads with four vic­to­ries.

8 Fiorenti­na play­ers received red cards in 2021. In the top 5 cham­pi­onships, only Lyon is doing worse, whose play­ers were sent off 10 times.

14 Man­ches­ter Unit­ed can­not keep a clean sheet in home match­es. The Red Dev­ils’ defense was less reli­able only in 1958–1959, con­ced­ing 21 games at home.

thir­ty Dynamo Kiev did not lose match­es in the Ukrain­ian Cham­pi­onship, but lost at home to Vorskla.

200 Real Madrid mid­field­er Casemiru played match­es in La Liga.

1603 The match was spent as head coach by Eng­lish foot­ball record hold­er Neil Warnock, who was fired from Mid­dles­brough today.