Bayern, Barcelona and PSG bounced back while Real Madrid and Monaco stumbled in an action-packed weekend of football across Europe. Here are the Winners and Losers around Europe. Bet on football here.
Portuguese giants Porto walked away with the bragging rights following their impressive win over arch-rivals Benfica in the O Classico at Estadio da Luz. Forward José Luis opened the scoring for the visitors with a close-range flick in the 22nd minute with Moussa Marega sealing victory in the 86th-minute following a blistering counter attack. Hosts Benfica failed to turn up, creating few clear cut chances. They have now beaten Porto just once at home in the last four matches. The defending champions had a perfect start but are now tied on six points after three matches.
Antoine Griezmann and Barcelona
After that debacle against Athletic Bilbao in the first match of the season, defending La Liga champions Barcelona produced a magnificent performance to beat Real Betis in their second game. The Blaugrana beat the Seville side 5-2 thanks to a brace from summer signing Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman was under pressure to produce a better performance following an underwhelming start at Bilbao. He struggled to get into the game but, after scoring the equaliser, he was involved Barca’s best-attacking moves. Betis hit the net after just 15 minutes but Barca weren’t ready to start the season with two successive defeats.
Robert Lewandowski and Bayern Munich
Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich bounced back with a 3-0 win Schalke 04 following a poor start to the season. Niko Kovac’s men responded in style after starting the season with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin. Lewandowski has now scored all of Bayern’s goals in the Bundesliga this season. Furthermore, the Polish striker now has 18 goals in 21 career meetings with Schalke. Can he continue this streak when his side host Mainz next week?
Marco Giampaolo’s reign at AC Milan kicked off with a disappointing performance against Udinese where they lost 1-0 away from home. The hosts were slightly better in the first 45 minutes but upped the ante in the second half with Rodrigo Becao scoring after 72 minutes to hand them a huge win. Milan were dismal throughout the game where they failed to register a single shot on target. It was a worrying start for Giampaolo, who will have a lot to ponder given his team failed to show any sharpness or cohesiveness. They were overrun in midfield and striker Krysztof Piatek was isolated as evidenced the zero shots on target. The Rossoneri host newcomers Brescia next weekend as they look to bounce back.
Monaco’s poor start to the season continued as they were held 2-2 at home by Nimes Olympique in their third Ligue 1 game. Leonardo Jardim’s men were 2-0 up by the end of the first half but a red card for defender Jemerson in the 55th minute saw them blow their lead. After just three games, Monaco have the worst defence in the league and it’s only because Dijon have lost all their matches that they aren’t bottom. The Red and Whites have endured an almighty fall from grace after winning the league in the 2016/2017 season where they also reached the semis of the Champions League. Can Jardim turn this around?
Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid
Real Madrid were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Real Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday as Sergi Guardiola’s 88th-minute equaliser cancelled Karim Benzema’s 82nd-minute strike. Despite dominating proceedings, Madrid were poor. Following a summer of heavy spending, these are the matches the Los Blancos are expected to win. Chances were hard to come by in the second half and Eden Hazard’s return could help mitigate that. They visit Villarreal next weekend in a difficult match as they look to get an all-important win.