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The Good, The Bad & The Anfield Loss 

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This week on The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, we talk about the Napoli duo responsible for their unbeaten start to the season, the new Copa Libertadores champions, Flamengo, Graham Potter’s nightmare return to Brighton, Sevilla dropping into the La Liga Relegation Zone and Liverpool’s loss at Anfield.  

Before that, here are a few of our high hitting odds you may have missed out on over the weekend.  


THE GOOD 

Victor Osimhen Nets First Senior Career Hat-Trick  

The Nigerian striker continued his impressive season with a long overdue first senior hat-trick in Napoli’s 4-0 win over Sassuolo. The win stretched Napoli’s unbeaten start to the season to 17 in all competitions as they remained top of both the Serie A and their UEFA Champions’ League group. The win – their 15th of the season – also featured a top performance from summer signing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia who had a goal and a brace of assists. The Georgian winger is joint second in goals (6) in the Serie A & joint 3rd in assists (5), a superb return for the €10m spent on him.  

 

 


Flamengo Wins Copa Libertadores 

Gabriel Barbosa’s late first-half goal was enough to give Flamengo its 3rd Copa Libertadores in club history and 2nd in 4 years as they overcame 10-man Athletico Paranaense. Flamengo, who have well-known veterans like David Luiz, Filipe Luís, Arturo Vidal & Diego in their squad, are widely viewed as deserved winners after dominant performances all tournament.  

They overcame Deportes Tolima 8-1 (agg) in the Round of 16, Corinthians in the Quarter-finals (3-0 agg) & Velez Sarsfield (6-1 agg) on their way to victory. They also had Pedro (12) and Bruno Henrique (5) finish as the top goal scorer and top assists provider in the tournament, respectively.  


PSG’s Lethal Trio Keep Dominating  

PSG’s defensive deficiencies were on display again as they recorded a 4-3 win over Troyes in the Ligue 1. However, the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. & Kylian Mbappe were all on the scoresheet for the second game in a row after they each grabbed at least one goal in the 7-2 win over Maccabi Haifa in the UCL.  

The trio now have 70 goal contributions between them this season which is an incredible milestone to reach by October. Summer signing Carlos Soler was also on the scoresheet four days after scoring his first goal for the French giants against Maccabi Haifa in the UCL. His newfound goalscoring touch should do the Spanish midfielder’s World Cup chances no harm. 

 

 


Reiss Nelson Shines In His First League Game of the Season 

The Gunners strolled to a convincing 5-0 over Nottingham Forest to retake their lead atop the Premier League table. Gabriel Martinelli, Thomas Partey & Martin Ødegaard all got on the scoresheet, but it was substitute Reiss Nelson – playing in his first league game of the season – who was the star of the game as his 2 goals & 1 assist within 8 mins of play helped seal the win. Nelson’s only other Premier League goal had come in the 2019/20 season so there were two years and 107 days between his 1st and 2nd goals in the EPL, but just 3 mins and 1 second between his 2nd and 3rd goals. A big day for the young Gunner.  

 

 


Top 4 in Bundesliga All Win 

There were no changes to the Top 4 in Germany as all sides recorded wins. Bayern beat Mainz 6-2 with 6 different scorers getting on the scoresheet including Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting who scored for the 5th game in a row.  

Freiburg beat Schalke 2-0, thanks to a brace from Vincenzo Grifo. Dortmund had a tough 2-1 win away at Frankfurt in a game that saw the referee dish out 10 yellow cards including 5 in stoppage time while the table topping Union Berlin had the most dramatic win of the top four. They had to wait till the 97th min to get their 3pts as center-back Danilho Doekhi nodded home from a corner in a 2-1 win over Gladbach. The race for the Top 4 in the Bundesliga remains tight with just 4 pts separating all 4 teams.  


THE BAD 

Graham Potter Loses In Brighton Return 

The new Chelsea Head Coach suffered his first defeat for the Blues, and it was poetic that it came on his return to his former home, Brighton. It was also the first win for Roberto De Zerbi since taking over Brighton in what was an unforgettable afternoon for the Seagulls.  

The hosts were 3-0 up in the first half, thanks to a goal from Leandro Trossard & two own-goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek & Trevoh Chalobah. Kai Havertz pulled one back for Chelsea early in the second half, but they failed to build on that before eventually giving up a 92nd goal to Pascal Groß to make it 4-1.  

Chelsea are now winless in 3 Premier League games and have dropped out of the UEFA Champions League spots into 6th position.  

 

 


Atletico Suffer Another 99th Min Heartbreak  

Diego Simeone was on the receiving end of yet another stoppage time heartbreak as his team lost to 19th place Cadiz in La Liga. After a 99th penalty miss against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday cost them a place in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Atleti found themselves 2-0 down to Cadiz with 10 mins to go.  

8 minutes later, Los Colchoneros were level as first, an own goal, then a João Félix equalizer tied the game, swinging the momentum Atletico’s way. 

As Diego Simeone’s boys pushed for a winner, they left themselves a little too exposed in defense and Rubén Sobrino’s easy far post finish in the 99th minute restored the lead for Cadiz to give the home team their 2nd win of the season.  

 

 


Sevilla Drops Into Relegation Zone 

Sevilla’s season got uglier as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Rayo Vallecano. They’ve won just twice at home all season – an opening day 1-0 win against Cadiz and a 3-0 win over Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday. Sevilla have already had a coaching change with Jorge Sampaoli returning to the club to replace Julen Lopetegui earlier in the month. However, the poor form has continued, and Sevilla find themselves in the relegation zone already.  

 

 


AC Milan Lose to Torino 

Milan’s quest to retain their Serie A title suffered a hit on Sunday as they lost to Torino. Milan – who were on a 17-league game unbeaten run away from home – never really looked like the more dangerous side and they fell to two first half goals before getting one back through Junior Messias in the 2nd half as it ended 2-1.  

The loss was Milan’s 2nd in the league and they now fall 6pts behind a table-topping Napoli side who look unstoppable at the moment.  


Marseille’s Winless Streak Continues   

Marseille blew a 2-0 lead in their away draw at Strasbourg that included a 93rd min equaliser for the hosts from Kevin Gameiro. The point was Marseille’s sole point in October as they’ve now gone the entire month without a win in Ligue 1(L3, D1). They’ve now dropped to 5th position, away from Champions League & Europa League spots as they prepare for a tough Matchday 6 home game against Tottenham in the Champions League.  


THE UGLY: The Anfield Loss 

When it rains, it pours and for the second weekend in a row, a helpless Jurgen Klopp was drenched as his team lost yet another league game. Last weekend, the team had suffered a shocking loss to bottom of table Nottingham Forest and in similar fashion, they lost to yet another team in the bottom 3, Leeds United.  

Coming into this game, Leeds United were without a league win since their famous 3-0 win over Chelsea in August and had lost 4 games in a row. Leeds manager, Jesse Marsch knew his job and the team’s survival in the Premier League were both on the line and his boys duly delivered a win; the first league defeat for Liverpool at Anfield since March 2021 and their first with Virgil van Dijk in the lineup in 70 home league games.  

A careless pass from Joe Gomes to Goalkeeper Alisson left Leeds United’s Rodrigo Moreno with a wide-open goal at his mercy and he accepted the gift by putting the visitors 1-0 up in the 4th minute. Mo Salah drew Liverpool level just 10 mins later after turning in Robertson’s cross, thanks to some poor marking by Leeds United. Both sides searched for the winner and had chances to grab all 3 points. Leeds’ Illan Meslier put on one of the best goal-keeping performances of the season making 9 saves as he prevented the Reds from adding to their 1-goal – a performance that earned him a Man of the Match award. 21-year-old Dutch attacker, Crysencio Summerville scored his 3rd goal of the season and his 2nd in a row to seal the game for his side in the 89th minute as he slotted home Bamford’s miscontrolled ball leaving a large section of Anfield stunned.  

The defeat leaves Liverpool closer to the relegation zone than they are to the Champions League spots and Jurgen Klopp knows his side’s chances of making the Top 4 are shrinking. Liverpool’s 4 wins, 4 draws & 4 defeats after 12 games is the same underwhelming start Roy Hodgson had during his time with Liverpool back in 2010. Roy Hudgson was relieved of his duties in January 2011.  

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