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The Good, The Bad & Union Berlin Hammering 

The-Good,-The-Bad-&-The-Ugly3-min

This week in The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, we discuss a contender for the Puskas Award, Gareth Bale helping LAFC win the MLS Cup, Manchester United’s men & women both losing 3-1, Union Berlin getting hammered 5-0 and Chelsea stinking it up in the London Derby…nothing personal. Before that, here are some of our big hits for last weekend: 

 

THE GOOD 

Newcastle United Move To 3rd 

Miguel Almiron appears to have taken Jack Grealish joke personally as Newcastle ace extends best ever Premier League tally with another goal against Southampton

The Magpies continued their fine start to the season with their 4th league win in a row & 7th overall as they visited St. Mary’s Stadium. Miguel Almiron opened the scoring with his 8th goal of the season and 7th in the last 7 games while Chris Wood, Joe Willock & Bruno Guimaraes also got on the scoresheet in a 4-1 win. The Saudi owned side have now moved to 3rd over Spurs who lost Liverpool on Sunday evening while the result meant the sacking of Southampton’s coach, Ralph Hasenhüttl who has them stuck in 18th position in the English Premier League.  


Osimhen & Napoli Back To Winning Ways  

Osimhen returns to training: Huge boost for Nigeria and Napoli after recovering from injury | Goal.com Cameroon

Napoli’s trip to Gewiss Stadium to face Atalanta was a successful one as they left with all 3pts, thanks to a 2-1 win. Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen was involved in all 3 goals as he gave away the penalty for Atalanta’s opener in the 19th min before pulling his team level just 4 mins later and then setting Elif Elmas up for the winner in the 35th min. The result extended Napoli’s lead at the top of the Serie A standing to 6 pts and Luciano Spalletti is looking like he might finally get his hands on the Scudetto.  


Pique Bids The Game Farewell 

Barcelona: Gerard Pique's businesses: What companies does he own and what will he do now? | Marca

One of the greatest defenders of this generation retired this weekend as Barcelona beat Almeria 2-0 at the Nou Camp. An emotional Pique addressed the crowd after the game as he thanked them for his time at the club. During his time as a player, Pique won everything he could including 4 Champions League titles, a World Cup, Shakira, the EUROs, La Liga & the Premier League. While Pique might be taking all the shine (as he should), we’ll like to note Marc-André ter Stegen who has kept 11 clean sheets in 13 games in La Liga.  


Podolski Scores Puskas Award Contender  

Podolski gosta da proposta do Fortaleza e aguarda decisão familiar para definir o futuro - Mercado do Futebol

You wouldn’t be alone if you thought Podolski was retired but he is still active in Górnik Zabrze over in Poland. This weekend, he scored one of the best goals you’ll see this season with an absolute rocket of a shot from his own half. The former Koln striker received the pass, took one look up and spotted the goalie way off his line and just let loose – an absolute beauty. If Germany still has problems getting a number 9 fit for Qatar 2022, they might want to consider him. They wouldn’t be the only country taking a 37-year-old striker to the FIFA World Cup.  


 Gareth Bale Scores As LAFC Crowned MLS Champions 

Gareth Bale Makes LAFC Debut With Amazing Touches

The MLS usually gets unfair stick from “football purists” for not being entertaining enough but the final between LAFC and Philly Union was one of the best MLS games in history and a wonderful advertisement for the league. The game ended 3-3 after extra-time but before that, Philly Union had taken the lead in the 120+4 min – which ordinarily should win any game – before Gareth Bale’s header pulled LAFC level in the 120+8 min. LAFC would go on to win 3-0 on penalties and claim the MLS Cup for the first time in the club’s history. This was Gareth Bale’s 18th title since leaving Spurs in 2013. Make of that what you will.    


 THE BAD 

Aubameyang & Chelsea Stink It Up In The Derby… Nothing Personal  

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proves he is ready for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta reunion with 'exceptional' Chelsea display against Dinamo Zagreb - 'I have not seen him work this hard before!'

Chelsea never really looked like getting out of first gear as they lost at home to Arsenal for the 3rd season in a row. The Gunners – who had temporarily dropped to 2nd after Man City’s late win a day earlier – regained their spot at the top thanks to Gabriel Magalhães’ easy tap-in from Saka’s corner and some questionable defending by Marc Cucurella. Chelsea’s Aubameyang could only manage 8 touches of the ball before he was pulled off in the 64th min while Kai Havertz was so bad he could as well have put on an Arsenal jersey. In a lot of ways, the 1-0 scoreline flattered Chelsea – in truth, it was never that close.  


Bad Weekend For Manchester United Men & Women  

Wargeys kasoo baxa dalka Ingiriiska oo daaha ka rogay qorshaha ay Manchester United ka leedahay xiddigeeda Cristiano Ronaldo – Gool FM

The Red Devils had a Sunday to forget with both the men and women’s teams losing by the same 3-1 scoreline. The men succumbed to their first defeat in 10 games to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa after a shaky start saw them 2-0 down after just 11 mins. Man Utd’s struggles in front of goal continued and it took a heavy deflection from Jacob Ramsey to get them on the scoresheet. For the Women, their loss was a bit more honourable and understandable. They had started the WSL season with 5 wins in 5 and were yet to concede a goal. But Chelsea’s women have won the league in the last 3 seasons and were by far the better team. A tough but excusable win unlike the men’s.  


Hertha Berlin Lose To Bayern 

Sadio Mane told how Bayern Munich career can be salvaged, as signs start pointing towards ex-Liverpool star's early exit

Hertha Berlin are hovering above the relegation zone in the Bundesliga after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Bayern. Hertha did very well to make it 3-2 late in the first half after conceding 3 early goals but just couldn’t find the 1 goal needed to give them something out of the game. They’re now 15th in the Bundesliga standing, thanks to a better goal difference than 16th place Stuttgart. It’ll be bad of us not to acknowledge the form that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is in. Over the past 7 games, the Cameroonian has scored 9 goals and created 3 assists. It says a lot when Kylian Mbappe & Erling Haaland are the only two strikers in the world in better goal-scoring form than you are in.  


Inter Lose To Juventus, Gets Leapfrogged  

Juventus vs. Inter match preview: Time, TV schedule, and how to watch the Serie A - Black & White & Read All Over

Inter dropped to 7th in the Serie A standing after a 2-0 loss to Juventus. Prior to the loss, the Nerazzurri had won 4 league games in a row and had beaten Juventus in their previous 3 meetings across all competitions which made them favourites for the game. Inter had multiple chances to take the lead but a mixture of poor finishing & top goalkeeping by Wojciech Szczęsny kept things level before Juventus’ summer signing, Filip Kostić put on a Man of the Match display as he brilliantly created two goals for Rabiot & Nicolo Fagiolii to seal the game.   


Ajax Lose At Home To PSV 

Tadic begrijpt wens van ploeggenoten niet goed: 'Ajax is het mooiste van allemaal' - Voetbal International

Ajax surrendered the top spot in the Eredivisie after a smash & grab win for PSV. Ajax had controlled the game with 64% of the possession and 14 shots to PSV’s 5 but some poor & relaxed defending from the host were punished by Luuk de Jong & Erick Gutiérrez before Ajax substitute Lorenzo Lucca got a consolation goal. The win put PSV 2 pts clear at the top though they have played one more game than Ajax.  


THE UGLY: The Union Berlin Hammering 

Awoniyi joins Forest in club record move from Union Berlin | Reuters

Union Berlin’s 7-week stay on top of the Bundesliga finally came to an end in a 5-0 demolition at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen. The hosts came into this game in 16th position and underdogs in front of their home crowd having registered just 2 league wins all season. No one saw this coming.  

 After a goalless first-half, the game burst into life with 4 different scorers getting on the scoresheet for Xabi Alonso’s side. Leverkusen counter-attacked almost at will with much focus on taking advantage of Union Berlin’s right-side which was the clear weak link all game.  

One culprit in this defeat was Union Berlin’s goalkeeper, Lennart Grill. On loan from Bayer Leverkusen (yes, on loan from the opponents) Lennart Grill was starting in place of injured #1 choice, Freddie Rönnow. His horrible display in goal left a lot to be desired but it was his decision to play with the ball in the lead up to Bayer’s 2nd goal (through Moussa Diaby) that fully swung momentum away from his team. Players have lost their jobs for less.   

Union Berlin have now dropped to 3rd in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich & Freiburg and it’s safe to say the dream of being Bundesliga Champions this season is now over. It was fun while it lasted, I’ll give them that.  

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