5 things we learnt from European Football this weekend
It was another fantastic weekend of European football with goals, drama, and movement from both top & bottom teams.
In the Italian Serie A, an impressive Sampdoria side drove into a 3-goal lead over defending champions Juventus before two late goals from Gonzalo Higuain restored a smidgen of respect to the scoreline.
Valencia & FC Barcelona continued their impressive form in Spain with huge away wins at Espanyol and Leganes respectively.
AS Monaco continued to stumble in Ligue 1 as they could only draw at Amiens while leaders PSG romped to a 4-1 win over a stubborn Nantes sided.
Bayern continued their winning streak under Jupp Heynckes in the Bundesliga while Schalke 04’s remarkable season continues to gather steam as a 2-0 win over Hamburg helped push the Royal Blues into 2nd place on the table.
#5 AC Milan can’t buy a win against the big teams
Vincenzo Montella must be wondering what else he can do again to help lift the Giallorossi from the terrible run of form they are currently in. With just 2 wins from the last five matches, Milan has been cut adrift of the top six title-and-UCL chasing teams (a top six that includes a team like Sampdoria).
The team’s record against the top six this season has been beyond abysmal with 6 losses from the 6 games played so far against the current top 6.
This inability to go toe-to-toe with their supposed equals is an indictment of the playing and coaching staff as some of the performances especially in the 4-1 hammering by Lazio and the 2-0 loss to Sampdoria bordered on the abysmal.
There is confusion as to what shape or style of play the team is using and Montella needs to fix this fast as the vultures have begun circling with an out-of-work Carlo Ancelotti and other out-of-work-big-name coaches in European football heavily linked to the job.
The embattled coach needs to get his expensively assembled squad to gel and while there were signs of improvement defensively in the loss to Napoli, the 3-man backline of captain Leonardo Bonucci, Alessio Romagnoli & Matteo Musacchio need to learn to keep their shape better as both of Napoli’s goals came on the counter.
One suspects that Montella is almost on his way out and given the next five fixtures which are very winnable (Torino is the only one of the opponents currently in the top half), he is condemned to get as many points as he can.