European Soccer Weekend Recap by the Numbers – 1/22/2018

Last weekend wasn’t a quiet one in European soccer—when is it ever? Lyon inflicted PSG’s third loss of the season through Memphis Depay’s 90th minute wonder-strike in a 2-1 win. Spanish giants Valencia fell to relegation-threatened Las Palmas 2-1. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez shined again in Barcelona’s 5-0 win over Real Betis. Arsenal fullback Nacho Monreal did the unpredictable, scoring a goal and racking two assists in 34 minutes. But none of these stories were the most talked about.

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show and it wasn’t because of his brace against Deportivo De La Coruna in Real Madrid’s 7-1 win. Ronaldo borrowed a doctor’s phone to check his bloody facial injury as he was walking off the pitch. Sports fans and media persons weren’t shy in sharing their opinions on that.

Below are the top stories from the weekend, in numbers:

10. Some pay over $100 for Eden Hazard’s jersey. Well, the Chelsea forward gave his number 10 jersey to a boy who just held a sign written “Hazard 10 can I please have your shirt?” after his side’s 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. The Belgian was instrumental in the Blues’ victory, scoring a double. Willian and Victor Moses were also on target, netting a goal each. 

9. Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal didn’t need 90 minutes to put up one of the best performances of the weekend in England in a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace. All he needed was 34 minutes. Monreal scored a goal and set up two before getting subbed out due to a minor injury shortly after the half hour mark. It was also a memorable day for the Gunners’ number 9 Alexandre Lacazette as well. Lacazette’s 22nd minute goal was the 500th Premier League Arsenal goal scored by a Frenchman.

8. Lyon broke PSG’s 8 game winning run with a 2-1 victory. OL closed their gap to 8 points below Paris with this win. Lyon’s number eighteen Nabil Fekir was the most influential player, scoring the opener with a magnificent free kick in the second minute and assisting Memphis Depay’s 90th minute winner. Neymar missed the encounter as he was nursing a thigh injury. Kylian Mbappe was stretchered off the field in the 36th minute after colliding with Lyon’s keeper Anthony Lopes—club doctor Eric Rolland later revealed that “there is nothing serious.” Paris played most of the second half down a man as Dani Alves was red carded in the 57th minute for talking to the referee.

7. Real Madrid cruised past Deportivo de la Coruna 7-1. It was Madrid’s seventeenth win over Deportivo. Los Blancos number 7 Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice. The Portuguese was kicked in the face while scoring his second goal. Ronaldo borrowed a club medical staff’s phone to check his bloody face and angrily shook his head. The forward then walked off the pitch and went down the tunnel, leaving Madrid playing down a man for the last four minutes plus added time. In-form Gareth Bale bagged a brace in the encounter as well, so did Nacho Fernandez. Luka Modric found the net once to complete Zinedine Zidane’s men 7-goal summary.

6. Bayern Munich won their 6th consecutive league-game and is now sixteen points clear on top of the Bundesliga. The German juggernaut’s 6th straight domestic victory was an entertaining 4-2 win over Werder Bremen, in which Thomas Mueller scored two goals and provided one assist, Robert Lewandowski netted a double also and James Rodriguez tallied  two assists.

5. Manchester United hasn’t conceded a goal in 5 matches. The December 5th baby Anthony Martial scored the lone goal in Manchester’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday. Martial scored in his last three PL appearances. United center back Chris Smalling said the Frenchman is just one letter away from the number five, “He’s on fire at the minute.”

4. Owning only fourteen La Liga points, Las Palmas defeated a side that notched 40 points, Valencia. It was Las Palmas 4th league win and Los Che’s 4th domestic loss. Who would’ve thought? Last time the two clubs met this month, Valencia blew past the Canary Island based club 4-0. But on Saturday the scoreline was 2-1 in favor of Las Palmas. Valencia had two players sent off Gabriel Paulista (52nd minute) and Ruben Vezo (87th minute).

3. Sergio Aguero scored 3 goals to inspire Manchester City to a 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday. City head coach Pep Guardiola is beyond proud of Aguero. “Sergio has his talent -- before the first goal, he didn't touch the ball, first touch goal. It's a special gift -- there are no words to describe how good he is in that position,” Guardiola said. “We need him, we need a guy to score the goals we're so happy for him.”

2. After falling to Espanyol in midweek, Barcelona avoided 2 straight losses by overpowering Real Betis. Suarez recorded 2 goals and 2 assists. The former Liverpool player’s 2nd goal pushed him to 100 total La Liga goals. He’s now the 2nd Uruguayan to reach this milestone after Diego Forlan. Messi, too, scored twice and also had one assist. The Argentine now leads La Liga in 2 categories; goals (19) and assists (9).

1. Inter Milan and Roma drew 1-1 in a massive Serie A fixture in Milan. Roma was the 1st team on board as their number 1 Alisson Becker—yes, the keeper—sent Stephan El Shaarawy on goal with an inch-perfect long ball about half an hour into the game before Inter’s number 11 Matias Vecino scored the equalizer for them late in the second period with a header.

Author: Onz Chery