Weekend Countdown - Recap By The Numbers

European soccer returned from the international break with a sensational weekend across Europe's top leagues. Barcelona’s star player Lionel Messi topped the headlines as he netted a game-tying goal against Sevilla after coming off the bench to keep the Blaugrana side’s 37 league-game unbeaten run alive with a 2-2 draw. 

In Germany, Bayern Munich also had a noteworthy weekend. The German champions somewhat-surprisingly outplayed Borussia Dortmund 6-0. And over in France Dani Alves became the most decorated player in history after winning Coupe de la Ligue with Paris Saint Germain to reach 36 trophies. As Alves counts his championship medals, we count down the top stories of the weekend weekend: 

10. Spanish champions Real Madrid played Las Palmas for the 10th time in the club’s history. It was Karim Benzema’s fourth century of games for Los Blancos. The Frenchman captained the club and netted a penalty kick. Gareth Bale scored his first domestic brace in 10 La Liga outings to complete Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Las Palmas. Several key Real players were out resting for the club’s Champions League game versus Juventus on Tuesday including Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and Toni Kroos.

9. Liverpool won for the 19th time in the league this season by edging Crystal Palace 2-1. Liverpool’s number 19 Sadio Mane leveled up Luka Milivojevic’s opener in the 49th minute before breakthrough player Mohamed Salah won it for the Reds with his league best of 29 goals of the season late in the game. 

8. Chelsea’s gap from the last Champions League spot grew to 8 points after losing to Tottenham 3-1 on Sunday. Chelsea scored the encounter’s first goal through Alvaro Morata at the half hour mark. Christian Eriksen tied it up for Tottenham at the end of the second half with one of the most exquisite goals of the weekend: a dipping shot from outside the 18. Youngster Dele Alli granted the Spurs the win shortly after the hour mark with a quick brace that leveled him up to 8 goals on the season in all domestic competitions.

7. Runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City got the best out of Everton 3-1. The club’s number 7 Raheem Sterling as on target again. The Englishman has now scored as many goals this season as the previous two campaigns combined, finding the net 21 times. Meanwhile City’s number 17 Kevin De Bruyne became the first PL player to clinch 20 assists in all competition after sending Gabriel Jesus on goal with a sweet half-volley cross. 

6. Bayern Munich cruised past Borussia Dortmund 6-0. Robert Lewandowski scored multiple times in a Bundesliga game for the 6th time this season, bagging a hat trick. Lewandowski leads the league in scoring with 26 goals. 26-year-old James Rodriguez was on target once and Franck Ribery scored his 6th goal of the season to complete Bayern’s 6-goal thrashing.

5. Paris Saint Germain won Coupe de la France for the 5th consecutive time by overpowering Monaco 3-0. It was PSG’s 5th straight win over Monaco. A player Monaco signed in 2015 put up the best performance of the final: Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe had a hand in all three goals. 

4. Juventus kept their 4-month unbeaten run alive while extending their lead on top of the Serie A to 4 points over Napoli after defeating Milan 3-1 at home. It was the Italian champions’ first time conceding a goal at home in the league in 4 months. A familiar face netted against the Old Lady: Leonardo Bonucci. Juve was the 4th Italian club Bonucci joined, playing for them from 2010 to 2017. 

3. Bottom of the table club Sassuolo held powerclub Napoli to a 1-1 draw which extends their unbeaten run to 3 games. Sassuolo have scored the least amount of goals in the league and have a -30 goal differential. Napoli on the other end, have scored the second most goals but have not recorded more than one goal per game in their last 3 matches.

2. La Liga toppers Barcelona scored 2 goals in the last 2 minutes of regular play in their match last weekend to force a 2-2 draw against Sevilla. The league’s second top scorer Luis Suarez started the comeback with a semi-bicycle kick with 2 minutes to go. Messi whipped a low-shot from outside the box in the net to save Barca from losing a minute later.

1. Brazilian fullback Dani Alves ousted Maxwell in the chart of the most successful soccer players in history after winning Coupe de la France with his PSG on Saturday. Alves owns 36 championship medals, one with Brazilian club Bahia, five with Sevilla, 23 with Barcelona, two with his last club Juventus, two with his current team Paris as well and three with his country Brazil.

Author: Onz Chery