For those of you wishing to stay in the loop, here is what happened.
Perhaps the most exciting league in Europe, the BL got a little less so this week with perennial title favorites Bayern drawing 0-0 away to bottom of the table Freiburg. Since Christian Streich has taken over, Freiburg have shown a bit of form, taking 5pts from 5 games after 12pts from the previous 17 games! They now sit bottom on goal difference behind Augsburg and the truly impotent Kaiserslautern, all on 18pts.
Finally, I had the pleasure of watching Felix Magath’s Wolfsburg play Freiburg last week and they were not good. My conclusion was summed up by this tweet immediately after the game. Well, Schalke won 4-0 and stay in touch in 4th. All this means the top four currently reads:
1 Dortmund 49
2 Bayern 46
3 Gladbach 45
4 Schalke 44
Inter Milan’s horrific run of form continued in spectacular fashion on Friday when they lost 3-0 at home to a Bologna side who had only one once in their last 8. Inter have picked up 1pt from 15 and are in dire straits heading into this week’s Champions League trip to Marseille.
Napoli (6th) and Roma (5th) were this week’s real winners as Lazio (4th) got smashed 5-1 in Sicily and Udinese (3rd) played out a 0-0 borefest at home to Cagliari.
Juventus remained the only unbeaten side in the top European leagues with a 3-1 home win against Catania, despite going a goal down and Milan won by the same scoreline in Cesena.
1 Milan 50
2 Juventus 49
3 Udinese 42
4 Lasio 42
*I have a lot of love for Juan Cuadrado’s goal against Siena.
Ligue ‘un’ provided probably the most significant game of the week as Montpellier (2nd) made their way to Paris (1st) in the Sunday evening game. With Lille 8 pts behind in 3rd, the title is only going to go to one of two places. PSG remianed 1 point clear at the top with a 2-2 draw after Guillaume Hoarau’s 88th min equalizer.
3rd to 9th are separated by only 6 pts which means that after the top 2 there is still some excitement in France’s top division. Bordeaux are clinging on to the hope of a European place by their finger nails in 9th after beating Lyon (5th) 1-0 at home and St Etienne helped the congestion further by spanking previous Champions League hopefuls Rennes 4-0.
1 PSG 51
2 Montpellier 50
3 Lille 42
4 Marseille 39
Probably the hardest league to write about as we all know what’s going on at the top. Madrid stay 10 points clear of Barcelona after beating Santander 4-0; Barcelona beat Valencia by the same margin (5-1).
That doesn’t really matter for Valencia though as they will definitely still finish 3rd.
Like the teenage base system though, once you get past 3rd it gets very interesting indeed. There are just 6 points separating 4th-15th with Villarreal 1pt further back in 17th. To put that in easy to understand terms, that’s just 2 wins.
That means goal difference will play a big part in final positions and the last thing you want to do is get tanked, which is exactly what happened to Malaga, Sociedad and Villerael, 3-0, 4-1 and 4-0 respectively. If I tell you that Grenada, Bilbao and Mallorca won 3-0, 4-1 and 4-0 respectively, can you guess who they played? 8 goal swings are NOT helpful in a congested league.
1 Real Madrid 61
2 Barcelona 51
3 Valencia 40
4 Espanyol 33