This weekend saw Arsenal being dominated by reigning champions Manchester City, while star players across leagues shone to help their sides advance.
Here are the talking points from football around the world:
Manchester City beat Arsenal
Under temporary coach Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal saw their defence collapse over and over again as champions Manchester City, currently placed third in the league, won 3-0.
At the Emirates Stadium, Gabriel Martinelli came close to putting Arsenal in front in the opening moments, before City raced up the other end to take the lead inside 90 seconds of the game. Kevin De Bruyne scored two with Arsenal’s plight being summed up in the second half when Mesut Ozil was substituted, and the playmaker kicked his gloves along the touchline.
Manchester City are now 14 points behind Liverpool halfway into the season and four points below second-placed Leicester. Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has overseen Tottenham’s climb from 14th to fifth, followed by Manchester United, who were held 1-1 by a struggling Everton.
Barcelona, Real Madrid waste opportunities ahead of El Clasico
Real Madrid failed to capitalise on champions’ Barcelona’s loss of two points, as they followed the Blaugrana’s draw with a draw themselves. Second-place Madrid is still level on points with league leader Barcelona ahead of the teams meeting at Camp Nou.
Barcelona protested against the referee after a six-game winning streak in all competitions came to a halt with a 2-2 La Liga draw at Real Sociedad, in which they conceded a penalty and had an appeal for a spot-kick turned down in added time.
With Zinedine Zidane’s men on the verge of a loss, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois came to the rescue against Valencia. He abandoned his own goal and joined teammates for a corner kick Madrid had earned five minutes into stoppage time while trailing by a goal. Courtois attempted a header and came very close to scoring the equaliser, but it was Karim Benzema who finally found the net.
Ronaldo returns to form
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and was on the verge of adding another as Juventus beat Udinese 3-1 in Serie A on Sunday. This was the fourth successive match Ronaldo has scored in, with the Portugal international having a fantastic month after a dry November. Leonardo Bonucci scored the other goal.
Juventus moved back to the top of the table, level on points with Inter Milan, after a late goal saw the Nerazzurri held to a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.
Mbappe scores brace ahead of 21st birthday
Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain moved seven points clear at the top of the French league with a 4-0 win at 10-man Saint-Etienne. Mbappe’s brace took his club career tally to a whopping 102, and this is days before his 21st birthday.
Meanwhile in Lyon, star striker Memphis Depay and midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide suffered serious knee injuries that could keep them out for the rest of the season. Both players ruptured their knee ligament during a 1-0 home loss to fourth-place Rennes.
Coutinho stars in Germany
Philippe Coutinho scored a hat trick and set up two more goals as Bayern Munich, still a surprising fifth in the league, came from behind to rout Werder Bremen 6-1, and end a two-game losing run in the Bundesliga.
Coutinho showed what Bayern was expecting when it signed him on loan for 120 million euros ($133 million) from Barcelona in the offseason.
Leipzig went top of the league with a 3-0 win at Fortuna Dusseldorf in the visitors’ sixth consecutive win.
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