Manchester City solidifies its position as leader following an easy 4-0 victory over West Ham United; with 11 wins and 2 draws, Pep Guardiola’s side remains unbeaten for 13 rounds straight, and 35 points. They are closely followed by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, whose 3-0 triumph against Watford keeps them on second place, two points behind City. Tottenham climbed the third place with a 3-1 victory against London rivals Chelsea, three points behind Liverpool and two points above the Blues, who have fallen on fourth place with 28. Unai Emery’s Arsenal retains their fifth position after an away win over Bournemouth (2-1), also closing the gap with rivals Chelsea to one point. Everton have climbed the sixth place following a 1-0 home victory over relegation-table side Cardiff City, while Manchester United have fallen on seventh after their blank draw with Crystal Palace on Old Trafford. Despite their losses, Bournemouth and Watford (8th and 9th place respectively) seem to pose a threat in the future, regarding a participation in the UEFA Europa League. It seems the league title this season will pretty much be decided between City and Pool, with Spurs having slimer chances on catching up with the two.
With last place Fulham’s 3-2 home victory over Southampton, the fight to avoid relegation seems like a close race now. The relegation places are occupied by Southampton, Cardiff and Fulham, with 8 points each, but Newcastle United, West Ham, Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace and Burnley all are in danger due to their small number of points above the relegation line. Brighton & Hove Albion, 12th place, seem the furthest away from danger.
Borussia Dortmund retains it’s first place seat after a 2-1 away victory over Mainz, and it seems like Die Schwarzgalben will do anything in their power to win the league this season; they also remain undefeated in 12 rounds straight with 9 wins and 3 draws, and 30 points. Second comes Borussia Monchengladbach, after their 3-1 triumph over Hannover, 4 points behind Borussia. Eintracht Frankfurt have climbed the third place after their 3-1 win against Augsburg, 3 points behind Leverkusen, and followed closely by Leipzig, who have lost to 9th placed Wolfsburg. Bayern Munchen’s crisis under Niko Kovac seems to aggravate, Die Roten only grabbing a 3-3 draw with relegation combatant Fortuna Dusseldorf after leading the game 2-0 and 3-1, Lukebakio’s goal in the 93th minute helping Fortuna to an important point while Bayern retains its 5th place one point behind Leipzig. Hoffenheim retains their 6th place following a 3-3 tie with Hertha Berlin, while Werder Bremen stays on 7th after their draw with Freiburg (1-1).
Despite a 2-0 win over Stuttgart, Bayern Leverkusen’s larger crisis leaves them on 12th place with 14 points, with Augsburg and last season runners-up Schalke one point behind. Schalke has somehow managed to pull themselves out of the relegation line with a 5-2 win over Nurnberg, leaving the defeated side one point above the relegation line. The relegation play-offs spot is occupied by Hannover, while the relegation ones by Fortuna Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.
Juventus is one step closer to the league title after their 2-0 victory against SPAL, with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic; undefeated in 13 rounds, the Bianconeri’s record: 12 wins and 1 draw, with 37 points. Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli comes second, with a 8 points gap from Juventus, taking a wrong step after a blank draw with last place Cagliari. Third placed Inter have taken advantage of Napoli’s miss step and closed the gap to one point after a 3-0 home win over Frosinone. Fourth placed comes Lazio, with 23 points, whose 1-1 tie with 5th placed Milan helping the Eagles keep the last Champions League place while the Rossoneri retain their position, one point behind. Parma climbed on the 6th place after a 2-1 win over Sassuolo, two points behind Milan, and it seems the Gialoblu will be a strong competitor for a place in Europa League this season. Roma’s struggles with form deepen as the Gialorossi fall on the 7th place after a 0-1 defeat by Udinese. Sassuolo, Atalanta, Fiorentina and Torino all come close, with the gap between Parma (6th place) and Torino (11th place) being only two points, so at least the fight for a place in UEL will be interesting this season…
The relegation places are occupied by: Bologna, Frosinone and Chievo. With last place Chievo suffering a three points deduction, and having earned their first point after the blank draw with Milan and four round before the half-season, they have fairly slim chances of avoiding relegation this season. Frosinone somehow stands better chances, even with their four points gap from Bologna. SPAL, Udinese and Empoli are also threatened.
Paris Saint-Germain takes a step closer to another league title by defeating Toulouse 1-0, dominating Ligue 1 with 14 wins straight and 42 points. Lyon have climbed to second place, with a rather huge 15 points gap, after a similarly 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne. Former champions Montpeiller retain their third place following a 1-1 draw with Rennes, while Lille falls on the 4th after suffering a 0-1 defeat to Nice; the two sides are now matched with 23 points each. Marseille climbed on the 5th place and took advantage of Montpeiller and Lille’s wrong foot steps to close the gap to one point after winning 3-1 at Amiens. Saint-Etienne, following their loss against Lyon, have fallen on 6th place, two points behind Marseille, and matched with Nice, who climbed to 7th after defeating Lille. It seems at least the battle for the Champions League and Europa League will be interesting in Ligue 1 this season.
The relegation places are occupied by Dijon, Monaco and Guingamp. Last placed Guingamp suffers a 0-1 defeat to Reims. Meanwhile, former champions Monaco, under Thierry Henry, slowly start showing signs of revival to crawl their way out of the relegation zone, after a 1-0 away victory over Caen, closing the gap between the two sides and Dijon to two points. Dijon earns a rather unhelpful blank draw with Bordeaux, and manage to stay on the relegation play-offs place, for now. Closely threatened are Toulouse and Amiens.
Sevilla climbs the first place after a 1-0 win over Real Valladoid, taking advantage of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid (2nd and 3rd placed respectively)’s 1-1 draw; with 8 wins, 2 draws, 3 losses and 26 points, however, I have reasons to think this league title will be either Barcelona’s or Atletico’s. Following their recent meeting, Barcelona falls on second place (for now), one point behind Sevilla, while Atletico remains on third, one point behind Barca. Alaves retains their 4th place despite a 0-1 defeat to Leganes, Espanyol stays on 5th after being defeated 1-3 by Girona and Real Madrid’s crisis goes on even after Julien Lopetegui’s removal, Los Blancos suffering a rather humilliating 0-3 loss to Eibar. Girona, after their triumph over Espanyol, climb to 7th place, on par with Real Madrid on points number (20 points each). Real Sociedad climbes to 8th place after a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo, one point behind Real and Girona, while Levante falls to 9th after a draw with Huesca (2-2). Eibar climbes on 10th place following their 3-0 defeat of Real Madrid; all the listed teams mentain chances to grab a UEL spot.
The relegation places are occupied by Athletic Bilbao, Rayo Vallecano and Huesca. Vallecano and Huesca, on par with 7 points, are the most threatened, while Athletic have fallen to the last relegation place, the 18th, after a 1-1 draw with Getafe. Leganes, who have managed to earn three valuable points against Alaves, are neverthless still threatened, as are Villareal and Celta Vigo.
I’m aware this is a Champions League match day, will do a post for those games once they are over.