I’ve been away for a fortnight hence no Friday for two weeks so a lot to catch up on since I’ve been gone.
My travels took me to Meadow Lane twice, Spain and Stamford Bridge as I watched Notts County move to the top of League Two under Kevin Nolan and a Chelsea second string overwhelm Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup.
Amongst other stuff the Champions League group stage is arguably where the biggest news has been this last week and a second successive comfortable win for PSG against Bayern Munich has led to the sacking, unfairly in my eyes of Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian won last season’s Bundesliga at a canter and with club President Uli Hoeness in the summer suggesting that Bayern refuse to compete with the global transfer stupidity it was little wonder they lost to a team that has spent well over £200m already this year.
But Ancelotti was said to have created an unhappy camp at Bayern and two defeats and a draw in six games is obviously not good enough for one that expects so much.
In England things seem to be going well in Manchester as both blue and red lead the way in the Premier League having also cruised their first two Champions League games. United’s Lukaku in firing form whilst Pep’s City are earning rave reviews for the way they play. Third place Chelsea are doing their part in Europe too with a late winner at Atletico Madrid to the horror of the onlooking Diego Costa whilst Tottenham and Harry Kane look to be coming in to some serious form.
In Spain last weekend I watched a world class strike from a central defender Chema as he opened the scoring for Levante against Real Sociedad in a 3-0 win. A full weekend of fixtures saw Barcelona beat Catalan rivals Girona 3-0 and Real Madrid stumble to only their third win of La Liga season.
Former La Liga star Neymar had a now infamous bust up with Edison Cavani as Paris drew 0-0 at Montpelier in the French Ligue 1. Internet rumours that the pair have taken an instant dislike to each other will make for interesting times ahead. My prediction is that Cavani secures a summer move to either Italy or Spain whilst Neymar will now be given penalty kick duty.
I prefer to look at a more positive story in France as Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes sit in the top six after a 2-1 win at Strasbourg, they look like a team in progress with some star young players to watch out for.
In Italy Napoli are top thanks to a 3-2 win at SPAL whilst Juventus won the Turin derby 4-0. Sampdoria beat AC Milan 2-0 but last night I Rossoneri had better cause to celebrate beating Rijeka 3-2 in the Europa League with the last kick of the game.
Also going to the wire in Europe was Everton and Appollon Limassol as the ten men from Cyprus clawed back a dramatic late equaliser at Goodison Park in a game that finished 2-2. A goal that heaps pressure on Toffees boss Ronald Koeman who will be hoping for a home win against Burnley this weekend will give him some breathing space.
A quick mention for Celtic who thumped Anderlecht 3-0 in the Champions League and Basel who battered Benfica by five.
This weekends biggies include Chelsea v Manchester City on Saturday evening, Milan v Roma on Sunday whilst Managerless Bayern Munich travel to Hertha Berlin in a tricky looking tie.
Star of the week: Harry Kane (five goals in two games with a brace at the enemy West Ham followed by a hat-trick in sunny Cyprus)