A title race for the ages is brewing in Germany where three teams are locked on 43 points and six teams, separated by just five points, are in with a realistic shout to dethrone ten-time defending champions Bayern Munich following their 1-3 setback at the hands of bogey side Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Julian Nagelmann’s Bavarian juggernauts have been off colour since the World Cup, winning just two of their six Bundesliga outings and drawing thrice.
In marked contrast, Edin Terzic’s resurgent Borussia Dortmund are in sparkling form, having won eight consecutive games in all competitions.The Signal Iduna Park side’s maximum return of 18 points from six Bundesliga outings has moved them level with Bayern Munich and Urs Fischer’s Union Berlin, whose goalless draw with basement club Schalke, halted a run of five successive league wins.
Arsenal fought back from a goal down at half time to power past Aston Villa 4-2, in the process regaining the English Premier League lead from champions Manchester City who squandered a hatful of chances as they were held to a one-all draw by newcomers Nottingham Forest.
Record EPL winners Manchester United moved into the title picture, five points behind Arsenal, courtesy of a 3-0 victory over Leicester City. Red-hot Red Devils hitman Marcus Rashford grabbed a brace to take his tally for the season to 24 goals, the highest of his career.
In Spain, Barcelona retained an eight point cushion over sworn rivals Real Madrid by subduing hard battling Cadiz 2-0 at the Camp Nou. Carlo Ancelotti’s reigning La Liga and European champions had briefly closed the gap to five points by seeing off plucky Osasuna in Pamplona.
Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad stayed third despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Celta Vigo while Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid overcame Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to cement fourth place.
In Italy, Luciano Spalletti remains on course to win the first Scudetto of his 29-year coaching career thanks to Napoli’s 2-0 victory over Sassuolo in Serie A’s opening fixture of the match day. Goals from Europe’s standout signing Kvicha Kvaratchkelia and Capocannonieri leader Victor Osimhen kept Partenopei 15 points clear of Inter Milan, 3-1 winners over stubborn Udinese. AS Roma moved up to third via a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona.
Jose Mourinho’s Europa Conference League winners are level on points with outgoing Serie A champions AC Milan who torpedoed former owner Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza by an identical margin.
Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio are fifth courtesy of a 2-0 triumph at Salernitana. The Romans sit a point ahead of Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta who were ambushed 2-1 in Bergamo by lowly Lecce in the weekend’s biggest upset. Record titlists Juventus are seventh despite being docked 15 points for financial irregularities following a 2-0 win at Spezia.
World Cup winner Lionel Messi netted a sublime free kick in the 95th minute to help Paris Saint Germain complete a comeback 4-3 victory over Lille Metropole. Christopher Galtier’s PSG remain five points clear of Igor Tudor’s Olympique Marseille, 3-2 winners over Toulouse.
Monaco are third, seven points off title pace, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Brest. Racing Lens’ 3-1 victory over Nantes, their first Ligue One win in five outings, kept the 1998 titlists in fourth position.