KAMPALA: Marcus Rashford is the toast of Old Trafford after scoring twice and setting up debutant Antony to guide the record Premier League champions to a gutsy 3-1 win over previously unbeaten Arsenal. Manchester United were rock bottom after a nightmare start to manager Erik Ten Haag’s tenure but have bounced back spectacularly, with victories over old rivals Liverpool, Leicester City and Arsenal in a seven day spell taking the 20 time league winners within three points of the summit.
Only four points separate the top six teams on the EPL table following a string of surprise results that saw Liverpool lucky to escape Goodison Park with a goalless draw and reigning champions Manchester City held to a 1-1 stalemate at Villa Park. Everton and Aston Villa were both denied would be winners by contentious VAR rulings. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur battled to identical 2-1 victories over West Ham United and Fulham in feisty London derbies.
Across the English Channel, Paris Saint Germain warmed up for Tuesday’s mammoth Champions League encounter with Juventus by brushing aside Nantes 3-0. The Parisians are locked atop the standings with last season’s deputy champions Olympique Marseille, 2-0 winners at Auxerre. Kylian Mbappe scored twice to move within two goals of leading scorer Neymar. The weekend’s biggest winners Olympique Lyon, 5-0 winners over Angers, can move level on 16 points with the joint leaders if they overcome Lorient on Wednesday.
In Germany, Christian Streich’s battle hardened Freiburg are the new surprise leaders after a 3-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen took them past previous leaders Bayern Munich who were held to a one-all draw at Union Berlin. Sheraldo Becker’s fifth Bundesliga goal of the campaign set the side from the capital on their way, before Joshua Kimmich saved Bayern’s blushes. The Bavarians second consecutive Bundesliga draw saw them fall to third place.
Real Madrid took sole possession of the number one slot in La Liga by overcoming previously undefeated Real Betis 2-1, courtesy of goals from Brazilian youngsters Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes. The defending Liga Santander titlists lead eternal rivals Barcelona by two points after the Catalans toppled Sevilla 3-0 at the Ramon Picquan Sanchez. The surprise result of the weekend was Athletic Bilbao’s 0-1 home capitulation to Espanyol whereas Atletico Madrid could only 1-1 at Real Sociedad.
Reigning Serie A player of the season Rafael Leao hogs the headlines in Italy as his brace helped manager Stefano Pioli mastermind AC Milan’s 3-2 victory over Inter Milan at the San Siro. But the division leaders are Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli who overcame Lazio 2-1 at Stadio Olympico thanks to golden boy Kvicha Kvaratskhelia’s winner. Jose Mourinho’s Europa Conference titlists AS Roma were meanwhile obliterated 4-0 at Udinese.