Echoes of 2019 when Wolves beat Manchester City home and away reverberated around Molieneux Stadium when Gary O’Neil’s struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers upset the applecart by torpedoing the champions 2-1 to throw the English Premier League title race wide open. South Korean striker Hwang Hee Chan scored the winning goal as Pep Guardiola’s trailblazing Cityzens lost for the second time inside a week, following their 0-1 Carabao Cup ejection at the hands of Newcastle United.
Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were the principal beneficiaries of City’s setback. Ange Postecoglu’s free scoring Spurs outlasted nine man Liverpool 2-1 in a controversy ridden game to move within a point of the champions. They were joined on 17 points by north London neighbours Arsenal, 4-0 winners at troubled Bournemouth. Aston Villa moved into joint fifth, above West Ham United and Brighton on goal difference after pummelling Roberto de Zerbi’s Seagulls 6-1 thanks to an Ollie Watkins hat trick.
Lautaro Martinez plundered four goals for the first time in his career to propel Inter Milan to a 4-0 whitewash of Salernitana in Serie A’s standout individual performance of the weekend. Nerrazzuri’s victory was a perfect riposte to last Wednesday’s 1-2 home defeat to Sassuolo and propelled Simone Inzaghi’s side back to the summit of the standings ahead of local rivals AC Milan who overcame Lazio 2-0 courtesy of goals from new signings Christian Pulisic and Noah Okafor.
A World Cup winning striker with Argentina, Martinez is now the runaway leader of the race for this season’s Capocannonieri with nine goals, four more than Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, whose goals helped the reigning champions to breeze past Lecce 4-0. Record Scudetto winners Juventus lie in fourth place below Partenopei on goal difference after battling to a goalless stalemate at Atalanta of Bergamo.
In Germany, Bayer Leverkusen took sole possession of first place by wiping the floor with winless Mainz 3-0, hours before previous leaders Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at RB Leipzig. Victory moved Xabi Alonso’s Bay Arena based outfit to 16 points from seven outings, a point clear of surprise package Stuttgart who outlasted Cologne 2-0. Borussia Dortmund moved level on 14 points with Bayern Munich by whipping Hoffenheim 3-1 on Friday.
Across the Alsaco region border, Paris Saint Germain’s early season woes continued when they were held to a goalless draw at Clermont Foot to fall two points behind Monaco who recaptured Ligue One leadership by edging out Gennaro Gattuso’s Olympique Marseille 3-2. Stade Brest held Nice 0-0 to remain an impressive second, level on 14 points with Monaco, whereas Stade Reims move into third spot a point adrift by overcoming hapless Olympique Lyon 2-0.
In Spain, Jude Bellingham continued the barnstorming start to his Santiago Bernabeu career by scoring one and assisting another as Real Madrid brushed aside previous leaders Girona 3-0 to assume the number one slot in La Liga’s standings. Los Blancos are a point ahead of eternal rivals Barcelona, 1-0 winners over Sevilla on Friday night. Atletico Madrid battled back from two goals down at home to Cadiz to prevail 3-2 and take back third place from Real Sociedad who had earlier thrashed Athletic Bilbao 3-0.