Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected strike lifted Arsenal to their first Premier League victory over Manchester City since 2015 in the process throwing the race for this season’s title wide open. The Cityzens’ third successive 0-1 setback in domestic competitions, following earlier losses to Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league underlined the importance of midfielder Rodrigo Cascante Hernandez ‘Rodri’ to Pep Guardiola’s side.
Manchester City have lost all three games since the Spain international was red carded against Nottingham Forest. Going back to last season, and this is a worry for Pep Guardiola’s side, the reigning champions have lost six out of their last sixteen games with Rodri absent. The treble winners have lost just five out of 67 games with the mercurial midfielder metronome in the side.
The Gunners are joint top going into the international break with 20 points from eight outings, the same tally as north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who overcame Luton Town 1-0 on Friday night. Liverpool dropped to fourth, a point behind Manchester City after the 19-time champions were held to a 2-2 draw at the American Express Stadium. There were also welcome victories for Manchester United and Chelsea. The Red Devils were 2-1 winners over Brentford via two injury time strikes by Scott McTominay while Mauricio Pochettino’s young charges pummelled Burnley 4-1.
Former Liverpool playmaker Xabi Alonso celebrated his first year in charge of Bayer Leverkusen by guiding the Bay Arena outfit to a 3-0 victory over troubled Cologne. The win allowed Leverkusen to wrest back Bundesliga leadership from surprise package Stuttgart who outlasted Wolfsburg 3-1 thanks to a hat trick from Guinean Serhou Guirassy, who is now the runaway leader for this year’s Golden Boot with 13 goals.
Eleven time defending champions Bayern Munich stayed in touch with the top two by eviscerating Freiburg 3-0 courtesy of two goals from winger Kingsley Coman and a Leroy Sane strike. Thomas Tuchel’s Bavarians are level on 17 points with perennial rivals Borussia Dortmund, 4-2 winners over Union Berlin who suffered their seventh consecutive loss across all competitions.
Across the Alps, AC Milan had veteran striker Olivier Giroud to thank for his goalkeeping skills as they saw off spirited Genoa 1-0 to maintain Serie A leadership ahead of City rivals Inter Milan who were held to a 2-2 draw by Bologna. Record Scudetto winners Juventus moved into third by toppling Torino 2-0 in the Turin derby but champions Napoli were listless in falling 1-3 to Fiorentina at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
In Spain, Jude Bellingham continued the barnstorming start to his Santiago Bernabeu career by scoring twice to propel Real Madrid to a 4-0 win over Osasuna. Carlo Ancelotti’s Los Blancos are two points clear of Girona, who toppled hard battling Cadiz 1-0. Champions Barcelona lost ground in the title race after they were held to a 2-2 draw at struggling Granada. Atletico Madrid are fourth following a 2-1 victory at home to Imanol Iguacil’s Real Sociedad.
Monaco are Ligue One pacesetters thanks to a 3-1 victory at Stade Reims courtesy of goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Folarin Balogum. Mediterranean coast outfit Nice are second after seeing off Metz 1-0 whereas champions Paris Saint Germain moved into third spot by clobbering previously unbeaten Stade Rennes 3-1 via goals from Vitinha, Achraf Hakimi and Randal Kolo Muani. Olympique Marseille wiped the floor with Le Havre 3-0.