Midweek European Roundup: Lewandowski breaks records, Barca and Juve struggle


Midweek saw plenty of action across Europe and quite a few eye-catching performances and results. All the major European leagues had fixtures in midweek, as we round up all the major stories in the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga.

BUNDESLIGA: Lewandowski the hero for Bayern, Dortmund stumble

Not many would have imagined the benched Robert Lewandowski making much of an impact in Bayern Munich’s important league game against last season’s runners-up Wolfsburg. But with Pep Guardiola’s side trailing at half-time to a Daniel Caligiuri goal for the away side, Lewandowski came on for the second half and produced a masterpiece in goalscoring.

The Pole, astonishingly, scored five goals in nine minutes, and helped Bayern to an eventual 5-1 win. On the way, Lewandowski broke quite a few records, becoming the fastest scorer of five goals in the world and the first substitute to score five goals in the Bundesliga. He broke the internet too.

Meanwhile, staying at the top end of the table, Borussia Dortmund–who started their season like a train–finally had their first stumble as they only managed a point away to Hoffenheim in a 1-1 draw, consequently dropping behind Bayern in the table for the first time this season. Hoffenheim were promising but failed to convert their chances as their winless start to the season has now stretched to six games.

Elsewhere, beleaguered and managerless Borussia Monchengladbach earned their first points of the season after losing five games on the spin, beating Augsburg 4-2 in their first game since Lucian Favre walked away earlier this week. While newly-promoted Ingolstadt’s recent good run of results came to a halt as they suffered a home reverse against Hamburg.

In other results, Schalke needed a late show to get past Eintracht Frankfurt as goals from Joel Matip and Leroy Sane in the final quarter hour saw them emerge 2-0 victors and move up to third. While ex-Man Utd striker Javier Hernandez netted his first goal for Bayer Leverkusen with a solo effort to help his team earn a narrow 1-0 win over Mainz. Hannover remain rooted to the bottom as they lost their third straight home game of the season.

LA LIGA: Barcelona stunned, Madrid duo win, Sevilla rock bottom

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona suffered their first loss of the season in disastrous fashion as defensive shambles meant they lost their way entirely in a 4-1 loss to Celta Vigo. Celta–Enrique’s former club–were good value for their win as they climbed above the Catalans up to second.

Gerard Pique’s return from his four-game suspension was a forgettable experience for the Spaniard as the Barca stalwart struggled to deal with the pace of the Celta forwards, Nolito and Iago Aspas. Barca’s 100 percent record in the league is now over and they now find themselves fifth in the table.

Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez’s Real Madrid continued their ascent up the table with a hard-earned 2-1 win in a seemingly difficult fixture away to Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. Karim Benzema scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season to lead his team to the top of the table. City neighbours Atletico Madrid, too, continued their good start as they saw off Getafe 2-0 at home.

Elsewhere, Sevilla remain winless and rooted to the bottom after another loss, this time at the hands of newly-promoted Las Palmas. Unai Emery’s side are in a slump not many expected but these are testing times for the Andalusian outfit. Villarreal maintained their good start to the season, and are one of only three clubs to remain unbeaten so far with their fortuitous 1-0 win over struggling Malaga.

In other news, Real Sociedad’s first win of the season–a 3-0 away win over Granada–eased the mounting pressure on manager David Moyes after their uninspiring start to the season. La Real climbed out of the relegation zone with a hat-trick from striker Imanol Agirretxe. Valencia’s miserly start in front of goal continued as they suffered their first loss of the season against Espanyol at the Cornella-El Prat 1-0.

SERIE A: Juventus, Roma stumble, Inter continue title surge, Balotelli shines

Just when it seemed they had turned a corner after an indifferent start, champions Juventus were pegged back in stoppage time by tiny Frosinone at the Juventus Stadium as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Simone Zaza’s second half opener was cancelled out by a dramatic late equaliser from centre-back Leonardo Blanchard as the newly-promoted club earned their first point of the season.

Meanwhile, Inter Milan maintained their perfect start to the season with another 1-0 win–their fourth in five games–as they now lead holders Juventus by ten points. Felipe Melo’s second half goal was enough for the solid Nerazzurri, who have conceded only one goal this season, to see off Hellas Verona.

Last season’s runners-up AS Roma suffered their first loss of the season as a late Konstantinos Manolas own goal was enough for Sampdoria to secure a 2-1 win and continue their good start to the season. Rome’s other club, Lazio, recovered from last weekend’s humbling at the hands of Napoli to register a 2-0 win over Genoa, who ended the match with ten men.

AC Milan’s summer loan signing Mario Balotelli once again offered glimpses of his ability and potential as he helped the Rossoneri to their second successive 3-2 win, this time over Udinese at the Stadio Friuli. Udinese were on the brink of a famous comeback after being 3-0 down at one stage, but Milan held strong and now find themselves seventh in the table.

Elsewhere, Napoli failed to maintain their momentum after back-to-back 5-0 wins as they were held to a 0-0 draw at newly-promoted Carpi. Chievo recovered from last weekend’s loss to Inter by winning 1-0 against Torino, while Paolo Sousa’s Fiorentina continued their rise as they notched their fourth win of the season, with new signing Jacub Blaszczykowski scoring his first goal for La Viola.

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