Weekend Round-up: MLS returns while Manchester City and FC Bayern return to driving seat

It was a weekend of derby matches and rivalry games across Europe with the Clásico, Rome, North London and Merseyside derbies all taking place, while Major League Soccer made its return.

Two of Europe’s top leagues saw a major shift at the top of the table, while others pulled away from the chasing pack.

Here’s a look at the best of the action from around the world.

Manchester City top the Premier League

Liverpool have now drawn five of their last seven matches in all competitions, allowing Manchester City to overtake them at the top of the Premier League table.

The defending champions secured a 1-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday, putting more pressure on Liverpool who faced local rivals Everton a day later.

Jürgen Klopp’s side stumbled, unable to control the game against their fired-up opponents with Mohamed Salah missing the best chance to give his side the win. The tie ended in a 0-0 stalemate at Goodison Park,

That means City go top by a point and, on form, they look like the side who will finally be able to take control in this title race.

Elsewhere, Chelsea edged past Fulham in the West London Derby thanks to Gonzalo Higuaín and a super strike from Jorginho. In North London, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal drew 1-1 at Wembley.

Manchester United continued their charge into the UEFA Champions League spots with a late 3-2 win against Southampton at Old Trafford. 

Dortmund let Bayern back in

FC Bayern were almost a club in crisis at the start of the season, but a slow resurgence has seen them return to the top of the Bundesliga, or at least level on points with Borussia Dortmund.

BVB’s surprise 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday evening opened the door for Bayern, and they duly walked through it with a win away to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday.

And it was a convincing one at that. Robert Lewandowski helped himself to a brace in a 5-1 victory which means they are now just three goals behind Dortmund in the goal difference column.

It also means Lewandowski moves to the top of the goalscoring charts alongside Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jović – reportedly a target for Real Madrid.

It’s been a complete turnaround for Bayern, and it’s now a real test of Dortmund’s resolve whether they can hang on at the top with ten games to go.

Barcelona dominate Real in third of three Clásicos

The biggest match in Spain this weekend was the third of three Clásico clashes to take place within a month.

Barcelona won the first 3-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final between the pair last week, but the league fixture always has something extra.

Sergio Ramos always has something extra, too, and he left a bit of that on Lionel Messi a couple of times in this game. But the Argentine came out on top, putting in an excellent individual performance which got at Real more than they were able to get at him, and Ivan Rakitic’s Messi-esque finish gave Barća the three points.

They are now 12 points clear of Real, and seven clear of Atlético de Madrid, at the top of the table.

Juve extend lead as Lazio win in Rome

Italy wasn’t to be left out when it came to rivalry matches this weekend. Serie A fans witnessed a Rome derby and a top-of-the-table clash between Juventus and Napoli.

Juve may already have the league won, but games against their southern rivals are always worth a watch.

There were two red cards, one for Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret who brought down a goal-bound Cristiano Ronaldo, and even though there was no contact it was still the correct decision.

Miralem Pjanić scored from the resulting free-kick before being sent off later in the game for a second bookable offence.

The Rome derby was less tense, but no less thrilling, as Lazio put three past Roma. The win takes the Biancocelesti within three points of their city rivals, and closer to European qualification.

#MLSisBack

Major League Soccer returned with a weekend of goals. Every team managed to open their account, apart from last season’s top scorers and MLS Cup winners, Atlanta United.

It’s been an uncertain start to the season for Atlanta under new manager Frank de Boer. They’ve progressed in the Concacaf Champions League against Costa Rican side Herediano, but suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat in the first leg before turning the tie around at home.

Domestically their game against Wayne Rooney's DC United was always going to be tough, but the manner of the defeat may have some fans worried as they look to defend their crown.

DC United were inspired by their diminutive attacking midfielder Luciano Acosta, who was a target for Paris Saint-Germain during the January transfer window, although Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan didn’t cover himself in glory in his attempts to prevent the Argentine’s goal in the 2-0 win for the home team.

The Washington DC based side will be glad they kept hold of Acosta, as he and Wayne Rooney could lead them to glory this season.

The standout performance of the round came, arguably of course, from Darwin Quintero, who scored one and assisted two more for Minnesota United who won 3-2 against the Whitecaps in an early season epic in Vancouver.


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