The Early Sub: Cool, Not Cool Weekends (La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Premier League)

This week had a few big matchups in Europe’s biggest leagues. Madrid snapped their 2 game losing streak after going 40 without one, Lewandowski lifted Bayern over Freiburg and MSN’s class was evident against Eibar. These are the teams this past weekend who had a super cool weekend and some teams who had a bummer of a weekend.

Honorable Not Cool Weekend:

Gabon. The hosts of AFCON have already been eliminated from the tournament, failing to record a single win in their three Group A matchups. They finished 3rd in the Group and will be watching the rest of AFCON, regrettably, from the couch. Burkina Faso and Cameroon were the advancing nations from Group A

Cool Weekend:

Juventus. The Bianconeri have their grip on Serie A for at least another week after their excellent win over Lazio. Juve may be leading the league, but they’ve been prone to a few shock losses in the league this season and with Roma in the rearview only a point behind, The Old Lady can’t afford anymore slip ups in Italy. Their dominant 2-0 win over a top 4 side shows that taking the Serie A lead won’t be easy.

Not Cool Weekend:

Liverpool. I mean. They lost to Swansea. Swansea. Swansea has 2 more wins then managers this year. With Chelsea’s form being the way it is, the Reds can’t even afford draws, let alone losses to the league’s most bottom team. With that loss, Liverpool now sit a distant 10 away from Chelsea and now it appears only Arsenal and Spurs can still see distant Chelsea who are 8 points away from the rest of the league.

Cool Weekend:

Napoli. Juventus got their big win over Lazio but Napoli defeated Milan in a fast paced, take no prisoners showdown at the San Siro. Insigne and Jose Callejon each netted for the Sky Blues as they were able to keep the pace along with Roma to stay on Juventus’ heels. In a league dominated by Juve in the past few years, it seems clear that Napoli are once again looking to challenge Juve for the Scudetto.

Not Cool Weekend:

Villarreal. My roommate Andrew’s favorite side, the Yellow Submarine took a heavy defeat to struggling Valencia over the weekend. Coming into the game, Villarreal was 9 points back from Real Madrid, and of course Villarreal isn’t expected to be true La Liga contenders but their campaign may have just been seen off from almost impossible to just about irrelevant at this point. They’ll need some big wins over the big clubs if they want their name brought up again.

Cool Weekend:

Bayer Leverkusen. Big win over Berlin gets Leverkusen on the winning side of things to start their 2017. A hard fought win at home over Hertha gives Leverkusen confidence to start the year and could give them the confidence to climb the table and push for a spot in Europe. Wonderful performances from Turkish duo Toprak and Calhanoglu as well.

Not Cool Weekend:

Manchester United. Of course Wayne Rooney was the winner in this game, netting the huge equalizer from a worldie of a free kick that also broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s United goal scoring record. Rooney got the spotlight but the real problem at hand here is the fact that United still drew against Stoke. In a weekend where United could’ve made a nice jump up the table with the City-Spurs draw and the Liverpool loss, United could’ve potentially tied City for 5th all the while being within 4 points of the rest of the table (except Chelsea who are far away). A giant missed opportunity for United here who had a difficult challenge in Stoke, but a Stoke who was thrashed by Liverpool 4-1. It was a game that United had to win, and in their failure to do so, may be out of the title race.

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