Dortmund livid after Bayern defeat, Man United win Ralf Rangnick’s debut, Actual Madrid pull clear in LaLiga

What a weekend of soccer! We are saying it each weekend, and each weekend it is true. We noticed Manchester United get a primary win beneath Ralf Rangnick, Bayern Munich wrap up a controversial derby over Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid edge away on the high of LaLiga and Inter Milan put Jose Mourinho beneath strain at AS Roma with an emphatic victory.

Elsewhere, we had woe for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, frustration for Chelsea, late drama for Liverpool and an finish to the Jesse Marsch period at RB Leipzig.

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It is Monday, and Gab Marcotti reacts to the most important moments on the planet of soccer.

Leap to: Dortmund fury, Bayern joy | Rangnick begins with a win | Inter maul Mourinho, Roma | Errors doom Chelsea | Madrid lose Benzema, still win | Bernardo Silva shines | Milan top of Serie A | Barca overlook Betis | PSG look flat | Liverpool’s luck | Juve impress | Atletico pay price | Kane misfires, Spurs win | Atalanta down Napoli | Marsch out at Leipzig | #BasDostWatch

Venom and loathing after a flamable Klassiker

Borussia Dortmund had been livid on Saturday evening after their 3-2 residence defeat towards Bayern, and it isn’t tough to see why.

This was their first residence Bundesliga defeat in almost 12 months, a recreation that noticed them fall 4 factors behind Bayern as a substitute of leapfrogging the Bavarians on the high of the desk. This was a match which noticed them play nicely and outplay the opposition for lengthy stretches. And most of all, this was a recreation that was determined by particular person errors: from their very own gamers, certain, however of their view from the referee, Felix Zwayer. And so they let the world know afterwards, with Jude Bellingham saying: “You give a referee that has match-fixed earlier than, the most important recreation in Germany, what do you count on?”

There is no getting round this. These are very critical phrases and it is no shock that on Monday, it emerged that Bellingham was being investigated by German police responding to a libel criticism.

The issue is not essentially the primary a part of what Bellingham mentioned, although strictly talking, that is not completely correct.



Janusz Michallik asks why Borussia Dortmund battle to beat Bayern Munich, after the Bundesliga champions secured their seventh straight win towards them.

In 2004, Zwayer was a 23-year-old assistant referee in control of working the road in a third-tier recreation between Wuppertaler and Werder Bremen’s reserves. The referee was a person named Robert Hoyzer, who would later be jailed for fixing a collection of lower-division video games along side a Croatian gang who ran a bookmaking operation. An investigation discovered that Zwayer had taken €300 from Hoyzer, however stopped wanting proving that Zwayer had mounted the sport. He was banned for six months by sporting justice and, within the legal case, testified on behalf of the prosecution in serving to to convict each Hoyzer and the legal gang.

Haaland fumes at ‘arrogant’ ref in Der Klassiker loss

The issue is the second a part of what he mentioned — “What do you count on?” It is a direct implication that any person who has been dishonest and biased earlier than could nicely do it once more. Bellingham is not saying that Zwayer is a foul referee who should not be in control of such an enormous recreation; he is utilizing his previous to undermine his integrity. That is an issue as a result of our entire justice system — whether or not legal or sporting — relies on offenders being given one other likelihood after they’ve served their punishment. Zwayer was on condition that likelihood and, within the intervening 17 years, seized it with each arms. Not solely has not been touched by allegations of corruption, he rose by way of the refereeing ranks to ascertain himself as one in every of Germany’s high referees, receiving the very best marks at UEFA and FIFA stage as nicely.

Zwayer was discovered responsible of the crime and he did the time, so to talk. We imagine in second possibilities, and he is been just about exemplary since. If he obtained calls mistaken within the Dortmund-Bayern recreation — and we’ll get into that in a minute — it was as a result of he made a mistake or wasn’t adequate, not as a result of he is corrupt.

Talking on The Gab & Juls Present, Jan Aage Fjortoft prompt Zwayer’s previous will need to have come up instantly after the ultimate whistle, when Dortmund’s gamers retreated into the dressing room earlier than coming again out to fulfil their media duties. Bellingham is an articulate and considerate younger man, and it is simple to overlook he is nonetheless simply 18 years previous. We have all made unhealthy choices as youngsters, and bringing this up was one in every of them.

As for the sport itself, Dortmund greater than held their very own. Julian Brandt and Erling Haaland scored nice objectives, and far of their frustration little question comes from the truth that two of Bayern’s objectives had been the results of craven particular person errors — Mats Hummels for one, and a collective Keystone Kops effort, made worse by unfortunate ricochets, for the second — and the third was the Robert Lewandowski penalty awarded by Zwayer after VAR’s intervention for a handball by Hummels (who else?). Throw in Dortmund’s frustration over the penalty that wasn’t given — Marco Reus‘ tussle with Lucas Hernandez, which led to Marco Rose being despatched off — and you start to know their anger.

Personally, I had no downside with the Hummels penalty. It would not actually matter the place he is wanting, in the event you lean in together with your elbow out, you are placing your self in danger (and gaining a bonus). Hernandez on Reus was extra borderline, and what incensed Rose was that Zwayer did not go have a look at the VAR monitor. However the reality is that if he feels he had a transparent view and VAR would not suppose his name is wrong (or there’s one thing he did not spot), he would not must go. That mentioned, if he had taken a glance, maybe Rose would not have misplaced his head to the purpose that he needed to be bodily carted away by his assistant.

And so, the 3-2 win means Bayern prolong their lead on the high, profitable away towards their hardest home opponents (and doing it with out Joshua Kimmich), with out essentially performing wherever close to their greatest. That is what title-winning groups normally do. As for Dortmund, the worst factor that may occur now could be that every one the main focus falls on this Bellingham-Zwayer affair as a substitute of their very own failing, particularly on the defensive finish. 4 factors shouldn’t be an enormous hole; it is early-December. They owe it to themselves and to their followers to do higher and take an actual run on the title.

Rangnick period begins with new look, victory over Crystal Palace



Janusz Michallik spots the variations Manchester United confirmed in Ralf Rangnick’s first recreation in cost.

Ralf Rangnick has clearly not had any actual time to work with Manchester United since his appointment, however he wasn’t afraid to shake issues up. His 4-2-2-2 formation — Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford up high, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho simply behind, and the FredScott McTominay duo in entrance of the again 4 — is straight out of the old-school Rangnick playbook. It is designed to press excessive and preserve possession in central areas, and it did simply that towards Crystal Palace, additionally as a result of Patrick Vieira’s crew had been comfortable to sit down and play on the counter.

Rangnick praises Ronaldo’s pressing in win

United regarded good for an hour or so, earlier than understandably working out of steam somewhat. One of many downsides of this method is that it is energy-sapping and clearly, it should take a while to adapt and make it extra environment friendly. The one objective scored got here courtesy of Fred and it was a deserved three factors, however it stays to be seen how rapidly United could make this set-up work and, in reality, how nicely it should work towards sides who preserve extra of the ball and construct from the flanks.

This set-up provides United a shot within the arm and they’re going to doubtless win video games within the coming weeks as a result of they’ve higher gamers than most of their opponents. However it should take a while earlier than it actually bears fruit for Rangnick.

Inter Milan run rampant away to depleted Roma

Inter produced on one of the best 45 minutes we have seen them play in a very long time on the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, racing out to a 3-Zero lead and by no means wanting again. The win allowed them to remain inside a degree of table-topping Milan, and a few are asking whether or not they is likely to be even higher than final season’s Antonio Conte-led title-winners.

Perhaps it was due to the symmetry and the truth that the three guys who scored on Saturday — Edin Dzeko, Denzel Dumfries, Hakan Calhanoglu — are all newcomers who changed three supposedly irreplaceable gamers (Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakimi, Christian Eriksen). That is going a bit far. This staff could play higher soccer than Inter did final season, however they most likely aren’t a greater staff. Not but, anyway.

As for Roma, a morose Jose Mourinho rattled off his absentees after the sport: Tammy Abraham, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephan El Shaarawy, Rick Karsdorp, Carles Perez. That may clarify a defeat, however it’s harder to just accept it explaining such a poor efficiency. It is also robust to clarify Mourinho saying that, given the absences, Roma’s attacking potential was “nil.” It is an odd strategy to encourage the forwards he did have accessible: Nicolo Zaniolo (arguably essentially the most gifted Italian participant in Serie A), Eldor Shomurodov (introduced in in the summertime for round $20 million) and Borja Mayoral (who Mourinho could not fee however who scored 17 objectives final season).

Perhaps he is simply pushing buttons to encourage gamers, however it appears distinctly counterintuitive. Roma as a metropolis is very impatient, so if this criticism is a part of a grasp plan, it had higher work rapidly.

Particular person errors condemn Chelsea to defeat and third place

After Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham, Thomas Tuchel made the purpose that particulars make all of the distinction at this stage and that particular person errors value Chelsea expensive, each final weekend towards Manchester United and on Saturday. “We should care about particulars, not ask huge questions or doubt the massive image,” he mentioned.

He is right, after all, however each issues may be true. Particular person errors — the numerous fluffed possibilities towards United, blunders from Edouard Mendy and Jorginho towards West Ham — value Chelsea as many as six factors, certain, however the huge image is not fairly proper, both.

This staff would not run fairly as easily with Ruben Loftus-Cheek alongside Jorginho in midfield, fairly than N’Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic. It is not by way of any fault of Loftus-Cheek, however simply because he is a really completely different participant and his presence requires changes. That comes with time and chemistry.

The same argument applies additional up the pitch. Whether or not Romelu Lukaku, Kai Havertz or Timo Werner, these gamers aren’t interchangeable. And it is more durable for Chelsea to regulate to the qualities of whoever is up entrance when the lads behind them change ceaselessly as nicely.



Janusz Michallik defends Arthur Masuaku after his late strike ensures West Ham get pleasure from all three factors towards metropolis rivals Chelsea.

There’s clearly sufficient expertise right here to overwhelm most groups, and it might need been sufficient towards West Ham too with out the person errors. There definitely was sufficient in current outings towards Juventus and Leicester, when Chelsea did not simply win, however regarded sharp. However Chelsea paid an expensive worth towards a well-organised and motivated West Ham, pushed by a midfield tandem (Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek) who can shut down most ball motion successfully.

Dropping high spot can have a psychological impact, after all, however you’d think about there’s sufficient expertise on this squad to climate that. There is a lengthy strategy to go, loads of head-to-head video games towards their rivals, and no purpose to panic. However the reality is that after two months within the lead, Chelsea are wanting up at Manchester City and Liverpool.

As for Mendy, goalkeepers make errors, even excellent ones — simply ask Jan Oblak — so there isn’t any level in dwelling on it. In truth, you’d fairly your keeper make huge blunders infrequently than come up a hair brief repeatedly.

Actual Madrid lose Benzema, however discover Jovic and go eight factors clear



Pablo Zabaleta praises Actual Madrid’s consistency in LaLiga after they elevated their result in eight factors by beating Actual Sociedad.

Typically, it feels it is about exhibiting up on the proper time. Actual Madrid traveled to tackle Real Sociedad away after two distinctively lacklustre performances towards Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao, video games they received however might simply as simply have misplaced. Actual Sociedad had not misplaced at residence since April in any competitors and when, after 17 minutes, Karim Benzema went down injured, it did not look nice for Carlo Ancelotti’s males.

Ancelotti hopes Benzema is fit for Madrid derby

When, as a substitute of, say, Marco Asensio or Eden Hazard, Ancelotti turned to Luka Jovic — broadly seen as a bust by Madridistas and had not began a single recreation beneath Ancelotti — to exchange Benzema, it raised a couple of eyebrows. However Ancelotti wished a real striker to exchange Benzema, even when it meant a man who’d not scored in his previous 16 appearances for the membership. And he was vindicated: Jovic arrange Vinicius’ opener with a neat flick and made it 2-Zero with a courageous, close-range header.

Actual Madrid managed a lot of the sport towards an opponent who all of a sudden seems to be drifting and turned in a a lot better efficiency than in earlier outings. There are nonetheless issues — some blame Ancelotti for being over-reliant on the older legs in midfield — however they do seem like pulling away in LaLiga: They’re eight away from Sevilla (who’ve a recreation in hand) and have the proper of momentum going into the derby with Atletico Madrid subsequent weekend.

Bernardo Silva shines as Man Metropolis roll, Jack Grealish auditions at center-forward



Janusz Michallik credit the work of Pep Guardiola after Bernardo Silva’s brace towards Watford.

Manchester Metropolis had no points dismantling Watford 3-1 on the highway, and as soon as once more, Bernardo Silva confirmed simply why he is within the type of his life.

Pep Guardiola anointed him one of the best participant within the Premier League; I hate rankings of this kind, so I am going to let any person else wade in there. As an alternative I am going to simply level out he is having this type of season after a subpar marketing campaign final yr that noticed him successfully up on the market many of the summer time. Coming again like this exhibits great character and man-management.

Jack Grealish lined up at center-forward — name it a “false 9” in the event you like, however he fairly regarded like a conventional fashionable striker, cell in his method, linking play and providing a central reference level when wanted — and did nicely. You may add him to the listing of alternate options in that function — Phil Foden, Ferran Torres, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez — which solely makes you understand how Metropolis are doubtless solely to usher in one in every of two forms of center-forward: an enormous, highly effective sort to come back off the bench in uncommon conditions or a real world-beater. There is no level merely bringing in one other physique.

Milan go high of Serie A with skilled efficiency (and no strikers)

With an enormous Champions League conflict towards Liverpool developing, all Milan wished from their recreation towards Salernitana had been three factors and no accidents. They obtained half of these needs.

Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers scored early to wrap issues up towards, arguably, the worst aspect in Serie A. However each Pietro Pellegri, standing in at center-forward, and Rafael Leao picked up accidents, leaving them severely depleted up entrance on condition that Ante Rebic and Olivier Giroud had been additionally out. Stefano Pioli needed to reinvent Rade Krunic at center-forward, which is not fairly the identical factor.

In fact, they nonetheless had a sure Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, however understandably, he was being stored wrapped in cotton wool forward of the journey to Anfield. So whereas they have a good time first place, they replicate on the truth that their 40-year-old icon is the one match ahead.

Xavi appears past Real Betis and Barcelona pay a heavy worth



Janusz Michallik defends Xavi after his first defeat as Barcelona supervisor and insists he can study from Betis supervisor Manuel Pellegrini.

Say this about Xavi: He isn’t afraid to roll the cube and make huge calls even when generally, like on Saturday, they backfire badly.

Barcelona journey to Munich to face Bayern in midweek, understanding that solely a win ensures them a spot within the Champions League last-16 as a result of Benfica, who’re two factors behind them, face a Dynamo Kyiv aspect with nothing to play for. And that will nicely have performed into his resolution to bench three key males like Frenkie De Jong, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele for Betis’ go to on Saturday. And that call, probably, ended up costing them the sport.

Perhaps Xavi figured that Betis had been with out their greatest participant (Nabil Fekir), that Manuel Pellegrini had misplaced right here in his final 10 makes an attempt, that Betis hadn’t stored a clear sheet on the Camp Nou since 1994 and that all of it meant one thing. As an alternative, Betis went toe-to-toe and Barca struggled to impose themselves. They regarded light-weight in the course of the park, Philippe Coutinho regarded misplaced out broad and Memphis Depay had an off day (not his first, of late).

Depay, particularly, is wanting much less and fewer like a center-forward (most likely as a result of he is not) and that may be problematic if, as Xavi does, you insist on enjoying with broad entrance males.

The 1-Zero defeat leaves them six factors off the highest 4, which is not a tragedy, however neither does it bode nicely. You marvel if, hindsight being 20/20, perhaps the enhance of a win over Betis might need been price greater than the “relaxation” afforded his three starters, two of whom (De Jong and Dembele) got here on anyway.

Wijnaldum rescues a degree, however PSG nonetheless look flat

An harm time objective from Georginio Wijnaldum helped Paris Saint-Germain keep away from defeat towards Lens, however there was little to cheer for Mauricio Pochettino’s aspect, who had been outplayed for lots of the sport.

Keylor Navas had one other tough day between the posts, main many to query the rotation between him and Gianluigi Donnarumma that is been happening all season. Competitors is nice in most conditions, however you marvel if for goalkeepers, issues work somewhat bit otherwise and the fixed uncertainty is doing extra hurt than good.

It is also laborious to shake the sensation that motivation (or lack thereof) won’t be a difficulty, too. PSG are 11 factors clear on the high of Ligue 1, and it is early December. They’re not likely going to play a match that basically issues till the Champions League knockouts within the spring. Perhaps Pochettino must prioritise these intervening months to check out new options to make his group of superstars into an precise staff.

Origi will get the ‘super-sub’ headlines, however Liverpool’s efficiency ought to have been sufficient



Janusz Michallik explains why he believes Liverpool could nicely look again fondly at their late victory towards Wolves, ought to they win the Premier League this season.

I am going to by no means tire of claiming this. Sure, objectives are vital as a result of this a low-scoring sport, however it’s additionally one drenched in randomness, happenstance and, nicely, luck. Taking part in nicely is a a lot better indicator of what is to come back than the ultimate rating, as a result of the scoreboard typically lies.

Liverpool performed very nicely away to Wolves and created loads of possibilities, which is what a staff is meant to do. Much less good was their ending, and that is right down to the person.

Bear that in thoughts when lionizing Divock Origi. Sure, his 94th-minute strike was clearly essential to Liverpool’s 1-Zero victory, however it was the least they deserved, given how nicely they performed and the way a lot they dominated within the earlier 93 minutes.

Have a good time Origi, by all means. It is not straightforward to come back into video games chilly and make a distinction, and but he is finished it loads of instances. However do not forget the stellar efficiency of the opposite guys on the pitch, and do not forget that Klopp might be proper when he says he needs he might get Origi extra minutes, however he merely cannot.

Why? Properly, he will not say this, however the different guys are higher. Quite a bit higher, a minimum of inside Klopp’s framework.

It is too early to say they’ve turned the nook, however Juventus impressed towards Genoa

OK, you may solely beat what’s in entrance of you, and Genoa — stellar efficiency from Salvatore Sirigu apart — are a really poor aspect. However we noticed Juventus do one thing they’ve hardly ever finished since Max Allegri’s return: exit, dominate and take the sport to the opposition. It completed 2-0 — the opener a traditional “Olympic objective” from Juan Cuadrado, who scored straight from a nook — although it might have simply been 5 or 6.

With out Federico Chiesa, Allegri went for an aggressive lineup, utilizing Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Bernardeschi down the wings and enjoying with depth, aggression and high quality. They’re nonetheless manner again within the title race — seven factors from fourth, 11 off the highest of the desk — and there isn’t any assure they’ll play like this towards higher sides. However they did present a unique manner of enjoying, one that does not appear like dated. That is not nothing, and in the event you’re a Juve fan, you will take it.

Atletico pay expensive worth towards Mallorca as Oblak runs out of miracles

Jan Oblak has been one of many world’s greatest goalkeepers for a number of years now. This season, nonetheless, he has proven indicators of being merely human, and it is costing Atletico Madrid. Towards Mallorca, a greater aspect than their league place suggests, he made some huge first-half stops, however he did not preserve out Takefusa Kubo on the counterattack in harm time and Atleti fell at residence 2-1.

It is clearly not his fault that Atleti, desperately searching for a late winner, obtained caught up the pitch, however watching Kubo’s end (which was removed from irresistible), you count on Oblak to maintain it out.

But Atletico’s points transcend a shutdown keeper not pulling out yet one more miracle save. It took them ages to take the lead — and solely after conceding extra possibilities than Diego Simeone would have appreciated — after which, at 1-Zero up, they switched from a 4-3-Three formation to a 5-3-2. Presumably this was to guard the lead, however it had the alternative impact, emboldening the guests.

It is not what Simeone wants heading right into a sink-or-swim Champions League conflict with Porto.

Kane nonetheless misfiring, however Tottenham beat Norwich, are knocking on high 4’s door



Mark Donaldson and Janusz Michallik talk about how Tottenham is in good arms with Son Heung-min if Harry Kane was to go away Tottenham Hotspur.

There is a purpose Norwich, current outcomes however, are within the relegation zone, however Tottenham’s 3-Zero win on Sunday remains to be trigger for (cautious) celebration. It leaves Tottenham two factors from fourth place with a recreation in hand, which most likely places Antonio Conte forward of expectations when it comes to outcomes.

By way of efficiency, there’s nonetheless work to do — he’d be the primary to say it — however outcomes provide you with confidence. Now, if they might solely assist Harry Kane discover his scoring boots.

It is extraordinary to suppose that the man for whom they turned down a $150m bid final summer time and who averaged 23 league objectives a season over the previous seven years remains to be caught on one objective this marketing campaign … and we’re closing in on Christmas. Kane might have had a hat trick on Sunday. For sure, if he finds his mojo, Spurs’ progress curve will get that a lot steeper, and that rather more rapidly.

Atalanta are for actual as depleted Napoli lose high spot

It is not a lot the truth that Atalanta beat Juventus and Napoli on the highway within the house of per week that makes them title contenders; it is the best way they did it. They had been buccaneering and front-foot ahead in Naples, extra cautious and counterattacking in Turin, however at all times with the identical willpower and fluidity that is more and more as a lot of a Gian Piero Gasperini hallmark because the again three and the wing-backs.

Towards Napoli, they got here again from 2-1 down and continued throwing punches on the opposition till the top, rising as 3-2 victors. No matter they’re doing (and lest we overlook, they’ve the 10th highest funds in Serie A) is working: bottle it up and watch them go.

As for Napoli, they had been lacking key gamers in each division: Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas on the again, Fabian Ruiz and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa in midfield, Lorenzo Insigne and Victor Osimhen up entrance. And so they additionally misplaced midfielder Stanislav Lobotka early within the second half.

Loads of mitigating circumstances, to make sure. So whereas dropping high spot in Serie A is a blow, it needn’t be a crushing one. They’re going to be again.

An excessive amount of, too quickly? Marsch fired by RB Leipzig



Within the wake of their defeat to Union Berlin, RB Leipzig’s head coach Jesse Marsch has been relieved of his duties after simply three months within the function following a disastrous begin to the season.

Jesse Marsch clearly had a tough trip at Leipzig: 11th place within the Bundesliga after three straight losses, and three defeats in 5 Champions League video games inform their very own story. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless somewhat shocking to see him summarily sacked like this.

Marsch out at RB Leipzig

You modify coaches once you suppose the staff will not enhance or once you imagine you will get a significant improve by hiring another person, which does not appear to be the case right here. Marsch’s Leipzig wasn’t nice (heck, they weren’t even good), however he did have a bunch of mitigating components. In any case, this can be a aspect that misplaced their beginning defensive partnership (Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano) and emotional chief (Marcel Sabitzer) over the summer time. Marsch can also be a supervisor who went from having an all-conquering juggernaut at Salzburg to having to construct one thing new in a brand new league, following within the footsteps of among the best coaches round (Julian Nagelsmann).

Marsch labored for the Purple Bull organisation in a single kind or different for eight years. That is sufficient time to completely consider any person and know what he can provide. Firing him after 5 months is an admission of failure — the organisation’s failure as a lot as Marsch’s.

And eventually…

Bas Dost scored for Bruges of their 3-2 residence win towards Seraing. He now has seven objectives in 14 Belgian league appearances and is on tempo to attain 20 within the league. General, he has 9 objectives in 20 appearances in all competitions this season.

This concludes this instalment of #BasDostWatch.

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