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European Round-Up | 3-6 February

A shock loss in La Liga and big wins at the top of the table in the Bundesliga highlight the latest European weekend round up, while the cinderella story of SSC Napoli continues to plough down the tracks in southern Italy

Bundesliga

  • Biggest win: VfL Bochum 5-2 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Shock result: Borussia Dortmund 5-1 SC Freiburg
  • Star Performance: Christopher Antwi-Adjei (VfL Bochum) – three assists vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

A cadre of high-scoring fixtures highlighted the weekend program in the top flight of German football as normal service resumed in the Bundesliga, first starting with Bayern Munich getting back to winning ways after three consecutive draws to kick off the Rückrunde in the vein of a 4-2 away win against VfL Wolfsburg at Volkswagen Arena, condemning former manager Niko Kovač to consecutive defeats.

Borussia Dortmund continued their hot start since the return of club football with their fourth-straight league win, this time, dispatching European hopefuls SC Freiburg to a 5-1 loss at the Westfalenstadion, which saw Die Schwarzgelben climb to third in the table. But the result of the weekend goes to struggling VfL Bochum who thrashed fellow faltering TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in a 5-2 win in the Ruhr Valley, with Bochum finally out of the bottom three.

Elsewhere, FC Augsburg earned a vital 1-0 win against formerly flying Bayer Leverkusen in Bavaria, Eintracht Frankfurt remains on their unbeaten run at the expense of hapless Hertha BSC in a 3-0 victory in Germany’s financial capital, Union Berlin continues to push Bayern at the top and remain within just one point after a 2-1 win over 1.FSV Mainz 05, while RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach were held to frustrating 0-0 draws against 1.FC Köln and FC Schalke 04 respectively.

La Liga

  • Biggest win: Real Betis Balompié 3-4 Real Club Celta de Vigo
  • Shock result: Real Club Deportivo Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid Club de Fútbol
  • Star Performance: Oihan Sancet (Athletic Club) – three goals vs Cádiz Club de Fútbol

The Spanish top flight could be in line to see a return to the top of giants Barcelona after action across the Iberian nation at the weekend, with Xavi’s Barça doing their bit in a consummate 3-0 at the Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday evening against Sevilla, which saw the club capitalize on the shock result of the weekend earlier in the day where Real Mallorca clawed their way to a 1-0 win in the Balearic Islands over reigning champions Real Madrid, which now sees the capital side eight points adrift of their biggest rival.

Real Sociedad also suffered a setback in their own top four aspirations on the same day in front of home support in Basque Country after suffering a 1-0 loss against Real Valladolid. The biggest results of the weekend fall primarily to RC Celta Vigo who came away with a narrow 4-3 win in a high-scoring affair in Andalusia against Real Betis, with Athletic Club also sporting a big win on Friday night against visiting Cadiz in a 4-1 win at the San Mames that featured a hattrick from young midfielder Oihan Sancet.

To wrap up the weekend, Elche and Girona posted three-point hauls at home against Villarreal and Valencia respectively, while Espanyol and Atlético Madrid were both held at home in 1-1 draws against Osasuna and Getafe.

Ligue 1

  • Biggest win: Multiple 3-1 scorelines at the weekend
  • Shock result: Olympique de Marseille 1-3 Olympique Gymnaste Club de Nice
  • Star Performance: Edon Zhegrova (Lille Olympique Sporting Club) – one goal/two assists vs Stade Rennais

Home sides continued to suffer all weekend long as well, with Troyes, Clermont Foot, and Ajaccio all tasting defeat in front of home support thanks to away wins by Lyon, Monaco, and Nantes. Lorient and Auxerre wrap up the weekend with a pair of 0-0 draws, but in Lorient’s case, the Brittany-based side remains in the hunt for an unexpected top-seven finish.

Serie A

  • Biggest win: Spezia Calcio 0-3 Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli
  • Shock result: Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio 1-0 Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio
  • Star Performance: Victor Osimhen (Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli) – two goals vs Spezia Calcio

Table-topping Napoli continued their storied run to what could end in the club’s third Serie A title across their long history after Luciano Spalletti’s men grabbed a 3-0 win away from home in the naval city of Spezia, which featured dynamic duo Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia lead from the front as they have all season.

A 1-0 Derby della Madonnina by Inter over bitter rivals AC Milan condemned the red and black half of the fashion capital to a third successive loss and five matches within a win, while Inter kept a three-point lead in second over capital outfit AS Roma who also tasted victory at the weekend over Empoli in a 2-0 affair. Bologna and Lecce also won away from home by 2-1 and 2-0 scorelines, while Torino scrapped to a 1-0 home win in Piemonte against visiting Udinese.

But the result of the weekend certainly fell to bottom-half outfit Sassuolo, who earned their second win in a row while extending their unbeaten run to three against European regular Atalanta in a close run thing at Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore, stripping the visitors of a chance to climb into the top four on at least a temporary basis. Lazio is in action at the time of writing and sitting level at 1-1 with Verona, while Monza is due to host Sampdoria later this evening, and Juventus traveling to Salernitana on Tuesday night as they continue to cope with yet another set of sanctions that have rocked the club.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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