Across the Continent: European football weekend review- 24-26 November

It’s been another busy weekend of European football, so here’s a recap of all the results, stories and talking points from La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and beyond.

La Liga

It’s been a pretty good weekend if you’re a Real Madrid fan, with los Blancos moving to the top of the table, for now anyway.

On Sunday evening, Carlo Ancelotti’s team swatted Cádiz aside at Estadio Ramón de Carranza, with Rodrygo scoring twice, before the Brazilian turned provider to set up the returning Jude Bellingham for a third.

Having starred against Valencia a fortnight earlier, Rodrygo has become just the third Real Madrid player in the 21st century to be directly involved in 3+ goals in back-to-back La Liga matches.

The others are Gonzalo Higuaín and Cristiano Ronaldo, the latter doing so on seven occasions.

More importantly, having extended their unbeaten run to eight matches, Real Madrid currently occupy first place, although they’ll be overtaken by Girona, should they beat Athletic Club at Montilivi on Monday evening.

Elsewhere in the title race, Barcelona slipped down to fourth this weekend, after once again finding Rayo Vallecano a tough nut to crack.

The Blaugrana requiring an 82 minute own goal from Florian Lejeune to salvage a share of the spoils at Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas.

This is the ninth match in which Barça have scored outcome-altering goals in the 75th minute or later, with these efforts earning them 15 points, the most of any side in a major European league.

Nevertheless, it is still two points dropped for Xavi, who’s yet to beat Rayo in four attempts.

Later on Saturday, Atlético Madrid leapfrogged Barça into third thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mallorca, with Antoine Griezmann the match-winner at Cívitas Metropolitano.

This was Griezmann’s 170th goal for Atleti, needing just three more to equal Luis Aragonés’ all-time record.

Atlético Madrid will face Barcelona in next Sunday’s huge clash at Montjuïc, which is certainly one to look forward to.

While there’s currently quite a big gap between the top four and the rest, Real Sociedad are doing the best to keep pace, defeating Sevilla 2-1 at Anoeta on Sunday.

On the flip side, los Nervionenses are now without a win in seven, sliding down to 15th, and ended the evening in San Sebastián down to nine men; Sergio Ramos and Jesús Navas both dismissed.

That is the 29th red card of Ramos’ career, extending his own personal world record, while, remarkably, it is the 17th time that Sevilla have seen two or more players sent off in a La Liga match since the turn of the century.

Unsurprisingly, that’s significantly more than anybody else.

In the here and now, Diego Alonso’s wait for a first win goes on, and defeat at home to PSV in the Champions League on Wednesday could see Sevilla eliminated from Europe.

Across the city of Seville, Real Betis moved into the European spots on Sunday night, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas at Estadio Benito Villamarín.

Willian José was the match-winner, his eighth goal in five appearances for los Verdiblancos, one more than he managed in his previous 47 outings for Betis.

Meantime, Marcelino’s first match back in charge of Villarreal couldn’t have gone much better, with José Luis Morales’ second half hat-trick seeing them down Osasuna at Estadio de la Cerámica.

Lastly, Almería are now the only side in Europe’s top-nine leagues still yet to win this season, after Gaizka Garitano’s team were beaten 2-1 by Getafe.

Serie A

Whatever the outcome, the Derby d’Italia was always going to dominate the headlines, and Sunday night’s clash in Turin served up a 1-1 draw that leaves the title race wide-open.

It was Juventus who struck first at Allianz Stadium, courtesy of Dušan Vlahović, teed-up by strike partner Federico Chiesa.

However, Inter were not behind for long, just six minutes in fact, equalising courtesy of a superb sweeping team move which saw Marcus Thuram cross for Lautaro Martínez.

That is Martínez’s 27th Serie A goal of 2023, a figure only bettered by two Inter players since the turn of the century, these being Diego Milito (2012) and Christian Vieri (2001), who both ended up on 28.

This draw maintains I Nerazzurri’s position at the top, two points clear of la Vecchia Signora, with these two appearing to be the most-likely Scudetto candidates for sure.

Third-placed A.C. Milan enjoyed a vital victory on Saturday night, as they bid to keep pace with the top two, with Théo Hernandez’s penalty in first half stoppage time downing Fiorentina at San Siro.

Earlier in the day, Walter Mazzarri was back in a Napoli dugout for the first time in over a decade, making a winning start to his second spell in charge.

Goals from Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and then Elif Elmas saw I Partenopei impressively beat Atalanta 2-1 in Bergamo, with last season’s champions rounding out the top four.

Roma meantime continue to rise up the standings, making it five wins in seven on Sunday; Gianluca Mancini, Paulo Dybala and Stephan El Shaarawy all on target in a 3-1 win over Udinese.

Things are not going quite so well for Rome’s other team Lazio however, after I Biancocelesti were beaten 2-1 by Salernitana at Stadio Arechi.

Maurizio Sarri’s side therefore remain rooted in the bottom half, while 17 points after 13 matches represents their worst start for a decade, going onto finish ninth in 2013/14.

On the flip side, that was Salernitana’s first victory of the campaign, although it is not enough to lift Super Pippo Inzaghi’s team off the bottom of the table.

Hellas Verona will climb out of the bottom three if they manage to beat Lecce at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Monday evening.


Another week in the Bundesliga and another victory for Bayer Leverkusen that keeps them top of the pile.

On Saturday, Xabi Alonso’s side steamrollered Werder Bremen 3-0 at Weserstadion, with both wing-backs Jeremie Frimpong and Álex Grimaldo on target.

Die Werkself are the first team in Bundesliga history to score twice in each of their first 12 matches to commence a campaign, while this is the first time Bayer have ever won eight successive top-flight matches.

However, they are under pressure to keep on winning because, just two points behind, 11-in-a-row champions Bayern Munich are doing the same.

On Friday night, Harry Kane was the only scorer as Thomas Tuchel’s team downed Köln at RheinEnergieStadion, with this Bayern’s sixth straight win.

VfB Stuttgart haven’t played in the Champions League since 2009, but die Schwaben remain third in the table, following Saturday evening’s 2-1 victory over Frankfurt at Deutsche Bank Park.

Deniz Undav bagging a brace, with the Brighton loanee taking his tally to seven goals after just nine Bundesliga appearances, equalling the club-record set by Hartmut Weiß (1965), Fritz Walter (1987) and Adhemar (2001).

Borussia Dortmund meantime got back to winning ways, with Marcel Sabitzer, Niclas Füllkrug, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Donyell Malen all on target in a 4-2 win over Mönchengladbach at Westfalenstadion.

When Edin Terzić's team were 2-0 down inside half an hour, the die Schwarzgelben supporters were in mutinous mood but, in the end, they were celebrating a famous comeback win.

Dortmund replaced RB Leipzig in the top four this weekend, after Marco Rose’s side were beaten 2-1 by Wolfsburg at Volkswagen Arena, making it back-to-back away defeats for die Roten Bullen.

At the bottom, Union Berlin managed to stop the rot; having lost nine successive Bundesliga matches, Kevin Volland’s late equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw with Augsburg at Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Nenad Bjelica is the new man in charge in Berlin, but he’ll certainly be thrown in at the deep end, with die Eisernen traveling to Braga on Wednesday, before a visit to Bayern Munich next weekend.

Ligue 1

The big game of the Ligue 1 weekend came on Friday night, where league-leaders Paris Saint-Germain swatted aside Monaco 5-2 at Parc des Princes.

Gonçalo Ramos, Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembélé, Vitinha and Randal Kolo Muani all scoring as PSG made it six successive league wins, while Monaco remain third.

In-between are Nice who, after their 1-0 win over Toulouse, are still yet to be behind in any match in Ligue 1 this season, the first club in French top-flight history to achieve this 13 matches into a campaign.

In contrast, Olympique Lyonnais remain rooted to the foot of the table, following a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of LOSC Lille on Sunday night.

Fabio Grosso has lost four of his first seven matches in charge of les Gones, the worst start by any manager since Raymond Domenech in 1989.

The tough games just keep on coming for OL, who travel to Lens and then Marseille next.

Speaking of Olympique de Marseille, they’re not doing particularly well either, with Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Strasbourg leaving Gennaro Gattuso on just two victories from nine matches at the helm.

Lens warmed up for Wednesday’s trip to Arsenal by hammering Clermont Foot 3-0, with les Sang et Or now unbeaten in eight league games, thereby climbing up to sixth.

Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".