Footy Focus - September 25

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England

Some weird things happened in the Premier League. Weirdest of all was Manchester United losing to Leicester City despite leading 5-3 at one stage. Robin Van Persie got United off to a good start with his first goal of the season, before Angel Di Maria scored a stunning second. But Leonard Ulloa pulled one back immediately. After half time Man U scored again thanks to Ander Herrera... but it got messy after that.

Rafael was unlucky to give away a penalty, after he was seemingly fouled in the build up but up steps David Nugent and he scores. Esteban Cambiasso, who won the Champions League with Inter Milan a few years ago, scored the equaliser and a little while later there were two more goals, one a penalty and a Tyler Blackett red card. Madness.

Manchester City hosted Chelsea to see which team would be favoured to win the whole thing. City are defending champs, but Chelsea have looked better so far. The first half was a tight, defensive affair with Vincent Kompany shutting down the threat of Diego Costa. In the second, though, Costa got himself highly involved... but not in the way he was expected to. He got tangled up with Pablo Zabaleta and both men were booked. Zabaleta alredy had a yellow, so he got an early shower and with the one-man advantage, Chelsea soon scored through Andre Schurrle (and a perfect cross from Eden Hazard). Oh, but it was not over yet. After Chelsea missed a couple of chances to seal it (Costa hit the bar), on came Frank Lampard to play against his old team... and guess who scored the equaliser? Incredible. And as a sign of what a great guy Frankie is, he did not even celebrate.

In the other games, we saw Liverpool lose too. They had trouble against a defensive West Ham side, who hit them early and hit them hard. Our man, and All Whites Captain, Winston Reid even scored the first goal! Arsenal got an important 3-0 win over Aston Villa, with all three coming in the space of three minutes. Both Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil managed to score as they each had great games. Spurs lost to West Brom, Everton lost to Crystal Palace while Southampton move up into second place with their late win over Swansea.

Spain

Wow, what a week for Cristiano Ronaldo! He's scored in his last five games, but he really kicked things up a notch these last seven days. It started on the weekend with Real's incredible 8-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a game that also saw James Rodriguez score his first Liga goal, Gareth Bale score a couple and Javier Hernandez bury a pair of screamers with his first two shots for the club.

Then yesterday Ronaldo went one better, scoring four against Elche! Real won that game 5-1 and even though they are struggling to keep clean sheets (Costa Rican World Cup keeper Keylor Navas made his first start against Elche), they are scoring so many goals of their own that nobody can catch them in this kind of form. 

At the top of the table sits Barcelona. In 5 league games and a Champions League game they still have not conceded a single goal! They smashed Levante 5-0 on the weekend, thanks to the genius of Lionel Messi (even if me missed a penalty). Ivan Rakitic also scored, as did Neymar, Sandro and Pedro. Unfortunately they could not find a way through Malaga this morning (it ended 0-0) and that meant that Sevilla were able to tie them at the top. Meanwhile Atletico Madrid bounced back from a draw on the weekend to win away and move up to third place. Real are still back in fifth after their two early losses.

Germany

If you want an underdog team in Germany to support, try SC Paderborn. They only just got promoted this year, yet a hot start to the season had them briefly sitting in first place! Sadly they came back down to earth pretty quickly when they went to Bayern Munich this week. Bayern pumped them 4-0, with goals to Gotze (2), Lewandowski and Muller. That puts Bayern top despite an unexpected draw last weekend.

Hannover and Bayer Leverkusen both bounced back from losses on the weekend with midweek wins that keep them each in the top 3, while Dortmund have only picked up 1 point in their last two games. The goal of the week came from Paderborn midfielder Moritz Stoppelkamp. See how far out he was!

Italy

A perfect week for Juventus and Roma. Juve beat AC Milan in an exciting heavyweight clash on the weekend, with Paul Pogba setting up the in-form Carlos Tevez for the only goal for the game. Then midweek they cruised to a 3-0 win (Arturo Vidal scoring twice) that has them top of the table tied with Roma. Just like Barcelona in Spain, Juventus have yet to concede a goal in league play. Roma are keeping pace with another pair of wins, Mirajem Pranjic being the star man these days. Not so great for AC Milan, who followed up that Juve loss with a 2-2 draw at Empoli but at least Fernando Torres scored. Inter Milan had a terrible season last time though they bounced back from a draw to win this morning putting them fourth on the table with 2 wins and 2 draws. 

France

PSG are the big spenders in France, but even after a 2-0 win at Caen they still have more draws than wins this season. Instead it is Marseille running away with things in Ligue 1. They have won 5 games in a row, including a 5-0 win most recently away to Reims. That is awesome news for NZ fans, because young All White Bill Tuiloma is currently playing for the youth team of Marseille! Bordeaux and St Etienne also had wins recently as they keep pace with the top two, though Lille fell back into the pack with a loss to Nice.