All Leagues Weekend Review – BetKing Blog

WEEKEND REVIEW: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE ANFIELD MASSACRE  

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is a weekly column by BetKing which reviews the events of each football weekend. As the name suggests, we first visit the good, then we move to the bad and then round up by taking a deep dive into the ugly part of the weekend. In this very first edition of the column, we take a look at a few games in Germany, catch up with a 37-year-old former Ballon d’Or winner who may or may not be Cristiano Ronaldo, touch on Sporting CP’s home loss and, of course, go into details on Bournemouth’s embarrassing afternoon at Anfield. 

 THE GOOD 

Yann Sommer Sets New Bundesliga Record 

The 33-year-old Swiss goalie made a Bundesliga-record 19 saves as Gladbach earned a point away at Bayern Munich. The Bavarians were on an incredible run coming into this game having scored 20 goals in their previous 4 games. The visitors knew they needed a miracle to get something from this game and that came in the form of Yann Sommer who frustrated the Bayern attack all evening, most notably Sadio Mané who saw two of his attempts saved in 1 second.  

 Erling Haaland Gets His First Man City Hat-Trick  

Erling Haaland grabbed his first ever Man City hat-trick as the defending champions came back from 2-goals down at halftime to beat Crystal Palace 4-2. His first two goals may have been simple but they showcased his positional awareness and movement off the ball. The third goal, however, is what makes Haaland arguably the best striker of his generation. The speed. The strength. The composure. The menacing look on his face after the ball went in. He truly is special.   

 Megan Rapinoe Scores & Assists In OL Reign’s Comeback Win  

Whoever said a 37-year-old former Ballon d’Or winner was no longer good enough to compete at the highest level sure wasn’t talking about Megan Rapinoe. Down 1-0 away to Orlando Pride, she floated a perfect cross into the box which teammate Bethany Balcer nodded in from close range to grab an equaliser. In the 92nd minute, the purple-haired World Cup winner sealed all 3pts for her team after arriving late at the back post and finishing off a cross. She then took off her jersey as she wheeled away in celebration. It was OL Reign’s 7th win of the season, they remain 4th in the NWSL.  

 Bayer Leverkusen Snap Losing Streak  

After starting the season with 4 consecutive defeats which included an embarrassing loss to 3rd Tier SV Elversberg in the DFB Pokal Cup, Leverkusen finally got their first win of the season. Exequiel Palacios scored the opener in the 29th minute then Man City youth product Jeremie Frimpong grabbed a brace before half-time to give the visitors a comfortable 3-0 lead over Mainz. Despite the joy of a much needed win, Leverkusen still managed to get 2 players (Piero Hincapié & Mitchel Bakker) sent off so it wasn’t exactly a perfect afternoon.  

 Karim Benzema’s Late Brace Earns Real Madrid 3pts 

Days after being crowned the UEFA Player of the Year, the French Striker scored two goals very late in the game as Real Madrid maintained their 100% start to the season. Earlier in the day, Barcelona had beaten Valladolid 4-0 at the Spotify Camp Nou with Robert Lewandowski scoring a brace so there was added pressure on Real Madrid to win. Espanyol’s new signing Joselu cancelled out Vinicius’ opener but, as we’ve come to expect, keeping Karim Benzema off the scoreboard is an almost impossible task.  

 THE BAD  

Steven Gerrard On The Hot Seat  

Sunday’s home loss to West Ham has made Aston Villa’s Steven Gerrard one of the early favourites to get sacked in the Premier League. After a brilliant start to his career at Villa Park midway through last season, things have gone downhill and the former Rangers manager now has just 3 wins in his last 15 league games. If Aston Villa lose their next 2 games, Steven Gerrard would become the worst manager statistically in the 148-year history of the club. They face Arsenal at the Emirates next and then welcome Erling Haaland and his Man City teammates after that.  

Dundee United Fans 

Inspired by Bournemouth’s insipid display at Anfield on Saturday (which we will discuss at the end of this), the Scottish side lost by 9 unreplied goals to Celtic on Sunday. Even worse, they conceded hat-tricks to two different players; Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada. It was a sad day for the Dundee United fans as they had to watch opposition goalkeeper Joe Hart almost fall asleep while their own keeper faced 30 shots (13 of them on target). We also like to acknowledge the Brest fans whose team lost 0-7 at home to Monpellier, Schalke fans whose team lost 1-6 at home to Union Berlin, Excelsior fans who also watched their team lose 1-6 to PSV as well and finally,  Arouca fans whose team conceded after just 23 seconds and went on to lose 0-6 to Braga.   

Sporting CP Lose At Home To Newly Promoted Chaves 

Two goals in the space of 3 minutes after the hour-mark were enough for newly promoted Chaves to stun their hosts on Saturday. Sporting CP already dropped 5pts to Braga and FC Porto this season and this  shocking defeat leaves them 13th on the Primera Liga table. While a bounceback is expected next week, being 6pts behind the league leaders this early in the season has to sting a bit.  

Not-So-Nice Debut For Nicolas Pépé 

Arsenal’s record signing Nicolas Pépé endured an underwhelming return to the Ligue 1 as OGC Nice lost 0-3 at home to Marseille. His new boss Lucien Favre was unhappy with his defensive work saying: “We have to be ready, be professional. Ball recovery is essential in all professional sports.”  In what felt like a mini-Arsenal reunion, Marseille’s Nuno Tavares and Alexis Sanchez (2 goals) were on the scoresheet as they celebrated the win with fellow teammates Matteo Guendouzi and Sead Kolasinac.  

Inter Lose To Lazio 

Inter suffered their first defeat of the season as they fell 3-1 to Lazio in the country’s capital. This was Inter’s earliest league defeat of the season since 2018/19 and it was all down to the damage done by Lazio’s substitutes, Luis Alberto and Pedro. With the game levelled at 1-goal apiece, Luis Alberto scored an absolute stunner of goal from outside the box which left Inter goalie, Handanovic rooted to the spot. Inter tried to fight back but Pedro’s curler 4mins from the whistle sealed the deal for Lazio.   

THE UGLY: THE ANFIELD MASSACRE   

Newly promoted Bournemouth were torn apart by a wounded Liverpool on Saturday afternoon and it was as embarrassing as you would imagine. This was the joint heaviest defeat in their entire history with the first coming against Lincoln City back in December 1982 when they were in the 3rd tier. A Liverpool win was expected after they looked a bit ordinary against Manchester United on Monday night and the players were out for blood from the very first minute.  

Mo Salah somehow managed neither a goal nor an assist in this game but his teammates had no problem stepping up. Roberto Firmino who hadn’t scored a league goal at Anfield since December 2020 was the star of the show with 2 goals and 3 assists to his name. Luis Diaz who had opened the scoring grabbed a brace while Harvey Elliot, Trent Alexander-Arnorld, Virgil van Dijk & new signing Fabio Carvalho also got on the scoresheet as well. Bournemouth’s Chris Mempham also had the ball at the back of his own net just seconds after the restart in the second half which makes you wonder what Scott Parker told his boys at half time.   

Losing 9-0 isn’t unheard of in the Premier League; Manchester United had beaten both Ipswich (1995) and Southampton (2021) by that scoreline in the past and the latter also lost to Leicester City (2019) the season before that. Yet, there was something about Bouremouth’s loss on Saturday that felt like they were destined for relegation. While Southampton’s two 9-0 losses to Leicester and Man Utd were inexcusable, they could at least point to their very early red cards in both games as a cause for the collapse. Bournemouth’s loss at Anfield felt more like Ipswich’s who ended the season relegated later in the 1994/95 season. Their naive approach to the game was appalling to behold and this was very evident in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s goal. As the English international advanced to the edge of the Bournemouth 18-yard box, the defenders slowly backed away from him daring him to shoot. Trent Alexander-Arnold, you know. The young man who can hit a coin from 40-yards away. He was dared to shoot.   

The worst part of Bournemouth’s display, however, was their performance after the 85th minute. Those last 5 minutes (plus added time) were the only moments in the game the visitors showed any bit of desire or fight. With Luis Diaz making it 9-0 from a corner in the 85th minute, the Bournemouth players were well aware that another Liverpool goal would set a new Premier League record for heaviest margin of victory by a team and they fought very hard to avoid that. The travelling fans must have felt gutted that their players only showed up then and not at the start of the game. This was Bournemouth’s 3rd loss in a row after 4-0 and 3-0 losses to Man City and Arsenal respectively. It was always going to be a tough run of games but after the way they performed in these 3 losses (putting up a combined 4 shots on target in these 3 games), you do wonder if the writing is already on the wall for Manager Scott Parker.  

Author: Clayton Kuhn