Europe’s starlets impressed this weekend in the continents biggest leagues, but their experienced elders proved that they still have what it takes at the top. Here are our winners and losers from the weekend action. Bet on football here.
Borussia Dortmund’s teenagers
Dortmund’s fine start to 2020 continued with a 5-0 win against Union Berlin and once again it was their young attackers at the forefront. Jadon Sancho opened the scoring after just 13 minutes, in the process becoming the first teenager to score 25 goals in the Bundesliga.
Erling Haaland has 14 games to join his team mate in that exclusive club and, on current form, it could be a close-run thing. The January signing hit a brace during the game to take his tally to seven goals in three Bundesliga games (and just 136 minutes). If he and Sancho keep up the good work, Dortmund have a real shot at claiming the title for the first time in eight years.
Serie A’s leading scorers
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score in nine consecutive Serie A matches since David Trezeguet in 2005, with a brace against Fiorentina on Sunday. He has now scored 19 times in 19 league games and is just two goals shy of matching his total for last season.
Not to be outdone, Serie A’s leading scorer Ciro Immobile scored a double of his own as Lazio thrashed SPAL to keep pace with the league leaders. After a disappointing 2018/19 campaign in which he netted just 15 times, Immobile has returned to his usual form and has 25 league goals so far this season.
Meanwhile, Inter’s Romelu Lukaku also found the net twice on Sunday night at Udinese, while Joao Pedro of Cagliairi and Josip Ilicic of Atalanta were also on the mark.
Barcelona’s teenage sensation Ansu Fati has become a regular fixture under new manager Quique Sétien. The 17-year-old scored his first league goals since September in Sunday’s win over Levante. Luis Suarez’s injury has opened the door to the youngster and this latest performance was a timely boost in what has been a disappointing start to 2020 for the Catalan giants.
Atletico Madrid’s winless run in La Liga continued on Saturday as Karim Benzema’s second-half goal condemned them to defeat in the Madrid derby. The result saw Real Madrid move 13 points above their neighbours at the summit and means that Los Rojiblancos are without a league goal in 2020, making their failure to land PSG’s Edinson Cavani in January appear even more costly.
Worse still, wins for Valencia and Getafe saw Diego Simeone’s side slip to sixth in the standings. Considering their business in the summer transfer market, many had Atletico down as potential champions this season. As it is, they face a fight to claim a place in next season’s Champions League.
A 5-0 win over Montpellier saw PSG move 12 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 but it wasn’t all smiles at the Parc de Princes on Saturday. Thomas Tuchel’s decision to substitute Kylian Mbappe after 68 minutes was met with disdain by the Frenchman, who departed the field and engaged in a lengthy argument with his manager. The France striker has a stronger reputation than the German and has not yet signed a new deal at the club. If the board has to sacrifice one to accommodate the other, it will likely be Tuchel heading to the exit.
Having been beaten 7-0 by Atalanta last weekend, Sunday’s match at struggling Lecce offered Torino the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways with a convincing result. The hosts were 15th in the standings and had not won any of the previous eight games, with only one win in all competitions since September.
Instead, things went from bad to worse for Walter Mazzarri’s side. The visitors were two goals down after just 20 minutes as Lecce ran out 4-0 winners. With 11 goals against in their last two matches, Torino’s goal difference stands at -13. Should they fail to beat Sampdoria on Saturday, their season will threaten to unravel.