Pep humbles the ‘Special one’ while Barcelona begin to crumble

Manchester City

Premier League, Serie A & La Liga wrap, 9-11 November 2018


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned his team that their lead at the top of the Premier League is “nothing” after surging back to the summit of the log with a 3-1 home win over derby rivals Manchester United on Sunday.


The Citizens powered to victory thanks to goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, putting them two points clear of second-placed Liverpool (who had assumed leadership earlier in the day when they defeated struggling Fulham). Chelsea are a further two points back in third, with Tottenham Hotspur one point off the pace of the Blues and three ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal.


But Guardiola said: “Two points, four points from Chelsea is nothing. Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, they have numbers to be champion. Not just Man City. The numbers for Liverpool are to be champions of the Premier League, the numbers from Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal… they have numbers to be champions.


“We are just two points in front, it’s nothing. It’s true, last season we didn’t get points at Anfield, we drew. Last season we lost here (against United), we won. So it’s good. For the contenders, four games, three away, one at home, and we got results. But at the end, the three points, the only difference is that it’s against a contender.”


Spain’s La Liga is even tighter at the top after Barcelona suffered a surprise 4-3 defeat at home to Aissa Mandi’s Real Betis. Lionel Messi returned from his fractured arm – and scored two goals – but it wasn’t enough to prevent a fine win for the team in green and white.


Barca remain the leaders, but they now have Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo Alaves all just one point behind. Even Real Madrid, despite their struggles this season, are now just four points off the top after caretaker coach Santiago Solari led them to a 4-2 win at Celta de Vigo.


The story couldn’t be more different in Serie A, where Juventus remain six points clear at the top after they beat AC Milan 2-0 away on Sunday night thanks to goals from Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo. The match also saw Gonzalo Higuain – who claimed he was ‘forced out’ of Juve and packed off to the Rossoneri at the start of this season – both miss a penalty and receive a red card against his former team.


“I apologised to the club, the fans, the coach and my companions because these episodes must be avoided. We are human, we feel emotions, the game was not going the right way and it was one of those days,” Higuain told Milan TV after the match.


In terms of African scorers though the trio of leagues, Ghanaian Thomas Partey netted his second goal of the season to help Atletico Madrid claim an exciting 3-2 home win over Athletic Bilbao, Gervinho was on target for Parma in a 2-1 away win over Torino, and Christian Kouame opened the scoring in Genoa’s 2-1 home loss to Napoli.


Ivorian defender Sol Bamba scored a last-gasp winner to see Cardiff City defeat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1, Mohamed Salah continued his resurgence with the first goal in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Fulham, Joel Obi was on target for Chievo in a 2-2 draw with Bologna, and Samuel Chukwueze netted for Villarreal in a 2-2 draw away to Rayo Vallecano.


La Liga results, 9-11 November


Friday 9 November

Levante 1-3 Real Sociedad


Saturday 10 November

Real Valladolid 0-0 Eibar

Getafe 0-1 Valencia

Atletico Madrid 3-2 Athletic Bilbao

Girona 0-0 Leganes


Sunday 11 November

Deportivo Alaves 2-1 Huesca

Barcelona 3-4 Real Betis

Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Villarreal

Sevilla 2-1 Espanyol

Celta de Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid


Serie A results, 9-11 November


Friday 9 November

Frosinone 1-1 Fiorentina


Saturday 10 November

Torino 1-2 Parma

SPAL 2-2 Cagliari

Genoa 1-2 Napoli


Sunday 11 November

Atalanta 4-1 Internazionale

Chievo 2-2 Bologna

Empoli 2-1 Udinese

Roma 4-1 Sampdoria

Sassuolo 1-1 Lazio

Milan 0-2 Juventus


Premier League results, 10-11 November


Saturday 10 November

Cardiff City 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Huddersfield Town 1-1 West Ham United

Leicester City 0-0 Burnley

Newcastle United 2-1 Bournemouth

Southampton 1-1 Watford

Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur


Sunday 11 November

Liverpool 2-0 Fulham

Chelsea 0-0 Everton

Arsenal 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende