It was quite a way to announce December, wasn’t it. The madness of football stretching its claws to the top leagues in Europe.
In that case, it seems appropriate to begin at the Emirates, where Arsenal hosted Manchester United in the Premier League. It only took four minutes for that game to get interesting, as Antonio Valencia fired United in front, a lead which was doubled seven minutes later by Jesse Lingard. Arsenal pulled one back through Alexandre Lacazette, and would have scored probably five more if United keeper David de Gea had been human, but the visitors rounded off the win with another Lingard goal, his third in five days. Paul Pogba was sent off for United, but the win sees them maintain pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City.
In Italy, the biggest talking point was Juventus’ win at Napoli on Friday, former Partenopei forward Gonzalo Higuain grabbing the only goal in a rather drab affair, but it was one of their loanees who would steal the limelight elsewhere.
After 14 defeats to start their season in the Serie A, Benevento were trailing to AC Milan in the 95th minute, and another defeat was on the cards, until their goalie Alberto Brignoli popped up with an equaliser to ruin Gennaro Gattuso’s first game in charge of the Rossoneri. It’s a first point of the season for Benevento; as for Milan, Gattuso claimed he’d rather have been stabbed.
In Spain, Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta Vigo, in a game where defender Samuel Umtiti suffered an unfortunate injury. That left Real Madrid with the chance to close the gap further with a win at Bilbao. It was a chance they failed to take, however, as the goalless draw will be remembered for Sergio Ramos setting a new record for La Liga red cards.
Elsewhere, Strasbourg pulled off the unbelievable by becoming the first team to beat Paris Saint-Germain this season, Inter Milan cashed in on Napoli’s loss to climb to the top of Serie A with a 5-0 win over Chievo, Dortmund shared the spoils at Leverkusen’s Bay Arena, and Manchester City left it late again to win, this time against West Ham.
Atletico Madrid came from behind to beat Real Sociedad, Bayern Munich saw off Hannover in Germany, where second-placed Leipzig were thrashed at Hoffenheim, while Valencia suffered their first defeat of the season at Getafe, and Eden Hazard scored twice as Chelsea made light work of Newcastle.
Premier League: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United; Manchester City 2-1 West Ham; Watford 1-1 Tottenham; West Brom 0-0 Crystal Palace; Bournemouth 1-1 Southampton; Stoke 2-1 Swansea; Leicester 1-0 Burnley; Brighton 1-5 Liverpool; Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle; Everton 2-0 Huddersfield
La Liga: Las Palmas 1-0 Real Betis; Getafe 1-0 Valencia; Leganes 3-1 Villarreal; Sevilla 2-0 Deportivo; Barcelona 2-2 Celta Vigo; Eibar 3-1 Espanyol; Malaga 0-0 Levante; Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad; Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid
Bundesliga: Leverkusen 1-1 Dortmund; Schalke 2-2 Koln; Hoffenheim 4-0 RB Leipzig; Wolfsburg 3-0 Borussia Monchengladbach; Bayern Munich 3-1 Hannover; Freiburg 0-0 Hamburg; Mainz 1-3 Augsburg; Werder Bremen 1-0 Stuttgart; Hertha BSC 1-2 Frankfurt
Serie A: Roma 3-1 SPAL; Napoli 0-1 Juventus; Inter 5-0 Chievo; Fiorentina 3-0 Sassuolo; Torino 1-1 Atalanta; Benevento 2-2 Milan; Bologna 1-1 Cagliari; Sampdoria 1-2 Lazio
Ligue 1: Strasbourg 2-1 PSG; Monaco 1-0 Angers; Dijon 3-2 Bordeaux; Caen 1-2 Lyon; St. Etienne 1-1 Nantes; Lille 1-0 Toulouse; Montpellier 1-1 Marseille; Nice 3-1 Metz; Troyes 0-1 Guingamp; Rennes 2-0 Amiens