We finally had a full weekend of soccer as all of the leagues that matter in Europe kicked off. On top of that we got our final round of Champions & Europa League qualification and draws for the continental tournaments (The Daves will break down each Group in CL including predictions soon). And so long to Ajax who crazily got knocked out of Europa League and will not play in a European competition for the first time since the 1955-56 season. Which is fucking bonkers!
Bayern Munich 3 v 1 Bayer Leverkusen – Bayern opened their Bundesliga account as expected, downing Leverkusen like a couple of Advil, get it, because of the pharmaceutical company!? The match was never in doubt and Lewandowski opened his season’s scoring from the penalty spot in the 65th minute. Congratulations to 2017-18 Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich!
Swansea City 0 v 4 Manchester United – This game should’ve been better. The Swans actually kept it pretty close for the first half, being down only 1-0 at the half and all the way to the 80th minute. Then Lukaku, Pogba, and Martial all scored goals in a span of four minutes. Fuck man, United are really, really good.
Wolfsburg 0 v 3 Dortmund – The goddamn Pulisic hype train is now at bullet train speed after he bagged the first Dortmund league goal of the season. Aubameyang scored the bookend, assisted by Pulisic and Americans around the world are frantically googling Dortmund. Also, Wolfsburg failed to register a shot on goal in this game. Fuck, they are bad!
RB Leipzig 0 v 2 Schalke – Leipzig started the season in not so great shape! After their surprising 2016-2017 season and managing to hold onto Liverpool target Naby Keïta, they managed only three shots on goal and never looked into the match. Schalke on the other hand looked great and with no European football might be the only team that could potentially challenge Munich. On the bright side, RasenBallsport Leipzig got a very manageable Champions League draw.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 v 2 Chelsea – Who would’ve thought that the words “Marcos Alonso” and “scores two goals in a game” would’ve been uttered this year, but that’s what happened. Chelsea, after an embarrassing defeat at home against Burnley in week one, managed to spoil the first match of Tottenham’s year-long residence at Wembley. Both of these teams are probably smarting after they pulled tough Champions League draws, although to be fair, the Spurs draw is significantly worse.
What’s on Tap?
Chelsea v Everton (9:00am) – Chelsea is back at Stamford Bridge after a victory at Wembley last week. Chelsea is getting some players back in this one, as well. Everton is coming off a tough fought draw at the Etihad on Monday: Wayne Rooney bagged his 200th EPL goal and held on for dear life as the Toffees almost snagged all three points from City. Gylfi Siggurdsson came on in the second half and could get his first start for the blue side of Merseyside. These teams have been pretty even their last five matches, but they were outscored 8-0 in their two matches last year.
Dortmund v Hertha Berlin (11:30am) – Dortmund and Hertha both opened their seasons in style last week with decisive victories and clean sheets. Pulisic won PotW honors for the Bundesliga and new Berlin striker Matthew Leckie scored twice. Expect a back and forth affair between these two teams and goals galore.
Roma v Inter Milan (1:45pm) – Both teams won their openers and the former Roma gaffer Luciano Spalletti, now at Inter, will be looking to win his first match at the Olimpico with his new club. Mauro Icardi scored a brace for Inter and, after a 24 goal season last year, is a rising star in Serie A.
Liverpool v Arsenal (10:00am) – Liverpool and Arsenal actively combine, more often than I think fans of either team would like, for some really shoddy defending. 22 goals total in four of the last five matches (the other match was a 0-0 draw). Liverpool won both matches last year including a 4-3 thriller the opening weekend. Arsenal lost to Stoke last week and LFC won both their EPL match and Champions League playoff match as well as pulled a favorable Champions League group stage draw. Expect fireworks, angry German and French men, and goals – lots and lots of goals.
Real Madrid v Valencia (3:15pm) – Zidane’s team look unstoppable even without Ronaldo, who’ll be serving the third of his five game ban on Sunday. The phrase “Next Man Up” has probably never been more appropriate. Valencia’s Carlos Soler, a 20-year-old homegrown midfielder, may give Real fits, and he will probably be sold next summer, probably to Madrid, because soccer.
Enjoy the weekend! I’ll be on a bus to Chicago for those tasty matches on Saturday so enjoy them for me and if Liverpool gets worked on Sunday come find me and buy me a beer to cry into!