European Football Round-Up: Benzema Helps Wrap Up Bragging Rights For Real Madrid

It's been another busy weekend across Europe's biggest leagues
13:07, 13 Dec 2021

Real Madrid earned the bragging rights with victory over local rivals Atletico, Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga and Inter Milan returned to the summit of Serie A. Here are five of the biggest talking points across a busy weekend on the continent.

La Liga

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid look stronger with each passing game and their 2-0 victory at the weekend was another example of how strong and commanding they are this year with Atletico and Barcelona both crumbling.

Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio wrapped up the three points on derby day, as they maintained an eight-point lead on Sevilla in second. Frenchman Benzema remains the top scorer in La Liga, with his strike on Sunday his 13th of the campaign.

Elsewhere, Xavi’s Barcelona frustrations continued as his side threw away a lead twice as they were held to a 2-2 draw with Osasuna and dropped to eighth in the table. Real Betis meanwhile boosted their Champions League hopes with a 4-0 home victory over fellow challengers Real Sociedad, who have now lost three games on the bounce.

Bundesliga

Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich continued their commanding form with a 2-1 victory over Mainz at the Allianz Arena with Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala getting on the scoresheet for the Bavarians. The result was made even sweeter as they further extended their gap on chasers Borussia Dortmund with Marco Rose’s side held to a 1-1 draw with VFL Bochum. There is now a six-point gap between Bayern and Dortmund.

Elsewhere, RB Leipzig recorded their first victory under new manager Domenico Tedesco as they beat struggling Borussia Monchengladbach 4-1 at Red Bull Arena. The result means the Foals have now lost three consecutive games and have conceded 14 goals in the process. Adi Hutter will be under increasing pressure over the coming weeks as his side sit in 13th.

Serie A 

Reigning champions Inter Milan reclaimed their position at the peak of the Serie A table with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Cagliari thanks to a Lautaro Martinez brace, and goals from Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu. Sanchez’s volley was particularly impressive and it was his first goal in seven months – not a bad way to break the duck. The result saw them leapfrog rivals AC Milan who were held to a 1-1 stalemate away at Udinese with veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic coming to the rescue at the death to spare their blushes.

Napoli fell to a surprising home defeat as they lost 1-0 to Empoli, with Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Patrick Cutrone the match-winner in the 70th minute. The Naples club have now lost two games on the bounce and are four points behind leaders Inter.

Ligue 1

League leaders Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from their two back-to-back draws with a 2-0 victory over Monaco on Sunday. Kylian Mbappe scored twice to haunt his former side and brought his tally for the season up to nine. Mauricio Pochettino’s side now have a 13-point lead and a game in hand on Marseille in second.

Eredivisie

PSV Eindhoven swooped to take top spot at the weekend with a 2-1 away victory against NEC Nijmegen. They were able to capitalise with both Ajax and Feyenoord dropping points. Ajax were defeated 2-1 at home to AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord were held to a point in a 1-1 draw away at Groningen.

It was all late drama in PSV’s game. With 10 minutes to go, they were losing but they managed to find the back of the net twice in the dying embers of the match, with Carlos Vinicius’ winner coming in the 90th minute. There is still only two points separating first from third which makes this particular title race one of the most thrilling in Europe. 

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