A busy week of domestic action saw lots of drama and some ‘cupsets’, so here are some of the biggest results:
🏴 League Cup: Manchester United 0-3 Newcastle United
Manchester United’s miseries were compounded in the League Cup as they suffered back-to-back three-goal home defeats for just the third time in the club’s history.
Newcastle United came to Old Trafford and outplayed their hosts in all aspects despite fielding a second-choice line-up as they are balancing four competitions’ worth of fixtures.
Miguel Almirón’s strike just before the half-hour mark seemed inevitable right from the start, and Man United never seemed to get back into the match.
Lewis Hall made it two before half-time before Joe Willock capped off the win with a goal right on the hour to send Eddie Howe’s side through to the quarter-finals.
The pressure is building on Erik ten Hag as the Red Devils do not seem to be settling after a chaotic start to the season, so his fate could well be decided by the end of November if United keep performing this way.
🇩🇪 DFB Pokal: Saarbrücken 2-1 Bayern Munich
As far as upsets go, there were none bigger than Bayern Munich’s defeat to 3. Liga side Saarbrücken in the second round of the DFB Pokal.
The record German cup and league champions fielded many of their first-team stars, so home fans might have feared a thrashing when Thomas Müller opened the scoring after 16 minutes.
However, Bayern failed to pull away or even create too many meaningful chances, allowing the hosts to equalise on the stroke of half-time.
Thomas Tuchel’s side dialled up the pressure in the second period but still struggled to create much, so the match continued to hang in the balance as we approached the end of the game. Then, in the last minute of stoppage time, this happened:
Quite a result for the 1948/49 Ligue 2 champions!
🇧🇷 Brasileirão Série A: Botafogo 3-4 Palmeiras
We had quite the twist in the Brazilian title race in the midweek round of league fixtures.
Shock leaders Botafogo, who were in the second tier just a couple of years ago and are looking to win their first Série A title since 1995, looked set to take a massive step in the right direction when they led 3-0 at half-time against defending champions Palmeiras. It all went downhill thereafter.
On the other side of the break, Real Madrid-bound starlet Endrick pulled one back for the visitors with a moment of sheer genius.
But the real turning point of the game came in the 75th minute when Botafogo had a player sent off. They then had a penalty which would have surely settled the game, but it was saved.
That completely swung the momentum of the match, and Palmeiras scored in the 84th, 90th and fourth minute of stoppage time to turn the result on its head.
Their win means the gap at the top is down to three points, although Botafogo have a game in hand. With seven matches to play after that, anything is possible.
🌍 UEFA Women’s Nations League: Belgium 3-2 England
We also had quite a big twist in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Women’s Nations League, where League A is doubling as the Olympic qualification tournament for Europe.
Group 1 is quite interesting because it contains England and Scotland, but England have been chosen as Team GB’s sole representative, so some Scottish players are effectively disincentivised from winning the group.
In any case, that has not proven to be a problem as Scotland are mathematically out of contention for top spot and currently behind England at the bottom of the standings.
The trouble for England is that they are second from bottom after suffering a shock defeat in Belgium, which leaves them with some work to do next month.
They are only three points behind the leaders, so they could get their campaign back on track with a win in the next game against the Netherlands.
🇨🇳 Chinese Super League: Shanghai Port 1-1 Shandong Taishan
As far as title deciders go, the one in the Chinese Super League was unique.
Far from being an exhibition of some of the league’s best football between the top two teams, it was an absolute scrap due to several red cards.
Leaders Shanghai Port were five points ahead going into the game on the penultimate matchday, so they knew anything but a loss would do to seal the title.
They started superbly by taking the lead in the 16th minute but then made a bit of a mess for themselves by having two players and their head coach sent off after a fracas before half-time.
Shandong Taishan also had a player sent off then, but they still had a numerical advantage in a 10-against-9 situation in the second half.
However, they failed to make it count and eventually picked up another red card for violent conduct in the 75th minute, bringing the game down to 9v9. Therefore, their late equaliser proved to be nothing but a consolation.
Stats courtesy FotMob.
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