Liverpool crash back to reality, Dortmund hand Bayern the advantage: Weekend Review
Liverpool followed up their historic 7-0 victory over Manchester United with a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth – the classic Liverpool – as Borussia Dortmund’s championship hopes collapsed and Kai Havertz has become a big player for Chelsea in need of heroes.
Sportzshala correspondents Mark Ogden, Rob Dawson, Julien Lawrence, Sam Marsden, Mike Wise and James Tyler share the most interesting and important things you need to know about the weekend.
Topics for discussion
Liverpool’s shortcomings resurface
Liverpool’s inconsistency threatens to deprive Jurgen Klopp’s side of a top four finish in the Premier League. Or, to be more precise, their consistency in losing points compared to struggling opponents is why they are now six points behind fourth place.
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth – just six days after Manchester United’s 7-0 thrashing – was the second time this season that Liverpool had lost to a side that started the day at the bottom of the table. It could even be argued that this was the third time United started matchday three as a weak side and then moved up one spot on goal difference due to different pre-match results when they beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford in August.
– Liverpool ratings: Salah 3/10 after missed penalty
However, even aside from this early loss to United, Liverpool have lost 15 points against teams facing relegation this season. They failed to beat Crystal Palace in two matches, lost at home to Leeds United and were defeated at Nottingham Forest, Wolves and now Bournemouth, the team they thrashed at Anfield by 9-0 at the beginning of this season.
Had Liverpool gained even half of the 15 points they lost against the wrestlers, they would now be in the top four with a game in hand over fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Their results against relegation teams will worry Klopp because his team remains one of the best in the country, as the victory against United demonstrated. But with games against Leeds, Forest and West Ham United due next month after the international break, followed by trips to Leicester City and Southampton in May, Liverpool clearly need to find a way to beat teams they used to demolish.
If they don’t, Liverpool could forget about playing in the Champions League next season. — Ogden
Liverpool are losing 20th place to Bournemouth.
What’s the difference in a week 😅 pic.twitter.com/g0qQow2UwD
— Sportzshala FC (@SportzshalaFC) March 11, 2023
BVB’s biggest rivals have the last laugh in a devastating draw
district derby between Schalke 04 and Dortmund is one of the best and boldest in world football, with form ahead of their violent clashes never being a factor in the final result. It’s a rivalry where anything can happen and their respective seasons have very different outcomes – Borussia Dortmund have been chasing the Premier League title since 2011-2012, while Schalke are struggling with relegation – Saturday’s 2-2 draw gave a lot to talk about. O.
Twice Borussia took the lead at the FELTINS-Arena of their rivals, and twice the hosts held them back by exploiting individual mistakes and questioning BVB’s title aspirations. Defender Nico Schlotterbeck, of all people, gave Borussia the lead by stepping forward and delivering a stylish 20-yard shot to Ralph Fahrmann, his third goal in 2023 alone. But Schalke’s confidence didn’t waver and they equalized five minutes into the second half, with Jude Bellingham losing possession in midfield and a quick counter-attack by the hosts ending with Marius Bulter scoring a Michael Frey low cross at the far post.
– Watch replay: Schalke 2-2 Dortmund (Sportzshala+, USA only)
Earlier in the day, Bayern Munich beat Augsburg 5-3, Edin Terzić’s side knew they needed another goal and with half an hour left they found it when Emre Can played Rafael Guerreiro on the left flank penalty area, the Portuguese flank-back obediently slammed his left foot into the top corner. However, as so often this season, Dortmund’s defense flickered and Schalke won, with Kenan Karaman’s header from a set piece sneaking under Alexander Meyer’s gloves with 11 minutes to go.
Dortmund deserved to lose points just as Schalke deserved to draw; having won just twice ahead of the World Cup, the Royal Blues extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a Saturday point. After losing 6-1 to RB Leipzig on 24 January, Schalke drew four 0-0 draws in a row, followed by two wins, with only three goals conceded.
Will it be enough to keep them in the Bundesliga? Will that be enough to shatter Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes as they are now two points behind Bayern Munich with 10 games left, including the head-to-head on April 1st? Only time will tell on both fronts. — Tyler
Sevilla and Valencia give hope for survival
Sevilla and Valencia are used to fighting for European places in Spain, but here in mid-March they are both scoring huge wins to avoid relegation. Both were in the bottom three at various stages of the weekend, but ended Sunday in the safety zone thanks to victories over Almeria and Osasuna.
Things looked bleak for Sevilla when they scored at home to second-placed Almería on Sunday, but Jorge Sampaoli’s team bounced back at the jittery Sánchez Pizjuan Stadium thanks to a Lucas Ocampos penalty and Eric Lamela’s winning goal. A day earlier in Valencia, where fans continue to protest against club owner Peter Lim, Rubén Baraja’s side beat Osasuna 1-0 thanks to a late kick from Justin Kluivert. Those are two wins in the last three games under Baraja, who recently replaced Gennaro Gattuso.
Note that neither Sevilla nor Valencia are out of trouble yet. The only goal difference keeps Valencia out of the bottom three and they go to Atlético Madrid next. Meanwhile, Sevilla climbed to 13th and topped a group of seven clubs, 19th behind Almería, only three points apart. Elche is drifting at the bottom but two from Almería, Getafe, Valencia, Cadiz, Espanyol, Real Valladolid and Sevilla should join them in the second division next season. Girona, Celta, Vigo and Mallorca are also not far ahead. — Marsden
Openda has established himself as the king of hat-tricks
Getting one hat-trick at home at any level is something special and you really appreciate it. To make two hat-tricks in one campaign, in one of the top five leagues in Europe, is a rarity. And imagine if your second tripleas we say in France, he also broke the record.
Lois Openda is now part of this very rare team as the Belgian international sacked Lens to pull off a superb 4-0 victory at Clermont on Sunday afternoon.
In addition to assisting, he scored his second hat-trick of the Ligue 1 season after a hat-trick against Toulouse before the World Cup. On that day, he scored three goals in just over 30 minutes, but this weekend he scored another goal, scoring all three goals in 4 minutes 30 seconds – between the 31st and 35th minutes of the game. He is considered the fastest in the last 50 years of the French top division, beating Lille’s Matt Moussiou in 4:34 in 2008.
With those four seconds, Openda became the undisputed king of hat-tricks. He now has 12 league goals in 18 starts this season and has helped Lance to a much-needed first win in their last four games. — Lawrence
𝐇𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧 📖
With a hat-trick at 4:30″ @LoisOpenda 🇧🇪 wrote your name in #League1UberEats books forever!#CF63RCL | @RCLens pic.twitter.com/f7DUiuBY20
— English League (@Ligue1_ENG) March 12, 2023
Another Maldini haunts Inter Milan
With a name like Maldini, you know the Internazionale fans will never like you. If, in addition, you are indeed a member What The Maldini family, they might hate you even more. And if, on top of all that, you score a goal against them on loan from Milan to La Spezia, you can take the hatred to a whole new level.
Daniel Maldini is the son of Paolo and the grandson of Cesare, two AC Milan legends. Rossoneri this season. On Friday night, the 21-year-old helped his parent club great by coming on at half-time against Inter to open the scoring and lead his team to a massive 2-1 victory. Milan’s victory at the San Siro over Salernitana on Monday will see parent club Maldini level on points with Inter in the table.
Maldini completed a great counter-attack with a calm finish and the celebration showed his joy at scoring a goal against Milan’s biggest rivals. It was only the second goal of the season he’s loaned out so far, despite being one of the rare players to score against Inter and Milan – he did earlier this season – in the same league. — Lawrence
Spezia got into the counterattack of Inter, and Milan’s loan player Daniel Maldini scored! 🍿 pic.twitter.com/2Mu72PT2xA
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 10, 2023
Havertz offers a glimpse into his future at Chelsea
Kai Havertz has cemented his place in Chelsea history by scoring goals in Champions League and Club World Cup finals, but what does the future look like? Germany’s goal in a 3-1 win over Leicester City may have given us all an idea of what could happen in the coming years.
Havertz has always been a classy, lethargic player, but his goal showed just how talented he is and also highlighted the ability around him that Chelsea’s mega-expenditure has accumulated under new owners this season.
– Ogden: Chelsea coming out of recession showing signs of a click
The goal was set up by Enzo Fernandes, the £106 million Premier League record holder, with a floating pass to Havertz, who was backing towards Leicester’s goal. And with just a glance over his shoulder, the 23-year-old tossed the ball over goalkeeper Danny Ward to give Chelsea a 2-1 lead in the fourth minute of the first half…