WHAT WE LEARNED: Reflective Cristiano Ronaldo and title-chasing Liverpool - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان

WHAT WE LEARNED: Reflective Cristiano Ronaldo and title-chasing Liverpool

WHAT WE LEARNED: Reflective Cristiano Ronaldo and title-chasing Liverpool

LONDON: It was another busy weekend of action across Europe with all the big clubs in action ahead of the return of the Champions League. Here is what we learned.
After three matches and no goals, everyone was wondering whether Cristiano Ronaldo had left his scoring boots in Madrid. Two hundred and seventy minutes without a goal is not so much a lean period as a drought of epic proportions for the Portuguese. But the new Juventus star was never going to wait too long for his first Serie A goal, as he got a brace in the Old Lady’s 2-1 win over Sassuolo — the first a tap in from 30cms, the second a drilled shot from the edge of the area. But even Ronaldo was forced to admit he had been worried about his “slow” start. “There’s been a bit of anxiety in general since my move from Madrid — there was a great expectation,” he said after the match. Ronaldo suffering a bit from self-doubt? That is something we thought we would never write.
The Reds were blown away 4-1 when they faced Tottenham at Wembley last season. It was a scoreline that could have easily been far more embarrassing. This time around it was a different story. During their 2-1 win Liverpool never really looked threatened by their fellow title-chasers and while their attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino looked as impressive as ever, it was what Liverpool did without the ball that really marked this side out as different from last year’s crop. The high press, and organization from the back, combined with the intensity with which they play mean it will take a very good side to stop them from going all the way this season. If they can keep their stars fit, maintain that aggression with and without the ball, then whoever finishes above them will win the Premier League.
With four wins from four, you would expect everyone at the Nou Camp to be happy and smiling. But you would be wrong. The Catalan club came from behind to ?win 2-1 at Real Sociedad on Saturday, but while the three points and remaining top of La Liga are nothing to be sniffed at, it was the manner of the performance that has created worry at the perennial winners. At Barcelona it is not simply enough to win and pick up trophies, you need to be playing well and put on a show for the ever-demanding fans. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said that this is not currently the case. “It’s obvious that there are things that can be improved,” he said at the weekend. The main aim this season is Champions League glory. On the evidence of their domestic form so far that looks like a pipe dream.

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