EUROPE'S BEST: TOP PERFORMING PLAYERS OF THE WEEKEND
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
As we all celebrated Halloween at home, teams around Europe got down to playing some great football. Here are some of the scarily good performers from this weekend’s action.
Ligue 1: Kevin Volland – AS Monaco
Volland signed for Monaco in the summer from Leverkusen and got his first goals for the club this weekend with a brace against Bordeaux. Monaco walked to a 4-0 win in the tie, with strong performances across the front three.
Wissam Ben Yedder, Gelson Martins and Volland all linked up beautifully to pull Bordeaux apart, sharing four goals and two assists between them.
Monaco currently sit mid-table in Ligue 1, but if these three can string together a few more performances like this one, then they will be looking up the table rather than down, which they were doing for much of last season.
Serie A: Gervinho – Parma
When he moved to Arsenal in 2011, Gervinho cost more than Patrick Vieira and Robin Van Persie put together. He didn’t quite live up to the expectations of that price in the two years he spent in London, and that stint is perhaps what he is best known for in England. That, and his controller-smashingly ludicrous pace on Fifa.
At Parma though, he has had something of a rejuvenation. He has only played four more games for them than he did for Arsenal, but he already has doubled his Gunners goal tally.
On Saturday he ran riot against a strong Inter side, getting the first two goals of the game and forcing Inter onto the back foot. They fought back and made it 2-2 with an extra-time equaliser from Ivan Perisic, but Gervinho ran the title contenders close.
Bundesliga: Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund
With no Erling Haaland to call on this weekend, Dortmund fans would have had some concerns about where their goals would come from against Bielefeld. Usually, those questions would have been answered by anyone of Dortmund’s stacked roster of attackers: Reus, Sancho, Brandt; the list goes on.
Weirdly though, the hero this time around was veteran centre-back Mats Hummels. He earned himself a brace in the 2-0 win, one-upping Manuel Akanji’s goal from last week. With a clean sheet also to his name, Hummels was excellent all afternoon.
He returned to the club from Bayern last season to shore up Dortmund’s leaky defence, which he did to some extent, but they were still plagued by mistakes until the end of the campaign. Having only conceded two goals in six games so far, their defensive demons seem to be banished, thanks in no small part to the 31-year-old.
La Liga: Cristian Tello – Real Betis
Manuel Pellegrini’s side took on mid-table Elche on Sunday, with Spanish winger Tello taking a starring and crucial role in the 3-1 victory.
The La Masia graduate made the cutback for Sanabria’s tap-in within 10 minutes, and then grabbed Betis’ other two goals himself to take them to 7th in the league, in reach of a European spot.
Although it is early in the season, and the likes of Barca, Sevilla and Valencia are currently sitting below them, Betis have already shown signs of the quality they have in Tello, Fekir and others to compete for those higher spots in the table.
Special Mention: Karim Benzema – Real Madrid Benzema continued his role as Real’s chief goal-getter from last season this weekend, grabbing two goals and an assist against Huesca, as Hazard also opened his 2020/21 account over a year since his last goal for Madrid.