Key talking points across the top European leagues from the weekend gone by. Lots to catch up in case you missed the action!

Best striker in the league?

At the foot of 2016, many tagged Harry Kane as a ‘one-season wonder’ yet again with eight goals under his belt in the first half of the season. Cut to today and the 23-year-old is the highest scorer in the Premier League after his brace helped Tottenham Hotspur notch up a 3-2 home win over Everton over the weekend. The White Hart Lane outfit is now one point clear at second behind leaders Chelsea.

Riding on three hat tricks in the four games preceding Spurs’ meeting with the Toffees, Kane opened the scoring with a long range strike from 25 yards out in the 20th minute and then made the most of a loose ball inside the area to double his team’s advantage in the second half.

The visitors attempted to claw back in to the game with 10 minutes to go on the clock as another one of the league’s high-scoring strikers Romelu Lukaku made the most of a defensive error. But any hopes of a dramatic comeback were extinguished by Delle Ali, who netted from a Harry Winks free kick, even after a late goal from Enner Valencia.

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Liverpool finally taste victory, familiar woes for United  

Liverpool overcame their miserable performance at Leicester City last week to stage a memorbale 3-1 win over Arsenal. Strikes from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum ensured that the Gunners only goal, through Danny Welbeck, was not enough to earn some respite for under-fire manager Arsene Wenger.

While Arsenal dropped to fifth on the table after this result, rivals Manchester United missed the opportunity to move up from their jinxed number six position after a lousy 1-1 draw against a 10-man Bournemouth at Old Trafford earlier that evening.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty in the second half after Joshua King’s spot-kick cancelled out Marcos Rojo’s opener. Despite a second yellow for Andrew Surman on the brink of half-time, the Red Devils were unable to make the most of the numerical advantage in the second half.

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Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero carried forward his recently rediscovered goal-scoring touch for Manchester City, who eased past Sunderland 2-0 at the Stadium of Light. The other goal of the game came from Leroy Sane on the other side of the half-time break. Pep Guardiola’s men are now eight points adrift of Chelsea, who play Stoke City on Wednesday, and one point behind the second-placed Spurs.

Barca still ahead of Real

There were no major upsets in the race for the La Liga this weekend as both Barcelona and Real Madrid eased past opponents Celta Vigo 5-0 and Eibar 4-1 respectively. Lionel Messi scored twice on either side of goals from Neymar, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti. On the other hand, Karim Benzema bagged a brace in the win for the Cristiano Ronaldo-less Los Blancos, who are now one point behind the Catalunians with one game in hand.

 

Important win for Bayern, Juve drop points

Leaders Bayern Munich opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cologne on Saturday. Javi Martinez, Juan Bernat and Franck Ribery were all on target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in the victory.

 

In Italy, table-toppers and Serie A holders Juventus rescued a point against bottom half team Udinese 1-1 as they drew level through Leonardo Bonucci after Duvan Zapata’s opening strike. However, they are still eight points ahead of second-placed AS Roma.

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