Metz are the longest odds to stay up of all my sides, and yet they’re firing on all cylinders going into the international break, with Niane looking like a star forward. Aside from the French overachievers, nothing much stood out in week five, which saw either routine losses, or staunch draws. Here’s how things stand going into a week off…
Serie A: Spezia (1/4 on to go down) 0-3 away to AC Milan
You can probably file this one under ‘routine loss to a big club’ for Spezia. They held on for a decent amount of time, creating only one chance worth mentioning, really, in front of the piled-up electronic billboards that give the San Siro a surreal feel at the moment.
Then they conceded some run-of-the-mill goals, Milan won comfortably, and nobody was particularly surprised by any of it. Not a classic game or a classic result, but three points from their first three games is not at all bad for a side like this. Get a look at the company it puts them in, league wise…
FC Metz (1/6 on to go down), 3-1 at home to Lorient
Ibrahima Niane has been the man for Metz all year so far, a great step up for a man who was considered to be a poor replacement for a striker who departed in the summer before things get underway. He really nailed this one, hitting a hat trick against Lorient as Metz largely shut out the silly mistakes and outplayed Lorient.
It hadn’t started that way: Lorient led with a scruffy goal, but Niane tortured them throughout running at the backline, and suddenly Metz look like a real threat. Survival odds have to look a whole lot better now, with a five-point gap on automatic relegation only six games in…
Premier League: Fulham (evens to go down) 0-1 vs Wolves at home
After being beaten by Brentford easily in the cup 3-0 (Brentford, to be honest, are the team I think deserved this slot in the premier league on balance, they looked really good last year in the Championship), Fulham lost again in the league as things start to look increasingly dire.
This was one of the most memorable weekends in the Premier League in a long time, with Villa’s 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool and United beaten 6-1 at home by Spurs, so this one slipped a little under the radar, but Fulham created one decent chance, which Kamara hit fairly lightly at the goalkeeper, and nothing much else. Even with Wolves off-colour, Fulham are yet to get off the mark. Not that they’re alone…
Bundesliga: Arminia Bielefeld (5/6 on to be relegated) 0-1 away to Werder Bremen
Given Armenia were unbeaten in the league in the entirety of 2020 going into this contest, I actually have them a decent chance of getting something away to Werder Bremen, who are one of those sides who in recent years have kind of clung to Bundesliga survival. This was not a classic, and that’s generally a good thing for the strugglers.
Nevertheless, Arminia went down to Werder, who are on decent form themselves, thanks in part to a bit of a harsh call on a ‘studs up’ challenge that led directly to a goal, one that would have seen Arminia equalise in the dying seconds.
Generally speaking, though, that late disallowed goal aside there wasn’t a whole lot to see here: the most interesting thing about the below video is the cool little water sprinkler they used at half time: it took the grass up out of the pitch with it.
La Liga: Elche CF (8/15 to go down), 0-0 at home to Huesca
Elche vs Huesca had little to recommend it, especially for the home team, who were dominated throughout as Huesca peppered their goal, though nto exactly accurately. The visitors could have won this by three or four, had they showed a little more collective cool.
That Elche missed their one decent chance towards the end of the game was only preventing a grave injustice, all things considered. The goalless draw does consolidate their start, which has been decent once games in hand are taken into account.
The stats (across my five teams, league games only)
Played 18 Won 5 Drawn 3 Lost 10
Goals for 15 Goals against 26
Average score – 0.83-1.44