This weekend might be slightly overshadowed with El Clasico coming up, but Manchester United and Inter Milan made sure to hit the headlines with goalfests in their league matches. Manchester United go top of the table with this win, especially after Chelsea only managed to draw 1-1 away against Newcastle, and Inter Milan rise up to fifth in the Serie A after their 5-2 win over Parma. Here's a look at both teams, how they're doing, and how they'll do in the future.
I've always said that Manchester United would be good this year, and I predicted that they'd win the title. Sir Alex Ferguson has an excellent mix of young and energetic players along with expert veterans to guide the team during tough times. And while some say that the team is missing a creative presence in the center of midfield, even if it's needed, Sir Alex Ferguson can splash some cash in the January transfer market to strengthen the team.
The 7-1 victory over Blackburn was easy for Manchester United, with Berbatov being assisted by the Blackburn defence's incompetence. And while Berbatov scored five, some will notice that Wayne Rooney scored zero, but you have to put things into perspective with the England international. Rooney assisted two goals, was part of some excellent build-up play, and instead of taking a crack at goal many times, he decided to be selfless and pass the ball for teammates. Just like Berbatov scored five, if this match was replayed Rooney could've scored just as many.
So what's next for Manchester United? They'll be travelling to West Ham on Tuesday for the Carling Cup and Blackpool next week in the Premier League for a couple of "easy" games, and after that they'll host Arsenal at Old Trafford, and then travel to Stamford Bridge to play against Chelsea. They also have a midweek game with Valencia at home squashed in there, but as long as Ferguson's side manages not to lose, they'll qualify for the knockout rounds in first place. So can Manchester United win the Premier League this year? It's a big question which I think has the answer, yes, but share your thoughts below by commenting!
Inter Milan have been recovering from a spell of poor form, and a 5-2 victory against Parma is probably the best way to announce that you're on the way up. Rafa Benitez has been heavily criticized in Italy because of his defensive style which scored few goals in the past, but this weekend everything seemed to click for the Spaniard.
While the 5-2 win is interesting in itself, the more interesting thing is that Inter Milan had to play without a proper striker, and while Goran Pandev could be a supporting forward, he's certainly not a target man like Diego Milito, or a striker like Samuel Eto'o. But this way of playing seemed to free up Sneijder, Stankovic, and Biabiany, and all three players were excellent in this match, especially Stankovic who scored a hat-trick.
But Parma were dangerous to Inter, and they went ahead first with the former Inter player Hernan Crespo scoring aganist his former side. Inter would then go on to score three goals to make it 3-1, and then have Crespo score again to make it 3-2 at halftime. But in the second half substitute Thiago Motta scored along with Stankovic who finished off his hat-trick to make the final score 5-2, and earn Rafa Benitez three important points.
This win helps raise Inter up to 5th in the Serie A table, and they're seven points behind first placed AC Milan. But Inter have some tough matches coming up: next week they travel to face 2nd placed Lazio, and then they have a midweek Champions League match in Germany against Werder Bremen before they have to travel to Fiorentina next weekend. And if that wasn't hard enough, the week after they have to host 4th placed Napoli at the San Siro.
If Rafa Benitez can get his team to win all of these matches, he'll be a king, but if his team begins to crumble yet again, he could be facing unemployment soon. While I don't think he'll manage to win all of the matches, I think he'll be able to make it through this tough run with some positive results, and from there he'll be able to focus on regaining the top spot of the Serie A. What are your thoughts on how Inter will do? Share your comments below!