Chelsea beat Tottenham with ease, PSG's super-trio needs work, Juventus in deep trouble

The European soccer weekend did not disappoint (does that ever happen? With a series of impressive results and captivating performances, the European soccer weekend was a success. Chelsea won comfortably over Tottenham. Paris Saint-Germain had to win against Lyon without a hero (and that wasn't Lionel Messi). Bayern Munich was at their most brutal. Real Madrid won, and Manchester United, who deserved it, won with late goals. Liverpool, however, showed some squad depth vs. Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, Juventus' terrible start to the Serie A season against Milan continued, and Borussia Dortmund transformed a three-goal lead vs. Union Berlin into a panic of one.
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Gab Marcotti reacts on Monday to some of the most important moments in football's history.

PSG need work

Chelsea was not even close to their ceiling, but it was enough vs. Spurs

Chelsea's comfortable win against Tottenham of 3-0 on Sunday was just what you would expect. It was also significant because it came after two less-than-sparkling victories against Zenit St. Petersburg (Crystal Palace). Although they have not conceded from open play (or 11 vs. 11), they have had more than a few close calls during recent outings. Spurs didn't have that problem, but you could suspect Thomas Tuchel wasn't taking anything for granted. He chose the defensive Cesar Azpilicueta over Reece James down his right flank, possibly to assist Son Heung-Min, who ended up playing primarily through central. He also replaced Mason Mount at half-time with N'Golo Kane.

They struggled for half an hour due to Tottenham's unpredictedly fast pace. After the break, Chelsea found it easier to create -- and convert -- opportunities. Even though they have been solid and clinical under Tuchel's guidance, it is difficult to believe they aren't where he wants them (or could be).

Although Chelsea were not great vs. Tottenham they didn't have to be. Harry Kane & Co. performed poorly in the second period. Visionhaus/Getty Images

Tuchel's heritage, dating back to his time at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Moscow, is one of a dominant manager, who plays mostly in the opposing half. Even though we know the basic material, we have not seen it. Romelu Lukaku does more than just finisher/target man. He has a wide range of weapons, including those from Kai Havertz, Hakim Zyech, Timo Werner, Timo Werner, and Mount. But, we have yet see this happen consistently.

Some cases have been due to injuries while others were overworked and others are still inconsistent. With Lukaku's arrival, any plan that was put together last year with Werner and Olivier Giroud as center-forward had to be revised. It's clear that he is trying to make that happen, with Mount and Havertz joining Lukaku's first-choice trio. But it hasn't quite worked out yet. When? If it does, Chelsea will have many more gears.

We knew that the three consecutive wins for Tottenham were not real. However, the 3-0 consecutive defeats to Chelsea, Crystal Palace are not surprising in some ways. Eric Dier was recovering from an injury. Cristian Romero, Giovani Lo Celso, and Lucas Moura, had just arrived in Croatia after their Croatian quarantine. Steven Bergwijn and Steven Bergwijn were not available. In such circumstances, options are limited and the first half of the match showed that both sides have plenty to fight for.

Nuno Espirito Santato's challenge is to get Harry Kane, and especially, the attack, to click. Although it is possible to play him and Lo Celso in the back of Son, it can be difficult and can leave you feeling narrow. I find it more comfortable to have Kane spend more time near the goal.

Tottenham's level and realistic expectation is likely to be in contention for Europa League spots. Nuno and the club should be judged more than just the league finish. They must also be evaluated on how they grow.

PSG saves Icardi on the day Messi and Neymar make their home debuts with Mbappe trio

play 0:46 How to react to Messi's substitution during PSG's win vs. Lyon Frank Leboeuf reacts when Lionel Messi is subbed off by Mauricio Potettino in his home debut with PSG.

As we finally saw the "MNM", the hype-meter was at 11.

Mauricio pochettino tried his best to make the game a success, providing the trio with the support of Angel Di Maria in a 4-2-3-1 formation. PSG had only a few Messi opportunities (one, a free kick which hit the woodwork), and the score was a mere one goal to Lucas Paqueta’s first strike in the second half. To get the three points, Neymar won a generous (read as imaginary) penalty and converted it. Mauro Icardi scored an injury-time winner. (Yes, Icardi -- he wasn't the Argentine many expected given his summer shopping.

GAB MARCOTTI Get the latest news from Gabriele Marcotti, senior ESPN FC writer.

Before that, Messi had been replaced by Achraf Haimi. He gave Pochettino an inquisitive look as he left. It's unlikely to be a major deal. Nobody wants to lose the game, even Messi. However, it's possible for people to make it a big deal if they don't get any wins.

The MNM's performance thus far has shown that it will be difficult for the team to create patterns of play. This will likely hold true against all opponents regardless of whether you add another attacking midfielder such as Di Maria, or two holding midfielders such Sunday, or whether you have room for a deeper player like Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes.

This doesn't mean that it won't work. It just means that it will take some time to find the right balance.

Real Madrid's Deja vu, who turns it around with late goals

Real Madrid is currently at the top of La Liga, having just defeated Valencia. In the Champions League, however, they are coming off a win at San Siro against Inter. Inter is the most dangerous team in their group.

It's all good, right? Both outings could have easily gone the opposite way. Both victories were a result of late, late goals at the Mestalla and a little bit luck too (Vinicius Jr.'s deflected shot; Giorgi Mamardashvili’s mistake; Karim Benzema’s shoulder/header). Both came after the opponent had missed some great chances.

Carlo Ancelotti must find the right balance. Toni Kroos's return will be a help, if and when it happens. Ferland Mendy's return will be a help, but until then it is probably better to stick with Miguel Gutierrez. You can't let yourself be rattled by an opponent like Javier Bordalas Valencia, who outworks and outruns your opponents.

While you can win leagues based on the number of incidents (which Real Madrid has done in the past), it's much more rewarding to be able to control the games. They need to be able to control games.

Juve continues to lose in Serie A against Milan

You may not be able to see it, but there is only one team left below Juventus at the Serie A table after four games. It's amazing to think that all the stars seemed to be aligned for them against Milan on Sunday night.

Alvaro Morata gave them an advantage, Milan (already missing both left-back options) lost their defensive leader Simon Kjaer before half-time, and the much-maligned middlefield was doing its job. This was Juve's best 45 minutes in football this year... but then everything fell apart. Milan equalised, gave Juve plenty of chances, and at the end they could be unlucky to draw 1-1.

After their best 45 minutes, Juventus was in complete control against Milan. But, a terrible second half saw them escape with a draw. Nicola Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Max Allegri, Juve boss, spoke out about the fact that some of his players find the ball "very heavy". It's nice imagery. But maybe a rethink would prove more beneficial right now -- the kind of rethink that makes room in the side for Federico Chiesa, Matthijs De Litt and Dejan Kulusevski for longer than a few minutes. They weren't bad players overnight. Given the current difficulties in creating anything, they can still offer inspiration. De Ligt with his passing and Federico Chiesa with their one-on-1s.

Allegri exudes a chilled vibe, and that's ok. His record at the club speaks for itself. This is Juve's worst start for 60 years. Although the credit he has accumulated in the past is substantial, it's not unrestricted.

Milan is doing well so far. They proved they can win even without a target man (Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Giroud were out), and without Franck Kessie's sterling performance (who was clearly not at his best). Brahim Diaz may be their budding star. They are very well among the title contenders.

Manchester United wins despite late drama

Play 0:57 Hislop Lingard sub was an excellent Solskjaer masterstroke Shaka Hislop claims that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was rewarded after his death for his trust in Jesse Lingard.

Although it was overshadowed somewhat by David Moyes' penalty decision and refereeing issues, I felt Manchester United rebounded very well from their Champions League loss against West Ham. Although it isn't the best use of resources, or a long-term solution, Paul Pogba wide gives you the balance that you need in games such as this.

They didn't suffer any effects from the Bern debacle, particularly Jesse Lingard who was the winner. (Others may have come to the pitch with a lot of insecurity; Lingard deserves credit for that.

Let's just say that the penalty incidents were not a pleasant day at work. Aaron Wanbissaka knocked out Thomas Soucek at the United penalty box. The referee and VAR were clearly asleep. After his last game sending off, it was possible that Wanbissaka may have been a little more cautious. Lukasz FabianskiI saved some fantastic saves by Cristiano Ronaldo, but Vladimir Coufal had a tough call on Vladimir Wan-Bissaka's tackle. He appeared to drag his feet to make contact with Kurt Zouma -- it was a classic case of "I've seen them all given".

I have no arguments on the Luke Shaw issue, and those who are unimaginatively sarcastic will say "What's the supposed do with his arms?" They shouldn't be kept perpendicular or in front of your body. They don't have to be there and they will not get called in the modern game. (Refer to this thread by Dale Johnson, my colleague on all calls from that game.

One final thing about Noble. He can convert the penalty. But if he misses, it's a whole discussion about whether or not to send on a "cold" player without warm-up. This is not a debate. It's not a debate. You can trust both the manager's knowledge about the player and the player’s understanding of how he would react in these situations.

Because of the penalties missed by the Euro 2020 substitutes, it's still fresh in England's minds. Six weeks ago, however, we can go back to the Europa League final between Villarreal and Manchester United: Alex Telles sent Juan Mata and Dani Raba for the spot kicks. What happened? They took three out of the four first ones and all were successful in converting. No one said a peep.

This is not necessarily a bad decision. If the player is not mentally ready, it could be a bad decision. Or it could be just randomness. Noble, a great penalty taker, sometimes misses them. Even keepers with poor records in penalty taking -- such as David De Gea - sometimes save them.

Bayern Munich road-grade Bochum

Play 1:00 Burley: Nagelsmann said the stupidest thing in a long while Craig Burley dismissed Julian Nagelsmann’s "ridiculous” suggestion to integrate American football technology into soccer.

There's only so much you can learn when a team is leading 4-0 at half-time, and then wins 7-0. Bayern's win was a great sign that they are in midseason form. It also showed that there wasn't any hangover from Tuesday's trip to Camp Nou. (Why would there have been?) The 3-0 win over Barcelona was as close to a one-sided victory as this one. Even the positives, such as the fact that Leroy Sane opened the scoring, are more consistent, need to be viewed through the prism of Bochum, newly promoted, who really don't have the best record.

Julian Nagelsmann has won seven consecutive games since he took over as manager. It's safe to say that he is settled in and is starting to tweak things (like the defacto back three when in possession, with Alphonso Davis pushing up). The best news was probably last week when Leon Goretzka signed his long-term contract. This will ensure that central midfield (with Marcel Sabitzer, Joshua Kimmich, and others) is protected for the next few decades.

Inter Milan moves and crushes Bologna

Different teams respond to setbacks differently. There was always the possibility of getting hungover after a loss like the one against Real Madrid in Champions' League. This game saw Inter create many chances, but lose to a late, final goal. Perhaps that is why Simone Inzaghi made four adjustments against Bologna and was rewarded with an amazing 6-1 victory against him that shows Inter have more depth to their game than many would think.

Federico Dimarco, who was a tremendous player down the left flank, probably deserves more space. Although Denzel Dumfries may not be an Achraf Haimi, he was a good fit on the right. Matias Vecino was a great midfielder, a man who has been forgotten over the past two seasons. Joaquin Correa was the fourth newcomer. However, he had already proven his worth.

Although Inter might not be as well-oiled under Antonio Conte's tutelage, they are deep and multifaceted and appear to be legitimate contenders.

Klopp's win at 'load management Liverpool' means that he has changed his entire back four

play 1:34 How important is Sadio mane for Liverpool? Shaka Hislop speaks after Sadio mane scored his 100th goal in Liverpool's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Jurgen Klopp made six adjustments for Saturday's 3-0 victory at Anfield against Crystal Palace. Sadio Mane was in place of Divock Origi, Thiago ALcantara was replaced by Naby Keita, and... the entire back four were changed. You read that correctly. The entire back line was changed for no other reason than rotation. (And no, he isn't keeping them fresh for Tuesday night's League Cup, ...)

Although it is an unusual approach, Klopp is a unique man, so you wonder if this is something that Klopp will repeat. Managers love to talk about depth, using all their squad, but they also value chemistry and it is rare to see such drastic changes at this stage. They are often criticized by media, fans and owners if they make mistakes.

STREAM ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ Dan Thomas is joined with Craig Burley, Shaka Herlop and other experts to bring you the most recent highlights and discuss the major storylines. Stream on ESPN+ (U.S only).

Klopp did not get it wrong Wednesday against Milan. They won 3-2 but dominated even though Virgil Van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara were absent. Saturday's 3-0 win against Crystal Palace was no different. Two goals came late because Palace defended stoutly. It will be interesting to see if this "load management" version, as the NBA calls it, becomes a regular occurrence. And if it pays dividends come March when legs are heavy and players feel like they are on fumes.

Man City doesn't use the rotation trick.

Although it's not an exact parallel, Pep Guardiola made five adjustments from Wednesday night, and Man City was held to a scoreless draw at Southampton. It could have been worse, though, if Jonathan Moss had not decided to reverse his decision to give Southampton a penalty and sent off Kyle Walker for fouling Adam Armstrong.

Play 1:47 Marcotti suggests Guardiola is down in Man City fans beef Gab Marcotti, Julien Laurens and others see no losers in the clash between Pep Guardiola & the Man City supporters.

We don't know the details of what happened between VAR, match officials. It looked like a penalty with a lot of weight. Maybe VAR intervened to stop Moss from getting a red card. He changed his mind and also wiped out the penalty.

Return to Guardiola. You wonder how much Guardiola's pre-match banter with his fans was a distraction during the build-up. It could have been a bad day at work, but it is not normal for Guardiola's team to concede three goals at home midweek and then lose against a team like Southampton.

Atletico may want to vent some anger at Joao Felix (as the referee).

In a game that saw the referee Jesus Gil Manzano send Joao Felix home with twelve minutes remaining, the defending LaLiga champions could not overcome a 0-0 draw against Athletic Bilbao.

He was frustrated by what he believed was a cheap yellow ticket and he put his finger on his temple with the "you're crazy!" gesture. This was enough to earn him his second booking. It's foolish to do this in front of the referee. Expecting him to ignore it is even more silly. Atletico didn't lose the three points. We're used to seeing them score late goals, 11 vs. 11, so who know? It served as a reminder that we don't see him more on the pitch.

Atletico also missed Koke's creativity and leadership in the middle park. Although that was an enforced change by Diego Simeone, four other changes were not made and the side became more disjointed. Antoine Griezmann had a difficult night again and without some better finishing by Inaki Williams or Asier Villalibre they would have lost the game.

Arteta wins the win he wanted. He now needs another...

Play 1:40 Arsenal's victory vs. Burnley is 'a step forward' for Arteta Shaha Hislop, who debates whether Arsenal has turned a corner after their back-to-back victories in the Premier League.

After three consecutive defeats and no scoring, it was agreed that Arsenal coach MikelArteta should be evaluated over the three remaining games: Burnley away, Norwich at home and the North London derby against Spurs. He's now in good shape, having reached two-thirds of his goal.

The results are not the only thing that matter -- although you can have a goose egg after three matches and you must put points on it -- but the performances. You have a solid base with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White, and Gabriel back in. It's solid enough to play as a front line as well as Martin Odegaard or Emile Smith-Rowe as Arteta did at Burnley. This setup reflects the positive attitude Arteta has in his approach. That could all be thrown out the window if Tottenham loses (though they aren't in great shape).

The game should not matter more than any other. But it's football, and we aren't rational, and these rivals. He's still not quite out of his woods, but he's making progress and could be playing Spurs when he needs to increase morale.

Haaland scores twice but it's the same old Dortmund

More of the same frustratingly inconsistent play from Marco Rose's Borussia Borussia Dortmund was seen this weekend. They race to a lead of 3-0 over Union Berlin. Everything is going well, but they manage to hold on to a lead of 3-2 before Erling Haaland takes his time and conjures up an unlikely lob to win the game at 4-2.

Since joining Borussia Dortmund in 2004, Haaland has scored more goals than he has played, which is great. It's not all about him. It's not possible to rely on him to create magic every match.

Rose put Dortmund in a rational 4-3-3 and coaxed both his fullbacks forwards. Raphael Guerreiro looked solid, and Thomas Meunier looked solid, at least when he was in possession. However, Rose's inability to control a three-goal lead, and the collective defensive switching-off (which isn't just on the defenders), has to be a concern.


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