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Talking points from European soccer

TALKING points from the weekend in European soccer leagues:

SPAIN

BELLINGHAM KEEPS IMPRESSING REAL MADRID

“Nobody expected the level that (Jude Bellingham) is delivering,” Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Saturday after another masterful display by the 20-year-old England midfielder, who scored twice in a 4-0 win over Osasuna.

He has scored an astonishing 10 goals in his first 10 starts for his new team, equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally, but delivered three assists against only one by the Portuguese in his first 10 starts for Real in all competitions.

Bellingham has made the transition to Spanish soccer look ridiculously easy and is LaLiga’s top scorer with eight goals in seven starts, three ahead of his nearest pursuers.

Only club legend Alfredo Di Stefano has better numbers than Bellingham at Real Madrid, as the Spanish-born Argentine scored 11 goals with seven assists in his first 10 games in 1953.

ITALY

MILAN MOVE CLEAR AT THE TOP BUT FOR HOW LONG?

AC Milan came out on top after a dramatic finish at Genoa to win 1-0 and move clear in the Serie A standings after Christian Pulisic scored a late winner and striker Olivier Giroud had to go in goal after Mike Maignan was sent off deep into added time.

Milan has now won seven of their first eight games in two of the last three league campaigns, 2021-22 and 2023-24 – as many times as in the previous 65 editions.

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Rivals Inter Milan played their part in allowing Stefano Pioli’s side to move two points clear when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Bologna also on Saturday as the Milanese teams jostle for position in the title race.

Milan lead the table by two points from Inter but the question is whether they can sustain their charge knowing they have Juventus breathing down their necks a further two points behind but without the distraction of European competition.

GERMANY

GUIRASSY HAT-TRICK MAKES HISTORY FOR STUTTGART

VfB Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy has scored 13 times so far this season in a record-breaking start to the campaign.

The French-born Guinea striker has netted more goals in the first seven matches than any other player in Bundesliga history, with the previous record standing at 11.

Guirassy has already scored more times than any player had done at the halfway mark (17 matches) last season.

His hat-trick on Saturday in a 3-1 comeback victory over VfL Wolfsburg also meant Stuttgart won five consecutive league matches with a two-goal difference for the first time.

By The African Mirror

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