Another weekend brought about exciting football fixtures and events across the main European leagues.
From the alleged breaking of rules to VAR outcry and more, the last few days have provided fans with plenty of drama.
Here’s an overview of what we witnessed in the just-concluded weekend of football matches
Forest ask PGMOL for clarity
Nottingham Forest have sought formal clarification from the Premier League and the Professional Game Match Officials Board Limited (PGMOL) regarding the contentious free-kick taken by Ivan Toney.
Toney’s controversial effort played a decisive role in Brentford’s 3-2 victory on Saturday.
After making his return to the game after serving an eight-month ban for betting breaches, Toney manipulated the referee’s vanishing foam and repositioned the ball to gain an advantageous position before successfully scoring.
This goal levelled the score after Danilo had given the visitors a lead, and Brentford ultimately secured the win with additional goals from Ben Mee and Neal Maupay.
Forest manager Nuno Espírito Santo expressed dissatisfaction after the game, prompting the club to formally write to the Premier League and PGMOL.
The letter seeks clarification on whether Toney’s actions constituted foul play.
No room for racism
Coventry City midfielder Kasey Palmer and AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan took a stand against racism during their games over the weekend.
During Coventry’s 2-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday, the match was halted for several minutes after Palmer reported to referee Anthony Backhouse that a supporter had made monkey gestures towards him.
Despite the victory, the incident left Palmer visibly upset at the full-time whistle, where he received comfort from teammates and manager Mark Robins.
Maignan and his Milan teammates also took a powerful stand against racism during their Serie A match at Udinese.
The players walked off the pitch in the first half after Maignan reported hearing monkey noises from a section of the crowd at the Bluenergy Stadium.
The incident occurred shortly after The Rosseneri had taken the lead, with the 28-year-old goalkeeper indicating to referee Fabio Maresca that he had experienced racist abuse from the spectators.
Milan’s decision not to post on social media on Sunday was a show of support for Maignan.
Although Milan eventually secured a 3-2 victory in injury time, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for tougher punishments.
He suggested that football teams whose fans engage in racist abuse should automatically forfeit games.
Infantino emphasised the need for decisive measures in response to the ‘totally abhorrent’ incidents, highlighting the ongoing efforts to address racism in football.
Dramatic comeback for Los Blancos
Real Madrid mounted a remarkable comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu, securing a 3-2 victory over Almeria with a late winner from Dani Carvajal.
Despite trailing 2-0 at half-time, Jude Bellingham and Vinicius Junior played crucial roles in the comeback.
Bellingham’s header set up Carvajal for the dramatic 98th-minute winner, securing all three points for the La Liga leaders.
Madrid are top of the table with 51 points, maintaining a two-point lead over second-placed Girona. Almeria are bottom of the standings, without a win in 21 games.
Klopp furious, but Nunez shines
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed frustration over an ill-timed challenge by Bournemouth’s Justin Kluivert on Luis Diaz during their weekend clash.
Despite the high tackle causing discomfort to Diaz, neither the on-field referee Andrew Madley or VAR deemed it worthy of a red card. Klopp argued with the linesman about the lack of action.
Liverpool secured a 4-0 victory against Bournemouth, extending their unbeaten run to 14 games and moving five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
The £140,000 per week striker showcased his energetic talent during the game, scoring twice to take his season tally to 10 goals.
Despite occasional challenges in maintaining a consistent presence throughout the match, Nunez’s ability to seize chances reflects positively on his confidence.
The Uruguayan striker delivered a perfect response on the field, silencing crowd criticism.
What’s going on in Germany?
Bayern Munich suffered their first home Bundesliga defeat of the season against Werder Bremen, with Mitchell Weiser scoring the decisive goal in the 59th minute.
Harry Kane’s subdued performance did not help Bayern’s cause, and they are now seven points behind Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga.
Werder’s victory was their first over Bayern since 2008 and marked the first time Bayern failed to score in a Bundesliga game at the Allianz Arena in 66 matches.
Leverkusen took full advantage of Bayern’s slip-up, with Piero Hincapie’s last-gasp goal securing a dramatic 3-2 victory at RB Leipzig.
Bayern are experiencing an unusual season, averaging 2.41 points per match – similar to their 2019/20 treble-winning campaign.
By contrast, Leverkusen are outperforming Bayern with 2.66 points per game. Leverkusen’s seven-point lead over Bayern, even with a game in hand, poses a significant challenge.
The upcoming match against Union Berlin is crucial for Bayern, as Leverkusen emerge as genuine title contenders under head coach Xabi Alonso.
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