Barcelona on Monday night confirmed the departure of Ernesto Valverde after two-and-a-half years at the club.
The Spaniard’s failure to secure Super Cup success appeared to be the straw that br
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to prise John Stones away from Manchester City as one of his first major deals at the Emirates, reports The Sun.
Arteta wants to overhaul Arsenal’s current defensive options in a bid to get the Gunners playing from the back.
The former City assistant coach has earmarked Stones as a top transfer target a
Here we run through the best rated XI from the weekend’s action in Europe’s top five leagues. The Bundesliga and LaLiga are still not in action so the team is picked from the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Serie A. Additionally, Football Index share prices are also provided.
Goalkeeper: Alexandre Oukidja (Metz) – 8.68 rating
Football Index share price – £0.19
Metz ended their nine-game winless streak in Ligue 1 with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home to Strasbourg on Saturday. Goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja was integral to the win and took home the star man award. The 31-year-old made three saves and alleviated the pressure on his defence with five successful cross claims. He also tied the record for the most aerial duels won by a goalkeeper in a single game in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season (4).
Right-back: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City) – 8.45 rating
Football Index share price – £1.32
Joao Cancelo turned in his best display of the league campaign in Manchester City’s thumping 6-1 win away to Aston Villa on Sunday. The Portugal international set personal bets for most tackles and interceptions combined in a game this season (8) and completed 94.9% of his attempted passes. Not only that, but Cancelo completed five dribbles, more than his previous seven league appearances combined (4).
Centre-back: Bafode Diakite (Toulouse) – 8.34 rating
Toulouse slipped to their 10th defeat in a row in the league after being thumped 5-2 by Brest at the weekend but Bafode Diakite can at least take confidence from his own display. The 19-year-old equalised and put Toulouse ahead in the space of five first-half minutes and finished the match with five tackles and interceptions combined and eight clearances. The teenager also won five aerial duels, a personal record in a Ligue 1 game this season
Centre-back: Bram Nuytinck (Udinese) – 8.23 rating
Football Index share price – £0.18
Udinese have now won three straight league games for the first time this season after recording a 3-0 victory at home to Sassuolo on Sunday. Centre-back Bram Nuytinck turned in a near-faultless display, making six tackles and interceptions combined and seven clearances to help earn a clean sheet for his side. Not only that, but Nuytinck blocked three shots and won two aerial duels.
Left-back: Adam Masina (Watford) – 8.32 rating
Football Index share price – £0.34
Watford’s resurgence under Nigel Pearson continued at the weekend with a comfortable 3-0 win away to relegation rivals Bournemouth. There were a number of standout performers for the Hornets, including left-back Adam Masina. The 26-year-old turned in his best display of the campaign after winning four aerial duels; making six tackles and interceptions combined and managing seven clearances.
Right wing: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) – 10.0 rating
Football Index share price – £2.57
Riyad Mahrez is one of two players that garnered a perfect WhoScored 10 rating across Europe’s top 5 leagues at the weekend. Mahrez scored a quick-fire double in Manchester City’s 6-1 win over Aston Villa and then set up Sergio Aguero for his hat-trick goal in the dying embers. Mahrez scored with both attempts on target, while also completing four dribbles. He made two interceptions, which includes his part in City’s final goal.
Central midfield: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – 9.78 rating
Football Index share price – £8.24
Neymar has now claimed the WhoScored Man of the Match award in three of his last four league appearances for Paris Saint-Germain after getting the accolade in their thrilling 3-3 draw with Monaco on Sunday night. The Brazilian scored twice in the stalemate and completed 10 dribbles, no player has managed more in a Ligue 1 game this season. Neymar had seven shots in total and registered four key passes.
Central midfield: Soualiho Meite (Torino) – 8.70 rating
Football Index share price – £0.40
Torino have now won four of their last six league matches after beating Bologna 1-0 at home on Sunday. In his first game back from a red card against Genoa, Soualiho Meite turned in a WhoScored Man of the Match display. Of the 44 aerial duels Meita has won in the league this season, 10 were remarkably recorded this weekend (22.7%). The 25-year-old also completed seven dribbles against Bologna, having previously only managed a best of four in a Serie A game this season.
Left wing: Jakub Jankto (Sampdoria) – 9.53 rating
Football Index share price – £0.89
Jakub Jankto has endured a miserable campaign and will hope his sparkling display against Brescia will be a turning point. The 23-year-old incredibly played a direct hand in three of the five goals Sampdoria scored on Sunday (one goal, two assists). Jankto had only scored or assisted one goal in 13 previous league appearances this season before turning in his best display of the campaign against Brescia.
Barcelona have sacked Ernesto Valverde after two-and-a-half years in charge
Spanish giants are top of La Liga and in the last 16 of the Champions League
There have been doubts about Valverde’s ability to achieve success in Europe