5 Things You Might Have Missed From Around Europe This Weekend

Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka
Lewandowski started on the bench for Bayern | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

The 2020/21 campaign continues to be an exciting and intriguing one, with controversial decisions and high scoring matches now seemingly the new normal.

Heavy losses for Bayern Munich and Manchester City may have grabbed the headlines, but there were plenty more sub-plots throughout the weekend's action around Europe.

90min is here to fill you in on what you may have missed.

1. Lewandowski on the Bench

Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane
Lewandowski came on for Bayern Munich in the 57th minute | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski started a Bundesliga match on the bench for the first time in over two years on Sunday.

The Polish international, who bagged an incredible 55 goals in 47 matches last season, was left out of the starting lineup by Hansi Flick as the Bavarians travelled to Hoffenheim. It was a decision he was left to regret as the German coach witnessed his treble-winning side slump to a 4-1 defeat, their first loss since December 2019.

32-year-old Lewandowski hadn't missed out on the starting XI (when fit) for a league match since 25 September 2018, when Munich welcomed Augsburg to the Allianz Arena. Dutch teenager Joshua Zirkzee made way for Lewandowksi in the 57th minute, but he was unable to get on the scoresheet and rescue Bayern from an embarrassing defeat.

2. Barcelona Return With a 4-0 Thrashing

Ansu Fati
Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 4-0 in their opening La Liga fixture | David Ramos/Getty Images

A huge cloud has been hanging over Camp Nou since that 8-2 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League just a few months ago (and frankly, for a while before). Messi's consequential attempts to leave the club were unsuccessful, but still left everyone fearing the worst for the campaign.

Such was the lack of optimism surrounding the new season, Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of Villarreal came as somewhat of a shock result. The Yellow Submarine finished fifth in 2019/20 and strengthened well over the summer...but, they were no match for Ronald Koeman's new-look Barcelona.

Frenkie De Jong appears to have benefitted greatly from his compatriot's arrival, Philippe Coutinho put in an extremely encouraging performance and Ansu Fati stole the show with a brilliantly taken brace. It's far too soon to judge this Barça revival, but it's certainly a better start than many predicted.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo First to 450 Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score 450 goals in Europe's top five leagues when he bagged a brace against Roma.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward scored a trademark header against the club from the Italian capital to seal another record in an extraordinary career for the Portuguese captain.

Andrea Pirlo's side were held to a draw in their second Serie A match of the new campaign, in what is the former midfielder's maiden season in the dugout.

4. Luis Suarez's Dream Debut

FBL-ESP-LIGA-ATLETICO MADRID-GRANADA
Suarez scored two on his first appearance for Atletico Madrid | GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images

One of the victims of Barcelona's ongoing summer clear-out is the club's third all-time leading goalscorer, Luis Suarez. The former Liverpool man left Camp Nou as a legend of the Catalan club after scoring an incredible 198 goals in just 283 games.

He was allowed to join Barca's La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in a bargain deal after his proposed move to Juventus collapsed. The 33-year-old clearly still has a lot to offer Diego Simeone's side, having come off the bench in the 71st minute at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and recording an assist and two goals in a 6-1 rout of Granada.

5. Paris Saint-Germain Steady the Ship

Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe, Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria, Neymar Jr
Paris Saint-Germain made it three consecutive wins in Ligue 1 | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

After suffering back-to-back defeats in the opening fixtures of the new Ligue 1 campaign, including a 1-0 loss at home to bitter rivals Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain have steadied the ship.

Thomas Tuchel was coming under pressure after last season's Champions League finalists failed to score in their first two matches of 2020/21, which also saw three players get red-carded in Le Classique at the Parc des Princes Stadium.

The German's side have now recorded three consecutive wins in the league after Mauro Icardi fired the Parisians to a 2-0 win over Reims on Sunday. Their latest win leaves them in seventh position, four points behind early pace-setters Rennes at the top of the table.