AND just like that, the major football leagues in Europe are now halfway through the pandemic season.
With the exception of the Spanish La Liga, the standings look pretty “normal” as well with the usual league leaders.
Let’s take a look at the current top four teams from five leagues.
In the English Premier League, a resurgent Manchester United leads with 40 points after 19 matches, although hometown rivals Manchester City trails closely with 38 points, and with a match on hand, can take the top spot with a win.
Leicester City (38 pts.), champions of the 2015-16 season, are at third, followed by defending champions Liverpool (34 pts.).
In the German Bundesliga, Bayern Munich (42 pts.) is poised to break away from the German pack with a substantial seven point lead over closest rivals RB Leipzig (35 pts.) after 18 matches played.
With 32 pts. apiece, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg have a precarious hold of the third and fourth spots, respectively.
Meanwhile after 19 matches, AC Milan (43 pts.) and Inter Milan (41 pts.) are neck-and-neck in the Italian Serie A, followed by Roma (37 pts.) and Juventus (36 pts.), which has a game on hand.
Both with 45 pts. after 21 matches, Paris Saint-Germain leads Lille on goal difference to stay ahead in France’s Ligue 1, with Lyon (43 pts.) and Monaco (39 pts.) completing the top four.
While the current top teams of the aforementioned leagues don’t come much of a surprise, the La Liga is weaving a different but quite a refreshing story.
Amazing Atletico Madrid (47 pts.) leads the Spanish league seven points clear ahead of Real Madrid (40 pts.) and FC Barcelona (37 pts.), with Sevilla (36 pts.) to round up the top four.
But with a match on hand after 18 games, Atletico can even surge ahead 10 points clear of its city rivals for a commanding lead, as its three other closest competitors have already played 19 games.
Not that it’s irreversible, but if Atletico does amass a 10-point lead, the in-form club will have momentum on its side as the league hurtles through its second-half stretch.
Will the La Liga and Atletico become Europe’s surprise of the season?