Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich all lose on the same weekend

Giants of European football all struggle in their domestic leagues

Are the great footballing empires crumbling? Unlikely, but it is most unusual that Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich all lost in their respective leagues over the same weekend.

Barcelona have well-documented financial problems and are far from their Lionel Messi-era best. Real, too, are not the all conquering unit they once were, but Bayern have been steamrollering teams in the Bundesliga, and PSG have, on paper, the most lauded front line in the sport.

Here's what happened:

Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona

Barca are down to in ninth in La Liga after their 2-0 defeat to Atletico. And to rub salt into their wounds, former star Luis Suarez was on target following Thomas Lemar's opener at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The defeat came on the back of a 3-0 loss to Benfica in the Champions League and a goalless draw in the league against Cadiz.

The days of running riot with the likes of Suarez, Messi and Neymar in attack are long gone; Barca have scored just four in their last six matches.

Under pressure manager Ronald Koeman received the backing of Barcelona president Joan Laporta despite one win in six games.

“He has a contract, [and] we hope that he can get us back on the winning path, playing the way we want. I know he will give it his all,” Laporta told reporters hours before kick off.

Espanyol 2 Real Madrid 1

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their season isn't quite in the same crisis mode as rivals Barcelona. Their 2-1 defeat to Espanyol was their first of the season, and they remain top of the La Liga table on goal difference.

However, they too look far from the outfit that won three of the past six Champions Leagues, and were beaten in midweek by Moldovan minnows Sheriff Tiraspol in Europe's premier competition.

Raul de Tomas, a former Real Madrid youth player, opened the scoring for Espanyol in the first half before Karim Benzema equalised with his 10th goal of the season. Aleix Vidal netted the second-half winner.

"[It was] our worst match of the season," Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said. "We played badly. It wasn’t an accident today and we deserved to lose."

Rennes 2 PSG 0

The expectation was for PSG and their star-studded line up to notch up scorelines similar to those found in cricket against many of their lesser-funded French league opponents.

So far, it hasn't worked out like that and, despite fielding Messi, Mbappe and Neymar in the starting line up, they failed to have a single shot on target against Rennes (a Messi free-kick hit the bar).

It was their first league defeat in what was their ninth fixture and they remain top of Ligue 1, but doubts remain over how effective the dazzling trio are when played together.

Gatetan Laborde scored just before half time and Flavien Tait just afterwards. Messi meanwhile is yet to score in the league for PSG and Mbappe hasn't scored in his past five matches in all competitions.

Is the Dream Team just a dream, or will it wake from its slumber soon?

Bayern Munich 1 Eintracht Frankfurt 2

The Bayern steamroller was finally halted as Eintracht Frankfurt inflicted a first home defeat in 30 matches at the Allianz Arena.

Leon Goretzka gave Bayern the lead before Frankfurt captain Martin Hinteregger equalised and Filip Kostic scored an 83rd-minute winner to end Bayern's run of nine consecutive wins and inflict Julian Nagelsmann's first loss since taking the managerial reins.

Bayern remain top of the Bundesliga on goal difference ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, and this was seen more as a blip than a lasting problem, having scored 17 goals in their previous four matches. It was also only the third time in 13 games this season that striker Robert Lewandowski failed to find the net.

"It always hurts to lose, but this defeat hurts a bit more because it was avoidable," Nagelsmann told DAZN broadcaster.

"We were punished today for not taking our chances."

Updated: October 4th 2021, 7:41 AM