Joško Gvardiol scored his first goal for RB Leipzig Saturday in a 4-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach. Gvardiol headed home a sharp header following a free kick in the 21st minute to break the deadlock. Along with the goal, Gvardiol has been crushing it on the defensive end. And remember, he’s still a 19 year-old teenager for another month.
Duje Ćaleta-Car followed Gvardiol’s footsteps this weekend with a goal of his own in a 2-0 Marseille victory over Strasbourg. With the match 1-0 in the 82nd minute, DCC headed home a Payet corner kick to seal the deal for Marseille. With Lovren and Vida in the twilight of their Croatian careers, the future Vatreni defense will only get stronger (faster) with weekends like these where Gvardiol and DCC perform well. You can add Sosa, Juranović, Pongračić, and Stanišić to that list as well.
Dinamo Zagreb’s Kristijan Jakić (on loan) scored his first goal for Eintracht Frankfurt Sunday in a 5-2 thumping over Bayer Leverkusen. Jakić sealed the deal in the 66th minute when he banged in a shot from 17 yards out to make the game 4-2. Jakić is only 24 years old and plays as a central defensive midfielder. He is getting solid minutes in the Bundesliga this season as he sits behind Marcelo Brozović in the Croatian pecking order. If Jakić shows his worth in Germany this season, he should find a permanent home in a top-5 league as Dinamo have missed him alongside selling Majer in the summer.
Luka Modrić captained Real Madrid to a 2-0 victory over hated city rivals Atletico Sunday night in the Spanish capital. Modrić had one of his best games of the season at 36 years old with an incredible 9.5 rating (TheRealChamps) as Real Madrid now sit eight points free atop the La Liga table. “Take a bow. Luka Modrić has been working his ass off these last few weeks when Real Madrid needed this kind of class and effort the most, and he finished this gauntlet stretch of matches with his best performance of the season yet. Modrić was all over the pitch defensively, constantly recovering the ball for his team. Atleti could never get into a rhythm because of Modrić’s sensational quality on the ball and in disrupting passing lanes. The first goal of the match started because of his astute defending. The stats say Modrić had four dribbles completed, three interceptions, and two tackles, but it feels like he had a lot more.”
Ivan Perišić, Marcelo Brozović and Inter Milan are on absolute fire in Italy. Both Croatian internationals got the start for Inter in their 4-0 win over Cagliari on Sunday. With both Napoli and AC Milan dropping points this weekend, Inter are back in 1st place in Italy. Brozović has been locked in this season as his current contract is set to expire in June and the CDM is in high demand all across Europe.
Ivo Grbić posted a clean sheet Sunday as Lille played out a 0-0 draw against Lyon.