Mazzarri begins well, PSG take confidence: Talking points from European soccer
Talking points from the weekend in European soccer leagues:
NAPOLI'S MAZZARRI FACES DEFENSIVE CHALLENGES
Walter Mazzarri's spell as Napoli manager got off to a fine start with a 2-1 win at Atalanta on Sunday but he must now address defensive issues ahead of crucial matches.
Defender Mathias Olivera was taken off on a stretcher after slipping and is set for an extended period on the sidelines.
The injury to the Uruguay international has put Mazzarri in a difficult position as the Napoli squad currently lacks any available left-backs, with Mario Rui also sidelined.
First-choice goalkeeper Alex Meret could bring some relief as his recovery from a calf injury is expected before Napoli's trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Napoli will then host Serie A leaders Inter Milan next Sunday before travelling to Juventus on Dec. 8.
PSG ON TRACK AHEAD OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SHOWDOWN
Reigning champions Paris St Germain will arrive at Tuesday's Champions League clash against Newcastle United with all the weapons to avenge last month's 4-1 loss at St James Park.
With only three points standing between Group F leaders Borussia Dortmund, on seven, and bottom-placed Newcastle, a win appears key for second-placed PSG's knockout stage hopes.
Manager Luis Enrique did not miss injured 17-year-old midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery in their 5-2 home win over AS Monaco on Friday and his team no longer seems to rely solely on striker Kylian Mbappe as the rout featured other four scorers.
New signing Ousmane Dembele scored for the first time this season, earning praise from his Spanish coach, who hailed him as "the most difficult player in the world to defend against".
Goncalo Ramos and Randal Kolo Muani, who also arrived in Paris this season, also got on the scoresheet, alongside Vitinha's powerful strike, in a strong performance that could be a turning point for the capital side's European campaign.
BARCA MUST DIG DEEP TO KEEP TROPHY HOPES ALIVE
Barcelona had to fight back to snatch a point at Rayo Vallecano in a 1-1 draw on Saturday as the champions saw third-placed Atletico Madrid win 1-0 against visiting Mallorca to move level with the Catalans on 31 points but with a game in hand.
Provisional leaders Real Madrid have moved four points clear of Barca, while Girona could open up a six-point gap over them with a home win over Athletic Bilbao on Monday.
"If we want to win LaLiga and other titles we must give more of ourselves," said coach Xavi Hernandez after Saturday's draw.
Barca are far from the form that led them to the league and Spanish Supercup titles last season but on Tuesday they host Champions League Group H rivals Porto and a win would put them in the knockout stages for the first time in three seasons.