Monday, January 11, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: FA Cup third round closes, Villa in crisis

It's been a busy weekend with enough cup matches to keep us occupied. We also saw some table shuffling in Italy and the opening of the Liga MX second half. As far as the news is concerned, Aston Villa are entering crisis mode, and Radamel Falcao isn't going back to France.

Yesterday's Scores
FA Cup- Third Round
Oxford United 3-2 Swansea City
(Sercombe PK 45', Roofe 49', 59')-(Montero 23', Gomis 66')

Carlisle United 2-2 Yeovil Town
Grainger 25', Ellis 76')-(Zoko 71', Jeffers 90+3')

Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Costa 13', Loftus-Cheek 68')

Tottenham 2-2 Leicester City
(Eriksen 8', Kane PK 89')-(Wasilewski 19', Okazaki 48')

Cardiff City 0-1 Shrewsbury Town
(Mangan 62')

League Two sides have been forcing replays against Premier League foes for the rest of the weekend, but today it was fourth division Oxford United taking down Swansea at home. Yeovil Town gets a stoppage time goal to force a replay with fellow League Two side Carlisle United. Chelsea had no problem with Scunthorpe. Harry Kane saved the day for Spurs at the death of the match with Leicester. Nathan Dyer handled in the box in the final couple minutes tos et up Kane's winner from the spot. League One's Shrewsbury Town was the other side to defeat a higher tier opponent with their 1-0 win at Cardiff.

La Liga
Villarreal 2-0 Sporting Gijon
(Bakambu 26', 51')

Real Sociedad 2-0 Valencia
(Jonathas 79', 82')

Eibar 2-1 Espanyol
(Inui 15', Borja PK 74')-(Jordan 22')

Las Palmas 1-1 Malaga
(Tana 51')-(Santa Cruz 72')

Celta Vigo 0-2 Atletico Madrid
(Griezmann 49', Ferreira-Carrasco 80')

Atletico goes back in front of Barcelona with their predictable win against sputtering Celta Vigo. They still have to worry about Barca's game in hand, but as long as they keep winning, the title will still be up for grabs. Eibar jumps back into a Europa League position thanks to their win over Espanyol. 

Serie A
Inter Milan 0-1 Sassuolo
(Berardi PK 90+5')

Atalanta 0-2 Genoa
(Dzemaili 79', Pavoletti 81')

Bologna 0-1 Chievo Verona
(Pepe 79')

Frosinone 1-5 Napoli
(Sammarco 81')-(Aibol 20', Higuain PK 30', 60', Hamsik 59', Gabbiadini 71')

Hellas Verona 0-1 Palermo
(Vazquez 27')

Torino 0-1 Empoli
(Maccarone 56')

Sampdoria 1-2 Juventus
(Cassano 64')-(Pogba 17', Khedira 46')

Another match week, another win for Juventus. That makes nine straight for the Old Lady as their disaster of an opening seems to be a thing of the past. They continue their steady climb up the table into second place, and will probably be in front before too long. I am expecting their win streak to climb up to at least ten before their next real challenge on the schedule, which is a January 24 clash with Roma/.

Ligue 1
Nantes 2-1 St. Etienne
(Sigthorsson 77', Audel 29')-(Roux PK 14')

Lille 1-1 Nice
(Benzia 10')-(Hult 45')

Olympique Marseille 0-0 Guingamp

Not much to say about France today. Guingamp gets sort of a coup against Marseille with the scoreless draw on the road, but that doesn't affect any real table position. Guingamp is still second from the bottom and Marseille is a boring mid-table club.

Liga MX
Toluca 1-0 UANL
(Uribe 90+1')

Guadalajara 2-2 Vera Cruz
(Pena 15', Zamora OG 59')-(Lopez 37', Furch 83')

The defending Apertura champs open their Clausura campaign with a road defeat to Toluca and Guadalajara draws Vera Cruz to finish off the season's first week. 

Spain's Real Betis must have felt left out of all the managerial drama going on throughout the world. They fired their head man Pepe Mel after having lost his last three league games. Mel oversaw the Betis promotion campaign last season, but hasn't been able to cut it in the top flight in Spanish football.

Aston Villa haven't won a Premier League match since the opening weekend, and things are looking rather dire. They are in last place and almost sure to be relegated from the Premier League for the first time ever. The board of directors has decided to hold a "crisis meeting" in New York with their American owner. Randy Lerner. The board is expected to ask for a ton of cash to buy some players this month. They hope this will save their season, and top flight lives, but I am pretty sure Villa are beyond saving at this point.

West Ham are beginning to see the injury bug catch up with them. Manuel Lanzini has been bothered by a thigh injury of late and, after making a brief appearance as a sub against Southampton before the new year, he has made his problem worse and expects to miss the next five or six weeks.

Radamel Falcao has had a rough loan spell in England. In two different stints with Manchester United and Chelsea, he hasn't exactly been productive. It almost seems that he has spent more time in the infirmary than on the pitch. There were rumors floating around that he would return to his home club of Monaco, but the French outfit has said no to that. The Colombian international has been out since the end of October and will likely miss a lot more time.

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