Barcelona got good news about Lionel Messi's hamstring yesterday. Colorado Rapids have also sent their starting keeper to Toronto, clearing the way for Tim Howard to come to the club, if he wants to.
Swansea City 1-0 Watford
Full Match Recap
FA Cup- Third Round
Newport County 1-2 Blackburn Rovers
(Byrne 30')-(Marshall PK 8', Rhodes 75')
This one had to be postponed due to poor pitch conditions at Newport County's home park. Blackburn gets the win thanks to a late winner from Jordan Rhodes. I have always had a soft spot for Newport County, so I'm a little upset at the loss. Back when I first started playing Football Manager, Newport County was the Conference South (6th division, now National League South) club I decided to take over and take to the top. Sadly, I never got that far in the game, but I have always kept one eye on that club's rise through the divisions.
Eibar 5-1 Granada
(Inui 35', Enrich 38', 68', Borja 74', 79')-(El Arabi 65')
Eibar was on a mission here and really crushed Granada to get back into a Europa League place. Eibar, who finished in 18th place and were due to be relegated last year, are only in the league because Elche were sent down for financial mismanagement instead, So they will certainly take their spot in Europe's lesser competition if they can hang on to it.
Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
Spezia 1-2 Alessandria
(Calaio PK 29')-(Bocalon 83', 90+2')
A heartbreaking finish here for Spezia. They had the lead for the vast majority of the match untik third division Alessandria's Riccardo Bocalon scored twice in the final ten minutes of the match to send them into the semifinals.
European League Tables
North American League Tables
Swansea City, who had fired Gary Monk earlier in the year, have brought in Francesco Guidolin as their full time boss. He will work alongside interim manager Alan Curtis for the rest of the season, but he will ave final decision making power throughout the club. Guidoin comes to Wales from Italy's Udinese, who, in 2011-12, he helped finish third and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Colorado Rapids have been trying to bring Tim Howard back to the states since the traded to become first in allocation order for returning US nationals. In response, they have sent goalkeeper Clint Irwin to Toronto FC for targeted allocation money and a third round pick in the resumption of the MLS Superdraft on Tuesday. This clears the spacer for Howard, but my question is what happens when they don't land him? Or, at the very least, don't get him until August?
Roberto Martinez had some wonderful comments for the officials for his Saturday afternoon clash with Chelsea. He called their decisions "diabolical" after John Terry scored the equalizer after being clearly offside. He will, shockingly, not face any disciplinary action from the FA over his comments. The reason? He didn't question referee Phil Jones's personal integrity. I don't know, in my mind calling a decision diabolical does bring integrity in to question.
Liverpool have made a deal to hold onto their starting keeper until 2021. Simon Mignolet has extended his deal at Anfield for another five seasons. The Belgian kept more clean sheets than any other keeper in the PRemier League last season.
A couple smaller Premier League clubs have added some players. Watford have brought on Nordin Amrabat from La Liga's Malaga by triggering his £6 million release clause. The 28-year old attacker expects to provide some support for Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, who have been doing most of the heavy lifting for the Hornets throughout this campaign.
Norwich have also signed Swiss international Timm Klose from Wolfsburg. The big center back hopes to seal the many leaks in one of the Premier League's worst defenses this season.
Leicester City are adding defender/midfielder Daniel Amartey from Danish club FC Copenhagen. The Ghanaian international is heading to the Premier League's second place club for somewhere between £5 and £ million.
Finally, Barcelona were concerned about the health of Lionel Messi after he had to be subbed off at halftime over the weekend. Scans of his bum hamstring have brought good news for the Ballon d'Or winner. It's still unclear if he will suit up for Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Athletic Bilbao, but he should be good to go for the weekend.
FA Cup- Third Round Replays
Aston Villa v. Wycombe Wanderers- 2:45pm
Bradford City v. Bury- 2:45pm
Bristol City v. West Bromwich Albion- 2:45pm- FS1
MK Dons v. Northampton Town- 2:45pm
Portsmouth v. Ipswich Town- 2:45pm
Yeovil Town v. Carlisle United- 2:45pm
Bolton Wanderers v. Eastleigh- 3pm
Reading v. Huddersfield Town- 3pm
Coupe de France- Round of 32
GFC Ajaccio v. Guingamp- 12pm
Stade Rennes v. Bourg-Peronnas- 12pm
Angers v. Bordeaux- 12:30pm
Bastia v. Sochaux- 1pm
US Sarre-Union v. Niort- 1pm
Paris-St. Germain v. Toulouse- 3pm
Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
Napoli v. Inter Milan- 2:45pm