Monday, February 22, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: USA placed in Copa America's Group of Death

Yesterday's Scores
FA Cup- Fifth Round
Blackburn Rovers 1-5 West Ham
(Marshall 20')-(Moses 26', Payet 36', 90+2', Emenike 64', 85')

Tottenham 0-1 Crystal Palace
(Kelly 45+1')

Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City
(Costa 35', Willian 48', Cahill 53', Hazard 67', Traore 89')-(Faupala 37')

Manchester City got crushed by Chelsea here, but don't read too much into it. Five players made their starting debuts for the Citizens, as they were resting players for their midweek Champions League clash with Dinamo Kiev in Ukraine. A wise move for City, the FA Cup would have simply added more congestion to an already busy schedule, so they chose to punt the competition to focus on the Premier League and Champions League.

Was Manchester City "disrespecting the competition" here? No. I think they were simply picking their battles. City know that England have been struggling in Europe and could really use a good showing. A run on the continent would help their club a lot more than making a deep FA Cup run that could compromise both that European title chase as well as their slim hopes in the Premier League. If the FA wants their clubs to "respect the Cup" more, well, they should cut down fixture congestion to allow teams to give it their all in the oldest tournament in the world.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-1 Borussia Dortmund
(Aubameyang 64')

Interesting stuff here. After Aubameyang's goal, Bayer Leverkusen's manager, Roger Schmidt, was furious at the lack of a foul against Dortmund in the run up before the goal. His antics earned him a sending off to the stands for the rest of the match, but he refused to leave. Instead, it was the officials who departed the pitch while issuing Schmidt an ultimatum. Either he leave the technical area for the remainder of proceedings or his squad would forfeit the match by a 3-0 score. After a 15 minute delay, Schmit caved and headed into the seats so the match could continue.

Hannover 96 0-1 FC Augsburg
(Ja-Cheol 14')

Schalke 04 1-1 VfB Stuttgart
(Belhanda 14')-(Harnik 74')

La Liga
Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Sevilla
(Manucho 43', Miku 62')-(N'Zonzi 10', Iborra 20')

Malaga 1-1 Real Madrid
(Redall 66')-(Ronaldo 33')

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Sociedad
(Jonathas 17')

Granada 1-2 Valencia
(Edgar 90+3')-(Parejo 55', Mina 90')

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Villarreal

Serie A
Atalanta 2-3 Fiorentina
(Conti 84', Pinilla 90+1')-(Fernandez 67', Tello 81', Kalinic 87')

Genoa 2-1 Udinese
(Cerci 57', Laxalt 70')-(Adnan 33')

Sassuolo 3-2 Empoli
(Berardi 40', Defrel 48', 50')-(Zielinski 36'), Macarone PK 70')

Torino 0-0 Carpi

Frosinone 0-0 Lazio

AS Roma 5-0 Palermo
(Dzeko 30', 89', Keita 52', Salah, 60', 62')

Ligue 1
Olympique Marseille 1-1 St. Etienne
(Batshuayi 90+4')-(Monnet-Paquet 85')

Caen 1-0 Stade Rennes
(Ntibazonkiza 54')

Lille 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais
(Boufal 28')

Liga MX
Pumas UNAM 1-1 Santos
(Luduena 16')-(Calderon PK 41')

Puebla 3-2 Dorados de Sinaloa
(Alustiza 65', 69', Escudero 83')-(Zuniga 28', Caraglio 81')

The Copa America Centenario was last night in New York, and the hosts were handed probably the toughest draw available. The USA will head Group A with Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay. That;s probably your group of death here. but Group C is a close second. Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, and Venezuela should provide a good bit of fun. Here's the full draw:

Group A
United States
Costa Rica

Group B

Group C

Group D

The other draw that took place yesterday was that for the FA Cup Quarterfinals. Although there are still three ties left to determine, here are your quarterfinal pairings:

Reading v. Crystal Palace
Arsenal/Hull City v. Watford
Manchester United/Shrewsbury Town v. West Ham
Everton v. Chelsea

Chelsea's run will be the most interesting to watch, as Guus Hiddink has decided to make the FA Cup his priority going forward. This should mean their top squad will see the field against Everton and beyond. Hiddink knows the League is a lost cause, and the Champions League would be a pipe dream, so he is hedging his bets that he can win a second FA Cup as Chelsea interim manager, a feat he accomplished during his last run with the club in 2009.

Today's Matches
FA Cup- Fifth Round
Shrewsbury Town v. Manchester United

Serie A
Napoli v. AC Milan

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