Thursday, November 24, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Bale set to miss El Clasico

Yesterday's Scores
UEFA Champions League
Arsenal 2-2 Paris-Saint Germain
(Giroud PK 45+1', Verratti OG 60')-(Cavani 18', Moura 77')

Ludogorets Razgrad 0-0 FC Basel

Arsenal and PSG both miss chances to clinch the top spot in Group A with this draw. Arsenal did have themselves a 2-1 lead late in the match until Lucas Moura's header off a corner brought the sides back level. The tiebreaker will now be away goals socred, which is kind of a silly tiebreaker. I get the head to head record being the first one, but why are you skipping overall goal difference or goals scored and heading straight to away goals? It seems kind of silly to me that, at the moment, Arsenal, who have a greater goal difference and have scored more overall but find themselves in second because they have only scored four away from home. The Gunners will need a win and two goals scored at Basel on December 6 to take the top spot. PSG can only win and hope Arsenal can't accomplish that.

Besiktas 3-3 Benfica
(Tosun 58', Quaresma PK 83', Aboubakar 89')-(Guedes 10', Nelsinho 25', Fejsa 31')

Napoli 0-0 Dinamo Kiev

The race for the two Group B spots is wide open as only one point seperates Napoli, Benfica, and Besiktas at the top. Speaking of the Turkish club, hats off to them as they score thrice in the second half after going down 3-0 to salvage a point and keep hopes of winning the group alive. Napoli will probably feel like they missed their chance to get a leg up here with their draw at home to Kiev.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Manchester City
(Raffael 23')-(Silva 45+1')

Celtic 0-2 Barcelona
(Messi 24', PK 55')

Manchester City and Barcelona, who have won the group, are both through thanks to City holding the tiebreaker over Borussia Monchengladbach, who will likely end up in the Europa League. Fair play to Celtic yesterday, though. Only losing to Barcelona 2-0 is a moral victory for a club of their stature.

Rosov 3-2 Bayern Munich
(Azmoun 44', Poloz PK 49', Noboa 66')-(Costa 35', Bernat 52')

Atl├ętico Madrid 2-0 PSV Eindhoven
(Gameiro 55', Griezmann 66')

Rostov's shocking first ever group stage win opened the door for Atletico Madrid to win the group and that's exactly what they did. Atletico made simple work of PSV to seal the top spot with the only perfect record in the Champions League remaining. They will test that against Bayern Munich in a match that will be fun, although meaningless. Rostov is back in play for the Europa League. A point against Eindhoven will see them through to Europe's other competition.

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals First Leg
Leon 3-0 Tijuana
(Boselli 12', Moran 18', Cano 62')

Pumas UNAM 2-2 UANL
(Barrera PK 36', Martinez 66')-(Sosa 8', Damm 48')

Neymar is facing a two year suspended prison sentence thanks to some improper handling of his transfer fee from Barcelona to his former Brazilian club Santos. Brazilian investment group DIS evidently owned 40% of his transfer rights and was not properly compensated. Neymar and his father are apparently being considered at fault, too. The pair will stand trial in a Spanish court.

Amidst rumors that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Manchester United for MLS, the club has announced their intention to extend his contract into next season. He signed a one year deal with an option for a second with United over the summer on a free transfer from Paris-Saint Germain. Despite not producing the gaudy numbers he had in France, Jose Mourinho is apparently satisfied enough with him that he wants another season with the Swede.

Gareth Bale picked up an ankle injury in Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Sporting CP, The knock is serious enough that he will be required to have surgery and could miss several months. He is definitely counted out for El Clasico against Barcelona on December 3 and the Champions League group stage finale a few days later, which Real Madrid needs to win in order to win their group.

Portland Timbers midfielder and American international Darlington Nagbe is being courted by Glasgow Celtic. He was in attendance for their Champions League match against Barcelona and given the red carpet treatment by the Scottish giants. The Timbers say that a deal is unlikely, but Celtic manager Brendan Rogers is hoping to sign him in January.

Steven Gerrard will be retiring. He was already set to leave LA Galaxy over the winter as his contract expires, but it was rumored that he might return to England or pick up another gig with an MLS side.Instead, the former Liverpool and England captain will hang up his boots. He played 710 matches for Liverpool and won the Champions League in 2005. He also has two FA Cups and 114 caps with England to his name.

Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, Orlando City, and Sporting Kansas City made a plethora of roster moves yesterday. The biggest of which was the Crew not picking up the option on goalkeeper Steve Clark. Several other players are out of contract with their teams, including Razvan Cocis and Luis Solignac of Chicago, Seb Hines of Orlando, and Jacob Peterson of SKC.

Today's Matches
Europa League
Fenerbahce v. FC Zorya Luhansk- 11am
FC Astana v. Apoel Nicosia- 11am- ESPN3
FK Qabala v. Anderlecht- 11am
Zenit St. Petersburg v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv- 11am- FS2
Ajax Amsterdam v. Panathinaikos- 1pm
Celta Vigo v. Standard Liege- 1pm- ESPN3
KAA Gent v. Braga- 1pm
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Konyaspor- 1pm
Krasnodar v. FC Salzburg- 1pm
Schalke 04 v. Nice- 1pm- ESPN3
Fiorentina v. PAOK Salonika- 1pm- ESPN3
Liberec v. FK Qarabag- 1pm
Hapoel Be'er v. Inter Milan- 1pm- FS2
Sparta Prague v. Southampton- 1pm- FS1
FC Zurich v. Villarreal- 1pm
Steaua Bucharesti v. Osmanlispor- 1pm
Manchester United v. Feyenoord Rotterdam- 3:05pm- FS1
Olympiakos v. Young Boys- 3:05pm
St. Etienne v. Mainz- 3:05pm
Dundalk v. AZ Alkmaar- 3:05pm
AS Roma v. Viktoria Plzen- 3:05pm
Austria Vienna v. FK Astra Giurgiu- 3:05pm
Athletic Bilbao v. Sassuolo- 3:05pm- ESPN3
Racing Genk v. Rapid Vienna- 3:05pm

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals First Leg
Necaxa v. Pachuca- 8:30pm- Univision Deportes
Club America v. Guadalajara- 10:30pm- Univision Deportes

50,000 Words of Soccer Update
We are entering the home stretch as this Wake Up and an article remembering the rocky MLS career of Didier Drogba take the word count to 40,098. Less than 10,000 words to go!

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