Monday, November 21, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Chelsea win sixth straight without conceding

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea
(Costa 41')

After Liverpool and Manchester City rose to the top yesterday, Chelsea retakes the lead thanks to Diego Costa's goal shortly before half time. This was a little trickier of a road fixture for the Blues, who now won six straight without conceding a goal in the Premier League since getting wrecked 3-0 at Arsenal on my birthday back in September. 

TSG Hoffenheim 2-2 Hamburg SV
(Wagner 45+1', Zuber 49')-(Kostic 28', Muller 61')

Werder Bremen 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
(Grillitsch 38')-(Meier 52', Barkok 90')

Bobby Wood's Hamburg SV remain winless in the Bundesliga even though they scratch out a road point against fifth place TSG Hoffenheim. They sit at the bottom of the table through 11 matches and look like they are bound for the 2. Bundesliga at season's end. Hopefully Wood can keep up the good work over there and find a new top division home for next season if it does end up that way.

La Liga
Alavés 0-1 Espanyol
(Moreno 81')

Valencia 1-1 Granada
(Nani 47')-(Carcela-Gonzalez 45+1')

Sporting Gijón 1-3 Real Sociedad
(Cop 28')-(Prieto 19', Zurutuza 51', Martinez 56')

Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Villarreal
(Garcia 67')

Real Sociedad's win knocks Atletico Madrid onto the edge of Europa League qualification. A consistent tittle challenger over the past few years, Atletico Madrid seems to be in a freefall now after losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid for the second time in three years.

Serie A
Sampdoria 3-2 Sassuolo
(Quagliarella 84', Muriel 85', PK 90+1')-(Ricci 64', Ragusa 74')

Atalanta 2-1 AS Roma
(Caldara 62' Kessie PK 90')-(Perotti PK 40')

Bologna 3-1 Palermo
(Destro 20', Dzemaili 67', Viviani 72')-(Nestoroski 9')

Crotone 0-2 Torino
(Belotti 80', 89')

Empoli 0-4 Fiorentina
(Bernardeschi 26', 61', Ilicic PK 47', 67')

Lazo 3-1 Genoa
(Anderson 11', Biglia PK 57', Wallace 65')-(Ocampos 52')

AC Milan 2-2 Inter Milan
(Suso 42', 58')-(Candreva 53', Perisic 90+2')

The Derby della Madonnina one of the most heated rivalries in Europe and Ivan Perisic made sure to keep the honors even at this edition at the San Siro. Instead of AC Milan holding onto the win, Stefano Pioli gets a point in his first match with Inter Milan as he was brought in during the international break to replaced the fired Frank de Boer. A derby match like this is tough for any manager, let alone making his debut with a new club. He will certainly take the result, even if it did come at the death of the match.

Ligue 1
Guingamp 1-1 Bordeaux
(Briand 90+3')-(Lewczuk 22')

Olympique Marseille 1-0 Caen
(Rolando 81')

St. Etienne 0-1 Nice
(Eysseric 63')

Nice continue to make France an interesting league this season. This win came without their newly resurrected goal scoring threat, Mario Balotelli and keeps them three points clear of Paris-Saint Germain and AS Monaco atop the table.

European League Tables

Liga MX
Toluca 1-2 Santos
(Leite 89')-(Izquierdoz 27', Rodriguez 76')

Puebla 0-3 Pumas UNAM
(Barrera 54', 81', Britos 63')

Toluca fails to get a result at home against lowly Santos and thus misses the Liga MX Apertura playoffs. Things fared much better for Pumas, who also needed a win to make the postseason. Their second half goal fest propels them from ninth place and out all the way to sixth place and in while ending Monterrey's season prematurely.

The playoff matches present us with another two legged tie featuring Mexico's two most popular clubs, Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America. Last Clausura, the two met at this same stage with Chicas prevailing. There's also a rematch of the 2015 Apertura final between Pumas UNAM and UANL, which UANL won on penalties after a thrilling 4-4 tie through two legs. Here's the full set of quarterfinal matches with the first legs to be played in the middle of this week and the return legs over the weekend:

Tijuana v. Leon
Pachuca v. Necaxa
UANL v. Pumas UNAM
Guadalajara v. Club America

North American League Tables

West Bromwich Albion have been sitting striker Saido Berahino due to being overweight and out of shape. He hasn't seen the pitch since September and won't be on it any time soon. He has been sent back to France for additional conditioning. He hasn't been on manager Tony Pulis's good side for a while now. He wasn't too happy about his club turning down a transfer offer that would have taken him from lower mid-table West Brom to borderline title contenders Tottenham over the summer. If his method of protest was to stop training and gain weight while falling out of shape, then I think he needs to find a more productive way of forcing himself out of a club.

Robbie Keane has left LA Galaxy, but is still open to latching onto another club. Most people think that new club will be back in the UK or Ireland, but there's a rumor going around that MLS expansion outfit Atlanta United are offering him a contract. They already have one Designated Player in former Premier Leaguer Kenwyne Jones, and could add another older one from the looks of it.

Today's Matches
Premier League
West Bromwich Albion v. Burnley- 3pm- NBCSN

La Liga
Leganes v. Osasuna- 2:45pm

50,000 Words of Soccer Update
The word count now stands at 32,355.

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