Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Mexico draw Portugal for Confederations Cup

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Burnley 1-2 Manchester City
(Marney 14')-(Aguero 37', 60')

Hull City 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
(Dawson 72')-(McAuley 34')

Leicester City 2-2 Middlesbrough
(Mahrez PK 34', Slimani 90+4')-(Negredo 13', 71')

Liverpool 2-0 Sunderland
(Origi 75', Milner PK 90+1')

Divock Origi rescued a Liverpool team that was looking like they wouldn't be able to scratch anything across against lowly Sunderland. They had their chances throughout the match, but until Origi steppe, they couldn't get anything going. Unfortunately, the only reason Origi was in the game at all was because Phillippe Coutinho left around the half hour mark with an ugly looking foot/ankle injury. The injured limb had to be braced off as Coutinho was stretchered off in severe distress.

Swansea City 5-4 Crystal Palace
(Sigurdsson 36', Fer 66', 68', Llorente 90+1', 90+3')-(Zaha 19', Tomkins 75', Cork 82', Benteke 84')

In what can only be described as a wild, wild finish, Bob Bradley gets his first Premier League win. It didn't come without difficulty, though. His side blew a 3-1 lead in the final 15 minutes before going down with six to play. Two stoppage time goals from Fernando Llorente turned the tides in the dying moments to give Swans only their second win of the year and the first ever for an American manager in the Premier League.

Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
(Pedro 45', Moses 51')-(Eriksen 11')

Chelsea's streak of six consecutive clean sheets died out early thanks to a stunner of a goal from Christian Eriksen. Not to be outdone, Pedro produced an equally impressive strike to level the score before the break. Victor Moses was able to get the winner early in the second half that saw Chelsea extend their win streak to seven and retain their place at the top of the Premier League pile.

Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 TSG Hoffenheim
(Dahoud 25')-(Amiri 53')

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
(Huszti 46', Seferovic 79')-(Aubameyang 77')

The is an unfortunate result for Borussia Dortmund, especially after their big win against Bayern Munich last week. They miss a change to get back into the top four with this setback. They are down in sixth place with 21 points, one back of a Champions League place.

FC Köln 0-0 FC Augsburg

FC Ingolstadt 04 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg
(Jung 31')-(Caligiuri 78')

Hamburg SV 2-2 Werder Bremen
(Gregoritsch 3', 28')-(Bartels 14', Gnabry 45')

Bayern Munich 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen
(Alcantara 30', Hummels 56')-(Calhanoglu 35')

Bayern Munich manages to keep pace with RB Leipzig, who were six points ahead after yesterday. The gap is back down to three, but the long running German champions are still behind through 12 matches. The two top sides square off on December 21, the final week before the German winter break, at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

La Liga
Málaga 4-3 Deportivo La Coruña
(Santos PK 21', 56', Ramirez 40', Ontiveros 90+2')-(Borges 4', 81', Andone 72')

Real Madrid 2-1 Sporting Gijón
(Ronaldo 5', 18')-(Carmona 35')

Another brace for Ronaldo, another victory for Real Madrid. They enter next weekend's Clasico against Barcelona in a solid first place. They are seven clear of their rivals, who play today.

Espanyol 3-0 Leganés
(Moreno 47', Piatti 51', 88')

Sevilla 2-1 Valencia
(Pareja 75')-(El Haddadi 65')

Serie A
Torino 2-1 Chievo Verona
(Falque 35', 38')-(Inglese 85')

Empoli 1-4 AC Milan
(Saponara 17')-(Lapadula 15', 77', Suso 61', Costa 64')

It's entirely possible that AC Milan are back. This emphatic win moves them temporarily into second place and four points back of Juventus for first. AC Milan were once one of the Giants of Europe. They last won the Champions League in 2007 and were Italian champions as recently as 2011. In fact, they have the third most domestic and continental titles in the entire world. They've been down for the past few years, but their early season outlook has them back in the Champions League at the end of the year. Colombian international Carlos Bacca is leading the charge with six goals, but 23-year-old Spaniard Suso, who scored the winner yesterday, is right behind him with five. 

Their best player is probably midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura, who arrived from Atalanta at the beginning of the 2014/15 season. He has made himself a staple in the attacking and central midfield thanks to his wonderful passing skills. A consistently 80%+ passer, he hasn't seen action with the Italian national team since 2013, but with the way he's playing at AC Milan, that could change soon.

Ligue 1
AS Monaco 4-0 Olympique Marseille
(Boschilia 23', Germain 29', 39', Carrillo 90+1')

Bordeaux 2-2 Dijon
(Rolan 48', Kamano 88')-(Abeid 44', Tavares 62')

Caen 1-1 Guingamp
(Ronny 79')-(De Pauw 85')

Metz 3-3 Lorient
(Falette 11', Vion 75', 78')-(Waris 16', Moukandjo 54', PK 61')

Montpellier 0-0 AS Nancy Lorraine

Nantes 0-0 Lille

Monaco are on top of France until at least the end of the Nice-Bastia match today. Together, Nice and Monaco are providing a wonderful title fight with Paris-Saint Germain only three points off their pace at the moment. That's quite a change of pace in Ligue 1, which has been dominated by PSG for the last four seasons. The combination of Laurent Blanc leaving as manager and Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving on to conquer the Premier League has opened doors for the rest of the league, including the Mario Balotelli led Nice and the filthy rich AS Monaco.

European League Tables

Liga MX- Quarterfinals Second Leg
UANL 5-0 Pumas UNAM (7-2 on aggregate)
(Gignac 4', 75', 79' Veron OG 26', Delort 89')

Tijuana 3-2 Leon (3-5 on aggregate)
(Moreno PK 13', Corona 41', Rodriguez 43')-(Boselli 81', Montes 84')

tigres rides their French star Andre-Pierre Gignac to the semi-finals this week. Meanwhile, top seeded Tijuana looked to be forcing extra time with Leon until the final ten minutes foiled their plans. Two away goals in the dying minutes was enough to sink the leaders in unexpected fashion.

Headlines
We have groups for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia next summer. The tournament will feature Russia as hosts, Germany as defending champions, and the winners of each of the six confederations. Portugal, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, and Australia are already in. Africa is yet to determine their representative, as their championship will be played this winter.

GROUP A
Russia
Portugal
Mexico
New Zealand

GROUP B
Germany
Chile
Australia
TBD (African Nations Cup winners)

There's no way to avoid a tough draw in such a small torunament. While both groups are tough, Group B is the more difficult of the two thanks to Germany and Chile being there. Australia and the African champions will have themselves a tough go. Mexico gets a solid look, though. While playing Russia at home will be a challenge, it's far from impossible. New Zealand should be a win. Portugal will be their toughest match, but I see them prevailing overall and making it to the semis.

Today's Matches
Premier League
Watford v. Stoke City- 7am- CNBC
Arsenal v. AFC Bournemouth- 9:15am- CNBC
Manchester United v. West Ham- 11:30am- NBCSN
Southampton v. Everton- 11am- CNBC

Bundesliga
Schalke 04 v. SV Darmstadt 98- 9:30am
Hertha Berlin v. Mainz- 11:30am- FS1

La Liga
Villarreal v. Alavés- 6am
Osasuna v. Atletico Madrid- 10:15am- beIN
Celta Vigo v. Granada- 12:30pm
Real Sociedad v. Barcelona- 2:45pm- beIN

Serie A
Palermo v. Lazio- 6:30am
Bologna v. Atalanta- 9am
Cagliari v. Udinese- 9am
Crotone v. Sampdoria- 9am
Genoa v. Juventus- 9am- beIN
AS Roma v. US Pescara- 2:45pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Angers v. St. Etienne- 9am
Nice v. Bastia- 11am
Olympique Lyonnais v. Paris-Saint Germain- 2:45pm

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals Second Leg
Colorado Rapids v. Seattle Sounders- 4pm- ESPN

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Guadalajara v. Club America- 7:06pm- Univision
Pachuca v. Necaxa- 9:06pm

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