Monday, November 28, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Seattle heads to their first MLS Cup Final

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Watford 0-1 Stoke City
(Gomes OG 29')

Arsenal 3-1 AFC Bournemouth
(Sanchez 12', 90+1', Walcott 53')-(Wilson PK 23')

The first half was pretty ugly, but Arsenal manage to score twice in the second to keep pace with the rest of the leaders in England. They find themselves three points back of the top, but down in fourth place thanks to Liverpool and Manchester City sitting within one of Chelsea in first. Arsenal are now on a 19 match unbeaten run in all competitions. They have not lost since the opening day of the season agaisnt Liverpool.

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham
(Ibrahimovic 21')-(Sakho 2')

Hey, look! Jose Mourinho had himself another temper tantrum and was sent to the stands again. That makes two banishings for the United manager this season. He had a rather harsh reaction to a yellow card shown to Paul Pogba for diving in the first half. Last time he was sent away from the bench, he was suspended for a game. Before that, he was fined £50,000 for comments towards Anthony Taylor's appointing as referee for his match against Chelsea. It seems The Special One is picking up right where he left off at Chelsea in terms of his behavior.

Southampton 1-0 Everton
(Austin 1')

Bundesliga
Schalke 04 2-1 SV Darmstadt 98
(Kolasinac 26', Choupo-Moting 60')-(Heller 6')

Hertha Berlin 2-1 Mainz
(Ibisevic 36', 67')-(Seydel 25')

La Liga
Villarreal 0-2 Alavés
(Gomez 8', Camarasa 17')

Osasuna 0-3 Atlético Madrid
(Godin 36', Gameiro 37', Carrasco 90')

Celta Vigo 3-1 Granada
(Aspas 23', Bongonda 39', Diop 90+3')-(Kravets 87')

Real Sociedad 1-1 Barcelona
(Jose 53')-(Messi 59')

Barcelona experiences another slip up leading into next weekend's El Clasico. They are in second place, but they are six points back of their biggest rivals Real Madrid. A win at home will go a long way towards keeping this a two (or more) team race. A loss might as well hand the title to Ronaldo and company already, though, as a nine point difference will be very difficult to make up considering how great Real Madrid have been playing all season long.

Serie A
Palermo 0-1 Lazio
(Milinkovic-Savic- 31')

Bologna 0-2 Atalanta
(Masiello 15', Kurtic 68')

Cagliari 2-1 Udinese
(Farias 35', Sau 58')-(Fofana 51')

Crotone 1-1 Sampdoria
(Falcinelli 43')-(Bruno 71')

Genoa 3-1 Juventus
(Simeone 4', 13', Rigoni 29')-(Pjanic 82')

AS Roma 3-1 US Pescara
(Dzeko 7', 10', Perotti PK 71')-(Memushaj 60', Caprari 74')

This was quite the win for Genoa as they ambush the leaders with a trio of goals in under a half hour. This closes the gap in Italy to only four points when it could have been seven. AS Roma and AC Milan are the closest challengers. Lazio and Atalanta are five points back of the top in fourth and fifth respectively.

Ligue 1
Angers 1-2 St. Etienne
(Pepe 18')-(Pogba 59', Tannane 77')

Nice 1-1 Bastia
(Plea 11')-(Crivelli 60')

Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Paris-Saint Germain
(Valbuena 48')-(Cavani 30', 81')

PSG keeps pace with the other contenders in France with this win. The top three spots in Ligue 1 are separated by only one point now thanks to the Nice draw. Nice are still in the lead, but right on their tails are hot AS Monaco and the always threatening PSG. 

European League Tables

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Finals Second Leg
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Seattle Sounders (1-3 on aggregate) 
(Morris 56')

Jordan Morris capped off a wonderful defensive performance from the Sounders to send them through to their first MLS Cup Final in their eight seasons in existence. Seattle managed to beat the Rapids at their own game in this one. Normally it is Colorado looking to remain smart at the back while hoping to smash and grab a 1-0 victory. With the Rapids already down in aggregate, however, they needed to be more aggressive in their search for the one goal. Seattle's defensive approach forced a possession based game out of the Rapids, which they have never been used to playing. They were never able to create any truly viable chances up front and made one mistake in back that allowed the Morris goal.

The Sounders await the winner of Wednesday's Eastern Conference Final between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. If the Impact hold their 3-2 aggregate lead, the Final will be played at CenturyLink Field. If Toronto succeeds in the comeback, it will be at BMO Field. Regardless, it will be a fantastic atmosphere, possibly the best MLS Cup has ever seen.

Liga MX Playoffs- Quarterfinals Second Leg
Guadalajara 0-1 Club America (1-2 on aggregate)
(Peralta 55')

Club American gets the lone goal of this second leg to take the series in another playoff match between Mexico's biggest clubs. It's the second time in 2016 that America has ended Guadalajara's season. They also knocked Chivas out of the playoffs last Clausura campaign.

Pachuca 0-0 Necaxa (1-2 on aggregate)

Here are the semi-final matches for the Apertura playoffs:

UANL v. Leon
Club America v. Necaxa

While no specific times are known yet, the first legs will be played midweek and the second legs over next weekend.

Headlines
This is actually from a couple days ago, but I forgot to include in in Yesterday's Wake Up. Detroit City FC announced their latest international friendly match. They will take on Northern Irish Premier Division side Glentoran on Saturday May 27 at Keyworth Stadium. The match will honor the first ever professional soccer team in Detroit, the Detroit Cougars, who were represented by Glentoran back in 1967. Glentoran call Belfast, Northern Ireland their home and have won 23 Northern Irish titles, most recently in 2009-09. Last season's Detroit City international friendly agaisnt FC United of Manchester attracted more than 6,200 fans to Keyworth Stadium.

Today's Matches
La Liga
Las Palmas v. Athletic Bilbao- 2:45pm

Serie A
Napoli v. Sassuolo- 1pm
Inter Milan v. Fiorentina- 3pm

50,000 Words of Soccer Update
We are heading into the home stretch of the campaign and the word count stands at 44,115. Over the next three days, I will need to write 5,885 words, an average of 1,962 per day. So, with that in mind, expect a lot of soccer writing before the end of Wednesday.

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