Thursday, April 24, 2014

Real Beat Bayern, San Lorenzo And The Pope, Crystal Palace, Chelsea To Field Weakened Team, Brazil Protests, Spain's Awful World Cup Anthem Video

Che! Padre! San Lorenzo!
Right! Not the greatest match yesterday but certainly a major improvement over Tuesday's drab draw between Chelsea and the other Madrid side. Real Madrid won at home by a goal to nil to set up what should be a juicy return leg in Munich next Tuesday. Here's your lot:

Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Daniel Taylor at the Bernabéu
Adam Bate: Clash of styles felt like far more than just a contest between two teams
Sid Lowe: Ronaldo lays charge for explosion against Bayern
Graham Hunter: Pep's decision to move Lahm ruined Bayern's hopes
Jonathan Wilson: Real Madrid strikes, holds firm in win over Bayern
Michael Cox: Modric passes test after Bayern Munich lose their way
Miguel Delaney: Three things: Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
German Press: Bayern's 'predictable' tactics slammed

We all know that Pope Francis is from Argentina. Some of us know that he's a football fan. A couple of us know that he supports San Lorenzo. Jonathan Wilson takes a look at the Argentine champions chances in the Copa Libertadores.

Want to see something really, really bad? Here is Spain's World Cup Anthem Video. It's really, really bad. Cesar Azpilicueta can really rock that tambourine, though...

Crystal Palace. The South London club that was left for dead back in the fall whilst languishing at the bottom of the league has somehow been guided to safety. By Tony Pubis, of all people. After Brendan Rodgers, you'd have to rank him as Manager of the Year. Dominic Fifield has a piece on the Palace revival.

There are matches today. The Europa League. Semifinals. Juventus. Benfica. Sevilla. Valencia. Preview.

The loan system. It's a mess, right? Chelsea have 26 players out on loan. Lukaku has enjoyed a fine season at Everton. Victor Moses looks set to win a Champions medal. And yet Jose claims he doesn't have any good strikers. And he'll field a weakened team this weekend against Liverpool, by the way.

There were more protests in Brazil on Tuesday. One person died during violent protests in Rio near Copacabana beach. A dancer allegedly killed by police sparked the protests. Ugly, ugly, ugly. FIFA should get Brazil to crack down on this sort of thing. Oh. Wait.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Moyes And Man U., Atlético Madrid & Chelsea Finish Scoreless, Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

A spot of fun in Madrid for the traveling supporters...
Welcome to another Hump Day, folks. The big item on the agenda is the second Champions League semi-final first-leg featuring the defending champions Bayern Munich and Los Blancos de Madrid. But first, we should examine yesterday's match. You want a quick summary? Chelsea parked the bus and nobody scored. You want more? Here:

Atlético Madrid 1-1 Chelsea: Daniel Taylor at the Vicente Calderón

Oh, gosh. Everyone is still going nuts over the Moyes sacking. Marina Hyde claims that the sorry saga of David Moyes won't shake Sir Alex Ferguson's self-belief. Barney Ronay reckons the appointment of Moyes was a big mistake. Simon Kuper says Manchester United’s biggest problem is not selecting next manager. Russell Brand (!?) is also talking about it in his typically humorous manner. How's this for a sentence: Sir Alex Ferguson's selection of the "chosen one" now looks less like John the Baptist heralding Christ and more like what I would do if invited to select my ex's next partner; the mendacious dispatch of a castrated chump to grimly jiggle with futile pumps upon Man United's bone-dry, trophy-bare mound. ?

So, today we move across the city from the Vicente Calderón to the Santiago Bernabéu to enjoy Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich. Sadly, Gareth Bale probably won't play. He has the flu. And we'll have to wait and see about Ronny. Check it:

Seated firmly in the WTF?! category is the fact that FIFA have decided to allow Barcelona to transfer players this summer. Yes, the ban is suspended pending appeal. What a joke.

"Yes, José, I'm injured. No, José, you can't have my woobie...
Leicester City and Burnley have been promoted to the Premier League. Here's the question: Can they stay there? Richard Jolly examines the two new boys.

Scott Murray: Real Madrid vs. Bayern: The night Juanito kicked Matthäus in the face. Read it. Enjoy it.

More Major League Soccer? Why not?

Sticking with the States, Jermaine Jones is getting ready for the World Cup the best way he knows how...with ink, bitches!

Sticking with the World Cup, some guy named Karl Matchett has 50 reasons why it'll be the best ever. Sorry, Karl, but it ain't gonna happen.

And finally...Vincent Kompany has opened a couple of bars in Belgium. They're called, "Good Kompany." The servers wear badges that say, "I Heart Foul Play." Good Grief.



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moyes Fired, Atlético Madrid vs. Chelsea, Scribes, Burnley Promoted, City Defeat West Brom, European Relegation Battles
Good Day! Loads to get through, beginning with the expected news that Manchester United have decided to part ways with Moe Szyslak. Here's all the fallout:

Burnley will be back amongst the big boys next season. They joined Leicester City yesterday as the second Championship side to earn automatic promotion to the Premier League. How did they do it? Strong work ethic. 4-4-2 design. Ginger Mourinho.

In yesterday's match, Manchester City made easy work of West Brom and cruised to a 3-1 win. They're back within six points of Liverpool and still have a game in hand.

The Champions! It all goes down this afternoon in Madrid at The Vicente Calderón. Fernando Torres has returned (to a warm reception, we're told) to the ground where he made his reputation as one of the greatest strikers in the world. It's the Champions League semi-final first leg between Atlético Madrid and Chelsea and it's on Fox Sports I at 2:45pm EDT. The Blues are coming off their shocking loss at home to Sunderland. How shall they respond? Here's all you need to know:
Tuesday means it's time to go in deep with some analyses of what went down over the weekend. Like Wide World of Sports, we'll span the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition...

Where? Brazil. Who? Tim Vickery. What? Brazil stars' club troubles no concern for Scolari

Where? Germany. Who? Uli Hesse. What? Relegation battle can provide the cruellest of twists.

Where? Germany. Who? Raphael Honigstein. What? Hamburg look to higher powers while Stuttgart take huge leap to safety

Tuesday also means Monday Musings from Gab. This week it's Sore Mourinho, Messi's future, Moyes' delusions, more.

We also need to check in with Major League Soccer. A quick look at some of Jeff Carlisle's Power Rankings coupled with an MLS Best XI should do the trick.

Wow! We've got to end there, folks. Keep it tite.



Monday, April 21, 2014

Chelsea Lose To Sunderland, Everton Dominate Manchester United, Moyes Set For The Sack?, Messi Saves Barcelona, Roma Win At Fiorentina, Monday Night Football, Berbatov Goal poor.
A glorious spring Monday here at SSN Headquarters where the sun is shining, the birds chirping, and the temperature ideal. Not so ideal for David Moyes, with reports of his demise making the rounds after another completely inept performance, this time at Everton. Yes, it would appear that he is going to get the sack before he can even make it through a season. Oh, dear. How did it all go so wrong? Meanwhile, it's all going right for United's rivals Liverpool. Phil McNulty says Liverpool will never forgive themselves if they fail to win title. Sunderland did Liverpool a big favor by winning at Stamford Bridge. Predictably, The Special One was having none of it. Asshat.

Weekend Premier League Action Links:

Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland: Jacob Steinburg at Stamford Bridge
Everton 2-0 Manchester United: Jamie Jackson at Goodison Park
Norwich City 2-3 Liverpool: Sachin Nakrani at Carrow Road

In Spain, Barcelona looked set for more disappointment, but Messi saved the day. Meanwhile, Atlético won and are three wins from the title. Round 'em up!

In Serie A, Juventus and Roma won, and Napoli was held by Udinese. Elsewhere, Inter saw off Parma and AC Milan beat Livorno. Here's more.

What else of note happened across Europe? Let's take a look.

We learned a lot of things in Major League Soccer this weekend. Here are Five of said things. And here's a Team of the Week.

I'm still here.
There is a match of import this evening. Manchester City will attempt to keep the title race close as they host West Brom. West Brom will attempt to remain clear of the drop zone. Check a preview, why don't ya?

USA! USA! USA! Hotlist! Hotlist! Hotlist! Who's hot (Bedoya)? Who's not (DaMarcus Beasley).

Let's conclude with everyone's favorite smoking Bulgarian...Dimitar Berbatov! He's in France now, but still up to his old tricks.