Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Manchester City has seen a once hefty lead atop the English Premier League evaporate and now the Cititzens find themselves in second place, trailing Manchester United by three points.

If City is going to stay in the playoffs race, they need a win tody against Sunday, a victory that won't come easy without Sergio Aguero, who is set to miss the match with an undisclosed injury.

Arsenal also holds a three-point, lead, but on third place in the Premier League. The Gunners can maintain or expand that lead with a victory today against London rival Queens Park Rangers, which is in a relegation fight and currently sits in the relegation zone.

In Spain, arguably the best match of the weekend features FC Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao. Lionel Messi is playing out of his mind, but Bilbao has also been playing outstanding soccer in the Europa League and should give the defending La La champions a tough test.

If you will be watching today's match, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's commentary is after the jump):

TODAY'S SOCCER ON TV

7 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Motherwell vs. Rangers

9:30 a.m. - GOLTV - Nurnberg vs. Bayern Munich

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Aston Villa vs. Chelsea

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Queens Park Rangers vs. Arsenal

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Everton vs. West Brom

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Fulham vs. Norwich City

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Wigan Athletic vs. Stoke City

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Wolverhampton vs. Bolton

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - West Ham vs. Reading

10 a.m. - ESPN2/ESPN3.com - Manchester City vs. Sunderland

12 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - AC Milan vs. Catania

12 p.m. - GOLTV - Racing Santander vs. Granada

12 p.m. - DirecTV/Dish Network - Sporting Gijon vs. Real Zaragoza

12:25 p.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Blackpool vs. Southampton

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Auxerre vs. Valenciennes

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Bordeaux vs. Dijon

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Lorient vs. Evian Thonon Gaillard

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - St. Etienne vs. Nice

1 p.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Sochaux vs. Brest

2 p.m. - ESPN3.com/ESPN Deportes - Osasuna vs. Real Madrid

2 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew

2:45 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Parma vs. Lazio

4 p.m. - GOLTV - Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao

4 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact

4 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Philadelphia Union vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

4:15 p.m. - ESPN3.com - Benfica vs. Sporting Braga

6 p.m. - NBC Sports Network/Mun2 - Honduras vs. El Salvador

6:30 p.m. - ESPN Deportes/Azteca America - Cruz Azul vs. San Luis

7 p.m. - Telefutura - Queretaro vs. Puebla

8 p.m. - Telemundo - Mexico vs. Canada

9 p.m. - Telefutura - Tigres UANL vs. Morelia

10 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes

10 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake

10:30 p.m. - Galavision - Atlas vs. Pumas UNAM

11 p.m. - NBC Sports Network - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New England Revolution

11 p.m. - Telefutura - Atlante vs. Jaguares


 

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77 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. FRANCE24 says:

    Dempsey for the brace today. Mark it fellas

  2. Don Hawkins says:

    “If City is going to stay in the playoffs race”. Pardon?

  3. Mig22 says:

    Channeling his inner-MLS.

  4. dude says:

    also –

    they need a win tody against Sunday,

    what?

  5. Polo says:

    “If City is going to stay in the playoffs race, they need a win tody against Sunday…”

    What the hell is this clause?

    1. EPL doesn’t have a playoff.
    2. You cannot win against a day of the week, are they supposed to be playing someone?
    3. Today has an ‘a.’

  6. John says:

    Lichaj listed in starting XI against Chelsea!

  7. atd says:

    USMNT has three-quarters of a back line starting in the EPL this morning! A welcome reminder after the U-23 debacle that things are actually moving in the right direction.

  8. away goals says:

    This isnt a place for soccer discussion john, it’s a place to point out typos on the internet.

    (very excited about lichaj)

  9. USAmr says:

    2. You cannot win against a day of the week….

    Unless you’re playing Sheffield Wednesday!

  10. Brian S. says:

    Dempsey with an early goal. At this pace, he’ll finish with 30 goals today!

  11. Robert Daniels says:

    No Samir Nasri today…

  12. FRANCE24 says:

    that dude needs a film based on his life. Soderbergh should direct with maybe Ryan Gosling or Jake Gyllenhaal starring as Deuce. what u think?

  13. predicto says:

    Dempsey plays beautiful ball for cutting Duff – who chips in. 2-0 Fulham

  14. francois says:

    Steve Mcmanaman gets on my nerves this early in the morning, he’s so hypercritical haha

  15. Polo says:

    Haha, dangit you’re right!

  16. Polo says:

    Sunderland goes ahead on a very fine strike. Beautiful, just passes it in off the post from 22 yards.

  17. Polo says:

    Balotelli has a chance to strike the ball cleanly from the top of the box… but decides to take another dribble and dive the moment a defender comes shoulder to shoulder.

    I hate this guy, and I don’t even like City.

  18. Bruno says:

    And Chelsea goes up by 1. Where are all the US haters ready to blame poor Eric for allowing the goal?

  19. Shounen Bat says:

    I’m thinking thank Christ you’re not a casting director (mostly kidding…Gyllenhall might work).

  20. predicto says:

    Norwich plays some good looking soccer – pass and run, lots of one touches, everybody gets in the attack – even Whitbread just had a shot. But they can’t do anything in the final third.

  21. francois says:

    That’s a horrible penalty call in the city game.

  22. Polo says:

    Sunderland has every right to be furious. Dzeko looked for that and intentionally ran through the Sunderland player’s leg instead of continuing on with the ball.

    Pathetic.

  23. predicto says:

    Dembele feeds Dempsey wtih great pass i the box – dempsey off the post. Dembele can’t finish it. Fun & wide open match.

  24. Lost in Space says:

    Just tuned…how’s he played so far? From what ive seen he’s doing well @ right back. Chandler has been playing well against Bayern Munich as the right back as well.

  25. Polo says:

    Oh absolutely. You knew before he even tried to go by the Sunderland guy that he was going for the penalty. And a pathetic embellishment it was.

  26. Polo says:

    Goal Sunderland with seconds remaining in the first!

  27. Scott says:

    Best player in the world scores! Bendtner! haha

  28. Polo says:

    Heard that Lichaj torched Kalou in a dead sprint for a ball.

  29. Jeff says:

    Oh yeah, strikers never cut back in the box to draw contact. It was a sloppy challenge. Penalty. And a smart play by Dzeko.

  30. MidWest Ref says:

    It would be nice to see young Eric get a chance to play. Is he starting because of an injury to another – or a reshuffling due to the terrible news for Petrov? Or has he won the spot!

  31. Polo says:

    Villa got pasted by Arsenal. Coach got very upset and dropped 6 players from the starting lineup. Lichaj got moved up into the spot.

    He’s looked good considering who he’s playing against.

  32. Shounen Bat says:

    Can anyone tell what position Chandler is playing? It looks like LM but not sure…

  33. Shounen Bat says:

    Or maybe he was just going on a run at that point. Now looks to be back on the right and in defense

  34. MidWest Ref says:

    I am also afraid that Randy Lerner is going to go cheap and turn the Villa into the EPL equivalent of the Cleveland Browns, who are mediocre at best.

    I am not a huge Villa fan (I like any team with an American), but I would like our rich, American owners not to look like fools. We already struck out with the prior owners of Liverpool, so I am not holding my breath.

  35. Polo says:

    Sunderland puts in a third on a beautiful break!

    3-1 Sunderland. This is it. City needs to respond with at least 2 goals or this is the end.

  36. Jon says:

    Chandler just got a yellow for complaining.

    So what’s up with those old Chandler to Stuttgart rumors? Nurnburg are a bottom-half side at best, relegation candidates at worst. Stuttgart at least gives a chance at Europe…

  37. MidWest Ref says:

    5 teams with 28 or 26 points in the EPL based on current results – including Bolton. Villa is plunging down the table with 33.

    Who would you rather see relegated – Villa with Guzan on the bench and Lichaj; or Bolton – with Tim Ream and Stu once he gets healthy?

  38. hm says:

    way to go Lichaj. first start in like over a year. much of it was riding the bench or recovering from injury though

  39. Polo says:

    Balotelli just got in a fight… with his teammate.

    Let me repeat that again. Balotelli got in a fight with his teammate because they wouldn’t let him take the free kick.

  40. hogatroge says:

    Pumped as well… The 0-2 scoreline as I tune in now doesn’t look so good, but, it’s nice to see him get some quality PT.

    People on these boards like to rag on him, but he was solid during the GC.

  41. Polo says:

    City look like they’ve given up.

  42. Lost in Space says:

    Neither. Would prefer Wolves, W. Brom & Wigan.

  43. hogatroge says:

    Lichaj w/ throw-in assist!

  44. Shounen Bat says:

    Great throw-in assist by Lichaj. He’s also looked very quick in the back and wasn’t responsible for either goal, I don’t think. All said, great start for him.

  45. Shounen Bat says:

    Holy shite! Lichaj with a goal. Yea, definitely a great game

  46. Polo says:

    GOAL LICHAJ!!

  47. liz2 says:

    Great game for lichaj. Good for him after his one impact last week was arteta’s free kick.

  48. predicto says:

    Norwich looking good with possession and attack and some great final 3rd moves to score. 2-1 and fulham defending.

  49. atd says:

    . . . and they give one back. Man, that was a brilliant play by Torres.

  50. Polo says:

    Okay Torres is Chelsea’s best player, and that is with his scoring problems.

    The dude is just balling hard.

  51. hm says:

    most likely Wolves and Wigan and

    AV wont be relegated

  52. hm says:

    is it me or has Fernando Torres become an excellent assist man? He probably has 10 assists for the season. Spain may just need him for euro 2012.

    4 years ago he was scoring like crazy and he opened up space for Villa and the others, but now he is crossing like a winger and creating goals through movement.

  53. hm says:

    Lichaj.

    This dude needs to be part of qualifying. Maybe he stays as a starter for AV which would be wonderful

  54. Jon says:

    Wow…quick City goals to equalize.

    Lichaj better start every game for Villa on the run-in.

  55. Polo says:

    How ridiculous is it that in this horrible run of form from Villa they had a player like Lichaj just rotting on the bench?

    This guy has been so disrespected by that team.

  56. Shounen Bat says:

    Great goal by him. Always liked his style and hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

  57. Polo says:

    He leads the team in assists I believe.

  58. francois says:

    Pizzaro has been City’s best player today haha

  59. Mathes says:

    Guzan needs to be starting, I love shay given but he has blown so many games this season.

  60. hogatroge says:

    He did spend the first half of the season injured.

  61. hogatroge says:

    Torres’ goal should definitely have been saved.

  62. hogatroge says:

    I hope so. He has great attacking instincts and can plug in on either side in the back (or in MF).

    He didn’t seem culpable on either of the last 2 goals, but I tuned in when it was still 0-2 Chelsea so I don’t know about the first 2.

  63. Span16 says:

    Balotelli is the best forward on the man city roster. You can hate him because of his actipns and attitude But his talent is undeniable. He is also under a ridiculous microscope. What other player gets a camera close up after he touches the ball every time. The English broadcast and print media have it out for him now

  64. Polo says:

    He dove 3 times in the first half, got screamed at by his coach for not running, and got in a fight with a group of his teammates during the game. He deserves whatever attention they give him, he’s a freaking nutjob.

    Also, Aguero is their best forward.

  65. hm says:

    Guzan should definitely have a chance to start a match in the following weeks. Given needs a rest or something

  66. JD in FL says:

    I don’t mind him. He’s pretty well informed and also has the resume to back it up. That said, I’m looking for insightful commentary which is rare from most pairs of commentators.

  67. JD in FL says:

    So what happened with Whitbread? Looks like he was pulled after the first half? Poor form, or something else?

  68. Chicago Josh says:

    Defender taken off for a striker.

  69. away goals says:

    Yeah but remember his goals?

  70. Jeff says:

    I agree that Balotelli is under a microscope all the time. He needs to work harder at times and can pout when things aren’t going his way. And, yeah, his argument with Kolarov went a little too far. But people will make too much of it. He’s scoring goals, and as far as I’m concerned, his attitude is not killing this team, lack of urgency is. Just about every player is getting outworked week in, week out despite being in their first close Premier League title race in decades. Never any urgency until they are behind late in the game. Pressure the ball in your half, make runs off the ball, create some width and put in some crosses. Simple stuff really.

  71. downintexas says:

    away goals it is spelled isn’t not isnt

  72. thaDeuce says:

    close!

  73. away goals says:

    I no.

  74. OT says:

    The schedule above is incorrect.

    6pm – mun2 – El Salvador vs Honduras

    9pm – NBC Sports Network & Telemundo – Mexico vs Canada

    Both matches will also be streamed at concacaf.com