Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

BarcelonaTito (Getty)

 

By MICHAEL KLINE

Tottenham Hotspur go on the road to face Stoke City this morning, with major Champions League ramifications on the line.

Spurs must take all six points available in their last two matches if they stand any chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Stoke City have suffered a run of poor form in the league as of late, recording only two victories in their last ten matches.

In Spain, Barcelona will travel to the Estadio Vicente Calderón to face Atlético Madrid. Following Espanyol’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Saturday, Barcelona have mathematically won the Spanish league, becoming champions for the 22nd time in their illustrious history. The Catalan giants managed to stay atop the La Liga table from start to finish of the season, becoming the first Spanish team in 25 years to win the title after leading for every week of the season.

In France, Paris St. Germain can clinch the Ligue 1 title with a win vs. third-place Lyon. Carlo Ancelotti has been linked to a move to Real Madrid, and he could head to Spain with another trophy on his impressive resume if Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Co. can deliver a win on the road.

In Italy, Roma is still holding out hope for a Europa League place, and while they can secure one with a victory in the Coppa Italia final, they can draw closer to one of the automatic Serie A spots with a win against an AC Milan side still trying to hold on to the final UEFA Champions League spot.

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

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

TODAY’S SOCCER ON TV

8:30am – Fox Soccer Channel – Stoke City vs. Tottenham Hotspur

10am – Fox Soccer Plus – Everton vs. West Ham United

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Fulham vs. Liverpool

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Norwich City vs. West Bromwich Albion

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Queens Park Rangers vs. Newcastle United

10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Sunderland vs. Southampton 

11am – Fox Soccer Channel – Manchester United vs. Swansea City

1pm – beIN Sport – Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona

2:45pm – beIN Sport en Español – Milan vs. Roma

3pm – beIN Sport – Olympique Lyon vs. Paris St-Germain

5pm – UniMás – Portland Timbers vs. Chivas USA

7pm – ESPN2 – Morelia vs. Cruz Azul 

8pm – MLS Direct Kick – Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting KC

9pm – Univision Deportes – Atlas vs. Santos Laguna

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51 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Jon says:

    Dempsey starts.
    His foul gave the FK that resulted in Stoke’s early goal.
    Just got Charlie Adam’s studs planted in his ankle. Thankfully he wasn’t injured.

  2. Jon says:

    Now he has a goal ruled out for offside. Correctly called, I’ll add.

    Busy times early…

  3. John says:

    Goal Dempsey

  4. Jon says:

    …and now he scores from 30 yards out with the keeper off his line! Deuce is everywhere!

  5. Bean says:

    Nice goal. That makes 12 for the season.

  6. petedx says:

    What a goal by Dempsey, super smart, quick reaction.

    • atd says:

      Would’ve had a second just before half if Bale would lift his GD head for once….

  7. ACS says:

    Morales scored for Hertha to go up 2-0.

  8. biff says:

    The Stoke-Tottenham game is wild, and the Stoke goons thuggish as usual, with three very deserved yellow cards by half-time. Will not be surprised to see at least one red card before this game is over and got my fingers crossed that Clint does not end up injured from one of the thugs. (Glad that Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea are playing in England but too bad it has to be for Stoke. I think chances are high that Mo Edu will stay at Buraspor.)

    Clint’s goal was a thing of beauty, took quick thinking and savvy thinking on his part, not to mention a great first touch. The goal he was (correctly) just called offsides on also was nice.

    • petedx says:

      Yep and there it is. Of all the yellow cards in the first half Adam’s was probably the weakest but that was a typical stoke tackle to get rightfully sent off.

    • MidWest Ref says:

      I don’t think Shea is actually playing in the EPL, but he is on the team.

      I hope that moving to the Stoke will work out for Shea. His last season in the MLS was marred with injury and the transfer to Stoke was clearly based on potential.

      It was nice to see him play the first few games, but it will be interesting to see what next year brings, especially if Pulis is out as manager at Stoke.

  9. biff says:

    Do not like this relaxed approach of Tottenham’s against a strong defensive team. AVB needs to put in Sigurdsson now!

  10. MidWest Ref says:

    Lets say that Spurs get to fourth and the Champions League. What role to Clint play? Does he play EPL games? Does he play in the CL? Midfield forward?

    I really have no idea what AVB will do to rotate the squad in such a season

    • Bac says:

      Honestly… I gotta tell you, after watching a season of these guys, Ive had 3 major observations : 1- Bale is a stud which everyone knows… 2- Everyone has had mixed reviews of Deuce… 3 – But my 3rd observation up for thought is this… we know Clint hasnt looked as good as last year to fit in, but has Dembele? or anyone other than Bale for that matter? And how many times have we seen them flatter than flat with NOOOO flow… you think Chelsea may have had it right giving AVB the axe???? Just my 2 cents..

      • MidWest Ref says:

        I don’t disagree. I think that AVBs style is to keep control, not concede and hope for a moment of brilliance from Bale. i don’t see Lennon or Dafoe really adding much to an “inf-flow” attack.

      • biff says:

        yep, AVB’s tactics today left a lot to be desired, I think (see below) and Tottenham was very fortunate to have Clint Dempsey on the team to get the full three points.

      • Joamiq says:

        Disagree entirely with your 3rd point. Dembele has been vital. He was linchpin for Spurs in the first half of the season (and they were woeful when he was out). Lennon was also vital, especially for the middle part of the season. Sandro was incredible before he got hurt. Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, and Dawson have all had good seasons. Really, do you think a team could be sitting in fourth place in the Premiership with only one player playing well? AVB has not been without his faults, but he’s done a good job. His Tottenham players would run through walls for him.

        • kmac014 says:

          your right about Dembele, if you look at Spurs w/l with and without him then you know how important he is

      • Gary Page says:

        I haven’t seen the numbers, but I’m guessing that Tottenham this season has more points at this point in the season under AVB than they did under Harry Redknapp. I sometimes feel that Spurs play with a lack of urgency, but I think that is AVB’s philosophy, to control possession, be patient, and tire the other team out in order to get late game winners. Considering that he had a lot of injuries in defense the first half of the season, almost no contribution from Adebayor and various other injuries, his philosophy seems to be working. Also, Spurs have played an awful lot of games due to Europa League so he had to shepherd them through a long season. I’m not sure about him myself, but am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point.

  11. MidWest Ref says:

    Geoff Cameron enters the game for Stoke!

  12. Jon says:

    Deuce with the assist! Could have taken the selfish shot for glory, but made the right play to let Adebayor tap it in.

  13. Bac says:

    you think AVB is glad he waited about 1 more minute to sub out Deuce???????
    DEMPSEY MOTM

    • biff says:

      +1 AVB’s sub strategy today was not good at all and left the door open to drop points until the final whistle. Dembele did not look fit at all and I I don’t think Ademeyor and Defoe should ever be on the field at the same time. Lennon has not looked good at all since returning from injury. Sigurdsson was the true spark last week against Chelsea and should have been put in for Lennon at 55 minutes. Tottenham should not be playing scared against not only Stoke, but Stoke with only 10 men, in a must win game.

      All that said, got the three points and thank gosh for Clint Dempsey. MOTM. Go Wigan, beat Arsenal.

  14. Brant says:

    Anyone got a stream for Newcastle-QPR?

  15. Joamiq says:

    Dempsey quite possibly MOTM today for Spurs. One of his best games this year.

  16. beachbum says:

    louis my frined, where are you :)

  17. TomG says:

    Deuce is such a special player. There’s more than a bit of magic in him. He is so creative despite not having elite skills and athleticism. He can do anything at any moment. He has a unique brain that sees things that others can’t. We should all appreciate every second we have him on the main stage. We’ll never see his like again and he’s been a breakthrough player that has done things that no other American ever has. He’s done it all in such a distinctly American way.

    • Rabbit says:

      +1 Very well stated

    • Gary Page says:

      To which I would add that he has shown remarkable accuracy on his shot over the past 5 years. However, I think it’s a bit rash to say we’ll not see his like again. Given the level of competition has has played at, I think it is fair to say he is the best outfield player to this point in US history. Ditto re his doing things in a uniquely American way. He isn’t the most talented athletically but has molded himself into a great player through dedication, hard work, and effort. I think that US players are gaining credibility overseas because of this work ethic and the fact that there are no prima donnas.

      • TomG says:

        He’s such a unique player that I don’t think we will see his like again, esp given that he’s such a product of the current age of US soccer. I wasn’t referring to his productivity. I’m sure we will eventually see a Yank breaking his BPL records. I was referring to his unique style, attitude, and flair for the dramatic.

  18. yahtzee says:

    Dempsey needs a hat trick in his final match of the season

    and goodbye AZ, Jozy is gone

  19. Alex says:

    Clarence Goodson with a goal for Brondby

  20. Shark says:

    Tim Howard has been unbelievable since his return from his back injury….another clean sheet today over West Ham has given him 9 on the season…and a 13 wins 6 losses 15 draws record on the season in his 34 starts…and Everton has clinched a Europa League Spot in 6th place in the BPL with 60 points.

    Three Cheers to Timmy…:)

  21. manicmessiah says:

    Unfortunately, Spurs are playing Sunderland next week, who might need something from that game to guarantee safety, while Arsenal play Newcastle, who (thankfully, from my point of view), saved themselves today, and don’t have anything to play for.

    • manicmessiah says:

      Never mind. Sunderland only need something if Arsenal lose to Wigan with their game in hand.

    • Gary Page says:

      However, for the Artsenal-Wigan game on tuesday, Wigan need a win to avoid relegation. Although Wigan will be tired from the FA Cup win, I see a draw in that game which means a Spurs win next weekend would put them into CL. It’s still up in the air.

  22. yahtzee says:

    best striker in the world comes down to 4 guys atm

    Cavani or Falcao or Van Persie or Lewandoski?

    others include Ibramobic, Suarez, Rooney,

  23. HillbillyCharm says:

    the Spurs announcer said of Dempsey’s equalizer “what a marvelous bit of invention” and the color-man went on to say “johnny on the spot, clint dempsey, he doesnt hesitate and its a splendid goal because he is a quick thinking player” … crafty shot for his 12th goal in all all competition…

    … and the game winning striker-style goal by Rio Ferdinand was pretty sick too

  24. ACS says:

    I wonder if AZ is going to try and have a deal in place for Jozy for when the transfer window opens before he leaves for qualifiers.

  25. byrdman says:

    Bradley starting for Roma vs AC Milan.

  26. petedx says:

    What in the world just happened in the Roma Milan game? It’s on spanish language Bein so I can only make out some of the comments, but muntari seemed to be holding the referee so he wouldn’t give him or Balotelli a card which resulted in him getting a red card. Pretty wild.

    • Dudester says:

      It seems Muntari got a yellow for a previous foul, said something offensive to ref and got sent off.I haven’t seen someone get that physical with a ref in a while.

  27. Dudester says:

    Andreazolli seems to use Bradley in a more reserved manner than Zeman, which is a shame.Not giving him freedom to make those surging runs he did under the previous boss.Hes staying back and man marking most of the time.

  28. Jamie Z. says:

    Bradley looks solid, but he’s certainly playing a holding role in midfield, and not taking (or being allowed) much license outside of that. The match is hard to watch, what with all the playacting and flopping and rolling around and such. For a guy built like a marble statue, Mario Balotelli sure is a fragile little flower.

  29. ... says:

    Atlas/Santos madness. First leg 0-0. Omar Bravo may or may not have scored quite early on (unclear if the ball was over the line or not, but it was given) 1-0 Atlas. Santos tied it up 1-1, have the advantage with the away goal, and Atlas’s keeper just got sent off for handling the ball outside his area on a breakaway. 30th minute now. End to end action, lots of good chances for both teams.

  30. DaveW says:

    The match summary has Santos winning 3-1, Herc going 90″ with a yellow card at 43″. So if I have this right, Club América was the only higher seed to win in the first round. Next round will be #9 Monterrey facing #2 América and #6 Santos vs #5 Cruz Azul.
    I guess I’ll root for Rayados to win it all since Querétaro didn’t get the chance…