Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

FernandoTorresChelseaTottenham2012-1 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The race for a place Champions League comes down to the wire as Chelsea hosts Tottenham in Premier League action today.

The two London clubs are locked in battle with their London rivals, Arsenal, for the third and fourth positions in the table, which would give the team a chance to play on Europe’s biggest stage. Currently Chelsea sit in third place with 68 points, Tottenham in fifth on 65 points. Juan Mata scored twice and assisted on another in the reverse fixture, a 4-2 Chelsea win at White Hart Lane.

Also on Wednesday, Serie A and La Liga spring into action, with no fewer than nine matches in Italy including the mouth-watering affair of Inter Milan against Lazio. Both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid take the field today, with the former facing Malaga at home and the latter taking on Celta Vigo on the road.

On Wednesday evening, the second-legs of the Copa Libertadores Round of 16 get underway, as Ronaldinho’s Atletico Mineiro host Sao Paulo and last year’s Brazilian league champions Fluminense host Emelec.

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):

1:30pm – BeIN Sport en Español – Celta de Vigo vs. Atletico Madrid

2:45pm – Fox Soccer Channel – Chelsea vs. Tottenham

2:45pm – BeIN Sport USA – Inter Milan vs. Lazio

3:30pm – BeIN Sport en Español – Real Madrid vs. Malaga

9:00pm – Fox Deportes – Atletico Mineiro vs. Sao Paulo

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Soccer on TV, South American Soccer, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Mig says:

    No Clint, it’s Adebayor up top with Lennon, Holtby, and of course, Bale.

    Chelsea goes with Torres over Ba. A bit surprising and the lineup of the Mata-Oscar-Hazard almost look like Chelsea might try to attack on the ground. Since they only need a draw, I thought to see a bit more of a cautious arrangement.

    • TomG says:

      What the heck is AVB’s obsession with Adebayor? It’s become comical and has pretty much cost Spurs a CL spot this season with all the minutes he’s logged and the lack of production. AVB may be too rigid and stubborn to be a top manager in a top league. He doesn’t seem to adapt at all.

  2. Joe says:

    COYS!!!!

    A win today is crucial for CL football.

  3. Chris says:

    Chelsea starting Torres so T-ham has already won.

    Dempsey not starting though, so I no longer give a shit.

  4. ChiTown says:

    Dempsey benched in a huge game. Ouch.

    • jones says:

      I don’t think it’s a strike against him – more of a combined tactical and circumstantial thing.

      • Eurosnob says:

        It’s not a strike against him, but it appears that AVB forgot that Dempsey shows up for and delivers in big games (e.g. both games Manchester United, Europa league quaterfinals, etc.).

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i feel like you say this every time dempsey doesn’t start.

  5. Fred says:

    Feed?

  6. jones says:

    Spurs lineup mostly makes sense – Clint probably loses out due to the Dembele injury (Holtby is the “creative” replacement) and the fact that they are going a bit more defensive-minded vs Chelsea with two DMs. I still don’t really like Bale in the middle though, so we’ll see what his role really turns out to be.

    Adebayor, imo, doesn’t deserve the start, but his height will be good against Chelsea.

  7. Mig says:

    And exactly opposite to the lineup, Chelsea starts with 3-4 long balls

  8. jones says:

    crap.

  9. atd says:

    Battle of the has-been strikers! (To be fair to Torres, he’s been waaay better than Adebayor this year.)

  10. HoboMike says:

    So much for Scott Parker, defensive wizard.

    • jones says:

      He hasn’t been that great this year coming back from injury – it’s been too long to be rust, so I’m not sure what the deal is.

    • Rowsdower says:

      the feed i am listening to is calling out Adebayor

      • beachbum says:

        he lost the ball as usual in the final attacking 3rd, then failed to stop Hazard who broke free from the sideline to cut inside and create the initial chance too

      • HoboMike says:

        Parker lost Oscar at the far post. Ball-watching.

        • Rowsdower says:

          sure did but Adebayor one job was to prevent anybody near the 6 yard box to get a head on the ball. Adebayor made up for just now though.

      • Mig says:

        The goal wasn’t his fault. The corner came in over his head, it was another marker that lost Cahill.

        And losing the ball in the attacking third is not to blame for a successful counter, especially when you are a striker. There is a lot of grass and teammates between point A and B.

        Cheers!

  11. beachbum says:

    Lloris seemed to just let the ball that setup the corner for the goal go out of bounds, didn’t layout to keep it in, and Spurs are punished on the ensuing corner. Lloris is good of course, but Spurs often seem kind of flat this year, more watching than playing sometimes. I don’t know…….

    • jones says:

      yes, maybe passive is the right term for it. they need to take the game to their opponents more, though I still don’t think they have a good idea of their identity as a team. will be interesting to see how it evolves into the next season.

      • beachbum says:

        passive…good word to describe it. Spurs could use a stud along the backline

  12. 1234 says:

    has there ever been a striker like Torres (young, world class, good goal scoring record) whose gone from GREAT in 2009 to straight flop in 2011? I mean did all the injuries in England catch up to him? Is it just the curse of transfering to Chelsea from Liverpool?

  13. jones says:

    “awaiting moderation” WHY!???

  14. HoboMike says:

    Whoa. And that’s why Adebayor plays. Every now and then….genius.

  15. beachbum says:

    well that was an awesome goal from Adebayor, top shelf

    Ade taketh, and Ade giveth back today

    beautiful goal

    • jones says:

      But I will never forget his reaction after the penalty shootout…

      • beachbum says:

        not his best form that day, to put it mildly. now that he’s already scored early in this one, he might play very well the rest of today, with confidence. we’ll see, he hasn’t done that for a while

  16. jones says:

    So someone decides to show up today…

  17. deep space nine says:

    Dempsey in the 2nd half around 65th min. Mark it

  18. Nate Dollars says:

    haaaaa, of course ade scores, because of course.

  19. Mig says:

    I think Ramires has finally ran out of gas this year. He looked tired vs. ManU and was neutralized by a good performance by Anderson. Today, he has been fairly invisible and really looks a step off the game.

  20. ed - houston says:

    yeah good game this is turning out to be

  21. ed - houston says:

    Adebayor wasteful on that last attempt

  22. Scott says:

    Adebayor, hasn’t been on Arsenal for several years and still somehow screws us over.

  23. Scott says:

    Parker looks like a traffic cone again and a really nice finish for Ramires!

  24. Scott says:

    Certainly seems like Oscar, Hazard and Mata are to fast and combining too well for the slower, less rangy Huddlestone and Parker duo

    • Scott says:

      *too fast

    • Eurosnob says:

      Parker and Huddlestone are average players that should not be starting on a team with CL aspirations in a critical game – I know, the injuries did not help the Spurs.

    • Mig says:

      This midfield lineup with Ramires and Luiz behind them for structure and distribution is pretty devastating. Next season, I think Chelsea is going to be a ridiculous handful as Hazard and Oscar have a full EPL season behind them.

  25. Nate Dollars says:

    is anyone else kind of sad to see the ‘zorres’ era gone? whether or not it was the mask that made him play better (it did), it at least made it seem like he played different than the disappointment he had been.

    • Mig says:

      But maybe Zorres has found himself and is now comfortable enough to return to the limelight, no longer hiding his true self behind a mask, excelling as he once did, fighting crime, saving babies…oh…sorry, got carried away. I guess his nose is better.

  26. Mig says:

    Yet another British announcer that defines every play with more negative than positive. Guy is positively joyless.

  27. Scott says:

    OH MY GODD. Ramires. I’m not what is hurt worse, his leg or his pride.

  28. Mig says:

    This game has been a model of hard, fair play. It may get chippy later but to this point it has been very cool.

  29. Dinho says:

    Come on Deuce!!!

  30. Mig says:

    These guys apparently don’t watch Chelsea much. Hazard has generally runs out of gas most games. He will need to improve his conditioning which does happen later with some players. He is only 22.

  31. Scott says:

    Really nice play from Spurs and a good goal. Was Adebayor offside?

    • Mig says:

      maybe on the lean but as a Chelsea fan, I am not THAT upset by the call. It was close.

    • beachbum says:

      he was off just barely, but he played a great game today, best I’ve seen from him in months, could have scored on other occassions too

  32. Mig says:

    On another front, Roma looks a bit doomed after their loss to Chievo and today’s games. Lazio and Udinese win. Roma’s last two games are @Milan and home to Napoli. Ooof.

    • bird says:

      They looked horrible yesterday too. I thought Pjanic should have been subbed for Lamela at half. Roma was very sloppy on the ball and passes were off target quite a bit……In any event Malaga had 4 red cards (2 straight and 2 double yellows) today in their match vs Real Madrid so Gooch got some time and should also get a start this weekend, since both of the CBs were red-carded and should be suspended…..

  33. bryan says:

    Gooch played the final 20 minutes or so today against Madrid. sadly the score was already 5-2. and it ended 6-2.

  34. DaveW says:

    Do the Mexican playoff games tonight(the “away” games of Monterrey-Tigres, 8pm ET and Pumas-América, 10pm ET, both on Univision Deportes) belong here or in another thread?