Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

AdamJohnsonMichaelCarrickSunderlandManUnited1-LeagueCup2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

As the Manchester United front office races to complete a deal to bring Juan Mata to Old Trafford, David Moyes turns his focus to his club’s League Cup semifinal tie against Sunderland.

Entering the second leg with a 2-1 deficit, Moyes will again be without his star forwards Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, and will hope that he can remain alive in the pursuit of silverware in what’s been a down year for Man United. Sunderland meanwhile are in the middle of a fierce relegation battle but a win on aggregate against Man United today will qualify them for Europe, assuming Manchester City finishes in the top seven in the league.

In Spain, Lionel Messi has the chance to make his 400th appearance for Barcelona when they face Levante in Copa Del Rey action. The 26-year-old Argentine could have made the achievement sooner if not for his thigh injury that cost him two months.

Elsewhere, Clarence Seedorf coaches his second game with AC Milan hosting Udinese, Ajax host Feyenoord in Dutch cup action, and Paris Saint-Germain face Montpellier in the Coupe de France. In the evening Copa MX resumes as Tigres UANL host Atletico San Luis, a week after fans of the two clubs fought in the stands.

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 schedule is after the jump):

2pm – Real Sociedad vs. Racing Santander – beIN Sports en Español

2:45pm – Manchester United vs. Sunderland – beIN Sports USA

2:45pm – AC Milan vs. Udinese – beIN Sports Play

2:55pm – Paris Saint-Germain vs. Montpellier – ESPN3/Univision Deportes

4pm – Levante vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports en Español

7:55pm – Oaxaca vs. Chiapas – ESPN Deportes

7:55pm – Altamira vs. Monterrey – Univision Deportes

9:55pm – Necaxa vs. Atlas – ESPN Deportes

10pm – Tigres UANL vs. Atletico San Luis – Galavision

 

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

246 Responses to Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

  1. ThatKidNandez says:

    Will Jozy end the drought?

    • Sly says:

      No. Well he may score in this but wont count towards his premier league total. It wil remain zero.

    • USMNT Fan says:

      He only entered the game in the last minutes of regulation because of an injury. Then as a forward he wasn’t even selected to take a penalty kit (that or he didn’t step up to take one). He’ll be the next US international to join MLS.

      • bryan says:

        no, he won’t be. unlike US fans like yourself, he has patience and knows he is learning valuable lessons on how to become a better player. Jozy isn’t going anywhere. quit the hyperbole and kneejerk reactions.

      • bryan says:

        no, he won’t be. unlike US fans like yourself, he has patience and knows he is learning valuable lessons on how to become a better player. Jozy isn’t going anywhere. quit the hyperbole and kneej3rk reactions.

      • Gary Page says:

        At worst he could go back to Holland and make a ton of money. He still has an international future.

  2. SBI TroII says:

    Jozy on the bench for this one.

  3. CamRahn Bay says:

    Adam Johnson looks exactly like Quinn from Homeland.

    • away goals says:

      I love the soccer celebrity lookalike game.

      thomas vermaelen: jude law
      michael ballack: adrien grenier
      fernando torres: jennifer lawrence

    • Jeff carter says:

      Winner. Quinn’s character is criminally underused in the show

  4. TomG says:

    Ugh, Jozy def seems to be taking a bit of a back seat to Fletcher. They’re on a semi rotation it seems, but Fletcher gets most of the big matches. Poyet even said Fletcher would have started last match but for an injury. Hopefully Jozy can work his way back in training. I’m not sure how flexible Gus is. It’s a little odd since, while neither has sparkled, Jozy def has looked much more involved and helpful than Fletcher. Maybe it’s just Fletcher’s pedigree he’s going on and he has more confidence in Fletcher’s finishing.

    • Thor says:

      From what I can tell it looks like they don’t play agin until next Wednesday. Just horrible situation for Jozy to be in

      • TomG says:

        I wouldn’t say horrible. He’s getting decent minutes at a high level, but certainly not a great situation.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        eh, he’s competing for a starting spot on a bad team in arguably the best (top-to-bottom) league in the world. it’s certainly not ideal, but i wouldn’t say it’s “horrible”.

        • Thor says:

          Part time minutes on a horrific team is pretty bad considering he is a starting striker for a WC team. I guess it is all a matter of pov

          • TomG says:

            Have to factor in the quality of the league which is world class. Competition is a gigantic part of becoming a better player.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            i can see where you’re coming from: in general, you expect top strikers to compete for good teams, not horrific teams.

            i’m saying that for jozy, it’s not a ‘horrible situation’. i think, unless it irreparably harms his confidence, it’s actually a decent situation: he’s having to learn to improve his weaknesses (aerial strength, general hold-up play) in a very tough league under intense pressure and competition for his position.

            • Thor says:

              It’s bad from every angel, lack of playing time which he is getting less of each week. when he plays it’s part time and he usually spends most of the game in the mid field trying to win the ball and if he gets one, maybe two opportunities each game and doesn’t score every thing magnifies itself. Just awful.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                are you a usmnt fan? honest question, because, from a neutral point of view, yeah, it’s would be awful to watch.

                i’m simply interested in what moves jozy toward being a complete forward, which is what would be most useful for our national team. i think that, yes, his situation could be better. hell yes. *but*, as long as he’s getting minutes, i think that this spell will not be bad for him in the long run (brazil and beyond).

    • ATX_Colin says:

      Fletcher less minutes and more goals, that simple

    • GW says:

      Big as this is, it is not as important as a league game.

      Avoiding relegation is always, always way more serious than any cup.

  5. TomG says:

    Clear yellow not called on Borini

  6. TomG says:

    Crazy that an 18 year old is by far, far, far and away the best player on the pitch for Man U, game in and game out.

  7. TomG says:

    Chicharito with a poor turnover deep in Sunderland’s box.

  8. TomG says:

    Fletcher invisible so far. We may have to face it that a lone striker for a bottom feeding BPL club simply isn’t going to ever touch the ball. He’s ther more as a distraction or a set piece target or a hold up player.

  9. TomG says:

    Wow, Janusaj is unbelievable. His touches are so fast and utterly sublime.

  10. Sandtrout says:

    I don’t think Sunderland is as horrible as many on here have been saying. I’ve seen them play very nice soccer today and at other times post-Poyet. That said, they’re starting to fall back into their penalty area in this game. Ki does seem to be the key.

    • TomG says:

      There are times when they don’t look too bad, but they are awful at moving the ball in the opposing half of the field. They have too many players whose default is to launch a wild cross or shot instead of finding an open teammate.

    • beachbum says:

      they’ve changed. If now is the only time you’ve seen them, then yes, not as bad as before

      the informed posters have been explaining this to the board for weeks and weeks

      • TomG says:

        I have watched all but one Sunderland match this season. They still have massive problems. They are improved, but they still create very, very few chances.

        • beachbum says:

          I didn’t say they were Barca, I said they’ve changed, improved, and they have.

          much more pathetic earlier in the year. having watched all their games I expect you know that

      • TomG says:

        Their own manager says the team has huge problems and he needs many new players.

  11. TomG says:

    It’s not just that Sunderland’s midfielders are bad, they’re also incredibly selfish. A few minutes ago. Fletcher was wide open on a counter and Cattermole just stared at him and dribbled into traffic.

  12. Michael says:

    Forgive a question that may be stupid: do away goals count double in the League Cup?

  13. Michael says:

    Also, Sunderland has to win the League Cup to qualify for Europe. Runner-up in FA Cup qualifies for Europe but not in League Cup.

    link to premierleague.com

    • Nate Dollars says:

      thanks, was actually just wondering about that.

      related: do sunderland actually want to qualify? assuming they actually stay up this year (i know), they’re probably not going to want the extra games next season. how much money do teams get just for qualifying for the europa?

  14. TomG says:

    Goal Man U. Too many corners and set pieces.

  15. TomG says:

    Evans completely unmarked on the aftermath of the corner. Borini froze and kept him onside. Miscommunication on a massive level.

  16. TomG says:

    Fletcher with bad turnover in the box.

  17. Increase says:

    When Borini put it in, did anyone else notice that Nobody else on Sunderland made any attempt to get in the box…. lots of walking.

    • TomG says:

      You mean the one that was about a foot over Fletcher’s head? I don’t remember anyone else anywhere near the box. Even so, its great to have trailing runners for a knockdown.

  18. TomG says:

    30 minutes extra frame would be nice for Jozy. Though a Jozy winning goal preventing the extra frame would be even better.

  19. TomG says:

    Divearito by Mr. Hernandez

  20. bryan says:

    im so sick of reading the hyperbole around Jozy every time Sunderland play. give it a rest people.

    just read through the first half commentary on ESPN for the game, not one mention of Fletcher. i’m assuming he isn’t doing anything?

    • TomG says:

      Zippo. Barely a touch. One bad turnover. One good draw of a corner. Jozy at least tends to be more active, holds up the ball well and tries to start things for his teammates. Fletcher’s style is more to lurk on the back shoulder of the defender and just wait for a chance to pounce.

      • Sandtrout says:

        I think it comes down to this in Fletcher vs. Altidore. Right now, Fletcher offers more of a threat to score, while Altidore offers more as a team player, better passer, etc.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          and god forbid they’re ever on the field at the same time. :)

          • TomG says:

            Yeah, Gus came under fire at Brighton for being married to his system, though. He doesn’t seem particularly flexible.

            • GW says:

              “came under fire at Brighton for being married to his system, though. He doesn’t seem particularly flexible.”

              That’s hardly fair. Poyet came into a disorganized mess and has gotten this disparate bunch playing together good enough so they may have a chance to stay up.

              He’s a good enough manager to stick with Cattermole as the destroyer and Ki as the creator. Ki is an exceptional passer and appears to be the guy who is going to make them go.

              He’s not playing Fletcher and Jozy together because that probably would force you to drop either Johnson or Borini both of who are just getting going.
              If your center forwards are not going to remind you of Lewandowski, Lukaku or an in form Benteke, and their performances so far seems to tell you neither one will, then they need to unsettle enemy defenders by banging on them, pulling them wide with dummy runs and so on. While scoring goals can be elusive even for the best, doing that other stuff is just a matter of hard work and it creates opportunities for other potential scorers such as Johnson, Borini, or Ki himself.

              From a USMNT point of view it would be nice if Jozy would score more but he is obviously still transitioning. He is potentially much more likely to turn out like Lukaku than is Fletcher. Lukaku scored zero goals in his first year in the EPL. Those of you who are sane and sober might remember that the great patron saint of American goal scorers, Dempsey, scored one goal in his first season at Fulham.

              Jozy is doing fine; the big loser on that team right now is Giacherrini who if he had any chance at Italy’s WC squad before this season, is now seeing it slip away.

          • bryan says:

            agreed, they always look better when both are on the field.

          • Tom_in_So_IL says:

            I think Bradley could do better job coaching this team. Could jozy play as CAM?

          • beachbum says:

            they sure seem to look better when they are out there together

    • JS says:

      Just watched the Sunderland midfield completely fail to get ball into Fletcher moving toward the goal in an attacking situation. Same issues as when Jozy is in but without his hold-up play.

      • TomG says:

        Yeah, people are blaming Jozy for his movement but I really think its the midfielders. They’re just very poor at moving the ball properly except for KI.

        • JS says:

          Yup. To be fair, Fletcher just showed his ability in the air. He’s better there than Jozy.

          • bryan says:

            Jozy just got praised over the weekend for his fantastic aerial play…

          • TomG says:

            No question. He is a beast in the air. Jozy has actually shown much, much better in that area of late, though. If he can add that to his game this season, it’s not a total loss.

  21. TomG says:

    Jeez, Borini had Fletcher open in the box and cuts it back to take a bad angle shot.

  22. kevin says:

    Lol @ Sunderland fans calling jozy lazy altidore. Reminds me of us fans during jozy goal drought with the nats

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yep, there are certainly a few similarities between the two situations. just watching sunderland futilely try to get the ball into scoring situations is giving me flashbacks of pre-2013 klinsmann. the subsequent blaming of altidore is just the cherry on top.

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      Needs moar “Out-the-door” references.

  23. TomG says:

    Another awful pass to Fletcher

  24. TomG says:

    Fletcher ignored again on the counter. Good to know its not just Jozy.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      SUNDERLAND PLAYERS HATE STEVEN FLETCHER

      • Sharkbait says:

        Haha, right? I don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to figure out that Sunderland’s problem is their midfield above all else.

    • Darwin says:

      After watching many games, I’m positive that Sunderland wants their forwards to hold up and occupy the center backs, and the midfield selfishly takes advantage of whatever space that creates and shoots away. Often into the stands, but bagging a few goals. That is why Altidore + Fletcher = 5 goals and the rest of the team = 32 goals, split across 12 players.

      • beachbum says:

        excellent observtion

      • GW says:

        Darwin,

        How does that make the midfielders sefish?

        • Darwin says:

          GW,

          Take the wings for example. Borini is a right footer on the left, and Adam Johnson is a left footer on the right. Borini will cross on his weak foot, but Johnson rarely does. Both more often cut in on their strong foot and shoot. They often think they have the time to do so because of all the work that the striker is doing.

          To me, if a winger is heavily footed and continually takes many touches just to get on that foot, it is selfish.

          Anyway, with these wingers it is obviously not the game plan to feed the striker. These striker’s have to make the individual effort.

          • GW says:

            “Take the wings for example. Borini is a right footer on the left, and Adam Johnson is a left footer on the right. Borini will cross on his weak foot, but Johnson rarely does. Both more often cut in on their strong foot and shoot. They often think they have the time to do so because of all the work that the striker is doing…To me, if a winger is heavily footed and continually takes many touches just to get on that foot, it is selfish.”

            You are using “selfish” a little carelessly.
            Unless you can read minds or, more to the point, you have played with or managed Jo/Bo enough to where you have a lot of familiarity with why they play the way they do, it’s pretty unreasonable to label JoBo’s moves as “selfish”.
            It is possible they feel they are more likely to deliver a good ball to their teamates or score a goal from their strong foot. Maybe they are stupid or wrong but that does not mean they are selfish.

            Arjen Robben, whose right foot is for standing only, plays much like Jo/Bo but he has managed to be a regular starter on teams that have gone to the World Cup final and won the Champions league. The difference of course is that he is more successful than your whipping boys but then again I notice Jo/Bo are getting more PT recently. Clearly Poyet does not think them selfish, or at least he does not think their “selfishness” is detrimental. And Sunderland is playing better.

            And if you don’t like the Robben comparison I can point to quite a few top players who play the same way and are not thought of as selfish. Ideally a pro should be two footed but this is the real world we live in.

            “Anyway, with these wingers it is obviously not the game plan to feed the striker. These striker’s have to make the individual effort.”

            That “feed the striker “plan needlessly limits your attacking options and only works if your striker is Lewandoski, Drogba et al. or someone like that.

            More to the point, Jo/Fletch have failed to put on a convincing Lewandoski, Drogba et al. or someone like that impression. When Jo/Fletch prove they are in that kind of form then Sunderland can switch to your “feed the striker” plan. Until then, Jo/Fletch will be asked to do the dirty work, the dummy runs. the beating up of defenders , etc., etc., that help create scoring opportunities for whoever else on Sunderland is capable of scoring.

  25. TomG says:

    Very nice win of header by Fletcher to Borini but Borini fails to get him the ball back.

  26. Increase says:

    I would say taking Kagawa off is a good idea but he isn’t gunna play this weekend so like why….. Why keep Welbeck on if you are going to put on Valencia…..

  27. TomG says:

    Poor crossing attempt by Johnson.

  28. TomG says:

    Sunderland finally starting to make some good passes in the opposing half.

  29. TomG says:

    Nice play by Fletcher but ends it by trying to draw a foul instead of chasing the ball? Not sure.

  30. Nate Dollars says:

    so, assuming fletcher stays in, who does jozy come in for?

  31. TomG says:

    Cats looking much better now but still looking too much for the long shot or cross.

  32. JS says:

    Gardner coming in? Ugh.

  33. TomG says:

    Her he comes. For Borini.

  34. Increase says:

    Jozy with the butt tap on Borini! They are buddiesss.

  35. TomG says:

    Jozy undercut a bit. No foul.

  36. TomG says:

    Jozy nice block of cross after awful O’Shea’s clearance.

  37. TomG says:

    Good hold up by Jozy.

  38. TomG says:

    Jozy with good hustle defensively but kind of gave up on the play after overrunning.

  39. TomG says:

    Jozy chests the ball down to teammate in midfield but teammate retreats, thinking Jozy was taking it himself.

  40. TomG says:

    Great save by Mannone.

  41. Increase says:

    Ohh, Barsca is down a goal. They are not liking Levante this week.

    • Ted Tran says:

      A lot of that is thanks to Keylor Navas, Costa Rica’s GK. I would say hes closesly behind Howards as Concacaf’s best GK

  42. TomG says:

    Poyet seems to be telling Jozy to get forward more.

    • Increase says:

      Either that or cut inside… Right waving hand motion. I think he is just trying to get him and left back on the same page.

  43. Don says:

    Jozy ties his shoes

  44. Don says:

    Jozy adjusts his left shinguard….looks at his right one but apparently it didn’t need adjusting

  45. TomG says:

    Is this Golden Goal? Anyone know?

  46. TomG says:

    Jozy with a couple dangerous balls in succession but both just miss their mark.

  47. jones says:

    Jozy runs, breathes air

  48. TomG says:

    Gardner wastes a counter by launching a cross that misses by fifteen feet.

  49. TomG says:

    Good shield by Jozy, wins throw and throws it to Fletcher who draws dangerous fee kick.

  50. TomG says:

    More hold up by Jozy.

  51. biff says:

    Sunderland looking excellent, if they could only finish. Man U should be down to 10 men. Smalling was the last man on the counter and clearly took out Fletcher and should have been awarded a red card. And Jozy was on his knees with head bowed down before he entered the game. Maybe asking for a bit of help? Manone is a great goal keeper. Adam Johnson has come back to earth, and has sukked most of the game. Would love to see Jozy score the winner in Old Trafford

  52. TomG says:

    Cats may have expended all their energy in the second half. Man U dominating possession now.

  53. Don says:

    Jozy kicks the ball with his foot

  54. TomG says:

    Ki has been invisible this match.

  55. Rowsdower says:

    ha.. chicharito with the miss

  56. TomG says:

    Chicharo with the HUGE miss with the keeper at his mercy!

  57. Brad says:

    And no CONCACAF striker was ever bought in England, ever again.

  58. Don says:

    Jozy runs, stops and then runs again

  59. TomG says:

    Really nice play by Jozy to fight off his defender on the wing and get the ball into a dangerous spot.

  60. TomG says:

    First half of extra frame over. 15 minutes left. Jozy moving the ball well but not able to get himself forward much.

  61. TomG says:

    Chicharito yelling at the ref for making him miss the shot. Not cool, ref.

  62. biff says:

    Poor Chicharito is so tired and looks like he’s weeping out there and he missed that easy shot. Just breaks (sniffle, sniffle) my heart.

  63. Ted Tran says:

    Jozy with the dive, come on jozy…

  64. TomG says:

    Very nice couple of touvches in hold up by Jozy. Then he goes to ground too easily in the box on impossible play. Silly.

  65. TomG says:

    Jozy had good chance to beat small ing but can only win throw in.

  66. TomG says:

    More good hold up play.

  67. Karl says:

    That Altidore whiff is worthy of the bloopers reel.

  68. Increase says:

    That is realllllly greedy from Januzaj.

  69. TomG says:

    Jozy several times not on same page with teammates. Ki missed him once too.

  70. Ted Tran says:

    If jozy gets to that…

  71. TomG says:

    Nice play by Chicharo to get by defender on the endline.

  72. TomG says:

    Jozy brings it down and beats two defenders to win the corner. Really nicely done.

  73. TomG says:

    Great win and layoff in the ox by Jozy but too unselfish. Turn and shoot!

  74. Increase says:

    Ahhh, Jozy. Just please shoot. I get you don’t wanna make a mistake but shooot! Take a chance!

  75. Ted Tran says:

    WOW De gea…

  76. JS says:

    Wow. Bardsley with the goal for Sunderland.

  77. Increase says:

    Derp Derp. Good Job Manu.

  78. TomG says:

    Goooooaaallll Sunderland! De Gea fumbles the Bardsley shot into the net!

  79. Sandtrout says:

    Jozy pulls up his jersey to reveal “I (heart) SBI” t-shirt underneath!

  80. jones says:

    well-deserved!

  81. Rowsdower says:

    lol YES

  82. Tim Howard says:

    So he is going to lose his job as well, right?

  83. Anthony says:

    oh god De Gea, that was hilarious

  84. jones says:

    wow, just wow. what a match

  85. TomG says:

    Noooooooooo!!! Chicharito ties it for Man U!!!

    • TomG says:

      Great cross by Januzaj for the Chicharo tap in. How he keeps getting open in that area, I will never know. It’s a weird and intangible skill.

      • Ted Tran says:

        Must be his ability to read the defenses movements, similar like a creative mid fielders are able to read defenses and their teams movements

      • Gary Page says:

        If you looked at the replay, it was incredibly poor defending. Chicharito parked himself at the far post as the ball was coming down the left and just stood there; no movement required. When the cross came in, no defender closer than a yard; they were all ball watching. It’s like the whole team just relaxed after they scored what they thought was the winner. How many times has it been said? Most dangerous time is the five minutes after your team has scored.

        • GW says:

          Mr. Page,

          You say that as an indictment of Sunderland because they failed to keep their focus. That is true enough.

          But how many times have you seen a team score late in the game, fail to keep their focus and then NOT get scored on?

          I‘ve seen that a lot.

          In other words I give Chicharito credit for taking advantage of an opportunity that teams often get but, quite often, fail to take advantage of.

          If what guys like Chicharito, Dempsey, et al. is so easy to do in terms of punishing mistakes then you’d think a lot more guys would do it more frequently.

  86. Ted Tran says:

    WOW Chicharito…

  87. Tim Howard says:

    PKs then….

  88. Ted Tran says:

    Chicharito looks to be out, De gea low on confidence… The Black Cats have this…

  89. Karl says:

    And that’s why Chicharito plays for ManU

  90. biff says:

    darn. A prime example of Sunderland suffering the Panama syndrome, celebrating the go ahead goal as if you’ve won the game before the final whistle. I bet 25 cents Mannone stops at least one kick.

    Classic game.

  91. Increase says:

    Hey, now no matter what Jozy does. Gardner is hated more. Hurray!

  92. JS says:

    That’s Craig Gardner for ya.

  93. Tim Howard says:

    oops….

  94. petedx says:

    DERP. No wonder england alsways loses penalty shoot outs.

  95. Increase says:

    Triple Oops….? Lordy Fletcher

  96. bryan says:

    this game is insane!

  97. Chris says:

    Who has scored/missed so far?

  98. Robbie says:

    Fletcher one ups Fletcher

  99. Increase says:

    Januzaj is broken forever now. GG. Okay not really but still I wouldn’t have put him out there.

  100. Increase says:

    England! England!

  101. Ted Tran says:

    Sunderland goes to the final

  102. bryan says:

    is Jozy gonna be the 5th PK taker and potentially win the game?

    • Darwin says:

      It’s odd that Jozy wasn’t in the first group. The team and manager don’t seem to trust him.

  103. Dinho says:

    Wow. United makes 1 of 5. Yes, 1. So sad.

    Good for Jozy.

    • Increase says:

      Seriously, I feel bad for Moyes sometimes. Is he gunna get blamed for the PKs too?

    • Gary Page says:

      Easily the worst display of penalty kicks by two teams I have ever seen. The misses weren’t even close and the saves by the GK’s weren’t that hard, mostly right at them.

  104. Benny says:

    What a crazy game!!!!! Sunderland wins!!!!!! Sunderland wins!!!!!! Sunderland wins!!!!!

  105. Brad says:

    Wow. This is why I love soccer, above all other sports.

  106. Chris says:

    Jozy not even a PK taker, eh?

    Sad stuff.

    • Ted Tran says:

      Was disappointed he didn’t take one, says a lot about the manager trust him considering how bad the penalty takers are.

      • John says:

        Do we really have make something out of everything

        • Michael Stypulkoski says:

          Jozy’s a striker and isn’t in Poyet’s top five penalty takers. Even a defender took one ahead of him. That’s not nothing.

      • GW says:

        Mr. T,

        “says a lot about the manager trust him ”

        No it does not. It does not work that way.

        For example, Chicharito was not a penalty taker.

  107. JS says:

    Poor Moyes.

  108. Sharkbait says:

    Shame Jozy didn’t take a PK. Would’ve been a great story if he’d taken one and made it and gotten some confidence back. Or a terrible tragedy if he’d missed like nearly everyone else did. But hey that’s life.

  109. Sandtrout says:

    I have never seen penalties like that. Only three made out of 10?! I suppose you chalk it up to the 120 minutes they’d already played. Not a lot of good power or trickery left. But still: Can’t they all run up to the penalty spot and slam the ball in right next to one of the posts? So many didn’t even do that.

    • Ted Tran says:

      Must be something about the English choking when it comes to penalties… looking at you Welbeck…

    • John says:

      The first couple tried slamming it and they went over the bar, I think that might have scared a couple from doing the same and then they got no power on it

    • usaalltheway says:

      You should have seen when Brazil was playing Paraguay in the Copa America in 2011(?). They missed all five of their shots. Not a single one was on target.

      Paraguay managed to get to the final without winning a single game (all ties, all PK shoot outs to advance).

  110. John says:

    haha sky’s live comentary

    “Mannone saves it and Sunderland win it and they are going to Wembley. What an astonishing penalty shoot-out of failures that was”

  111. german bbq says:

    why didn’t Jozy take th 5th PK? could have been the winner. Fletcher looked like he was injured late in the game. maybe Jozy starts next week.

    • bryan says:

      i’m not sure if Jozy was #5 or not, but i don’t think it matter because Raphael missed his PK (Man Utd’s 5th) which mean they had 1 of 5 and Sunderland already had 2 of 4 at that point. so Sunderland didn’t even have to take a 5th PK…i believe.

      • Robbie says:

        Gamecast makes it look like Sunderland shot first…. Adam Johnson missing on their 5th kick. And then Rafael misses Man U’s 5th kick to seal their fate.

        • bryan says:

          yup you are right. when i was looking at the gamecast live it was all over the place and i couldn’t tell who went when. thanks for the clarification.

  112. usaalltheway says:

    Thanks for the excellent play by play analysis TomG!!

    I missed the whole game but reading your comments was excellent for getting me caught up.

    Looks like Jozy played well. Sunderland pulled out the victory. That has got to be huge for their collective conscious going forward, right?

    • John says:

      Yeah he played alright. We can go on about him not scoring but I think at this point he is only worried about the team and doing whatever he can do to help. Would it be better if he was helping them by knocking in a couple? Sure but I don’t see him with his head down half as much as he use, to even at AZ.

  113. naboo says:

    jozy was terrible…dont know what y’all were watching…poor kid looks like a giraffe running on ice

  114. John says:

    Well Jozy should get a chance saturday at home against English Conference (5th division) Kidderminster Harriers in the FA cup.

  115. TomG says:

    Jozy with a good match. Almost every touch was pure. He made a few touches that were quite good. I am a bit concerned about his lack of aggressiveness, though, laying off to others rather than taking the shot in the box. Apparently Gus is also not happy with that as he left Jozy off the list of penalty takers. It’s interesting that Jozy probably had just as many touches as Fletcher in 80 less minutes. They are being played very differently, though neither can get even a sniff at a chance lately.

    • Darwin says:

      The two wide men cross on their weak foot and cut in to shoot. Borini can cross with his weak foot sometimes, but Johnson is a horrible crosser.

      Example: Sunderland vs Southhampton 2-2
      crosses from Borini 0/2
      crosses from Johnson 0/7
      goals from Borini 1/2
      goals from Johnson 1/2

      In that game, Marcus Alonso, an attacking left back with a LEFT foot, was the only successful crosser with 2/2 crosses (and twice as many pass attempts than anyone else)

    • Gary Page says:

      I thought Jozy was okay, but he looked kind of lost playing wing. Has he ever played winger before? I can’t think of a time. I think he wasn’t sure where to go or how to position himself at times. Also, he ended up playing a lot more defense than usual and I don’t think he is too comfortable doing that.

  116. Brett says:

    Jody not taking a PK is the story of the match for me. I can only assume he did not volunteer to take one, and that says a lot about his current state of mind.

    • GW says:

      Brett,

      Are you sure Jozy was not waiting to take that last penalty before Rafael missed his thus ending the shootout?