Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Joe Allen of Liverpool and Willian of Chelsea in action

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Sunday’s clash between the top two teams in the English Premier League will not mathematically decide this season’s champion, but legendary Anfield will still be filled with the drama of a title-decider.

First-place Liverpool will look to earn their 12th consecutive league win and all but wrap up the EPL title when second-place Chelsea visit Anfield on Sunday. The Blues may have won the first meeting of the season by a score of 2-1, but Liverpool have all the momentum in the league–and Chelsea could already be looking ahead to next week’s decisive Champions League semifinal leg against Atletico Madrid. High-scoring Liverpool are five points ahead of the rigid defense of Chelsea, and a Reds win would deliver an almost-fatal blow to Chelsea and Manchester City’s title dreams.

While the main match of the day pits the league’s two best squads, this Sunday’s EPL slate starts at the bottom of the table, where last-place Sunderland host 19th-place Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light. A win for either team would push them out of the dreaded drop zone, and they each have matches in hand against their fellow relegation fighters. Later in the day, third-place Manchester City will hope to stay alive in the title race when they visit a red-hot Crystal Palace side.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Paris Saint-Germain can clinch their second consecutive Ligue 1 title with a road victory against Sochaux. Atletico Madrid will try to reinstate their six-point lead atop La Liga with win at Valencia, who are fighting to stay in the hunt for a European spot. Barcelona can move back into second place in the Spanish top division with a road win against Villarreal, and Athletic Bilbao host Sevilla in a crucial match for Champions League qualification.

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):

6:00am – Espanyol vs. Almeria – beIN Sports Play

7:00am – Sunderland vs. Cardiff City – NBCSN

8:00am – Sochaux vs. PSG – beIN Sports USA

9:00am – Cagliari vs. Parma – beIN Sports Play

9:05am – Liverpool vs. Chelsea – NBCSN

11:00am – Valencia vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sports USA

11:00am – Olympique Marseille vs. Bastia – beIN Sports Play

11:10am – Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City – NBCSN

11:30am – Schalke 04 vs. Borussia Monchengladbach – GOLTV USA

1:00pm – Athletic Bilbao vs. Sevilla – beIn Sports USA

1:00pm – Toluca vs. America – Univision 

1:00pm – Puebla vs. Morelia – ESPN Deportes

3:00pm – Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers – UniMas

3:00pm – Villareal vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports USA

3:00pm – Lille vs. Bordeaux – beIN Sports Play

6:00pm – Guadalajara vs. Monterrey – UniMas

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

113 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Nate Dollars says:

    probably several good reasons i shouldn’t feel this way, but i can’t help but be happy that jozy isn’t playing for sunderland (on the bench, though). so glad he won’t be there next year.

  2. JayAre says:

    If Sunderland win this they’re out of the relegation zone with a match in hand. Lets hope they don’t bend over like all these bottom feeder teams tend to do.

  3. Shawn says:

    Lol both Sunderland strikers score. Good luck jozy

  4. Jon says:

    C’mon Liverpool

  5. Citronomics says:

    Now that Wickham has his brace, how about a Jozy cameo?

  6. Jonathan says:

    Jozy wins the penalty that kept them up, rewarded with the bench.

    • Brett says:

      I think the soft fall on the “penalty” hurt his stock. The fact that it was rewarded shouldn’t work in his favor.

    • arsenal says:

      If he is not training well, or has other issues, he is not going to start. They play better without him in lineup and they are scoring. Can’t fault them for not starting him him.

      • Don the Jewler says:

        I have followed most of the Sunderland matches and I would disagree with those who think they have played better without him. Maybe today, but for most of the season he was one of their better players when he was on the pitch.

      • Nate says:

        statistically, Sunderland win more often when he is in the lineup. That being said, they are totally justified to be starting Wickham right now. I just dont feel this has any bearing on the USMNT.

    • Brolo says:

      Johanson, Boyd, dempsey..we have other attacking players playing well which you would never ever know visiting the forum here

      • Brolo says:

        But on top of that those guys have to decode a brace in order to get a headline on SBI. Jozy draws a soft pk and of course there’s immediately a headline. Been an avid SBI supporter since the last WC but all the jozy stuff is getting really old.

        • J says:

          JA comments pale in comparison to the volume and vigor of the Adu arguments in the last 5 years.

          For a few years, Adu time (time between article posting and ANY mention of Adu) was under 10 minutes.

          • GW says:

            The difference is that the Adu discussion was about a guy who was basically a mirage who barely ever played.

            Jozy at least has a body or work that can be discussed in other than hypothetical terms.

            From that standpoint the Jozy debates, pointless, inane, ignorant and uninformed as they may be, represent a form of progress.

      • beachbum says:

        ??? the calls here on SBI for AJ to start and Jozy to ride the pine are all over the place, what are you talking about? And Clint? the discussions about him here the past year have been endless

  7. Brett says:

    Sunderland look so much better without Jozy ruining attacks with aimless flicks and poor first touches. Amazing turnaround.

    • Chris says:

      Ridiculous. They’ve looked down right awful up until the last two games.

    • Spencer says:

      Don’t get too crazy. They started 3 forwards today typically when Jozy plays he is stranded on an island

    • Joe C. says:

      The best trolls are more subtle, Brett.

      • Brett says:

        The other side of the “anti-American bias”… The perpetual denial of a true fanboy. I thought Jozy was poised to take a career step forward, but his technique and work rate have regressed from his AZ and WCQ levels.

  8. argh says:

    when i saw that it was 3-0, i thought “oh maybe Jozy got 1″ but No

    3 more games. Is it too much for the universe to let Jozy get a few goals somehow?

    • Citronomics says:

      With Wickham’s very recent form and Sunderland playing better with him and Borini up top, definitely a decent chance Jozy doesn’t see meaningful PL match time. So yeah – might be too much to ask :-)

  9. Citronomics says:

    When the Reds come marching in. C’mon Liverpool!

  10. Chuck says:

    Someone must have forgot to tell Wickham that Sunderland don’t provide good service.

    • argh says:

      well Wickham is ENGLISH sooooo sooooo they have to pass it to him

    • Leo says:

      Guess you didn’t notice Borini playing alongside Wickham, which is what Jozy and everyone on this forum has been asking for all year. But go on making ignorant statements, if that makes you feel like a big boy.

      • Brett says:

        And what you don’t realize is that Borini can join Wickham because Wickam holds the ball and makes the unselfish runs to open space. Jozy underperformed this year and excuses won’t change that.

        • Nate says:

          So what is the root of this agenda you have against Altidore? A real US fan wants all US players to succeed, because its what is best for soccer in the US. Sure, Altidore has underperformed. But to argue that it has nothing to do with the overall performance of the team seems a bit over the top. Your point about Borini being able to join the attack ignores all the stinkbombs Sunderland dropped without Altidore on the field (1-5 tottenham? 0-3 Hull?).

          • Brett says:

            My “agenda” is to see Jozy playing well. As he has not at Sunderland, I view his time there as a disappointment. I find no comfort in blaming other players, particularly when those players play better when Jozy isn’t on the field. The best Subdetland has looked all year was probably the cup final against City, and guess who was on the bench…

            • Brett says:

              The first half of the cup final, I should say.

              • Don the Jewler says:

                Most agree with your first sentence, but you have a small few that believe they have been better without him.

            • Hogatroge says:

              To be fair, I think the turning point was the Arsenal match where Jozy’s goal was wrongfully called off.

              Before that (which was admittedly forever ago), he was playing well. The rest has been a lost season.

        • Leo says:

          Poyet never tried another forward with Jozy. We’ll never know what he could or couldn’t have done.

          • beachbum says:

            yep, only in the Cup games, and it worked pretty well

          • Gary Page says:

            Touche. As I have been saying for months, Poyet playing only 1 striker when playing a bottom half team at home makes no sense. He has finally seen the light, but unfortunately it is not Jozy who has benefited, but Wickham. While I didn’t see this game, I saw the two previous games where Wickham scored and it’s not like he lit the soccer world on fire, but happened to be in the right place when there were good balls put into the box.

    • Nate says:

      The stats dont lie. How often does Sunderland score from the run of play? How many assists do they generate relative to the top table teams? Take your anti US agenda somewhere else.

      • Liken says:

        ??

        Wickham has like 5 goals in the last 3 games from the run of play.

        • Nate says:

          I see your overall point (although Wickham’s goals today were off corners). No doubt, over the last three games, they have generated more chances…But their season long assist to goal ratio is still very low, which is the best measure of “service”.

          • beachbum says:

            and they are playing with 2 forwards…it’s the difference. Even when they did that with Jozy out there they were much better…see the Cup games for example

  11. Abraham "Grandpa" Simpson says:

    come on LIVERPOOL. win the game, win the league

  12. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    lol Ashley Cole

  13. John says:

    Johannsson off at the 60 minute mark

  14. AbuSamra says:

    oh snap

  15. Joe says:

    Gerard’s giveaway; shades of Claudio Reyna v Ghana in Germany 06.

  16. Jonathan says:

    Did Steven Gerrard just have a Bill Buckner moment?

  17. Pace says:

    I hate Chelsea ad I hate mourinho. If they win the league, I am going to explode.

  18. TomG says:

    Hi I’m Jose Mourinho. I don’t always win big matches, but when I do, I win boring.

    • GW says:

      Too bad you missed out on the fact that it was a very entertaining game.

      Chelsea put on a clinic in organized, disciplined team defense and intelligent counterattacking, something the USMNT could use in Brazil, in spite of missing many of their best players.

      If Liverpool expect to make noise in the Champion’s league next season they will have to learn how to break down a a team like Chelsea.

      • TomG says:

        If you think that was exciting, GW, I am selling tickets to the school parking lot so you can watch them park the buses. You will be overjoyed.

  19. Chris says:

    Man City is going to win the title still.

    You know it’s happening.

  20. Brent from Waco says:

    As a gunner fan I dont like Liverpool, but can’t Stevie G win just one title in the premiership. He one person who deserve it more than any other player.

    • Chupacabra says:

      He’s a Phil Collins lovin’, DJ beatin’ scouser thug. All he deserves is a 30 year vacation in the Wormwood Scrubs. And today karma has rightfully made him the goat.

  21. soccerFan says:

    27% possession for chelsea, and most of that was schwarzer taking goal kicks. Rarely can I remember more than 3 chelsea players across half field. The “brilliance” of jose mourinho. Why is this guy so celebrated?

    • Pete says:

      Cause he wins, maybe?

    • Increase says:

      I mean… It’s not easy to do what he does. I certainly don’t like it but I won’t pretend its easy. Mourinho actually seems worse than normal this year…

      • justascienceguy says:

        10 men packing the box at all times with a roster that expensive does not seem all that hard to do. Schwarzer still needed to make almost 10 saves. If he’s not on his game and that very rare gerrard giveaway doesn’t happen would Mourinho still look like a genius?

        • Brad C says:

          This is my point, Mourinho’s “park the bus” tactics only worked because of a Gerrard mistake. Otherwise his tactics were to hope for a nil-nil tie. Either way it’s extremely cynical and negative soccer.

        • GW says:

          justascienceguy,

          If Reyna had not hurt his knee and then given the ball away to Ghana in 2006 then maybe they don’t score and maybe the US wins and then the whole US World Cup in 2006 might have turned out very differently.

          If Mikey Bradley had not surprised Rico Clark with an awkward pass at the halfway line then maybe he doesn’t lose the ball to Boateng who then maybe does not score on a slow Timmy Howard and then maybe the US beats Ghana and today maybe Bob Bradley is still the USMNT manager.

          But, guess what? That stuff happened.

          • justascienceguy says:

            Your argument here is just absolute nonsense. Bringing something up from 2006? I assume you think I am a USA fan and are simply trying to attack me. In that case, enjoy your third place finish in the bpl along with your whiny lame anti-football tactic coach. Chelsea spends more than most teams yet still resorts to a crystal palace like style. When they do lose, mourinho blames the referees and the plastic Chelsea fans follow suit. I bet you’ve never been to England and became a fan when they started winning. Congrats.

            • GW says:

              Mr. guy,

              I’m not a Chelsea fan. Most EPL teams are boring. The top teams have too much pressure on them to produce results to be entertaining. I have no expectation of being entertained from an artistic point of view by an EPL team.

              I found this match entertaining because Chelsea produced a defensive masterclass and I always find disciplined, efficient, tactically brilliant team performances entertaining.

              Chelsea embarrassed Liverpool and showed them to be tactically naive and unimaginative. That’s not an easy thing to do.

              Mourinho’s tactics are not anti football. They are a different way to play football.

              Mourinho gets paid the big bucks because he has won everywhere he has gone and done it for a long time. Not everyone likes his style but that’s to be expected.

              I don’t pay to watch these games so I have no reason to feel cheated.

    • GW says:

      Because he beat the hottest team in the EPL with his third string squad at their place?

      And it wound up not being close at the end.

      • justascienceguy says:

        That was not his third team squad. You are grossly over exaggerating.

      • justascienceguy says:

        It “wasn’t close” at the end is not an accurate statement. You can’t really believe liverpool would be that exposed if they weren’t pressing every player forward for that last goal.

      • Brad C says:

        Chelsea’s starting line up today was more expensive than Liverpool’s…

        Like 182 mil to 160.

      • Gerard D. says:

        Third string?

        Dude, he started the entire first team pretty much.

    • Chupacabra says:

      0-2 Chelsea, and he’s crushed Liverpool’s little hopes and dreams. That’s why.

      • justascienceguy says:

        When Crystal Palace beat chelsea 1-0 with similar tactics were you praising Tony Pulis’ genius? Or were you complaining about nonfootball tactics like packing the box the same way Mourinho was?

        I’d bet it was the latter.

        • GW says:

          Non football? Wait until Liverpool get to the Champion’s league? They won’t last long if they can’t solve teams like Chelsea..

          I found the game entertaining. Some people like home run derbies, I like pitcher’s duels.

          No Cech, Terry, Oscar, Hazard, Ramires, Eto or Cahill (at the start)

          New keeper

          Back four that had never played together before , any of you ever hear of Kalas before?

          Chelsea had this game well under control.

          Liverpool are supposed to be the deadliest attack in the EPL and were at home. As a neutral I would have expected better from them given how important this game was to them.

          Liverpool fans should be disappointed at their lame performance.

          • 23 Schwarzer
          • 28 Azpilicueta
          • 03 Cole Booked
          • 12 Mikel
          • 02 Ivanovic
          • 33 Kalas
          • 21 Matic
          • 08 Lampard Booked
          • 19 Ba (Torres – 84′ Booked )
          • 15 Salah Booked (Willian – 60′ )
          • 14 Schürrle (Cahill – 77′ )

  22. Increase says:

    Dzeko is a large fellow… very large.

  23. pineapple says:

    why didn’t Torres score?

    I gotta say. he doesn’t mind sharing. i mean he hasn’t scored in months yet he calmly passes the ball to a player. 1 thing u can say is he has an insane amount of assists for Chelsea considering he’s a striker

  24. Isaac says:

    How fantastic a commentator is Tim Howard? Love his analysis…

    • pineapple says:

      me 2. Very honest as well. he mentioned the assist he gave up to Sunbderland as well when discussing a potential penalty against the CP keeper. I love this guy.

      hope he becomes a full time commentator in England after he retires.

      • Increase says:

        I rather like it as well. If the Premier league was smart, they would get more players to do this. It adds more personality to the league. Timmy knows those guys more than any normal announcer.

    • Maykol says:

      Havent listened to him but apparently a ton of people think kes awful

      • Hogatroge says:

        Well Brits and Yanks have different opinions on what they like to hear from their announcers. If Timmy talks too much, I’m sure he’ll get with the program with more time.

        He’d be a good guy to cover EPL matches for the US audience.

    • Marlon says:

      He talks too danm much.
      You don’t have to say something all the time. Sometimes we just want to watch the game.

      • Byrdman says:

        As i said yesterday, that is the problem with many of the MLS guys too. Keller and Hatman are nauseatingly long winded.

      • pineapple says:

        Huh? He gives good insight on the game. And nice to hear an American voice on the game.

        If anything can be said it’s that he is too far easy on players. But mostly it’s cause he seems them when he’s playing and that might upp their ante when playing against him.

        Otherwise he’s quite good.

        • Marlon says:

          I didn’t know he was American!
          Taking that into consideration he still talks too danm much.
          Some of us tune in to watch a football game not to listen to the incessant talking regardless of how good the insight is. Every now and then he should let the game do the talking.

        • Byrdman says:

          My point is that they are both incredibly verbose. I am sure time but they need to learn to select short phrases to describe their thoughts. The need to explain every little detail can be annoying.

      • GW says:

        Then hit the mute button.

  25. Brad C says:

    My god I hate Chelsea so much. If I were in the stands near Mourinho running down the sides lines after Willian’s goal, I probably would have gone on the field to punch him in the stomach.

    I hope which ever top striker they go after refuses to play for them because of their tactics.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      Indeed. That was almost Panama-level time-wasting there towards the end. When you have one of the most expensive, talented squads in the world, why do you resort to parking the bus and going to get a drink while taking a throw-in? It’s kind of shameful.

      • GW says:

        Liverpool love to attack, and are questionable on defense so let them overextend themselves on offense and hit them on the break.

        Why do you want to get into a shootout with a team that loves that stuff?

        Mourinho is paid to win, not impress people by beating them in pissing contests..

        • justascienceguy says:

          Mourinho can assemble the most expensive team on the planet yet can’t find a way to win other than 10 men behind the ball park the bus tactics. It works, but don’t call him a genius. He is far from the first coach to try this, and the game plan never changes every time it is employed. I’m sure you complain when teams do this to chelsea just as much as you are defending the tactics now.

          • GW says:

            That is a very negative attitude.

            In the NFL if the other team has a weak cornerback you go after him not the All Pro corner on the other side.

            Only a fool plays to the strength of the opponent.

            If anyone could stop Liverpool by “parking the bus” then how come the other genius managers in the EPL haven’t been able to stop Liverpool?

            Because they are more courageous than Mourinho? Sure they are.

  26. Atletico Man says:

    Aupa Atleti!

  27. lords of Max says:

    I hate Chelsea.

    Terry. Mourinho. All of them. I hate. They are filth

  28. William the Terror says:

    I hate Chelsea. I hate City. But if either one of them can take the League instead of Liverpool, this whole season will seem much less of a nightmare for United fans. So, anyone but Liverpool!

  29. Fredo says:

    Come on Dom, get your boys together and add to Portland’s misery.

  30. Fredo says:

    Damn you Ricketts!

  31. Marlon says:

    Somebody threw a banana to Danny Alvez and he picked it up and ate it. Two minutes latter he set up the tying goal.
    Barcelona up 3-2 after starting 2-0 down

  32. Gerard D. says:

    Alves just had a banana thrown at him. He peeled it, ate it, and then took the corner. Love it.

  33. Lu says:

    Villarreal unlucky today with two own goals. Really wanted them to win today. Hopefully Atletico lose points in the upcoming games so Real can win the league