Man of the Match: After a solid match that saw him hold down his side of defense, Philipp Lahm made is happened at the end. He skinned Fabio Coentrao and delivered a final ball through the six that Mario Gomez couldn’t miss. (Steve does rightfully point out that Lahm was one of the players culpable on the Real Madrid goal.)
Packaged for takeway:
- If you missed it, PST’s play-by-play of the match.
- It wasn’t the first time Fabio Coentrão’d gone to ground while attempted in ill-advised challenge. In the 90th minute when Philipp Lahm has the ball 30 yards from goal, just keep him in front of you. There’s no need to try that challenge.
- The goal tipped the scales on a match that was relatively even. Bayern was probably slightly better over the full 90, but 1-1 would have been a just result.
- But although Bayern grabbed a winner, they gave away that valuable away goal, getting caught in transition before Real generated an easy tap-in for Mesut Ozil.
- If I’m Jupp Heynckes, I’m still worried about how my central defense will hold up. The times Real Madrid tried to play through Karim Benzema were their best moments of the match. Bayern is lucky Real didn’t do that more often.
- Starting Toni Kroos over Thomas Muller was a small surprise, but it provided a great balance for Bayern. Having a man in the middle to help switch play (mostly over to Arjen Robben) may have been more valuable than somebody more apt to play forward.
- Franck Ribery was embarrassing. Four times he exaggerated fouls in the effort to win calls or penalty kicks. Credit to Howard Webb for keeping his cards in his pocket.
- However, there were two dangerous Real Madrid tackles that should have gotten great punishment. Marcelo chopped down Müller from behind with a kick to the ankle late in the match, while Sergio Ramos slid through the ankles of Thomas Muller attempting to play a ball from the wrong side. Nobody likes red cards, but these types of plays are too dangerous to be treated like professional fouls.
- For Bayern, it would have been a major hit had they not won today. Gomez’s late goal give them a boost ahead of next Wednesday. For Real, they may be temporarily deflated, but they got a road goal. They’re still in the driver’s seat for Munich, something they can worry about after Saturday’s Clásico.
They don’t get much bigger, or more heated, than this one in MLS — it’s Portland versus Seattle, the Timbers versus the Sounders, tonight at Providence Park (10 p.m. ET).
[ FOLLOW LIVE: Timbers vs. Sounders ]
To keep up-to-the-second informed on proceedings in Portland this evening, hit the above link, or click right here.
Seattle won the first meeting between these sides, 1-0 back on May 27, on their home turf at CenturyLink Field. Cristian Roldan, who’ll depart for U.S. national team camp following Sunday’s game, scored the only goal that afternoon in Seattle, a 4th-minute header from three yards out.
Shkodran Mustafi admits that he, along with his Arsenal teammates, feels helpless with over the ongoing transfer saga of Alexis Sanchez.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]
The Chilean superstar is linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, as the Gunners fell out of the Premier League’s top-four and the 28-year-old’s contract is set to expire next summer. Perhaps most importantly, Sanchez hasn’t so much as publicly stated a desire to remain at the club, which, from the outside, appears to have left his future in even greater doubt.
Mustafi admits he hasn’t a clue how things will shake out in the coming weeks, but he’s quick with a pleading sales pitch for Sanchez to stay — quotes from Goal.com:
“I have no idea. Obviously the other players cannot make that decision, he has to make that decision.
“I’m not too much involved. I hope he stays because he is a really brilliant football player but there’s nothing in my hands that I can do.”
[ MORE: De Boer set to be named new Crystal Palace boss ]
Arsenal would likely have to double (if not more) Sanchez’s current $180,000 weekly wages in order to convince him to forego a season in the UEFA Champions League and commit his long-term future to a club presently trending in the wrong direction.
Frank de Boer is widely expected to be named new Crystal Palace manager this week, as he has reportedly accepted the job after having been offered the position this week.
[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]
The 47-year-old Dutchman has been out of work since he was fired by Inter Milan in November. He lasted just 84 days at the San Siro, where he managed to win just five of 14 games. Inter Milan is Inter Milan, though, and that’s something worth remembering when critiquing Palace’s impending appointment of De Boer.
Palace are also widely expected to back De Boer in the transfer market this summer, in a big way. Kelechi Iheanacho is the biggest name linked with a move to Selhurst Park, as the 20-year-old Nigerian striker is reportedly unwanted by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Dominic Kinnear is out after two and a half seasons as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, despite leading the club to a hugely improved standing 17 games into the 2017 season.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
The move comes 17 hours after San Jose put to bed a three-game winless skid with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, a result which propelled them into fifth place in the Western Conference, just two points off second place. After seventh- and ninth-place finishes in Kinnear’s first two seasons back in Northern California (he managed the club in 2004 and 2005 before the club was relocated to Houston, where he would remain for nine seasons, through the 2014 season), this year’s team seemed to be moving in a positive direction quicker than most had previously expected.
[ MORE: Accam scores a backheel (video) | Opara scores a CB bicycle ]
The club has named Chris Leitch head coach and Alex Covelo as assistant coach. Current assistant coach Steve Ralston and goalkeeper coach Tim Hanley will remain in their current roles.
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Dominic for his hard work, professionalism and contributions to this club over the years,” Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli said in a release. “He worked hard this year and was a first-class person all the way. This decision was made after a lot of thought and evaluation. We decided that we wanted to go in a different direction as we continue to build the identity of this club.”
Kinnear is the second MLS coach to be relieved of his duties this season, suffering the same fate as RSL’s Jeff Cassar, who lasted just three games before being fired in March.