LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Mana Iwabuchi of Japan competes against Christie Rampone of USA during the Women’s Football gold medal match between the United States and Japan on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.
[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]
Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.
The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.
Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.
The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.
Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg
[ FOLLOW: Arsenal vs. Atleti ]
The now-Atletico Madrid forward returns to England on Thursday as his La Liga outfit aims to stop Arsenal from reaching next month’s Europa League Final in Lyon.
[ FOLLOW: Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg ]
That’s a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff, the same as Marseille’s date with Red Bull Salzburg in France.
ARSENAL-ATLETICO MADRID LINEUPS
Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nketiah.
Atleti: Oblak, Lucas, Godin, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Saul, Thomas, Koke, Correa, Griezmann, Gameiro. Subs: Werner, Savic, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe, Torres, Costa.
It is that time of the week again, folks. Prediction time!
[ STREAM: Every PL game live ]
If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.
Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.
[ STREAM: Premier League “Goal Rush” ]
With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.
BASICALLY, FREE MONEY
West Ham 0-3 Man City – (Sunday, 9:15 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]
Tottenham 4-0 Watford – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM ]
Swansea City 0-2 Chelsea – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM]
Man United 3-1 Arsenal – (Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]
DON’T TOUCH THIS…
Newcastle 1-1 West Brom – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, CNBC) – [STREAM]
Huddersfield 1-2 Everton- (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]
Burnley 1-0 Brighton – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]
Liverpool 2-1 Stoke City – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]
“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”
Southampton 2-1 Bournemouth – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]
Crystal Palace 2-0 Leicester City – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]
Matias Almeyda’s body didn’t need the intensity of penalty kicks, though he’ll gladly accept the outcome after Chivas Guadalajara clinched a Club World Cup berth by beating Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League final.
“I finished last season with five ulcers,” Almeyda told ESPN’s Tom Marshall, noting his grandmother is ill as well.
Chivas reached a pair of finals before this tournament, and had a number of other obstacles including protests of the club’s owners and disappointment in player recruitment.
[ MORE: TFC’s “heart has been ripped from chest” ]
Still, the long-haired Argentine put together a winning CCL team. The former River Plate and Banfield manager spent most of his playing career in Spain, Italy, and Argentina, and is happy to pick up a big win in a new(ish) country.
“It’s beautiful. When I gave my first press conference I was unknown in Mexico and it wasn’t easy,” Almeyda said. “I spoke that day about what I wanted to achieve here and God has helped me achieve what I promised.”
The 44-year-old won Serie A as a player with Lazio, and has two Copa MX and a Liga MX title to go with his CCL crown. He’s a name to watch moving forward, and — as the kids say, don’t at me — a sneaky interesting name for the USMNT given his ability to marshal an undermanned unit.