Uh oh, Gooch: PSG loans Diego Lugano to Málaga

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Before the season started, I harbored some hope that Uruguay international Diego Lugano would win a spot in the middle of Paris Saint-Germain’s defense. It’s not that I love the guy. The reason is more egotistic. As somebody who lives under the misconception I know something about professional soccer, I like to see decisions and events that confirm my predictions. And I thought (and still think) Diego Lugano’s a very good defender.

However, with former Chelsea defender Alex augmented by the purchase of Thiago Silva, it was pretty clear PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t going to start Lugano. Add in the presence of 22-year-old Mamadou Sahko and Lugano’s yet to appear in Ligue 1 this season.

But the 32-year-old’s playing time looks set to increase with his loan move to Málaga, a switch that was announced this morning. Manuel Pellegrini’s team, currently setting fifth in La Liga, already have Martin Demichelis and Weligton in central defense, but with Champions League commitments resuming mid-February, the Andalusians could use some depth. Matched up against Porto in Champions League’s Round of 16, Málaga stand a good chance of seeing their schedule congested into spring.

Bad news for Gooch

The move isn’t exactly great news for U.S. international Oguchi Onyewu, already somewhat buried on Málaga’s depth chart. The 30-year-old, who is hoping to work his way back into Jurgen Klinsmann’s selection, has only made three appearances between league and Europe, sitting behind Jesús Gámez in Pellegrini’s pecking order. With Lugano in tow, it’s unclear where Onyewu will get playing time between now and June.

Perhaps Lugano’s move will trigger a domino effect. If Onyewu wants to work his way back into the national team during this cycle, he needs to move in the next couple of weeks. He can’t let himself stagnate at Málaga.

It’s no exaggeration to say five months without playing — at his age, with his recent history in the national team — could end his international career. Or at least permanently derail it.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.

Benfica routs Boavista 4-0 to take lead in Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Benfica routed Boavista 4-0 to move ahead of FC Porto at the top of the Portuguese league on Saturday.

Benfica is one point in front of Porto, which has two games to play.

[ MORE: Man United gets Brighton in FA Cup quarters, Chelsea draws Leicester ]

Ruben Dias opened the scoring for Benfica in the 18th minute when he headed in a pass from Jardel.

Jardel added a goal just before halftime. Boavista’s Nuno Henrique also scored an own goal before Raul Jimenez polished off the victory in the 90th.

Jonas had a penalty saved by Boavista goalkeeper Vagner with the score 0-0.

Porto hosts Rio Ave on Sunday. Sporting Lisbon is three points behind Benfica before visiting Tondela on Monday.