Highlights and context: Bradley Cooper (a.k.a. Mike Magee) goal leads LA Galaxy past Colorado

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Los Angeles put nine shots on Clint Irwin. They out-shot Colorado 21 to 5 and put nine shots on the Rapids’ goal. LA kept 63 percent of the ball, yet the only thing that differentiated them from their guests was a Drew Moor mistake and a penalty conversion from Bradley Cooper:

I guess I shouldn’t proceed as if you know the joke. Galaxy midfielder/forward Mike Magee, who leads Major League Soccer with four goals in this still young campaign, looks like the Silver Linings Playbook star.

Here’s Mike versus the Oscar nominee:

source:  source: Getty Images

 

It’s a little disturbing (the un-canniness of the resemblance), but in our defense, we can’t take credit for this idea:

Sacha isn’t the first to come up with the comparison, so hopefully nobody took him up on that bet.

Back to the game. It’s hard to draw too much knowledge from a match which, even before an early second half red card, was lopsided, but while the game was in doubt, there were a couple of things worth talking about:

  • What was Drew Moor thinking? I’m trying to look at this from the player’s point of view, hoping to come up with the most generous interpretation possible (given the video is pretty indicting). The only idea that comes to mind supposes Moor was trying to give Marcelo Sarvas a shot across the chest. Instead, he ended up punching Sarvas in the face. The only thing in doubt about Moor’s offense is how long he’ll be out. A suspension’s coming.
  • Clint Irwin almost made this worthwhile – Matt Pickens is out with a broken arm, leaving the Rapids’ goalkeeping job to the unproven Clint Irwin. But that label (unproven) won’t last for long if Irwin can replicate Saturday’s performance. Drew Moor wouldn’t have been left to decide this one had Irwin been proved mortal before the 50th minute.
  • Juninho as a focal point – We speculated about this in preseason, but particularly with Robbie Keane gone and Landon Donovan in Wisconsin, the Galaxy needed their emerging midfield general to guide them. It’s subtle and other it’s not that even influential, but if you’re familiar with the Galaxy you can see the little ways Juninho, now playing without David Beckham, is becoming a player LA leans on, somebody who can guide the attack when it’s out of idea. His night may have been more steady than stellar, but only 24 years old, Juninho still looks like a future all-star. His expanding role will get him there.

 

Pochettino calls out Xavi for Dele Alli-Man City “lie to lie to lie”

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“He tried to destroy our focus to win because he hates me because he’s Barcelona.”

Even half-kidding, the Derby Barceloni is alive and well for longtime Espanyol man Mauricio Pochettino and Barcelona legend Xavi.

At least that’s why the latter is trying to sabotage the former’s Premier League title fight, Pochettino says.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Speaking from his club team in Qatar, Xavi claimed that Manchester City is going to bid high for Spurs’ young star Dele Alli.

Tottenham boss Pochettino says that’s just not true. Pochettino was joking a bit when he answered questions on the topic, but then told a story about Xavi diving for a penalty in the derby. Here are a few of his thoughts, from The Telegraph:

“It wasn’t a penalty but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won the game. After in the replay it was very funny because it was clear no one touched him. Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie.”

“He is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola and [Vincent] Kompany.”

Boa Esporte goalkeeper back to prison as murder appeal denied

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The risk clearly wasn’t worth it for Boa Esporte.

The Brazilian club signed Bruno Fernandes de Souza in March, not long after the convicted murderer and goalkeeper was released from prison on appeal.

Fernandes, 32, had been jailed for ordering the murder of a lover, who was fed to dogs by the killer. Boa Esporte lost several big sponsors for signing him, but vocally defended the move.

The owner, Rone Moraes da Costa, said he’d rather move the team than not give Fernandes a chance to revive his career. Fernandes admitted his mistakes but said he wasn’t “a bad guy”.

According to the Associated Press:

“Brazil’s Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to deny an appeal to Boa Esporte goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza, who was released in March while appealing a 22-year sentence in the 2010 killing of Eliza Samudio.”

So it’s back to jail for Fernandes, and we’ll be waiting with baited breath to hear from Boa Esporte’s owner.

Conte: Chelsea “ready to fight to the end”

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Following Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal win over Spurs and Tuesday’s blowout of Southampton — the 4-2 score line didn’t tell the story of the second half — Antonio Conte is fired up for Chelsea to complete its Premier League title run.

The manager admits that his side was under pressure after Spurs narrowed the table gap to four points last week, but the wins have eased the Blues’ burden.

Chelsea had lost two of four PL matches before the weekend.

From Football.London:

“I think we passed a big, big psychological step after the defeat to United. We lost three points and had to prepare a semi-final against Tottenham and then another tough game in the league. In that moment we had a really important test and our answer was very good.

“We must think that this race is open, we have reached the final of the FA Cup. The situation in the league is totally open. We are ready to fight to the end. We must be proud for the job we are doing and to fight to the end.”

Spurs can bring the gap back to four with a win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, but have a tougher run-in with five matches to play. As long as the gap is within six points, anything is possible, but the Blues have certainly answered the bell over the past four days.

Chelsea: Big win “feels like a massive step” to title

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“It feels like a massive step to be honest,” said game-changing goal scorer Gary Cahill of Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Chelsea’s Premier League lead stands at seven points after the win, which saw a dominant second half from the hosts.

[ RECAP: Chelsea 4-2 Saints ]

Perhaps it was cued up by Cahill’s first half stoppage time header, which boosted the Blues to a 2-1 lead just before the whistle.

Cahill darted in front of Diego Costa‘s scissor kick attempt to power a header past Fraser Forster.

“(Costa) tried to claim it afterward as well,” Cahill said. “When the ball’s just lofted over, it’s dying to be attacked. We went into halftime with our tails up and it was a big boost for us.”

Cesc Fabregas said Southampton surprised the Blues tactically, leading to an entertaining first half that could’ve seen either side ahead before half.

“We needed a little bit of time to adapt to what they did because we prepared for something else,” he said.

Fabregas said the win was big with second-place Spurs watching at home. Tottenham plays at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

“We needed a good response after the Man United game. We have to keep going with five games to go, to keep it up and make the last push. It would be a big shame if now we relaxed. We just have to push now more than ever,” he said.

“It’s a statement for (Spurs), for us, for everyone, but most of all for us.”
Eden Hazard agreed.
“We scored four beautiful goals,” said the Belgian, who scored the game’s first goal. “It’s good to play before and put pressure on them.”