Montreal playoff positioning suffers, but Vancouver’s lot suddenly improves (video)

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We write and talk a lot about how maddeningly inconsistent New York has been all year, very good at times and then so hard on the eyes at others.

But you know which other MLS Eastern Conference contender – perhaps today we will soon be saying “former MLS Eastern Conference contender” – is ridiculously inconsistent? That would be the Montreal Impact

A couple of weeks back Marco Schallibaum’s club clobbered Houston. The head-spinning 5-0 result was the worst loss ever for the two-time MLS Cup runner-up. Not long after that, Montreal went into New England and properly exploited the 10-man Revs, taking three points on the road.

But since then they have lost to Columbus at home, been spanked at San Jose in CONCACAF Champions League appearance and …

… Saturday, the Impact hopes of an Eastern Conference title (and a bid for Supporters Shield) took a hit in a 3-0 loss to Vancouver. It really wasn’t a 3-0 match; Camilo’s two late goals for Vancouver turned a 1-0 game into something that looked like a blowout.

Plus, David Ousted’s steady work in Vancouver goal helped keep the home team at bay.

Still, a club that cannot score at home can’t expect any points. Plus, Montreal now goes on the road for two MLS matches, at Chicago and at Houston. So consider Saturday as “big opportunity squandered” from the Impact side.

From Vancouver’s side, what a huge three points for Martin Rennie’s Whitecaps. They moved temporarily ahead of Dallas for sixth spot in the West, still one place out of the playoffs but in a far better place than when they woke up Saturday morning.

One other interesting element: Rennie decided not to start Camilo (pictured), a fairly sizable gambit considering his top forward is a Golden Boot candidate. Rennie’s choice seems vindicated since Camilo came on as a sub to secure the win with those two late goals. It looks like more Martin Rennie over-thinking – but it worked like a peach on Saturday.

Camilo now as 16 goals, tied with Mike Magee for second in the league going into Saturday’s evening matches.

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.