FC Barcelona v Levante UD - La Liga

La Liga Roundup: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid drop first points of season

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Both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid has the chance to make a record-breaking start to the 2103-14 La Liga campaign… but they both blew it.

With the Catalan and Capital city club in search of their ninth straight win to start the season, a feat only accomplished by Real Madrid’s 1968-69 team in Spain’s top-flight, both fluffed their lines with Barca drawing 0-0 with Osasuna, while Atletico lost 1-0 at Espanyol as Mexican coach Javier Aguirre sees his side move up to fourth.

(MORE: Check out the latest La Liga standings)

Barcelona’s stalemate was the first-time they’ve failed to score in 65 league games, dating back to January 2012 against Villarreal, and even the return of Lionel Messi from injury for the final 25 minutes could spark Barca’s inept offense into life.

Real Madrid, oh yeah that ‘other’ Spanish team, beat Malaga 2-0 as Gareth Bale returned from injury to help seal the deal. Angel Di Maria put Madrid 1-0 up, before second half substitute Bale won a penalty late on that Cristiano Ronaldo coolly dispatched.

Real Sociedad warmed up for their Champions League trip to Manchester United by beating Valencia 2-1. The northern Spaniards opened the scoring through Antoine Griezmman, then Ruben Pardo grabbed a second to seal the victory.

(MORE: Stats leaders in Spain, Diego Costa top of the scoring charts)

Rounding up the rest of the action in La Liga, Sevilla were 2-0 up against Valladolid but let their lead slip as they drew 2-2, while newly-promoted Elche beat Real Betis 2-1.

Getafe are on a roll with a fourth straight win, they beat Granada 2-0. And struggles Rayo Vallecano beat fellow basement boys Almeria 1-0, as they latter are still without a win this season.

Rounding off week 9, there are two La Liga games on Monday with Celto Vigo hosting Levante at 2pm ET, and Athletic Bilbao playing Villarreal at 4pm ET.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)