Clarence Seedorf sounds confident ahead of tomorrow’s visit from Atlético Madrid; then again, what’s the new Milan boss suppose to say? That a Milan team that remains lodged in the middle of the Serie A standings is improving but still flawed? That the dramatic turnaround some loyalists hoped for hasn’t happened?
In lieu of such honestly, the four-time Champions League winner (as a player) is offering less committal responses. The recently retired midfielder is promising “a great night” in Milan, while saying Atlético has “weak points” he intends to exploit. Diego Simeone’s team is “one to respect and very strong,” but Seedorf contends his team is “confident although it will be hard.”
If Seedorf’s confidence comes from facing Atlético, he’s making the same mistake many around Italian soccer made when Milan were drawn against the Colchoneros. Though they’ve slumped recently (losing three games in a row earlier this month), Atleti have only lost four times in all competitions this season. Contrast that with Milan, who’ve lost 10 times. The Italian media may be lauding Milan’s chances because they didn’t draw Barcelona or Real Madrid, but their chances to advance are only slightly better against Atlético.
They’re expectations that work against Seedorf, whose meeting with Atlético is being seen as the new head coach’s first major test. In a fair world, he would be judged purely in terms of the incremental progress he makes from the state in which Max Allegri led the team. By next year, Milan may be ready to resume their place near the top of Serie A. Instead, Atlético lack of response beyond Spain has given fans hope.
In all likelihood, it’s false hope. Perhaps a Milan team with Mario Balotelli, Keisuke Honda, and Kaká will finally start converting their league-leading possession into better chances. And maybe Atlético will regress into the slump they’ve just busted. More likely, though, a mediocre Milan’s going up against one of the strongest teams in Europe, and because of their history, the presence of a new coach, and a lack of respect for Atlético, some see them as more than long shots they are.
Relax Manchester City fans, Sergio Aguero is okay.
Aguero, 27, started up top in City’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday as the Citizens momentarily went top of the Premier League ahead of the late game between Leicester City and Manchester United.
[ VIDEO: Vardy sets PL record ]
Even though Aguero didn’t get on the scoresheet, his movement caused Saints plenty of problems and despite Shane Long halving the deficit following Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph‘s first half goals, City rallied and won 3-1 thanks to a late Aleksandar Kolarov strike.
All that aside, Aguero limped off injured in the second half and with a League Cup quarterfinal and big games in the PL and UEFA Champions League coming up, fears over the Argentine’s fitness once again surfaced.
Speaking to the media after the game Pellegrini revealed that Aguero should be fine.
“Kun [Aguero] came off as a precaution. I spoke with him before the game and we said he would play 65 minutes,” Pellegrini said. “He has a kick in his heel, but nothing important. I was very pleased with the team’s reaction. It was important to get three points against a team who were unbeaten away. We were a little nervous until the third goal, but I’m happy with the performance and the result.”
Aguero missed six weeks of action from October to November after a hamstring injury when playing for Argentina and whenever he’s been out of the team, especially over the past 12 months, City have missed him desperately. In that regard it is understandable that Pellegrini took no chances when Aguero went done with a slight injury against Southampton.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Pellegrini also lamented referee Roger East for a few peculiar decisions, as both his side and Saints could’ve had penalty kicks in either half for handball incidents in the box. With City facing Hull City in the League Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday, Pellegrini’s players must now recover as he hinted at the importance of making the final four of the competition he won during his first season in charge.
The Internet exploded at around 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday after Jamie Vardy — yes, Jamie Vardy — broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for most consecutive games with a goal.
[ WATCH: The goal | The game — Leicester City vs. Manchester United ]
Yes, an Englishman is back atop the charts. An Englishman who was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before heading to Leicester.
He’s perhaps the reminder, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted below, that the most unlikely of scenarios is still not impossible.
He did it. He actually did it.
Jamie Vardy made Premier League history on Saturday, scoring for the 11th consecutive game to become the first player in history to achieve that magnificent feat.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Tied with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy heading into Leicester’s clash against United on Saturday, it took Vardy just 24 minutes to set the new record as Christian Fuchs played a delicate ball in-behind United’s defense and Vardy did the rest.
[ MORE: Can Vardy, Leicester achieve unthinkable? ]
Watch the video below to see the King Power Stadium erupt as a truly memorable moment arrived.
Now, the next record for Vardy to break is from the 1931-32 English top-flight season, before the PL was formed. Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne scored in 12-straight games way back then.
Anyway, congratulations Mr. Vardy for making PL history.
This was an all-timer.
Bournemouth came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit only to watch Ross Barkley hand Everton a one-goal lead with a score in the final minute of stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Bournemouth 3-3 Everton ]
But after fans were cleared from the field, Junior Stanislas provided the dramatic answer for Bournemouth to force a 3-3 draw at Dean Court.