Getty Images

Under-fire Bob Bradley on Swansea: “We are our own worst enemy”

Leave a comment

Bob Bradley looked dejected on the sidelines on Boxing Day.

Rightly so.

[ RECAP: Swans hammered 4-1

The American coach watched on as his Swansea City side put in another dreadful defensive display as they lost 4-1 to West Ham United on Monday to deepen their relegation fears.

With Bradley, 58, under pressure to deliver wins the home fans began to turn on him and the new American owners at the Liberty Stadium.

All is not well in South Wales as Bradley has now lost seven times in his first 11 games in charge of the Swans.

“That was a tough afternoon in all ways,” Bradley said. “You saw a team who have gone through a period where nothing goes right and today was more of the same. At the moment we are our own worst enemy. No matter what we do, we seem to put ourselves in terrible spots, and getting away from that is hard work.”

Bradley is spot on.

So many of the goals Swansea has conceded since he took charge have been preventable and that was again the case against West Ham.

Lukasz Fabianski spilled the ball and Andre Ayew put West Ham ahead, then Winston Reid headed home from a set piece, Michail Antonio made the most of Swansea’s defense being slow to get out for the third goal and Andy Carroll then peeled away to the back post to score the fourth.

With the Swans now having the worst defense in the Premier League and conceding more goals than any other team since Bradley arrived in October, the fans have turned on the New Jersey native.

He knows they must work hard to win them back.

“After 18 games we are in a very difficult position, but that leaves us 20 games to fight to stay up and to win back the supporters,” Bradley admitted. “We all heard the response in the stadium today. It doesn’t feel good, but sometimes in football you have to fight when everything is going against you. There’s no magic formula for turning things around other than not giving up and working hard to try to find a way.”

That said, the former U.S. men’s national team coach is not giving up even though he admits the latest defeat was nowhere near good enough.

“I understood this was a difficult situation when I came here. I said then I would fight every day to do the job and I continue to be fully committed to doing that,” Bradley said. “I believe in my work. I believe in the message I give to the players. Having said that, there’s no getting around the fact that when things are going against you, when the margins are so small, it is difficult. In certain moments in football, a play can go against you. It’s the ability to handle it when that happens that has to be what our players are about.

” When we go down in a game, we have to roll up our sleeves and believe. But I don’t make excuses. After a game like that, I take responsibility. It’s not good enough. We have to look at each other and say that in the second half, when we had the opportunity to fight back, we were not able to it.”

January 1 can’t some soon enough as Bradley needs defensive reinforcements.

Swansea’s game against Bournemouth on Dec. 31 will be huge in deciding not only his future but that of the Swans as they continue to battle against the drop.

Depay strike downs PSG, brings Lyon second in Ligue 1

Twitter/@Squawka
Leave a comment

Memphis Depay‘s time in England may not have gone according to plan, but the young Dutchman is tearing it up in France.

[ SPAIN & ITALY: Bale, Real Madrid soar with seven-goal outburst and more ]

The former Manchester United winger scorched the game-winner into net on Sunday, as his Lyon side went on to defeat league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, 2-1, at the Stade des Lumières.

Stunning first-half strikes from Nabil Fekir (15th goal of the season) and Layvin Kurzawa had the two clubs level at 1-1 going into the halftime break, but there was more action to be had after the mandatory stoppage.

A straight red card from Dani Alves in the second stanza put the Parisians at a major disadvantage, and Lyon would capitalize down the stretch with the extra man.

The hosts putting the finishing touches on the match four minutes deep into second-half stoppage time when Depay struck a beauty of a shot past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

Depay is now up to 10 goals on the season in all competitions for Lyon, including eight in league play.

The victory brings Lyon up to second place in France’s top flight, while PSG still holds an eight-point  lead over the runners’ up with 16 matches left in Ligue 1 play.

La Liga & Serie A: Bale leads Real to seven-goal outburst and more

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna

Now, this is more like it from the defending European champions. Zinedine Zidane’s side went behind on Sunday when Adrian put the visitors in front, however, Real Madrid woke up and scored seven unanswered goals at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale was the star on the day with a brilliant curler that kicked off the first of his two goals (below). After Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to go down inside the penalty area, Bale carried on and put the ball onto his left foot before sliding his shot in off the inside of the far post.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo picked up a brace of his own on the day, both of which came off of headers for the Portuguese international. The veteran goalscorer also got bloodied on the day, but that didn’t stop him from adding to his impressive goal total.

Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona

A slow start to the match was aided by a Barcelona team that came out for blood in the second stanza. Ivan Rakitic and braces from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi paced the road side in the second half, keeping their unbeaten La Liga record in tacked.

Although Rakitic was the first to find his name on the scoresheet, it was his assist to Suarez that later on that proved to be a thing of excellence from both parties.

The first half was mildly uneventful for the Blaugrana, however, the Catalonians suffered another injury blow as Thomas Vermaelen left the match after pulling up in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring pull.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 2-2 Leganes
Real Sociedad 1-2 Celta Vigo


Lazio 5-1 Chievo Verona

Lazio moved into third place in Serie A after a convincing victory at the Stadio Olimpico. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s double for the hosts helped propel them to the win, after Luis Alberto kicked off the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Chievo found a brief response two minutes later, but from there it was all Lazio as they closed to within 11 points of league leaders Napoli.

Cagliari 1-2 AC Milan

Franck Kessié scored twice in six minutes to pull Milan back into the match on the day, and that was exactly what they needed to secure three points at the Sardegna Arena. AC Milan sits seventh in Italy’s top flight through 21 matches, 23 points behind Napoli.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Inter Milan 1-1 Roma
Udinese 1-1 SPAL
Sassuolo 1-1 Torino
Sampdoria 3-1 Fiorentina
Bologna 3-0 Benevento
Hellas Verona 0-3 Crotone
Atalanta 0-1 Napoli

Video: Kurzawa silences Lyon with spectacular volley

Twitter/ @lequipe
Leave a comment

Lyon went ahead inside the opening two minutes, but then Layvin Kurzawa had his say for the visitors on the stroke of halftime.

[ MORE: Fekir’s free kick stuns PSG in opening two minutes]

Dani Alves set up the defender for one of the best volleys you’ll see in first-half stoppage time on Sunday to level the match at 1-1.

Watch below as PSG ties things up with just seconds remaining before the halftime whistle.

Video: Fekir’s brilliant free kick has Lyon leading PSG

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
Leave a comment

Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.

[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]

Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.

The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.

The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.

That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.