Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

La Liga & Serie A: Eibar chasing Europe; Roma still chasing Juve

Leave a comment

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

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Man United win | Everton, too ]

Celta Vigo 0-2 Eibar

European soccer may just be coming to Ipurua Municipal Stadium, the tiny 7,000-seat home of Eibar, far and away the lowest capacity stadium in La Liga. Saturday’s 2-0 victory away to Celta Vigo, courtesy of goals scored by Kike Garcia and Pedro Leon, pulled Eibar level (ahead on goal differential) for seventh (Spain’s second automatic Europa League spot) two days after Athletic Bilbao lost 3-1 away to Villarreal.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 30 22 6 2 79 31 48 12-4-0 10-2-2 72
 Barcelona 31 21 6 4 88 28 60 11-3-1 10-3-3 69
 Atlético Madrid 31 18 8 5 56 24 32 11-2-2 7-6-3 62
 Sevilla 31 18 7 6 56 39 17 11-3-1 7-4-5 61
 Villarreal 31 15 9 7 45 24 21 9-3-4 6-6-3 54
 Eibar 31 14 8 9 52 42 10 9-3-4 5-5-5 50
 Athletic 31 15 5 11 40 36 4 11-3-2 4-2-9 50
 Real Sociedad 30 15 4 11 43 41 2 7-4-4 8-0-7 49
 Espanyol 31 12 10 9 43 42 1 8-5-3 4-5-6 46

Elsewhere in La Liga — SATURDAY’S ROUNDUP

Granada 1-3 Valencia
Osasuna 2-1 Leganes
Las Palmas 4-1 Real Betis


Bologna 0-3 Roma

Juventus won on Saturday to go nine points clear in the Scudetto race, which means a slip-up by Roma on Sunday would all but end the title race. Their response? A 3-0 thrashing of Bologna that was done and dusted before halftime. Federico Fazio opened the scoring in the 25th minute, and Mohamed Salah doubled the lead four minutes before halftime.

Edin Dzeko‘ss 24th goal of the season made it 3-0 in the 75th minute, keeping the Bosnian international even with Torino’s Andrea Belotti (one goal on Sunday) in the Golden Boot race.

Lazio 0-3 Napoli

Lazio’s pursuit of third place, and the UEFA Champions League place that comes with it, is all but dead after suffering a 3-0 demolition at the hands of Napoli, the side they’re chasing for third.

Jose Callejon made it 1-0 in the 25th minute, and a second-half brace from Lorenzo Insigne 51st and 91st minutes) signaled the all but certain end of Lazio’s Champions League chase. With seven games remaining, Napoli’s lead has ballooned to seven points. A Lazio victory would have, of course, cut it to one.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Juventus 31 25 2 4 62 20 42 16-0-0 9-2-4 77
 Roma 31 23 2 6 69 26 43 14-0-1 9-2-5 71
 Napoli 31 20 7 4 72 33 39 10-4-2 10-3-2 67
 Lazio 31 18 6 7 52 34 18 10-2-4 8-4-3 60
 Atalanta 31 18 5 8 52 34 18 10-2-3 8-3-5 59
 AC Milan 31 17 6 8 47 33 14 11-2-3 6-4-5 57
 Inter Milan 31 17 4 10 57 35 22 10-2-3 7-2-7 55
 Fiorentina 31 14 10 7 49 39 10 8-7-0 6-3-7 52

Elsewhere in Serie ASATURDAY’S ROUNDUP

Sampdoria 2-2 Fiorentina
Udinese 3-0 Genoa
Crotone 2-1 Inter Milan
AC Milan 4-0 Palermo
Cagliari 2-3 Torino

Photo: Flamengo supporter tattoos club jersey on body

MAURÍCIO DOS ANJOS VIA VICE
Leave a comment

A supporter in Brazil has taken fandom to a whole new level with a piece of body art that shows his devotion to the club.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Maurício dos Anjos, a passionate Flamengo fan, has been a life-long supporter of the Rio de Janeiro-based club, and has the tattoo to prove it.

While it may look like body paint, Dos Anjos has a tattoo on the upper-half of his body depicting the Flamengo jersey, and it’s pretty awesome.

“People ask me if I don’t find it strange that I’m always wearing a Flamengo shirt. And I just don’t,” dos Anjos told VICE. “To me, it’s normal. But it doesn’t seem like anyone I talk to about it actually dislikes my tattoo.”

In total, Dos Anjos says the body work took over 90 hours and 30 sessions to complete the tattoo.

Has the perception of MLS really changed?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
Leave a comment

When David Beckham arrived in Los Angeles back in 2007 his presence changed the complexion of Major League Soccer for all the right reasons, and the perception of the growing league changed.

[ MORE: Go behind the scenes at NYCFC’s new training facility ]

Over the years, MLS has strived to move into the upper-echelon of the global game, in an attempt to compete with the likes of the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga, but naysayers still indicate to this day that the United States’ top flight lacks the quality of the aforementioned.

Phrases like “retirement league” and “uninspired” have been used to describe MLS in the past, particularly when it comes to the league’s willingness to spend boatloads of cash on notable players well past their prime.

Examples such as Andrea Pirlo, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Marquez have at times dampened the perception of MLS due to the lack of quality on the pitch from those players, along with several others that had previously boasted extensive resumes.

Now, we’re at a time where MLS has picked up its scouting, with clubs focused more on younger, more skilled talents from South America and Europe.

That has led to major signings over the past several years, such as Ezequiel Barco, Miguel Almiron, Diego Rossi and Jesus Medina, to name a few.

Has that changed the overall complexion of MLS though?

On Thursday, Kevin De Bruyne‘s agent, Patrick de Koster, suggested in an interview that the Belgium international would likely “finish” his career in MLS.

“For now, he’s very happy at this club,” De Koster said. “We always look what the best solution for the player, both financially and football wise. Kevin’s future? I can see him finish at Los Angeles.”

This comes on the heels of a 36-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining the LA Galaxy in a move that has sent shockwaves across the league and the world because of the Swede’s great presence on a global scale.

It’s not to say that players like Ibrahimovic, or previous signings like David Villa and Didier Drogba cannot help the overall growth of MLS, because they certainly bring an awareness to the matches and draw attention to their respective clubs.

However, the long-term viability of MLS has been and will continue to be sustained on youth players succeeding in the league, as well as being able to draw promising young talents into the top flight of the U.S.

Report: USMNT likely to face Brazil, Mexico in September friendlies

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.

[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]

ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.

The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.

Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.

The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.

The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment
Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]

Click here for the RSS feed ]