Bundesliga wrap: Wolfsburg wastes chance to make up more ground on drawing Bayern

Leave a comment

Is something wrong with Bayern Munich?

The dominant Bundesliga champs lost their first league match of the season when Wolfsburg thumped them 4-1 on Friday, and the Bavarians dropped points again on Tuesday.

Fortunately for the first-place side, Wolfsburg couldn’t get all three points off lowly Eintracht Frankfurt.

[ MORE: USMNT legend Borghi passes away ]

Let’s dig into the four Tuesday matches:

Bayern Munich 1-1 Schalke
Before we get into the how, how about a wow? The draw means Bayern has dropped points in back-to-back matches for just the second time under Pep Guardiola. And for it to happen in a Ruckrunde sure makes it sting a little more.

The stars were out for both sides, and a 17th minute red card to Jerome Boateng had the hosts in a bad spot. Still, Arjen Robben broke the scoreless tie in the 67th minute, but Benedikt Howedes equalized just five minutes later to pull the visitors into fourth place on the table.

Bayern’s lead stays 8 points.

source: APEintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Wolfsburg

Andre Schurrle was just watching after his transfer from Chelsea, and for a while must’ve been pretty frustrated as Die Wolfe nearly threw away all the points against the mid-table competition.

Stefan Aigner scored in the 58th minute, and it took Kevin De Bruyne all the way into the 88th minute to save the day. The former Chelsea man now has 6 goals and 11 assists this season.

USMNT defender Timmy Chandler did not play for Frankfurt.

Elsewhere

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 Freiburg — Fabian Johnson goes 90 at LW in win
Hannover 96 1-1 Mainz — Elkin Soto snares road equalizer in 77th minute.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Augsburg — 2pm ET Wednesday
Koln vs. Stuttgart — 2pm ET Wednesday
Paderborn vs. Hamburg — 2pm ET Wednesday
Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen — 2pm ET Wednesday
Hertha Berlin vs. Bayer Leverkusen — 2pm ET Wednesday

Standings

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Bayern Munich 19 14 4 1 43 9 34 9-1-0 5-3-1 46
VfL Wolfsburg 19 11 5 3 38 19 19 8-2-0 3-3-3 38
Mönchen 19 9 6 4 27 16 11 6-3-1 3-3-3 33
FC Schalke 04 19 9 4 6 30 22 8 6-3-1 3-1-5 31
FC Augsburg 18 10 0 8 25 22 3 7-0-2 3-0-6 30
Bayer Leverkusen 18 7 8 3 28 20 8 4-6-0 3-2-3 29
1899 Hoffenheim 18 7 5 6 30 28 2 5-2-2 2-3-4 26
Hannover 96 19 7 4 8 22 28 -6 5-1-3 2-3-5 25
Eintracht Frankfurt 19 6 6 7 36 39 -3 4-3-3 2-3-4 24
FSV Mainz 05 19 4 10 5 25 24 1 3-4-2 1-6-3 22
1. FC Köln 18 6 4 8 19 23 -4 1-3-4 5-1-4 22
Werder Bremen 18 5 5 8 28 39 -11 4-3-2 1-2-6 20
SC Paderborn 18 4 7 7 21 31 -10 3-4-2 1-3-5 19
SC Freiburg 19 3 9 7 21 27 -6 2-5-2 1-4-5 18
Hertha BSC Berlin 18 5 3 10 24 37 -13 4-1-4 1-2-6 18
Hamburger SV 18 4 5 9 9 21 -12 3-2-4 1-3-5 17
VfB Stuttgart 18 4 5 9 20 33 -13 1-2-6 3-3-3 17
Borussia Dortmund 18 4 4 10 18 26 -8 3-2-3 1-2-7 16

 

LAFC’s Adama Diomande voluntarily enters MLS’s health program

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles FC forward Adama Diomande has entered Major League Soccer’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.

[ Premier League Previews: Leicester City v. Tottenham | Man City v. Watford ]

MLS announced Diomande’s voluntary decision Friday.

Diomande won’t play for LAFC at least until the program’s doctors complete their evaluation and he is cleared by program officials.

The 29-year-old Norwegian scorer has eight goals and seven assists in 25 appearances this season, including 15 starts. He has played a valuable complementary offensive role alongside MLS scoring leader Carlos Vela.

[ MORE: Report: Netherlands FA to meet with Sergiño Dest ]

Diomande is in his second MLS season after joining LAFC from Hull City. He also previously played under LAFC coach Bob Bradley in Norway.

LAFC (19-4-7) has clinched the Western Conference title, and it leads the overall MLS table by seven points despite a four-game winless streak.

Premier League Preview: Newcastle v. Brighton

Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Early-season relegation battlers meet on Saturday
  • 18th-place Newcastle to host 16th-place Brighton
  • Brighton won at Newcastle, drew at home last season

Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, a pair of Premier League sides with just two wins from the first five weeks of the season between them, will meet at St. James’ Park on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com) for what could prove to be a retrospective relegation six-pointer when May rolls around.

Each side replaced its manager — Steve Bruce for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle; Graham Potter for Chris Hughton at Bright — in the summer and neither of the new bosses has had a particularly enjoyable start to the 2019-20 campaign. Brighton won on the opening day of the season, but have taken just two points from the following four games. Newcastle lost their first two games, won their third, and have drawn and lost again since. It’s the kind of form that’ll see both sides stuck in the high-teens of the PL table if they don’t find their footing in the coming weeks.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

Things are particularly worrying for Newcastle, who didn’t they’d be without Benitez until the end of June and didn’t appoint Bruce until mid-July. Key players had already left the club and reinforcements for few and far between. Forward Joelinton joined for $50 million and is one of four players with a single goal scored thus far.

Last week was nearly fruitful for the Seagulls, until the conceded a stoppage-time equalizer and settle for a point at home against Burnley. Summer signing Neal Maupay bagged his second goal for Brighton earlier in the game, giving Potter a potential trump card over a handful of other relegation-threatened sides without a consistent goalscorer.

Injuries/suspensions

Newcastle: OUT – Matt Ritchie (ankle), Florian Lejeune (knee), Dwight Gayle (calf); QUESTIONABLE – DeAndre Yedlin (groin)

Brighton: OUT – Leandro Trossard (groin), Jose Izquierdo (knee), Ezequiel Schelotto (knee)


Projected lineups

Newcastle: Dubravka – Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems – Almiron, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu – Joelinton

Brighton: Ryan – Duffy, Dunk, Webster – March, Stephens, Propper, Burn – Gross, Maupay, Murray


What they’re saying

Joelinton, on Andy Carroll: “It’s always great to have experienced players in the group, and he’s one of them. He can help the club, he can help the young players. Andy Carroll has scored a lot of goals in the Premier League, and it’s great to be playing alongside him. He’s a calm guy. I still haven’t spoken to him a lot because my English isn’t great! But every day he’s trying to help. He’ll help me before the games, he’ll give me positional advice and suggest what I’ve done both good and bad.”

Graham Potter, on the trip to Newcastle: “Newcastle away is a tough game just like all the others. We don’t target particular matches — it’s about what we need to do to get a positive result. They have an experienced manager who I came across last year and he’s someone I have a lot of respect for. They have good quality players and we know it can be a hostile environment, it’s a big club and we know we have to play well to get something.  Steve has a lot of games under his belt – he’s had a lot of success and he’ll understand the challenge that lies ahead.


Prediction

Newcastle haven’t scored multiple goals in a game yet this season, and they’ve conceded twice as many as they’ve scored (four). It’s hard to trust them to be anything resembling consistent from game to game. It wouldn’t be surprising if they battled to a boring 0-0 draw, or conceding three times before halftime. It’ll probably be closer to the former, a 1-1 stalemate.

AC Milan announces internal anti-racism task force

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Leave a comment

MILAN (AP) AC Milan has announced it will establish an internal task force to address racism in Italian football.

[ Premier League Previews: Leicester City v. Tottenham | Man City v. Watford ]

The club says the task force will be supported by “an external consultancy” and “develop a program of activities to increase awareness, monitor and address racist behavior on social media and in the stadium, and drive the adoption of global best practices on diversity and inclusion.”

The move comes after reports of racist chants directed at Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, who is black, during a match at Hellas Verona last weekend.

Milan says the anti-racism initiative will be launched during Saturday’s derby against Inter Milan.

[ MORE: Premier League TV, streaming schedule ]

Inter striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist chants in a match at Cagliari this month.

Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis, who is South African, says: “Italian football needs to wake up and take a strong stance against racist behaviors. AC Milan will take a leadership position on this issue. . We believe that we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to address this issue.”

Slow start dooms Southampton again: ‘We lost the game in first half’

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Slow starts are, ironically, quickly becoming the story of Southampton’s Premier League season. It happened again on Friday, resulting in a 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League‘s budding south coast rivalry

[ Premier League Previews: Leicester City v. Tottenham | Man City v. Watford ]

Through six games, Saints have conceded the first goal four times. In those four games, they have taken just one point. When scoring the game’s first goal, they have two wins and two clean sheets.

It would appear that Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s side is set up to play one way, and one way only. Speaking after Friday’s defeat, Hasenhuttl lamented his side’s slow start, conceding that the game was all but lost when they fell 2-0 behind in the 35 minutes — quotes from the BBC:

“The finish was not important anymore. If you lose 2-1 or 3-1 it does not make too much difference. We lost the game in the first half.

“In the second half, we were sharp. Had about 26 shots to six from Bournemouth but the most important stat is the goals. They scored three, we scored once.

“We weren’t aggressive enough and too easy in the first half. It is not easy to be 1-0 down after 10 minutes. We had a lot of blocked shots and misses near the post. It was a good performance in the second half but without a result.

“For the second goal was had a lot of players in our attacking box so it was not easy to defend.

“We showed a good reaction because we knew we needed to be brave. We changed our shape and were aggressive for the second ball. It gave us 64% possession and we had a lot of shots. Maybe we didn’t deserve to take something because of our first half.”

Southampton’s next chance to start a game quickly will come in an away bout with Tottenham Hotspur next Saturday.