La Liga & Serie A roundup: Barcelona win again; Juventus go 14 points clear

Leave a comment

A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:

Eibar 0-2 Barcelona

Two goals for Lionel Messi and one of the most unbelievable dribbles you’ll ever see — basically it was another ordinary day for the diminutive Argentine as Barcelona grew their La Liga lead to four points over Real Madrid, who play Sunday.

Messi’s first came from the penalty spot, while his second was a tidy, close-range finish after Ivan Rakitic slipped a through ball behind the Eibar defense and put Messi one-on-one with the ‘keeper. It’s been a good run for Barca, who have won nine out of 10 league games. Up next, it’s El Clasico versus Real Madrid, next Sunday at the Camp Nou.

[ WATCH: Messi with one of the most mesmerizing dribbles you’ll ever see ]

Espanyol 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Following a reported falling-out between manager Diego Simeone and Mario Mandzukic, the Croatian forward was conspicuously absent from the gameday roster, and Los Rojiblancos were toothless in his absence. With Fernando Torres starting in Mandzukic’s place, Atleti held just 51 percent of possession and managed just six shots on target against La Liga’s 9th-placed side, Espanyol.

Simeone’s men now find themselves outside the top three, as Valencia are now a point ahead in third, and a nine-point gap to make up in their bid to defend last season’s La Liga title.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Rayo Vallecano 3-1 Granada

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Almeria vs. Villarreal (7 am ET)
Malaga vs. Cordoba (12 pm ET)
Sevilla vs. Elche (2 pm ET)
Real Madrid vs. Levante (4 pm ET)



source: Getty ImagesPalermo 0-1 Juventus

Alvaro Morata (right) was the hero of the day as the former Real Madrid striker scored the game’s only goal, a fantastic curling effort from just outside the penalty area in the 70th minute.

Had Juve dropped two points — or even three — it wouldn’t have been a big deal, as they now hold a 14-point lead atop the Serie A standings. A fourth-straight league title is now a foregone conclusion.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Cagliari 1-1 Empoli

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Genoa vs. Chievo (10 am ET)
Sassuolo vs. Parma (10 am ET)
Atalanta vs. Udinese (10 am ET)
Verona vs. Napoli (1 pm ET)
Inter Milan vs. Cesena (3:45 pm ET)

UEL, LIVE — Arsenal meets Eintracht before Man Utd, Wolves play

Photo by Oliver Hardt - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Europa League group stage begins play on Thursday, with Arsenal in Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Bundesliga side is missing a lot of familiar faces after a tumultuous summer saw Luka Jovic, Sebastien Haller, and Ante Rebic.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

Arsenal will follow suit with some youth, as Emile Smith-Rowe, Bukayo Saka, and Joe Willock drawing starts.

Kickoff is at 12:55 p.m. ET, with Manchester United and Wolves set to kick-off their respective matches against Astana and Braga at 3 p.m. ET.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow

Report: Man City’s David Silva in “likely” Inter Miami move

Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arguably the greatest player in Manchester City history could become the first star player of Inter Miami.

That’s the story coming out of England, where The Independent reports that David Silva will “likely” join Inter Miami CF for its inaugural MLS run in 2020.

It’s well-known that Silva is leaving Man City this summer after one last-go at his first UEFA Champions League title.

[ MORE: Man City bests Shakhtar ]

David Beckham has been recruiting some of the top names in the game, and has been linked with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Silva, 33, checks all the boxes. The Spanish star won two EUROs and a World Cup, and is still playing at a very high level. He has five assists in six matches for City this season.

If healthy, it would be foolish to expect anything but dominance out of Silva, though beware the think pieces out there about how he “might find it tougher than he thinks.” We’re talking about a world beater who posted 10 goals and 14 assists for City last season.

Even at his age, he’d carry one of the top resumes of any player to join Major League Soccer (Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic would like a word).

He has 71 goals and 134 assists in 402 matches for City, and would eventually line up against fellow City Football Group club NYCFC.

NBC Sports’ Premier League Fan Fest heading to Austin

NBC Sports
Leave a comment

Everything is bigger in Texas. And this will be no different.

NBC Sports and the Premier League have announced details for the first Premier League Mornings Live Fan Fest event of the season, and we are heading to Austin, Texas in October.

Just like the events in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston last season, fans will be able to watch all of the PL action together with the live studio show taking place in front of them.

This time it takes place at Scholz Garten in downtown Austin.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

The two-day celebration of Premier League fandom will take place on Saturday Oct. 26 and Sunday Oct. 27. The Scholz Garten venue is inclusive of a full street closure, courtyard space, and indoor bar.

All sections of the venue will be packed with fun activities and of course plenty of viewing areas for fans to watch all of the action.

The event will feature the NBC Sports studio broadcast live onsite with special appearances throughout the day. We’ll also have free merchandise and giveaways throughout the day, plus food, drink and plenty more.

Premier League Interim Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said: “After a successful season of Premier League Mornings Live, we are delighted to be visiting Austin, Texas, for the first event of 2019-20. Last year we saw how passionate our American fans are, as we brought the Premier League experience to Washington D.C., New York and Boston.

”This season we are once again working with NBC Sports and bringing many of our clubs, partners and some famous faces to unique locations in different cities. Those attending in Austin can expect some great activations and I am sure there will be plenty of entertaining football for them to enjoy as we have some exciting fixtures taking place over the weekend.”

Report: Newcastle United tracking Atlanta United’s Martinez

Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

A report out of Newcastle says the Magpies may be returning to Atlanta United’s ranks for a January transfer swoop.

MLS record goal scorer Josef Martinez is the name mentioned as among Newcastle’s targets, though journalist Lee Ryder says there may be trepidation given Miguel Almiron’s failure to find goals at St. James’ Park.

[ MORE: Hex watch sees Canada move closer ]

Martinez, 26, scored twice more Wednesday evening for the Five Stripes, including a sensational solo goal. He has scored in 15-straight league matches and is five goals away from matching his MLS single season record set last season.

Atlanta signed Martinez through the 2023 season. Transfermarkt puts his market value around $11 million, comparing him with players like Jurgen Locadia, Yoshinori Muto, and Manolo Gabbiadini.

Newcastle broke its transfer record to land Almiron last season, then smashed it sign Joelinton from Hoffenheim in August. The Magpies have also splashed cash on Allan Saint-Maximin and there’s a clear focus on upgrading the attack.

Maybe the Magpies would view the move as a bargain which could help Almiron get back to his form of last season, but it seems there would be numerous hurdles to clear before a firm bid would be made for Martinez. If Saint-Maximin or Almiron finds form, would there be room for Martinez running underneath Joelinton? Or maybe we’re wrong and Mike Ashley is ready to spend to provide adequate depth?

Lots of questions here.