The game in 100 words (or less): The Portland Timbers are back in business following a four-game winless streak and a 10-game stretch that saw them win just twice. Saturday night, Caleb Porter’s side picked up one of their best results of the 2015 season, a 2-1 away win over Columbus Crew SC. Fanendo Adi scored twice to put himself in consideration for MLS Player of the Week, negating out a new league record set by Crew SC striker Kei Kamara, who has now scored a goal against 21 different MLS teams, breaking a tie with Chris Wondolowski and Dominic Oduro. With the win, the Timbers are level on points with Sporting Kansas City for fifth place in the Western Conference (one more game played and behind on goal differential), while the Black and Gold tumble from second to third, thanks to the New England Revolution’s 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union.
[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 30 | Week 29 TOTW | POTW ]
Three moments that mattered
28′ — Adi lashes home Nagbe’s brilliant ball — About every six to eight games, Darlington Nagbe has a moment or an entire game that’s simply brilliant and borderline unplayable. His chipped through ball, to spring Adi for the game’s opener, came right on schedule for the brand new American citizen.
43′ — Higuain, alley-oop, for Kamara — Federico Higuain is to Chris Paul, what Kei Kamara is to Blake Griffin — the easiest play is to throw it up to the rim (in front of goal) and let the athletic freak go get it. No. 22 of the season for Kamara, who’s scored lots from set pieces, but none from the penalty spot.
50′ — Timbers run a Crew-like counter to perfection — As I asked on Friday, are we sure these teams aren’t one in the same? Diego Valeri -> Rodney Wallace -> Adi looked a lot like Higuain -> Ethan Finlay -> Kamara has looked all season for Crew SC. A perfectly executed counter attack.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]
Man of the match: Fanendo Adi
Goalscorers: Adi (28′, 50′), Kamara (43′)
Anthony Martial scored once again for Man United and his goal in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg against Club Brugge was a beauty.
The Frenchman is standing tall in the absence of Marcus Rashford through injury as he has now scored in back-to-back games away from home.
Martial, 24, made the most of a slight defensive mistake from Club Brugge as he powered towards goal and kept his cool to slot home, while he also hit the post in the first half after Simon Mignolet got a slight touch on his curling effort.
When he’s on form he’s a joy to watch and after his towering header against Chelsea on Monday, Martial has done it again a few days later in Belgium. It is the third time this season he has scored in back-to-back games and he has now scored 14 goals in 30 appearances for the Red Devils, his best return since he scored 17 in his opening season at United in 2015-16.
Here is Martial’s goal at Club Brugge, as United need him to kick on and take this tally for the season to at least 20 goals if they are going to be successful.
The knockout rounds of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League campaign is here and three Premier League teams are in action on Thursday.
Everything is set up for an epic day of first legs in the Round of 32.
[ LIVE: Europa League scores ]
Arsenal travel to Olympiakos who dropped down from the Champions League, while Wolves host La Liga strugglers Espanyol and Man United travel to Club Brugge who exited the UCL at the group stage after some impressive displays.
With a Champions League spot for next season up for grabs for the Europa League winners, there is always a little extra spice in this tournament from here on out, especially as plenty of giants have dropped out of the Champions League and joined the Europa League for the Round of 32.
Glasgow Celtic and Rangers both face tricky tests as Steven Gerrard‘s side face Braga and Neil Lennon’s Celtic head to Copenhagen.
Elsewhere there are plenty of mouthwatering ties at Jesse Marsch’s RB Salzburg drop into the Europa League and travel to Eintracht Frankfurt. Antonio Conte‘s Inter Milan head to Ludogorets, while Ajax travel to Getafe after narrowly missing out on reaching the Champions League last 16.
Below is the schedule in full for Thursday’s games, while you can click on the link above to follow all the action as it happens.
Full Europa League schedule
12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Manchester United
Ludogorets v. Inter Milan
Copenhagen v. Celtic
Eintracht Frankfurt v. RB Salzburg
CFR Cluj v. Sevilla
Sporting Lisbon v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Benfica
Getafe v. Ajax
3 p.m. ET
Rangers v. Braga
Wolves v. Espanyol
Olympiacos v. Arsenal
Bayer Leverkusen v. FC Porto
AZ Alkmaar v. LASK
Roma v. Gent
APOEL Nicosia v. FC Basel
Wolfsburg v. Malmo
Thierry Henry’s first game in charge of the Montreal Impact started well but ended in a dramatic collapse. The legendary Frenchman probably has CCL fever right about now.
[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
Montreal drew 2-2 at Deportivo Saprissa in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League last 16 game on Wednesday as Orji Okwonkwo and Romell Quioto put them 2-0 up inside the first 22 minutes but Saprissa struck twice in the final 10 minutes to draw level. Both of Montreal’s goalscorers went off injured and after a tough preseason a late collapse
Johan Venegas pulled one back for the Costa Rican side in the 80th minute and Ariel Rodriguez equalized in the 90th minute to set up an intriguing second leg at the Olympic Stadium next Wednesday as the winner will face the Seattle Sounders or C.D. Olimpia in the quarterfinals.
Henry’s first official game in charge of the Major League Soccer franchise will have taught him a lot about his team and in truth they were pretty lucky to grab a draw as Saprissa outshot them 22-7 and had 72 percent of the possession.
Via MLSsoccer.com, the Arsenal and France legend was happy with the spirit his young side showed after a tough offseason which saw them lose four of their five preseason games amid plenty of turnover in the squad.
“We tried to compete, it was always going to be a difficult second half, but overall, I cannot say anything to my team,” Henry said. “Obviously there are some things that we need to work on, on how we conceded the goals, but you could see how it was difficult at times to cover each other. But at the end of the day, as a coach, when you see your team fighting like that up until the end you can only be proud. Obviously there’s some stuff that we can work on, don’t get it twisted, but I have to be proud about how they played. Especially how we arrived there in the situation that we are in.”
Going away to Costa Rica to play an experience team like Saprissa was never going to be easy and Henry’s side are at least level for the return game but Montreal’s squad is looking pretty young and replacing the creativity and goals of Ignacio Piatti is going to be tough.
Check out the highlights of the dramatic Saprissa comeback in the video above.
Our latest Premier League player Power Rankings are here and there are some familiar faces sticking around the upper echelons.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
Stars from Premier League giants Liverpool, Man United, Arsenal and Tottenham dominate our power rankings after some impressive performances and there are plenty of new entries and plenty of players from the same teams as these rankings are based on the seven games played over the last seven days due to the second half of the Premier League’s winter break kicking in.
[ MORE: Club Power Rankings ]
Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. If they didn’t play in the last matchweek, they aren’t getting in this list!
Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.
1. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Up 2
2. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) – Up 2
3. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) – Up 2
4. Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) – New entry
5. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – New entry
6. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Man United) – New entry
7. Richarlison (Everton) – Up 8
8. Harry Maguire (Man United) – New entry
9. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – New entry
10. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – New entry
11. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – New entry
12. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Down 11
13. Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) – New entry
14. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Down 3
15. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) – Down 7
16. Bruno Fernandes (Man United) – New entry
17. Nick Pope (Burnley) – Even
18. Steven Bergwijn (Tottenham) – Down 5
19. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – New entry
20. Pepe Reina (Aston Villa) – New entry