Getty Images

UCL Live: Man City v. Schalke; Juventus v. Atletico

Leave a comment

Two intriguing UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg games take center stage on Tuesday, as Man City and Atletico Madrid aim to finish the job off.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Pep Guardiola‘s City lead 3-2 against Schalke after their dramatic late comeback in the first leg in Germany, but Guardiola has said his City “teenagers” must be wary.

Atletico Madrid take a 2-0 lead to Turin as Diego Simeone’s men have Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. up against it. Surely Ronaldo has some magic left in the tank to drag Juve through to the last eight.

With Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain out, the UCL is all of a sudden looking like a very unpredictable tournament.

Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with analysis and reaction from both games.


Tuesday’s UCL last 16 schedule

Manchester City v. Schalke – 4 p.m. ET kick off (Man City lead 3-2 on aggregate)

Juventus v. Atletico Madrid – 4 p.m. ET kick off (Atletico lead 2-0 on aggregate)

CONCACAF Champions League roundup: MLS 0-4 in 1st legs

Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Major League Soccer’s four CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists require second leg comebacks to find places in the semifinals after Sporting KC and Atlanta United lost on Thursday.

[ MORE: Saief, Corona join MLS ]

The New York Red Bulls and Houston Dynamo both lost 2-0 at home on Tuesday, while Atlanta and KC were on the road for the following setbacks.

Independiente de la Chorrera 2-1 Sporting KC

Peter Vermes’ men were considered MLS’ best bet heading into the round, and remain so after collecting an away goal in Panama.

Sporting mainstay Ilie Sanchez converted a 51st minute penalty kick to level the score line after Romeesh Ivey gave Independiente a halftime lead.

Alexis Corpas restored Independiente’s advantage heading back to Sporting KC.

Vermes’ men face the Philadelphia Union in league play before the second leg next week.

Monterrey 3-0 Atlanta United

A pair of late goals took Atlanta’s poor night to a level of despair as the Liga MX hosts gained a three-goal advantage without conceding an away goal to the Five Stripes.

Atlanta was outshot 17-5 and managed just a single shot on target despite Frank De Boer starting a threatening front three of Josef Martinez, Pity Martinez, and Ezequiel Barco.

And here’s your exclamation point:

Date set for Chelsea visit to New England

AP
Leave a comment

Chelsea will face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on May 15, Chelsea announced on Monday. The match is a charitable exhibition, with proceeds going towards organizations fighting discrimination and inequality.

[READ: FIFA proposes approving VAR for Women’s World Cup]

Both team’s owners, Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich and New England’s Robert Kraft will each donate $1 million to the cause as well. Money raised from the match will go to the World Jewish Congress, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Educational Trust.

The idea for the match came about after the tragedy in Pittsburgh in which 11 people were killed and others injured during a terrorist attack at the Tree of Life synagogue. Both Kraft and Abramovich are Jewish.

Pochettino praises Tottenham: ‘We were better in all aspects’

1 Comment

LONDON — The north London derby ended in a dramatic 1-1 draw, but Mauricio Pochettino didn’t believe his team deserved anything other than a victory.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

From Harry Kane‘s controversial penalty kick equalizer to Arsenal having a spot kick saved in the 90th minute, there was plenty of late drama on show at Wembley between the bitter rivals.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Pochettino believed his side were superior to Arsenal “in all aspects” and should have taken the victory.

“If we assess the game I think we were better than Arsenal in all the aspects,” Pochettino said. “It was a fantastic game, exciting game with great atmosphere with two teams that wanted to play and win the game. It’s tough to play Arsenal, conceding after 15 minutes was tough for us. But I am so happy with the character and personality that we played with. Our performance was not great, but it was really good to draw and maybe deserve to win. After two defeats it was important today to start to build our positive run.”

Pochettino is maybe heaping a little too much praise on his team here.

In the first half they really struggled to control Arsenal’s counter attacks as Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan wrecked havoc supporting Alexandre Lacazette. There’s no doubt Spurs were the better team in the second half, so from a simplistic standpoint a draw was a fair result in this game.

As for the controversy which dominated the game, Pochettino has previously revealed his disdain towards VAR but seemed less critical of the technology on Saturday.

When asked about whether Kane should have been awarded a penalty kick (replays show he was clearly offside when the cross came in) and if Aubameyang’s missed PK should have been retaken due to encroachment, his answer was clear.

“Football was never fair and it is never going to be fair,” Pochettino said.

Although he argues that Spurs should have won the game, they are showing signs of fatigue and mental mistakes which are costing them dear at a pivotal stage of the season.

With Tottenham in the title race one week ago, they are now in a real battle to finish in the top four as Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United have made up considerable ground amid Spurs’ two defeats and a draw in the past seven days.

Let’s see if Pochettino’s positivity has the desired impact and gives his players a boost for the tough games ahead.

Serie A: Dybala leads Juve to win, Fiorentina draws late

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Paulo Dybala has his first goal streak of the season and Juventus won its third match in a row with a 1-0 victory over Bologna. Dybala, who has struggled in front of net this season, scored in the 3-0 win over Frosinone last time out and bagged the game’s only goal on Sunday. Juventus also struggled, with just 50% possession and a massive 18-6 shot deficit, but Dybala came off the bench for the final half-hour to grab the win.

A cross by Blaise Matuidi in the 67th minute was cut out by Filip Helander, but his clear only reached Dybala at the top of the box in space, and the Argentinian rifled into the back of the net for the lead. Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin was also required to preserve the win, stopping a spectacular curler from Nicola Sansone in added time. The three points great Juventus’s lead to 13 points ahead of Napoli’s match.

Napoli kept pace at the top, closing the gap back to 10 behind Juventus as they topped Parma 4-0 behind a brace from Arkadiusz Milik. The opener came from essentially nothing, with Piotr Zielinski given the ball at a tight angle on the right and Bruno Alves failed to challenge with any sincerity, leaving the Polish international to slot home into the far post. Napoli doubled the lead just as easy past the half-hour mark as Milk took a free-kick from straight on and just slid it under the wall and inside the unmanned right post.

Milik scored his second with 17 minutes to go, and that was followed by Napoli’s fourth from Bordeaux youth product Adam Ounas, Milik’s substitute with 10 minutes remaining. Despite Juve’s massive lead, Napoli has lost just one league match since the start of October, but the Sunday victory is big as it eases fans who watch a pair of 0-0 draws in league play prior to this result.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina scored 16 seconds into the match and Inter equalized five minutes later, paving the way for a wild one as both teams came from behind in a 3-3 draw. Straight off the kickoff, a long ball forward from deep fell to a streaking Federico Chiesa, and for some reason Samir Handanovic came way off his line to challenge. That left Chiesa to touch across to Giovanni Simeone with no one in net, and with Stefan de Vrij challenging the cross, he touched it into his own net for the opener. It only took Inter until the sixth minute to level things up, an equally messy goal. A poor corner saw an even poor clearance, and Radja Nainggolan just pumped the ball back into the box for Matias Vecino to rifle home against his old club on the volley.

Inter went ahead just before halftime as Matteo Politano created his own opening, cutting back onto his left at the top of the box and whipping in a curling delivery that found the back of the net past a helpless Alban Lafont. They doubled the lead thanks to VAR as the referee checked the monitor and awarded a penalty for a handball by Edimilson Fernandes on a free-kick delivery. Ivan Perisic dispatched the spot-kick and sent Inter into a 3-1 lead.

Fiorentina set the crowd alight with a Cristiano Biraghi free-kick firecracker 16 minutes from time, and the electric Stadio Artemio Franchi crowd spurred its team to a late result. In the 95th minute, the referee gave a penalty for handball, and despite a long VAR check, he stuck with his controversial decision. Jordan Veretout deposited the penalty in the 101st minute, and Fiorentina completed the two-goal comeback. The dramatic finish means Inter now sits more precariously in third, just two points ahead of fourth-placed AC Milan.

Fabio Quagliarella buried an unstoppable penalty after the hour mark and Sampdoria topped Cagliari 1-0 at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The visitors managed just one single shot on target, and they were soundly beaten, lucky not to concede more as the hosts missed a pair of big chances to score more, including Quagliarella who saw a close-range attempt smartly saved on the doorstep just minutes before his penalty.

SPAL went on the road and earned an important point in the relegation battle as they drew 1-1 with Sassuolo. Federico Peluso met a corner with his left foot to pummel home the opener just before halftime to put the home side up, but VAR was utilized in the 66th minute to help bring terms back level. Sergio Floccari went flying in the box during a set-piece delivery, and came up screaming that he was pushed. There was initially no call, but the referee went to the monitor and awarded the spot-kick. Andrea Petagna stepped up and buried it into the top corner and SPAL went four points above the drop. They nearly won it minutes later as Felipe headed a corner across the face of goal to the far corner, but it came off the post and out.

Chievo Verona and Genoa combined for 20 shots, but created very few real chances as the two sides drew 0-0. It was an especially disappointing result for Genoa who generated just a single shot on target against the last-placed team in the Serie A table.