Romelu Lukaku has been criticized this year for not scoring against the top clubs. He went a long way toward diminishing that reputation by supplying a goal and an assist for Manchester United vs Chelsea in a 2-1 victory for the Red Devils on Sunday at Old Trafford.
For the first time since the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Arsenal have been drawn against AC Milan in European competition. But, with the encounter now taking place in the Europa League and the added coinkydink of both sides sitting sixth domestically (both are also eight points back of fourth place), there’ll be a lot of glorious nostalgia mixed with contemporary handwringing before the San Siro first leg on March 8.
Ostersunds FK, the Swedish side that stunned the footballing world by qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League, and a glamor tie against Arsenal, may have been punching above its weight.
But they are hardly unfamiliar with the British game.
Back in 2003, NHL goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was unreal, but the following offseason, with Giguere’s infamously large gear the inspiration, the NHL implemented pad restrictions and a $25K fine for teams found guilty of ignoring the rule. In essence, Giguere could no longer resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.
Watching David de Gea tend the net is like watching Giguere in the days of yore. He’s obviously cheating.
The Lionel Messi goal vs Chelsea gave Barcelona a vital away goal after the first leg in the Champions League Round of 16 as the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday at Stamford Bridge. It was his first goal in nine career matches against the Blues. But it was all about that assist from Andres Iniesta, three seconds that perfectly summed up the Spaniard’s brilliance.
Topical Winter Olympics joke: just like some of the figure skaters in South Korea, Manchester City just couldn't land the quadruple. Wigan Athletic, currently third in League 1 (England's third division), took down the mighty Citizens in the FA Cup for the third time in six years (!!!!!).
Fabian Delph provided a sign for how things would go for Man City.
Was it a red card?
If not for Brazilian international Lucas Moura — making his first start for Tottenham following a January transfer from PSG — Spurs would’ve been knocked out of the FA Cup by third-tier side Rochdale on Sunday. There were the late dramatics of Dele Alli winning a penalty and Harry Kane converting from the spot, only for Rochdale to deservedly earn a Wembley replay with a 92nd minute equalizer, but Lucas was the only real positive for Tottenham on the day.
For at least a decade or two, England and Spain have been home to the two best soccer leagues in the world. La Liga and Premier League clubs have consistently been the two most competitive in the Champions League since the rebranding of the tournament for the 1992-93 season. So what happens when we get an England vs Spain Champions League matchup? Historically, one league has won a lot more often: La Liga.
Chelsea rolled into the FA Cup quarterfinals with Olivier Giroud scoring his first goal for the club in an emphatic 4-0 victory over Hull City at Stamford Bridge. The 62nd minute also saw the introduction of Kyle Scott, a U.S. U-20, for his club debut.
After Tottenham’s impressive rally to salvage a fantastic 2-2 draw against Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday in Turin, Italy, many of the plaudits went to Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.