I have a theory as to one reason (of many) the England National Team tends to underperform in major tournaments: the players all play in the same league. Every England international plays in the Premier League. One might argue this breeds familiarity and is therefore good for the national team, but I think it leads to a lack of stylistic variety in the team and makes the payer pool stagnant. It's basically like inbreeding, is what I'm saying.
There was one clear winner from the Madrid derby: Barcelona. The Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid match ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving both clubs 10 points behind Barcelona, which itself won 3-0 over Leganes in Madrid on Saturday.
Arsenal fans gave the mercurial Mesut Ozil a standing ovation as he was subbed off with the Gunners holding a 2-0 lead over archrival Tottenham they would not relinquish in the North London Derby on Saturday at Emirates Stadium. It was the type of adoration bestowed upon a man of the match who had given everything to defeat a hated foe.
And yet it was a performance that only made Arsenal fans grow more frustrated with Ozil and the team they love.
Borussia Dortmund has not had a great month and a half, but maybe the club can take solace in the impressive teamwork that led to a goal Friday — even if that goal was scored by Stuttgart. As the Bundesliga returned from the international break, Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and goalie Roman Burki combined to great effect to allow Chadrac Akolo to score in the fifth minute.
German media is speculating that Aubameyang was suspended by Borussia Dortmund for a clandestine trip to Barcelona. However, Aubameyang himself claims his suspension is due to turning up late for training.
Punctuality is extremely important for some people. Recently, a Japanese rail company apologized after a train left 20 seconds early.
Real Madrid travel to Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano for the first time ever on Saturday for the 161st league version of the Madrid Derby. While the setting will be new, the stakes remain unchanged, although the pressure emanating in this weekend’s fixture will be one of desperation rather than one fueled by a sense of forthcoming glory.
The footballing gods are fickle. One month ago, a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace sent Newcastle United to the lofty heights of sixth in the Premier League table, in front of both Arsenal and Liverpool. Now, after being held scoreless for 180 minutes in defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth and falling to 11th, the Toon travel to Old Trafford to play a Manchester United side welcoming back both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to the side.
Arsenal fans are a sensitive lot. They want to think their club is the best in the world, even though it hasn’t been the best in England in well over a decade. They want to think their club plays the prettiest football in the league, even though that torch has long-since been passed to Manchester City. They want to think their club reigns supreme in North London, but as of last season that is no longer the case.
The UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 16 wrapped up today, and the best goal of the round almost certainly belongs to Montpellier’s Virginia Torrecilla. The 23-year-old Spanish midfielder put the finishing touches on a 9-2 aggregate victory over Brescia with this inch-perfect 45-yard lob.
And so it’s settled. Last night, Peru claimed the final spot in the 32-team field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, bringing us to the final event before the June 14 kick off at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow: the draw to determine the eight groups of four for the finals.