Barcelona opened a 10-point lead at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 victory over Eibar, although Atletico Madrid can again reduce the gap when they host Athletic Bilbao Sunday. The game-winner was scored by Luis Suarez — his 17th in 21 league matches — in the 16th minute after the Uruguayan striker was played through by an inch-perfect ball from Lionel Messi.
Sometimes The18 editorial meetings are productive and sometimes they degenerate into discussions about which football club is the most like Olive Garden. This week, we somehow managed to do both. Football clubs are a lot like restaurant chains: shiny, consumer-pandering and people often have bad opinions about them. But which football clubs correspond to which restaurant chains, specifically?
Liverpool - Chipotle
It’s great up front but there are serious problems on the back end.
Arsenal - Red Lobster
Last season, Toronto FC took their game to another level with the signing of La Masia product Victor Vazquez. The 31-year-old Spanish midfielder was named to the 2017 MLS Best XI while adding a degree of quality and composure rarely seen in MLS.
Next Tuesday, Chelsea and Barcelona will renew one of the greatest footballing rivalries of the 21st century. Beginning in 2000 and ending with that Fernando Torres goal scored almost six years ago, Barca and Chelsea met 12 times in the Champions League, including the 2000 quarterfinals, the 2005 and 2006 Round of 16 and the 2009 and 2012 semifinals.
WATCH THIS: Greatest Games, 2009 UCL Semifinal
After Sadio Mane and his pals ended Porto's 24-match unbeaten streak at home in destructive fashion Wednesday, one would think the Porto fans would be, like, mad or something.
But they weren't. Or, at least, if they had any anger they pushed it down deep inside themselves to be let out later at (to pick a profession at random) a tow-truck driver. Instead, the Porto fans cheered their team following an embarrassing loss just as loudly as they would have following a big win.
The five years Ronaldinho spent at FC Barcelona were undoubtedly the pinnacle of his career. That’s where he led his club to the UEFA Champions League title and was twice named the FIFA World Player of the Year. Although he spent two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, a single UEFA Intertoto Cup is the only piece of hardware he earned with the Parisian side, perhaps going someway towards explaining why his highlight reel in France is hugely under appreciated.
Something caught my eye during Manchester City’s Champions League encounter with Basel on Tuesday, and it wasn’t Amazonian fish-frog god Bernardo Silva. I saw it on City’s Twitter page — a beautiful little animation of their own and Basel’s badges before the game.
Like a good sports hack reporter boy, I had to know more. Had they done this before? Yes. Had they been doing this since the start of the season? Yes.
In an individual matchup that was billed by many as the past of football versus the future, it was Cristiano Ronaldo — seven years the senior — who once again delivered while Neymar’s myriad of mazy dribbles led to naught.
In the age of the meme, the superstars of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain delivered pretty on-brand performances.
Ronaldo struggled mightily in the opening 44 minutes, putting a free kick from just outside the box over in the 26’ before wasting a wonderful opportunity only two minutes later.