Game Recaps

Napoli, Arguably Europe’s Most Exciting Side, On Verge Of UCL Disaster

For a half-hour inside the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, Napoli didn’t just look like the best team in Italy — a statement backed up by their current position in Serie A — they looked like the best side in Europe. An opening period of dominance was stamped by a sensational goal in the 21st minute for the Neapolitans, and everything appeared rosy for the home side before defender Faouzi Ghoulam had to be substituted in the 31st minute with an apparent knee injury.

After Crushing Real Madrid, It’s Time To Consider Tottenham As Legit Champions League Contenders

With 20 minutes left in the match, Londoners were shouting “Olé!” for every touch of the team in all white, which held a commanding three-goal lead. The two-time defending champions were chasing ghosts. 

Tottenham crushed Real Madrid 3-1 in a Group H Champions League match at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday, staking a claim as one of the best teams in Europe and a legitimate contender for the Champions League crown. 

River Plate Blames VAR For Massive Collapse In Copa Libertadores Semifinals

River Plate was leading Lanús by three goals on aggregate early in their Copa Libertadores semifinal second leg on Tuesday evening, a seemingly insurmountable lead for Lanús, which has only played in five Copa Libertadores, against a club that has won the tournament three times. But then it all unraveled, with Lanús scoring four unanswered goals to steal a 4-3 aggregate victory and advance to the club’s first Copa Libertadores final.

The Columbus Crew Obviously Don’t Give A Damn About Business Metrics

The Columbus Crew did it again. Five days after shocking MLS darlings Atlanta United on penalties in front of over 67,000 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Crew returned home and put the beatdown on the highly marketable New York City FC in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Black & Gold put four past 10-man NYCFC in a resounding 4-1 victory, David Villa registering the lone goal for NYCFC.

Stephan El Shaarawy Had Himself A Roman Hat Trick Against Chelsea

Stephan El Shaarawy scored what we’re forever calling a Roman Hat Trick. The Roma winger scored two goals in the first half against Chelsea and received a bit of unexpected foreplay from teammate Diego Perotti. Roma beat Chelsea 3-0 on Tuesday in the Rome rematch of the remarkably entertaining 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge a couple weeks ago. El Shaarawy was at the center of it all, spoiling the return of Blues coach Antonio Conte to his native country. 

Benfica’s Unfortunate 18-Year-Old Keeper Adds Another Sad Chapter To His Story

It’s been two weeks since Benfica goalkeeper Mile Svilar made Champions League history by becoming the youngest goalkeeper to ever play in the competition, breaking Iker Casillas’s record at the tender age of 18 years and 52 days. What was even more memorable was Svilar’s horrendous mistake on a Marcus Rashford free kick, when the young Belgian caught the curler but dumbly brought the ball with him across his own goal line. The mistake gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory. 

Toronto FC Are Going To Win The MLS Cup Because They Have Sebastian Giovinco, And Nobody Else Does

Sebastian Giovinco is extremely good at free kicks. The little Italian is as good as just about anybody in Europe, barring the truly world-class free kick-takers. He's certainly the best free kick-taker in MLS.

Giovinco displayed his exceptional talents in the 72nd minute with Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls knotted at 1-1 Monday.

Bang.

Real Madrid Somehow Lost To Girona

After Catalonia declared independence on Friday, everyone knew Real Madrid's away game against Girona, one of three Catalan teams in La Liga, would be interesting.

Boy, was it ever.

Yesterday, Barcelona took care of business against Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid dropping points in this very embarradding manner puts Barca up eight points in La Liga. Barcelona have 28 points to Real Madrid's 20 through 10 games.

It’s That Man Messi Again For Barcelona

Barcelona maintained their four-point lead atop La Liga following a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames. Lionel Messi scored the first for Barcelona, his 12th of the 10-game La Liga season, in the 36th minute. Paulinho added the second in the 92nd to ensure the three points for Barca.

Remarkably, that’s Paulinho’s third goal of the season for the club, moving him level with Luis Suarez in league play as Barca’s second highest scorer. With Messi in the kind of form he’s currently in, the club hasn’t had any real need for additional marksmen.

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