Philippe Coutinho is coming, but before the Little Magician is able to impact his new side, Barcelona neatly summarized their 2017-18 season so far with a 3-0 victory over Levante that oozed class all around the pitch. The Camp Nou was witness to three beautiful goals on the day, one from Lionel Messi, another from Luis Suarez and the final from Paulinho off a mesmerizing Messi assist.
Manchester United looked like it was heading toward a replay with Derby County in the FA Cup third round on Friday. Despite playing at home and with a lineup close to full strength, the Red Devils couldn’t break down the English Championship side. Until an incredible Jesse Lingard goal in the 84th minute.
Lingard, who has been on fire of late, scored his fourth goal in four matches to lift Manchester United to a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford.
The United Arab Emirates is coached by an Italian, Alberto Zaccheroni. And like any good Italian, he can employ catenaccio like a champ. UAE didn’t allow a single goal in the Arabian Gulf Cup. Unfortunately, his team couldn’t score, either, and Oman edged UAE in a shootout to win the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Friday in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
The UAE advanced through the knockout rounds with two 0-0 draws and a 1-0 win over Oman thanks to a penalty scored by Ali Mabkhout. In the semifinals, they beat Iraq in a shootout after another 0-0 draw.
Real Madrid traveled to face second-tier Numancia in the first leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 matchup on Thursday. They were fortunate to come out with a 3-0 victory, scoring two penalties and riding their luck against a Numancia side that was inches away from greatness.
Real Madrid rested a number of stars for the cup match but still fielded a team with Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez. Numancia, which is currently in fifth place in the Segunda Division in Spain, fielded none of its $100 million stars, probably because it has none.
Atletico Madrid gave themselves an unassailable four-goal advantage heading back to Madrid for the second leg of their Copa del Rey Round of 16 encounter with third division side Lleida Esportiu on Wednesday. Diego Godin and Fernando Torres opened the scoring in the first half, and then Lleida had to contend with second half substitute appearances from both Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann, both furthering Los Colchoneros’ advantage.
When a pitcher throws a no-hitter in baseball, there is always at least one play in which the pitcher keeps his perfect game intact not through anything he does but through a brilliant play from his defense. If Manchester City is trying to throw a no-hitter by going unbeaten this season, Sunday’s match was a prime example of succeeding not because of what City did, but because of what Crystal Palace didn’t do.
Antonio Donnarumma is AC Milan starting goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's brother. Gigi Donnarumma is a boy wonder, starting for Milan at just 18 years old. Antonio Donnarumma is, um, not that. He's 27 years old, AC Milan's third-choice goalkeeper and probably only there to keep his family and younger brother happy.
However, with Gianluigi injured and regular backup Marco Storari having injured himself during warmups, the job of seeing AC Milan past hated rivals Inter into the Coppa Italia semifinals fell to Antonio.
Manchester City out-possessed Newcastle United 78%-22%, out-passed them 824-228 and outshot them 21-6, but Raheem Sterling’s goal off another sublime Kevin De Bruyne assist was the only difference in Wednesday night’s encounter at Saint James’ Park.
City’s winning streak hit 18 matches while the gap on second-place Manchester United grew to 15 points, but Rafa Benitez’s charges could’ve put a halt to their run in a manner which would’ve had Pep Guardiola guzzling his traditional post-match champagne.
Burnley’s sensational quest for European football continued apace Tuesday with an improbable 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford. Ashley Barnes gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the third minute after a free kick into the box was eventually scrambled home, then Steven Defour went direct with a sensational effort in the 36th minute, leaving David de Gea fanning the air.
It's a SportsCenter Top 10 certainty.
Southampton were more than obliging opponents for all good things Tottenham on Tuesday, allowing Spurs to run rampant at Wembley while securing a multitude of accolades. Harry Kane scored goals number 37, 38 and 39 of the 2017 Premier League calendar year, breaking Alan Shearer’s record from 1995. The goals also pushed Kane three above Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the race for the 2017-18 EPL Golden Boot.