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 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 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.
That was one heck of a home-field advantage for the Houston Dynamo. Playing the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals Monday at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Portland Timbers lost three players to injury in the opening 60 minutes on a playing surface that wasn’t in playoff condition.
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.
Hirving Lozano is ripping the Eredivisie apart in his first season in Europe, with nine league goals so far in eight games in the Netherlands. He also has one goal in the league cup.
Vitesse Arnhem found themselves on the wrong end of Lozano's brilliance on Sunday. Lozano scored twice and assisted once in a 4-2 PSV win. It did not take Lozano very long to assert himself.
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.
Juventus defeated AC Milan 2-0 in this weekend’s marquee Serie A matchup with Gonzalo Higuain scoring a phenomenal brace to silence the San Siro.
The significance of the occasion was clearly not lost on Milan supporters as the 80,018-capacity San Siro was absolutely electric, a cauldron of noise as the October sun set on a balmy day in Lombardy. There was a sense that all could be forgiven regarding Milan’s slow start to league play should the Rossoneri put one over on a Juventus side stranded in unfounded territory following 10 matches — third.
In the end, a top of the table clash between Manchester United and Tottenham at Old Trafford was decided in the most route one way imaginable. In the 81st minute, David de Gea launched one upfield at Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker's towering flick unlocked the Spurs defense, Anthony Martial, on as a 70th minute substitute, got on the end of it and dispatched his shot beyond Hugo Lloris in goal. In between, the narrative stayed pretty true to form.