It’s tragic to think about the gross output of the cast of characters in the Manchester derby when bridled with the vast sums of money spent on assembling them. The latest edition of Manchester United vs. Manchester City was a sobering affair that could serve as a harrowing documentary of the wastes of our time.
Article 49 of the official Champions League regulations stipulates how repeated yellow card cautions are dealt with and when lingering yellow cards are wiped. A suspension for yellow card accumulation is a threat from the group stage until the quarterfinals, and receiving a yellow-card suspension in the second leg of the quarters will also carry over into the semifinal first leg.
Barcelona's slim chances of winning La Liga took another hit Tuesday when it was announced Neymar's rumored ban for sarcastically clapping at an official after he'd been sent off against Malaga had been made official.
The Brazilian attacker will miss three matches: April 15 against Real Sociedad, April 23 against Real Madrid and April 26 against Osasuna. Barcelona were already in dire need of a win against Real Madrid in El Clasico to keep their La Liga hopes alive, and missing 1/3 of their attacking buzzsaw will make their task that much more difficult.
Barcelona’s form since their historic comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain has been representative of those two ridiculous legs and Barca’s La Liga campaign on the whole.
Real Madrid's hold on the division once looked a certainty as their unbeaten streak reached new heights, but February and early March saw Barcelona win six straight matches in the league while Real dropped four points to Valencia and Las Palmas.
There are some things in football that just seem impossible to stop. Can anyone stop Lionel Messi from having an influence on the game? No. You can only hope to contain him for damage limitation. Can anyone stop Arjen Robben from cutting inside? No. You just have to hope he’s injured and not available for selection. Can England stop Iceland’s long throw even though it’s their only form of attack? No. Roy Hodgson isn't ready for that.
The Republic of Ireland moved level with Serbia at the top of UEFA Group D in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, but the hard-earned result came with the loss of their influential captain, Everton defender Seamus Coleman. Wales’ Neil Taylor was given a straight red in the 69th-minute after going straight through Coleman’s standing leg with his studs showing.
It looked like a fractured leg, and Coleman was stretchered off while requiring oxygen.
Real Madrid salvaged a point after having Gareth Bale sent off in the 47th minute and Las Palmas leading 3-1 as late as the 85th minute, and it was all thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona started the day by crushing Sporting Gijon 6-1, so Real Madrid knew that anything less than a victory would cut into their lead at the top. Real’s draw means that Barcelona are now atop the La Liga table by a point, although Los Blancos still maintain a game in hand.
Mario Balotelli just might be having his most Mario Balotelli season ever for Ligue 1 club Nice. The Italian striker has an excellent 11 goals in 19 appearances, and also a not-so-excellent eight yellow cards and three sending-offs (one of which was later rescinded) in that same period.
His latest red, for dissent, came on Saturday against Lorient.