The Barcelona Derby doesn’t exactly set pulses racing outside of Catalonia as FC Barcelona’s dominance over RCD Espanyol has been pretty thorough dating back to 1928. In 206 league matches, Barcelona have won 120 and drawn 42, leaving Espanyol with only 44 victories.
But Wednesday’s Barcelona Derby was played in the Copa del Rey — where the magic happens. The first leg of their quarterfinal matchup at RCDE Stadium saw Barca field a strong starting XI, including Lionel Messi (the all-time leading scorer in the Barcelona Derby with 20 goals), Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique.
Ah, the magic of the (looks down at hand) Carabao Cup. Tuesday's semifinal first-leg pitted Premier League leaders Manchester City, thus far undefeated in domestic competition this season, against Championship fourth-place squad Bristol City, known mainly for their excellent goal gifs.
But, reader this is the (looks down at hand again) Carabao Cup, and the unlikely could happen at any moment. Bristol City took a 1-0 lead late in the first half and they had a cool goal gif at the ready.
American-born defender Eric Lichaj had a deal with his wife: Score a hat trick and she will finally let him get a dog. The Nottingham Forest defender came oh so close to scoring a hat trick against Arsenal during the FA Cup on Sunday. After Lichaj asked Twitter to bombard his wife with dog memes, she caved. Eric Lichaj finally has a dog.
A trip to the Balaidos in Galicia is never tepid waters — Barcelona were made to weather their own storm in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula on Thursday in a frantic 1-1 Copa del Rey Round of 16 draw — and Celta Vigo again showcased their formidable home fortress in a 2-2 La Liga draw with Real Madrid on Sunday.
In the end, it’s all shock and horror for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal FC. Their 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Sunday means it’s the first time since Wenger became Arsenal’s manager that they’ve failed to progress past the third round — a record of 21 straight seasons that’s now over. Forest are also the first team from a lower division to score four or more goals against Arsenal in the FA Cup since 1908.
Papu Gomez became a club legend at Atalanta B.C. last season after his goals fired the club to a fourth-place finish in Serie A (their highest-ever league finish) and qualification for the Europa League. Hopefully you’re familiar with the forward’s goalscoring celebration, a dance which was turned into a viral sensation.
Paolo Guerrero will be able to play in the World Cup after all. A couple weeks after FIFA suspended the Peruvian captain for a year for testing positive for a banned substance, FIFA partially upheld Guerrero’s appeal and reduced his ban to six months. Because the ban began in November, he will be back in time for Peru’s World Cup opener against Denmark.
With Manuel Neuer still recovering from a metatarsal fracture, Christian Fruchtl out with an ankle injury and Sven Ulreich injured in the warm-up ahead of today’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich were forced to turn to 36-year-old Tom Starke in goal today.
Starke had previously announced his retirement from professional football back in May before going behind the scenes at Bayern as the club’s academy goalkeeper coordinator.
Matchweek 16 of the English Premier League kicked off Saturday morning with relegation candidates West Ham shocking defending champions Chelsea 1-0 at the London Stadium. David Moyes’ first victory as Hammers boss was secured by Marko Arnautovic, the $27 million man who’d yet to score following his summer move from Stoke City.
But Moyes suddenly seems like the right man for the job with Arnautovic finding net and West Ham climbing to 18th in the table, with just their horrific goal difference of minus 18 keeping them from safety.