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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Javi Garcia of Manchester City and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

After a crushing loss at Chelsea and a heartbreaking draw with Swansea City earlier this week, Arsenal face a must-win match for their English Premier League title hopes Saturday.

But the Gunners will have to go through one of the hottest teams in England if they are to get their title chase back on track.

Facing injuries and a six-point deficit to league-leading Chelsea, fourth-place Arsenal host third-place Manchester City at Emirates Stadium to on this Soccer Saturday of action. Manchester City have two matches in hand on the rest of the EPL’s title contenders, and they have posted five straight shutouts in league play in their race to the top of the table. The Citizens defeated Arsenal 6-3 in the reverse fixture earlier this season and will be favorites heading into North London on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the EPL, struggling Manchester United look for any momentum ahead of their Champions League matchup with title holders Bayern Munich when they host Aston Villa. First-place Chelsea hit the road to take on Crystal Palace, while several key relegation battles will take place in the middle slate of matches.

In Spain, La Liga’s top three squads will be in action Saturday. First-place Atletico Madrid look to stay ahead of the pack with a victory against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames, second-place Barcelona face city rivals Espanyol, and third-place Real Madrid hope to end their losing skid with a victory against Rayo Vallecano.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action. (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

8:45am- NBC Sports- Manchester United vs. Aston Villa

11am- beIN Sport USA- Espanyol vs. Barcelona

11am- NBC Sports- Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

11am- NBC Sports Live Extra/DirecTV- Southampton vs. Newcastle United

11am- NBC Sports Live Extra/DirecTV- Stoke City vs. Hull City

11am- NBC Sports Live Extra/DirecTV- Swansea City vs. Norwich City

11am- NBC Sports Live Extra/DirecTV- West Bromwich Albion vs. Cardiff City

1:30pm- NBC Sports- Arsenal vs. Manchester City

3pm- beIN Sport USA- Athletic Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid

4pm- Direct Kick- Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact

4pm- NBC Sports- D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire

5pm- beIN Sport- Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano

6pm- Direct Kick- Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City

7pm- Direct Kick- Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo

8:30pm- Direct Kick- FC Dallas vs. Portland Timbers

9:30pm- Direct Kick- Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC

10pm- Direct Kick- Seattle Sounders vs. Columbus Crew

10:30pm- Direct Kick- San Jose Earthquakes vs. New England Revolution

105 comments
      • Matt

        I am pretty sure if he is going anywhere it will be Orlando. He has a good relationship with the people down there.

        Like

    • Stinky Pete

      Isn’t he BFFs with the owner of Orlando City? That is probably where he is going if he is coming to MLS.

      Like

      • Vic

        Questions is will Orlando pony up the cash for him. Kaka has a condo in NYC so he obviously likes the area. Red Bulls definately have the cash for him too.

        Like

    • K-Town

      Don’t worry. I heard that my LAG are overhauling the rules to add 4th DP. As per usual LAG/Garber arrangement, this rule will only apply to the LAG.

      Like

    • Increase0

      I’d be fine with Kaka. 31 right now not overly old. He’s not what he once was but he is still a great player.

      Like

      • SilverRey

        He would be a good splash signing for Orlando to start off with.

        Like

  • Kevin H

    Who’s this joker of a commentator calling Ashley young “Ashley cole,” and guzan “Guzman”?

    Like

      • TomG

        There are some pretty awful color commentators on that side of the pond. They are often knuckle dragging ex players who have a place in the hearts of fans but have an aversion to research or actually paying attention. The play by play guys are usually excellent but they don’t ever correct or argue with the “analysts.”

        Like

  • MSNats

    The announcer in this mufc villa game keeps calling Guzan “Guzman.” Every. Single. Time.

    Like

  • Iggy

    Color Announcer in the Man U villa game can’t stop saying “Guzman” and then went on to call Ashley young Ashley cole a few times. Top quality.

    Like

  • fastrightleg

    Brek Shea is neither in the starting lineup nor on the bench. If Green plays well against Mexico, who thinks Green will replace Shea on the USMNT roster?

    Like

    • Increase0

      If he can combine the skills of “run fast” with “pass well” um…. maybe kinda ya….

      Like

    • Chris

      Shea is garbage so, I’d presume somebody will replace him. Be it Green or any other player with actual talent.

      Like

    • Chicago Josh

      Shea should be done but Klinsi has a hard-on for the rooster-haired one. He’ll make the 30-player roster and get some PT vs Azerbaijan and Turkey.

      Like

    • Vic

      I’m not a fan of Shea. I tend to like the skilled players more. I’ve been saying for 3 years that Shea isn’t a starter. However, I do like Shea coming in after the 60th minute if we need a goal. Shea isn’t very skilled and doesn’t have good touch. However, he is big, strong, pretty good crosser, can take people on and is very direct. He makes stuff happen when others have tired legs.

      Like

      • 57Tele

        He does have an x-factor that no one else has (maybe Green will) for taking people on and beating them one on one, but as Taylor Twellman said, he also has a knack for making the wrong final decision every time (almost like you couldn’t do it even if you tried …). I don’t think Shea ever had a spot guaranteed so I don’t think saying Green will takes Shea’s spot is accurate, even if Green makes the team. I’ve never seen Green play, but I have a feeling he will make the roster, not necessarily because he’s great, but there is almost no competition at outside halfback. I think the only two people in the hunt that actually play that spot are Shea, Bedoya, and Brad Davis and I understand Bedoya doesn’t even play outside for his club anymore. I think Eddie Johnson on the otherhand is a lock because of how good he is in the air. If the US is down late and needs a goal and has to resort to long balls into the box, he would be our best hope.

        Like

    • beachbum

      it still amazes me that Brek Shea is considered as part of the 23 somehow. he does some things well and others not so much. he’s Klinnsman’s project, a work in progress clearly

      Like

    • TomG

      I know its boeing, but can we at least actually see Green play before judging whether he’s better than a guy who has had some excellent, game changing appearances off the bench for USMNT?

      Like

  • andy

    how in the world did Man United beat AV 4-1

    I feel for Guzan. He has only like 8 cleansheets all season. AV have a horrible defense. Not as horrible as last season but still not so good. If only Guzan could get a move to a Liverpool or Bayer Leverkusen

    Like

  • Increase0

    Bayern 3 – Hoffenheim 2 I think I watching the wrong game. I’m gunna switch to that watch the shootout. I love the way Hoffenheim plays. It’s just suicidal.

    Like

    • Expat4455

      Pep went with 6 starters on the bench, including Neuer. Lahm subbed in early though.

      Like

      • TomG

        Munchen has already clinched. No reason to play the starters except for UCL.

        Like

  • Expat4455

    What chance does Julian Green have of beating out Brek Shea? LOL.

    Okay, I have a question. Which player/s (at any position) currently in the USMNT mix would have a chance to make it into Bayern Munich starting rotation? And don’t forget, in fourfourtwo.com’s recent top 100 footballers in the world list, Bayern had 12 players in the top 44.

    Like

      • fastrightleg

        The thing is…my response somewhat answers your question. Julian Green is not in the starting rotation for BM, so I guess no one would be the answer you are looking for.

        Like

      • Lu

        Lol I’m just making fun of the Julian Green meat riders who think that 4th division football and the training videos on YouTube they’ve seen of him makes him the best US player in the world

        Like

      • fastrightleg

        The hype videos are so dope, though! The way the music somewhat synchronizes with three, short videos being replayed four or five times is amazing…

        Like

    • John

      It is kind of interesting that Julian Green’s first friendly will be against Mexico when comparing him to Shea. Klinsmann’s first match as manager was against Mexico in Philadelphia that probably would have be a loss if not for Shea coming off the bench and creating a goal. Then in Klinsmann’s second friendly against Mexico in the Azteca Shea comes on and helps create the goal for a historic win there. So if the US loose to Mexico on Wednesday it’ll be the first time under Klinsmann.

      Like

      • Increase0

        That problem with Shea he has been really useful for us but at the same time. He just…. doesn’t seem to contribute to the team. His speed feels like a luxury and doesn’t really help us control the game even though it can help us win the game.

        Like

  • bryan

    Wow Javier elbows the Espanyol player on the face, in the box. No PK and then Javier goes to the ground as if he is hurt. Is everyone on Barca a baby?!

    Then a minute later an Espanyol player gets a yellow for “pushing” Neymar down! Barca may pass well but they DIVE non stop. Unreal

    Like

    • beachbum

      ref losing control early in this one a little? hope he gets it under control. chippy atmosphere between these two clubs already, tense

      Like

    • Increase0

      Barsca isn’t nearly as clear as people think they are. Puyol was but with him gone they lack people with real defending ability. They resort to fouls instead.

      Like

      • beachbum

        what people? been saying this since Puyol went down with injury. and you can attack them thru the air in the area, like RM did

        they’re still excellent tho

        Like

      • Increase0

        That should say clean. Oh I just mean that they tend to focus on the wonderful passing rather than the moments of Stoke level cynicism.

        Like

      • Increase0

        Hehe, Still a draw in Spain. Ah well, I cant watch it. Gotta go interact with humans.

        Like

    • Expat4455

      Correct answer to my question Jake. And thanks for using the qualifying word “apparently” .

      Like

    • Lu

      But but he played 2 mins of stoppage time in the Champions League (hahahahahahahahah)

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        love that we’re now downplaying the fact that one of our players gets on the field for the best team in the world.

        Like

      • Jake .... From State Farm

        Not only that. When Robben got injured Green took his spot on the Bayern bench. The kid is THAT good.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        that’s promising, at least. certainly nothing to make light of.

        Like

      • GW

        Guus Hiddink used DMB to replace Robben at PSV when they went on that great Champion’s league run.

        Like

  • Expat4455

    Let’s review a little. During Mathais Sammer’s annual winter break interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung he had this to say about Julian Green.

    1. Julian has undergone a very significant development, so remarkable that Green in now very close to being on Bayern’s first team. He is in Pep’s starting rotation plans in the second half of the season.
    2. He can cover situations so quickly that the entire opposing defense has to reorder. That is what Pep means when he says. “Green can move in depth”.
    3. He (Green) can prevail, even with Lewandowski coming in, he is already well integrated.

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      expat, i think you’re wasting your time at this point.

      by now, everyone on this site is already informed, and has decided either:

      1. he’s going to start in brazil
      2. he sucks because he doesn’t start for bayern munich
      3. to wait until they see him on the field for the usmnt before judging

      Like

      • John

        I’ll go with number 3. He’s made the switch, we’re going to see him play Wednesday, no real point in feeding the hype further, either he’ll play well or he won’t

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        right. i actually think most people fall under number 3–just not the most vocal commenters here.

        Like

      • fastrightleg

        The third option is the most logical. No one (really) has seen him play, so people will wait until the USvMEX game.

        Like

      • Lu

        I’m number 3. The truth is hes barely getting first team minutes, plays 4th division football. Let’s wait til he actually plays first division football to label him whatever you guys want

        Like

    • Increase0

      Blah, Who bothers with Grammar? I mean it is silly of me to write clear when I mean clean but honestly I don’t really think run on sentences should offend.

      It’s an informal location. I do hate it when people I work with get that sloppy. Work is not an informal location. I don’t wanna the word “wut” in a email from someone. Makes me want to vomit.

      Like

      • fastrightleg

        +1

        This is not a formal website. It is essentially a blog. Does grammar or sentence structure really matter if the meaning of each post is understood?

        Like

    • MidWest Ref

      It must be nice to have so little to worry about that the grammar of independent, non-journalist posters on a soccer blog that has very little in terms of editing capabilities, effects you to the extent that you start a new stream of posts.

      On the other hand, is our posting-grammar the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and you have other worries that you are really venting about? We are here for your brother. Open up and we will help, to the extent we can.

      Like

  • John

    Rough day for Oguchi it would appear, Sheffield’s given up 4 just 52 minutes into the match.

    Like

    • MidWest Ref

      rough day for Spector as well in the Championship; with the Blues of Birmingham City down 4 also

      Like

  • Expat4455

    But soon after Sammer’s winter break interview, something happened that put Julian Green’s starting during the season’s second half in another light. An important deal struck! Between Bayern, the Bundesliga, the DFB and Julian Green on one hand and USA soccer on the other.

    Julian Green would declare for the USMNT for international play. (Of course Green will continue to play his club football for Bayern Munich).

    Just wanted to put all this, he’s no good, he’s not starting for Bayern, etc. in prospective. I am done talking about it until after the Mexico friendly.

    Like

  • Tony in Quakeland

    Well, the last two minutes of West Brom and Cardiff City was jussssssstttt a little entertaining

    Like

  • hmm

    Long Live Liverpool

    Oh crap Arsenal. I need you to draw with City or beat them. Don’t let them win. If u lose, you hurt Liverpool’s title ambitions and also pretty much assure you will be in the Europa League next season

    Like

      • Expat4455

        Going to watch the game at the sports (soccer) pub tomorrow and have some fun with my Liverpool mates. A couple pints are in order.

        It is possible that we go to the TOP OF THE TABLE tomorrow!

        Dang, Rodgers has them playing good football.

        Like

  • reignman

    Arsenal have lost all confidence that they can play with and beat the big teams. Terrible starts against all the other big teams recently.

    Like

  • hmm

    Best Premier League and LA Liga season in years.

    3 way fight for the title in La Liga. Almost unprecedented. The past decade has only seen 2 winners

    PL. 4 teams (well Arsenal isn’t a contender anymore) have been in pace for the title all season and looks like it may ultimately be Liverpool and City/Chelsea

    Like

      • Increase0

        It is. Arsenal would be if They had won either of their last 2 games. This draw today is actually a big result. Liverpool is the Champion if they win out as they have to play City.

        Like

  • reignman

    It could easily be argued that should have been red for Silva, extremely high boot there.

    Like

  • reignman

    Not the worst result for Arsenal, the game against Everton is critical if they want to stay in the CL. As long as they don’t lose they should be ok, but if Everton beats them they could be in real trouble.

    Like

  • Shawn

    barca gets so many questionable penalties. A season for them without a penalty and they’re easily a europa league team

    Like

    • Increase0

      I saw that from Neymar. He handles it with his arm. It bounces off into someone else’s arm. Bam Penalty for Barca.

      I love the way Neymar immediately sticks his hand up asking for a penalty even though he should have a call against him.

      Like

  • Atletico Man

    OMG, Bale was one-on-one with the keeper and caught his toe in the turf trying to shoot!

    #realmadridfallao

    Like

    • bryan

      what was that? 2 goals and an assist? still 9+ minutes left.

      Morata with a golazo to make it 5-0.

      Like

  • Gary Page

    Am I the only one who watched Stoke and Hull? Thought Cameron was his usual steady self. He played 90 minutes once again. I can’t remember the last time he didn’t start a league game and it seems like he’s in for 90 minutes each time. Obviously Mark Hughes likes him. If he doesn’t start at RB in Brazil, Klinsmann has lost his marbles.

    Like

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