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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

AtleticoReal (Getty Images)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Real Madrid will look to continue their run as one of the hottest sides in the world Sunday when they visit the Vicente Calderon for another match with in-city rivals Atletico Madrid.

The attacking tandem of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are coming off a marvelous six-goal performance against Schalke 04 in Champions League play, and the high-powered Real Madrid offense could lead the way to a six-point lead over third-place Atletico with a road victory. Real Madrid dominated the two sides’ recent battle in the Copa del Rey semifinals, so Atletico will be looking to set the record straight at their home stadium and get back into the thick of the La Liga title race.

Before the two Spanish giants square off in the Madrid Derby, Manchester City will face Sunderland for the Capital One Cup at London’s Wembley Stadium. Man City fell to another relegation fighter, Wigan Athletic, the last time they visited the English landmark stadium in a Cup Final, and USMNT forward Jozy Altidore’s Sunderland squad will look to pull off another huge upset to take home the domestic trophy.

In other action on this packed Soccer Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur look to shake off their recent struggles in a home English Premier League match against Cardiff City. Barcelona will try to follow the Madrid Derby with another home win against Almeria, who stunned Atletico Madrid earlier in the season. In Italy, traditional rivals AC Milan and Juventus will battle it out in San Siro as Juve try to keep their long Serie A unbeaten run going.

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):

9am – Manchester City vs. Sunderland – beIN Sport USA

11am – Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid – beIN Sport USA

11:30am – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Cardiff City – NBC Sports Network

11:30am – Aston Villa vs. Norwich City – Premier League Extra Time

11:30am – Swansea City vs. Crystal Palace – Premier League Extra Time

11:30pm – Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Stuttgart – GolTV USA

1pm – Sevilla vs. Real Sociedad – beIN Sport en Español

1pm – Puebla vs. Queretaro – ESPN Deportes

1pm – Pumas UNAM vs. Pachuca – Univision

2:45pm – AC Milan vs. Juventus – beIN Sport USA

3pm – Lille vs. Lyon – Univision Deportes

3pm – Barcelona vs. Almeria – beIN Sport en Español

6pm – Chivas de Guadalajara vs. Tigres UANL – Univision Deportes

114 comments
    • timmytwoshoezzz

      score 35 goals a season and force a sale to Arsenal? Or does he also have to be French for that to happen?

      Like

      • Adi from Oregon

        Ja, but Jozy can’t handle the ball or shoot as well as the zwei Deutsche!

        Like

      • jor

        You mean Mertesacker? Just kidding, but I don’t see him fitting in.

        Anyway, he’d have to get in line behind a real German (Draxler).

        Like

  • biff

    This is devastating, have been waiting for weeks for Jozy’s chance to play in this final in rockin’ Wembley. Is Jozy injured? Is he sick? If not there is one possible explanation for the snub that comes to mind.

    Like

    • go euro or go home

      Is your explanation defensive tactics (no true strikers) playing for the chance to break (led by the more quicker Borini instead of the sturdier Altidore) on the counter with a good header of the ball (Fletcher) on the bench to throw in late if a goal is needed?

      Like

  • Soccerwiz10

    Sunderland is pitiful. Last game vs Arsenal, Jozy was subbed at halftime. Next game is a FA Cup game and highly unlikely Poyet will call Jozy to play in that game either. Bad situation for Jozy.

    Like

  • arsenal

    I don’t know why everyone is so surprised. He is not faultless in his scoring drought. He has to take some blame, and was probably left out for his extremely poor form. Yes, the team is playing terribly and that includes Jozy. But, it looks even worse l for Jozy with Borini scoring.

    Like

    • Wes

      Has he been left out of the 18 previous to this? If not, that might be one reason folks are surprised. Didn’t he score against Arsenal?

      Like

    • Jim

      Exactly. Most people here tend to focus on the lack of service from the midfield. But let’s face it, Jozy can’t turn and he’s not great at getting his head on the end if crosses. Without one of those two skills, a striker won’t cut it in the premier league. And I honestly don’t mean to knock Jozy– he probably just needs to move to a league where the marking isn’t as tight and the pace not as fast.

      Like

      • Jim

        Yup. MLS will definitely pay more than anyone else right now. Especially if Poyet’s had enough of him after that awful Arsenal match. It’ll be tough to find clubs that will pay if he’s not playing.

        Like

      • Nate

        Borini should have scored there…

        Well, if MLS is good enough for MB90 and Dempsey, its good enough for Jozy, right? He did well enough there to earn a transfer to Villareal as a teenager.

        But I wouldn’t go leaping to such sweeping conclusions about “what teams would pay” for Jozy. Both Adam Johnson and Poyet have praised his overall qualities in spite of his lack of goals, and he still has a chance to impress in Brazil.

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      • Jim

        If you think a club will pay even remotely the same amount for a striker coming off a season like this, as opposed to a season like he had in Holland last year, you don’t understand the transfer market. There’s nothing “sweeping” about that statement, it’s basic knowledge.

        MLS might pay because they can market him. Anyone else will attempt to get him at a discount.

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      • Nate

        Well, if the season ended now, then you are totally right. My point is that (a) while not making the 18 in the capital one cup is bad, Jozy’s Sunderland situation is still salvageable and (b) assuming (perhaps optimistically) Jozy shows up for the world cup, there will be plenty of teams willing to pay for him despite his lack of goals for a Sunderland team that doesn’t create many chances (even without Jozy on the pitch).

        Like

  • TomG

    Great. I don’t think Jozy has gotten a pass like that all season. Borini scores and may stick at the striker spot. I think Gus only sees Jozy and Fletcher as a big, hold up player that have to play isolated hold up play. He puts little guys like Borini and Scocco in and lets them run in space facing goal as part of a unified front three. I don’t think Poyet watched any tape of Jozy at AZ. That kind of pass and play is exactly the type of service Jozy got at AZ and hasn’t gotten at Sunderland. Ugh, this is not good.

    Like

    • Chupacabra

      Doesn’t matter. Sunderland are losers and will be relegated. Jozy out of sunderland now!

      Like

    • dcpohl

      And we all know how managers like “their own” players. If Sunderland manage to stave off relegation, expect Poyet to bring in his own strikers. Jozy basically has to prove he can make it before the end of the season and he looks likely to receive less playing time after today.

      Like

    • Fair observer

      I always read te comments before the poster and everytime I agree with someone who sounds knowledgeable it turns out tone TomG. Haha. I swear sunderland just refuses to pass jozy the ball while he’s facing the goal

      Like

  • Bean

    Borini is really keeping Kompany busy. It was a great idea for Poyet to start the Liverpool forward.

    Like

    • Bean

      Sometimes Jozy’s touch let him down on good passes. Borini did very well to finish from that angle under pressure.

      Like

      • dikranovich

        if Kompany had hit that ball off of jozy’s chest, it would have probably resulted in a goal kick, in all honesty.

        Like

  • John

    Agudelo goes unused on the bench for Utrecht, not a great day for the strikers so far

    Like

  • dave

    I won’t be surprised to learn that Jozy said or did something stupid when being subbed at half time against Arsenal. If it was tactical he would be an option on the bench. So either he is hurt or he is being punished.

    Like

    • atd

      Was thinking along similar lines — that he might have said something rash when he learned he was left out of the starting eleven for tactical reasons….

      Like

      • Nate

        Well, Fletcher and Gardner on for Johnson and Larsson after going down suggests that that Poyet was hoping to pack it in and score on the break. Not exactly Jozy’s strong suit. Now, having gone down, he needs heads to get on the end of crosses (a Fletcher specialty).

        Sunderland absolutely needs this trophy, and Poyet needs players he can rely on. Jozy, quite simply, has been unreliable for him this season. So I get it. This could actually be good for both Poyet and Jozy, since the fans will not have Jozy to blame if things go sour in such a high profile match.

        This might give Jozy the rest of the season to put in solid performances off the bench and perhaps gradually regain his confidence.

        Like

  • Chris

    This is good! The readers of this site love a good chance to practice their doom and gloom posts:)

    Like

    • Increase0

      Meh, He just needs to leave we all know that. Personally, I would be happy if Jozy even was a good back up striker at a mediumlargish club. Say Lazio/Valencia/Tottenham.

      I actually don’t care if he starts, I would rather he played well when he got the opportunity rather than get blamed for his team sucking as a whole.

      Like

      • arghamo

        same here. should have signed for LAZIO.

        less wages and not a de facto starter, but he’d have gotten a chance or 7

        Like

  • Shawn

    Anybody else immediately started cheering for man city after Sunderland didn’t play jozy

    Like

      • Increase0

        He got beat on Wolfburg second goal but…basically good pass and that winger had speeed. Also he is playing Right back…. Not really his thing.

        Like

      • John

        Seems like he is always looking to combine but sometimes it leaves out of position if its turned over.

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      • Increase0

        Hoffenheim attack and defending comes second. Some games it pays off. It paid off this game.

        Like

  • Milkshake of despair

    My theory on altidore is he’s being punished not only for poor play but also poor attitude. There was a play last week where sung-yueng missed a give and go with Jozy. So Jozy did his whinney thing once again, put his head down, waived his hands and quite on the play. The game was still 0-0 at that moment. He’s gotta quite doing this act. Simple as that.

    I belie this is why he was pulled at half.

    Like

    • Don the Jewler

      After the way Jozy handled the racial taunts last year I have become pretty dismissive of any maturity issues or comments towards him.

      Like

  • AC

    Wow, Sunderland actually hit a couple crosses…Think they probably tried crossing the ball 10 times at the most all season…

    Like

  • John

    Big test for Boyd today getting the start against Salzburg who destroyed Ajax earlier in Europa.

    Like

  • arghamo

    watch JOZY score 5 goals in the world cup and get a move to the Bundesliga. Forget Sunderland, they are beneath us

    Like

    • Nate

      how many touches/ shots on goal did the borini/fletcher combo get in the second half? Not many. Losing 3-1, Fletcher choking on an easy goal, looks like the same team to me.

      If that had been Jozy whiffing on that chance, Sunderland fans would be out for blood. Seems like they are comfortable with poor play, as long as its the right guy playing poorly.

      Like

      • Gerard D.

        Borini equaled Jozy’s season total for league goals in the first half. I mean that’s really that needs to be said.

        They held their own for the first half.

        Like

      • Bitman

        It says nothing of the sort. For Altidore not to be on the bench ahead of Scocco is indicative of a feeling on the team about him that’s very troubling (unless he’s injured). he needs to grow up a little, but he was instrumental in their being in this final. Bad move by Poyet, though they were never winning no matter who played.

        Like

      • Nate

        You could say that they were dominated in the second half with both Fletcher (3 goals) and Borini (4) on the field.

        You could say that 3 goals separating Borini and Jozy is a distinction without a difference.

        You could also say that the fact that the Sunderland forwards have 4, 3, and 1 goal a piece is a reflection of the team’s overall quality. I’m sure Scotland fans are not calling for Fletcher to be benched because he’s only scored 3 goals this season.

        Like

      • Kctc

        He’s our best option in the way the us plays. Sunderland plays garbage football. Would have loved to see Jozy at Dortmund or similar. Now maybe they can steal him this summer when Sunderland goes down to the championship.

        Like

      • JH

        That would be good but, I do you think he would be a regular starter for Dortmund? Jozy needs to bail on Sunderland NOW and go on loan to the Bundesliga so he can get his form back.

        Like

    • run

      Two interesting non-calls in the Real Madrid box. One each way. Diego Costa takes out Diego Lopez, then Ramos takes out Diego Costa.

      Like

  • Francois

    Aron playing so well, but very unlucky not to get a goal. Looks like he’s ready for the next level.

    Like

  • Francois

    Diego Costa might be a fantastic player, but he’s also a huge diver. That last one was atrocious, pitiful.

    Like

    • run

      Atletico fails to take advantage of a horrible defensive error, intercepting a pass back to the keeper.

      Like

  • Increase0

    If it makes anyone feel any better the biggest striker flop of the season isn’t Jozy. It’s Roberto Soldado. The dude has like 5 goals but I’m pretty sure they are all penalty kicks. He was oh say about 26 million pounds so a little more than 4 times what Jozy cost.

    Like

      • Increase0

        Roberto Scored boooo. Ruining my observations. Well it was true until like 2 hours ago.

        Like

  • beachbum

    and there it is. small mistake in the back by Atletico leads to opportunity and goal Bale

    Like

  • bryan

    surprised no one mentioned that Beasley came off the bench and scored a goal. 1-0 Puebla win over Queretaro. Orozco with another 90.

    can’t find anything on if Kljestan played 90 in Anderlecht’s 2-0 win over KRC Genk.

    Like

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