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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

Fernandinho of Manchester City chases Lionel Messi of Barcelona

By RYAN TOLMICH

Wednesday is a Champions League kind of day. A pair of UEFA Champions League second legs highlight the afternoon matchups, while two MLS sides begin their quarterfinal contests in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The European competition is headlined by the second edition of the heavyweight fight that is Barcelona vs. Manchester City. The Spanish giants overwhelmed their English counterparts in the first leg after City went down to 10 men, winning 2-0 on goals from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves. Barcelona will be looking to take their frustrations out on City, as a 1-0 loss to Real Valladolid over the weekend is sure to have left a bad taste in the Catalans’ mouths. However, City will benefit heavily from having a healthy Sergio Aguero in the second leg, as the Argentine missed the initial contest due to a hamstring injury.

The other game on the European schedule will take place in Paris, where Paris Saint-Germain will take on Bayer Leverkusen. The Parisians head into the second leg with a 4-0 advantage behind a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace, and the Swedish striker will be available to play today despite being recently sidelined with a back injury. Leverkusen manager Sami Hyypia insisted his team had not given up hope and went on to say they would field the strongest team possible, despite the lopsided scoreline.

Back in North America, defending MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City will host Mexican side Cruz Azul while the LA Galaxy host Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

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):

3:45pm – Barcelona vs. Manchester City – Fox Sports 1

3:45pm – Paris Saint-Germain vs. Bayer Leverkusen – Fox Sports 2/Fox Soccer Plus

8pm – Sporting Kansas City vs. Cruz Azul – Fox Sports 2/Univision Deportes

8:50pm – Necaxa vs. Celaya – ESPN3

8:55pm – Chiapas vs. Veracruz – ESPN Deportes

9pm – Nacional Asunción vs. Atlético Mineiro – Fox Deportes

10pm – LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana – Fox Soccer Plus/Galavision

10:55pm – Dorados vs. Chivas de Guadalajara – Univision Deportes

46 comments
  • EspinDOHla

    They (Fox) had a whole segment yesterday during the Champions League broadcast on all the USMNT players that will make up both squads in tonights CONCACAF Champions League game with LA v Tijuana and how it’s a huge game, all the combined caps, etc.

    Then, they air this game on Fox Soccer Plus….

    Like

    • Rory Miller

      Yeah, it’s almost like they want dedicated fans to pay for their channel or something, crazy, right?

      I’m glad I have fox sports 1 and fox sports 2 on my mid-tier Dish package. Wish I had Fox Soccer Plus but that ones pretty expensive (and I refuse to shell out for even things like HBO or Showtime).

      Oh well, Sporting Kansas City’s game is on tonight and I saw San Jose’s last night so I’m okay, as long as the return leg of LA-Tij is on one of my channels next week!

      Like

      • EspinDOHla

        What’s the point of having a small group of diehards paying extra to get the channel when the current TV numbers (MLS) are abysmal? It’s freakin’ awesome that people are attending the games but not many people are watching the games on TV (MLS games at least, and I imagine CONCACAF champions league is probably worse in terms of TV viewership).

        At this stage, it seems that they (MLS and the broadcasters) should be trying to maximize viewers. Putting these games on channels that not many people get seems counterintuitive when trying to grow the game.

        Like

  • Ralph

    Just a stoneçold penalty not given to Messi. No idea what referee saw but Lescott missed the ball entirely and wrecked Messi.

    Terrible no call.

    Like

  • Polit

    And Barcelona have a clear goal disallowed for a really bad offside call.

    Is this fixed? I mean seriously this is horrible.

    Like

    • away goals

      Definitely fixed. Definitely not a case of missed calls that occur in every game every week. Massive conspiracy for sure wouldn’t be surprised if this one goes all the way to the top.

      Like

      • Gerard D.

        You think a Champions League is so bad that he couldn’t tell that was a penalty? Really?

        Like

      • away goals

        Um yes. Just like I think refs in the best leagues miss split second calls all the time.

        If that same ref saw that same incident ten times he might give a penalty on seven of them. This time he didn’t get on with it.

        Like

      • Pete

        Kind of like when Barcelona got about 6 highly questionable calls years ago against Chelsea…

        Like

      • away goals

        And it’s not like there was a high profile decision in the first leg of this very matchup that went in city’s favor either.

        Like

  • Ralph

    Barcelona have a goal taken away by a bad offside call. Referee seriously affecting this game.

    Like

  • Gerard D.

    No qualms at all saying this referee team has been bought off. Pure nonsense across the board.

    No yellow for an elbow to the head of Neymar.
    No yellow for the Kolorvo takedown on Neymar off the ball.
    Barcelona goal disallowed for an offside call on a player a full yard onside.
    No call on penalty where Lescott missed the ball by a good couple feet and just crushed Messi.

    This is insane.

    Like

    • away goals

      So in a game where city are making a ton of yellow-card worthy challenges, you’re claiming a fix because they’re ONLY on pace for nine cautions?

      Like

  • Pete

    It’s all fixed sort of like how Barcelona and Real Madrid have fixed the la liga tv rights to keep their pockets full of money.

    Like

      • Pete

        Its just Barcelona fans on this site often cry wolf. That is all.

        Like

      • away goals

        Even the posts are in on the fix this is a new low for world football.

        Like

  • Travis

    This ref is having a shocker, clear penalty to Dzeko and nothing gets called. Then gives Zabaleta a second yellow for protesting, horrendous game.

    Like

    • mike

      Good thing this game is well over and would have been even more with the Messi penalty and neynar goal or we would never hear the end of this.

      Like

      • Travis

        I didnt see those live earlier but they looked to be terrible decisions as well. Really bad game from this official, hope he doesn’t get this important of a game anytime soon again.

        Like

      • Pete

        They were bad calls but Barcelona fans feel any sort of decision against them is an affront to their football brilliance. Every team has calls go against them at some point.

        Like

    • Increase

      What??? I was told yesterday that he should have stayed on his feet and not dive like Robben? So today its a pen but when its Robben its a dive?

      Like

      • Travis

        The amount of contact between the two events is not even comparable from what I saw, granted I didn’t study the Robben incidents for hours like some appeared to. It also hurts Robben that he is a massive diver (there is no arguing this) and Dzeko doesn’t have a rep for it.

        Like

      • Increase

        My point is that this is why players go down. If they stay up and take a bad shot, which Dzeko did. No ref is going to let you take a shot and then when you miss also give a pen.

        So you go down because that little touch ruined your chance for a good shot not because you cant stay on your feet.

        Like

      • Travis

        Dzeko didn’t stay up though, his legs were taken out and he barely even touched the ball as a result, thats not a shot. Robben goes down because hes soft and a diver, he does it everywhere, not just in the box.

        Like

      • Increase0

        How can you say he didn’t take a shot…. Because he did. He should have gone down. He got clipped and wasn’t going to be able to finish properly but tried. He should have gone down.

        You can’t have it both ways. If Robben dove then Dzeko “dove.” Or both didn’t dive and both were penalties.

        Like

      • Travis

        http://gfycat.com/ThatIdleBittern

        That hardly qualifies as taking a shot, he swings his leg while falling down and makes some contact which goes all of 2 feet into a defender.

        I dont get how you can say these two incidents are they same, they aren’t. Dzeko also fell the moment he was hit, Robben took a step or two and fell wildly.

        Like

  • mike

    Have to laugh at the City players. Ref was terrible, but wow if I am a city player I am shrinking back licking my wounds.

    Ref was terrible and it almost entirely benefitted City.

    Like

    • Increase0

      City doesn’t seem to have much of a midfield. They couldn’t hold onto that ball at all. It was just odd. They kept just trying to bang the wall out to the wings and it just wasn’t working.

      Like

      • Gerard D.

        It was like they expected Yaya Toure to mark… well, everyone.

        Like

      • Travis

        If Yaya doesn’t play out of his mind they are in trouble normally. Fernandinho is really good as well but they more or less play a 4-2-3-1 where the front four don’t want to defend at all so the 2 need to boss everything.

        Like

  • Robbie

    Anybody watching KC play Cruz Azul? KC up 1-0 at half, nice pass leading up to the goal. I’m getting it on Univision HD (channel 381 on TWC in Santa Monica) and also on FS2 in standard def(271).

    The Galaxy look to be playing later on Galavision (397) and FXSP (395).

    Like

    • TomG

      Watching. SKC looks awesome, though they seem to be running out of gas the last 10 minutes. How fast is Ike Opara? He’s saved them twice on broken offside traps with his catch up speed. Crazy as it is to say about a substitute CB on and MLS team, but with his tools, he can still be a USMNT player if he keeps developing.

      Like

  • TomG

    Man, Zusi BARELY misses a goal of the week type effort off the crossbar from outside the left side of the box.

    Like

  • bryan

    those a$$holes at Fox putting the LA game on FSC+ are a joke. Copa MX, UFC, and DePaul v. Georgetown taking up the other Fox networks.

    Like

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