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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

Kevin De Bruyne of Chelsea and Emanuele Giaccherini of Sunderland

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Second-place Chelsea will have another chance to pull ahead of Liverpool–at least for a temporary basis–as they host a relegation fighter Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Before their tough set of road matches next week, Chelsea will take on last-place Sunderland, who are desperate to pick up any points in their race to get out of the bottom of the English Premier League. Chelsea are still unbeaten in home league matches under manager Jose Mourinho, and they have also posted six straight shutout wins at the Bridge. Sunderland should have a bit of momentum after their 2-2 draw with Manchester City but have struggled away from the Stadium of Light in recent weeks.

Sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur will also host another team fighting for survival Saturday when Fulham visit White Hart Lane. Tottenham are still battling to keep their Europa League spot, but Fulham are two points from safety heading into their London derby match. In other EPL action, 19th-place Cardiff City host Stoke City in another match that could have a huge impact on the relegation battle.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina face AS Roma in a top Serie A clash in Italy. There is also a first vs. worst battle in the Bundesliga when league champions Bayern Munich visit Eintracht Braunschweig.

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):

7:45am – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham – NBCSN

9:00am – Parma vs. Internazionale – beIN Sports USA

9:00am – Milan vs. Livorno – beIN Sports Play

9:00am – Udinese vs. Napoli – beIN Sports Play

9:30am – Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Bayern Munich- GOLTV USA

10:00am – Aston Villa vs. Southampton – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Cardiff City vs. Stoke City – NBCSN

10:00am – Newcastle vs. Swansea City – NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am –  West Ham vs. Crystal Palace- NBC Sports Live Extra

10:00am – Osasuna vs. Valencia – beIN Sports Play

12:00pm – Levante vs. Getafe – beIN Sports Play

12:30pm – Chelsea vs. Sunderland – NBC

12:30pm – Juventus vs. Bologna – beIN Sports USA

2:00pm – Real Sociedad vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports Play

3:00pm – Fiorentina vs. Roma – beIN Sports Play

4:00pm – Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo – MLS Direct Kick

4:00pm – Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution – NBCSN

6:00pm – Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes – MLS Direct Kick

6:00pm – America vs. Queretaro – Univision

7:00pm – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy – MLS Direct Kick

7:30pm – Columbus Crew vs. DC United – MLS Direct Kick

8:00pm – FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC – MLS Direct Kick

8:00pm – Santos Laguna vs. Chiapas – Univision Deportes

8:00pm – Pachuca vs. Puebla – Univision Deportes 2

8:00pm – Monterrey vs. Veracruz – UniMas

8:30pm – Sporting KC vs. Montreal Impact- MLS Direct Kick

9:05pm – Leon vs. Tigres UANL – Telemundo

9:30pm – Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers – MLS Direct Kick

10:00pm – Atlas vs. Toluca – Univision Deportes

10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders – MLS Direct Kick

199 comments
  • Chris

    Jozy goes to plant to pull the ball back and the defender, having slid under him, catches contact. That’s a penalty all day every day, boys. Azpi shouldn’t have gone to ground. Jozy haters need to get over it and admit he actually did something alright for once, but alas it’s impossible for those who refuse to view a player objectively.

    Like

  • slowleftarm

    I’m glad just to see Jozy on the field. I think Sunderland are still going down though, which I’m rooting for because 1) it makes them more likely to sell Jozy and 2) it’ll be easier for Gooch to break into the first team in the Championship.

    Like

    • Turgid Jacobian

      No, the tackle hit his plant foot and made him fall, with ball well clear of tackler. Foul in any league, really.

      Like

      • Turgid Jacobian

        I looked at the vine you linked. As someone wrote below: “The second replay shows how the defenders right leg bends back placing it behind jozy’s sliding plant foot.”

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    • Byrdman

      Looks like JA’s plant foot starts to slip then the left foot of defender makes contact carrying jozy the rest of the way. Dont see how you can say it was a dive, may not have been a pk. But thats why you dont go to ground there.

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      • Fair observer

        Exactly. Jozy might have fallen without the defender sliding in but the defenders right leg barely clipped jozy’s left leg as he was starting to slip. From the refs angle it probably looked like a clear penalty when it fact it was a slight penalty. Tough call but still the right call. Had the defender stayed up and jozy fallen would have been a no call

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      • Maykol

        Wtf there was no clip. It was the assistant ref who called the penalty, and from his angle it looks like a clear foul, but nowhere does the defender clip jozy

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      • Fair observer

        As defenders leg slides in his right leg folds back and crosses over jozy’s already sliding foot. With no defender near jozy may or may not have gone down on his own but the defender makes the slightest of contact. Watch the vine someone linked. In the first replay you see at the end jozy’s foot is caught between the defenders legs. The second replay shows how the defenders right leg bends back placing it behind jozy’s sliding plant foot. It’s all very subtle but the main point is the defender slid in, made a hair of contact, got no ball this a penalty. Again jozy may or may not have gone down anyways but the defenders contact ensure it this a penalty was called. I’ve seen worse penalties called in all honesty. The fact that it’s jozy makes this blog go nuts defendin or crying bad call. It happened moved on haha

        Like

      • Maykol

        You cant tell anything from the first replay, the second one looks like the bending leg was ahead of the leg jozy slipped on. None of us can be so sure that it clipped him, even though it looks to most people it didnt. We can all agree that he did slip on the leg though.
        And nah im not gonna move on from my opinion. If it benefits jozy you guys can say “oh yeah move on it happened” but if jozy gets fouled and no call, you guys would be crying non stop ” oh no wtf thats foul, american bias, sunderlsnd sucks, “

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      • fischy

        “Had the defender stayed up and jozy fallen would have been a no call”

        I don’t know what to make of that statement. You mean if the defender had stayed up, the flop would have been more obvious? Duh.

        Yes. from the refs angle it looked like a penalty. I don’t fault the ref for the bad call. Leaving aside any personal disappointment with how Jozy plays at such moments, I am saying that Jozy is burning a lot of bridges. When you make a flop like that at such a big comment in such an important game, you cement your reputation as a diver. It won a game, but it will hurt Jozy and whatever teams he plays for down the road.

        Like

      • Fair observer

        Slipping and diving are two different things. Had the defender not slid it would be obvious jozy had slipped. Instead he went for the tackle and the ref thought there was some contact and called a penalty. That’s why they teach defenders to stay on their feet especially on the end line where the attacker has no where to go.

        Like

    • fischy

      Watching that link a few times, I may have been hasty in saying that it was deliberate on Jozy’s part — but the quality of the image there isn’t very good. It’s possible that Jozy’s awkward, lousy touch took the ball away from the goal and he was just trying to put the brakes on to go after the ball. However, when I watched in higher definition and in slower motion on TV, it looked like Jozy deliberately shoved his leg in the mix, stepping on the trailing leg and then falling backwards. What I’ll say about that is that sometimes the super slo-mo is deceiving because things look more controlled than at actual speed.

      Like

      • Fair observer

        Yea slow mo is tough to judge because te viewer has more time to make judgements based on events happening slower. Clear penalty? Not quite. Clear dive with no contact? Not really. Jozy was tryongto stop the ball and change direction, his left foot (plant foot) slipped a little. We’ll never know if he woul have fallen on his own but the defender slid (bad decision) and there most likely seems to be some SLIGHT contact. This contact ensured jozy could not regain his footing thy impeding the attackers movement. Inside the box- penalty called. The people saying he “deliberately stepped on the defenders foot” are wrong. He began to slip and th denfender grazed his foot ensuring he fell. 8/10 times that’s a called penalty. Either way it’s a tough call but that’s what the refs get paid to do. Make tough judgements

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  • Fair observer

    For what it’s worth I don’t know why poyet never played two strikers with jozy. Always made him the one striker. They switch to two and start getting points. For club and country jozy always plays better in a two striker formation. A lot of strikers play better with two strikers. Not saying jozy did anything amazing etc but he won a penalty that got a crucial win. Give him and the team credit for whatever it’s worth

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    • beachbum

      many of us have wondered this throughout the year. they actually played some 2 striker systems for a while, in Cup games, and did OK too

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      • Fair observer

        Yep. I don’t think the formation had anything to do with the penalty call etc but overall I think it has to do with wickham scoring and overall the team starting to have more of an attack etc

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    • GW

      Who was he going to play with Jozy?

      Wickham only recently came back from loan, Fletcher was hurt and either out or hindered for most of the year, Scocco is apparently still adjusting to England. Borini seems to do better coming from deep.

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      • Fair observer

        Borini…. The same striker playing as the second striker. Wickham and borini started the past two games…..

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      • Fair observer

        To elaborate, IMO, their best lineup would have been to usually start jozy and borini up top. Giac wide left, AJ wide right. Then ki and bridcutt/cattermole I’m the central mid roles. Effectively a 4132 since their “1” usually sits right in front of the back four creating the illusion of a 533 essentially

        Like

  • bryan

    i cannot believe this is leading to so many comments. get the F over it! move on.

    “it’s a PK!”

    “it’s not a PK!”

    (repeat all day)

    Like

      • bryan

        Problem is, the debate has turned into people going in circles and repeating the same thing over and over and over. So now it’s just annoying.

        Like

      • Fair observer

        Then stop reading if you’re annoyed. No one’s chained you to the computer….

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      • bryan

        I did! and then I left my comment once I realized the conversation was going in circles.

        Bunch of sensitive people today.

        Like

    • Fair observer

      Jozy almost never takes penalties. Not sure what his career stats are but he doesn’t take penalties usually. He might have for AZ but not for usmnt or for sunderland. Borini has taken the majority this season that I’ve seen. This isn’t junior varsity where “the man fouled takes he pk” haha

      Like

    • Outlaw

      so he could fail it and get all the blame for ruining the best chance Sunderland had to stay in the PL?

      Like

  • Darwin

    Is this right? Fredy Montero has scored 13 goals this season with 13 total shots??

    TEAM Competition GS SB G A SH SG FC FS YC RC
    Sporting Lisbon Liga 19 6 13 0 13 13 0 0 7 0

    Like

  • Ali Dia

    Somebody needs to tell Robbie Russell where the camera is. What is he seeing up there?

    Like

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