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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Arsenal's Bacary Sagna passes the ball under pressure from Everton's Romelu Lukaku

Photo by Michael Zemanek / ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

Arsenal may still have a glimmer of hope for an English Premier League title this season, but they will be focused on keeping hold of a Champions League spot Sunday when they visit Everton at Goodison Park.

Fifth-place Everton have a match in hand on fourth-place Arsenal heading into Sunday’s headline EPL clash on Merseyside. Tim Howard and the Toffees have won six straight matches at home and their eyes on a long-awaited return to European competition—another victory could go a long way in their fight to make the Top 4 this season. Sunday’s match is expected to be a close one as the last eight league matches between the two sides have either been decided by one goal or ended in a draw.

After Arsenal and Everton clash at Goodison Park, all eyes in the EPL will be on Upton Park when Liverpool face West Ham United. The high-scoring Reds can move back to the top of the league with a win or draw against the Hammers, who lost 4-1 to Liverpool earlier this season.

Elsewhere, AS Roma look to maintain pressure on first-place Juventus in Serie A with another victory against Cagliari. AS Monaco hope to stay in the race for the Ligue 1 title with a home win against Alejandro Bedoya and Nantes. The USWNT will try to rebound from their disappointing Algarve Cup performance when they host China in the first of two stateside friendlies.

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):

8:30am – Everton vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Network

9am – Cagliari vs. AS Roma – beIN Sports USA

9am – Fiorentina vs. Udinese – beIN Sports en Español

11am – West Ham United vs. Liverpool – CNBC

11am – Valenciennes vs. Lyon – beIN Sports USA

11am – Elche vs. Getafe – beIN Sports en Español

11:30am – Hertha BSC vs. Hoffenheim – GolTV USA

1pm – Sevilla vs. Espanyol – beIN Sports en Español

1pm – Pumas UNAM vs. Chiapas – Univision Deportes/Univision

2:45pm – Parma vs. Napoli – beIN Sports USA

3pm – Real Valladolid vs. Valencia – beIN Sports en Español

3pm – Monaco vs. Nantes – Univision Deportes

3pm – Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy – UniMas

3pm – Ituano vs. Santos – GolTV USA

5pm – USWNT vs. China – USSoccer.com

6pm – Atlante vs. Tigres UANL – Univision Deportes

8:30pm – Belgrano vs. River Plate – GolTV USA

106 comments
    • Citronomics

      Dadadadadadada Luis Suarez… he wears the famous red.

      Glad to see Sterling back in the starting lineup. Bit nervous about the Skrtel & Sahko CB pairing.

      Cheers

      Like

  • arsenal

    I’m really enjoying watching Everton play. They are playing so well, and I hope they can keep this team together for next season. They will be exciting to watch, if they can keep Lukaku.

    Like

  • reignman

    Arsenal are completely out of gas and ideas. They have done nothing in this first half and are clearly second best today. If they don’t manage to come back and tie this their CL hopes take a massive hit. Their stretch run of games should be easy but with how poorly they have been playing you never know.

    Like

    • arsenal

      Its the same thing almost every year. We take the lead early in the season, collapse, and end up screwing ourselves out of any hardware. I hope Wenger leaves Arsenal to coach France because we all know he can’t be fired.

      Like

    • Shawn

      meh he wasnt playing that much with Bayern first team anyway. And you can stay in shape with shoulder injury

      Like

      • John

        Yeah but Bayern have started playing a bunch kids since they won the league. I think they had a few teenagers in the side yesterday.

        Like

    • Clyde

      Back to the training grounds so he can learn how to run without falling over himself.
      That has to be one of the dumbest injuries I’ve ever seen.

      Like

      • arsenal

        Weird injuries like that one happen all the time. If you watch enough football you will see it happens a fair amount. But, I am assuming you are a troll, or a dbag. I’m leaning towards both.

        Like

      • Clyde Everton Fan

        Really? Can you name a couple or are you just being a beatch because your team is getting pounded?
        Maybe is time for you to jump on a different bandwagon. Liverpool is doing good this year and accepting new plastic fans like yourself

        Like

      • Jack Del

        A player slipping and falling awkwardly is a dumb injury? You’re just a troll.

        Like

    • Bac

      That was announced a few days ago, just a bruise and their doc recommended rest, should be fine in plenty of time before the 30 man roster is named

      Like

  • OHG

    Giants are dying.

    Man United having the worst season in years. Everton soon to be playing in the CL. Arsenal would have won the league 3 months ago, now Europa League awaits them.

    8 clubs fighting to stave off relegation. Southampton might just be the best non-CL club in England

    Like

    • Ski Fast!

      It’s interesting to think about when you look at the coaching changes Everton and Man United made…

      Like

      • GW

        It seems Moyes left Martinez with more than SAF left Moyes.

        Assuming Moyes survives and Martinez stays, you’ll have a better idea of the value of both guys next year once they can field teams that are truly theirs.

        Like

      • Increase0

        There is some truth to that. Manu has done okay in the Champs league because they can bring themselves to care about it. I swear its the only time i have seen them try. At the same time though, Moyes has done some weird stuff tactically and I’ll never understand why he wouldn’t play Kagawa and Mata together as much as possible.(Its prolly just Rooney’s big ego.)

        Like

      • GW

        Kagawa,, Mata and , to a lesser extent, Rooney are basically the same guy

        Rooney is the most versatile but it can be very hard to play three guys at the same time who all need to see a lot of the ball to be at their best.

        And when RVP is healthy, not the norm for him, he needs the ball a lot as well.

        Like

      • GW

        By the way all four guys have big egos otherwise they would not be where they are.

        I’d say that is true for most of Man U’s squad.

        Rooney is just more media “friendly”.

        Like

      • GW

        away goals,

        Maybe.

        On the other hand Moyes is Scottish “hates” the English.

        Timmy Howard will tell you that.

        The other thing is that Rooney, tough far less loveable, is better than Mata or Kagawa.

        Notice how Mourinho wants Rooney but dumped Mata.

        Like

      • Increase0

        I don’t agree that they are the same guy at all. They all play in the same spot but Rooney is looking to score while Mata and Kagawa are looking to pass. Mata will score more than Kagawa but they are both far far more flexible and aware than Rooney. Rooney is physically better and perhaps more talented but is let down by his mentality.

        Essentially, with RVP and Rooney both up top. You have 2 guys playing for themselves. If you stick Mata or Kagawa up there, you have a guy who may score but is looking to be creative rather than score. Without those 2 Manu has a front line of people trying for goals but no one creating the opportunity.

        Disclaimer: I think Rooney is a brainless muppet. I’m friggen Biased and Japan plays lovely soccer.

        Like

      • GW

        Increase0

        You are right that they are not the same guy but I think any objective party would tell you that they are close enough and that any manager needs to get his best player going and that is Rooney.

        Rooney may be a c*#+ks+++er of the highest order. But a lot of big teams would not look very familiar to you if only the great guys, the people you like and might introduce to your Mom as your friend , got to play.

        As long as Rooney is productive, it is up to Mata and Kagawa to figure out how to play their best with Rooney not the other way around. His record and, yes, his contract, insure he has a longer leash than the other guys. That is why the Sounders and TFC will stick longer with Deuce and Mikey, if and when they slump.

        It’s a business.

        Like

    • reignman

      While it’s hard to see Arsenal playing well down the stretch Everton still has a couple of very tough games left (at Southampton and vs. City). I think they will drop points, the chance will be there for Arsenal still.

      Like

  • Ski Fast!

    There needs to be a gif of Coleman beating Cazorla behind his back, leaving him to stand there with him arms out like “what just happened?”

    Like

  • Alex C

    Arsenal are missing quite a few key players due to injury – Walcott, Wilshere, Ozil – Ozil was really key to their early success. Anyone else injured?

    It seems Arsenal also do not have as much depth as say Chelsea or Manchester City to be able to withstand key injuries like these.

    Like

    • reignman

      Ramsey has been out since December. Gibbs and Monreal have rotated being injured. Koscielny is out right now and has been for a couple games. Nobody can withstand the amount of injuries they have had an compete for a title. Chelsea have had something like the least amount of games missed for first team players in the league, Arsenal has the most.

      Like

      • reignman

        Also hes back now but Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the first half of the year after getting hurt in the first game.

        Like

      • Alex C

        I agree that is just too many injuries to still expect them to complete for the title. I also wonder if their style of play makes them more susceptible to injuries than say Chelsea or Man City. Do they typically have more first team player injuries than the other top teams? Or is this year just unusual?

        Like

      • reignman

        Its every year so it definitely has something to do with the type of players. Also I didn’t even mention Diaby who has yet to feature this year because he is forever injured.

        Like

    • Citronomics

      Think Everton and Timmy have a dozen clean sheets this year… Didn’t they blank Newcastle a couple weeks ago.

      Like

  • JayAre

    I want Everton to get a Champs League place but I hope they don’t clean house and bring in too many new players (especially a new goalie)

    Like

    • Increase0

      He wont replace Timmy. They will bring in a striker of course to replace Lukaku but I doubt anyone on the team will be offended by that. Team cohesion is one thing that helps Everton. They seem like solid professionals and have worked together for years. They even have young guys to put in as backup like Stones and Barkley.

      Like

    • Ian

      I can see them buying – or trying to buy – Lukaku and Deulofeu first. Those guys have been hugely instrumental to Everton’s success.

      Like

  • John

    Well what a defender just did to Aron makes Dempsey nut shot seem rather tame.

    Like

  • Jack Del

    I wish I could unsee that. Johannsson really handled that much better than I would have handled that. I’d be looking at a multiple game suspension.

    Like

      • Increase

        What a lovely fellow. I think Vinny Jones used to be fan of that sorta stuff before he got into acting. He is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

        Like

      • Bac

        You prepared me to be offended…
        You were correct…
        I must go now and purge my eyes with a toxic mixture of vinegar and bleach….

        Like

      • Bac

        The nutslaps – more common than people realize
        The direct pinch to the tip of Mr. Happy…. uhhh….

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        Oh dear me those are boorish manners. Joel Campbell just spat out his tea!

        Like

      • Sandtrout

        God that’s hilariously weird. It’s more like a come-on than a foul. So strangely premeditated and non-violent.

        Like

      • John

        it would be a rather unsettling experience, you have to admit

        Like

      • John

        He gets him self sent off, on 2 yellows unrelated, the guy is crazy

        Like

  • Dainja

    Stumbled upon this Yank versus Yank battle on Gol…JAB is starting for Hertha and Fabian is already making dangerous runs for Hoffenheim at right back.

    SHNELL USA!!

    Like

    • Increase

      I’m happy JAB is starting were gunna need a CB at some point soon. I mean he isn’t ready now but every game played helps with that.
      The USMNT defense is a hot mess right now.

      =(

      Like

  • Fredo

    Oops. Gerrard scores from spot. I thought Liverpool gave up goals this season. What’s up?

    Like

  • hm

    you don’t grab another guy’s junk.

    it’s man code rule number 5. after you don’t hit on their school bus driver

    Like

  • Citronomics

    Harsh penalty on WHU. Glad Stevie G slammed it home, but keeper did get the ball first and think the contact on Flanagan after was not intentional (IMO).

    Like

  • JayAre

    John Brooks got subbed off again, who was watching the game? How bad was he?

    Like

    • John

      he wasn’t bad, but was on a yellow, I don’t think they wanted to risk him picking up a second

      Like

    • Increase

      They got a draw. Only allowing 1 goal vs Hoffenheim is a decent result for a CB. But its a bad result for Hertha. They should be able to score more than one on Hoffenheim.

      Like

  • Chris

    Has Timmy had a chance to play in the Champions League before?

    If not, that is going to be really awesome for him next year after such a long career! **presuming Everton makes it**

    Like

    • apw

      He played in a few games when he was with Man United, I think a blunder he made in one Champs game led to him being benched, but I don’t remember the exact details.

      Like

      • GW

        It was against Lyon and yes, it probably helped convince SAF to send Timmy on his way.

        Like

      • GW

        You are right:

        “in March 2004, Howard’s poor parry handed a last minute goal to FC Porto, eliminating United from the UEFA Champions League.”

        Like

    • Chris

      Thanks! So it was a brief experience a while back. Still should be real exciting for him to get back.

      Like

  • John

    Bedoya gets the start facing Monaco, playing underneath the striker

    Bradley gets a win on the road with Stabeak

    Like

  • Bac

    US Soccer announced Klinsmann on hand to scout Galaxy/Chivas…
    Donovan, Omar, ( is he freaked out enough at our CBs that he’s also looking at Boca?) I haven’t seen him play in a long time so I don’t have an opinion on him, anyone seen him play?

    Like

    • John

      and if he was looking at Boca, that 2nd goal wouldn’t help his cause to much

      Like

    • Jack Del

      Klinsmann lives like an hour from the stadium. Probably looking at Donovan.

      Like

    • JayAre

      If he’s there to look at Boca I feel sorry for the state of our CB position heading into the WC, Boca is way past his prime and both of those goals didn’t do him any favors.

      Like

  • JayAre

    MLS need better consistency across the board we have an amazing 4-4 game yesterday and today we have Leorando starting for one of the best teams in the league and he actually looks decent because the competition is so inferior , this makes up look very bad

    Like

    • Increase0

      Good for him. He did well in that Ukraine Friendly. I feel like he and Zusi are pretty similar except that Bedoya is more likely to score.

      Like

      • away goals

        Small sample sizes, but one goal in 23 appearances for bedoya, 3 goals in twenty for zusi. I don’t know their total minutes played though.

        Like

      • Increase0

        Hmmm, true. I think its just that Bedoya seems to cut in more. But appearances and the numbers dont seem to add up, heh.

        Like

      • Joe C.

        I also preferred Bedoya, but lately, Zusi’s been making it difficult to make a case against him. I’m okay with either of them on the right.

        Like

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