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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

PhilJonesThomasMullerManchesterUnitedBayernMunich1-UCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Everything is up for grabs in both of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League showdowns.

Manchester United, with their Champions League future on the line, face arguably their biggest game of the season when they visit the European and German champions Bayern Munich (2:45pm ET, Fox Sports 1). Pep Guardiola has selected a very attacking squad as the team looks to bounce back from their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney starts for Man United along with Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher in midfield.

Atletico Madrid look to keep their dream season alive when they host Barcelona (2:45pm ET, Fox Sports 2/Fox Soccer Plus/Fox Deportes) at the Vicente Calderon. Atleti are without Diego Costa and will need his replacement, Adrian, along with former Barca star David Villa, to defeat the Catalan club. Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Andres Iniesta form the dangerous front three pairing that could cause Atleti plenty of troubles.

In South America’s Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, Flamengo takes on Club Leon (Fox Deportes) in their final group stage match. Also in Champions League action, CONCACAF style, Club Tijuana visit Cruz Azul (Fox Sports 1) with the winning side headed to the CCL finals. Xolos lead on aggregate, 1-0.

If you will be watching any of today’s matches, please feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions, analysis and some play-by-play in the comment section below.

112 comments
  • ajo

    what will we do about Altidore?

    if he doesn’t score in Brazil, his best opportunity may be Belgium or return to Holland/Turkey

    but a few goals/great performances in Brazil could snag him a mid table club in France or Italy or Germany

    Like

    • Nate Dollars

      i swear, the “what will we do about Altidore?” comments are the weirdest kind of spam. i just don’t see what the end-game is.

      Like

  • hey dude where's your mom

    top 5 strikers in the world?

    choose from following. Let’s leave out Messi/Ronaldo as they’re wingers

    Lewandowski?Suarez? Sturridge? Mandzukic? Higuain? Cavani? Ibrahimovic? Van Persie? Rooney? Falcao? Kiessling? Mario Gomez? Benzema? Tevez? Diego Costa?

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      There’s no obligation to attack non-stop from the opening whistle. They’ll have to stop defending at some point since they go out if it’s 0-0.

      Like

  • Jack Del

    Wynalda is the moron who says 2-0 is a dangerous score for the team that’s winning. No, Eric, Bayern is not in a worse position than United.

    Like

    • Brett

      Remember our match against Brazil in the Confederations Cup? Or the Gold Cup final versus Mexico?

      2-0 is dangerous because a 1 goal lead isn’t enough to relax, but 2-0 changes the way players approach the play.

      Like

      • Ted Tran

        This is true, even this past friendly against Mexico we saw what could happen.

        Like

      • Kevin H

        Yep, Bayern should have held on to that 1 goal advantage. What in the world were they thinking??

        Like

  • Gerard D

    Eric Wynalda telling Pep Guardiola he doesn’t know how to break down a compacted defense ranks with the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a professional sports commentator say.

    It’s up there with John “the team with the most points wins the game” Madden.

    Like

  • Carl Jr

    Howard Webb makes the most bizarre calls. He blows the whistle and both teams stand there trying to figure out what the call was

    Like

  • Sad Panda

    What did we do to deserve Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda? We’ll apologize. Just please make it stop.

    Like

  • Jack Del

    No, Wynalda, a player doesn’t have to touch the ball to be offside.

    No wonder we sucked so bad in ’98.

    Like

  • Sad Panda

    There were 10 United players in their own box right there. Looked like only Rooney was outside it.

    Like

  • nacho

    O/T but how is Wynalda thought of in the BUndesliga? I know he spent a few years there 20 years ago but considering he does a lot of CL coverage and it features more and more German clubs, just curious

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      If a team in the UCL was willing to pay him $6m a year for the next several years I’m sure he would be.

      Like

    • Ali Dia

      Much as we like to think this ever happened, Michael Bradley did not ever actually play in the Champions League, nor did he play for a team that was in the Champions League.

      Like

      • Ted Tran

        People see Bradley dominate Mexico’s D-team and they think he’s been playing Champions for years.

        Like

      • John

        Weird how Mexico’s D team is far better then there A team.

        Like

      • ZTom

        That wasn’t Mexico D, that was the Tijuana Travelling All-Stars and Bardley was gassed after 30 minutes. Bardley was completely dominated by Tijuana’s two midget midfielders in the second half. Klinsi’s plan to push Bardley up the park and play a high line with the back four is doomed vs Ghana, imo.

        Like

      • Ali Dia

        In the unlikely event that Ztom and Ted Tran are actually two people, I’m beginning to think they may actually BE the two midgets who were playing for Mexico.

        Like

      • Ted Tran

        LOL because more than one person can’t have a different opinoin that the rest of the sheep

        Like

      • Expat

        Yeah Ted is right… ZTom uses the word “midget”… Ted Tran is angry but he never does that. Swing and a miss, Ali.

        Like

      • John

        Well hopefully Herrera takes something closer to that D team to Brazil and leaves the “A team” home.

        Like

      • John

        but he did play for a team that will be…. does that count for something?

        Like

  • Jack Del

    Wynalda is an idiot.

    How is this a great strategy for United? THEY NEED A GOAL OR THEY’RE OUT.

    Like

  • Jack Del

    Wynalda is clueless.

    How is this a great strategy for United? THEY NEED A GOAL OR THEY’RE OUT.

    Like

    • John

      Perhaps United aren’t playing to move on, but just to keep the score line respectable enough Moyes doesn’t get fired.

      Like

    • MidWest Ref

      Remember, that they are basically one goal down after 90 minutes, with 90 minutes to go.

      They might be able to squeak a goal in on a counter, but they are not capable of coming back against Bayern from what would basically be 2 goals down

      Like

    • Increase

      I mean… it might work but its boring and we all saw what happened when PSG tobdrfend the whole game. Bayern act like they need a goal more than Manu…

      Like

    • slowleftarm

      Keep it tight and try to steal a goal in the second half. Sounds a perfectly reasonable strategy for me. However, I’m not looking to write endless comments complaining about everything.

      Like

  • Atletico Man

    Considering how much you all are complaining about the MU match, and how good the Spanish match is, might I suggest you are all watching the wrong match?

    Aupa Atleti!

    Like

    • Atletico Man

      And I love Howard Webb. No blood, no penalty. No wonder the Barca players look confused when he blows the whistle.

      Like

    • Increase

      Well both teams just scored over here. Maybe we will getba game now. I would switch but I dont have the other channel.

      Like

  • manicmessiah

    WOW that Evra shot was sick.

    WOW Bayern answered so quick I missed the goal live.

    Like

    • Increase

      Urg, rooney isnt healthy is he. I feel like Phil Jones just takes up too much space for Riberyto actually run around.

      Like

  • slowleftarm

    So Man U’s strategy worked perfectly except they forgot not to immediately concede after scoring.

    Like

  • Gerard D.

    Wynalda telling Guardiola how to set his team up tactically is mind numbing.

    Like

  • slowleftarm

    I’d imagine those who wanted to see all-out attack from Man U should get their wish over the next twenty minutes.

    Like

  • Increase

    Um Bayern wouldnt need 2 more goals silly commentator. 4-3 aggregate is bayern through.

    Like

  • A

    United tries to not bunker for the first time in the game and get scored on instantly.

    Like

  • RB

    Ridiculous that taking down the last man to goal and delaying a bit on a throw-in earn the same punishment.

    I love the game but the rules/refereeing situation continues to be such a bad joke.

    Like

    • ZTom

      Wasn’t the last “man” (defender), the keeper is the last defender and he was right there. So, no red. The “rules/referee” situation is correct, you’re the bad joke.

      Like

      • MidWest Ref

        Uh, Tom, you are wrong on this one. I wouldn’t have pointed it out, except your response was unnecessarily mean to RB.

        Like

    • ZTom

      Evra wasn’t the last “man” (defender), the keeper is the last defender and he was right there. So, no red. The “rules/referee” situation is correct, you’re the bad joke.

      Like

      • ZTom

        “Dude, that’s not the rule.”

        Yes, it is. You fanbois are beyond a joke these days, don’t even know the laws of the game. Not one of you can even document your case, just the usual fanboi group grope.

        Example of correct application of the laws of the game: Arsenal champions league at home vs Bayern: Arsenal keeper (the last defender) tripped Robben and was (correctly) sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

        Had an Arsenal defender moved behind Arsenal keeper to, say deflect a shot of the goal line, then it would not be a red card because that defender would become the last man, no longer the keeper.

        Like

      • Chris

        From FIFA’s Laws of the Game 2013/2014. Listed under Sending-off Offences:

        “Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick”

        FIFA never actually discusses the “last defender” in it’s rules in regards to fouls. The “last defender” thing comes into play only as one factor for a ref deciding if an obvious goalscoring play was denied.

        So in fact, you are still wrong because FIFA does not specify anything about last defenders/goalies, etc. Sorry pal.

        Like

      • ZTom

        ”FIFA never actually discusses the “last defender” in it’s rules in regards to fouls.”

        Buddy, don’t make me laugh, are you kidding me? Yes, FIFA does discuss it, and I just explained what they discuss in my posts above.

        Go to any USSF or FIFA ref clinic and take the day to sit there and learn, then come back and tell me how silly your comments are, holy smokes.

        Like

      • Nate Dollars

        no. any mention to the ‘last defender’ was taken out of the laws of the game a while ago. now the ref only must decide whether it’s DOGSO or not. and the keeper has never been regarded as the ‘last defender’, because fifa decided that a one-on-one between shooter and keeper was always OGSO.

        seriously, why is it always the ignorant commenters who are the biggest @ssholes?

        Like

      • Francois

        haha wow, no I understand how you formulate your opinions on “Bardley” and the US team. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and it’s pretty embarrassing that you attack others’ so vehemently considering this dearth of knowledge.

        Like

  • q

    i guess now I know why Mario Gomez was kicked out of Munich in favor of Mandzukic

    Like

    • Increase

      Gomez can’t do much except score. I mean at all. Manz is a much more complete player

      Like

      • Adi from Oregon

        Good assessment of Gomez. Jozy is a similar striker but misses more!

        Like

  • John

    I thought for sure that was going wide, considering how slow De Gea was to react, but that ones over

    Like

      • Increase0

        I always supported Bayern. But… ya 0 Barsca people is weird.

        Like

      • Pete

        Yeah used to be full of people complaining about ever tackle that went against Barcelona. Now the success is starting to fade a bit and the shine of the famous Barca image has taken a hit with the Neymar transfer and now transfer ban.

        Like

      • Increase

        I should say im not actually a bayern fan. I am officially Bremen fan but… Bremen isnt much to talk about right now. Haha

        Like

    • Fredo

      Didn’t get a chance to watch game, yet. Bummer, though. Didn’t really expect Barca to win UCL Trophy this year.

      Like

  • MidWest Ref

    It will be quite different not to have Man Utd in the UCL until the fall of 2015.

    Like

    • slowleftarm

      I’d rather see the special one against Real. That would be interesting. Although any matchup with these four should be good.

      Like

      • Atletico Man

        I meant, I want to see Atleti v Chelsea. Because I like the odds of that better than Bayren.

        Like

  • Fredo

    Corona, Arriola & Castillo in starting XI for Xolos. Herc not in 18. Vamos Xolos.

    Like

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