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Europa League: Your Running Commentary

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The round of 16 of the Europa League kicked off today, with some enticing match-ups and some good opportunities for Americans to make their mark.

Jozy Altidore will look to keep his recent hot streak going as he leads AZ Alkmaar against Italian side Udinese, while USA teammate Steve Cherundolo captains Hannover 96 against Standard Liege.

The most intriguing match-up of the day takes place at Old Trafford, where Manchester United takes on a very dangerous Athletic Bilbao squad featuring several promising transfer target, and led by outstanding manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Here is a rundown of today's matches, all of which can be seen on TV:

1pm- GolTV- Atletico Madrid vs. Besiktas

1pm- DirecTV 481- Sporting Lisbon vs. Manchester City

1pm- DirecTV 482- FC Twente vs. Schalke 04

1pm- DirecTV 483- Metalist vs. Olympiakos

3pm- GolTV- AZ vs. Udinese

3pm-DirecTV 481- Manchester United vs. Athletic Bilbao

3pm- DirecTV 482- Valencia vs. PSV Eindhoven

3pm- DirecTV 483- Standard Liege vs. Hannover 96

If you will be watching today's matches, or want to discuss the day's earlier matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

Comments

  1. Why brain washed dude… Over the last 4 years the premier league was the best league in the world. Dropped off this year, but Last year Man U was in the Champs League Final, a couple years ago three of the semifinalists were English. Look at the UEFA coefficients (which are the statistical analysis of how each league does in European Competitions) and the premier league is at the top.

    It also makes sense to watch the premier for Americans. There are more Americans in the premier league and the first language of england is english. This means my illegal streams are in a language I can understand.

    Its fine if you want to support other leagues but no reason to knock the prem and those of who want to support it, particularly when it has statistically been the best league over the past 5-7 years.

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  2. Just finished watching a replay of the Man U-Athletic match on Gol TV. A great drinking game would be to take a shot every time Ray Hudson says the word, “Magical.”

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  3. yes, good game. maybe he shouldn’t have headed it down, but kept it up b/c, as you said, the cross was slow and floaty. Generally better to head down a driven cross and drive the lobbed cross. He did a nice (possibly illegal) job of creating space for the header, though.

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  4. The cross that came to him was med-slow velocity – he was reading the trademark on the lazily spinning ball, seeing his name up in lights, rehearsing his celebratory leap, and then, and THEN – snapped his head a little early on a knuckler and missed burying it.

    Oh well, 2 assists ain’t bad for a night’s work.

    The Portuguese commentators on the live feed I streamed reiterated several times in the last 12 minutes of the game about how “the American, Jozy Altidore worked very hard in this game, and had a very important role, a very strong game…….”

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  5. Glad he’s playing with more passion. Early on in his career he seemed lackadaisical and indifferent at times. Just wish the passion would manifest itself as a little more aggression and a little less complaining.

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  6. Towards the end of the game he wasn’t happy when the keeper came out and grabbed the ball after his unsuccessful header. He halfheartedly appealed to the ref, but there was nothing in it. After the whistle (I don’t know who approached whom) but there was a little more friction, presumably stemming from that incident. He needs to just let that stuff go, it rubs everyone the wrong way; that kind of immaturity could have played a part in his benching (pure speculation).

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  7. There is practically no chance of United turning this tie around. Even if they hold Athletic scoreless, they would have to score two away goals. If Athletic score one, United have to score three to go through.

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  8. Little disappointing he missed the sitter at the end… It was more difficult than it looked though, with cross being floated in he had to generate all the power. He made a good run to get free there by faking the nearpost run and then fading to the back. Involved in both goals too. Think those were his first two assists of the year, impressive play from Jozy against a good team from Serie A.

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  9. yea, seeemed like a makeup call for jozy’s tackle that led to the 2nd goal for AZ. Still, looked mighty painful. Should have been a yellow for the Udinese defender.

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  10. he bumped into the goalies while going for the rebound on his weak header; the goalie took offense and came back and elbowed him afte rhe collected teh ball; so Jozy bowed up with the keeper.

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  11. A bit disappointed in Jozy’s attitude at the end of the game. Your team won and you played an important role, so just let it go. You’re only giving your critics ammunition.

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  12. Munain finally gets his goal. Just a terrible performance by everyone on Manchester United with the exception of De Gea.

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  13. Udinese resorting to goonery as they are entirely outclassed and embarassed here. This goes to show how good AZ actually is.

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  14. iker Munian with a goal — nice to see the promising players from Athletic put it all together this year. Bielsa is awesome.

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  15. Such as Valencia, also having a good match (Jonas very underrated, for example, and Soldado lighting it up). Except for the top two, many teams are still in the fight for a European spot.

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  16. RIDICULOUS call by the ref as the Udinese defender pulls a WWE backbreaker maneuver on Jozy yet the call goes against the American.

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  17. Altidore sets up the second goal!

    runs 40 yards to chase and close the ball down, wins the ball back, plays a nice 1-2 and puts a good ball into the box that is finished off. good play from jozy, doing the little things

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  18. I guess others saw it different from me; I thopught a dummy run went awry and ended up touching the ball. either way Jozy had the “illegal” tackle which won the ball back at midfield; played a give and go on the counter and his cross led to the goal.

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