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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Manchester City’s latest stumble has put Manchester United in prime position to build a virtually insurmountable lead atop the English Premier League, but an opponent with its own big aspirations stands in the way.

Everton can pull within three points of fourth-place Tottenham with a victory on Sunday, but the Toffees will be taking on a Manchester United side that can extend the lead on Man City to 12 points.

Aston Villa has a chance to climb out of the relegation zone with a win against West Ham United on Sunday. Brad Guzan and the Villans saw Wigan and Reading lose on Saturday, which leaves them in position to jump out of danger if they can knock off the Hammers.

In South Africa, Nigeria and Burkina Faso square off in the African Cup of Nations Final. The Nigerians are the favorites in the final, but Burkina Faso has already shown their quality and the fact that star striker Jonathan Pitroipa has had his red card suspension lifted from the semifinal stage should give the underdogs a real chance to pull the upset.

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):


6:00am – beIN Sport/beIN Sport en Español – Barcelona vs. Getafe

6:30am – RAI – Parma vs. Genoa

8:30am – Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes – Aston Villa vs. West Ham United

9:00am – beIN Sport/beIN Sport en Español – Cagliari vs. AC Milan

9:00am – beIN Sport – Sampdoria vs. AS Roma

11:00am – Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Deportes – Manchester United vs. Everton

11:00am – beIN Sport en Español – Real Zaragoza vs. Real Sociedad

11:30am – GolTV – SC Freiburg vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

1:00pm – – Nigeria vs. Burkina Faso – Final

1:00pm – beIN Sport en Español – Athletic Bilbao vs. Espanyol

1:00pm – Univision/Univision Deportes- Toluca vs. U.A.N.L.

2:45pm – beIN Sport/RAI – Inter Milan vs. Chievo Verona

3:00 – beIN Sport Español – Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid

5:00pm – Univision Deportes – Santos Laguna vs. Pachuca


  1. After Watching Both Games Today, Im Convinced That Guzman Need To Take The Use No 1 Spot. I’ve Lost Faith In Howard. Guzman Is A Better Shot Stopper. Wake Up Klinsman, We Need A Total Change. Bring On Mixx, Corona Or Adu.

  2. hey Ives,

    the caption for this story in the preview pane at the top of the home page says something like the “Red Bulls” are trying to extend their lead atop the EPL.

  3. Am I the only follower of the Premier League who doesn’t have strong feelings one way or the other about ManU? I don’t like SAF at all (though no one could deny he’s a great manager), but I’m pretty much as neutral as can be when it comes to the club as a whole.

  4. You know Baines really is a good player. It’s funny because he just sorta came from nowhere. I mean I know he’s been with Everton for a minute, but it wasn’t like he was lighting it up before. I love late bloomers. I know if I were a professional soccer player I’d rather be a late bloomer too. Sure you prolly make more money and get better transfers if you’re an early bloomer; everyone loves the next big thing. But as a late bloomer it guarantees your physical development coincides with your mental development and you’re probably more likely to have a better overall career. In other words, consistency is key, especially playing at a high level.

    • Baines is an exciting player. He can add some firepower to England’s squad. I’d really like to see him get the nod over Cole for the WC, if he can keep his form.

    • He’s been on England’s radar for a couple of years now so coming “from nowhere” isn’ t accurate.

      His problem is Cole has had left back nailed down for England for some time now and Everton are not a big club. Baines may displace Cole with England soon if he hasn’t already so you’ll be hearing more about him.

      • I guess I meant “came from nowhere” in the sense people are talking about Baines being the best left back in the EPL (and of course that means some English media claiming he’s the best left back in the world). No one was saying that 2-3 years ago, or even predicting he would ever be.

  5. The tone in this thread is decidedly negative. How about some positive comments to balance the mood?

    I’ll start: Osman just took a great shot on the volley and De Gea just made a great diving save to his left.

    • I like positive comments too. But it is difficult when ManU are playing (and winning).

      But I do enjoy watching Everton. There are so many smart roleplayers on the team and I just don’t know if Moyes is that good of a coach or if management just selects players that will play the roles demanded of them. Maybe a bit of both.

      • I actually had a long talk with Howard last summer (i work at the health club in memphis he visits when seeing his children) about Moyes and how good of a manager he is. There was speculation at the time that Moyes was moving on and Howard waxed lyrical about Moyes and expressed how he hoped to keep him (they did). He said Moyes can get anybody to do anything!

  6. Phil Jones taking down Piennaar from behind on a fast break is… not a yellow card?

    It’s great that United have their own officiating crews at Old Trafford.

  7. Wow.

    Ryan Giggs scores after being alone on the penalty spot, not a defender within probably 6-10 yards. Seriously. Ryan Giggs was by himself in the Everton box with the ball near the touch line with no defender within 6-10 yards.

    Awful defending. Howard left hanging big time.

  8. And United player rounds Howard for an open net and falls off balance hits his shot off the post with the entire goal mouth in front of him.

  9. Michael Parkhust in for Augsburg at RIGHT BACK!!!!!! after the starting RB injured, I think on a bad tackle. I was not watching the game, but apparently has been a wild and hard-hitting game, with Mainz’s Shawn Parker given a red card at 45 minutes for “a foot in parkhurt’s face.” Did not see it not sure what it was. Game is now 1-1 and is indeed a wild game. Parkhurst looking good.

  10. Where’s the respect for Guzan? He went up strong and pulled down a cross and a West Ham player just bulldozes him and there’s no call.

    If that was Petr Cech or David Da Gea it’s a yellow card.

  11. Andy Caroll is easily the most expensive mistake in modern footballing history. 35 million POUNDS and he can’t even contribute for West Ham.

    • Diving should be a red card offense. Sure, implementing that change would be difficult, and create immediate controversies. But the yellows aren’t getting the job done.

      It’s like the difference between Judge Landis banning players for life despite legal system acquittals for the White Sox players involved in that World Series and FIFA’s current non-response response, while they wait for law enforcement to take care of the problem. One cleaned up Baseball, and the other leaves gamblers laughing.

      If you want to stop something, make a real effort at stopping it. Reds for divers.

      • I like that much better than red cards on the spot. It can be hard to tell in the heat and speed of the game whether some dives are truly intentional, there’s some contact but it doesn’t warrant a foul, etc.. The problem I have with the stringently anti-diving crowd is the subjectiveness of the line between diving and embellishing. On straight up dives with no-contact I agree, it’s got to be scrubbed out of the game. But what about the more murky situations: contact that the ref might not whistle if not for the dive but that truly merits a foul call, or when a player just loses his balance (believe me I’ve seen plenty of yellow cards given where it’s not so clear whether the player just lost his balance and in my own playing experience its happened where I’ve gotten carded for “diving” even when I’ve just lost my balance or actually received contact. I don’t necessarily blame the refs because in the speed of the game without video review it can be hard to tell on first glance).

        The problem is the blessing and curse of the advantage rule and the human nature/error of inconsistent/inaccurate reefing. I think video review addresses those concerns nicely. But I have a hunch that FIFA in its adherence to “tradition” and “purity” is going to take its time in adapting video review for technical infringements such as diving.

      • Some good points, but keep in my how subjective and inherently judgmental all on-the-spot officiating is now. And that’s fine. It is just a game, after all. An erroneous diving call isn’t really any worse than the litany of bad offside judgments every game, especially the impact an offside call can have on game results. If you want to get rid of the behavior, make the risks bigger than the potential gains. That’s the only way.

  12. Oh, you have to be kidding me. Huge flop from a player looking for it to give AV a penalty. That was less of a penalty than the West Ham player being shoved over from behind going for the header and the handball in the box by AV–neither of which were called.

    • Hey, careful that’s my team and yes they’ve struggled tremendously this season. It’s unfortunately the cohesiveness has been known existence, really poor performance in general. Christian Benteke has been pretty solid but their defensive has been horrid.

  13. Jozy playing but his passing looks off, MB90 still starting for Roma (sigh of relief for now), looking good. Though Samp are not exactly world-beaters.
    And Lichaj not even on the bench. Maybe he should consider a move/loan this summer.


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