Photo by Michael Zemanek/ISIPhotos.com
While Sunday’s FA Cup match between Chelsea and Manchester City is commanding most of the attention around Wembley Stadium this weekend, the first semifinal is an intriguing matchup for fans of the English game.
Wigan Athletic take a break from their fight to avoid relegation with a match against Millwall. This is the Latics’ first FA Cup semifinal match in their 81-year history. In spite of the growing fears of a drop back down to the Championship, Wigan are undefeated in their last four matches, which included a shocking 3-0 win at Everton in the quarterfinal. Millwall, who are in a relegation fight of their own in England’s second division, have failed to record a win in their last three matches.
After a busy week of continental competition, the top leagues in the world also return to action with several matches that will be important in the race for European spots next season.
Arsenal vs. Norwich City will highlight this weekend’s first set of Premier League matches. The Gunners have a chance to jump two spots into a Champions League-qualifying third place Saturday with a win over struggling Norwich. While their top London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea have a weekend off from league action, Arsenal could move one point ahead of the pack by getting revenge on the Canaries. Norwich defended Carrow Road successfully in a 1-0 win over Arsenal in October.
In Germany, third-place Leverkusen face the tough test of traveling to Veltins Arena for a match against Schalke, who are three points ahead of Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt for the coveted fourth-place spot in the league table. Leverkusen defeated a struggling Schalke side in November, but Jermaine Jones and company have turned it around to contend for a third Champions League spot in their last four seasons.
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):
9:30am – GolTV – Bayern Munich vs. Nürnberg
10am – Fox Soccer Channel – Arsenal vs. Norwich City
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Aston Villa vs. Fulham
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers
10am – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Reading vs. Liverpool
10am – FoxSoccer2Go.com – Southampton vs. West Ham United
11am – Univision Deportes – Troyes vs. Paris Saint-Germain
12pm – beIN Sport en Español – Levante vs. Deportivo La Coruña
12:15pm – Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com – Millwall vs. Wigan Athletic
12:30pm – GolTV – Schalke vs. Bayer Leverkusen
2pm – beIN Sport en Español – Espanyol vs. Valencia
2:45pm – beIN Sport – Atalanta vs. Fiorentina
4pm – beIN Sport en Español – Málaga vs. Osasuna
6pm – ESPN2 – Cruz Azul vs. Club Tijuana
8pm – Univision Deportes – Monterrey vs. Pachuca
9:05pm – Telemundo – León vs. América
10pm – Univision Deportes – San Luis vs. Atlas
Millwall should probably just go away at this point.
Espanyol v Valencia… Wow.
the AR had the best view to make a call on Kamar’s hand grabbing and stretching the jersey the ref would not have seen that from his position. Clearly a foul, The lack of consistency with that call is where my frustration comes from.
Wow, looking at Chelsea’s upcoming schedule, they’re playing 3 games in the next week and 5 in the next 13 days. On top of that they still need to reschedule the Spurs game from today, would need to reschedule the Villa game if they make it to the FA Cup final and could potentially have a Europa League final somewhere in there as well. Yikes.
Just want to note for the Timothy Chandler fanboys who want to see Cameron benched at right back in favor of Chandler and/or Zusi benched at right wing in favor Chandler, that Chandler’s weak performances at Nurnberg have finally caught up with him. Chandler started today on the bench against FC Bayern. Hanno Balitsch started again at right back for Nurnberg, and has performed well to now firmly hold the Number One right back position for Nurnberg. And Chandler, after several uninspiring attempts to play right wing in recent weeks, started today on the bench. The coach had seen enough and moved central attacker Hiroshi Kiyotake over to right wing.
At half time and down 3-0, Nurnberg took off striker Thomas Pekhart to bolster defense and only then inserted Timmy Chandler, who gave yet again another weak performance at right wing. Anyone who thinks Chandler is a good crosser and can attack effectively from the right wing and should be starting on the USMNT ahead of Zusi is totally nuts. And why should Timothy Chandler, who cannot hold down the starting right back position for Nurnberg, be ahead of Geoff Cameron who performed well at right back against Costa Rica and Mexico? Can one of your fanboys give a logical answer to that question?
Heck, I mean this time Ives Galarcep and I are in complete agreement that Geoff Cameron is preferred over Timothy Chandler at right back for the USMNT 🙂
You mean “totally nuts” in the trollspeak sense, right? I mean, you’re not a behavioral health specialist or anything like that..?
Geoff is our starting CB until JK decides otherwise. If you think Gonz-Besler are already set, you will be gravely disappointment.
I hope Chandler does well, but I think we should give him time to find his role at Nuremberg. I think he has even said that’s the reason he was hesitant to come into the national team. However, everyone just wanted to cap tie him so bad. He is still young and perhaps someone we bring in more next cycle.
Everton are 4 points back of 3rd place Arsenal (would have been great to be only 1 or 2 points back of them…) and 3 points back of 4th place Chelsea (who have a game in hand but 2 other competitions they’re in)-would be amazing if they could get in the top 4. Probably have the toughest schedule of the 4 in contention (Everton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham), away @ Arsenal, away @ Chelsea, away @ Liverpool, away @ relegation-threatened Sunderland, home v. decent West Ham and Fulham sides. But still…
So the linesman doesn’t award a foul on the play that should have been a goal kick for Norwich right in front of him, but sees a shirt being grabbed 60 yards away on a corner and decides to award a penalty, makes sense right?
Maybe Snodgrass shouldn’t act like a child after every decision and he would get more questionable calls to go his way.
So if you complain about poor officiating calls you should be punished by having future calls go against you? What a dumb idea. If the referee has any problem with his complaining he can give him a yellow card.
No I am saying that it is never in your benefit to complain about every little call like a sniveling child, inevitably that will work against you. In the same way that divers don’t get as many calls, the refs get tired of it.
That penalty is tough because it should be called far more than it is. If you pull someones shirt like that anywhere else on the pitch its a foul, why is it never called in the box? They should stop letting defenders get away with basically mugging attackers in there. I get why Norwich feels hard done by it but they also got the benefit of another penalty call when the LB bundled over walcott who was burning him.
This is my point, said more eloquently.
Real bad day by that linesman with some questionable-at-best calls.
Everything is relative, ChiTown. Some people might call it a real good day if he is performing as expected, if you know what I mean.
biff stop with the nonsense constant match fixing conspiracy theories, do you sit with a tin foil hat on while you watch games as well? bad calls coverage is amplified this time of year due to high stakes, it happens
I wouldn’t equate match fixing in soccer to tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. While it is unlikely the case in this instance, it remains a real problem in the game.
Wow what a turnaround, now 3-1
Absolute joke of a decision in the Norwich game.
Fake result given by the linesman, first allowing an unearned corner, then flagging a dubious penalty. The ref was looking right at the play, called nothing, but the linesman on the opposite side of the field flagged it
pathetic. why play the games? just award the points based on preconceived notions and save us all this fake BS
nice to see you showing some emotion, beachbum. some ref decisions in recent weeks have been very disturbing. hard to believe that they all have been due to incompetence. disheartening.
To me that should be called every single time. If someone is shooting and you grab and pull their shirt, inside or outside the box it should be a foul/penalty. I know it isn’t always given, but it should be.
yet all game it never was UNTIL that play
any comment on the fake 3rd goal, an offside not called, in Arsenal’s favor, again
Already said it was a bad call.
Also, wouldn’t be surprised if the linesman had the Walcott call in the back of his head. Not that he should, but he might.
I meant the above comment towards the penalty not the offside, which was a bad call.
It was offside…………..period.
I see your comment below 🙂
now another goal on an offside right in fromnt of the fake linesman, who of course does not raise his flag.
it’s comedy now so obvious his perspective, a true joke
Ya, that’s a bad call.
I don’t know if the whole crew is the same but this is the same referee who awarded Arsenal those 2 penalties against west brom.
Edu didn’t even make the bench today.
hey, troll. Edu is an established starter at Bursapor, who won today and now is in fourth place and in contention for European play. So if Edu was not on the bench today, it is likely the reason is injury, illness or possible yellow-card accumulation.
Edu is injured
What just happened?!
FSC just randomly switched to BeIn Spanish for 30 seconds during the middle of the Arsenal game. How do they even have access to the BeIn feeds?! What is going on!
saw that too, gave my son what for about it, thinking he’d switched the channel 🙂
I saw that too. It was very strange…
That happened to me as well and then shortly after that my state decided to run a emergency broadcast system test, lol.
That’s when you toss the remote and call it a day.
Ever since ESPN purchased a lot of Liga MX matches they have no longer shown EPL games under the soccer scoreboard on the front page. When you click on the scoreboard it shows only Liga MX matches as today’s soccer games.
Danny Williams has seemingly been demoted to Hoffenheim’s reserve squad. Thinking he’s more likely for the Gold Cup squad at this point.
I’m worried about both of them. Hoffenheim is very likely to be relegated. I’m hoping they can edge out Augsburg and win the relegation playoff. I wonder if Johnson is rated enough to get a transfer if they go down. Does anyone know what his contract status is?
key word, Jon, being “seemingly.” Williams has an ankle injury and Hoffenheim, IMO, is missing his contribution in the relgation battle.
Hoffenheim gave up a late goal to end up with a draw and only a point, now level with Augsburg who plays Sunday. Hoffenheim now has five games to go, and several of those are tough ones, including against Dortmund the last game of the season and Dortmund will have no mercy, as a lot of German fans would love to see Hoffenheim kicked down to the 2. Bundesliga.
All that said, Hoffenheim has looked much better with the new coach and is playing with fire in their bellies. Ain’t over till its over.
sure hope jozy scorres today
That would be one incredible feat!