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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

FrankLampardChelsea1-HullCity2013 (Getty)


After a 48-hour break, the Premier League returns to action with Chelsea visiting Aston Villa, highlighting a busy day of soccer on Wednesday.

It’s a quick turnaround for Chelsea after their dominating 2-0 victory over Hull City on Saturday, but it’s not last year’s Aston Villa team that Jose Mourinho will face at Stamford Bridge. Paul Lambert’s side are in fine form and high on confidence following their 3-1 victory at Arsenal, with American goalkeeper Brad Guzan proving his worth to the club yet again with some terrific saves. A caveat to Villa fans: The last time these two teams met at Chelsea’s ground, the Blues ran out 8-0 winners.

Also in action on Wednesday, the UEFA Champions League play-off round continues with an injury-thinned Arsenal squad traveling to Turkey to face Fenerbahce, who are hoping an appeal against a match-fixing ban is successful. Other Champions League matches include Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 facing Greek side PAOK, and Dinamo Zagreb vs. Austria Wien.

In the evening, the Spanish Super Cup begins as Atletico Madrid host Barcelona, and then later in CONCACAF Champions League action, Heredia hosts the Montreal Impact and Olimpia visits Real Esteli.

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):

2:45pm – Chelsea vs. Aston Villa – NBC Sports Network/NBC Sports Live Extra

2:45pm – Fenerbahce vs. Arsenal – Fox Sports 1

2:45pm – Schalke 04 vs. PAOK – Fox Soccer Channel

2:45pm – Dinamo Zagreb vs. Austria Wien – MSG Plus/Fox Sports Net

2:45pm – Ludogorets vs. FC Basel – Fox Soccer 2Go

2:45pm – Steaua Bucharest vs. Legia Warszawa – Fox Soccer 2Go

5pm – Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes

10pm – Heredia vs. Montreal Impact – Fox Soccer 2Go

10pm – Real Esteli vs. Olimpia – Fox Soccer 2Go

10:30pm – Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas – MLS Live

11pm – Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS Live


  1. A high spirited draw. Crowd was fantastic, as you would expect pitting Barcelona against a Madrid team. Barcelona uses and maintains width better than any team I have watched in person (having seen matches with English, Spanish, Italian, German, Bosnian, Colombian, MLS, and national teams). Leti had an excellent game plan to start; marking Messi in the first half with a tactical box that denied him passing lanes and much movement. Neymar’s goal was a lack of adjsutment. He just hugged the line and the fullback was sucked into the middle before the cross came; there was literally nobody near him. As was typical, Barcelona controlled posession, but Leti had as many scoring opportunities. It was a good match, although Leti will rue the opportunity to have gotten a win at home. It does go to show when a team with less talent plays Barcelona, if they are inattentive for one moment, it will cost them.

  2. As great as Barca is. They go through stretches of cavalier and overconfident touches where they seem almost surprised that the opposing squad has the audacity to break up their little private game by intercepting the ball.

    • I think they just enter another footballing world. They’re the most quintessential example of a team that plays the same way regardless of opponent.

  3. Stone cold penalty. He missed the ball entirely and just wrecked Fabregas.

    Hope that doesn’t play into the final result.

  4. Funny thing is, when I was kid in the 70’s the only way to watch any sports was to wait for the Wide World of Sports on channel 7 on Sundays. Now, I’m in sports haven.

  5. Amazing Golazos by Villa. It’s funny, though. If that goal is scored in the Eridivisie, we’d have twenty comments disclaiming that they play no defense in that league and there was no one around him and that’s not a goal Ina top league.

  6. Villa with a tough loss. Ivanovich should have had a red then of course he scores the winner (in an offsides position no less!!). Then Terry with the handball in the box. Cech came up with some huge saves. Too bad for Brad.

  7. Two yellows in 5 minutes for Madrid. Good on the referee to not be influenced by the crowd. I’d be influenced for sure. What a crowd.



    “Atletico Madrid has shown the blueprint for how to beat Barcelona!” It’s 19 minutes into the game and they’ve had 11 behind the ball like every other team not named Bayern Munich and are still being dominated in possession. Just because they happened to be scored on by a wondergolazo really means nothing.

    • Yes, can’t stand him. He tries to make jokes that make no sense and he just doesn’t come off as being intelligent at all. He’s all bluster but there’s rarely any substance behind it. He says obvious things as if he’s discovered a cure for cancer. We are stuck with him, though. ESPN loves to allow their soccer analysts years of stumbling and proving their incompetence before sacking them. See John Harkes.

      • It was just a really, really dumb thing to say. The blueprint for beating the team that just tied the record for most points ever in their league?

        Why is it that we never hear stuff like “the blueprint” for beating Manchester United or PSG or what have you.

    • I think the opposite. I think that he needs the depth and the prospect of CL football all but gaurntees interest from at least a few players. (I doubt it will happen, but there was a rumor that Saurez was waiting to see if Arsenal qualified. They all but did today.)

  9. Beneteke scores the equalizer right before half time and Aston Villa (and Brad Guzan) now tied with Chelsea 1-1. Would love to see Villa beat the ex Special One and get 3 points.

  10. Sure it’s great that so many games are being televised. What sucks is that only ESPN is offering any of this online free. Fox Sports 2 Go? Pay. MLS live? Pay. NBC Sports? Don’t know if it’s pay or not, because it’s not available to Time Warner Cable customers. Seems that while all the major American sports networks are finally jumping on the soccer train, they haven’t figured out how to monetize this properly.

    • At least some of the content on NBC Sports is free, though you have to receive your internet service through a preferred provider. I was able to watch games on my wife’s iPad over this last weekend.

    • NBC Sports is free, but you may as well save yourself the frustration and stress. THIS IS THE WORST APP IN THE HISTORY OF APPS!!!!!! FIX IT NBC BEFORE I LOSE IT!

      Okay rant over.

      • Are you really having that many problems? This has been this best soccer app I’ve come across for streaming games. It’s leaps and bounds above Fox2go. Maybe it has to do with your Internet or tv provider. My main problem with it is my lack of productivity since finding it but I guess that’s on me.

      • I have Comcast, and the internet I am on is fantastic. Hopefully it works itself out.

        For instance, right now I am watching Barca and Atletico on Watch ESPN and it is flawless, so……

    • This is at the first year I am getting every EPL game (without any extra charges.) This alone blew me away as a soccer fan.

    • I would love to know how the money works on this. So little soccer watching people and so much soccer. Are the fans just that rabid, that they are watching 4 games a day ?

      Maybe. Otherwise I just don’t see how the numbers add up….although I guess the other junk on TV seems to keep showing…..

      I will be blown away if they can make the English league work for big money. Do they make money with 0.5 rating, because they can’t go up from there….can they ?
      Before you answer, Chelsea is 6 points ahead of half of the league….Man City, Man U and Chelsea have a combined GD of +10 after 4 games.

    • like Watch ESPN, NBC Sports created an app you can sign in with your cable provider login stuff and stream any game from any device. Fox Sports really needs to get with the times…

      either way, if TWC isn’t offering the channel, that’s a whole other issue.

    • I could get more work done if we went back to Sunday night broadcasts on PBS of “Soccer Made in Germany” with Toby Charles. Didn’t matter that the game might have been two weeks old.


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