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Soccer Wednesday: Your Running Commentary

AdamJohnsonMichaelCarrickSunderlandManUnited1-LeagueCup2014 (Getty)


As the Manchester United front office races to complete a deal to bring Juan Mata to Old Trafford, David Moyes turns his focus to his club’s League Cup semifinal tie against Sunderland.

Entering the second leg with a 2-1 deficit, Moyes will again be without his star forwards Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie, and will hope that he can remain alive in the pursuit of silverware in what’s been a down year for Man United. Sunderland meanwhile are in the middle of a fierce relegation battle but a win on aggregate against Man United today will qualify them for Europe, assuming Manchester City finishes in the top seven in the league.

In Spain, Lionel Messi has the chance to make his 400th appearance for Barcelona when they face Levante in Copa Del Rey action. The 26-year-old Argentine could have made the achievement sooner if not for his thigh injury that cost him two months.

Elsewhere, Clarence Seedorf coaches his second game with AC Milan hosting Udinese, Ajax host Feyenoord in Dutch cup action, and Paris Saint-Germain face Montpellier in the Coupe de France. In the evening Copa MX resumes as Tigres UANL host Atletico San Luis, a week after fans of the two clubs fought in the stands.

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 schedule is after the jump):

2pm – Real Sociedad vs. Racing Santander – beIN Sports en Español

2:45pm – Manchester United vs. Sunderland – beIN Sports USA

2:45pm – AC Milan vs. Udinese – beIN Sports Play

2:55pm – Paris Saint-Germain vs. Montpellier – ESPN3/Univision Deportes

4pm – Levante vs. Barcelona – beIN Sports en Español

7:55pm – Oaxaca vs. Chiapas – ESPN Deportes

7:55pm – Altamira vs. Monterrey – Univision Deportes

9:55pm – Necaxa vs. Atlas – ESPN Deportes

10pm – Tigres UANL vs. Atletico San Luis – Galavision



  1. Jody not taking a PK is the story of the match for me. I can only assume he did not volunteer to take one, and that says a lot about his current state of mind.

  2. Jozy with a good match. Almost every touch was pure. He made a few touches that were quite good. I am a bit concerned about his lack of aggressiveness, though, laying off to others rather than taking the shot in the box. Apparently Gus is also not happy with that as he left Jozy off the list of penalty takers. It’s interesting that Jozy probably had just as many touches as Fletcher in 80 less minutes. They are being played very differently, though neither can get even a sniff at a chance lately.

    • The two wide men cross on their weak foot and cut in to shoot. Borini can cross with his weak foot sometimes, but Johnson is a horrible crosser.

      Example: Sunderland vs Southhampton 2-2
      crosses from Borini 0/2
      crosses from Johnson 0/7
      goals from Borini 1/2
      goals from Johnson 1/2

      In that game, Marcus Alonso, an attacking left back with a LEFT foot, was the only successful crosser with 2/2 crosses (and twice as many pass attempts than anyone else)

    • I thought Jozy was okay, but he looked kind of lost playing wing. Has he ever played winger before? I can’t think of a time. I think he wasn’t sure where to go or how to position himself at times. Also, he ended up playing a lot more defense than usual and I don’t think he is too comfortable doing that.

  3. Thanks for the excellent play by play analysis TomG!!

    I missed the whole game but reading your comments was excellent for getting me caught up.

    Looks like Jozy played well. Sunderland pulled out the victory. That has got to be huge for their collective conscious going forward, right?

    • Yeah he played alright. We can go on about him not scoring but I think at this point he is only worried about the team and doing whatever he can do to help. Would it be better if he was helping them by knocking in a couple? Sure but I don’t see him with his head down half as much as he use, to even at AZ.

  4. why didn’t Jozy take th 5th PK? could have been the winner. Fletcher looked like he was injured late in the game. maybe Jozy starts next week.

    • i’m not sure if Jozy was #5 or not, but i don’t think it matter because Raphael missed his PK (Man Utd’s 5th) which mean they had 1 of 5 and Sunderland already had 2 of 4 at that point. so Sunderland didn’t even have to take a 5th PK…i believe.

      • Gamecast makes it look like Sunderland shot first…. Adam Johnson missing on their 5th kick. And then Rafael misses Man U’s 5th kick to seal their fate.

      • yup you are right. when i was looking at the gamecast live it was all over the place and i couldn’t tell who went when. thanks for the clarification.

  5. haha sky’s live comentary

    “Mannone saves it and Sunderland win it and they are going to Wembley. What an astonishing penalty shoot-out of failures that was”

  6. I have never seen penalties like that. Only three made out of 10?! I suppose you chalk it up to the 120 minutes they’d already played. Not a lot of good power or trickery left. But still: Can’t they all run up to the penalty spot and slam the ball in right next to one of the posts? So many didn’t even do that.

    • The first couple tried slamming it and they went over the bar, I think that might have scared a couple from doing the same and then they got no power on it

    • You should have seen when Brazil was playing Paraguay in the Copa America in 2011(?). They missed all five of their shots. Not a single one was on target.

      Paraguay managed to get to the final without winning a single game (all ties, all PK shoot outs to advance).

  7. Shame Jozy didn’t take a PK. Would’ve been a great story if he’d taken one and made it and gotten some confidence back. Or a terrible tragedy if he’d missed like nearly everyone else did. But hey that’s life.

    • Easily the worst display of penalty kicks by two teams I have ever seen. The misses weren’t even close and the saves by the GK’s weren’t that hard, mostly right at them.


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