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Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Liverpool's Aly Cissokho and Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta compete for the ball


The path to the English Premier League title will cut right through historic Anfield today as two contenders collide on Merseyside.

First-place Liverpool have not lost in EPL play since the calendar turned to 2014, and the high-scoring Reds have a four-point on their Sunday opponents, third-place Manchester City. The Citizens have two matches in hand, but a loss to Liverpool could put their title hopes in serious jeopardy as we head into the final few matches of the campaign. Manchester City defeated Liverpool 2-1 at Ethiad Stadium earlier this season, and they boast an impressive road record heading into Anfield on Sunday.

Elsewhere in England, second-place Chelsea will hope to pull ahead in the league title race with a victory at Swansea City later in the day. EPL squad Hull City will also be in action Sunday, taking on Sheffield United at Wembley Stadium for the chance to play Arsenal for the FA Cup Final next month.

In Italy, Napoli and Lazio battle it out in an important Serie A match for both sides’ European dreams. Atletico Madrid are hoping to take full advantage of Barcelona’s slip-up on Saturday and go three full points ahead of city rivals Real Madrid in La Liga’s race for the title when they visit Getafe. Finally, in France, Paris Saint-Germain look to move past their disappointment in the Champions League quarterfinals with a road win at Olympique Lyon.

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):

8:37am – Liverpool vs. Manchester City – NBCSN

9:00am – Hellas Verona vs. Fiorentina – beIN Sports Play

9:00am – Sampdoria vs. Internazionale – beIN Sports Play

9:00am- Napoli vs. Lazio – beIN Sports Play

10:30am – Ajax vs. ADO Den Haag – ESPN3

11:00am – Valencia vs. Elche – beIN Sports en Español

11:00am – Reims vs. Saint-Etienne – beIN Sports Play

11:07am – Swansea City vs. Chelsea – NBCSN

11:07am – Hull City vs. Sheffield United – Fox Sports 1

1:00pm – Getafe vs. Atletico Madrid – beIN Sports USA

1:00pm – Toluca vs. Leon- Univision

1:00pm – Puebla vs. America – ESPN Deportes

2:45am – Milan vs. Catania – beIN Sports Play

3:00pm – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Columbus Crew – UniMas

3:00pm – Espanyol vs. Real Vallencano – beIN Sports en Español

3:00pm – Olympique Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain – beIN Sports USA

3pm – Nacional vs. Defensor Sporting (Uruguay) – GolTV USA

6:00pm – Guadalajara vs. Morelia – UniMas

8:30pm – Colon vs. Boca Juniors – GolTV USA


  1. MLS is so uninteresting to follow as a league. I’ll watch individual games. But the league has no narrative. It’s not about the SS. All they talk about in these pre-game shows is playoffs. The storyline should be about the SS. I think I’m done with MLS.

    • For me the problem with MLS is that there are many players with no future or no past. What I mean is there are too many old guys like Traoré, Stefan Ishizaki, and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

      I don’t see why I would be interested in them. They won’t become anything because they aren’t young enough. They weren’t anything because they weren’t good enough. All they do is take up slots that could be filled by younger players.

      I have two reasons for this argument.
      1. I would like to see young players(even foreign nationals) succeed and leave the MLS. It’s a sign of prestige to be a quality selling league. No one thinks less of Holland or Argentina for it.

      2. These guys embody mediocrity in a league in a league where losing has no punishment. Despite this teams still take the safe boring route that leads nowhere and I see that as a prospective fan.

      I actually think some of these guys are a function of expansion but still. It’s hard to care about them. Guys like Saborío however interest me as he has a past. As a
      Concaf player his presence has meaning.

      • Increase,
        Fans root for players they can identify with in some way. If you are an interested fan and research your local team I see no reason why you could not find interesting stories even amongst the guys you mentioned.
        You don’t mention if you live near an MLS team. If you don’t have a local team to root for it gets a lot harder to be interested in the league in general.
        After all MLS has never claimed to be the best in the World.
        If you are expecting the best players in the world then don’t bother watching.

      • Like I said, Holland is a selling league but its exciting because of all the new blood floating around.

        But ya… I do root for players I can Identify with. I used to I just feel like some teams aim for mediocrity. Meh, oh well. It’s not all doom. The future MLS will be better.

  2. Gyau finally made the bench for Hoffenheim, didn’t get in though. 1st time in the 18 all year. Not for sure it was because of injuries or he is starting to show he can play with the 1st team or both. Fabian went 90 in their 2-0 win.

    • Prolly not good if Joe Corona keeps getting time at TJ and does well. Just cause he woukd be in match shape. Meh Im not a mix fan though. Im a bit biased.

      • Yeah, I just think both might be a kind of luxury player we can’t afford. If you don’t take Green then I think either becomes an option again.

      • I can see your point, but in the nightmare scenario of an injury or suspension to Bradley, I think we might be wishing we had him. Different player, and would require more cover to assert his strengths, but he is an insurance policy to some extent, even he is a luxury player otherwise. Also a guy who could be influential in 2018 as the older group drops off– would be a tough decision to leave him.

  3. Team of the Season for the EPL? anyone

    also what’s the news in Bundesliga and La Liga and Serie A and Ligue 1? anyone watches them?

  4. wasn’t too long ago we had Yanks scoring in Europe?

    I miss Dempsey at Fulham. He wasn’t a flop at Spurs regardless of what you here. He scored 12 goals in like 40 appearances last season and cost them 7 million pounds. More or less broke even

    • Also no Brooks for Hertha today. They lost to Bayer and gave up a goal in the first minute. I hope this gets time now that the season is ending though. Experience is something he definitely needs. Blah, we need more Centerback competition. I mean this in general terms, not regarding this summer.

    • Two yellows, both deserved. Once you have the first you take your fate out of your hands throwing a hip out to trip someone you know is by you…..and as a defender I know that’s what he was up to.

  5. Liverpool should be a good story for the neutral. But how can you cheer for Suarez’s diving, Skrtel’s constant cheating and their delusional supporters? Gerrard’s last shot at title a nice story I guess.

    • How is that any different than Luis and Ramieres. They are actually worse and I fear Ramieres could really injury someone with the crap he pulls.

    • Even Stevie G is really a total oochbag. Used to love that guy until the story of him and his goons beating up that dude in the bar for messing with the jukebox. What a cowardly tool. Still, there’s a ton to root for. The resurgence of a formerly great franchise, the sheer surprise of a team that wasn’t supposed to be a top 5 side winning the title. When was the last time THAT happened? The beautiful, free flowing soccer, Scoring goals for fun. Brendan Rogers is a wonderful story. How good is Raheem Sterling? How much fun is he to watch? It’s always great to see a generation of young players coming together and maturing before your eyes, too. They’re a fun team to watch.

  6. How did Everton ever approve of their keeper commenting on games involving teams they’re actively competing against – not to mention the fact that it’s their hometown heated rival, Liverpool?

    More importantly, NBCSN is basically saying integrity means nothing.

    • Not to mention commenting on active referees that will almost certainly be working games he is about to play in.

      The conflict of interest is so large.

      • I agree with that more than the previous argument. Having a biased commentator happens and can be frustrating when they’re biased for the other side. I get that, but I’m not sure it’s any sort of malfeasance on NBC’s part.

        Running down officials that will likely referee your matches, that’s another question altogether and probably something Timmy should have thought about. Maybe he’ll take a break from the commentary game.

      • I don’t see how it could be conflict of interest. Howard’s voice doesn’t change the results of the game or…. anything else for that matter.

        The referee’s might not like it though but its still nothing immoral or illegal….

      • It’s not a conflict of interest, but he is biased and active players reporting on active players and referees, while probably not something for the FA to punish like you are talking about your own game, is probably still dangerous because you’ll “see them around”

    • didn’t he also comment on a previous match with Man United? His former club?

      He basically commented now on 2 rivals of a former club. what’s the prob with that?

  7. One of the most exciting games of the EPL this year. Rogers is simply getting this squad to play great football and he really trusts his young players. I can’t help, but to cheer for Liverpool since Arsenal is out.

  8. Howard is just unapologetically pro-ManCity now. Just throwing up conspiracy theories now that City deserve penalties because something that nobody thought was a penalty happened and the Liverpool supporters must have influenced the referee? Dude.

  9. Howard is laughably lacking of objectivity. He’s so anti-liverpool. Everything that happens to Liverpool is a dive or a bad tackle is a great defensive play or a pull down in the box by Kompany is “clout as the captain.” A 50/50 ball after a City player loses it in the other box immediately becomes, “well i need to see that again, oh that’s definitely a bad tackle and definitely a penalty.”

      • I think what’s frustrating about Timmy’s commentary today is that the “skew” reflects in thinking Man City should get consistently get abc call or penalty and legit (like Kompany bear hugging Luis and taking him down) fouls by Man City at the same time are dismissed. And yes, in the spirit of transparency, you know I’m a LFC fan.

        I’m mean, would you agree with Timmy’s comment recently that Man City’s D “has done everything tight in the second half”? That’s a) ludicrous and b) hyperbole

        Just my 2 cents. Cheers

      • I’m a neutral. I couldn’t care less and I didn’t notice any skew at all. I think you Scousers are being oversensitive. Great match, though. Enjoy it. You are having a season of dreams. An unexpected run at a league title watching a team that plays an exciting style and scores goals for fun. Savor it.

      • Agree totally. I noticed almost nothing. And even if there was some bias coming from the active Everton keeper, who is is inexperienced and frankly under to obligation to be neutral (this is NBC’s decision), I’m not sure I care… there’s always the mute button or “Futbol Ingles”.

        But if a guy with Tourette’s can step in the booth and articluate himself well enough to p*ss people off, something is going right. Good for him.

      • I’m a Liverpool fan and I think Timmy did a fine job today as he did in the Man U LFC game. And if he’s gonna be biased, it would be that game. I think he was wrong about the challenge on suarez, but defo not stonewall.

    • Suarez dove multiple times in the game and in the box. it is what it is

      Skrtel fouls on every free kick, just grabs some jersey and bear hugs his mark, been doing it all season. Howard hardly the first commentator to point out the obvious with that. what’s interesting is that he’s allowed to do it, let alone the apparent intentional hand ball towards the end in the box from him, also not whistled

      I am pulling for Liverpool to win it all too

  10. Clattenburg is just not calling anything that City does to Suarez.

    Don’t care what Suarez’s reputation might be, some of these calls are obvious calls that need to be made when City’s defense is just tackling Suarez at every point of contact.

    • disagree. and I dig Suarez

      but when the refs know you dive and so don’t trust you, the whistle is not your friend and instead they view him with a more dubious eye. that’s part of the fallout of being a known diver. and again, I dig Suarez

    • I wouldn’t call that a gaffe. Ball took a deflection off of Johnson and caught Mignolet leaning the wrong direction.

  11. Howard is killing the energy of the game for me. Stop speaking in generalities, stop trying to educate us, and stop speaking monotonously.

    • Oh calm down. Isn’t there any part of you that is a bit impressed that a guy with friggin Tourette’s Syndrome is confident and articulate enough to do the job at all?

      In some ways it’s okay that this is not the story… Fact is most every color commentator in soccer is annoying. You can either have some alcholic Yorkshireman saying throwaway nonsense like “That’ll give his manager a massive boost of confidence” or “Really shoud’ve done better”, which is basically white noise after a while. Or you can have Taylor Twellman hating on everything at every turn.

      On the plus side, Ray Hudson is a God. If Tim breaks out with a shriek and shouts down his partner to make a comment about a “Bernini Sculpure goal”, I will be the happiest guy ever.

  12. Am I the only one that thinks it is awkward that Tim is doing color for this match? He is doing just fine but just feels weird.

    • Everton and Liverpool are Merseyside rivals (people don’t realize but Everton is in Liverpool). Even if he tries to be objective it’s like having a Yankees player do color on a Mets game.

      Also, I think it’s hard for current players to criticize fellow players for fear of retribution or motivation. I’ve also found some former players loathe to criticize teammates when hired to commentate on their own team…..they thus seem to throw down on the new acquisitions more (even if the old guard is losing effectiveness) because they have nothing invested. A truly good commentator can’t pull punches out of concerns about access, relationships, etc.

      • Much like when Rossi was hired to do studio commentary for the Euros last summer. He gave almost zero insight into the Italian squad.

    • I thought Timmy was excellent. Did exactly what a color analyst should do which is take the viewer inside the game. For example, he was spot on about why Milner was introduced so that shows he knows what he’s talking about because he plays week in and week out against these guys. I thought the commentary overall was a 9 or 10. NBC got it right…now Fox with Gus….don’t get me started on that!!!


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