Soccer Insights Feb Vol. 3

The FA Cup delivered another set of upsets, Leo Messi broke more records and Bayern prepared for the Champions League last-16 by knocking eight (8!) past hapless Hamburg.

FA Cup
fa

Results
Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough
Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester
Blackburn 4-1 Bradford
Bradford 2-0 Sunderland
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Derby 1-2 Reading
Preston 1-3 Manchester United
West Brom 4-0 West Ham

Quarter final draw
Aston Villa v West Brom
Bradford v Reading
Liverpool v Blackburn
Manchester United v Arsenal

Talking points
• Bradford claimed another Premier League scalp, following their win over Chelsea in the last round. The Bantams, who reached the League Cup final in 2013, are now one game away from a return to Wembley.
• Liverpool overcame their bogey team thanks to a second half turnaround with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana.
• Manchester United also came from behind against League 1 Preston, and will face holders Arsenal in the stand-out tie of the quarter finals.

La Liga
liga

Results
Almeria 2-2 Real Sociedad
Barcelona 5-0 Levante
Celta Vigo 2-0 Atletico Madrid
Eibar 0-1 Elche
Granada 0-0 Athletic Bilbao
Malaga 0-2 Espanyol
Rayo Vallecano 2-0 Villarreal
Real Madrid 2-0 Deportivo
Sevilla 3-0 Cordoba
Valencia 1-0 Getafe

Table
1. Real Madrid 57pts
2. Barcelona 56pts
3. Atletico Madrid 50pts
4. Valencia 47pts
5. Sevilla 45pts

Talking points
• Barcelona thumped Levante with Messi netting a hattrick. That meant he equalled the record for hattricks in Spanish football (31), and he also took the record for most league assists (106) in the last 25 years, since records began.
• Real Madrid responded to their derby defeat with a home win over Deportivo, but Ronaldo’s slump in form continued as he again failed to get on the scoresheet.
• Atletico Madrid were on a four match winning streak, but they lost ground on the top two after coming unstuck against Celta Vigo.

Bundesliga
bund

Results
Bayer Leverkusen 4-5 Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich 8-0 Hamburg
Borussia Dortmund 4-2 Mainz
Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 Koln
Frankfurt 1-0 Schalke
Hannover 1-2 Paderborn
Hertha Berlin 0-2 Freiburg
Hoffenheim 2-1 Stuttgart
Werder Bremen 2-0 Augsburg

Table
1. Bayern Munich 52pts
2. Wolfsburg 44pts
3. B. M’gladbach 36pts
4. Schalke 34pts
5. Augsburg 34pts

Talking points
• Bayern Munich destroyed Hamburg, with Muller, Gotze and Robben all scoring a brace. This is not a game Hamburg look forward to, after losing 9-2 in the corresponding fixture two seasons ago.
• Bayer Leverkusen came from 3-0 and 4-1 behind to level it with Wolfsburg, only for Bas Dost to score his fourth goal with the last kick of the game to seal a memorable win.
• Dortmund conceded in the first minute against Mainz but recovered to win thanks to an inspired performance from Marco Reus.

Serie A
serie

Results
Atalanta 1-4 Inter Milan
Cesena 2-2 Juventus
Chievo 2-1 Sampdoria
Genoa 5-2 Verona
Milan 1-1 Empoli
Palermo 3-1 Napoli
Roma 0-0 Parma
Sassuolo 1-3 Fiorentina
Torino 1-1 Cagliari
Udinese 0-1 Lazio

Table
1. Juventus 54pts
2. Roma 47pts
3. Napoli 42pts
4. Fiorentina 38pts
5. Lazio 37pts

Talking points
• Juventus have only trailed for seven minutes in Serie A this season, and added another 10 to that against Cesena. They did turn it around, but Cesena earned a valuable point with a second half equaliser.
• Roma failed to take advantage after a goalless draw at home to bottom club Parma, in what feels like a huge opportunity missed for the capital team.
• Inter made it consecutive wins with a big victory over Atalanta, which means they move above city rivals Milan in the table after they only drew with Empoli.

Ligue 1
ligue

Results
Bordeaux 1-0 St Etienne
Lens 0-2 Evian
Lille 0-0 Nice
Lorient 1-1 Lyon
Marseille 2-2 Reims
Metz 0-2 Guingamp
Monaco P-P Montpellier
Nantes 0-2 Bastia
PSG 2-2 Caen
Toulouse 2-1 Rennes

Table
1. Lyon 51pts
2. Marseille 49pts
3. PSG 49pts
4. St Etienne 41pts
5. Monaco 40pts

Talking points
• PSG inexplicably threw away victory against Caen, conceding in the 89th and 92nd minutes to relinquish a two goal lead.
• Marseille also conceded a last minute goal, scored by ex-Liverpool striker David N’Gog, in their own 2-2 home draw.
• League leaders Lyon’s draw meant that all three title challengers dropped points, with all of them likely rueing a missed opportunity to edge ahead of their rivals.

What to look out for this week

• Champions League – Europe’s elite competition is back, with the pick of this week’s ties seeing Chelsea travel to France to play PSG.
• Europa League – the round of 32 gets underway, with Liverpool against Besiktas one of the more interesting match-ups.
• Premier League – a big game in the battle for the top four sees surprise package Southampton host Liverpool.
• La Liga – Barcelona face a potentially tricky test at home against 7th placed Malaga.
• Bundesliga – Dortmund will look to pull further away from the drop zone with a big away game against bottom club Stuttgart.
• Serie A – with Pippo Inzaghi’s job on the line, a home game against Cesena is an absolute must win for AC Milan.
• Ligue 1 – Marseille have been very poor away from home, which doesn’t bode well for a trip to 4th place St Etienne.

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