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Soccer Insights – Dec Vol. 2

Football is really heating up as we enter the festive season. Whilst some teams look for position ahead of the winter break, in England the games keep coming thick and fast. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the Liga MX and MLS seasons are at the sharp end.

Premier League

Aston Villa 2-1 Leicester
Hull 0-0 West Brom
Liverpool 0-0 Sunderland
Man City 1-0 Everton
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea
QPR 2-0 Burnley
Southampton 1-2 Man United
Stoke 3-2 Arsenal
Tottenham 0-0 Crystal Palace
West Ham 3-1 Swansea

1. Chelsea 36pts
2. Man City 33pts
3. Man United 28pts
4. West Ham 27pts
5. Southampton 26pts

Talking points
• Chelsea suffered a first defeat of the season courtesy of two goals from Papiss Cisse. The Pensioners have seen their lead at the top cut to three points.
• Man United have quietly been going about their business, and a fifth win in a row, albeit a fortuitous one, puts them in third place.
• Man City’s win over Everton was tainted by an injury to key player Sergio Aguero, with the Argentine set to miss the crunch Champions League tie in Rome.

La Liga

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Cordoba
Barcelona 5-1 Espanyol
Deportivo 0-1 Malaga
Eibar 5-2 Almeria
Elche 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Granada 1-1 Valencia
Levante 1-1 Getafe
Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Sevilla
Real Madrid 3-0 Celta Vigo
Villarreal 4-0 Real Sociedad

1. Real Madrid 36pts
2. Barcelona 34pts
3. Atletico Madrid 32pts
4. Sevilla 29pts
5. Valencia 25pts

Talking points
• Ronaldo scored all three in Madrid’s home win. The Portuguese forward now has 23 hattricks in La Liga, a new record. His third goal was also his 200th in La Liga, achieved in just 178 games.
• Not to be outdone, Messi also netted a hattrick (his 21st in La Liga) as Barca came from behind in the derby. In doing so, Messi became the first player in Spanish history to score 400+ goals for one club.
• After an unbeaten start with three clean sheets, David Moyes’ honeymoon period at Sociedad is over after a second half collapse at Villarreal.


Bayern Munich 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Hoffenheim
Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2 Hertha Berlin
Frankfurt 5-2 Werder Bremen
Hamburg 2-1 Mainz
Hannover 1-3 Wolfsburg
Koln 1-2 Augsburg
Paderborn 1-1 Freiburg
Stuttgart 0-4 Schalke

1. B. Munich 36pts
2. Wolfsburg 29pts
3. Augsburg 24pts
4. Schalke 23pts
5. B. Leverkusen 23pts

Talking points
• Franck Ribery scored his 100th Bayern goal as the defending champions won again. Remarkably, they have conceded just three goals in 14 games.
• Just a fourth league win of the season lifts Dortmund off the bottom, but they’ll need a few more wins before they can pull away from the wrong end of the table.
• The surprise package this season are Augsburg, and a fourth consecutive win lifts them up to third.

Serie A

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

1. Juventus 35pts
2. Roma 32pts
3. Genoa 26pts
4. Sampdoria 25pts
5. Napoli 24pts

Talking points
• The grudge match between Fiorentina and Juventus turned out to be a damp squib as Juve recorded their first goalless draw in the league for two years.
• Roma failed to take advantage, but were grateful for a point after coming from two down to draw with Sassuolo. Morgan De Sanctis gifted the visitors the lead with an awful mistake.
• The fall of Milan continued after both AC Milan and Inter lost. They find themselves in seventh and twelfth in the table.

Ligue 1
Bordeaux 3-2 Lorient
Caen 2-3 Nice
Evian 2-3 Lyon
Lens 1-1 Lille
Marseille 3-1 Metz
PSG 2-1 Nantes
Reims 2-3 Guingamp
Rennes 0-4 Montpellier
St Etienne 1-0 Bastia
Toulouse 0-2 Monaco

1. Marseille 38pts
2. PSG 37pts
3. Lyon 33pts
4. St Etienne 32pts
5. Bordeaux 31pts

Talking points
• Zlatan is back! The big Swede scored a brace in PSG’s come-from-behind win against Nantes, his second a ferocious freekick.
• Marseille continue to hold off the challenge of the Parisians, Gignac scoring again in their home win.

Liga MX

Monterrey 0-3 America
America 0-0 Monterrey (agg 3-0)
Toluca 0-0 Tigres
Tigres 0-0 Toluca (Tigres advance due to higher league position)

Play-off standings, final
Tigres v America

Talking points
• Regular season winners America got the job done in the first leg with a 3-0 away win.
• Tigres and Toluca could not be separated, meaning Tigres go to the final after finishing second in the regular season.


LA Galaxy 2-1 NE Revolution (aet)

Talking points
• LA Galaxy won the MLS Cup for a record fifth time in Landon Donovan’s final professional game. MVP Robbie Keane scored the decisive goal in extra time.

What to look out for next week
• Champions League – the group stage concludes this week, with Liverpool and Man City two big clubs in danger of not making the cut.
• Premier League – one of the English football’s greatest rivalries takes centre stage on Sunday when Man United entertain Liverpool.
• La Liga – Real Madrid get a chance to lay down a marker as they play on Friday against Almeria.
• Bundesliga – Bayern Munich travel to surprise package Augsburg on Saturday.
• Serie A – two big teams with stuttering form clash on Sunday when AC Milan host Napoli.
• Ligue 1 – PSG will expect three points from their trip to lowly Guingamp.
• Liag MX – the first leg of the final is on Thursday, and America host the second leg on Sunday.

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Greg Bortkiewicz