Soccer Insights header Danny Welbeck arsenal

Soccer Insights – March Vol. 2

Arsenal condemned Manchester United to a second consecutive season without a trophy, Barcelona took over top spot in La Liga and the new MLS season got underway.

FA Cup

Aston Villa 2-0 West Brom
Bradford 0-0 Reading
Liverpool 0-0 Blackburn
Manchester United 1-2 Arsenal

Semi-final Draw

Reading OR Bradford v Arsenal
Aston Villa v Liverpool OR Blackburn

Talking points
• Arsenal won an incident packed tie with Manchester United, their first win at Old Trafford since 2006. Danny Welbeck (who else) latched onto a poor backpass to score the winner on his first return to his former club, while Angel Di Maria saw red for a dive and subsequent pull on the referee’s jersey.
• Aston Villa beat city rivals West Brom for the second time in a week to book their trip to Wembley. Unfortunately, the game was marred by crowd trouble that saw pitch invasions before and after the full-time whistle.
• The other two ties finished goalless, meaning replays are required. Liverpool were frustrated by a resolute Blackburn, but will still be favourites to win the replay at Ewood Park.

La Liga

Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Valencia
Barcelona 6-1 Rayo Vallecano
Cordoba 1-2 Getafe
Deportivo 3-4 Sevilla
Elche 1-0 Almeria
Granada 1-0 Malaga
Levante 2-1 Eibar
Real Sociedad 1-0 Espanyol
Villarreal 4-1 Celta Vigo

1. Barcelona 62pts
2. Real Madrid 61pts
3. Atletico Madrid 55pts
4. Valencia 54pts
5. Sevilla 49pts

Talking points
• Real Madrid suffered a shock defeat in Bilbao courtesy of a superb header from Aduriz. Following their draw with Villarreal last weekend, Los Blancos have now surrendered top spot to Barcelona.
• Barca moved into first in style, putting six past Vallecano. Messi scored the fastest hattrick of his career (11 minutes), and has now scored 40+ goals for six consecutive seasons.
• Atletico Madrid and Valencia shared the points in a feisty encounter that featured 13 yellow cards and one red. Koke gave Atleti a half-time lead, before the visitors levelled with 12 minutes to play.


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

1. Bayern Munich 61pts
2. Wolfsburg 50pts
3. B. M’gladbach 41pts
4. Bayer Leverkusen 39pts
5. Schalke 38pts

Talking points
• Shall we just give Bayern the title now? Xabi Alonso scored a free kick and Thomas Muller scored twice as Bayern came from behind to move 11 points clear at the top.
• Dortmund’s winning run came to an end with a goalless draw at Hamburg, a result that leaves Der BVB in 10th place, ten points off the top four.
• Wolfsburg have been the form team since the winter break, but they came unstuck against Augsburg. With second place seemingly wrapped up already, they may choose to focus more on the Europa League.

Serie A

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

1. Juventus 61pts
2. Roma 50pts
3. Lazio 46pts
4. Napoli 46pts
5. Fiorentina 42pts

Talking points
• Napoli looked to be cruising to victory against Inter before conceding twice in the last 20 minutes, including a late penalty, to drop crucial points in the race for Champions League qualification.
• Lazio thrashed Fiorentina to climb to third in the table, just four points behind their city rivals. The evergreen Miroslav Klose scored twice.
• Milan’s troubled season took another turn for the worse as they conceded an equaliser in the 95th minute, keeping them 10th in the table.

Ligue 1

Bastia 2-1 Nice
Caen 1-2 Bordeaux
Evian 1-3 Monaco
Guingamp 0-1 Lille
Montpellier 1-5 Lyon
PSG 4-1 Lens
Reims 3-1 Nantes
Rennes 1-0 Metz
St Etienne 2-0 Lorient
Toulouse 1-6 Marseille

1. Lyon 57pts
2. PSG 56pts
3. Marseille 53pts
4. Monaco 47pts
5. St Etienne 46pts

Talking points
• PSG made light work of Lens as they warmed up for their trip to Chelsea with a big win. David Luiz, Zlatan, Matuidi and Pastore all got on the scoresheet.
• Lyon enjoyed a five-star away day at Montpellier, with Lgie 1 top scorer Alexander Lacazette returning from injury with two goals.
• Completing a hattrick of big wins for the title chasing teams, Marseille hit Toulouse for six to put an end to their poor run of form on the road.


Dallas 1-0 San Jose
DC United 1-0 Montreal
Houston 1-0 Columbus Crew
LA Galaxy 2-0 Chicago
Orlando 1-1 New York City
Philadelphia 0-0 Colorado
Portland 0-0 Real Salt Lake
Seattle 3-0 NE Revolution
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 NY Red Bulls
Vancouver 1-3 Toronto

Eastern Conference
1. Toronto 3pts
2. DC United 3pts
3. New York City 1pt

Western Conference
1. Seattle 3pts
2. LA Galaxy 3pts
3. Dallas 3pts

Talking points
• The big game was the battle between the two new teams, Orlando and New York City. 60,000 fans watched as Villa and Kaka made their debuts, with the latter scoring a stoppage time free kick to earn his side a point.
• Defending champions LA Galaxy got off to winning start, with last season’s MVP Robbie Keane scoring their second goal.
• He came in for a lot of stick during his time with Sunderland in the Premier League, but Jozy Altidore looked confident in scoring a brace for Toronto, including a cheeky panenka penalty.

What to look out for next week

• Champions League – Chelsea and PSG meet at Stamford Bridge with the tie finely poised.
• Europa League – the round of 16 gets underway with Wolfsburg v Inter Milan a stand-out tie.
• Premier League – a defining run of fixtures begins for Manchester United with the visit of Tottenham on Sunday.
• La Liga – Real Madrid will be anxious to get their title challenge back on track with a home game against Levante.
• Bundesliga – Werder Bremen are on great form, but will gladly take a point from their home game against Bayern Munich.
• Serie A – Fiorentina will keep their push for Champions League football going with a home game against AC Milan.
• Ligue 1 – a huge game between two of the title contenders as Marseille host Lyon.
• MLS – New York City will look for a first victory when they play NE Revolution.

Want to receive insights, news, and industry updates? Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Greg Bortkiewicz