Soccer Insights header with James Rodriguez

Soccer Insights – Nov Vol. 1

A popular cliché among managers is to judge them after a quarter of the season. Well, we have reached that stage in many leagues now, so let the judging commence!

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

1. Chelsea 26pts
2. Southampton 22pts
3. Man City 20pts
4. Arsenal 17pts
5. West Ham 17pts

Talking points
• Sergio Aguero made it four consecutive Manchester derby wins for City, and is now the league top scorer. Chris Smalling was the villain of the piece after picking up two yellow cards in the first half.
• Liverpool’s stuttering start continued with a defeat against resurgent Newcastle. Without Luis Suarez, and with Daniel Sturridge injured, the Reds lack cutting edge.
• Alexis Sanchez has taken to Arsenal like a fish to water. Two more goals for the Chilean broke down a stubborn Burnley, who still remain without a win.

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

1. Real Madrid 24pts
2. Valencia 23pts
3. Atletico Madrid 23pts
4. Barcelona 22pts
5. Sevilla 22pts

Talking points
• After Clasico misery, Barcelona suffered a shock home defeat to Celta. Not the start to his Barca career that Luis Suarez was looking for!
• Real Madrid moved top with a comfortable away win. Ronaldo scored again (almost goes without saying), but James Rodriguez stole the show with a stunning volley.
• A home defeat that left Sociedad in 19th was the final straw for the board, who sacked coach Jagoba Arrasate. David Moyes is being mentioned as a possible replacement.

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

1. Bayern 24pts
2. Wolfsburg 20pts
3. M’gladbach 20pts
4. Hoffenheim 17pts
5. Leverkusen 16pts

Talking points
• Robert Lewandowski scored against his former club as Bayern won ‘Der Klassiker’. Defeat leaves Dortmund second from bottom having lost five-in-a-row.
• Freiburg and Werder Bremem both won their first games of the season, but still remain in the bottom three.

Serie A

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

1. Juventus 25pts
2. Roma 22pts
3. Lazio 19pts
4. Sampdoria 19pts
5. Napoli 18pts

Talking points
• In the big game of the weekend, Gonzalo Higuain picked up where he left off after a midweek hattrick with an early goal to set Napoli on their way to victory.
• Inter fell to defeat against last placed Parma and are 9th in the table, 10 points off the lead.
• City rivals AC Milan fared no better, losing at home to Palermo and they sit just one point above Inter.

Ligue 1

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

1. Marseille 28pts
2. PSG 24pts
3. Lyon 23pts
4. Bordeaux 21pts
5. St Etienne 21pts

Talking points
• PSG continue to battle away without Zlatan, with Edinson Cavani coming into some form with three goals in his last three games.
• Marseille got back to winning ways to retain their four point cushion at the top of the table.
• Defeat by Guingamp left Bastia in 19th place. This was enough to sack the coach, former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele.

Liga MX

America 0-0 Guadalajara
Chiapas 0-0 Cruz Azul
Leon 4-0 Atlas
Morelia 2-1 Monterrey
Puebla 1-1 Pachuca
Pumas 0-0 Veracruz
Tigres 1-0 Queretaro
Tijuana 0-1 Toluca
U. de G. 1-1 Santos

1. America 30pts
2. Toluca 28pts
3. Tigres 27pts
4. Atlas 27pts
5. Monterrey 24pts

Talking points
• The Super Clasico turned out to be a bit of a damp squib, finishing goalless. Guadalajara will probably be the happier of the two, considering their league positions and their failure to register a shot on target.
• Another loss for Queretaro and Ronaldinho leaves the club firmly in mid-table.


Knock-out round
NY Red Bulls 2-1 Kansas City
Dallas 2-1 Vancouver

Eastern Conference Semi-finals
Columbus 2-4 New England
NY Red Bulls 2-0 DC United

Western Conference Semi-finals
Real Salt Lake 0-0 LA Galaxy
Dallas 1-1 Seattle

Talking points
• Bradley Wright-Phillips has taken his regular season form into the play-offs, scoring both goals against Kansas and the opening goal in the semi-final.
• Seattle and LA Galaxy both drew away from home as they look on course to meet in the Western Conference final.

What to look out for next week

• Champions League – Matchday 4 features some exciting fixtures, including Real Madrid v Liverpool and Bayern v Roma.
Premier League – Mourinho will rekindle his rivalry with Liverpool when he takes Chelsea to Anfield.
• La Liga – Barcelona will be desperate to end their losing streak when they travel to Almeria.
• Bundesliga – Dortmund are on a miserable run and it doesn’t get any easier with a tough home game against third place Monchengladbach.
• Serie A – Lazio are enjoying a fine start to the season and will have high hopes for a positive result at home to Juventus.
• Ligue 1 – Already a tempestuous affair, ‘Le Classique’ has even more riding on it as Marseille and PSG currently occupy the top two spots in Ligue 1.
• Liga MX – A home game against bottom team Morelia should have Ronaldinho licking his lips in anticipation.
• MLS – The play-off second legs get underway on Saturday when NY Red Bulls travel to DC United.

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Greg Bortkiewicz