I’m back after an unfortunate loss for the Knox Men’s soccer team. But this is just a setback in what I believe will be a title push. I hope to see everyone in attendance for the Conference Championships being hosted on our very own Jorge Prats field. Now on to the international soccer roundup for this week.
Manchester United vs Manchester City (0-1): The legendary Manchester Derby, a fixture that has in recent times given me severe heart palpitations. In a game that could have ended differently, United fans are left to shake their heads ruefully and ponder on what might have been had Chris Smalling not picked up that second yellow card.
For a time it seemed like United might still pull off a classic comeback, even with 10 men on the field, but alas it was not to be. Sergio Agüero played wonderfully with Manchester City continuing to look like title contenders as long as Agüero manages to stay fit. Manchester United play QPR next, and a fixture which in times past would have been a mere formality might turn into a hotly contested competition.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid (0-1) & Newcastle vs Liverpool (1-0): Liverpool can’t seem to get a break, and with their second successive loss, maybe they don’t deserve one.
We saw Liverpool lose to Real Madrid today (Nov. 4), in what was by all accounts an extremely lucky encounter against a far superior side. Many expected to see Liverpool lose as much as 4-0 away at the Madrid based team’s home (Bernabéu), after having been beaten at home (Anfield) 3-0. It would almost seem that the Liverpudlians have forgotten the toll it takes to be competing on an elite level such as the Champions League after their long exile, with many of their star players unable to play three matches in a week.
This poor run of form comes as Liverpool are due to face one of their most stringent challenges this season. The Merseyside team will play Chelsea next at Anfield, with the Anfield hopefuls possessing fresh memories of the last time their team faced Chelsea, when the match ended in a loss for Liverpool and hammered in the final nail to the coffin that was Liverpool’s title hopes.
Yet Brendan Rodgers seems to be hedging his money on the Chelsea match and as such rested a good portion of his top players for the Chelsea clash.
Hull vs Southampton (0-1): Southampton have been spectacular this season, and it was only a matter of time. We see a team that has always punched above their weight and produced formidable talent starting to slowly come into their own.
It was an interesting sight after the Real Madrid vs Liverpool game to see two Southampton old boys embracing in the forms of Gareth Bale and Adam Lallana. Both of these players are arguably their team’s top talents. And now Southampton are slowly delivering on the promise that many have seen in them.
But it is still extremely early in the season to heap too much praise on them. After all, the Premier League is the most exciting league, especially because of its unpredictability, and it is commonplace to see teams slip far down the table after the New Year break.