Category Archives: Match Reports

Seattle Sounders 1-0 Portland Timbers

Seattle Sounders starting XI: Gspurning; Gonzalez, Yedlin, Scott, Hurtado; Evans, Alonso, Joseph (Rosales 56′), Neagle (Traore 90′); Dempsey, Johnson (Carrasco 90′)
Subs: Hanhemann, Ianni, Burch, Traore, Zavaleta, Carrasco, Rosales

Portland Timbers starting XI: Ricketts; Harrington, Powell (Zizzo 81′), Jean-Baptiste, Kah; Nagbe, Valeri, Alhassan, Jewsbury (Zemanski 86′), Wallace; Johnson (Valencia 61′)
Subs: Kocic, Evans, McKenzie, Miller, Zizzo, Zemanski, Valencia

This latest installment of the Cascadia cup was a little bigger than the previous ones as new Seattle Sounder designated player Clint Dempsey made his home debut after making two appearances on the road in Toronto and in Dallas. But this match up had a bigger picture in line as the Portland Timbers were ahead of their rivals in the Western Conference standings for the first time ever this late into the season.

The match kicked off in front of over 67,000 fans, which was one of the highest attendances in the world this weekend, and the second largest attendance in Major League Soccer history. It started with a blistering pace as both clubs were going back and forth in what was a pretty open field, surprisingly, as the Timbers are usually pretty sound defensively. Kah was throwing his weight around all night and it started early in the 7th minute as he caught American international Clint Dempsey. Valeri was probably the best player in the first half as he was constantly threading passes to Nagbe, Johnson, and the lot, but the Portland Timbers could not produce the final movement that they so desperately needed.

Both goalkeepers came up huge multiple times throughout the match. Sharlie Joseph had two free headers in the opening twenty minutes but he did not produce the angle required and Ricketts saved both of them easily. The Argentine midfielder, Diego Valeri, released Will Johnson and was clean through, but Gspurning came off of his line quickly to collect the ball off of the feet of Ryan Johnson. The Austrian goalkeeper had little to do in the second half as the Seattle Sounders controlled the tempo of the match and were really in control for the final hour, but especially after the hour mark.

It was a very physical encounter as both teams were really going after one another, and the ref was letting them, despite some dangerous tackles. One of the key players in this was Kah who had plenty of rough challenges and one very dangerous tackle on Eddie Johnson late in the match in which he should have been shown a red card for persistent fouling, but instead was only shown a yellow. The league though should definitely look into some of the challenges Kah had throughout the match and really discipline him like he should have been during the match by the referee, as Alonso should be for his multiple fouls on Nagbe.

Seattle started the second half very narrow and could not break down the defense of Portland, but when Rosales came on around the 60 minute mark, he created a more offensive spark and really changed the whole outcome of the game. He came on for Joseph, who did not have the best of match in a Seattle jersey but Joseph was very sound defensively in the middle of the field for the first hour or so. The only goal of the match came off of a set piece where Rosales whipped in a cross from the left hand side with pace and Eddie Johnson got his head onto the end of the ball and directed it into the back of the net.

With this win, the Seattle Sounders are now in the final playoff spot in a highly contested Western Conference and this is their 10th straight win at home in which there is more than 40,000 people in attendance in the last 10 matches.

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U20 World Cup: Egypt 2-0 England

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A must win for both sides as they were both looking to stay in Turkey and avoid taking an early flight home. Egypt went into the last group game having lost their two previous games 2-1. England on the other hand had two points under their belt after a 2-2 draw to Iraq and a 1-1 draw against Chile.

Teams:

Egypt – Mossad Awad, Kahraba Mahmoud, Yasser Elhanafi, Rami Rabia(C), Mahmoud Metwaly, Gomaa Saleh, Samir Mohamed, Hamad Mahmoud, Osama Ibrahim, Ahmed Hassan, Trezeget.
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Subs – Abdalla Elhadad, Hammad Elhambaly, Ahmed Refat, Bassam Omar, Mahmoud Wahid, Hossam Ghaly, Mohamed Elshami, Hamdi Mahmoud, Mohamed Sherif, Mahmoud Hassan

England – Sam Johnstone, Eric Dier, Conor Coady(C), James Ward-Prowse, Larnell Cole, Harry Kane, John Stones, Tom Thorpe, Luke Williams, Luke Garbutt, Ross Barkley.

Subs – Gael Bigirimana, Jon Flanagan, Christopher Long, Adam Reach, George Long, Connor Ripley, Jamaal Lascelles, John Lundstram, Alex Pritchard.

 

The game started brightly from an England point of view as they produced an early chance,  Luke Garbutt put in a lovely cross from the left and it was met by the head of Harry Kane but he could only head it just wide. Larnell Cole was one of the brightest players on the pitch in the first half and one of his highlights of the half and match was his brilliant run. He somehow managed to keep the ball before playing two one-two’s on his way to the box and having a go at goal, however the young Manchester United winger couldn’t test Mossad Awad as he saved the effort comfortably. Conor Coady got into the act after he had an effort from range which stung the hands of Awad, before he quickly gathered up his spill.

The best chance of the first half fell to Ross Barkley after his Everton team mate John Stones played in a fantastic cross from the right. Barkley went for the volley and it was on it’s way in but Awad was there to deny him producing a great save. Barkley was in the thick of the action again quickly after he threaded a pass between to Egypt players, however once again nothing came of it as Kane took a heavy touch which allowed the Egypt defence to recover and clear the ball out for an England corner. Stones found himself creating another decent England chance as he played in Cole, who then cut the ball to Kane, this time his first touch was better but he failed to test the keeper after sending his effort wide.

The Egyptians didn’t create many clear chances but towards the end of the half they managed to keep the England defence alert with two long range efforts. First up was Rami Rabia who fired a rocket of a shot but failed to hit the target. It was then Ahmed Hassan’s turn but he also failed to unleash a shot good enough to test Sam Johnstone, Hassan created good space for himself on the edge of the area but didn’t hit his effort well and it was an easy save in the end.

At half time it was hard to look past England for this game, they managed to create a number of great chances, unlucky with some but other chances needed more clinical finishing, especially those with the name Kane printed on the back of their shirt.

The second half kicked off and it wasn’t long before England picked up from where they left off as Cole managed to control nicely before beating his defender, but yet again England were let down by a poor finish, as the winger struck his effort straight at the impressive Awad. Shortly after Barkley tried his luck from the edge of the area but like Rabia’s effort in the first half for Egypt it fired past the goal.

One of the first attacks of the half from Egypt resulted in a corner and penalty claims which were correctly waved away by the referee, Ibrahim put in a cross from the right but felt the ball struck Garbutt’s hand, reply’s showed the ball hit his shoulder instead.

England continued to put pressure on the Egypt goal looking for the all important goal they needed. Two tame efforts from Barkley and Dier were easily saved by Awad. Barkley managed to twist and turn in the area before his tame effort, while Dier’s effort was with his head after he met Ward-Prowse’s quality freekick.

Throughout the game Egypt managed to get in good crossing positions but time and time again there was no end product, Johnstone in the England goal managed to claim a lot of them, if he failed to do that the ball went flying over the box.

Pritchard managed to earn England a freekick on the edge of the area after his great run,  it was then surprising  to see center back Eric Dier step up to take it. However he showed us all why he took it as his freekick flew over the wall and cannoned off the crossbar.

Egypt could have taken the lead if it was for Tom Thorpe who brilliantly blocked a threatening shot from Ahmed Refat after his bursting run. Egypt was now looking stronger and causing more problems for the young Lions. In the 79th minute Egypt put a massive dent in England’s hopes of getting through as Trezeguet came in from the wing, skipped past Coady before brilliantly curling his shot around Thorpe and into the bottom corner, leaving Johnstone with no chance.

Egypt were transformed and continued to push for more goals as they needed 3 in order to go through. Gaps opened as both teams were going for it and it wasn’t long before we saw another golden chance, yet again it fell to Kane. This was his best and most important chance of the game, the ball was played over the top of the Egypt defence, Kane found himself in plenty of space, but can only head the ball straight at Awad but the keeper couldn’t hold it, the rebound fell to Kane who looked even more certain to score but the striker fluffed his lines and sliced his shot wide. If the other chances didn’t sum up his night then this one certainly did.

Injury time arrived and for England it was only a matter of time before their fates were sealed. However more drama unfolded as Samir picked up the ball on half way, with had plenty of space to run into and two defenders back pedaling. Some skill on the edge of the area knocked the ball past the two defenders but his heavy touch took the ball away from him, but luckily Hassan was up with him and like Trezeguet earlier he produced a lovely finish to curl the ball into the far bottom corner past Johnstone, sending his fans and team mates wild. With only 90 seconds on the clock, there was no way back fro England and time quickly ran out for Egypt as they couldn’t get a third.

Despite having more and better chances than Egypt, England failed to make them count and will now be flying home early. Egypt can be pride of tonight’s victory, they may be out of the tournament but they went out fighting. England finish bottom of the group with 2 points, Egypt in third with 3 points and that leaves Iraq and Chile going through to the knockout stages.

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U20 World Cup: USA 1-1 France

I do not really know what to write about this match because for most of the match it was extremely dull and it looked like there was not going to be any goals the entire game, but here goes nothing.

Most, okay, lets be realistic, all MLS teams would be jealous of the line-up that France put out which included the likes of Pogba, Kongdobia, Umtiti, Thauvin, Sanogo, I could go on and on and on and they really should have won by at least three or four goals, but they did not.

The first several minutes to this match were really poor and nothing of note until Kongdobia’s shot went wide of Croppers goal, but it was never going to trouble the American goalkeeper, who has to live up to the likes of Guzan, Friedel, and Howard. There was not a whole lot of possession for the USA in the early going but their compacted formation did not allow France any room to get creative down the middle of the pitch and it really affected their captain, Paul Pogba’s, play for most of the game and because of this he was subbed out in the second half.

Luis Gil did not have as good as a match as I was expecting. The first game all of the American offensive creativity was through him and during this one against France, he was pretty nonexistent to be blatantly honest. In a half of few bright spots, Thauvin, the FC Porto young striker, was one of them. The FC Porto man played out wide tonight, though and his crosses into the box were decent looking ones, it was just USA’s defense that were able to clear most of them away without any harm done.

Cody Cropper came up with some huge saves for the Americans and really kept them in this match single handedly. It could have easily 3 or 4 nothing before the first half whistle and I do believe that this was frustrating the French forwards.

The second half was a little better but still pretty much more of the same old boring dull action other than the two penalties that were given by the referee.
Torre appeared to have fouled Foulquier outside of the box, and I thought that it was pretty clear that it was outside of the box, but for some reason the ref awarded France the penalty kick. Sanogo stepped up and powered the spot kick past Cody Cropper to give his side a one nothing lead. Less than ten minutes later, the United States bench was livid for not getting a penalty called for them after Joya was shoved to the ground in the French box Lemina.

Rodriguez would eventually get the US their penalty in the 65th minute of play. Luis Gil, the Real Salt Lake player, stepped up to take it, but it was a poor effort and it was easily saved by Areola as he dove down to his left to collect it.

France had most of the possession during the match, about 60% of it, but they did not make the most of it. The United States would win a free kick with about five minutes left to go in the match and Gil took it. The ball was driven low and second half substitution, Cuevas, got on the end of it near the back post and tapped it past Areola to get the deserving equalizer.
The United States will now play Ghana in their final group match and will be looking to get all three points to almost secure their position into the next round if Spain can beat France by a hefty margin which is what I am hoping for.

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Brazil 2-0 Mexico

Bracelona’s newest super star, Neymar, was definitely the man of the match for the second time in a row as he provided a goal an assist in Brazil’s 2-0 rout of struggling Mexico. If Italy beat Japan later today, they will be eliminated from the Confederations Cup. From early on in the match Neymar was very influential to the Brazilian offense. He provided a cross to Paulinho who teed up the shot, but was fortunately, blocked by a Mexican defender. Oscar was on the end of the deflection and put it past Corona, but the assistant referee flagged him for being offside, which was correctly called in the end.

Dani Alves had a much better game tonight than he did against Japan. His crosses into the box were a lot better as was his tracking back to help defend against the Mexican wingers, who were not really a threat, to be completely honest. And Brazil pushed forward into their attacking third of pitch every chance that they got. Giovanni Dos Santos had a solid first half for the Mexican side but not so well in the second half, he was almost invisible for much of the later stages of the game. One thing that really surprised me during much of the game is that Brazil was the back four for the host nation was shambolic a lot of times during the match, but it was mostly down the flanks where they had trouble, with Hiram Mier causing a lot of the problems.

It baffles me, as well as a lot of people, how Hulk continuously gets into the starting line-up is beyond me. He has not had a good game of football for a long time now. Lucas Moura would be an outstanding replacement. Neymar nearly doubled Brazil’s lead after some shaky moments at the back. Mexico were starting to get a foot back into this game closer to halftime as a few very good goal scoring chances scared the host nation, but nothing really came from it in the end.

Thiago Silva nearly had a goal of his own not long after the restart when again, Neymar’s free kick eventually found Silva, but it was ruled offside. Tottenham target and current Corinthian midfielder, Paulinho, nearly got that ever important second goal with about six minutes to go, but he blasted his shot just over the bar from very close range. Brazil, would eventually get their second goal through substitute Jo. Neymar did very well to beat his man down the left flank and beat a couple of defenders before squaring it up for Jo. Jo has now scored two goals in his last two matches after coming off of the bench both times.

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USA 1-0 Honduras

On Tuesday night at Rio Tinto, the home of Real Salt Lake, the United States got a much needed needed three points to all but secure a spot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The game started out slowly, as expected because of the elevation and the heat caused a much slower pace than both teams have become accustomed to over the course of these World Cup Qualifiers. With this victory, the United States now has 13 points through six games as well as 9 points out of their last 9.

The United States tried to play how they have been during the last two qualifying matches by playing up-tempo football and trying to create space for Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey to slot the ball into the net like they had been doing. However, Honduras was not allowing the US to find any space in the midfield for Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson to lob the ball forward. One thing that the USA did well was that they closed down quickly and forced Honduras to play mostly behind the halfway line in their own defensive third of the pitch. Honduras did get numbers into the attacking third of their side of the pitch, but they never really caused that much havoc on the American defense and Everton goalkeeper did not have much to do last night.

When Fabian Johnson gets up the pitch to provide passes to his wingers, as what happened in the goal, but was unable to do that since Honduras really tightened up their defense through the middle of the pitch to not allow space for the United States to move the ball around. One of Honduras main players of the match was Andy Najar, former MLS player, kept streaking down the right side of the pitch but nothing really came from his crosses into the box or his squared passes, unfortunately for them.

With Altidore’s last goal, it gives him a tie for the all time goal scoring record with four goals in four straight matches going back to the match where the Americans defeated the German National Team by a final score of 4-3. And what a great team goal it was for the USA. Michael Bradley provided the initial ball to Fabian Johnson who found Graham Zusi, the Sporting Kansas City winger, down the left hand side. Zusi beat a Honduran defender and found a wide open Altidore in the box when all he had to do was tuck in behind the goalkeeper, and he did just that.

World Cup Qualifying is now taking a break for a little while, but that does not mean that the United States are done for this summer. The Gold Cup action kicks off mid-July where I will have match reports of most of the games this summer.

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Serie A Round 1 Review

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Saturday Full Time Results:
– CR Vasco da Gama 1:0 Portugesa de Desportos
– EC Vitória 2:2 Internacional
– Corinthians 1-1 Botafogo
Sunday Full Time Results:
– AA Ponte Preta 0:2 São Paulo
– Criciúmia 3:1 Bahia
– Gremio 2:0 Náutico
– Santos FC 0:0 Flamengo
– Coritiba FBC 2-1 Atlético MG
– Cruzeiro 5:0 Goiás
– Fluminense FC 2:1 Atletico Paranaense

Neymar, 21, played in his last match as a member of Santos FC saw the away fans boo him as he recently signed for FC Barcelona to a 5 year deal. His side drew with Flamengo as he was brought to tears walking off the pitch after the final whistle had blown, after a fairly uneventful event.

With Neymar now heading to Europe, this does not mean that football will cease to exist in Brazil, no way. There are a lot of other young talents in Brazil if you know where to look. Bernard, Botafogo who is currently in the squad for this summer’s Confederations Cup which is in Brazil, and will probably be used from time to time to showcase his talent, but Marques scored the lone goal for them as Paulinho scored the equalizer 50 odd minutes later.

Cruzeiro pummeled recently promoted Goiás by netting five goals from four different players, with Nilton scoring a brace, and Diego Souza, Bruno Rodrigo, and Borges all scoring in the first half of action. São Paulo were victorious over Ponte Preta who dominated the opposition from whistle to whistle, with Jadson netting home a penalty from the spot to double the away sides lead.

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Germany dominate Spain in the first league of the Champions League Semi-final

Robert Lewandowski

This past week we saw two German clubs took down the two biggest Spanish clubs and two of the biggest clubs in the world at this moment in Real Madrid and that one club, I’m forgetting their name right now, oh right Barcelona. Now, the way that Bayern Munich have been playing the last couple of weeks, well really the whole season, you can easily make the case that the biggest club in the world for this season is Bayern Munich, especially after the way they manhandled Messi and company.

On Tuesday, Bayern Munich rolled over Barcelona with goals from Thomas Müller (2x), once in the first half, just 25 minutes in, and the second one eight minutes before stoppage time. Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez scored the other two goals for the Bundesliga Champions. One thing that really stood out to me was how they stifled the attacking movement of Lionel Messi, Pedro, and Alexis Sánchez. Munich’s defense it seemed like it was swarming to the ball whenever Barcelona was able to get into the attacking third of the pitch. Victor Valdes could do nothing to stop Müller’s first goal, as Robben’s cross found Dante inside the box and flicked it into the path of Müller, who just glided the ball into the back of the net.

To me, Robben was the man of the match on Tuesday as he was involved in all of Bayern Munich’s goals either by scoring, assisting them, or being a apart of the initial build up just as he was with the second goal. Robben crossed in a corner which Müller again got on the end of it, but an unmarked Mario Gomez finished it off by sweeping the ball in from right below the crossbar and into the back of the net. In the 72nd minute of the match, Robben capped off a superb bit of individual display after he got around the back of Jordi Alba before slotting the ball inside the far post. Bayern got one foot into the final for the second year in a row when Müller tucked in a ball from close range.

The Germans continued their dominance of Spain Wednesday night when Borussia Dortmund’s Lewandowski scored four goals against Real Madrid. Yes, that is correct, you’re reading that right. He scored FOUR AGAINST REAL MADRID. And oh, were three of his four goals ever so beautiful (one was not so as nice because it was a penalty kick, but nonetheless, it was good goal). Oh, and some guy named Cristiano Ronaldo scored the away goal for Madrid, you may have heard of him before. Lewandowski’s first goal of the match would come before the ten minute mark and put Dortmund up early as Götze swung in a superb cross that Lewandowski stretching out his left leg completely to redirect it into the net, after losing Pepe.

Ronaldo equalized the match right before halftime and gave Madrid a slight advantage, with scoring that ever important away goal. Hummel’s terrible back pass was pounced on by Higuan who squared it up for Ronaldo, who proceeded to slot the ball into the back of the net. Lewandowski completely took the match over in the second half. His second goal of the evening came in the 50th minute of the match after Reus’ pass hit the pole, even though Real Madrid were calling for offside, Lewandowski kept his cool and kept it low and past Diego Lopez.

Time and time again, on Wednesday night, Lewandowski was at the right place at the right time. His third goal of the match Schmelzer fumbled on the shot, but it somehow found Lewandowski who dragged the ball away from Pepe and fired it into the top of the goal. Xabi Alonso shoved Marco Reus in the back, deliberately, which gave Dortmund the chance to get their lead to three as Lewandowski converted the spot kick easily and finished off the Spanish champions at home by the final score of 4-1. Polish international, Robert Lewandowski became the first player to score four goals in the Champions League since Mario Gomez did it against Basel last season.

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FT: Juventus 0-2 Bayern Munich

It seems like no matter who the German giants from Bavaria play this season, they dominate them without so much as breaking a sweat. These last two legs against Juventus were no different and showed just how much they wanted to get back to the Champions League final.

I am sure that last year’s final is still very fresh in their heads. They had the chance of doing something special last season, which was to win the trophy on their home season. However, the dream was not fulfilled as they were defeated on penalties by the club from southwest London, Chelsea FC.

In the group stages, Bayern Munich destroyed the opposition for the most part. They only dropped 5 points out of the possible 18, which included a defeat to BATE Borisov away from home and a draw away to Valencia. Don’t get me wrong, they played some good teams in Lille and Valencia, but a 6-1 score line victory against Lille really has set the tone for the rest of their season. Bayern Munich’s domestic league form hit midseason form, right from the get go when they pounced Greuther Furth 3-0 away from the Allianz Arena. The second week of the season, Bayern poured on 6 goals against underperforming Vfb Stuttgart.

Juventus really took the match to them early on and seemed like they would be able to come back and force extra time and potentially beat Bayern Munich, but unfortunately, tonight was not their night.

The first chance of the game came in just the second minute of the match when Marko Vucinic’s tame shot was held relatively easy by the German international goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer. Unfortunately for Bayern Munich, Mario Mandzukic will miss the first leg of the semi-final for picking up a harsh yellow card in the first half.

Van Buyten had the first real opportunity of the match at the quarter hour when his header from Bastian Schweinsteiger went just wide of Buffon’s goal. Moments later, the bearded legend, Pirlo, struck a rocket from 20 yards out that Neuer pushed aside. For the rest of the half, the two sides were exchanging chances like that for the rest of the half.

The last real chance of the first half was when, Bayern’s Thomas Muller tried a half-volley from a couple of yards outside the penalty box was sent wide and did not really trouble the Italian keeper. Jerome Boateng made an early appearance, in the 35th minute, as Van Buyten seemed to have picked up an injury and could not carry on.

In the second half, it was all Bayern Munich. Their defense tightened up and retained possession rather easily. Arjen Robben hit the post and nearly put the game in doubt in the 57th minute of play. Eventually, the recently crowned Bundesliga champions would score. Schweinsteiger’s curling free kick in the 65th minute was met by Javi Martinez, but was saved by Buffon. Buffon let the rebound fall to Mandzukic who poked it into the back of the net. Bayern would get another from Pizarro deep into stoppage time, but it did not really matter as the Bundesliga champions were well on their way to the semi-finals.

What’s next for them you ask?

Well, the task does not get any easier that is for sure. Their potential matchups will be against either Borussia Dortmund, the reigning Bundesliga champions, Real Madrid, the reigning La Liga champions, or Barcelona, well, you know what they are capable of. But if Bayern Munich play the way they have been playing, there is no doubt that they could win the Champions League this year.

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FT: Reading 0-2 Southampton

The victory yesterday at Reading put Southampton seven points clear from safety and put Reading into an even deeper whole to dig out of.

Rodriquez set up the goal from Adam Lallana and scored one himself, making him, my man of the match.
Sean Morrison provided the first real chance of the match as his header from Danny Guthrie’s free kick went over the bar. Adam LeFondre wasted a wonderful chance for Reading to get on the board first and really jumpstart the match for them. The buildup happened because the Saints could not clear a free kick and it fell to the feet of LeFondre and he sent it sailing over the bar.

A thing that really slowed down Reading’s buildup throughout the whole match was that Southampton had made 12 of their 16 interceptions in their defensive third of the pitch.

Arthur Boruc made a fabulous save to deny Reading’s Adrian Mariappa header go header that was headed down to the bottom right hand corner. Right after that save, Southampton really picked up their pace of attack. Ramirez ran straight towards the Reading’s goal but he scuffed his final shot.

The goal finally came in the 34th minute of the first half. Southampton’s buildup was really good as Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez before Rodriguez slotted it in between the legs of Federici as Rodriguez fell to the ground. Federici almost let in another goal before halftime if it weren’t for the goalpost.

The second half started out the same as the first half of the match ended. Southampton’s Steven Davis created the first real chance of the second half but it was a tame shot and Federici collected it easily. LeFondre came close on the other side but it went wide of the goal.

Southampton’s second goal of the night came through Rodriguez again as he slotted the ball through to Lallana who it just inside the near post.

Reading couldn’t create chances in the second half, but that is also due to the fact that Southampton’s defense was really spectacular, especially winning 29 of 50 headed duels.

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FT: Fiorentina 2-2 AC Milan

That was not the only struggle for Fiorentina early in the match as Tomovic was sent off for elbowing Stephen El Shaarawy in the face. It was a bit of a soft sending off as SES may have helped with that one a little bit. But, Vincenzo Montella’s side fought back and eventually got two penalty conversions late in the second half of play and came away with a point at home and this is how they did it.

AC Milan started off really strong, despite their midfield, on paper, being worse than the home sides. The first goal was Pizzaro, unfortunately for Fiorentina, lost the ball to Montolivo who really beat him physically, from about 25 yards out, took a few steps closer to the penalty box and put his shot low and into the bottom left-corner.

The ex-Fiorentina midfielder, Montolivo was booed, it seemed, every time he got the ball, but the goal certainly got the crowd quiet. Pasqual came ever so close for the home side in the 29th minute off of a free kick.
Savic and Jovetic both came out before halftime time pulling up with injuries and were replaced with Romulo and Compper.

Montolivo crossed the ball into the box and Flamini got the slightest touch onto the ball and directed into the goal to double Milan’s lead. Unfortunately, the lead did not last for the visiting team from the north.
In all, 5 of the 9 attempts on goal came in the first half, and 2 of the 9, were from the spot, so all in all for Abbiati, it was a fairly relaxed match.

Milan also made 18 interceptions, all in their defensive half of the pitch which helped break down Fiorentina’s attacking movement.

Montolivo was shown a yellow card on the break for tugging the shirt of Adem Ljajic. Nocerino fouled Ljajic in the box in the 65th minute of play and Ljajic converted his own spot kick. Six minutes later, Fiorentina were awarded another penalty as Cuadrado was fouled in the center of penalty box. This time, Pizarro stepped up and converted the penalty to level the match and come away with a point.

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