Here's who's having the worst Case Of The Mondays this morning.
They say that 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in football. This weekend, Dortmund threw away double that.
They were up 4-0 after just the 25th minute, thanks to three quick goals and a Schalke own goal. But things began to unravel quite quickly in the second half: Schalke scored two goals in four minutes, in the 61st and 65th; Aubameyang got sent off in the 72nd; and then two more goals came in the 86th and the fourth minute of extra time. Extra-time equalizers are always a sucker punch, let alone one that seals a 4-4 comeback.
It’s yet another disappointing result in a string of disappointing results for Dortmund, who sit a shocking fifth in the Bundesliga. Tottenham also scored a comeback win of their own the week before, although Dortmund then were only 1-0 up before losing 2-1. Still, an inability to close out games and protect leads is worrisome.
A match between first and second should be close, so at first a 1-1 draw between Barcelona and Valencia seems like a fair result. But Barcelona could have — really, should have — won: a Lionel Messi goal was so clearly over the line, and yet somehow neither the ref nor the linesman caught it before the Valencia keeper snatched it out.
Of course, Barcelona don’t really have that much to worry about; they’re still top of La Liga, four points above Valencia and eight points ahead of rivals Real Madrid. They won their Champions League group last week, too. But a deserved win is a deserved win, and with Valencia on their tails, it might be an extra two points that they’ll rue not having in the bag.
Will there ever be a time when Everton is not on this list?
They followed up their midweek 5-1 thrashing by Atalanta in the Europa League with a much better 4-1 loss to Southampton. There was a brief moment of hope in the match when they equalized at 1-1, but it’s Everton, so it didn’t last too long.
But what’s more remarkable than their fall from upper-mid-table grace, though, is that they’re not even in the relegation zone. They’re only in 16th, despite having only three wins, 12 points, and the second-worst goal difference in the league (-15), because somehow there are teams (West Brom, West Ham, Swansea, and Crystal Palace) that much worse than them. Other teams’ disasters might just be their only saving grace.
Well, a new manager could probably save them too. If they ever appoint one.
AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella was sacked this morning, following Milan’s 0-0 draw — their sixth of the season, and fourth scoreless match in a row — against Torino this weekend.
Milan currently sit in a cool 7th, a whopping 18 points out of first, and only ahead of 8th-placed Bologna on a +1 goal difference. And although they’ve been struggling a lot in recent years, this year was supposed to be the exception to the rule and a return to the AC Milan of old; they spent almost €200m in the summer, after all, and an increased average attendance this year corresponds to the fans’ increased expectations. There will be a lot for new manager Gennaro Gattuso to answer to.