Here's who's having the worst Case of the Mondays this morning.
Against the mighty Burnley this weekend — seriously, mighty Burnley, considering they’ve held Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham to draws this season and currently sit 7th — Raheem Sterling missed the easiest what-would-have-been-a-game-winning-goal he could have ever scored. Like, really; once they figure out how to put videos in dictionaries, this is going to be in there under “absolute sitter.”
STERLING HOW HAVE YOU MISSED THAT?! pic.twitter.com/7rJo2wmfZW
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 3, 2018
And instead of a tidy 2-0 finish, as it maybe should’ve been, the match ended 1-1 after Burnley equalized with eight minutes to go.
It would be really something if Manchester City ended up losing the title by these dropped two points, but we all know that’s never going to happen. Their 13 point lead is going to take far more than just one miss-of-the-season to knock it off course.
If you were a neutral, Liverpool vs Tottenham on Sunday was all you could hope for in a match. If you support either team, you’re probably still coming down from that spike in blood pressure.
The first 79 minutes were pretty standard; a goal from Salah — of course — put Liverpool up in the first half, in which they completely dominated. In the second half, on the other hand, Tottenham was looking a bit more like Tottenham and Liverpool was looking a bit more like Liverpool, meaning the 1-0 bubble looked sure to burst at any moment.
Somehow, it didn’t. Liverpool’s Karius was having quite possibly his best game ever, to everyone’s surprise, and Harry Kane was frankly off his game. (In the opening 30 minutes especially, you could have forgotten he was on the pitch.)
But then, with ten minutes to spare, Wanyama scored what might possibly be the goal of the season.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) February 4, 2018
From there, everything went bananas. There was an offside-and-dive penalty given to Harry Kane, who then shot it right at Karius because ball doesn’t lie. Then, Salah scored another goal of the season contender. Then, in what turned out to be the last kick of the game, Tottenham was given another questionable penalty and went on to score his 100th Premier League goal.
In any other world, the only argument would be whether Wanyama’s or Salah’s goal was better. It was also a pretty interesting case for VAR implementation, as the center ref and the linesman disagreed on both penalty calls.
The way the second half went, Liverpool would have theoretically been happy with a draw. But it was the way Tottenham equalized that will leave them with a sour taste in their mouth, ruing two points lost as the race for fourth opens up a little wider.
The Chivas team we’ve seen this season seems to come from a different planet than the one that won their 12th league title less than a year ago. This Chivas team only has only 4 points from the first 5 games of the Clausura 2018 after a 2-0 loss to 10-men Puebla this weekend, a result that fits into a larger string of disappointment for the Liga MX giants:
Puebla 2-0 Chivas. Great result that for Puebla. I keep think Chivas are going to start to click back into gear, but it isn't happening. 7 wins in last 34 Liga MX games now for Guadalajara. #ligamxeng
— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) February 3, 2018
Fans point to the defense — they’ve conceded nine so far, the fifth-most of any team, and with only 6 goals scored that doesn’t make winning easy — manager Almeyda’s refusal to rotate out players when they’re playing poorly, and, well, “everything.” Whatever it is, you’d think they’d have figured it out in 34 whole games…but they’ll have to keep waiting.
Eibar just got a big boost in the boost in the race for the second of La Liga’s Europa League spots.
A sixth-versus-seventh battle should be relatively close you’d think, but Eibar beat Sevilla a whopping 5-1 at the weekend — starting with a goal in the first minute — to jump to just one point behind them.
That’s got to rock the confidence of Sevilla, who have the next rounds of the Champions League (vs Manchester United) and Copa del Rey (vs Leganes, against whom they should advance) to power through in addition to the league, in which they’ll Valencia, Atletico Madrid, and then Barcelona over the next two months as well.
They’re certainly not going to win the Champions League, so holding on to that sixth place spot is their only route into Europe next year. Could Sevilla find themselves outside of European competition for the first time since 2013-2014?