Going into the North London Derby, Spurs hadn’t won at Arsenal since 2010, but there was a lot of evidence that would suggest this would be the game when they won there again. Spurs have done really well in the league this season, and notched wins in the Champions League against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Meanwhile, Arsenal have done their normal Arsenal thing for the last couple years, win some games in the league but generally be disappointing. However Arsenal came out on top, winning 2-0 from goals by Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez. Despite their penchant for inconsistency, Mark Ogden of ESPNFC argues it’s time to take Arsenal seriously again.
Speaking of derbies, there was another important one this weekend, the Derby della Capitale down in Serie A. In Saturday’s version, Roma came out on top over Lazio 2-1. Roma controlled most of the game, but the game was scoreless until Aleksandar Kolarov was taken down in the box. Diego Perotti converted the penalty, and then a few minutes later Radja Nainggolan slammed in a shot from outside the box to seal the victory. Ciro Immobile converted a penalty for Lazio to make it interesting, but ultimately it was too little, too late for Lazio. This was a huge victory, as it keeps Roma in the title hunt, in a season in which the Serie A title seems up for grabs.
Caleb Porter and the Portland Timbers parted ways Thursday night, and it was a surprise to many. The Timbers did lose their playoff series to the Houston Dynamo, but they had been ravaged with injury, and Porter in general has been a good coach for the Timbers (plus ya know, there was that MLS cup he won with the Timbers a few years ago). The rumors are that Porter decided to walk away, and this seems surprising. What could Porter be headed for next? And where do the Timbers look for a new head coach? Matt Doyle of MLSsoccer.com takes a look at those questions.
The other notable derby of the weekend was the Madrid derby, which finished 0-0. It was the first version of the Madrid derby at Atleti’s new stadium. The game was a feisty and fierce affair, even though no goals were scored. The draw allowed Barcelona to go 10 points clear at the top of the La Liga table. To add injury to insult for Real Madrid, they lost captain and star defender Sergio Ramos to a broken nose during the game. There is no timetable for his return, though knowing Ramos he will surely be back soon probably playing with a mask. It seemed inconceivable before the season started, but Barcelona look like they are running away with the title, and it’s not even Christmas yet.
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