Liverpool crushed Spartak Moscow 7-0 to reach the knockout round of the Champions League on Wednesday. Philippe Coutinho scored a hat trick to lead the Reds. Sadio Mane scored twice as well. Liverpool’s win ensured that Sevilla were the other team to qualify from that group. Elsewhere, Shakhtar Donetsk qualified in second place in Group F, beating a heavily-rotated Manchester City side, and ensuring that Napoli will not be advancing to the knockout round. Borussia Dortmund’s struggles continue, losing 3-2 to Apoel in what was ultimately a meaningless game for both teams. Besiktas and Porto rounded out the qualifying groups as the two teams to advance from Group G.
Most International tournaments, especially World Cups, lead to a player breaking out on the world stage, and becoming wanted and appreciated by fans and teams around the world. In the 2014 World Cup, that player was James Rodriguez. His performance earned him the Golden Boot at the World Cup, and a high profile move to Real Madrid. However, he never quite settled at Real Madrid, being played out of position and then just having his playing time cut. He lost the flair and the excitement that he played with. That seems to have changed with his loan spell to Bayern Munich this year. He is back to his old self, both in how he plays, and in the way he enjoys the game. It’s always nice to see when a player enjoys playing as much as we enjoying watching him play.
U.S. Soccer is still searching for the long term coach of the USMNT, and it this point, their won’t be a new head coach until at least after the U.S. Soccer Presidential election on Feb 10th. There’s no rush to hire either, as the U.S. doesn’t have any competitive games for a long time. With that news, it was announced that interim coach Dave Sarachan will coach the team in January when they host Bosnia and Herzegovina. This isn’t a big surprise. U.S. Soccer should have a long and intensive coaching search, and Sarachan is as good as anyone to look after the team while that search is going on.
In case you missed it last weekend, Benevento was promoted to Serie A this year for the first time, and they have struggled not getting a single point in the league before this past weekend. What a way to get your first point in Serie A, though. Equalizing against AC Milan, having the goalie score, and equalizing right in the last minute. It certainly followed the script of dramatic and unbelievable sports moments. Here’s hoping we see more moments like that this season.
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