Daily Kick Around: Wednesday Edition

Champions League Results

Barcelona advance to the knockout stage with a 4-0 defeat over Viktoria Plzen last night with a little help from a Messi hat-trick.

AC Milan’s 1-1 tie at BATE Borisovallows helped the Serie A team to advance to the knock-out stage of the tournament.

Arsenal remain on top in Group F after a scoreless draw with visiting Marseille.

Chelsea decided to bench John Terry in Belgium last night as the London team ended up with a 1-1 draw against Genk.

Valencia had a convincing 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen yesterday afternoon.

Major League Soccer

Tonight’s Playoff Schedule:

Sporting KC v Colorado Rapids at 8pm ET on Fox Soccer

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake at 10pm ET on ESPN2

Although Real Salt Lake have a 3-0 cushion going into tonight’s match, their coach Jason Kreis, has yet to confirm if either of his two central defenders will be available. Both Jameson Olave and Nat Borchero have been sidelined with injuries and Kreis has confirmed their availability would have to be a “game-time decision”.

Tomorrow Night’s Schedule:

Houston Dynamo v Philadelphia Union at 8:30pm ET on ESPN2

LA Galaxy v NY Red Bulls at 11pm ET on ESPN2

La Liga

In last night’s CL match, Messi had his second hat-trick in a row, giving him a total of 14 career hat-tricks and his second in the Champions League.  While wearing the Barcelona jersey, the 24-year-old has scored an unbelievable 202 goals.  This season he has 22 goals in 17 games and is once again a candidate for the Ballon d’Or competition. What an amazing accomplishment and it is only early November.

As predicted, Barcelona dominate the 23-man shortlist for FIFA Ballon d’Or with 8 players on the list while Real Madrid have 5 nominees.

Fifth place Sevilla FC lost to dead last Granada 1-2 Monday night, making it Sevilla’s first Primera Division defeat.

English Premier League

Hot off the presses, Harry Rednapp, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, will undergo  minor heart surgery today and miss his team’s Europa League fixture against Rubin Kazan.  A full report is expected at today’s pre-match press conference in Russia.

In the wake of the most recent Balotelli scandal, it is no surprise to hear Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, insist his talented striker is not “mad”, but rather “different, unpredictable” and can break open any match.

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool will be out for two weeks for treatment on an infected right ankle.

During last night’s CL match at Racing Genk, Chelsea fans chanted about QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and the alleged racial abuse from John Terry, which took place in an earlier match.  A Chelsea spokesman has condemned the chants calling them “wholly inappropriate”.

Italian Serie A

Fiorentina confirm Stevan Jovetic signed a new contract with the club despite being sidelined all last season with a knee injury. The Montenegro international’s impressive form this season has helped to extend his stay through 2016.


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