“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Globetrotting Friday was sweet. But now we can get downright bacchanalian on the weekend’s ten most worthwhile matches for us, the newish American fans!
Tip of the day: Check back to any previous T2T to see the post-match results.
Arsenal vs. Everton – English Premier League
Noob normally avoids getting in the weeds on specific players. We are Noob and Noobite, and our focus for newish American fans like us here is teams and leagues. But —
Trade/Transfer Deadline Day just passed in England, and #6 Arsenal made two big moves. They picked up offensive superstar Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a massive pile of money. Noob gathers there was also some question as to whether they would hold onto star Mesut Ōzil. They did.
6th place is only good for maybe qualifying for Europa League. They’ve fallen six points behind Noob-reviled Tottenham Sir Topham Hatt Hotspur for 5th, a slot which would guarantee them that berth. They’re eight points out of 4th place and a Champions League invite. Will their new acquisition be enough to get them over the hump? They should at least be able to keep 9th-place Everton’s weak offense muffled.
RESULT: Arsenal 5-1
OTOH, some of us don’t want to get over the hump…
B. Monterrey vs. Leon – Liga MX
In the Apertura half of the 2017-18 season, these two finished #B and #7 respectively. A few games into the Clausura, they’re in 1st and 8th. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
RESULT: Monterrey 5-1
Old school! Graffiti font Number B.
FC Porto vs. Braga – Primeira Liga
Portugal’s top league has slipped just enough in the FIFA rankings that they lost a Champions League berth, so now only get two teams in.
Porto is #B right now, but have played one less game than 1st-place Sporting and only trail them by a point. Defending league champ Benfica are hot on their heels, just two points back. 4th place-Braga will remain such to the end, Europa-bound.
Honorable mention today: Borussia M’Gladbach vs. RB Leipzig, Sampdoria vs. Torino, Eibar vs. Sevilla, Benfica vs. Rio Ave
RESULT: Porto 3-1
Liverpool vs. Tottenham Sir Topham Hatt Hotspur – English Premier League
First Liverpool traded their offensive superstar. Now at the Deadline they’ve been woefully outbid by a bottom-rung team (West Brom) for their own star defender.
Liverpool is tied in the table for 3rd/4th with Chelsea, and the traitorously-named Hotspur club just two points behind them. Since it’s the top four that get into Champions League, it may not be unfair to say this is the most interesting and perhaps important match of the year so far.
Would you be less cross with Noob if I paid compliment on your pocket square?
UNAM Pumas vs. UANL Tigres – Liga MX
UNAM finished last in the Apertura, but look at the Pumas now! Sure, it’s just four games into the Clausura, but tied for 1st is shiny just the same. Los Tigres finished 2nd, but are in 6th now, have had a tough defensive start to the second half.
RESULT: UNAM 2-0
AS Monaco vs. Lyon – Ligue 1
Monaco is in 4th, on the outside looking in for a Champions League berth. But they’re only a single point behind #B’s Lyon and Marseille.
Lyon just lost 3-1 to Bordeaux, a missed opportunity to create some space for themselves. But they beat Monaco 2-3 in the Coupe de France just over a week ago. Noobstradamus knows the limits of his prognosticating power, is staying clear of all this madness.
RESULT: Monaco 3-2
Wouldn’t touch this one with a 10-meter baguette.
Atlético Madrid vs. Valencia – La Liga
Atlético is #B and has enough points to feel safe in their Champions League quest, as the top four Spanish clubs get invited.
Valencia is in 3rd, and it’s a good bet that defending league champ Real Madrid will right their ship soon and pass them. Can Valencia stay clear of Villareal would be the real question.
RESULT: Atletico 1-0
Club Brugge vs. Sporting Charleroi – Belgium First Division A
The top six teams here make the league championship playoffs. Club Brugge have all but won the league already. Will Charleroi be able to hang on to #B and the other bye in the playoffs? Anderlecht trail them by just a point in the table.
This is so close to feeling relevant.
And yet so far…
Macabbi Tel Aviv vs. Hapoel Be’er Sheva – Israeli Premier
Same deal in Israel as in Belgium – top six make the league playoffs. #B hosts league #1. Can Tel Aviv hold off Beitar Jerusalem for a bye? They are about identical to Be’er Sheva in record and stats, so should hold serve today at least.
RESULT: Tel Aviv 1-0
San Lorenzo vs. Boca Juniors – Superliga Argentina
We finish strong, Noobites! Three in a row where a #B faces off against numero uno. They’re not much more than a dozen games into the season there, but Juniors are already starting to get some distance from the field, and their goal differential proves it can last. Unstoppable offense.
Grabber-armed t-rex returns!
Honorable Mention matches: Augsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Udinese vs. AC Milan, Olympiacos vs. AEK Athens, Plateau United vs. Sunshine Stars