Throughout the season, we at 32 Flags will be giving you a complete recap of the action at the end of the weekend in our Weekend Soccer Roundup. Not only will we run down the biggest winners and losers, but the highlights and most talked about moments of the weekend.
1) Biggest Winner – Southampton
Southampton, with their 1-0 victory over Swansea, becomes the third surprise team in a row (Swansea and Aston Villa) who are sitting runner up on the EPL table. What Southampton won’t want to hear is that those teams lost in the very next game. That will be good news for QPR and maybe a little alert if you’re thinking of putting a few bucks on the game.
2) Standout Performer – Real Madrid
Instead of recognizing a player, I’m recognizing a team as standout performers. Anyone who can put up eight goals in a league game is worthy of this distinction. Ronaldo got a hat trick, Gareth Bale and Chicharito each got braces and James Rodriguez scored once as they beat Deportivo Coruna 8-2.
3) Biggest Loser – Liverpool
I could’ve put Manchester United on here because they’re also worthy of this spot but Liverpool were just dominated by West Ham this weekend. At least Man U had a lead and scored three goals. West Ham scored twice in the first seven minutes and were unafraid to attack Liverpool. Pool got a goal near then end of the half but it was all West Ham. Brendan Rodgers was changing tactics and doing all he could to compete but Sam Allardyce shockingly kept the pedal to the metal until around 15 minutes to go. West Ham then went more defensive and scored on a counter late in the game. Yeah Liverpool doesn’t have Daniel Sturridge but Sturridge doesn’t play defense and Pool still allowed three goals. Back to the drawing board at Melwood. In a strange stat, Liverpool is 2-3-1 in games that are played on regular NBC. I know Liverpool doesn’t know they’re competing in front of a wider audience in the US but they seem to struggle on the US network big stage. Case in point, they lost to Aston Villa and West Ham in consecutive weeks while on NBC.
4) Best Tweet
Man utd … LOL
— Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) September 21, 2014
While this is true, this isn’t really the best time for any Liverpool player to be posting that. I’m looking at the current table, and it shows Liverpool at 11th with six points and Manchester United in 12th with five. Get your own issues in order before making fun of others. But then it is Mario Balotelli so I can’t say I’m shocked.
And anyone who has the need to racially abuse Balotelli, just get over yourself. It’s called banter people. Feel free to give it right back to him but if you’re going to resort to racist remarks, there’s no place for people like you in any fan base.
5) Biggest Surprise – Paderborn
Until yesterday, I didn’t pay any attention to Paderborn. In case you haven’t paid any attention to Paderborn either, Paderborn finished 2nd in 2. Bundesliga and just promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time ever in their 107 year history. After four games, Paderborn is at the top of the table in a four way tie with Mainz, Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich at 2-2-0 and have the goal differential tiebreaker. And they had to keep that first spot by scoring one of the early candidates for goal of the year (and one you’ll see later in the post).
6) Best Moment – Alessandro Florenzi
The Roma striker scored his first goal of the season and he capped it off by going into the stands and celebrating the goal with his 82 year old grandmother. He got a yellow card for going into the stands, which is the right call, but I’m sure he didn’t care he got a yellow and I’m sure many of us would do the same if we were in Alessandro’s situation.
7) Best Goal – Paderborn
Being down 1-0 late in the game, Hannover pulled everyone up to try to salvage a point. It’s a smart strategy since you have nothing to lose. After the free kick, the ball fell to Moritz Stoppelkamp, who took a spin and promptly fired it 80 yards into the goal on the other end to cement the 2-0 win and put Paderborn top of the Bundesliga.
8) Extra Time
Going to do a little bit of self promotion. This Saturday, the Merseyside Derby will be the opening game of the EPL day while the North London Derby will be the final game of the EPL day. All week long, 32 Flags will have articles devoted to both games in what we will call “Derby Week.” We’ll do the same for future big derby matches and we’re so lucky to have two of these big games on the same day for our first Derby Week.
We’ll also introduce a new weekly feature that will debut this Friday. Now that FIFA 15 is coming out Tuesday, it’s considered as one of the most accurate soccer games on the market. We are going to put that to the test by using the game for our previews. We’ll set up the two teams in a big matchup over the weekend and put in what we feel will be the projected lineup and let the computer fight it out. We’ll post the video and do a little analysis and we’ll see how accurate they really are at the end of the weekend. This week, we’ll do one for both the Merseyside Derby and North London Derby and you’ll see that on Friday.
On Saturday, come on over to the 32 Flags twitter account @32flags as we will be live tweeting both games that day. Liverpool vs. Everton at 7:45 AM et on NBCSN and Arsenal vs. Tottenham at 12:30 PM et on NBC. Really looking forward to this upcoming week and we’re celebrating it in style.