Steven Gerrard is a living legend in my opinion. Now I will start by saying that in 2005, I watch the now infamous Liverpool versus AC Milan match in Instanbul. I started to follow Liverpool a little from that date on. My fandom of the club really started in 2007 when my favorite player at the time, a young striker from Madrid, joined the team. I was looking for a club to follow in England and between the Gerrard lead comeback and Fernando Torres joining the team, it was set. Liverpool would now be my second team and my team in England. While traveling through Tanzania with my family last week, I received some very sad news…Steven Gerrard was leaving Liverpool. This is the club that he signed with as young boy. Gerrard has been with Liverpool for as long as I have been alive. He signed with their Youth Academy in 1987 at the age of 9. He worked his way up from there to being not only the club captain in 2003, but also captain of his country. Gerrard has been the face of Liverpool in the EPL. He has been their best player and a huge reason as to why they won the Champions League in 2005. Gerrard has won just about everything in his career at Liverpool. The one prize that he did miss out was the big one, the League Title. Fans of other teams will always remind him and Liverpool fans of his slip and how that cost Liverpool the title. That is not his legacy however, and it should not be. He should be remembered for being one of the best midfielders of a generation and a player that personally I can say I am glad I got the chance to watch in person. Rumors are that he will be joining the LA Galaxy after this season. I can say that I will be in attendance the first time he plays in Chicago. I am genuinely excited to see him play, but wish it was for Liverpool, the club that Gerrard bleeds for.
Spain returned to action after the holiday and the big winner was Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid saw their 22 game win streak snapped by Valencia losing 2-1. Barcelona played a very weak side against Real Sociedad and payed the price losing 1-0 due to a Jordi Alba own goal. Real Sociedad might be the most interesting team in the world. They have won four games all year and all at home. The team they have beaten…Real Madrid (4-2), Atletico Madrid (2-1), Elche (3-0), and Barcelona (1-0). Can Moyes turn this team around? As it stands now, Real Madrid have maintained the top spot with 39 points on 16 played. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are now tied on 38 points having played 17 games. Valencia sit in 4th with 34 points and Sevilla are in 5th on 33 points but have a game in hand on Valencia.
I am not going to review the what seems like 5 weeks of English Soccer that I missed, but the table has got a little more interesting since I last posted. Chelsea and City sit tied on points and goal difference at 46 with +25. United are in third with 37 points. Southampton are maintaining their top 4 spot on 36 points. Then the next three London teams are all separated by 2 points. Tottenham on 34, Arsenal on 33 and West Ham on 32. The race for fourth place should be very interesting.
The FA Cup resumed this weekend with no major teams missing out on the next round. Leicester did upset Newcastle. QPR was probably the biggest upset with their loss to Sheffield United. Southampton also drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town and will now have a replay in Ipswich. Liverpool beat Wimbledon today as Burnley drew Tottenham.
This week we see the return of Serie A and the Copa del Rey.
In Serie A, Juventus will look to extend their 3 point lead at the top on Tuesday when they host Inter Milan. Roma will look to keep pace when they travel to Udinese. Lazio and Sampdoria have a big show down today, both teams level on 27 points with Lazio in 3rd place and Sampdoria in 5th. Napoli will look to take advantage of this game and beat Cesena on the road to jump into the top 3.
The Copa del Rey continues with a huge matchup this week. The first leg of the Madrid Derby will be played on Wednesday. In what has to be the best matchup of the round. It will be great to watch these two teams clash against each other. The prize for the winner might not be any easier, as Barcelona versus Elche is the other matchup in that part of the bracket.
EPL Pick ‘Em
Lot of results took place over the break. Going into the break it was Buzz 108, Me 102.
During Matchday 17, Buzz nailed the West Ham and Swansea wins as well as the Liverpool-Arsenal draw in route to a 13-7 victory.
During Matchday 18, I was correct on the Liverpool and Tottenham victories while Buzz got the United and Arsenal scorelines correct. This week we tied 11-11.
During Matchday 19, we both really struggled. I only got the Arsenal score correct. I won this week 5-2.
The last round was Matchday 20. During this round of games, neither of us got a correct scoreline as Buzz won 4-3.
Buzz won the break 30 to 26. This brings the score to 138 to 128.