The Soccer Report

Agüero, Messi and Ronaldo among weekend scorers; Atlanta's Almiron sold for MLS-record $26 million

Sergio Aguero scored his 10th Premier League hat-trick for Manchester City against Arsenal. Credit: Puma.

There's plenty to digest from the past week in soccer, from the craziness of Thursday's deadline day to the title-implicating results of the weekend. Here is a breakdown of all the action:

English Premier League

There were two rounds of Premier League action this week and both provided some drama in the title race. On Tuesday, Newcastle United looked to have dashed Manchester City's title hopes after the defending champions were upset 2-1 at St. James' Park. That left Liverpool with a chace to extend their lead by as much as seven points with a win over Leicester City on Wednesday, which ended in a 1-1 draw. City would regain their form on Sunday with a 3-1 home win over Arsenal - a result made more important by Liverpool's 1-1 away draw at West Ham on Monday. Now, a title race that could've been all but decided is back to a three point difference, with Spurs quietly two points behind City in third. With 13 dates left to play, the title race is nowhere near over.

Of course, Thursday's transfer deadline day left much to be talked about in the Premier League... for some. Tottenham, for starters, did not make a signing in back-to-back January transfer windows. London rivals Chelsea did as the Blues acquired striker Gonzalo Higuain from Milan. The Argentine, who reunites with his former Napoli manager, scored twice in Saturday's 5-0 win over Huddersfield. Newcastle were among the teams that made a splash by signing Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron for a club record £20 million ($26 million) on a five-year deal.

Top six: 1. Liverpool (62), 2. Manchester City (59), 3. Tottenham (57), 4. Chelsea (50), 5. Manchester United (48), 6. Arsenal (47)

Scoring leader: 16 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Assists leader: 10 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)

Spain's La Liga

Highlights FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF (2-2) www.youtube.com

Leo Messi comes up big for FC Barcelona once more, with two goals this week in what could've been a disaster loss to a formidable Valencia who took a 0-2 lead at the Camp Nou. What makes it a sweeter victory is the loss of second place Atletico Madrid, 0-1 at Real Betis, to extend Barcelona's stranglehold on the title. Real Madrid won 3-0 against Alaves and will bank on Barcelona dropping more points to remain hopeful about a last gasp title run.

Off the field, Cirque du Soleil announced a show modeled after the Argentine sensation titled, "Messi10." The show will debut with showings to the public later this year in Barcelona before going international in 2020.

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (50), 2. Atlético Madrid (44), 3. Real Madrid (42), 4. Sevilla (36), 5. Getafe (32), 6. Real Betis (32)

Scoring leader: 21 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 10 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Leaders Borussia Dortmund continue with breathing room despite dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Frankfurt. Bayern Munich, who was on a charge up the table, lost 3-1 at Bayer Leverkusen to drop down to 3rd in the standings.

Top six: 1. Dortmund (49), 2. Monchengladbach (42), 3. Bayern Munich (42), 4. RB Leipzig (37), 5. Eintracht Frankfurt (32), 6. Wolfburg (31)

Scoring leader: 14 - Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Assists leader: 9 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund / Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Juventus 3-3 Parma | Gervinho Snatches Late Draw After Ronaldo Double | Serie A youtu.be

It was a bit of a down week for Juventus after the Italian giants were eliminated from the Coppa Italia in a 3-0 quarterfinal loss at Atalanta. The slump carried over to their league form as the defending champions dropped points against Parma thanks to a goal given up in stoppage team. Cristiano Ronaldo did score twice and retook the leadership in the scoring table.

Top six: 1. Juventus (60), 2. Napoli (51), 3. Inter Milan (40), 4. Milan (36), 5. Atalanta (35), 6. Roma (35)

Scoring leader: 17 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Assists leader: 8 - Suso (A.C. Milan)

French Ligue 1

Top six: 1. PSG (56), 2. Lille (46), 3. Lyon (43), 4. Saint-Étienne (37), 5. Montpellier (36), 6. Strasbourg (35)

Scoring leader: 18 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 8 - Angel Di Maria (PSG) / Memphis Depay (Lyon) / Nicolas Pepe (Lille)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. PSV Eindhoven (55), 2. Ajax (50), 3. Feyenoord (39)

Scoring leader: 18 - Luuk de Jong (PSV)

Assists leader: 10 - Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) / Steven Bergwijn (PSV)

Belgian First Division A

Top three: 1. Genk (54), 2. Club Brugge (45), 3. Antwerp (45)

Scoring leader: 17 - Mbwana Samatta (Genk)

Assists leader: 12 - Hans Vanaken (Brugge)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top three: 1. Porto (50), 2. Benfica (47), 3. Braga (46)

Scoring leader: 13 - Dyego Sousa (Braga)

Assists leader: 9 - Pizzi (Benfica)

Scottish Premier League

Top three: 1. Celtic (54), 2. Rangers (48), 3. Aberdeen (46)

Scoring leader: 13 - Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)

Assists leader: 8 - James Tavernier (Rangers)

------

Major League Soccer

MLS took a major stride in it's attempt to grow into a "selling league" with the record sale of Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron to the Premier League's Newcastle United for a reported $26 million transfer fee. That wasn't the only bit of craziness as D.C. United's own #10 Luciano Acosta was reportedly on his way to PSG, and even flew to Paris to complete the transfer, before the deal fell apart after the clubs could not agree on a price.

On the field, less than a month remains for the start of the 2019 season as teams begin to take part in friendlies. The Dynamo returns to competitive action in about two weeks for their part in the Concacaf Champions League before kicking off the season on March 2nd against Real Salt Lake. In the meanwhile, the club is in Tucson,Arizona for preseason friendlies against MLS competition (times and dates in the schedule below).

Liga MX

Tijuana vs. Toluca | 2019 Liga MX Highlights www.youtube.com

Top eight: 1. Monterrey (11), 2. Necaxa (10), 3. Tigres UANL (10), 4. Atlas (10), 5. Chivas Guadalajara (10), 6. Club America (9), 7. Club Leon (8), 8. Lobos BUAP (7)

Scoring leader: 4 - Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey) / Leonardo Ramos (Lobos BUAP)

Assists leader: 4 - Carlos Rodríguez (Monterrey)

Superliga Argentina

Top four: 1. Racing Club (42), 2. Defensa y Justicia (39), 3. Boca Juniors (31), 4. Atletico Tucuman (31)

Scoring leader: 14 - Lisandro Lopez (Racing)

Assists leader: 5 - Luis Miguel Rodriguez (Atletico Tucuman)

------

U.S. Men's National Team

MNT vs. Costa Rica: Highlights - Feb. 2, 2019 www.youtube.com

The U.S. Men's National Team notched their second win under new coach Gregg Berhalter with a 2-0 result over Costa Rica. The result should be taken with a grain of salt given it wasn't either team's best squad due to this match not being played on a FIFA international date, meaning European-based players would not be released. The USMNT's next friendlies should provide a better litmus test when they face off on March 21st against Ecuador and March 26th against Chile, the latter taking place in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium.

------

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, Feb. 5

11:30 a.m. - [German Cup] Heidenheim vs. Bayer Leverkusen (ESPN3)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen (ESPN3)

Wednesday, Feb. 6

11:30 a.m. - [German Cup] RB Leipzig vs. Wolfsburg (ESPN3)

1:45 p.m. - [Premier League] Everton vs. Manchester City (NBC Sports)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Hertha Berlin vs. Bayern Munich (ESPN3)

1:45 p.m. - [German Cup] Schalke 04 vs. Dusseldorf (ESPN3)

2:00 p.m. - [Copa Del Rey] FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid (beIN SPORTS)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS Preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United (HoustonDynamo.com)

Thursday, Feb. 7

1:30 p.m. - [Serie A] Lazio vs. Empoli (ESPN+)

2:00 p.m. - [Copa del Rey] Real Betis vs. Valencia (beIN Sports)

Friday, Feb. 8

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Mainz vs. Bayer Leverkusen (FS2)

1:30 p.m. - [Serie A] Chievo vs. Roma (ESPN+)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Veracruz vs. Tigres UANL (Univision Deportes)

Saturday, Feb. 9

6:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Fulham vs. Manchester United (NBC Sports)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] RB Leipzig vs. Frankfurt (FOX Deportes)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Borussia Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim (FS2/Univision Deportes)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Liverpool vs. Bournemouth (NBC Sports)

9:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Huddersfield vs. Arsenal (CNBC)

9:15 a.m. - [La Liga] Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid (beIN Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Brighton vs. Burnley (NBC Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Bayern Munich vs. Schalke 04 (FS2)

1:30 p.m. - [Serie A] Parma vs. Inter Milan (ESPN+)

7:00 p.m. - [MLS Preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders FC (HoustonDynamo.com)

7:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Club America vs. Club Leon (Univision)

9:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Necaxa vs. Chivas Guadalajara (Univision)

Sunday, Feb. 10

7:30 a.m. - [Premier League] Tottenham vs. Leicester City (NBC Sports)

10:00 a.m. - [Premier League] Manchester City vs. Chelsea (NBC Sports)

11:00 a.m. - [Serie A] Sassuolo vs. Juventus (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)

12:00 p.m. - [Liga MX] Toluca vs. Cruz Azul (Univision)

1:30 p.m. - [Serie A] AC Milan vs. Cagliari (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona (beIN Sports)

Monday, Feb. 11

2:00 p.m. - [Premier League] Wolves vs. Newcastle United (NBC Sports)

Paul Pogba and Manchester United look to extend their 11-match unbeaten streak in the UEFA Champions League. Credit: Adidas

The second week of February always brings supporters across the world a feeling of love with the reboot of the UEFA Champions League. Europe's club championship, and arguably the most important tournament in soccer after the FIFA World Cup, returns with the round of 16 as the road to the final in Madrid continues. A list of TV listings for this week's UCL and other matches can be found at the end of this article.

English Premier League

Manchester City v. Chelsea | PREMIER LEAGUE EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | 2/10/19 | NBC Sports www.youtube.com

Sergio Agüero equaled the legendary Alan Shearer for most hat-tricks in the Premier League with his 11th such in Sunday's 6-0 win over Chelsea. The win puts City equal with Liverpool for first place, albeit with one extra match in the books, and dropped Chelsea down to sixth. The loss also benefits Manchester United, who are back in the top four after an 11-match unbeaten streak since Ole Gunnar Solskjær took over as the interim manager. A top four finish guarantees teams a spot in next season's UEFA Champions League and the prize money that comes with it. Should Chelsea and Arsenal not be able to regain a top four spot, winning the UEFA Europa League would be their only way in.

Top six: 1. Manchester City (65), 2. Liverpool (65), 3. Tottenham (60), 4. Manchester United (51), 5. Arsenal (50), 6. Chelsea (50)

Scoring leader: 17 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) / Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Assists leader: 10 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)


Spain's La Liga

A 3-1 win in the Madrid Derby helped Real Madrid jump back into the top two and start thinking seriously about potentially catching rivals Barcelona for the top spot in the league, if certain results were to go their way. At least for this week, that was the case as Bacelona drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao.

Top six: 1. FC Barcelona (51), 2. Real Madrid (45), 3. Atlético Madrid (44), 4. Sevilla (37), 5. Getafe (35), 6. Alaves (35)

Scoring leader: 21 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 10 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

German Bundesliga

Top six: 1. Dortmund (50), 2. Bayern Munich (45), 3. Monchengladbach (42), 4. RB Leipzig (38), 5. Eintracht Frankfurt (33), 6. Bayer Leverkusen (33)

Scoring leader: 14 - Luka Jović (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Assists leader: 9 - Jadon Sancho (Dortmund / Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Italian Serie A

Sassuolo 0-3 Juventus | Ronaldo on Target as Champions Go 11 Points Clear | Serie A www.youtube.com

Top six: 1. Juventus (63), 2. Napoli (52), 3. Inter Milan (43), 4. Milan (39), 5. Atalanta (38), 6. Roma (38)

Scoring leader: 18 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Assists leader: 8 - Suso (A.C. Milan)

French Ligue 1

Top six: 1. PSG (59), 2. Lille (49), 3. Lyon (43), 4. Montpellier (37), 5. Saint-Étienne (37), 6. Marseille (37)

Scoring leader: 18 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 8 - Nicolas Pepe (Lille) / Angel Di Maria (PSG) / Kenny Lala (Strasbourg)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. PSV Eindhoven (56), 2. Ajax (50), 3. Feyenoord (42)

Scoring leader: 20 - Luuk de Jong (PSV)

Assists leader: 11 - Steven Bergwijn (PSV)

Belgian First Division A

Top three: 1. Genk (57), 2. Club Brugge (46), 3. Antwerp (45)

Scoring leader: 19 - Mbwana Samatta (Genk)

Assists leader: 12 - Hans Vanaken (Brugge)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top three: 1. Porto (51), 2. Benfica (50), 3. Braga (49)

Scoring leader: 14 - Dyego Sousa (Braga)

Assists leader: 12 - Pizzi (Benfica)

Scottish Premier League

Top three: 1. Celtic (57), 2. Rangers (51), 3. Aberdeen (46)

Scoring leader: 15 - Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)

Assists leader: 9 - James Tavernier (Rangers)

------

Major League Soccer

The Houston Dynamo continued their preseason preparations out in Tucson, AZ with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday against Minnesota United and a 3-2 win over Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday night. They Dynamo enter their second and final week in the desert before focusing on their Concacaf Champions League match at Guatemalan club Guastatoya next Tuesday.

Liga MX

Top eight: 1. Monterrey (14), 2. Tigres UANL (13), 3. Leon (11), 4. Necaxa (11), 5. Chivas Guadalajara (11), 6. Atlas (10), 7. Pachuca (10), 8. Club America (9)

Scoring leader: 5 - Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey) / Brian Leonel Fernández (Necaxa)

Assists leader: 4 - Carlos Rodríguez (Monterrey) / Angel Mena (Cruz Azul)

Superliga Argentina

Top four: 1. Racing Club (42), 2. Defensa y Justicia (42), 3. Boca Juniors (32), 4. Atletico Tucuman (32)

Scoring leader: 14 - Lisandro Lopez (Racing)

Assists leader: 5 - Luis Miguel Rodriguez (Atletico Tucuman) / Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors) / Walter Montillo (Tigre)

------

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, Feb. 12

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Manchester United vs. PSG (TNT/UniMas/Univision Deportes)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Roma vs. Porto (B/R Live/Galavision)

Wednesday, Feb. 13

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Ajax vs. Real Madrid (B/R Live/UniMas/Univision Deportes)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Champions League] Tottenham vs. Dortmund (TNT/Galavision)

5:00 p.m. - [MLS Preseason] Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City (HoustonDynamo.com)

Thursday, Feb. 14

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] BATE vs. Arsenal (B/R Live)

12:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Galatasaray vs. Benfica (B/R Live)

2:00 p.m. - [UEFA Europa League] Malmo vs. Chelsea (B/R Live/UniMas)

Friday, Feb. 15

1:30 p.m. - [Bundesliga] Augsburg vs. Bayern Munich (FS2)

Saturday, Feb. 16

6:30 a.m. - [FA Cup] Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Derby County (ESPN+)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Schalke 04 vs. SC Freiburg (FS2)

8:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Stuttgart vs. RB Leipzig (Univision Deportes)

9:15 a.m. - [La Liga] Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid (beIN Sports)

11:30 a.m. - [FA Cup] Newport County vs. Manchester City (ESPN+)

11:30 a.m. - [Bundesliga] Hertha BSC Berlin vs. SV Werder Bremen (FS2)

1:45 p.m. - [La Liga] Barcelona vs. Real Valladolid (beIN Sports)

Sunday, Feb. 17

5:00 a.m. - [La Liga] Real Madrid vs. Girona (beIN Sports)

Monday, Feb. 18

1:30 p.m. - [FA Cup] Chelsea vs. Manchester United (ESPN+)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome