THE SOCCER REPORT

Manchester City humbles Chelsea in 6-0 win; United back in the top four

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)

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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)

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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+)

Dash 1, Reign FC 1

5 kicks from Dash vs. Reign FC

Dash forward Nichelle Prince (center) scored in the 10th minute against Reign FC. (Photo by Jose Castenanos)

The Houston Dash opened their sixth professional season in the National Women's Soccer League with a 1-1 home draw against Regin FC on Sunday. Canadian National Team forward Nichelle Prince scored the lone goal for the Dash while U.S. National Team Goalkeeper Jane Campbell saved a penalty attempt in stoppage time.

Here are five observations from the win:

HIGHLIGHTS: Houston Dash vs. Reign FC | April 14, 2019 www.youtube.com

1) Welcome to the Clarkson era

Head Coach James Clarkson made his debut as a manager in the women's game. He was named the third head coach in club history after being announced to the role last December. Sunday was the first real test for the team, being that it was their first competitive match and one against a professional team.

The Dash had some good chances, enough to win this match at least, and have only themselves to blame for the dropped points. True, Reign FC is a more seasoned team with a two-time NWSL Championship winning coach but they were beatable on the day. Given that players are still adjusting to a new coaching staff, Clarkson gets a pass here for the result. Going forward, however, these are the types of games that have to be won if the club wants to even entertain qualifying to their first NWSL playoffs.

2) Prince pounces on mistake

Canadian forward Nichelle Prince won the battle against Reign defender Theresa Nielsen, dispossessing her to score in the 10th minute. The 24-year-old from Ajax, Ontario, Canada was a nuisance for the defense for a large part of the game and provided a good outlet for the attack in transition. The ability to create her own opportunity turned into the team's only goal on the day. She will be a player to keep an eye on not only for the Dash but for Canada at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup.

3) Campbell saves the day

Goalkeeper Jane Campbell had a fairly solid day in goal. Other than the deflected shot that put the Reign on the scoreboard in the 58th minute, there wasn't much that she couldn't handle. In the waning minutes of the match, however, she was careless with a back pass that ended in her conceding a stoppage time penalty (she apologized for the play after the match). In the end, she stayed a hero by blocking the penalty and securing the point for the home team.

4) Brooks plays in 100th NWSL match

Only 21 players had featured in 100 NWSL matches until Sunday. Amber Brooks became the 22nd player to reach that milestone, coincidentally her jersey number is no. 22. The club's Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 has become one of the key figures on the team since her arrival in 2016. Another coincidence was that she reached the accomplishment against Reign FC, the team she played for before coming to Houston. Brooks continues to add to her resume which also includes playing in Europe with FC Bayern Munich and in Australia, this past offseason, with Adelaide United.

5) Lowest turnout for a home opener

If you've read my "5 Kicks" after Houston Dynamo games, you've read plenty about the dwindling attendance at the matches for the men. Unfortunately, due to the Dash getting a fraction of the Dynamo's resources despite sharing the same ownership group, it's an even more uphill battle on the women's side. The match hardly had any marketing dollars behind it and the attendance figures reflect that.

2014 - 8,097 on April 12 vs. Portland Thorns (L 0-1)

2015 - 6,012 on April 10 vs. Washington Spirit (W 2-0)

2016 - 7,440 on April 16 vs. Chicago Red Stars (W 3-1)

2017 - 4,484 on April 15 vs. Chicago Red Stars (W 2-0)

2018 - 5,846 on March 25 vs. Chicago Red Stars (T 1-1)

2019 - 4,335 on April 14 vs. Reign FC (T 1-1)

The drop in the home opener comes a year after Dynamo/Dash Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer David Brady shared a three-year attendance plan with the Houston Business Journal - one that aims for the club to double their numbers by next season.

Dash player of the game: Nichelle Prince

The Dash don't come away with a point, or have a chance at three, if not for Prince's efforts that put the team on the scoreboard.

Next up:

Saturday, April 20th at Sky Blue FC (5:00 p.m. CT, YahooSports.com)

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