THE SOCCER REPORT

Manchester City win the Premier League, Bundesliga down to final day

Leroy Sané is a back-to-back Premier League champion with Manchester City. Credit Nike, Inc.


UEFA Champions League

FC Barcelona and Ajax were in the driver's seat after their first leg leg semi-final wins but it will be Liverpool and Tottenham who headline the final in Madrid. Liverpool, without top attacking players in Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, overcame an 0-3 deficit with a four-goal win at Anfield - shocking Lionel Messi's Barcelona who had an embarrassing night. Young Ajax, meanwhile, were up on the scoreboard at home before Tottenham fired up a comeback to take the series on away goals and advance to their first UCL final.

Semifinals - second leg results:

  • Liverpool 4-0 FC Barcelona (4-3 agg.)
  • Ajax 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur (3-3 agg., Tottenham advance on away goals)

UEFA Europa League

The Europa Legue final will also be headline by two Premier League clubs as Arsenal and Chelsea found their way to the final. Arsenal had no problem doing away with Valencia while Chelsea left it up to a dramatic penalty shootout win at home in what will likely end up being Eden Hazard's final home match for the club.

Semifinals - second leg results:

  • Valencia 2-4 Arsenal (3-7 agg.)
  • Chelsea 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (2-2 agg., Chelsea advance 4-3 on penalties)

English Premier League

After falling 0-1 early at Brighton and Hove Albion, Manchester City stopped any dramatic finish with four unanswered goals to crown themselves the 2018/19 Premier League Champions. City are the first champions to repeat in over a decade since rivals United in the 2008-09 season.

Final top six: 1. (C) Manchester City (95), 2. Liverpool (97), 3. Chelsea (72), 4. Tottenham (71), 5. Arsenal (70), 6. Manchester United (66)

Top scorer: 22 - Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) / Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) / Sadio Mané (Liverpool)

Most assists: 15 - Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC)

Spain's La Liga

One day left in the Spanish league as three teams vie for the last Champions League spot.

Top six: 1. (C) - FC Barcelona (86), 2. Atlético Madrid (75), 3. Real Madrid (68), 4. Valencia (58), 5. Getafe (58), 6. Sevilla (56)

Scoring leader: 34 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

Assists leader: 13 - Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) / Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla)

German Bundesliga

Bayern Munich were held at Leipzig but still depend only on themselves to win the title on the last weekend. Dortmund need to win combined with a Bayern loss to finish as champions.

Top six: 1. Bayern Munich (75), 2. Dortmund (73), 3. RB Leipzig (66), 4. Monchengladbach (55), 5. Bayer Leverkusen (55), 6. Eintracht Frankfurt (54)

Scoring leader: 22 - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Assists leader: 14 - Jadon Sancho (Dortumund)

Italian Serie A

Top six: 1. (C) - Juventus (89), 2. Napoli (76), 3. Inter Milan (66), 4. Atalanta (65), 5. A.C. Milan (62), 6. Roma (62)

Scoring leader: 26 - Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria)

Assists leader: 10 - Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta) / Dries Mertens (Napoli) / Suso (A.C. Milan)

French Ligue 1

Top six: 1. (C) - PSG (88), 2. Lille (72), 3. Lyon (66), 4. Saint-Étienne (62), 5. Montpellier (58), 6. Marseille (55)

Scoring leader: 30 - Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

Assists leader: 13 - Teji Savanier (Nimes)

Dutch Eredivisie

Top three: 1. Ajax (83), 2. PSV Eindhoven (80), 3. Feyenoord (62)

Belgian First Division A

Championship Round: 1. Genk (50), 2. Club Brugge (47), 3. Antwerp (39), 4. Standard Liege (36), 5. Anderlecht (31), 6. Gent (29)

Portuguese Primeira Liga

Top four: 1. Benfica (84), 2. Porto (82), 3. Sporting CP (74), 4. Braga (64)

Scottish Premier League

Championship: 1. (C) Celtic (84), 2. Rangers (78), 3. Kilmarnock (64), 4. Aberdeen (64)

------

Major League Soccer

East top seven: 1. Philadelphia (23), 2. D.C. United (23), 3. Montreal (20), 4. NYCFC (18), 5. Atlanta (17), 6. Toronto (16), 7. Columbus (16)

West top seven: 1. LAFC (27), 2. LA Galaxy (22), 3. Seattle (22), 4. Houston (19), 5. FC Dallas (17), 6. Minnesota (15), 7. Real Salt Lake (13)

Scoring leader: 12 - Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Assists leader: 6 - Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC) / Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) / Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders FC) / Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Liga MX

Clausura 2019 quarter-finals results:

  • (1) Leon vs. (8) Tijuana (Leon win 5-2 agg.)
  • (2) Tigres vs. (7) Pachuca (2-2 agg., Tigres advance on higher seed tiebreaker)
  • (3) Monterrey vs. (6) Necaxa (1-1 agg., Monterrey advance on higher seed tiebreaker)
  • (4) Cruz Azul vs. (5) Club America (America win 3-2 agg.)

------

National Women's Soccer League

Standings: 1. Houston Dash (10), 2. Utah Royals (9), 3. Chicago Red Stars (8), 4. North Carolina Courage (8), 5. Portland Thorns (8), 6. Washington Spirit (7), 7. Seattle Reign (3), 8. Sky Blue FC (2), 9. Orlando Pride (1)

Scoring leader: 4 - Crystal Dunn (North Carolina) / Samantha Kerr (Chicago)

Assists leader: 3 - Yuki Nagasato (Chicago)

Liga MX Femenil

Tigres UANL crowned themselves champions of Mexico's top women's division after a 2-1 win at rivals Monterrey. The title marks a second for Tigres, making the northerners the club with the most championships in the four season history of the league - both wins coming against their cross-town rivals.

------

Upcoming Matches (All Times CT):

Tuesday, May 14

2:00 p.m. - [English Championship playoffs semifinal] West Brom vs. Aston Villa (ESPN+)

7:00 p.m. - [Copa Superliga Argentina] River Plate vs. Tucuman (fanatiz)

Wednesday, May 15

12:30 p.m. - [Eredivisie] De Graafschap vs. Ajax (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [English Championship playoffs semifinal] Leeds United vs. Derby County (ESPN+)

1:45 p.m. - [Serie A] Lazio vs. Atalanta (ESPN+)

7:00 p.m. - [Club Friendly] New England Revolution vs. Chelsea FC (FS1)

7:30 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers (KUBE 57)

7:30 p.m. - [Liga MX Playoffs] Club America vs. Leon (Univision Deportes)

9:30 p.m. - [Liga MX Playoffs] Monterrey vs. Tigres UANL (Univision Deportes)

Thursday, May 16

7:00 p.m. - [International Friendly] U.S. Women's National Team vs. New Zealand (ESPN2)

7:30 p.m. - [Copa Superliga Argentina] Boca Juniors vs. Velez (fanatiz)

9:00 p.m. - [MLS] LAFC vs. FC Dallas (ESPN2)

Saturday, May 18

8:30 a.m. - [Budesliga] Bayern Munich vs. Frankfurt (FOX)

8:30 a.m. - [Budesliga] Monchengladbach vs. Dortmund (FS1)

11:00 a.m. - [FA Cup Final] Manchester City vs. Watford (ESPN+)

7:30 p.m. - [MLS] Houston Dynamo vs. D.C. United (KUBE 57)

Sunday, May 19

5:00 p.m. - [NWSL] Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars (YahooSports.com)

Credit: Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo broke a seven-match winless streak with a 2-0 win against Minnesota United FC on Wednesday night at BBVA Stadium. The win is the first at home since July 3 against the New York Red Bulls and the first victory in league play since July 20 at Toronto. The result also marked the first win under Interim Head Coach Davy Arnaud.

Here are five observations from the September 11 result on "First Responders Night."

1) A win long worth the wait

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy but it was a much needed result to break free from a bad spell. More so than ending a seven -match winless streak, it was about the team turning around a stretch that saw them winless in 17 out of their last 20 dating back to May. Yes, the Dynamo began the season undefeated in 7 of their first 8 matches - the best start in franchise history. Cool. Anybody who was being honest in their analysis knew the team benefited from a home-heavy schedule to start the season and that the most challenging part was on its way.

Before the start of Wednesday's match, the club had a record of 2-12-1 (W-L-D) since returning from the Concacaf Gold Cup break. It was a similar summer dismantling to what happened in 2018, except that had makeup applied to it in the form of a U.S. Open Cup title.

After the team's shortcomings failed to be addressed, the team began to head towards its fifth playoff absence in six seasons. What the future holds is still to be seen but at least, for one night, Dynamo supporters were rewarded with the sweet taste of victory.

2) Making the switch to a two-forward formation

The 4-2-3-1 formation that featured two wingers and a lone forward had run it's course. It stopped working for the Dynamo a few games back. Truthfully, it was always a formation meant to favor the two speedy wingers Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto. The results were always going to be less favorable once players without the characteristics of Elis and Quioto, i.e. Memo Rodriguez, Tommy McNamara, etc., began to be inserted.

For whatever reasons, Davy Arnaud continued some of the habits of previous manager Wilmer Cabrera. That included playing in the 4-2-3-1. Arnaud had switched to a 4-4-2 during his debut as the interim, where the team came back from 0-2 down to a dramatic 2-2 home draw. He opted not to repeat the two-forward lineup in the two matches after.

Whether being forced by circumstances (the potential sale of Mauro Manotas and the international FIFA break may have played a part), Arnaud finally went to a lineup that placed his two best attackers on the field: Mauro Manotas and Christian Ramirez.

The resulting win may be a coincidence of that change but the Dynamo looked their best under Arnaud's tenure as head coach.

3) Alejandro Fuenmayor features in first MLS match since June

The 23-year-old defender was one of the better additions to the team during the 2017/18 offseason. The Venezuelan even started in 21 of 22 matches, the sixth most starts on the team. This season, he fell out of favor with former manager Wilmer Cabrera and thrown into the doghouse.

Fuenmayor had featured in 429 minutes and five MLS matches prior to the encounter with Minnesota. It was as if he was played out of necessity for lack of other options. In the Leagues Cup match in late July against Liga MX side Club America and on Wednesday night, Fuenmayor showed why he is one of the better players on the roster.

What happened in the past is done. What happens going forward is in the club's control and, given the proof over the last two seasons, Alejandro Fuenmayor has to be part of the team's plan for the future and the present.

4) Joe Willis matches career-high for wins in a season

Goalkeeper Joe Willis has been one of the more solid performers this season despite the blunders everyone remembers from his performances at Cincinnati and at Philadelphia. He's been a workhorse for the Dynamo. With the win against Minnesota, he matched a career-high nine wins in a singular season and could reach double digits before the year is over.

5) Arnaud turns the corner

Time will tell if Davy Arnaud's interim tag will be removed. As of now, he's the leading candidate for the permanent head coaching job. The biggest benefit that was always going to come from him was the union of the locker room. Now with his first win in hand, Arnaud has five matches to prove why he deserves the gig.

Dynamo player of the game: Mauro Manotas

A game-winning goal and an assist for Manotas makes him the Man of the Match. In every period of turmoil throughout his time in Houston, Manotas has been one of the few voices that gives it to you straight and doesn't spit cliches. That's the same personality he goes on the field with and that's why he's one of the league's better goalscorers.

Next match:

Saturday, September 14 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9:00 p.m. CT, KUBE57/TeleXitos 47.2)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome