We start the soccer news with the super club quandary. Lose enough and it's tough to avoid talks of trouble bordering on crisis. Eventually, something has to give. Right now, Real Madrid is trying to push back their eventually. The Spanish giants lost 1-0 at CSKA in the Champions League on Tuesday, adding to their issues in La Liga. It might not be a crisis, but it's certainly something.
"This team will be scoring goals again soon enough, and we'll be back to winning ways," Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui said. "In football, you find yourself in these situations. We have to suck it up, take the defeat on the chin, tomorrow however we need to focus on Alavés and our commitments in LaLiga. In the Champions League, we played brilliantly against Roma, before that we were far from invincible and likewise we are not a bad side now just because we haven't scored. This is all part of the game."
For most clubs, sure. But the super clubs domestically and in Europe, perhaps not so much. Manchester United is staving off its own crisis based on not winning games. If anything, last night's 0-0 home draw with Valencia in the Champions League made things worse because it's somewhat excusable. Everybody knew going in that United is a team with issues, and not losing almost counts as success. Almost, and in a situation that's not exactly usual for super clubs.
"They tried, the players tried and they raised the level of their effort," Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said. "We raised our level and intensity and we tried to play in some crucial positions building up but we don’t have the technical quality to build from the back. We did something well. We tried to stop a very dangerous and very fast team on the counter-attack and we tried to create chances to win the game. We knew we were not going to create 20 chances because we know our attacking players are not also in the best moment of confidence and individual performance level. So we thought with three or four chances, we would score and win the game. Which we didn’t but, as I was saying, it’s not a bad result."
It's also not a good one, the kind of thing that can dissuade people from continuing to pile on. Real Madrid and Manchester United are dealing with the same expectations. They're supposed to turn their elite standing and ability to spend vast amounts of money on players into competitive teams in that top echelon in Europe, much less domestically. Anything short of that, and they have a problem.
ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti looks at the Real Madrid situation, specifically their lack of goals. Marca's Carlos Carpio looks at what was missing for Real Madrid. The Mirror's Alexandra Rucki with the police response to Manchester United's issues getting to Old Trafford for their Champions League game. The Telegraph's JJ Bull raises big picture issues for United. The Guardian's Jonathan Wilson calls them "a mess".
In the Championship, Geoff Cameron's QPR won 1-0 at Reading. Toni Leistner scored in the 64th minute with Joe Lumley keeping the clean sheet with one save. Lynden Gooch wasn't involved in Sunderland's 2-2 home draw with Peterborough United.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta interviews Jonathan Amon about his USMNT call-up. SBI Soccer's Joe Tansey on what Michael Bradley continues to mean for the USMNT. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla interviews National Soccer Hall of Famer Tony Meolia about the current situation with the USMNT and young players.
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