Jan 5, 2008

Saturday Soccer Summary, Jan. 5, 2008

The F.A. Cup bores me. Let's talk about Spain, which returned to league action today. In the matchday's marquee match-up, third-placed Espanyol Barcelona trounced fourth-placed Villareal, 3-0. All goals were scored in the first half, with Espanyol captain Raul Tamudo notching a brace Second-placed Barcelona saw off Mallorca on second half goals by Rafa Marquez and Samuel Eto'o. With the victory, Barca move four points behind leaders Real Madrid, who host Zaragoza tomorrow night. Espanyol put some distance between themselves and Villareal. Atletico Madrid can overtake Villareal if they win at Deportivo tomorrow.

In Portugal's bwinLIGA, fifth-placed Vitoria Setubal held second-placed Benfica to a 1-1 tie but the bigger surprise came in today's other game, between third-placed Sporting Lisbon and 10th placed Boavista Porto. Sporting went down, 2-0, and can now probably forget about whatever slim title hopes they were holding on to as they are nine points in arrears of FC Porto, who play tomorrow.

There was one game in the Greek Super League, which saw Olympiakos (Chelsea's Champions League opponent in the Round of 16) return to first place thanks to a come-from-behind win at Iraklis Saloniki.

Speaking of reclaiming first place, Glasgow Rangers did that from their friendly neighborhood colleagues Celtic today as well. Walter Smith's men saw off Dundee United 2-0 and move one point ahead of Celtic with one game in hand.

There were a ton of cup games in France but nothing very interesting (or unexpected) happened as far as I can tell. Besides, you probably don't care much about that anyway.

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