There weren’t really any big upsets yesterday. It was a bad day for the Tottenham Hotspurs. They seriously needed a win against a second place Liverpool. No such luck, they lost 4-0 with Luis Suarez scoring his 29th goal of the season. Tottenham now sits sixth and 8 points out of a Champions League spot and Liverpool are first and 2 points ahead of second. The other game was not very much of a surprise because it was last against fifth out of twenty teams. Although Fulhams (Fulham is last place which may explain why they can’t put a ball in the net), 23 shots only one scored. Fulham tied it in the 79th minute, but then Everton turned it on and scored two goals in the last 19 minutes. That was all yesterday, but make sure you watch for my update on the Sunderland v.s. West Ham United game at 3:00 ET on NBCSN!
I don’t know if anyone follows Portuguese soccer, but I think this is awesome. Yesterday I decided to look at the Portuguese Liga standings and I saw that Sporting Lisbon is good again. That’s funny because they sucked just last season. Now they’re second in their league 7 points behind Benfica and 8 points in front of FC Porto. I can’t wait to see Cristiano Ronaldo’s old team back in the Champions League!
It has been exciting weekend of football (soccer) in Italy. Here is a short recap of the games and standings. AC Milan has has had a difficult season, but pulled out a much needed win against Chievo Verona to put them soooo close to a Champions League spot. Just kidding, they are actually 25 points away from a spot. Closer to the top, the favorites to win, who are 11 points ahead of second, played against third place Napoli. It was a stroll through the park for Napoli who won 2-0. Fourth place Fiorentina didn’t look very convincing when they only managed to tie 11th placed Sampdoria. Lazio who are fighting for a Europa League spot came up with a last minute winner to beat Parma who are two points above them. AS Roma beat a struggling Sassuolo 2-0 away from home. So as the table stands right now Juventus are in first 11 points ahead of AS Roma in second. Napoli are in third and look like they will probably get the Champions League qualifying spot. Livorno, Sassuolo, and Catania are all in the relegation zone. That’s all for today, but tomorrow I will update you on the latest in the English Premier League and more.
The Champions League is sort of like the playoffs in the NFL. Every continent has a Champions League except for Antarctica because it would be hard to play soccer on ice. The most prestigious one is the UEFA Champions League because it is the European Champions League and Europe has the best leagues. The first round of the Champions league is the qualifying games. I’m not exactly sure how that works, but I know the teams who make it farthest qualify (some teams don’t have to qualify and get in automatically). The second round of the UEFA Champions League is called the group stage. The group stage is a bit like a mini league. You play two games against each team totaling eight games. There are for teams and whoever the top two teams are advance. To advance you have to have the most points in your group. To earn points you have to win or tie.
- Win = 3 points
- Tie = 1 point
- Loss = 0 points
If there happens to be a tie on points in the group then it comes down to goal differential. Goal differential is the difference between however many goals you’ve scored on the opposition to however many goals have been scored on you. When you make it out of the group stage there is a round of 16. UEFA has a draw which decides who plays who. There are two legs (two games) one game is at one sides stadium and the other is at the other teams stadium in each fixture. At the end you add up the two teams goals (separately). Whoever has more goals wins. In the case of a tie on goals you see who has more away goals (goals scored away from home stadium). If that is also a tie then the game goes into extra time like in the NFL. There are two 15 minute halves added on to the 90 minutes played. If it is still tied on away goals then the game goes into penalties like hockey. Each manager chooses five players to shoot a penalty. whoever score more wins. If the game is tied at the end of the penalties then it goes into SUDDEN DEATH! Dun, dun, dun. Sudden death is were one team takes a penalty and if they score the other team has to score otherwise they lose. If the team that shoots first misses and the other team scores the team who shot first loses. These same events keep going through two more rounds until the final comes. Then whoever wins the final is considered the best team in the world and gains a spot in the Club World Cup which is where all the champions of the different Champions Leagues play each other. There are also other Champions Leagues around the world (The U.S. Champions League is called the CONCACAF Champions League) that are pretty much the same as the UEFA one just less prestigious. I hope you learned a little about the Champions League because this took a really long time to write.
P.S. To learn how you qualify for the Champions League read “How Do The European Leagues Work”.
In this post I will explain how the European soccer leagues work. In Europe whoever has the most points at the end of the season wins the league. You get points by winning or tying. If you win you get three points. If you tie you get one point. If you lose you get zero points. whenever two teams have the same amount of points it comes down to goal differential (in some leagues it comes down to how many goals have been scored on each other). Goal differential is the difference between however many goals you’ve scored to the amount of goals you’ve given up. When you win the title you automatically get into the Champions League (to learn about the Champions League see ‘What is the Champions League) next season. You can also get into it by being 2nd, 3rd, or 4th depending on the league. If you are in a pretty strong league there are more spots. There are also Champions League qualifying spots which allow you to get into the Champions League playoffs. The Champions League playoffs is where you have to play your way into the tournament. Europa League spots are also there for the taking. There are usually about one or two spots (5th and 6th or higher depending on how many Champions League spots there are) depending on what league your in. It is also possible to win a cup and get into the Europa League. If your in the bottom two, three, or four spots depending on your league you will get relegated to the division below yours. To get relegated you must have some of the least points in the league.if there is a tie it comes down to goal differential (in some leagues). Now you know a little about how the domestic leagues in Europe work.
Over in Spain there is a three way race for the La Liga title. After Real’s disappointing loss to Barca they whipped Rayo 5-0 with Gareth Bale netting a brace to keep them in the running (Real Madrid is 3rd). Although Barcelona’s dominance in there derby match against Espanyol, they just squeaked by with a Messi penalty making it 1-0 and keeping them in second. As for Atletico Madrid, they pulled out a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao away from home to stay in first. The Champions League qualifying spot (4th place) is, at the time, occupied by Athletic Bilbao who are 17 points behind Real in third and 6 points ahead of Sevilla in fifth. WOW! At the bottom, Real Betis, Getafe, and Osasuna are in the relegation zone, but Almeria and Valladolid (These Spanish names are killing me) are only one point in front. who knows what will happen next with these battles at both ends.
P.S. To see the actual table go to espnfc.com
Touchline80 is a blog and I made on March 29, 2014. I am 11 years old (my name is Jack) and my little brother, who started blogging with me on April 16, 2015, is 9 (and his name is Joey). We both play soccer at a competitive level. In the year of 2012 our family visited England, France, and Portugal. Our Mom and Dad took us to a Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Sporting Lisbon (Cristiano Ronaldo’s first pro team) game and many others. While we were there we played for a local English club. When we returned to the U.S. we decided to make a blog for kids who love the game and enjoy following the leagues. I hope that you like our blog and “Keep calm and play football!”