By ADAM TROXTELL
It’s been about two years since Arsenal last played Brighton and Hove Albion, but the script hasn’t changed.
The Gunners beat their Championship opponents 3-2 to book a spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Brighton gave a much improved second half performance to keep things interesting, but cup holders Arsenal were always in control of the match.
Theo Walcott scored the winning goal against Brighton in 2013, and this time he opened the scoring for Arsenal in just two minutes. It was the winger’s first goal since New Year’s Day of 2014.
Mesut Ozil also scored a rare goal to double the Gunners’ lead in the 24th minute, but Brighton entered the second half on a mission. Chris O’Grady pulled one back for the Championship club just five minutes into the half.
Victory for Arsenal was assured when Tomas Rosicky set himself up for goal number three. The Czech midfielder sent a no-look pass to Olivier Giroud, who chipped back to the wide open Rosicky for a powerful finish.
The Gunners are just the second top 10 English Premier League team to win in the FA Cup fourth round. West Ham were the first after they sealed a narrow road win on Sunday.
In Italy, Juventus cruised to extend their lead at the top of Serie A. Lyon also won to stay in first in Ligue 1.
Here are the rest of Sunday’s results from the top leagues in Europe.
By FRANCO PANIZO
There weren’t too many strong performances from Americans playing abroad this weekend, but two veteran defenders stood out for helping their clubs post respectable shutouts in tough environments.
Tim Ream was one of those two players, as he went the distance at Anfield on Saturday to help Bolton play to a scoreless draw in their FA Cup tilt with Liverpool. Ream was on the left side of a new-look, three-man back line for the Trotters on Saturday, and was able to keep the likes of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho off the board to a force a replay at home on Feb 4. or 5.
Michael Orozco was the other veteran to help his side post a cleansheet in one of soccer’s biggest cathedrals this weekend. Orozco and Puebla entered Estadio Azteca on Saturday and came away with a valiant Liga MX point after holding Club America to a goal-less draw. Orozco played from whistle to whistle, but teammate Herculez Gomez did not get off the bench despite scoring in Puebla’s last two matches across all competitions.
There was another positive development in Mexico, as Joe Corona continued to make his way back from injury. After scoring in his return in a mid-week Copa MX affair, Corona came off the bench to help Club Tijuana close out a 2-1 win over Tigres UANL and Saturday. Corona played the last 15 minutes of the game, securing the result that marked Xolos’ third-straight victory in all competitions.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:
By ADAM TROXTELL
Arsenal will try to avoid becoming the latest FA Cup casualty, with a fourth-round match against League Championship team Brighton on tap on this Soccer Sunday.
A day after four of the top six teams in the English Premier League were knocked out, the Gunners will be wary of their trip to the South Coast. Brighton eliminated Newcastle from last year’s tournament and has won four of its last five games.
The game will take place almost two years to the day the teams last met. Arsenal beat Brighton, 3-2, on Jan. 26, 2013, in another FA Cup fourth round encounter. Theo Walcott scored the winning goal with five minutes left.
In Spain, fourth meets fifth when Valencia hosts Sevilla. Both teams are unbeaten in their last six La Liga games, and Sevilla holds a one-point advantage in the race for a UEFA Champions League spot.
After posting two straight ties, Roma is desperate for a win against Fiorentina to stay alive in the title race. The Romans beat the Viola when the teams last met in August, but a loss now might provide leaders Juventus with an eight-point advantage at the end of the day.
In Mexico, Universidad Guadalajara will hope a home crowd provides an early upper hand on city rivals Chivas Guadalajara. Pumas hosts Toluca in the early game.
If you will be watching today’s action, feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy today’s action (Today’s soccer TV schedule after the jump):
By RYAN TOLMICH
Despite a tumultuous start to the CONCACAF U-20 Championships, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team completed an impressive tournament by posting a fourth straight shutout win to seal a spot in this summer’s U-20 World Cup.
Led by goals from Ben Spencer and Paul Arriola, the U.S. picked up a 2-0 victory Saturday over El Salvador in a one-game playoff . With the victory, the U.S. will head to New Zealand for the U-20 World Cup, which is set to take place from May 30 – June 20.
Struggling to move the ball on the ground due to field conditions, Spencer and the U.S. took to the air to score the opening goal in the 37th minute.
Spencer’s height proved too much for El Salvador on the opening goal, as he headed a long free kick off the goal frame and followed up by heading home the rebound to make the score 1-0 in the 37th minute. Continue reading
A spot in the Under-20 World Cup is on the line today for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in a do-or-die CONCACAF qualifier against El Salvador (5pm, Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go.com).
The Americans are riding a three-match winning streak into today’s decisive clash, and will look to shut down a dangerous El Salvador attack. The U.S. defense has posted three consecutive shutouts, but against competition not nearly as potent as El Salvador.
Offensively, the U.S. will need to step up the offensive production after a pair of somewhat lackluster showings in wins against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s commentary is after the jump):
By ADAM TROXTELL
England’s top three teams will have to wait until next year to add another FA Cup to the trophy cabinet.
League One side Bradford City shocked English Premier League leaders Chelsea, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to post a 4-2 comeback victory. The Blues were up 2-0 after 37 minutes before their League One visitors struck back.
Goals from Gary Cahill and Ramires had Chelsea cruising in the fourth-round match, but Jonathan Stead’s 40th minute goal for Bradford gave them some momentum ahead of halftime.
The Bantams used that as a springboard for three more unanswered goals in an unprecedented display. Chelsea threw on Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard in the final 20 minutes, just as Felipe Morais equalized for Bradford and Andrew Halliday scored the winner in the 81st minute.
Mark Yeates’ 90th minute goal was the icing on the cake for what will surely be the shock of the round on a day filled with surprises.
Manchester City was also stunned on Saturday, dropping a 2-0 decision against Middlesbrough. There were also losses for Swansea City, Southampton, and Tottenham.
Here is a rundown of Saturday’s action throughout Europe: