From Cup Finals to Clásicos || Case of the Mondays
It was another packed weekend of games, but not everyone game out of them feeling great. These are the teams with the worst Case of the Mondays today.
For the objective viewer, Sunday’s EFL Cup final was a great one. For Southampton, it was not.It was quite a rollercoaster of a match. In the 11th minute, Southampton’s Gabbiadini opened the scoring — only for it to be (very incorrectly) ruled out for Bertrand being in an offside position despite him not at all being involved in the play. Then, just nine minutes later, they conceded on a Zlatan free kick that Forster probably could’ve/should’ve/would’ve saved if he had done a little more. Soon after, Southampton found themselves down 2-0 despite being the far better team. And although they kept up the fight and found themselves within minutes of extra time after tying 2-2, Zlatan sunk them once and for all in the 87th minute with a trademark header from close range. And that has to hurt all the more than just simply being dominated and destroyed; they were swinging upward on the momentum of rallying back from 2-0 down, they were about to push English giants Manchester United into extra time in a Cup Final — not to mention that just a minute earlier they themselves had had an opportunity to put away the game through a Bertrand cross, but it slid past two incoming Southampton players who couldn’t connect. It was a performance the Saints should be proud of, but at the end of the day Southampton will have to keep searching for their first major trophy since the 1976 FA Cup.
There’s always a pain in losing, but there’s a special pain in losing 8-0. Even to the formidable Bayern Munich.After going down 3-0 in the first half — and they easily could have been down by more — Hamburg conceded a whopping 5 more after the break. It was quite the punch in the gut for the 16th-place side, who were really starting to find their footing after an abysmal first half of the season. But it’s also hard to imagine they expected anything else, considering their previous 6 Bundesliga matches went 5-0, 8-0, 3-1, 9-2, 5-0, and 6-0 to Bayern.The 3-0 win against RB Leipzig will seem like years ago as they take on 10th place Mönchengladbach next weekend and try to climb further away from relegation.
Cruz Azul’s running winless streak of six matches increased to seven this weekend after a loss to a poor Club América side. Although América was — and still is — several places higher in the table, they had similarly been winless and goalless in three, and seem ripe for Cruz Azul’s taking. Or, at least, it seemed they had more of a shot.It seemed like they did during the game, too. Don’t let the 2-0 scoreline fool you; Cruz Azul had plenty of chances to score. Remarkably (bordering on comically), they found a way to finish absolutely none of them. This is a unfortunate running theme with this team’s season. Cruz Azul has also not just lost the games they’ve lost; they’ve been shut out. Their six goals this season have only come in games they’ve tied and, in just one case, a game they’ve won. The one bright spot in an otherwise dark analysis is that their defeats have come by relatively slim margins — this 2-goal loss being their largest, in fact — so at the very least, their defense is relatively trustworthy. But defense alone can only get you so far, and right now “so far” is second-to-last. They need to fix their offense fast.
Minnesota United will go into their first season as MLS riding high on the back of winning zero games in preseason. Sure, they weren’t all losses; five of the seven winless matches were draws. But he expansion side will probably be hoping to make more of a splash in its opening games than going 0-2-5.Luckily, they’ll have a pretty different set of players trying to make that splash when their season starts against the Portland Timbers on Friday. MNUFC mostly played their non-starters like draft players and trialists. But we’ll soon see if they suffer the same playoff-less fate that Orlando City and NYCFC did in their first years.