Here's who's having the worst #CaseOfTheMondays this week.
Title hopes are officially over for River Plate. A 3-2 loss to 8th-place Racing Club, while rivals Boca Juniors triumphed 4-0 over Aldovisi, now sees them an insurmountable 7 points out of 1st place with only two games left to play. The most they can hope for is 2nd, although Banfield has the opportunity to solidify that spot as well against 7th-place San Lorenzo tomorrow. Luckily, River at least don’t seem to be in danger of losing a Copa Libertadores qualification spot — even if Estudiantes, who are only two points back, leapfrog them into third.
8th-ranked Portugal’s first game of the Confederations Cup could’ve been theirs — twice. They went up 1-0 in the 34th minute against 17th-ranked Mexico — after VAR disallowed a possible opener in the 22nd minute — but Chicharito hit them back just 8 minutes later. It took until the 86th minute for Portugal to score again — well, for Mexico to score an own-goal — and that relief lasted even shorter, with Mexico once again equalizing in the first minute of extra time for the game to end 2-2. Portugal did have quite a few other solid chances as well, like a cleared Ronaldo header and a few wide shots, so overall the match will feel like two points dropped rather than a point gained.
In what may or may not be a temper tantrum related to his huge, recent tax fraud allegations, Cristiano Ronaldo has told sources that he wants to leave Spain and, therefore, Real Madrid. (Ronaldo has of course denied that it’s tax-related, saying instead that he wants a new challenge. This almost seems plausible after a double-winning year if not for, again, the giant tax evasion charges.) Madrid is not a one-man show, but even at 32 Ronaldo has undoubtedly continued to be a massive part of the club’s success; the stats, 25 goals in 29 La Liga appearances and 12 goals in 13 Champions League games, speak for themselves. Losing him would be a huge blow. But who will come knocking, after Madrid slapped a wage bill on top of a transfer fee of £175m — an amount totalling £350m? Manchester United have expressed interest, especially after announcing they would not re-sign Zlatan. How much would you be willing to pay for Ronaldo to come to your club?
COLUMBUS CREW SC
The Crew started the season strong, but something recently has gone horribly wrong. They really needed a win after a midweek upset to FC Cincinnati knocked them out of the Open Cup, but unfortunately an away game at Atlanta wasn’t the best way to follow up; heading into the match, they had lost 6 of their 8 road games so far. And after a 3-1 loss, that extended to 7 of 9. They still sit in 6th, just below the playoff red line, so hope is not totally lost for the team just yet. But in order to make it above that line, they need to figure out a way to get back to the March and April Crew, not the Crew that has recently been thrashed 5-0 and lost 5 out of their last 6.