Bienvenue, Neymar | Case of the Mondays
Here's who's having the worst #CaseOfTheMondays this morning.
The a drawn-out and high-profile transfer saga of Neymar to PSG finally came to its unsurprising conclusion last Thursday, with Barcelona losing one-third of their infamous MSN front line for a world-record €222m.It’s a little odd to think that a club that also boasts Messi and Suarez in the front line would need to replace just one player, but this is just one player who also happened to score 105 goals over four seasons at Barcelona. And despite how long rumors have been swirling and the deal has been in the works, they didn’t have anyone immediately lined up for when PSG inevitably pulled the transfer trigger.They’re still on the hunt for alternatives — with their sights set on Coutinho, despite Klopp insisting that he is not for sale and their initial bid of £72m being swiftly rejected, as well as Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and PSG's Julian Draxler being linked to the club — but there’s only 11 days left before the start of the La Liga season, and even fewer before they take on Real Madrid in the Super Cup. Being flushed with cash and desperate doesn’t always lead to the wisest use of money.
DENMARK WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
In contrast to the dull 2016 men’s Euro final last summer, Sunday’s WEURO battle between the Netherlands and Denmark was one to remember. It was exciting and hard-fought six-goal thriller, and at the end the Netherlands came out on top 4-2.Denmark did well to respond very quickly to each of the Netherlands’ two first-half goals and head into the break a steady 2-2, but they lost steam in the second half and couldn’t do enough to stop this Netherlands team — one that had comprehensively shut down England 3-0 and who had slightly more rest, having not had to go through extra time and penalties in their semifinal like the Danish had.However, as runners-up Denmark will still exit the tournament having finished their highest yet; the closest they’d come prior were back-to-back third place finishes in 1991 and 1993. That’s certainly something to be proud of in and of itself, especially when they’ve gone into the tournament ranked only 15th in the world.
Say what you will about how important — or if at all — the Community Shield between last season’s FA Cup and Premier League winners is, but any time local rivals play each other bragging rights are at stake. And at this meeting between Arsenal and Chelsea, Arsenal were the ones who got to take those home.After losing their 1-0 lead to a Kolasinac equalizer, Chelsea couldn’t find another goal before full time was up. They couldn’t seem to find many more during penalties either, though, as Gary Cahill sunk their first and only penalty goal. Arsenal came out of the kicks as Community Shield champions, 4-1.This may not come as much of a surprise to a team that seems to have offloaded more than they loaded in the transfer window, with John Terry, Kurt Zouma, Nemanja Matic, Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah all having left and with Diego Costa still likely to be gone before the window shuts. They may have won the league, but they’ve stayed pretty still while other teams around them buy, buy, buy to catch up; they might end up lucky if this is the only domestic trophy of the season they let slip out of their fingers.But at the end of the day, it is just the Community Shield; as the Guardian live blog put it: “none of this exactly means anything.” And thankfully league games can end in draws and won’t need to be decided on pens, so Chelsea will be safe there.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The tides of the Hudson River are turning.After the Red Bulls’ dominance in the rivalry, with last year’s away trip to Yankee Stadium the one slip up, New York City has begun to take over. They took the match at Red Bull Arena in June 2-0 and came out on top once again last night 3-2.It wasn’t as easy as the last rout; they went up first 1-0 before falling behind 2-1, but David Villa finished off his first MLS hat trick with two back-to-back goals — first, a spectacular solo run downfield and a finish that beat Robles on his near post and second, a classic Villa penalty — to finish the Red Bulls off. Frankly, it looked like they just gave up towards the end.New York City FC have now taken two of the three MLS New York Derbies — not including the Red Bulls’ 1-0 win in the Open Cup — with the third up for grabs on August 25th. Will City complete, to borrow a baseball term, the sweep?