When League One Goes to Wembley | Case of the Mondays
Here's who's having the worst case of the Mondays this morning.
It may not be a shock when a title-contending team in 2nd beats the team in 9th, but Torino suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Juventus in the Derby della Mole (Torino Derby) this weekend. Torino have only one once in 24 meetings between the two.And Juventus did it without their leading scorer Higuain, who left injured after just 25 minutes. They had something to prove after letting a 2-0 lead slip to Tottenham in the Champions League during the week.Losing three points, to your rival, that put them top of the table (albeit just for a day) — not the greatest way to spend a weekend.
The Magic of the FA Cup struck once again: League One’s mighty Rochdale AFC, who are currently bottom of the table and threatened for relegation to League Two, toppled Tottenham’s FA Cup dreams — at least for now.Rochdale scored first too, right before halftime, and so for the entirety of the break and for 14 whole minutes of the second half it looked as if David was truly going to beat Goliath. But then came the first Tottenham goal, and then the second — and with Rochdale trailing 2-1 entering second half extra time, Goliath was set to advance to the next round. Until the 93rd minute, when Rochdale tied it up.35% possession to Tottenham’s 65%, 6 shots to Tottenham’s 15, and Rochdale are headed to a replay.Tottenham will probably win the replay since they’ll be at home at Wembley, but an extra match is the last thing they need with Champions League back and a fight for Top 4 fully raging.
A little less than a month ago, Lyon toppled Ligue 1 leaders (and likely winners) PSG 2-1. But all of their results in the league since then have been disappointments.On the back of three successive losses, fourth-place Lyon dropped more points to LOSC, a team staving off relegation. They went into the half 2-0 up, but LOSC scored two unanswered goals in the second half to steal a point. But at least it wasn’t another loss?They’ve got solid footing in that Europa league spot, as Nantes is a full ten points behind them, but the (already slim) likelihood of them sneaking into the Champions League qualifying round spot are getting slimmer every week — unless, of course, they win Europa, as their form in both that and the French Cup have stayed consistently good.
PSV is yet another reminder this weekend that 2-0 is the most dangerous score in soccer — especially when you have to defend it a man down for 45 minutes. The Dutch league leaders went into the break two goals up but were pegged back one shortly after the second half began, with the final dagger coming in the 82nd minute.PSV don’t have many points to spare, either. While they dropped two, the four teams below them picked up all 3; and while they don’t really have to worry about 5th-placed Utrecht making up the 21 points that still separate their two spots, or even AZ Alkmaar making up their 12 point difference, Ajax now poses a real threat only five points behind in second. And, because of Chucky Lozano’s relatively soft red before the break — which forced PSV to play the entire second half a man down, the half in which they conceded both goals — they will also be without their, and the league’s, leading goalscorer when they face fourth-placed Feyenoord next weekend. Ajax will be facing the team in eighth, and have a real shot to close the gap even further and put some real pressure on PSV.