Tag Archives: Moussa Sow

Chelsea and Lille on different paths this season

Didier Drogba and Chelsea had their hopes of repeating as English Premier League with the unexpected loss to Liverpool over the weekend. (Courtesy Eric P Flickr)

By Ryan Fleming

In one of the more unpredictable weeks in the soccer world this year, there are a couple things to take note of, if you haven’t already.

1. Chelsea are struggling … still.

Despite their recent acquisitions of Davie Luiz and Fernando Torres, the Blues slipped, slid and went away with a whimper after their 1-0 loss to Liverpool. Naturally, much of the hype from the match surrounded the former Liverpool frontman, Torres, and how he would fair against his old club and if he would or would not celebrate if managed to score. Fortunately for the Reds new manager Kenny Dalglish, Torres was barely existent on the field, save for one scary moment that Jamie Carragher so gracefully blocked away.

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Time to take notice of Lille in Ligue 1

 

By Ryan Fleming

You’ve heard about Borussia Dortmund and how they are the shocking, pleasant surprise of Germany’s ever-popular Bundesliga. What you probably are not familiar with is the little club situated in the North of France, near where the border of Belgium lies, called Lille.

Domestically the French club hasn’t won anything since 1955, when it won the Coupe de France, way back when the first McDonald’s opened and the UEFA Champions League was established. But don’t tell the players that. Currently Lille are tops of the Ligue 1 table and boast the league’s most potent offense. So potent in fact that Nice manager Eric Roy lamented that Lille are Barcelona-like and remind him of “a certain Spanish team that play very well.” Let’s not get THAT ahead of ourselves.

Either way, much has to be said of what Lille are accomplishing and how they are handling themselves against European competition. Despite poor results from Marseille and Lyon, both 3-1 defeats, Les Dogues are making easy work of other, apparently inferior competition. Take away the defeat to Lyon and Marseille on the 17th and 24th of Oct., which happened to be back-to-back games, the team has a mere impeccable 6-0-3 record.

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Ligue 1 title race still wide open

Stephane Sessegnon has helped Paris Saint-Germain keep pace in Ligue 1, but the winger could be on his way out of PSG during the January transfer window as bigger clubs make enticing bids. (Courtesy Wikicommons)

By Michael King

Entering the second half of the season, there’s little uncertainty in many domestic leagues throughout Europe. In England, Manchester United has a only two-point lead over its inter-city rival Man City, but the Red Devils have a critical two games in-hand. Without having dropped a match, it’s a big margin for Man U. Meanwhile, La Liga is experiencing its annual two-team struggle between Real Madrid and Barcelona. In Italy, perpetually steady AC Milan maintains a five-point lead over Lazio with little sign of the Rossoneri not keeping a champion’s pace. It’s an even odder year in the Bundesliga, where Borussia Dortmund has a seemingly insurmountable 10-point advantage.

It’s not that way in France. In fact, it’s far from it, where 10 teams are within five points of first-place Lille. For a French league that is often perceived as being a notch below others in Europe, an exciting title race should spark substantial interest.

Though there is no clear front-runner, a number of factors will determine who’s crowned league champion. Other cup competitions, results of the January transfer window and integration of new players will substantially impact the on-field results.

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