SAS reloaded as Sturridge return lifts Liverpool in thriller

imagePhoto: Action Images

SAS, the devastating duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, is finally back in action, and it didn’t take long for them to rekindle their chemistry.

Two minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute, Sturridge — who returned from a two-month injury layoff — promptly assisted on Suarez’s second goal of the match to make it 4-2 Reds. Eighteen minutes later, the comeback kid netted one on his own to make it 5-3. Game, set, match.

For SAS, that’s all par for the course. Prior to Sunday, Sturridge and Suarez had only been on the pitch together for seven of the first 20 Premier League games, but scored 14 goals between them in those seven. They quickly established themselves as the most fearsome partnership in the league.

Indeed, Liverpool’s rivals should really count their blessings that SAS has, until now, been held back by Sturridge’s sprained ankle and, of course, Suarez’s “Bitegate.” Had both featured all season long, the Reds may very well be at the top of the table right now. Then again, it’s not like Liverpool has been struggling. Without one, the other half of SAS has carried the load.

Sturridge scored in each of the first four games of the season as Suarez sat out for his bite attack on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. And once Sturridge went down — after that teasing, seven-match parade of perfect synergy — Suarez has, well, done Suarez things. That is to say, score breathtaking goals almost every week.

Now that the two are reunited at long last — and clearly enjoying each other’s company — this video seems all too appropriate:


Javier Zanetti gets hero’s reception in Inter’s comeback win vs. Livorno


Last April, we feared it was the end for Javier Zanetti. The Inter and Argentine legend ruptured his Achilles tendon in a late-season match at Palermo, and at age 39, many thought his career had come to a tragic close.

Boy, were they wrong.

Six months after vowing he would return, Zanetti made his long-awaited season debut in front of Inter’s home fans. Coming on in the 82nd minute with Inter leading Livorno 1-0, Zanetti received a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. It would be “Pupi’s” 604th Serie A appearance (second most all-time behind Paolo Maldini), all for Inter.

And here’s some real fan footage, minus the cheesy background music:

The now 40-year-old Zanetti had the fans back on their feet just minutes later, when he started the move that led to Yuto Nagatomo’s stoppage-time clincher. This time, everyone went nuts:

Image provide by Getty.


Mario Gotze shines off the bench, leads Bayern comeback

Oh, right. They have him, too.

Mario Gotze played his first full half for Bayern Munich since late August, and the $50 million Dortmund transfer immediately made his presence felt in a big way.

With Bayern surprisingly down 1-0 to Mainz at the half, Pep Guardiola brought on Gotze to stir the pot, and it worked like a charm. Just four minutes into the second half, Gotze set up Arjen Robben to pull Bayern level, before having a hand in Bayern’s next two goals en route to a 4-1 comeback win.

After feeding Robben a sublime through ball for the equalizer, Gotze combined again with Robben just two minutes later to set up Thomas Muller to complete the lighting-quick comeback. For Bayern’s third goal, it was once again Gotze providing the assist, this time to Mario Mandzukic.

And just like that, Gotze has re-introduced himself to those who wondered if the “German Messi” would ever make it back from a string of plaguing injuries. It should make Pep Guardiola’s life a lot easier, after Franck Ribery joined Xherdan Shaqiri on Bayern’s still crowded sick bay (Javi Martinez and Thiago are still not match-fit).

Conversely, it should really, really worry the rest of the competition. With Gotze back finding his form, Bayern once more look even better than before.


MLS ready to welcome back ex-USA star Robbie Rogers


By FOXSoccer.com

Robbie Rogers is a man in high demand.

Rogers, who earned 18 caps for the United States men’s national team, announced his retirement from soccer after officially coming out gay in February. Earlier in the week, Rogers trained with the Los Angeles Galaxy prompting many to speculate a possible comeback to Major League Soccer this season.

During an event at Columbus Crew stadium on Thursday, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber expressed his desire to see Rogers back in MLS.

“We’d love to see Robbie back in the league — regardless of announcement he made in February,” said Garber. “He has to figure out his future, and I hope that future is going to be in Major League Soccer.”

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Stu Holden is finally back on track

It’s been a long and tiring road of recovery for Stuart Holden.

Ever since Jonny Evans’ studs destroyed his knee in March 2011, Holden has been battling to get to full strength and fitness. He faced several setbacks with his knee in his rehabilitation process, but has finally made it back onto the pitch. FOX Soccer spoke with Holden, his brother Euan and girlfriend Karalyn about his recovery process, and now his return to playing.

He hopes to help Bolton get back to Premier League, and contribute to the U.S. men’s national team in the near future — he has his sights set on the World Cup in Brazil.

Part one:

Part two:


Big-spending Russian’s Zenit resist Liverpool’s charge

A Jamie Carragher error ultimately proved costly as Liverpool were edged out of the Europa League despite a fine 3-1 comeback against Zenit St. Petersburg.

The veteran defender, making his 150th - and now last - European appearance, gifted Zenit’s star forward Hulk a goal that gave the Russians a 3-0 aggregate lead early in the second leg of the last-32 tie.

Read more here.