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The Daily Dirt: Timbers and Crew set for MLS Cup final

Two upstarts knocked off two favorites.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Instead of a meeting between two top seeds, the MLS Cup final will pit two underdogs against one another. Portland Timbers were the first to advance after a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas in the second leg of their Western Conference final. Portland moved on thanks to a 5-3 aggregate win. The Timbers will play for the MLS Cup for the first time in club history.

Meanwhile in the East, Columbus Crew SC fell to New York Red Bulls, 1-0, but managed to hold on for a 2-1 aggregate victory. The Crew will host Portland in the MLS Cup final next Sunday, and they're competing for their first MLS Cup since 2008.


Norwich 1-1 Arsenal: match report [The Short Fuse]

Arsenal's annual collapse appears to be arriving early. Since ascending to the top of the Premier League on October 24, the Gunners are 2-4-1 across all competitions and have slipped to fourth in the domestic table. Francis Coquelin and Alexis Sanchez were subbed off with injuries against Norwich — is Arsene Wenger running his players into the ground?

Barcelona's 4 jaw-dropping goals against Real Sociedad, ranked [SBN]

Barcelona's incredible run of play continues, and the club has now won six games in a row by an absurd combined score of 22-1. Saturday's 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad included stunning goals such as this one:

Bayern Munich ease past Hertha Berlin to remain unbeaten [Bavarian Football Works]

And in Germany, the other seemingly invincible European giant continued its winning ways, as well. Bayern Munich defeated Hertha Berlin, 2-0, and still hasn't lost a Bundesliga game this season.

Fabian Johnson completes brace, grabs point for Gladbach [SSFC]

The USMNT fullback is in form at the moment, as they say. Johnson scored two more goals for Borussia Monchengladbach in a 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim on Saturday. Both goals were absolute beauties.

What's happening in The A?

The Falcons lost again on Sunday, falling 20-10 to the Minnesota Vikings. After a 5-0 start, Atlanta has dropped to 6-5 and is on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture.

The Hawks aren't free falling, but they continue to alternate wins and losses. Atlanta picked up a nice 116-101 road win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, but followed that up with a 108-88 defeat at the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. The team returns to Philips Arena Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

For the first time since 2000, Mark Richt is not the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs. Reviews of the decision are decidedly mixed.