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Preview: Football news, match reports and fixtures | guardian.co.uk

Football | The Guardian



Football news, results, fixtures, blogs, podcasts and comment on the Premier League, European and World football from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:24:27 GMT2016-12-06T03:24:27Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
 



Prominent football figures still in game named by players alleging sexual abuse

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:30:35 GMT2016-12-05T22:30:35Z

• Lawyer for abuse victims says some ‘still work in senior echelons of football’
• New claims that a number of clubs, not just Chelsea, paid hush money

Prominent figures from the football world, including a former manager described as still working “in the senior echelons” of the sport, have repeatedly been named by some of the players alleging sexual abuse in the escalating crisis that has also led to new claims about a number of clubs, not just Chelsea, paying off victims with hush money.

Lawyers representing a new independent body, the Offside Trust, that has been set up to help the victims and their families described it as “extremely worrying” that, only three days after its formation, there had already been numerous first-hand accounts from former and current professional footballers directly implicating people who were still involved in the game and “need further investigation”.

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FA Cup third round draw: Reading’s Jaap Stam faces return to Manchester United

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:37:44 GMT2016-12-05T19:37:44Z

• Barrow v Rochdale; Sutton v AFC Wimbledon; Everton v Leicester
• Manchester United v Reading; Chelsea v Notts County/Peterborough

The FA Cup third-round draw brought a local derby but no glamorous rewards for the non-league teams left in this season’s competition, with Jaap Stam’s return to Manchester United as Reading manager one of the round’s few intriguing subplots.

There will be four all-Premier League ties when the FA Cup resumes early next year but the heavyweights all avoided the seven non-league sides in the draw.

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Middlesbrough on the ascent after Gastón Ramírez helps them sink Hull

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:02:25 GMT2016-12-05T22:02:25Z

Gastón Ramírez harbours unhappy memories of Hull and will doubtless have enjoyed taking his frustrations out on Mike Phelan’s spirited but under-powered team. Dispatched to Humberside on loan by Southampton two years ago, the Uruguayan struggled with injuries and poor form, and it took a transfer to Teesside to help restore him to former glories.

And Ramírez, once again emphasising his importance to Aitor Karanka’s gameplan, headed in a winner to lift Middlesbrough four points clear of the relegation zone and towards mid-table security.

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Alexis Sánchez won’t stay at Arsenal just because of money, says Arsène Wenger

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 20:03:51 GMT2016-12-05T20:03:51Z

• Negotiations have started to extend Chilean’s deal beyond 2018
• Wenger to start strong side in Basel in hope PSG slip up in Group A

Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal’s hopes of securing Alexis Sánchez to a new long‑term contract will depend more upon convincing the forward of the “values” and ambition of the club than the financial package on the table.

The manager is considering starting Sánchez, who has scored five goals in his past two appearances for the club, in Tuesday’s final Champions League group game against Basel despite the striker’s onerous recent workload and Arsenal being braced to finish as runners-up in the section to Paris Saint-Germain. They must better the French side’s result to finish top and will seek to establish an advantage early before Wenger reassesses his approach at half-time once news filters through from Parc des Princes, where PSG will expect to defeat Ludogorets Razgrad.

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Timo Werner’s blatant dive overshadows leaders RB Leipzig’s victory over Schalke | Raphael Honigstein

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:59:45 GMT2016-12-05T21:59:45Z

Winger feels public fury after his first-minute free fall led to a penalty which he converted to put the Bundesliga’s top team ahead against Schalke

Through on goal straight after kick-off, Timo Werner scuffed his shot, then instinctively took his second chance – albeit in less style. He arched his back, let out a cry and threw himself to the ground, creating the impression that the Schalke 04 keeper Ralf Fährmann, who had actually done well to pull out of the challenge, had brought him down. The referee Sebastian Dankert fell for the phantom foul and awarded a penalty. The irate Fährmann was booked. Werner himself stepped up to slot home the spot kick coolly to put RB Leipzig 1-0 ahead. They eventually won 2-1 to stay both unbeaten and top, as well as firmly at the bottom of the popularity ratings.

Werner’s tumble wasn’t quite the worst dive in the history of the Bundesliga – Andy Möller still rules supreme in that respect – but it caused a stir unlike any other act of simulation in recent years. This being Germany, much of the discontent was playing out at meta-level, in complaints about the complaints. Wouldn’t all this public anger (“Der Falsch-Flieger”, the false flier, Bild called the winger) have been better directed at the (alleged) tax fiddling by football superstars, as exposed by Der Spiegel and others, rather than at a minor sporting misdemeanour by a 20-year-old, 21 seconds into a game, some observers wondered.

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Southampton’s José Fonte will be allowed to leave in January

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 23:04:01 GMT2016-12-05T23:04:01Z

• Portugal defender has turned down club’s latest contract offer
• Fonte was subject of bids from Everton and Manchester United in the summer

Southampton have agreed to sell defender José Fonte in January if they receive a suitable offer after the Portugal international turned down an improved contract.

Fonte, who moved to St Mary’s in 2010 from Crystal Palace, has just 18 months of his current deal remaining having failed to agree a new deal in the summer. His performances as part of Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning side saw Southampton turn down an offer of around €9m (£7.6m) from Everton for the 32-year-old, while Manchester United also showed an interest.

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Everton’s Yannick Bolasie to have surgery on ‘serious ligament injury’

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:44:17 GMT2016-12-05T19:44:17Z

• Scans on knee reveal DR Congo international requires operation
• Bolasie was substituted during 1-1 draw with Manchester United

Everton have suffered a major injury setback with Yannick Bolasie due to undergo surgery on a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained against Manchester United on Sunday.

The winger, 27, could miss the rest of his debut season at Goodison Park after damaging the cruciate in his right knee in a challenge with Anthony Martial during the 1-1 draw. Bolasie will have surgery to repair the torn ligament in the next few days and will be sidelined for several months. Everton confirmed in a tweet: “Yannick Bolasie to undergo knee surgery after scans confirmed a serious ligament injury against ManUtd. Come back stronger, Yannick.”

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Guardian named Newspaper of Year at Football Supporters’ Federation awards

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:28:17 GMT2016-12-05T22:28:17Z

• Fourth successive occasion the Guardian has won award
• Football Weekly wins Podcast of the Year

The Guardian has been named the Newspaper of the Year at the Football Supporters’ Federation awards for the fourth year in a row.

.@owen_g accepts the Newspaper of the Year award on behalf of @guardian_sport (presented by Chris Foy, not @chrishoy) #fsfawards pic.twitter.com/0Gbifc1xCj

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Liverpool blow it against Bournemouth – Football Weekly

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:21:27 GMT2016-12-05T16:21:27Z

The podders reflect on the Cherries’ remarkable comeback. Plus, Chelsea power on; Arsenal and Tottenham put on five-star showings; and Leicester continue to plummet

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast & Stitcher.

James Richardson returns to front this edition of Football Weekly. He’s a little hoarse, so it’s a good job he’s got Barry Glendenning, Iain Macintosh and Sasha Goryunov to do most of the talking for him.

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Hearts appoint 30-year-old Ian Cathro as their new head coach

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:22:31 GMT2016-12-05T22:22:31Z

• Former Newcastle assistant signs 3½-year deal at Tynecastle
• Cathro replaces Robbie Neilson, who has joined MK Dons

Hearts have announced the appointment of Ian Cathro as their new head coach. The 30-year-old has moved to Tynecastle from Newcastle, where he was assistant coach, and signed a three-and-half-year deal.

Related: Scottish roundup: Liam Craig sparks St Johnstone victory over Inverness

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FA charges Manchester City and Chelsea with failure to control their players

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:00:28 GMT2016-12-05T14:00:28Z

• Agüero will miss four games for reckless challenge on Chelsea’s David Luiz
• Nicolás Otamendi will also miss trip to Leicester City after fifth yellow card

Manchester City and Chelsea have been charged with failing to control their players during Saturday’s Premier League match, the Football Association has announced.

Chelsea’s eighth straight Premier League win finished on a sour note and saw both title contenders charged. The clubs have until 6pm on 8 December to respond to the charges.

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Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City bear comparison to Barça and Bayern

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:28:27 GMT2016-12-05T19:28:27Z

• Manager says his current team play faster football than his former charges
• Guardiola praises City’s display in Chelsea defeat as they prepare for Celtic

Pep Guardiola offered a glimpse of his unique vision of football when he said Manchester City have been better at times this season than his gilded Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides. Before the club’s final Champions League group match on Tuesday night, a dead rubber against Celtic, the word he chose to describe City’s finest passages of play under him was “faster” than Barça and Bayern.

This may cause some surprise given the quality of those previous teams. Barcelona claimed 14 major trophies, including two Champions League titles, between 2009 and 2012 while the count at Bayern was seven in three seasons. In particular, the Barcelona side who swept all before them in Guardiola’s first season as manager are considered one of the finest in history.

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Sepp Blatter loses his appeal against six-year ban from football

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:20:42 GMT2016-12-05T14:20:42Z

• Disgraced former Fifa president loses case in court of arbitration for sport
• Decision ‘difficult’ to accept, says 80-year-old after no reduction in suspension

Sepp Blatter has lost his appeal at the court of arbitration for sport against a six-year ban from football.

Blatter said in a statement on Monday it is “difficult” to accept but that “the way the case progressed, no other verdict could be expected”.

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Chapecoense named Copa Sudamericana winners after plane crash

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 18:52:36 GMT2016-12-05T18:52:36Z

• Brazilian side had been due to face Atlético Nacional in final
• Nacional awarded Conmebol’s Fair Play award

Chapecoense have been crowned winners of the Copa Sudamericana after the Brazilian club’s plane crashed while travelling to the final.

Related: 'What he did was mass murder': little sympathy for Colombia plane crash pilot

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West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan backs under-fire manager Slaven Bilic

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 18:42:49 GMT2016-12-05T18:42:49Z

• With a bit more luck we could have been top-four club, says Sullivan
• Hammers manager had accused some players of apathy in training

David Sullivan, the West Ham co‑chairman, has offered his backing to Slaven Bilic following the 5-1 home defeat by Arsenal on Saturday. Sullivan held his usual post-match discussions with the manager, who after the game had accused some of his players of a lack of dedication in training.

Related: Slaven Bilic bears burden of expectation as West Ham’s bubble bursts

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Russian MPs accuse Fifa 17 video game of 'gay propaganda'

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:04:46 GMT2016-12-05T14:04:46Z

Developer EA Sports backed a campaign in the UK to combat homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football

Russian MPs have asked the state communications oversight agency to take action against the Fifa 17 video game for violating the country’s law against gay propaganda.

Communist MPs sent a letter to the communications oversight and state consumer protection agencies complaining that the popular EA Sports football game, which is rated all ages, “invites users to support the English football premier league’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT”, Izvestia newspaper reported.

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Eidur Gudjohnsen offers to play for the stricken Brazilian club Chapecoense

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:45:17 GMT2016-12-05T17:45:17Z

• Icelander joins Ronaldinho and Riquelme in offering services
• Chapecoense lost 19 players in last week’s Medellín aircrash

Eidur Gudjohnsen, the 38-year-old former Bolton and Chelsea forward, is the latest player to offer his services to Chapecoense as the Brazilian club try to rebuild following the plane crash in Colombia.

Brazil’s leading sides have promised to loan players to Chapecoense – who lost 19 of their own in the air disaster which killed 71 people – and asked for them to be safeguarded from relegation for the next three seasons.

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Preston refund fans with money collected from fighting players’ fines

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:57:32 GMT2016-12-05T13:57:32Z

• Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle apologise for fighting with each other
• Supporters refunded for cost of ticket to watch 2-1 defeat at Hillsborough

Preston North End have fined Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle following their dismissals for fighting with each other during Saturday’s defeat at Sheffield Wednesday and will use the money to refund the travelling fans.

Beckford and Doyle were both shown straight red cards by the referee Scott Duncan in stoppage time following an angry exchange and the team’s furious manager, Simon Grayson, promised disciplinary action for both players after his side’s 2-1 defeat.

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Adama Traoré: ‘At Barcelona there was not as much focus on defending’

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:30:06 GMT2016-12-04T22:30:06Z

After once being billed as a combination of Messi and Ronaldo the Middlesbrough winger’s career is gathering pace with a set of more realistic targets

Adama Traoré arrived in England trailing a reputation as an astonishing hybrid of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Perhaps predictably, it did not take him long to disappoint his new public.

Related: Middlesbrough v Hull City: match preview

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Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp defends Karius after late collapse against Bournemouth

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:47:47 GMT2016-12-05T08:47:47Z

• Liverpool manager backs goalkeeper despite errors in 4-3 defeat
• ‘We gave the game away and the boys know that’

Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool “gave it away” as Bournemouth’s late comeback condemned his side to a first defeat since August but the manager insisted he had no concerns over his goalkeeper, Loris Karius, despite the errors that played a part in the hosts’ dramatic win.

Karius, who looked nervous throughout, spilled Steve Cook’s shot for Nathan Aké to convert from close range to complete a remarkable turnaround as Bournemouth, inspired by their substitute Ryan Fraser, secured their first victory against Liverpool. They had trailed 3-1 after 76 minutes with the visitors apparently in complete control, only for their defensive frailties to be exposed to leave the Merseyside club in third place, four points off the leaders, Chelsea, from whom Ake is on loan.

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Mixed fortunes for Shane Duffy and Sergio Agüero - Football Weekly Extra

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:20:39 GMT2016-08-18T14:20:39Z

The podders reflect on extraordinary feats by Manchester City’s star striker and Blackburn’s hapless defender. Plus, Joe Hart heads towards the exit; Paul Pogba’s (second) United debut; and a preview of the big kick off in Serie A

Subscribe & Review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast

Max Rushden continues in the hot-seat for this edition of Football Weekly Extra, and he’s got James Horncastle, Paolo Bandini and Nick Miller for company.

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Bournemouth happy in middle lane and travelling in the right direction | Jacob Steinberg

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:43:35 GMT2016-12-05T19:43:35Z

Eddie Howe’s team have bucked the established system for sides promoted to the Premier League and they continue to make headlines

Bournemouth were a quaint novelty when they began their Premier League adventure in the summer of 2015, with their tiny stadium, unfashionable British core of players and seaside homeliness, a combination that seemed to make people want to ruffle Eddie Howe’s hair, pinch his cheeks and give him a bar of chocolate as a reward for doing ever so well. It wasn’t going to last, of course. How could it? Look at the little scamps, with their tiny stadium, unfashionable British core and seaside homeliness, a combination that was surely going to get them relegated.

By the end of their first season in the top flight, however, it became more noticeable that a little weariness was being directed towards the fairytale club who rose from the brink of financial oblivion to the big time, Bournemouth fatigue an understandable response to an unfussy debut Premier League campaign. It was not that people were leaping off the bandwagon, more that it seemed as though the meat of the story had been chewed off the bone, and now there was nothing left for us to sink our teeth into. They were almost extinct, they came up from League Two, we get it. Change the record.

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Harry Kewell: from Sydney's west to the grandest stages of world football | Paul Connolly

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:00:31 GMT2016-12-05T19:00:31Z

As he receives one of Australia’s highest football honours, we take a look back at the former Socceroo’s career, which had trickery, audacity and a touch of magic

When he was a floppy-haired 12-year-old kid from working-class western Sydney, Harry Kewell, along with his team-mates in the state title-winning Marconi Stallions’ Under-13s squad, was asked by coach Stephen Treloar to imagine what he would like to have achieved in football by the time he was 40. It might have made as much sense to ask a 12-year-old what life would be like if he were a unicorn, but Kewell, says the highly-regarded Treloar, gave the question serious thought and wrote down his answer.

Treloar then followed up that question with others. What would you like to have achieved in football in 10 years, in five years, in three years, in one? Kewell, says Treloar, though popular with his team-mates, was “his own man” and he had an arrogance born of confidence in his own ability. “And I mean that in a nice way,” says Treloar, today the director of postgraduate studies in the school of business at the University of Notre Dame (Australia). “Harry was the kid who said, ‘C’mon, see if you can get the ball off me’.” Kewell’s written answers, of which Treloar still has the original copy, were reflective of that, while also proving prescient.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:06:41 GMT2016-12-05T08:06:41Z

Liverpool will be hoping Joël Matip gets fit quickly, while Sunderland begin to look more solid and Burnley have to find some goals from somewhere

Hands have been wrung and doom predicted about Philippe Coutinho’s injury, likely to keep him out of the Liverpool team until next month. And to an extent, rightly so: he has been their most impressive attacking threat this season, and the sight of that front four dovetailing has perhaps been the most pleasing in the division. However, the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday suggested that another injury absence might be more significant, namely Joël Matip. The Cameroonian centre-half has been a quiet, calm example of consistency, exactly the sort of thing that Liverpool missed against Bournemouth. The simple scoreline, plus a cursory viewing of the game, indicated Jürgen Klopp’s men will be okay scoring goals without Coutinho, but preventing them without Matip who has a minor ankle injury, could be more problematic. Nick Miller

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Sergio Ramos bares striker's soul to leave Barcelona on ropes in title race | Sid Lowe

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:34:53 GMT2016-12-05T10:34:53Z

The ruthless centre-back stepped up again when it mattered most to score his 62nd Real Madrid goal and earn a draw that felt like a victory in el clásico

It was time, Ramos time. In fact, if anything, he was a little early. The clock had reached 89 minutes in the first clásico of the season and Barcelona were winning 1-0, Madrid’s lead at the top reduced to three points, game on again, and Luka Modric was standing by the ball out on the left where Arda Turan had gifted them one last chance, the kind of moment this man is made for. Thirty yards away, Sergio Ramos nodded “over here” at him, eyebrows, eyes and head gesturing surreptitiously. At least he hoped it was surreptitious. As he took up his position – offside for now, ready to step back on – Gerard Piqué watched him and tracked him, or tried to; in Piqué’s way was Lucas Vázquez, pushing, diverting, annoying.

High on the other side, in the box hung from the roof, someone said: “They’ll score here.” “Yeah, Ramos,” came the reply. Ramos later said: “I told Luka: ‘you put in a good one and I’ll put it away’,” which was pretty much what happened. “He told me where to put it, I put it there, he scored. Easy, huh?” Modric laughed. The clock said 89.46 when he put in a good one – “for a change,” according to Ramos and 89.48 when Madrid’s captain put it away, heading past Marc-André ter Stegen. Arms out, he raced them all to the corner where players piled on in white, Keylor Navas close behind in yellow. Dani Carvajal flipped the finger at the fans in front – sorry, he later said – and fists were raised to the 800 supporters way above, going wild behind that grubby glass screen.

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Not such a beautiful game: Lazio v Roma derby descends into disrepute | Paolo Bandini

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:27:21 GMT2016-12-05T12:27:21Z

There was not much beautiful to hold on to in any sense, although the Giallorossi will be content to have extended the legacy of the departed Rudi García

“You do not play a derby, you win it.” When Rudi García pronounced those words at the start of his first season as Roma manager, few could have imagined how prophetic they would turn out to be. The Giallorossi had lost to Lazio in the final of the Coppa Italia a few short months earlier. They have not done so again since.

Related: Kevin Strootman strikes as Roma see off Lazio in heated Rome derby

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Are we a step closer to being able to measure football IQ? | Sean Ingle

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:33:43 GMT2016-12-04T18:33:43Z

Barça captain Andrés Iniesta had his team humming against Real Madrid and has been tested by scientists who believe they can identify in-game intelligence

Less than a minute after replacing Ivan Rakitic during a strangely discordant el clásico, Andrés Iniesta had Barcelona humming sweeter harmonies again. His first act was to float to the centre, collect from Gerard Piqué and exchange a wall-pass with Lionel Messi – bam, bam, bam – which started a 31-pass move. His next was to set up Neymar for a chance he smashed over. Later he steered a glorious eye of the needle ball that Messi, with the match at his feet, screwed wide.

True, Madrid stole an equaliser at the death but with Iniesta back from injury as Barcelona’s conductor and collagen the team looked whole again. Of course his technical and physical talents remain worldy, even at 32, but it was his football intelligence – that ability to find space and time amid the crush and rush, the right pass, the right everything – that really stood out. No wonder the Belgium manager, Roberto Martínez, suggested afterwards that Iniesta had a “third eye”.

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Ryan Fraser inspires Bournemouth’s madcap turnaround against Liverpool | Barney Ronay

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 20:46:18 GMT2016-12-04T20:46:18Z

The Cherries’ historic win from nowhere proves that emotion can still triumph over logic

Out of deference to AFC Bournemouth’s 117-year history it seems proper to suggest there may have been more extraordinary high points than this in their footballing history. But let’s face it, there haven’t. On an increasingly wild afternoon on the south coast Eddie Howe’s high-energy team played their part in one of the great, and greatly improbable, Premier League games.

Not only did Bournemouth come back from 3-1 down to win 4-3, barely coming up for air in a second half of relentless motion. They did so after completely they were suffocated for the opening half as Liverpool’s tourniquet of malevolent lime-green shirts took what looked to be a decisive choke-hold high up the pitch.

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Slaven Bilic bears burden of expectation as West Ham’s bubble bursts

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:47:00 GMT2016-12-04T22:47:00Z

The West Ham manager is confident the club can turn around its disappointing start to the season in time but realises the clock is ticking

“I try to be very open,” sighed a weary looking Slaven Bilic. “I try to be honest as I always am. It ain’t helping if we are trying to wrap things in paper and to hide. We can’t continue like this. We can’t.”

As brutal self-assessments go, the West Ham United manager’s mea culpa – including an apology to his pet dog – in the bowels of the London Stadium after his side’s 5-1 capitulation against Arsenal was hard to beat. A crestfallen Angelo Ogbonna, shoulders slumped after his mistake handed Mesut Özil the opening goal to silence further a strangely muted atmosphere for the first London derby in the Premier League to be played in their new home, was just as frank.

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Alejandro Camargo scores stunning volley from his own half in Chile

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:51:12 GMT2016-12-04T23:51:12Z

• Universidad de Concepción midfielder spots keeper off line in league game
• ‘Pinto was always playing in advance of his goal so I closed my eyes and hit it’

It has been a good week for goalkeepers scoring goals but, after Oscarine Masuluke’s heroics for Baroka FC in South Africa, Miguel Angel Pinto will not want to remember stoppage time of Sunday’s match against Universidad de Concepción.

Related: Goalkeeper scores spectacular 96th-minute overhead kick in South Africa

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Apologetic Jade North escapes sanction for playacting in City-Roar clash

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:57:42 GMT2016-12-05T21:57:42Z

  • North labels dive in fiery encounter an ‘error of judgement’
  • Brisbane say veteran defender is ‘sincerely apologetic’

Brisbane defender Jade North has escaped FFA sanction for his dive during Saturday night’s A-League game with Melbourne City but apologised for his emotion-charged “error of judgement”.

Incidents abounded – during and after the 1-1 draw on Saturday night – but North’s dive was the most unsavoury. Roar’s vice-captain clashed with City marksman Bruno Fornaroli early in the second half, falling theatrically to the turf and clutching his head after the lightest of contact from the Uruguayan.

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Kevin Strootman strikes as Roma see off Lazio in heated Rome derby

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:03:35 GMT2016-12-04T17:03:35Z

Roma pounced on two dreadful Lazio mistakes to claim a 2-0 win in a hot-tempered derby which was boycotted by their own supporters on Sunday.

The Lazio defender Wallace handed Roma the lead in the 64th minute when he tried to dribble his way out of defence but was easily dispossessed by Kevin Strootman, who chipped over the helpless Lazio goalkeeper, Federico Marchetti.

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Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos grab point at the last from Barcelona

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 17:22:46 GMT2016-12-03T17:22:46Z

Sergio Ramos did it again. The clásico was heading into its last minute and Real Madrid were facing the end of a 32-game unbeaten run, when the man who rescued them in the 94th minute of the 2014 European Cup final leapt to head in another Luka Modric delivery and score another dramatic equaliser. And, while it could never be as significant as that night in Lisbon, it could prove a huge moment too – one that will go some way to defining the title race in Spain. “In games like this, Sergio is always there,” Zinedine Zidane said.

There he was, leading the charge to a Camp Nou corner flag, celebrating team-mates in his wake. A match that had appeared to have slipped away, Barcelona leading 1-0 through Luis Suárez’s header but unable to add to it, had been levelled, extending Madrid’s run and maintaining a six-point lead at the top. “The thing that stands out, again, is this team’s heart,” Zidane said. “We believed right until the end and got a draw that is very important.” The end was right: even after the goal, Casemiro cleared off the line to cling onto a precious point.

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Playing with Heart: coaches' war of words great A-League theatre or public pettiness? | Richard Parkin

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:00:02 GMT2016-12-04T19:00:02Z

While it provides great drama for the neutral, both John Aloisi and John van ‘t Schip emerge with reduced reputations after their latest public recriminations

Mind games in football can often be a minefield. And like defusing hidden explosives, unless you’re a highly-trained expert, you’re probably better placed steering clear of the practice.

Sir Alex Ferguson was famed as a skilled practitioner. But far more memorable than the marginal advantages his side may have gained through digs at referees, stop-watch keepers or opposing managers were the remarkable self-immolations from opponents who attempted, and failed, to match the master.

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RB Leipzig restore lead at top amid controversy after beating Schalke

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:43:14 GMT2016-12-03T22:43:14Z

RB Leipzig extended their winning run to eight games in the league and restored their three-point lead over Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.

Their bid to return to the top of the table got off to a heated start when Timo Werner fell in the Schalke penalty area only 19 seconds after kick-off. The Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann was booked and the referee Bastian Dankert awarded a penalty, though TV replays showed no contact was made.

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Bodies of Chapecoense players killed in plane crash returned to Brazil

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 16:23:45 GMT2016-12-03T16:23:45Z

Coffins of football team, supporters and journalists who lost lives met by Brazilian president Michel Temer at Chapeco airport

The bodies of the football team killed when their plane crashed in Colombia earlier this week have been returned to Brazil.

Many of the 71 victims were players or supporters of the Chapecoense football team, which had chartered the plane after reaching the final of the Copa Sudamericana being held in Medellin, Colombia.

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Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick resigns after poor start to A-League season

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:04:18 GMT2016-12-04T23:04:18Z

  • ‘I have not performed well enough as head coach,’ says Merrick
  • Phoenix have won just twice and lost six times so far this season

Ernie Merrick has become the A-League’s first managerial casualty of the season after the Wellington Phoenix coach stood down following his side’s poor start to the campaign.

Phoenix have mustered just two wins from eight outings so far this season. Merrick told his players of his decision after the latest defeat, a 2-0 reverse to Adelaide United on Sunday.

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A-League champs Adelaide finally breakthrough, Sydney FC sink Jets

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:01:49 GMT2016-12-04T11:01:49Z

  • Adelaide United 2-0 Wellington Phoenix
  • Newcastle Jets 0-2 Sydney FC

Adelaide United recruit Henrique scored two screamers as the Reds climbed from the bottom of the A-League table with a 2-0 win against Wellington.

Henrique’s double came in a 15-minute span in Sunday’s first half as Adelaide banked a breakthrough first win of the season.

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How Antonio Conte beat Pep Guardiola in the battle of three-man defences | Michael Cox

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 11:45:08 GMT2016-12-04T11:45:08Z

In a tactical sense, the arrival of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Antonio Conte at Chelsea has taken the Premier League to a new level

The tactical battle explains the pattern of a football match but the result is dependent upon small moments – and Chelsea’s 3-1 victory against Manchester City was a perfect example. Had Kevin De Bruyne, the outstanding player for the first hour, converted an open goal to put Manchester City 2-0 ahead, the story would have been about how Pep Guardiola had exposed Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system. Instead, De Bruyne somehow contrived to hit the bar and Chelsea’s subsequent comeback means Guardiola’s system is questioned. The reality is not quite so simple.

Related: Manchester City’s lack of mental edge exposed in Pep Guardiola challenge | Paul Wilson

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Love John Terry or loathe him, an unignorable career is winding down | Barney Ronay

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:59:57 GMT2016-12-02T13:59:57Z

John Terry will miss Saturday’s trip to Manchester City and for the first time in the Abramovich era his absence is not, for Chelsea, a source of fretful speculation

A man from the Daily Telegraph once told me an interesting story about John Terry, Fabio Capello and one of those informal chit-chats England managers like to have with journalists. This one took place a few years back, when Terry was having one of those off periods when he seems to be slightly falling to pieces, panels flapping, hinges rusting, grabbing at the passing shirts like a man groping for the light switch in the dark.

Someone asked why Capello kept picking Terry when his form was poor. The answer was simple. Yes, there were quicker, fitter players. But when Capello and his men looked around the dressing room before kick-off they usually found Terry was the only England player not frozen into silence, bowed with angst or – in the colloquialism used – “shitting it” under the weight of the England shirt.

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Football abuse scandal shows media must learn lessons from its silences | Marina Hyde

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:38:05 GMT2016-11-30T12:38:05Z

Historically, many journalists have delighted in inserting themselves approvingly into the tales of how stories are brought to the world. But we must not flinch from putting our trade at the centre of stories of institutional failure either

In the course of his heartbreaking account of the abuse he suffered at the hands of a paedophile football coach the former Tottenham and Liverpool player Paul Stewart mentioned that he had watched Spotlight, the film about the Boston Globe’s investigation of institutionalised sexual abuse with the city’s Catholic church. As Stewart put it, the revelations in that case started relatively small, but the airing of them caused survivor accounts to snowball. That way, he judged, “the enormity of it became clear”.

Related: No young footballer should have to endure sexual abuse again | Graeme Le Saux

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Upstanding Englishmen

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:44:50 GMT2016-12-05T16:44:50Z

Today: a Swans dive, the fight for justice and Emre v chewing gum

Perhaps because it led to only one of the five goals Tottenham Hotspur scored past the training cones of Swansea City on Saturday, the preposterous dive with which Dele Alli gulled referee Jon Moss at White Hart Lane on Saturday was greeted more with amusement than the kind of sanctimonious, spittle-flecked outrage and indignation more usually reserved for such antics. Previously the sole domain of dirty, cheating foreigners, Alli’s perfectly executed forward two-and-one-half somersault with pike is the kind of duplicitous behaviour that has only in recent years been adopted by formerly upstanding (in every sense of the word) Englishmen. Indeed, former Manchester City legend Franny Lee is widely credited with leading the vanguard for homegrown players as recently as the 1960s, about 30 years before the German Jürgen Klinsmann, another Tottenham Hotspur player, was widely derided for officially introducing this scurrilous practice to the English game.

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Football transfer rumours: Tottenham after Manchester City's Joe Hart?

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:07:40 GMT2016-12-05T09:07:40Z

Today’s fluff is only lonely when your homey ain’t got a ride or no loot

Tottenham have drawn up a shortlist of potential new goalkeepers, should Hugo Lloris turn down their contract offer and swan off elsewhere, with Manchester City outcast Joe Hart and Sunderland’s shot-stopping supremo Jordan Pickford both upon it. They are also linked this morning with Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, as for that matter are Liverpool (again) and Arsenal, though the Gunners may be short of cash if a rumoured £20m move for Milan’s 30-year-old Colombian goal-grabber Carlos Bacca comes to fruition, with the clubs apparently already discussing terms.

Long-term Arsenal target Julian Draxler appears certain to leave Wolfsburg in January, if anyone’s after a talented German 23-year-old forward. In the summer he wanted to go but the club and its fans wanted him to stay. Now, he still wants to go, the fans also want him to go, and the club has come to terms with him leaving as well, so we’re all set. “I said in the summer the way I feel and I stand by that,” the player said after being booed by his own fans during a 3-2 defeat to Hertha Berlin. “It makes it hard for you to perform on the field,” he said of his reception. “I can understand the fans, though. They have every right to do that.”

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Said & Done: ‘He used the word 'party'. Party? What sort of party is this?’

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 10:00:11 GMT2016-12-04T10:00:11Z

Also featuring: Chelsea on racism; Uli Hoeness, and gross misconduct at Palermo

Brazil FA head Marco Polo Del Nero – telling Chapecoense to fulfil their final league game. Acting club president Ivan Tozzo: “I told him we don’t have 11 players left. He said: ‘Yes you do, reserves, injured players. Use them, make up the rest with kids.’”

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The gifs that keep on giving: David Luiz, a perfect touch and the try of the autumn

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 10:00:19 GMT2016-12-03T10:00:19Z

Featuring a manager who is the boss, a distracted basketball player, perfect pitching, high-calibre fencing and two men playing table tennis with five balls

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Del Potro's tweener, rabona of the week, and managers making it up | Classic YouTube

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:30:44 GMT2016-12-01T10:30:44Z

This week’s roundup also features rapid rugby exits, Jonny May being helpful, and free-kick routines that need some work

1) Tennis showboaters just love the “tweener” – the between-the-legs, back-to-net point-saver shot also known as the Gran Willy after pioneer Guillermo Vilas. It was on show again at the Davis Cup final – Juan Martín del Potro raising a cheer by humiliating Marin Cilic. Here’s more to enjoy: ten tweener lobs, ten tweener passing-shots, and, a twist, the altogether more arrogant frontal tweener remix.

2) In the same spirit, here’s rabona of the week: Roma’s Diego Perotti chipping one in against Viktoria Plzen in the Europa League. Then he went and ruined it: “The truth is, I tried to cross this. But it’s good that it went in, for the team, and for me.” He’ll now take his place in the next set of “world’s best rabona” montages – but no-one has ever mastered the art as well as this nipper.

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Which players have scored hat-tricks on their international debuts? | The Knowledge

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:00:14 GMT2016-11-30T10:00:14Z

Plus: Reggie Kray, long-running sponsorships and more. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“I see Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick on his international debut,” observes Neil Harrington. “Just wondering how many other players have achieved this feat, or even exceeded it? And if any of them had also been sold by Arsenal for a criminally small amount of money?”

“I’m sure you’ve already had it, but Luther Blissett scored one against Luxembourg in 1982,” points out William Paterson. “David Kelly – who always seemed criminally underrated I must say – scored a hat-trick on his debut for the Republic of Ireland against Israel in 1987,” adds Brian Reddy. Denis Hurley points to Arthur Brown, “who won three caps for England between 18 February and 13 March 1882. One game was won and two were lost but England scored 17 goals and conceded 10 and Brown scored four of those, all in his debut against Ireland in Belfast, a 13-0 win. And here’s Kevin Dennehy: “Dieter Müller scored a hat-trick for West Germany on his international debut against Yugoslavia on 17 June 1976. Where it gets interesting is that it was the European Championship semi-finals and he came on as a sub in the 79th minute, scoring in the 82nd, 115th, and 119th minutes.”

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The best goals of the week: Ben Woodburn, Tom Rogic and Felix Kroos

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 16:48:25 GMT2016-11-30T16:48:25Z

Featuring the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s history, a last-minute overhead kick and team goals from Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid and Rennes

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Football League your thoughts: Derby pile pressure on Norwich’s Alex Neil | John Ashdown

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 18:36:06 GMT2016-11-26T18:36:06Z

Brighton close the gap at the top of the Championship, Bolton are the big winners in League One and Morecambe wreck everyone’s accumulators with a shock against Plymouth

• There was a tale of two streaks in the Championship, one of which came to an end and one that continues unabated. Newcastle United welcomed Blackburn Rovers to St James’ Park in expectation of a ninth straight league win but Charlie Mulgrew’s goal provided the shock of the day for a Rovers side who began the day in the bottom three. Somewhat less surprising was Norwich City’s fifth straight defeat. Bradley Johnson, who played over 150 games for the Canaries, scored Derby County’s goal in their 1-0 win and piled the pressure on the under-fire Alex Neil.

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The Joy of Six: nefarious goal-line handballs | Lawrence Ostlere

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:00:14 GMT2016-11-18T10:00:14Z

From Ally Robertson’s save for the cameras to César Martins’s outrageous full-length stop for Flamengo via Luis Suárez’s self-styled ‘save of the tournament’

Ally Robertson’s first tackle in professional football took the ball from George Best’s toes. From that moment West Bromwich Albion’s Scottish teenager began establishing a reputation as a no-nonsense defender, a status hardened a few months later when he played on with a broken leg in a League Cup tie against Charlton Athletic. “You could hear this big crack,” Robertson recalled. “Jeff Astle came running across and said: ‘Quick! Get down – you’ve broken your leg,’ but I said ‘No, no’ and played on until half-time.” Robertson, an imposing player with a long auburn mane and thick moustache, would go on to develop a partnership with another tough defender, John Wile.

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Midfielder scores with volley from own half in Chilean league — video

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:17:54 GMT2016-12-05T16:17:54Z

Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Camargo scores a volley from his own half, sealing a 3-1 victory for Universidad de Concepción over O’Higgins in the Chilean Primera División on Sunday. The footage, posted on CDF’s website, shows goalkeeper Pinto trying to play route one with his team chasing an equaliser when Camargo hits his clearance straight back at goal

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Sepp Blatter ban upheld by court of arbitration for sport – video

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:51:37 GMT2016-12-05T15:51:37Z

Sepp Blatter’s six-year ban from football is upheld by the court of arbitration for sport in Switzerland on Monday. General secretary for the court Matthieu Reeb announces that the court doubted Blatter’s explanation of a cash gift to Michel Platini, who was a Fifa vice-president in 2011, saying it represented an ‘undue gift’. Blatter must also pay a fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs

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Pep Guardiola to work with other players after Sergio Agüero ban – video

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:58:32 GMT2016-12-05T16:58:32Z

Pep Guardiola says he is happy to give other players a start in Manchester City’s Champions League match against Celtic in the wake of the FA bans imposed on Fernandinho and Sergio Agüero. Agüero has been suspended for four matches following his sending off against Chelsea, which prompted a fractious finale to Manchester City’s defeat

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Manchester United's José Mourinho rants over 'direct' Everton after draw – video

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 20:06:23 GMT2016-12-04T20:06:23Z

The Manchester United manager José Mourinho explained his decision to bring on substitute Marouane Fellaini late on against Everton before the former Everton midfielder conceded a penalty to help the home side rescue a point. Mourinho was openly frustrated with the hosts’ style of play and explained his disappointment at not winning games that he feels his side deserve three points from

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Jürgen Klopp says Eddie Howe was on fire during Liverpool's loss to Bournemouth – video

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:18:28 GMT2016-12-04T17:18:28Z

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said it’s never good to be on the wrong end of an incredible comeback but praised Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe for being ‘on fire’ during his side’s 4-3 victory over the Reds. Liverpool led 2-0 and 3-1 but conceded two late goals to miss out on moving into second, but Klopp insisted his team will recover from the result

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Crystal Palace's Alan Pardew: 'Expect the sack and do your job' - video

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:34:06 GMT2016-12-03T19:34:06Z

The Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew admitted after his side’s 3-0 victory over Southampton that he always ‘expects the sack’ but will continue to do his job as best he can throughout. Palace had lost six league games in a row before this victory and the pressure was mounting, but the win moves them up to 13th

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Pep Guardiola reacts after Manchester City's defeat by Chelsea – video

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 17:52:51 GMT2016-12-03T17:52:51Z

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola reacts to his side’s 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium against league leaders Chelsea. City’s second defeat of the season is the same number as their opponents yet they trail Chelsea by four points. Guardiola insisted that he is very happy with the style of play and admits the Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will be perceived as ‘right’ after the result

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David Moyes targets three more wins after Sunderland defeat Leicester – video

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:51:25 GMT2016-12-03T18:51:25Z

Sunderland manager David Moyes saw his side move off the bottom of the table after a 2-1 victory over champions Leicester City and has now set his side a target of three wins out of their next four games. The Black Cats have already achieved that feat going back to early November and will now be expected to do it again as they look to get out of the drop zone before Christmas

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FA Cup photo essay – a look at Stockport v Woking in the first round

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:00:52 GMT2016-12-02T11:00:52Z

The FA Cup has suffered its share of denigration in recent times, but has never lost its charm. It offers a chance to dream, particularly for players and fans of smaller clubs. Photographer Chris Thomond is documenting one game from each round, starting with Stockport’s game against Woking, and continuing this weekend when Woking host Accrington Stanley

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Goalkeeper scores spectacular 96th-minute overhead kick in South Africa – video

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:58:47 GMT2016-12-01T11:58:47Z

Oscarine Masuluke, goalkeeper for Baroka FC in South Africa’s top-flight, scores a stunning overhead kick in the 96th minute against Orlando Pirates on Wednesday to level the game at 1-1. The goalkeeper goes forward for a late corner to try and savage something from the match. With the set piece only half clear, Masuluke was first to the loose ball, and with his back to goal launched himself into the air to score spectacularly

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Atlético Nacional hold vigil for victims of Colombia plane crash – video

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:30:35 GMT2016-12-01T12:30:35Z

Players, staff and supporters of Colombian football club Atlético Nacional hold a vigil on Wednesday night in tribute to the victims of the plane crash near Medellín earlier this week. Nacional had been due to play Brazilian side Chapecoense at their Atanasio Girardot stadium in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. Instead the venue was the scene of solidarity between the two clubs and between Colombia and Brazil

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Gareth Southgate: a look back at the new England manager's career – video

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 15:11:07 GMT2016-11-30T15:11:07Z

Gareth Southgate was officially named as the England manager on Wednesday after a four-game stint as interim manager. Southgate took over as interim manager following Sam Allardyce’s resignation in September, and his four-year contract will see him take charge of England’s Russia 2018 world cup campaign

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Steven Gerrard retires from football: a look at his career – video

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 13:15:34 GMT2016-11-24T13:15:34Z

Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from football after a career of 18 years. One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players, we look back at Gerrard’s career: winning his first medals with Liverpool, leading the club to Champions League glory and agonisingly missing out on the Premier League title in 2014

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Middlesbrough v Hull City: Premier League – as it happened

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 21:52:06 GMT2016-12-05T21:52:06Z

Middlesbrough moved up to 13th place thanks to Gaston Ramírez’s header, which was enough to see off an abysmal Hull City side

That’s your lot! Middlesbrough hold on and move into 13th place thanks to Gaston Ramirez’s header. They’re deserved winners. Hull were wretched and remain 19th. Thanks for reading and emailing. Night.

Related: Middlesbrough on the ascent after Gastón Ramírez helps them sink Hull

90 min+4: Valdes hits a clearance straight to Snodgrass on the right. Fortunately for the Middlesbrough goalkeeper, Hull can’t take advantage.

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FA Cup third-round draw: West Ham v Manchester City, Sutton United v AFC Wimbledon, Everton v Leicester

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:23:52 GMT2016-12-05T19:23:52Z

Jaap Stam returns to Manchester United with his Reading side, Arsenal head to Preston and Tottenham host Aston Villa

FA Cup third round: Reading’s Jaap Stam faces return to Manchester United

That’s the draw for the FA Cup third round. The ties will be held on 6-9 January. Bye!

Related: FA Cup third round: Reading’s Jaap Stam faces return to Manchester United

Rotherham v Oxford/Macclesfield

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Harry Kewell: a career in pictures

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 19:00:31 GMT2016-12-05T19:00:31Z

With more than 200 Premier League appearances, a Champions League winners medal and 17 international goals to his name, Harry Kewell, who retired as a footballer in 2014, is the recipient of the Alex Tobin Medal for 2016. Here’s a look back at his career, including his spells with Leeds and Liverpool, as well as his time with the Australian national team

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Manchester City must show more mental strength, says Pep Guardiola

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:09:26 GMT2016-12-05T17:09:26Z

• Manager regrets failure to kill off game against Chelsea on Saturday
• City will rotate for Celtic match with last-16 place already assured

Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to be “mentally stronger” following the 3-1 defeat by Chelsea on Saturday, with the manager putting the result down to a failure by his team to take their chances against Antonio Conte’s side.

City took the lead thanks to a Gary Cahill own goal but failed to capitalise on opportunities to increase their advantage, with Kevin De Bruyne hitting the bar with the goal gaping. Instead, Chelsea staged an impressive comeback , scoring three times in the closing third of the contest, which ended with Fernandinho and Sergio Agüero being sent off in a late melee.

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Football League warned all its clubs about Bob Higgins in 1989

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:11:40 GMT2016-12-05T12:11:40Z

  • Coach named in connection with allegations of historical sex abuse
    •Higgins went on to work for Peterborough United in the 90s

The Football League issued a warning to clubs about Bob Higgins, the former Southampton youth coach named in connection with allegations of historical sexual abuse of children, as long ago as 1989, the Guardian can reveal.
Higgins went on to work with youngsters at other clubs including Peterborough United and was still a coach in the game when the abuse scandal was broken by the Guardian last month.

A letter from the Football League, which at the time administered and regulated football from the top-flight professional game all the way down to youth level, said it was “opposed” to the “Bob Higgins Soccer Academy” (BHSA).

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Early Wellington Phoenix coaching contenders after shock A-League resignation

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 03:56:25 GMT2016-12-05T03:56:25Z

  • Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx and Mark Rudan early contenders
  • Wellington Phoenix have announced current assistants as interim bosses

Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick’s resignation has kick-started a frantic early-season hunt for his replacement with former Sydney FC captain Mark Rudan among the early names to be touted.

Merrick told players of his decision after Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Adelaide United left them bottom of the table with two wins and six losses from eight games this A-League season.

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Manchester United’s Ibrahimovic denies deliberate kick on Séamus Coleman

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:09:13 GMT2016-12-05T00:09:13Z

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Everton’s Coleman clashed in 1-1 draw
• ‘If I want to kick someone in the head, I know how to and make him sleep’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has denied deliberately kicking Séamus Coleman in the head, saying he could have made the Everton defender “fall asleep” if it had been on purpose.

The Manchester United striker tangled with Coleman early in the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw between the sides at Goodison Park. The referee, Michael Oliver, did not appear to see the incident, leaving open the possibility of retrospective disciplinary action from the Football Association.

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Lamine Koné’s return to form a factor in Sunderland’s revival

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:30:06 GMT2016-12-04T22:30:06Z

• Ivorian defender has ‘turned a corner’ thanks to double training sessions
• David Moyes’ side have won three in four league games after Leicester victory

Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe have done their bit but it is no coincidence that Sunderland’s run of three wins in four games has coincided with Lamine Koné’s return to central-defensive form.

Related: Victor Anichebe scores two as Sunderland haul Hull City into trouble

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Dele Alli’s dive leads Mauricio Pochettino to recall brush with Owen

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:30:06 GMT2016-12-04T22:30:06Z

• England won World Cup match after Michael Owen fell under Pochettino
• Tottenham manager admits trying to cheat was ‘part of training’

Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that English suspicions were valid all along – Argentinian players, he said, would practise how to cheat in training. But the Tottenham Hotspur manager warned against supporters in England becoming holier than thou when it came to diving. According to him, English players have long known how to con referees.

Related: Michael Owen on penalties against Argentina: I could have stayed up

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Gary Cahill: everyone thinks Diego Costa is an angry guy but he’s more mature now

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:30:06 GMT2016-12-04T22:30:06Z

• Chelsea captain praises striker after 3-1 win at Manchester City
• City to lose Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho through suspension

Gary Cahill could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when the ball looped up off his shin and over Thibaut Courtois to give Manchester City an interval lead they just about deserved, yet the Chelsea captain was confident his side could rise to the challenge and in the second half they most emphatically did.

That is the steadiness a seven-match winning sequence can bring, although the way Chelsea went about extending that Premier League run to eight spoke volumes about their experience and resilience and raised a few awkward questions about Manchester City, whose frustration boiled over at the end in the touchline fracas that resulted in Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho being dismissed.

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West Bromwich Albion’s ascent offers Tony Pulis chance for added value

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 22:30:06 GMT2016-12-04T22:30:06Z

• Survival specialist has a consistent record of maximising scant resources
• He has never finished in Premier League’s top half despite successes at Stoke

Tony Pulis may not wish to dwell on financial matters after his costly loss in the high court last week but there is at least one calculation of which he can be proud. If transfer expenditure is factored into the amount of points won by each Premier League club this season, then Pulis is the highest-performing manager.

Related: Manchester City 1-0 Stoke City | FA Cup final match report

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José Mourinho sticks to script after Manchester United draw at Everton

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 20:48:32 GMT2016-12-04T20:48:32Z

• Clumsy late challenge from Fellaini allows Everton to equalise with penalty
• Mourinho says team are playing well but ‘not getting the results we deserve’

A visibly frustrated José Mourinho has insisted Manchester United are playing well despite their sixth Premier League draw of the season. The 1-1 draw against Everton leaves United sixth, nine points behind the fourth-placed Manchester City and a further four behind the leaders, Chelsea, after 14 matches.

United led through Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 43rd-minute opener but Marouane Fellaini’s clumsy challenge a minute from time gave away a penalty from which Leighton Baines equalised.

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Barrow and Cambridge record shock victories in FA Cup second round

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:46:08 GMT2016-12-04T19:46:08Z

• National League Barrow come from behind to beat Bristol Rovers 2-1
• Cambridge thrash Coventry 4-0 while Braintree go down fighting at Millwall

Barrow of the National League pulled off the upset of the FA Cup second round when they came from behind to win 2-1 at League One Bristol Rovers. Byron Harrison scored twice to turn the tie round, swiftly cancelling out Rory Gaffney’s 10th-minute opener for the hosts before adding a second after 61 minutes.

Related: FA Cup first round replays: Eastleigh shock Tim Sherwood’s Swindon Town

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan finally makes case as a Manchester United player | Jamie Jackson

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:44:50 GMT2016-12-04T19:44:50Z

Armenia’s captain had not started a league game in almost three months but his performance against Everton shows he deserves more first-team action

Despite performing against Feyenoord and West Ham United, this was the big audition Henrikh Mkhitaryan dare not fluff. Not after what happened in his previous and only Premier League start for Manchester United. Then, José Mourinho named Armenia’s captain in the XI for the derby on 10 September and with Manchester City leading 2-1 at half‑time the manager substituted him and failed to provide him with even an appearance from the bench in the ensuing nine league matches.

Those starts against Feyenoord and West Ham were in the Europa League and EFL Cup respectively, and given the way Mkhitaryan was dropped the 27-year-old may have wondered when another chance in the league would arrive if he disappointed in this game.

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Leighton Baines penalty earns Everton late point against Manchester United

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:23:19 GMT2016-12-04T18:23:19Z

Closing out tight Premier League contests, squeezing the options and then the hope out of the opposition; what was once the art of José Mourinho is lost for now to Manchester United and their increasingly irascible manager.

Five minutes remained at an anxious Goodison Park when Mourinho replaced Henrikh Mkhitaryan with Marouane Fellaini. Two minutes later the shut‑up‑shop substitute carelessly conceded a penalty against his former club and victory, much-needed evidence of progress and Mourinho’s tactical renown had slipped away once again. At least the water bottles escaped a good kicking.

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Everton 1-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 18:01:56 GMT2016-12-04T18:01:56Z

Marouane Fellaini came off the bench to give away a penalty and hand his former club an equaliser in a high-tempo, low-class encounter

That’s all from me. It was, eventually, exciting. Thanks for sharing these moments with me. Bye!

A frustrating game. There was plenty of energy, but very little attacking quality from either side. That means post-match discussion will be focused on the three United villains: red-card refugees Rojo and Ibrahimovic, and blundering penalty-donor Fellaini. Unless Mourinho can think of something really ridiculous to say to distract everybody.

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Sport picture of the day: watching the Rome derby

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:39:39 GMT2016-12-05T12:39:39Z

There’s a wide range of gestures and facial expressions on display among the Lazio fans at the Olympic stadium as their team take on their local rivals and neighbours in a heated Rome derby. Though at the final whistle it’s a fair shout that all these fans would have had glum faces as Roma pounced on two dreadful Lazio mistakes to claim a 2-0 win

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Sport picture of the day: throw in at the end of the world

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 12:48:27 GMT2016-12-04T12:48:27Z

Everyone loves a good sunset shot, especially a sport photographer. They are usually used to showing a big general view of the field so it is refreshing to see some close up action with such a beautiful sky

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