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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: Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:17:40 GMT2017-04-30T09:17:40Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Time to remember the remarkable David Rocastle | Daniel Taylor

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 19:50:35 GMT2017-04-29T19:50:35Z

Arsenal’s ‘Brazilian from Lewisham’, who died at 33, should have been 50 this Tuesday. Instead this charming, talented man will rightly be honoured in song at the north London derby

It was something Paul Merson said during that raw television interview a couple of Fridays ago that lingers in the mind. You might not always agree with Merson’s football opinions but there are times when that does not really matter. Earlier that day, his former team-mate Ugo Ehiogu, the friend he described as a “man-mountain”, had died from a heart attack, aged 44, and now Merson was in a television studio when it would probably have been kinder to allow him some time alone and he was trying to make sense of it all. He couldn’t, but it was some tribute. “You know what,” he said, and he was struggling to get out the words. “Billy Joel sings that song Only The Good Die Young. And that is him.”

To be pedantic, that song was actually about something entirely different when it was recorded in 1977, prompting a number of religious groups to pressure various radio stations to remove it from their playlists. Yet we all knew what Merson meant, we all probably know others it could apply to and no doubt there will be plenty of people – Merson, again, included in that number – who will be thinking the same about David Rocastle in the next few days.

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Sunderland relegation ‘my worst day in football’, says David Moyes

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:20:28 GMT2017-04-29T18:20:28Z

• Black Cats relegated after 1-0 home defeat against Bournemouth
• ‘I don’t think today’s the right time to talk about my future’

David Moyes experienced the worst day of his career in football as Sunderland’s 10-year Premier League tenure ended with a 1-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth and the Stadium of Light echoed to chants demanding his dismissal.

Relegation to the Championship was most definitely not what the former Everton, Manchester United and Real Sociedad manager envisaged when he succeeded Sam Allardyce last July and explains why, on the eve of the match, Moyes revealed he was considering his future. Sunderland’s seventh manager in six years is expected to step down this summer but before finalising any decision he will meet Ellis Short, the club’s owner and Martin Bain, the chief executive.

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Harry Kane: Tottenham now have higher ambitions than looking down on Arsenal

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:30:10 GMT2017-04-29T21:30:10Z

Harry Kane says that for all the delight Spurs might take in finishing above Arsenal, keeping up the pressure on Chelsea is now the priority

Harry Kane, it is merely the latest marker of Tottenham Hotspur’s progress under Mauricio Pochettino. The club have north London bragging rights in their sights – finally. If they beat Arsenal in the derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday, they will finish above them in the Premier League table for the first time since 1994-95.

Back then, Gerry Francis was in charge at Tottenham, having taken over from Ossie Ardiles in November 1994, while Arsenal also underwent a managerial change during the season – Stewart Houston stepping in to replace George Graham, who was sacked in February 1995 after the bungs scandal. Spurs finished seventh, Arsenal 12th.

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Antonio Conte urges Chelsea’s ‘warriors’ to see them home in title race

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 22:06:04 GMT2017-04-29T22:06:04Z

Chelsea’s manager warns Everton will pose a tricky challenge on Sunday but backs his side’s seasoned campaigners to get them over the line

Chelsea will conclude a “crucial week” in the context of their season’s ambitions at Everton on Sunday with Antonio Conte confident his team has the fortitude to cope with the pressures of the run-in as they target the 12 points from their final five games that will guarantee them the Premier League title.

They endured two fruitless trips to Goodison Park last season, in the league under José Mourinho and FA Cup with Guus Hiddink, and were uncharacteristically off-colour in their last away fixture, an untimely defeat at Manchester United a fortnight ago. Yet Conte has been hugely encouraged by his players’ response to that loss at Old Trafford, with second-placed Tottenham Hotspur beaten in the FA Cup semi-final and Southampton subsequently overcome in midweek.

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Luis Suárez fires Barcelona to derby victory over Espanyol

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:39:40 GMT2017-04-29T21:39:40Z

Luis Suárez scored twice as Barcelona moved back to the top of La Liga after a 3-0 derby win at Espanyol.

With Real Madrid having produced a late victory over Valencia earlier, the pressure was firmly back on Luis Enrique’s side.

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Bayern Munich seal fifth consecutive Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg win

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 19:12:40 GMT2017-04-29T19:12:40Z

Bayern Munich secured a record-extending fifth consecutive Bundesliga title after beating Wolfsburg 6-0 to open up an unassailable 10-point lead with three matches remaining. The Bavarians, who have won 27 German championships, are on 73 points, with RB Leipzig in second place on 63 after they were held to a goalless draw by Ingolstadt.

“It is amazing what this team did again this season in the Bundesliga,” said the retiring Bayern captain, Philipp Lahm. “It is not a given we will always march through the league like we did this season.”

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Celtic humiliate Rangers 5-1 to equal their biggest victory at Ibrox

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:08:31 GMT2017-04-29T13:08:31Z

In a five-year period that has encompassed administration, liquidation, Saturday afternoons in the company of Albion Rovers and even a 5-1 trouncing at Celtic Park, nothing has wounded the Rangers support as much as this. Make that 16-4 on aggregate to Celtic from six Old Firm fixtures this season, and in the last one a record: the scoring of five at this venue.

Related: Rangers 1-5 Celtic: Scottish Premiership – as it happened

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Burnley grab first away win to leave Crystal Palace facing nervous finish

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:44:40 GMT2017-04-29T18:44:40Z

Burnley had been waiting almost two years for this sensation but, at last, they have an away win to savour in the Premier League and, with it, surely another season to enjoy plenty more. This was a wonderfully resilient display, a performance forged on strong-arm defence and goalkeeping excellence, to suffocate Crystal Palace’s momentum. Sean Dyche’s team are eight points off the cut-off with winnable games ahead. A fine campaign is tantalisingly close to being rewarded with survival.

The away form feels like an anomaly for a team this organised, but that elusive first triumph on the road will have felt sweeter for all the waiting. The last Burnley player to score a winning goal outside Turf Moor in the top flight had been Danny Ings at Aston Villa on the final day two seasons ago, a victory secured once relegation had already been confirmed. Here the honours fell to Ashley Barnes and the substitute Andre Gray on the counterattack, but the win owed more to the efforts of Tom Heaton, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski and the visitors’ tireless collective work rate.

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Manchester City Women fall short against Lyon in Champions League

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:45:04 GMT2017-04-29T21:45:04Z

• Champions League semi-final 2nd leg: Lyon 0-1 Manchester City
• Lyon win 3-2 on aggregate

Manchester City Women beat Lyon 1-0 in the second leg of their Women’s Champions League semi-final at Park OL but they missed out on June’s final in Cardiff after a 3-2 aggregate defeat.

Carli Lloyd broke the deadlock for City in the 57th minute when Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi played the ball straight to the American, who fired back past her into the net.

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Guardiola and Mourinho cannot hide grim reality of Manchester clubs | Paul Wilson

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-04-30T09:00:00Z

Latest derby was a stark reminder that the big beasts of the north-west are currently fighting over scraps while the London clubs watch from above

All those complaining that Thursday’s Manchester derby was not a patch on the previous week’s el clásico completely miss the point. In terms of quality the Manchester derby is currently no better than the Merseyside version and it is rapidly becoming as irrelevant. If the Premier League does have a derby to stand comparison with the best Spain can offer, at the moment it would have to be the London rivalry between Chelsea and Spurs, whose FA Cup semi-final was both an entertaining game and, as Antonio Conte said, a great advert for English football.

Related: Jürgen Klopp dismisses José Mourinho’s ‘unfair fight’ complaint

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Blackburn reel in Nottingham Forest as Leyton Orient fans force 'abandonment'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:37:54 GMT2017-04-29T18:37:54Z

Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and (almost certainly) Fulham sealed play-off places, Wigan went down and it’s still tight all round in League Two

Blackburn Rovers took the fight for Championship survival to the final day of the season with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Ewood Park, courtesy of Danny Graham steering home after 54 minutes. The win brought Rovers level with Nottingham Forest, who lost 2-0 at QPR, confirming Rangers’ safety in the process. Both sides have 48 points; Forest host Ipswich in their final game, and Blackburn head to Brentford.

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Arsène Wenger chases top-four comforts but title race absence damns Arsenal | Jacob Steinberg

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 21:30:10 GMT2017-04-29T21:30:10Z

Recent wins have given Arsenal hope of qualifying again for the Champions League but slow recovery from setbacks ensures the title remains beyond them

For the best teams dealing with adversity is second nature. Losing a game, especially a big one, inevitably leaves a few psychological scars. It happens to everyone, even at the top. The trick is developing and maintaining a mentality tough enough to ensure that self-doubt, kryptonite for any professional athlete, is kept at a safe enough distance to ensure that the mind does not conspire against the body. By working hard and keeping the faith, the chances of one setback turning into a crisis are diminished.

Momentum matters, of course. When Chelsea lost at Manchester United two weeks ago and allowed Tottenham Hotspur a scent of blood in the title race, what came next was as much a test of their mental strength as of their footballing ability. They had two options available, weakness or defiance, and chose the latter by winning their FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham last weekend. Three days later Chelsea beat Southampton and Antonio Conte praised his players for taking a “big psychological step” towards the title.

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Energía universal: how Pochettino has driven the Tottenham revolution | David Hytner

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:01:28 GMT2017-04-29T11:01:28Z

The guiding power behind the Argentinian and his team’s high-octane style has a spiritual dimension that has transformed a mentally weak side into title chasers

Mauricio Pochettino mentioned the concept at a press briefing last December. “Energía universal,” the Tottenham Hotspur manager said, slipping into his native Spanish. It translates fairly literally into English yet the meaning is altogether more profound.

The best way to describe it is as a guiding power, a life force that influences everything. It feels appropriate to consider the Butterfly Effect, which advances the possibility that small causes can have momentous effects, and there is an obvious spiritual dimension to it. Universal energy. It has shaped Pochettino’s approach to life and been at the heart of his psychological transformation of Spurs. It will continue to sustain him and his on-pitch disciples in Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal at White Hart Lane.

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Harry Redknapp’s 10-man Birmingham City sink Huddersfield

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:05:44 GMT2017-04-29T16:05:44Z

If Harry Redknapp did not know Birmingham City’s theme tune before, he will now. The club’s new manager must keep right on till the end of the road as his three-game salvation mission goes to the last day of the Championship season at Bristol City next week.

Redknapp enjoyed victory in his first home game in charge despite Birmingham playing 70 minutes with 10 men, after Che Adams was sent off, and missing one penalty before scoring another either side of Jonathan Grounds’ breakthrough goal. And all this against Huddersfield Town’s reserves.

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Marcelo rescues Real Madrid with late winner against Valencia

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:11:52 GMT2017-04-29T18:11:52Z

Marcelo came to Real Madrid’s rescue to secure a 2-1 win over Valencia, provisionally taking Zinedine Zidane’s side three points clear at the top of La Liga, moments after they had conceded a potentially crucial equaliser.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal in five league games to put Real ahead in the 27th minute but in the second half had a penalty saved by Diego Alves, who turned away a league-record sixth spot-kick of the campaign.

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Eldin Jakupovic’s late penalty save earns Hull City vital point at Southampton

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:04:00 GMT2017-04-29T16:04:00Z

The wait for an away win under Marco Silva goes on but this felt every inch like one as Hull City garnered another priceless point in their fight for Premier League survival. This was a dire match lit up by a frantic finale with Eldin Jakupovic ultimately proving the Hull hero, with the goalkeeper saving Dusan Tadic’s 90th-minute penalty after Alfred N’Diaye was adjudged to have wrestled Maya Yoshida to the floor by the referee, Mike Dean. No team has conceded more penalties in the top flight this season.

Related: Manchester United v Swansea City: match preview

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Jamie Vardy goal keeps Leicester’s resurgence going with win at West Brom

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:08:24 GMT2017-04-29T16:08:24Z

The Premier League champions can finally breathe more easily as any lingering relegation fears were put to bed on an afternoon when Jamie Vardy continued his resurgence under Craig Shakespeare to score the only goal of a game that rarely came to life.

It was Vardy’s 15th of the season in all competitions and his eighth in 12 matches under Shakespeare – a run of form that has been central to propelling Leicester from the lower reaches of the table to 11th place. This was only Leicester’s second away victory in the league this season and takes them to the 40-point barrier with four fixtures remaining.

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Adrián and Jack Butland star as Stoke City and West Ham hit stalemate

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:22:22 GMT2017-04-29T16:22:22Z

Mark Hughes believes Jack Butland is already back to his best, after the Stoke City keeper kept a clean sheet in front of the England manager, Gareth Southgate, in just his second game since returning from a 13-month injury lay-off.

Butland twice denied André Ayew – once from an overhead kick – and used his leg to thwart Manuel Lanzini as the Potters recorded a 0-0 draw with West Ham United in their goalkeeper’s first home appearance since March 2016.

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Newcastle tax investigation includes Moussa Sissoko and four other players

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:41:15 GMT2017-04-28T19:41:15Z

• HMRC case thought to be focusing on payments made to agents
• Deals for Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Sylvain Marveaux also looked at

The investigation into suspected £5m income tax fraud in football is focusing on payments relating to five players’ transfers to Newcastle United, including those of Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cissé, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, according to sources close to the investigation. HM Revenue and Customs, which conducted an extensive raid on Newcastle’s and West Ham United’s offices on Wednesday morning, is understood to be chiefly investigating the payments made to agents, and whether £5m income tax and national insurance was fraudulently evaded.

Related: Christian Atsu fires up Newcastle to keep title hopes alive

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Jürgen Klopp dismisses José Mourinho’s ‘unfair fight’ complaint

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:12Z

• Mourinho claimed Manchester United are playing extra ‘half a season’
• ‘Nobody asked us last year how we felt about it,’ says Liverpool manager

Jürgen Klopp has dismissed José Mourinho’s complaint about being in an “unfair fight” for Champions League qualification on the grounds Manchester United have the resources to handle a gruelling schedule.

United trail Liverpool by two points in the race for a top-four finish, albeit with a game in hand, having drawn the Manchester derby on Thursday. After the goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium Mourinho lamented having to play “half of a Premier League more than Liverpool” – it is 13 matches more – and claimed his Europa League semi-finalists were in “an unfair fight but we are going for that”.

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Swansea look to profit from Paul Clement’s added decisiveness

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:12Z

• Manager speaks of missed trick when leading in the defeat to Tottenham
• Manchester United away is the next hurdle and trip to Anfield the spur

A trip to Old Trafford on Sunday will evoke some happy memories for Paul Clement. The Swansea City manager won at Manchester United with Chelsea during his time as Carlo Ancelotti’s No2, and ruined Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday when he tasted victory with Blackburn Rovers as assistant to Steve Kean, yet it is an evening spent in the away end with West Brom supporters that strikes a chord right now.

It was 2005, the penultimate weekend of the season, and Clement made the journey to Old Trafford to cheer on Neil, his brother who was playing for a relegation-threatened West Brom side who were on their way to pulling off what would become known as their great escape. “I was a coach at Fulham in the academy at the time, I went up from London on the train and I was sitting up in the corner with the West Brom fans,” Clement said. “It was 1-1 and proved to be a massive point.”

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Ronald Koeman tells Romelu Lukaku to show ‘best of himself’ against Chelsea

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:07:02 GMT2017-04-28T17:07:02Z

• Everton’s manager admits difficulty in hanging on to his best players
• Premier League’s leading scorer faces former club on Sunday

Everton’s manager has challenged Romelu Lukaku to show “the best of himself” against his striker’s former club, Chelsea, on Sunday and shape the destiny of the Premier League title.

Ronald Koeman’s side present arguably the toughest assignment for Chelsea in their pursuit of the championship having won eight consecutive matches at Goodison Park, with Lukaku scoring in his past nine appearances on home soil. The Belgian has been frequently linked with a return to Stamford Bridge after refusing to extend a contract that still has two years to run, and the manager admits it may be difficult to retain his best players this summer. “I don’t know, will see at the end of the season,” he said on the prospect of keeping the Premier League’s leading scorer.

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Mauricio Pochettino plays to the Tottenham crowd and asks for their help

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:30:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:30:12Z

• Spurs prepare to face Arsenal in penultimate game at the Lane
• Manager effusive about the White Hart Lane supporters

Mauricio Pochettino described it as a “difficult job” for his Tottenham players and the understatement seems palpable. Their push for the Premier League title has run into Arsenal and to keep their hopes alive, they must surely beat their rivals at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

On its own, that adds up to pressure of the most extreme variety but the layers of the challenge go deeper. Pochettino’s players will know that it will be the last derby to be staged at the stadium and the second-last fixture. Manchester United are to visit on 14 May.

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Arsène Wenger says Wembley move will be ‘very difficult’ for Tottenham

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:00 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:00Z

• Wembley a temporary switch as Spurs build 61,000-seat ground
• Tottenham will spend 2017-18 campaign at the national stadium

Arsène Wenger has warned Tottenham Hotspur that they will find it very difficult to remain a competitive force in the Premier League while also adjusting to life at a new stadium and that the settling-in process could take two years.

The Frenchman’s comments came on the day Tottenham confirmed they will use Wembley as a temporary home next season as work is completed on a new stadium, estimated to cost £800m, on the current White Hart Lane site, which will increase Spurs’ capacity from 32,000 to 61,000 and is scheduled to open for the 2018-19 season.

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Wayne Rooney may play in midfield for Manchester United against Swansea

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:30:40 GMT2017-04-28T12:30:40Z

• José Mourinho says injuries and suspension may force rethink
• ‘We have Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick and nothing else’

José Mourinho said Wayne Rooney may have to play in midfield against Swansea City because of Marouane Fellaini’s suspension for head-butting Sergio Agüero in the Manchester derby and Paul Pogba’s continuing absence through injury.

Fellaini will miss three Premier League matches, so in addition to Swansea’s visit on Sunday, he is unavailable for the trips to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

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Christian Atsu fires up Newcastle to keep title hopes alive

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:57:00 GMT2017-04-28T20:57:00Z

Newcastle kept their Championship title hopes alive at Cardiff after second-half goals from Christian Atsu and Isaac Hayden gave Newcastle a 14th away league win – a club record – and ensured that Brighton must beat Bristol City on Saturday to be crowned champions on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Atsu broke the deadlock with a delightful 55th-minute free-kick before Hayden struck his second Newcastle goal 10 minutes later from 20 yards.

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Wenger rejects Arsenal-Spurs power shift: ‘One year can’t make up for 20’

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:00 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:00Z

• Tottenham in line to finish above Arsenal for first time since 1995
• Laurent Koscielny’s knee injury could rule him out of north London derby

Should Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal on Sunday they will, at last, finish above their rivals in the Premier League but for Arsène Wenger this will not represent a power shift between the clubs. “You cannot say the weight of one year has the weight of 20,” Wenger said when the proposition was put to him before what will be the 50th time he takes part in this fixture.

Tottenham last ended a domestic season in a higher position than Arsenal in 1995, the year before Wenger arrived in England, yet now it is almost inevitable and will be confirmed should the hosts triumph in what is set to be the last north London derby played at White Hart Lane. Defeat for Arsenal would leave them 17 points behind Spurs with a maximum of 15 more to play for.

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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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Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: match preview

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

Mauricio Pochettino said he had not heard of “St Totteringham’s Day” – the annual bit of gloating from Arsenal fans about their team’s supremacy over Tottenham. But the Spurs manager is surely about to dismantle it. Win the derby and Spurs will finish above their neighbours for the first time in 22 years. Pochettino wants more. His sights are set on “finishing above all 19 clubs”. He clings to the belief his team could yet reel in Chelsea. David Hytner

Kick-off Sunday 4.30pm

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Manchester United v Swansea City: match preview

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

Manchester United’s exhausting season continues against Swansea City, who they defeated 3-1 in November. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (two) and Paul Pogba scored United’s goals but both are injured now. Given that eight players are unavailable, including the suspended Marouane Fellaini, José Mourinho is down to the bare bones before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final trip to Celta Vigo. Swansea are third-bottom and fighting for their lives so this may be a cagey encounter. Jamie Jackson

Kick-off Sunday midday

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Everton v Chelsea: match preview

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

A crucial day in the title race begins here where Antonio Conte’s leaders face what appears their toughest remaining league fixture. Everton may be mediocre on the road but they revel in the comforts of home, winning their last eight, with Romelu Lukaku scoring 14 goals in his last nine Goodison appearances. Tottenham will crave a ninth straight win for Ronald Koeman’s team ahead of the north London derby but another wild Conte celebration would be more than justified should Chelsea prevail. Andy Hunter

Kick-off Sunday 2.05pm

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Middlesbrough v Manchester City: match preview

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

Middlesbrough may have enjoyed pushing fellow strugglers – and north-east rivals – Sunderland to the brink of relegation with a 1-0 win in midweek but the three points have come too late to make much difference for Steve Agnew’s side. Boro remain six points from safety and after facing Manchester City they still have games against Chelsea and Liverpool. The chances of a miraculous survival look slim. Rich Flower

Kick-off Sunday 2.05pm

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Watford v Liverpool: match preview

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

The Manchester derby draw has theoretically taken Liverpool’s top-four destiny out of their own hands, unlikely as it is that the Manchester duo will win all their remaining five games. However, following the home defeat to Crystal Palace, Liverpool cannot afford another slip-up at Vicarage Road against a Watford side who have reached 40 points yet look unlikely to get too many more. Yet Jürgen Klopp will have unpleasant memories of last season’s 3-0 mauling at Vicarage Road and it should serve as a warning against complacency. Paul Chronnell

Kick-off Monday 8pm

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Is leaving Wembley early just part of the matchday experience? | Richard Williams

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

What does it say that decision not to stick around and continue to see what happens? Something about the way we watch modern football

It was a sight to make the heart sink. With 10 minutes left on the referee’s watch – plus, as it turned out, four minutes of time added on for stoppages – football fans at one end of Wembley were fleeing through every available exit with hardly a backward glance. From the helicopter camera showing the outside of the stadium, they resembled water pouring out of a colander and sluicing into a gutter.

Fourteen minutes in which to turn around a two-goal deficit in one of the biggest matches of the season, for which adult spectators had bought tickets priced from £30 – yet still the fans of Tottenham Hotspur were leaving the seats they had occupied with such optimism barely an hour earlier.

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Francesco Totti in the Rome derby: his 11 goals for Roma against Lazio

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-04-29T09:00:26Z

As Francesco Totti prepares to face Lazio for perhaps the last time, we look back on the goals that made him the most prolific player in the Derby della Capitale

By Richard Hall for The Gentleman Ultra, of the Guardian Sport Network

No footballer embodies the classic and contemporary Roman style more than Francesco Totti. The Roma manager, Luciano Spalletti, once said it would be “easier to move the Colosseum out of Rome” than move Totti out of Roma. The Roma captain has won the hearts and minds of the people, at least in the yellow and red half of the city. For those of a sky blue persuasion, he has been a scourge, but no less renowned. Totti has faced Lazio in 43 derbies and scored more goals in the derby than any other player. So, in honour of his achievements, and in recognition that this may be his last Derby della Capitale, we decided to trace his evolution through the 11 goals he has scored for Roma against Lazio.

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League One finale: what’s at stake in the promotion and relegation battles

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-04-29T09:00:26Z

Bolton must hold off Fleetwood to win a first promotion since Sam Allardyce’s reign but Port Vale, Gillingham, Bury and Shrewsbury fear the worst

It’s the final day in League One on Sunday, starting at noon, and it’s set up nicely: three teams eyeing the last play-off spot, four trying to avoid relegation, and either Bolton or Fleetwood going up with champions Sheffield United. Expect angst.

Who’ll land second place, then? Bolton have the edge. They’re second on 83 points (GD29) and home to the relaxed, mid-table Peterborough, live on TV. Fleetwood (third, 81 points, GD21) play Port Vale at home – with Vale battling the drop.

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Dele Alli, Twitter loneliness and the cautionary tale of Renato Sanches | Barney Ronay

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:27:03 GMT2017-04-28T11:27:03Z

The Bayern midfielder increasingly looks a candidate for the title of most startlingly strange meteoric 24-month first-team career ever. Wonderkids beware

Among the many doomed and dreadful writing projects I occasionally pretend to be working on is a Bret Easton Ellis-style football novel about a hip, talented, existentially glazed and clueless wonderkid being passed around Europe’s super-clubs by the shady financial powers that run the world game.

The lead character is an interchangeable young star, probably Portuguese, called something generic like Rui Pinto or José Costa. Tattooed and glossed, garlanded with premature honours, his entire private and professional life is owned by a Gestifute-style talent agency. He wears sunglasses and huge headphones and speaks mainly in emojis, while being shuttled from elite subs bench to seven-star hotel, generating endless income without any noticeable interaction with the human world.

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Chris Hughton: ‘I have a thirst for knowledge. I won’t always be a manager’

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:34:00 GMT2017-04-28T13:34:00Z

In an exclusive interview, the Brighton manager talks about the ‘shocking’ imbalance between white and BAME managers in England and his hopes for Brighton in the Premier League next season

“‘It is shocking and the more we speak about it, and reflect on it, the more it hits home that there’s an incredible imbalance,” Chris Hughton says as he addresses the grievous lack of black managers in English football. His only current managerial contemporary is Keith Curle, in charge of Carlisle United in League Two, and Hughton’s quietly spoken words carry even more impact now that he has led Brighton & Hove Albion into next season’s Premier League.

Brighton’s inspiring promotion, after decades of strife in which the club became homeless, bankrupt and on the brink of losing their place in the Football League, was guaranteed last week. Their 58-year-old manager has two games remaining of this Championship season, starting with Bristol City at home on Saturday. But first, on a cold evening at the Amex Stadium, before his players participate in their annual awards, it is striking how he sidesteps beaming celebrations or personal vindication. Hughton, instead, confronts more important issues with a social conscience that is often missing from English football.

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Manchester United: a genuinely confusing side with all still to play for

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:01:00 GMT2017-04-28T19:01:00Z

José Mourinho’s team have won the League Cup and are well-placed to qualify for the Champions League but it is very difficult to judge how good they are

There is probably a meandering long-read thesis to be written on the different responses to the same match of football fans inside the ground and those who watch remotely. Wayne Rooney is routinely cheered at Old Trafford. Outside it he is a divisive figure among the diaspora, victim perhaps of unfavourable TV direction, short attention spans and boredom. Defeats are often met with cheers and warmth inside a ground, recognition of the effort expended. The same result, flashed up solely as a scoreline, will draw shrieks of betrayal at one digital remove.

In similar vein a gruelling late-season point at Manchester City on Thursday was met with sustained applause from the large group of United supporters. Naturally there will be overlaps and crossovers. But the away fans saw doggedness and fight in a match that was a disappointment to the TV spectator, with a combined total of 150 tackles, fouls, clearances and interceptions but little in the way of devil, dash and otherwise swanking across the stage in a velvet cape juggling a bone china dinner service.

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Sydney FC advance to A-League grand final after VAR controversy

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 12:40:33 GMT2017-04-29T12:40:33Z

  • Sydney FC beat Perth Glory 3-0 at Allianz Stadium
  • The VAR controversially overturned two disallowed Sydney goals

Sydney FC advanced to the A-League grand final after downing Perth 3-0 in a drama-filled semi at Allianz Stadium. The Sky Blues’ record-breaking season was on the line in front of 21,938 on Saturday night, and they didn’t disappoint against a confident Glory side that couldn’t quite match the class of the premiers.

The video assistant referee (VAR) played a prominent role, overturning two disallowed goals to help Sydney to a 3-0 lead at halftime, a scoreline that proved more than enough to set up a May 7 season-decider against either Melbourne Victory or Brisbane Roar.

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A year in the life of Marco Russ: a failed drugs test, cancer and a hero's return

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:27:06 GMT2017-04-28T11:27:06Z

A year ago Marco Russ was accused of doping and then diagnosed with testicular cancer. This week he helped Eintracht Frankfurt reach the German Cup final

By Jason Humphreys for Englische Woche, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Every penalty shootout creates heroes and villains. The villain is often left standing on the penalty spot, looking emptily into a floodlit sky, as the hero runs to his team-mates with his shirt halfway over his head and eyes closed in ecstasy. Eintracht Frankfurt triumphed in a penalty shootout in the semi-final of the German Cup on Tuesday night, but the real hero was neither a goalkeeper who had made a decisive save nor a player who had slotted home the winning spot-kick. This time the hero was Frankfurt defender Marco Russ.

Russ made the long walk to the penalty spot to take the 10th kick in the knowledge that the previous nine had all gone in. His objective was simple; the task almost thankless. Miss and the tie was over; score and the penalties would keep on coming, giving someone else the chance to be the hero. He stepped up and side-footed the ball into the net, with Gladbach keeper Yann Sommer already gliding in the other direction. As the ball hit the net, Russ turned, celebrated quietly and walked back towards his team. Job done.

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Leganés show they can belong with kick against the tide in bid for survival | Sid Lowe

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:18:21 GMT2017-04-27T16:18:21Z

La Liga’s smallest club have never felt truly secure but the 3-0 win against Las Palmas means the sun may not be setting on their debut season after all

The chant set off round Butarque as a protest and came back as a party. “El Lega es de primera,” it runs – Leganés belong in primera – and the first time they launched into it, in the 12th minute of Wednesday night’s match against Las Palmas, it was a coordinated complaint, driven by anger and accompanied by banners and black cloth, sung by supporters scared that their status might be taken away. By the time they dared do it again 60 minutes later, it sounded different, hung on hope: vindication had turned to celebration. Leganés really might belong there, after all; now they believe Butarque will be back, with its sunsets, AC/DC soundtrack, and the smell of sizzling pork on portable stoves. With its football team, too.

Leganés were 2-0 up, thanks to two absurd gifts from their opponents – “accidents”, coach Quique Setien called them – and a third soon followed from a penalty that probably wasn’t, bringing another chant with it. “Bounce, Butarque, bounce!”, it went, and so they did. There was a Mexican wave, while out on the pitch someone dared to do a backheel, olés ringing out. At long last, the paralysis was broken and the fear subsided. In six minutes, Leganés had scored 10% of the goals they’ve got all season, securing a victory that sent Osasuna down mathematically, all but condemned Granada – they trail by 10 points and the head-to-head record – and left Sporting Gijón, struggling from the start, six points from safety. From them, in other words.

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Real Madrid thrash Deportivo 6-2 to keep pace with Barcelona

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:42:12 GMT2017-04-26T20:42:12Z

• Barcelona had beaten relegated Osasuna 7-1 in earlier match
• James Rodríguez scored twice for Real to stay level on points

Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Wednesday while at the other end of the table Osasuna’s return to the top flight lasted just a season as their relegation was confirmed.

Barcelona took full advantage of playing first and threw down the gauntlet by temporarily opening up a three-point lead at the summit with a 7-1 Nou Camp thrashing of Osasuna, so it was up to Real Madrid to respond - and bounce back from Sunday’s dramatic home defeat in el clásico - in the late kick-off.

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US soccer's coaching gap: 'I refuse to believe all the best people are white males'

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:00:33 GMT2017-04-26T09:00:33Z

MLS has made slow progress when it comes to hiring black and Latino coaches – and a lack of diversity threatens the future of soccer in America

Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez is blunt when it comes to the makeup of soccer in the US. “I refuse to believe that the best people and best professionals are mostly white males. I would find that an incredible set of coincidences,” he says.

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury may be good news for his MLS suitors

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David Squires on ... the first week of A-League finals

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 20:00:46 GMT2017-04-26T20:00:46Z

Our resident cartoonist looks back at the opening round of finals fixtures, taking in ice packs, some good old larrikinism and, of course, Marc Warren’s foul throw

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Brazilian goalkeeper guilty of murder back in prison after brief return to football

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:12:09 GMT2017-04-26T00:12:09Z

An earlier court decision had allowed Bruno Fernandes de Souza to sign for a second-division soccer club, causing a public uproar

Brazil’s supreme court has ordered the re-arrest of a professional footballer who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, then prematurely released and allowed to sign for a club.

Bruno Fernandes de Souza – who was an icon during his period as goalkeeper for Brazil’s most popular club Flamengo – handed himself in to police, ending two months of liberty that had generated fierce debate about the violence and misogyny of Latin America’s biggest country.

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Lionel Messi ‘slays dragon’ with a fitting finale to wild and wonderful clásico | Sid Lowe

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:48:14 GMT2017-04-24T13:48:14Z

There were countless sub-plots, players and stories to highlight after Barcelona’s 3-2 win at Real Madrid. But above all – way, way above all – there was Messi

Lionel Messi had a black eye, a bloody mouth and his Barcelona shirt in his hands. The board had gone up signalling two minutes left in the clásico: not enough for anyone – this was the game that should have gone on for ever – but just enough for another twist, even later and more dramatic than the first. It was 2-2, James Rodríguez putting Real Madrid within touching distance of the title five minutes from time, and Barcelona had a throw-in down in the south-east corner of the Bernabéu. The clock had read 91.27 – 33 seconds and 100 metres to go; 26 seconds later, Messi stood in the north-west corner celebrating the goal that changed everything. Behind him, Dani Carvajal beat the ground with his fists, wondering how the hell it had happened. Here’s how.

A wild, wonderful game had gone from 1-0 to 1-1 and from there to 1-2 but James, on as a sub, had equalised in the 86th minute – enough to re-establish Madrid’s lead at the top but not enough for their players, who saw an opportunity, even with 10 men. Barcelona, apparently crushed by the inevitability of it all, were there to be finished off. “We dropped terribly after the 2-2,” Luis Enrique admitted. Zinedine Zidane said: “We could have done things differently but we were optimistic and thought we could score the third.” So James had another go, and Marcelo and Marco Asensio. And when a long ball drifted out Madrid were drawn in, applying pressure and seeking one last chance. Which was when Barcelona slipped from them, playing their way into the title race via the longest route. A counter, most called it, but it wasn’t.

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The Milanese malaise plumbs new depths of calamity in Serie A | Paolo Bandini

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:47:03 GMT2017-04-24T12:47:03Z

Sixth place is just about all that Inter or Milan can aspire to after the Nerazzurri went down 5-4 at Fiorentina and the Rossoneri lost at home to Empoli

For Serie A’s 20 clubs, the finish line is in sight. The two representing the city of Milan, however, might be starting to wonder what race they have even been running. They had presumed for many months to be part of that elite group chasing after a Champions League berth. Instead, at the end of this gruelling marathon, they find themselves contesting a prize that hardly seems worth winning.

Sixth place is just about all that Inter or Milan can aspire to, after a weekend in which they each hit new depths of calamity. Their prize (barring an implausible collapse from Coppa Italia finalists Lazio, which would offer fresh opportunities to climb higher in any case) would be a spot in the Europa League’s third qualifying round.

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Werder Bremen in Kruse control with unlikely European spot beckoning | Andy Brassell

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:26:05 GMT2017-04-24T12:26:05Z

Nobody is expecting Max Kruse to really become an angel, but seeing him in the white of Germany doesn’t seem that daft any more

Perhaps, in years to come, it will be looked upon as one of the anomalies in the history of collectible football toys. When the DfB commissioned Lego figures of Germany’s Euro 2016 squad, the list was compiled months before Jogi Löw made his final choices. So alongside Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and Mario Götze was a figure of the injured Marco Reus, for example.

There is also one in the collection that sticks out if you look at Lego’s squad today, or if you’re browsing for spares on eBay – that of No23, one Max Kruse. Dropped by Löw last March following a string of off-field controversies including (but not limited to) leaving €75,000 in cash in the back of a taxi after a poker tournament, nightclub rows and his then-coach Dieter Hecking chiding him for excessive Nutella consumption, it seems astonishing that Kruse was ever in the mix to go to France.

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Christophe Galtier is Ligue 1's longest serving manager. But it's now time to go

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:11:19 GMT2017-04-24T13:11:19Z

Christophe Galtier took over at St Étienne in 2009 and lifted the club, but he has taken them as far as he – or perhaps anyone – can

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Christophe Galtier had had enough. “Mentally weak,” was how the St Étienne manager described his players after another limp performance in the 4-0 drubbing at Marseille a fortnight ago. Angry and frustrated, not for the first time this season, Galtier acted swiftly by sending three players – erratic striker Nolan Roux, wayward winger Oussama Tannane and ineffective summer signing Bryan Dabo – to the reserves for the rest of the campaign. “It’s never easy to make this kind of decision,” said Galtier. “I took it because I feel that the three players concerned are, in my eyes, insufficiently invested.” All are likely to have played their last game for the club.

After more than seven years as St Étienne’s coach, Galtier is currently the longest serving manager in Ligue 1. The club, with 10 league titles, are as successful as any in France. However, when Galtier took over in December 2009, they were in trouble. With just 15 points from their first 17 league games, they were in the bottom three, having only narrowly survived at the end of the previous campaign under Alain Perrin. The decision to appoint Galtier was a risky one. Only awarded a short 18-month deal, he had very little managerial experience. His remit, explained the club’s co-president Bernard Caïazzo, was to “restore a relationship with the players”.

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Lionel Messi sinks Real Madrid in thriller to keep Barcelona in race

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 20:57:44 GMT2017-04-23T20:57:44Z

The very last kick of the clásico could not have been more perfectly executed nor more dramatically delivered, Lionel Messi guiding the ball inside the post to take his team top. It was the 500th goal of his career and few have been more significant. It prompted Luis Enrique to say: “He is the best player in history.”

Just when it seemed all was lost there may be life in La Liga; there is life in Barcelona too. With five games to go they are leaders on their head-to-head record and, although Real Madrid have a game in hand and Zinedine Zidane rightly says “we still depend on ourselves,” nothing feels impossible now.

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Czech Republic’s Frantisek Rajtoral found dead at home

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:52:29 GMT2017-04-24T10:52:29Z

• Gaziantepspor midfielder, 31, won 14 caps for his country
• FifPro says more must be done to support current players

The president of the Turkish side Gaziantepspor has confirmed reports that the Czech Republic international Frantisek Rajtoral killed himself at his home over the weekend, with the chief medical officer of international players’ union warning more needs to be done to combat mental illness among current professionals.

The 31-year-old, who played 14 times for his country and was part of the squad that reached the Euro 2012 quarter-finals, was found dead after Gaziantepspor alerted authorities to his absence on Sunday.

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The forgotten story of ... Carlos Kaiser, football's greatest conman | Rob Smyth

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:00:34 GMT2017-04-26T10:00:34Z

For more than two decades, Carlos Kaiser was one of the most famous footballers in Brazil – even though he had no intention of ever kicking a ball

You might know the voiceover at the start of The Big Lebowski. As tumbleweed meanders through Los Angeles, Sam Elliott introduces us to the film’s main character: “Goes by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. See, this Lebowski, he called himself ‘The Dude’.”

The Stranger rambles on about this and that until he gets somewhere near the point. “Sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here - the Dude from Los Angeles. Sometimes, there’s a man; well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude.”

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Kingstonian leave Kingsmeadow: collateral damage in a modern football parable?

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:25:44 GMT2017-04-25T09:25:44Z

Kingstonian bade an emotional farewell to their ground on Saturday. Could the club, Chelsea and AFC Wimbledon have done more to prevent them moving?

As the minutes ticked down on Kingstonian’s final match at Kingsmeadow one supporter quietly slipped away from the terrace at the end of the east stand. He had a favour to ask but time was tight and the plan was entirely reliant on goodwill. Fortunately there was some of it going around. After knocking on a couple of doors behind the old Kingston Road end his powers of persuasion bore fruit in the form of a temporarily loaned back garden. A strike of a match later the final salute could begin.

The jets of red and white fireworks – an impressive and prolonged display, compromised only by the clear afternoon sky against which they battled for prominence – had the intended effect. “I’d been savouring the moment until then but once they went off, that was it for me,” says lifelong Kingstonian supporter Denise Turner, who was watching from the stand. “I thought I was going to cry. We’ve got so many memories here but that signalled the end of it.”

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Joey Barton: a man whose football talent rarely took centre stage

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:02:18 GMT2017-04-26T23:02:18Z

Banned for 18 months for gambling, the 34-year-old’s playing career looks all but over – yet he was never a stranger to controversy and discord

Joey Barton has had a long career in professional football but, throughout it, he has never strayed far from the wrong side of the line.

An 18-month ban from the game means the 34-year-old’s career looks likely to be ended by this latest incident; placing more than 1,500 bets on football matches between 2006 and 2013, a practice from which footballers are prohibited. To look back on his career, however, is to survey a series of unpleasant, often violent, incidents that would have meant the sack in any other industry a long time earlier.

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Football quiz: name the player or manager in the suit

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:44:09 GMT2017-04-27T09:44:09Z

When footballers wear suits the results can be, well, interesting. Here are some pictures from the archive. Put a name to the player or managerFlaresJohn ToshackFrank WorthingtonKevin KeeganMick ChannonSpotsJamie VardyEden HazardCraig BellamyLionel MessiStripesMark HughesRyan GiggsLee SharpeGary PallisterFloralPaul PogbaPierre-Emerick AubameyangMario BalotelliNeymarShowyKevin KeeganMario KempesFranz BeckenbauerGeorge BestCasualBryan RobsonDiego MaradonaMark HughesJavier Zanetti CheckPaul TisdaleRobbie SavagePaolo Di CanioTim SherwoodJust name the team for this one. It felt unfair to crop just one out. LiverpoolManchester UnitedMilanArsenalBusy blueDavid BeckhamVinnie JonesJamie RedknappRobbie SavageDisco kitCarlos AlbertoPeleJairzinhoLuther BlissettBurtonsAlan ShearerDavid SeamanPaul GascoigneDavid BattyThose infamous white suitsJamie RedknappRobbie FowlerJason McAteerIan RushAnd another white suit. And what a white suitCristiano RonaldoDavid BeckhamEmmanuel PetitFernando TorresBoss collarSol CampbellAshley ColeThierry HenryGilberto SilvaWallpaper effectTim SherwoodStuart PearceSven Goran Eriksson Steve McManamanPinstripeGeoff HurstPeter ShiltonBobby MooreRay ClemenceGoal!Franz BeckenbauerBobby MooreJohan CruyffBob McNabJust name the team doing some bonding? It was a while ago, so you're allowed to see their faces.ArsenalEvertonTottenham HotspurManchester UnitedLooseGordon StrachanDidier DeschampsStuart McCallBryan RobsonTrailblazerBobby MooreJimmy HillBobby CharltonMatt Busby Continue reading...[...]


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The Fiver | The right to brag about being the best team in London below Chelsea

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:56:43 GMT2017-04-28T14:56:43Z

In today’s Fiver: Tottenham v Arsenal, $tevie Mbe’s physicality and more

More than once The Fiver has spotted a wistful tear well up in the eye of Weird Uncle Fiver as he laments the ceaseless passage of time. “What do you mean you’re closing?” he has often been heard to bawl. “Get your effin’ hands off me! Don’t you know who I … Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”

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Football transfer rumours: Manchester United want Neymar, Morata and Rodríguez?

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:35:04 GMT2017-04-28T07:35:04Z

Today’s fluff is fluffy

According to a variety of newspapers, talks between Manchester United and representatives of James Rodríguez are “very advanced”, which presumably means that words of many syllables have been used. You might think the key word would be “sal-a-ry” but apparently not, as one organ is suggesting that what Rodríguez most ardently wants is a guarantee that he’ll be allowed to wear the No10 jersey, which, of course, is the one that Wayne Rooney wears while giving tours of the club museum. Not to worry, United officials are so eager to attract Rodríguez that they’re willing to give him Rooney’s number and will even throw in Jesse Lingard’s handshake. But if Rodríguez starts asking for Paul Pogba’s emoji, the deal’s off.

Related: Steven Gerrard: ‘There’s a showboating mentality in academies. My teams will be physical’

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Bangor City and The Martyrs of 1987: non-league European football heroes | The Knowledge

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-04-26T09:00:32Z

Plus: early equalisers, Portugal’s king of promotions does it again, and cricket umpire football fans. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Which non-league teams have made it into European football competition?” asks Chris Devonshire-Ellis. “I’m sure there are some local heroes out there.”

This one has got Wales all over it. “A few Welsh teams playing in the lower divisions of the English pyramid have qualified by winning the Welsh Cup, although they’ve been ineligible since 1996,” begins Mark Barnes. “Before the ban, Bangor City, of the Northern Premier League, made it to Europe and performed remarkably well. They qualified for the 1985-86 Cup Winners’ Cup and played Norwegian side Fredrikstad FK, going through on away goals after a 1-1 draw in Norway was followed by a 0-0 at home.

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Klitschko's defeats, MLB high-flying and a Dembélé screamer

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:18:26 GMT2017-04-27T09:18:26Z

This week’s roundup also features a goalscoring goalkeeper, a major brawl in the minor leagues and an F1 three-point turn

1) Here’s Bolivar’s goalkeeper Matias Dituro scoring from inside his own penalty area after San José’s keeper had wandered up Ben Foster-style towards the end of the game. It’s a belter, given that he actually meant it. Alberto Moreno take note. If this is your kind of thing, here’s 10 minutes’ worth of goalkeepers scoring goals, including that Jimmy Glass one of course.

2) Things you didn’t know were missing from your life until now: spectacular softball pickup truck-catch hubris. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge shows you how it should be done, while the Blue Jays’ Chris Coghlan also takes to the air in impressive style.

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The Fiver | Sat there underachieving with a face on

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:06:06 GMT2017-04-27T15:06:06Z

Today: the Manchester derby, Leyton Orient brave-facing it and Sam Fox

What a coup it’s been for English football, and for the metropolitan borough of Manchester, to play host to Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho, two of the most famous managers in the world! There they’ve sat, all season, underachieving with a face on, while the Premier League title race has passed them by. And so the second Manchester derby of the 2016-17 league campaign isn’t quite the crucial showdown we’d all hoped for. Though it is sort of important, kind of. Who will get the upper hand in the chase for a precious berth in Big Cup next season, securing fourth spot, and maybe even third? Coo! That’s £175m and £150m well spent! And so much joy, verve and entertainment along the way. Well done, everyone.

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Said & Done: ‘It’s not that nice, not that nice. It wasn’t a money deal for me’

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:30:08 GMT2017-04-23T08:30:08Z

Also featuring: Kelvin MacKenzie, a sleeper train, and the envy of all small clubs

Harry Redknapp – managing three games for free (“I told Birmingham I don’t want nothing, I’m not interested in the money”) – asked about his “nice” £250,000 survival bonus: “It’s not that nice, not that nice. It wasn’t a money deal for me.”

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The forgotten story of ... Dundee United's glory years under Jim McLean | Daniel Harris

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:00:16 GMT2017-04-19T09:00:16Z

There has never been a manager like Jim McLean, the tactical genius, bully, visionary and ‘absolute bampot’ behind unimaginable success in the 1980s

Tony Soprano once noted that “‘Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation”, but he was only partially right. We are nothing if not our memories, so it makes little sense not to glory in them, all the more when circumstances take a turn for the worse. And for Dundee United – for Scottish football in general – that is irrevocably the case, so, T, with all the love and respect, “vaffanculo”.

Founded in 1909, Dundee United spent their first 62 years doing not very much: they won the second division title twice, but otherwise not even an international cap. Things improved when Jerry Kerr was appointed manager in 1959 – he established the club in the top flight and led them into Europe for the first time, but that was pretty much it. United did, though, achieve brief notoriety during the freezing winter of 1962-63, using a tar-burning truck to thaw the Tannadice pitch and removing all the grass in the process, before pouring on a load of sand and applying whitewash like a goth doing their eyebrows; such did they earn their nickname “The Arabs”.

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Leyton Orient relegated from the Football League after 112-year stay

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 18:33:41 GMT2017-04-22T18:33:41Z

Swindon Town were relegated from League One while Nottingham Forest took a major step towards Championship survival with a nervy win over Reading

• Nottingham Forest gave their chances of Championship survival a huge boost with a nerve-jangling victory against Reading at the City Ground. Two goals by Britt Assombalonga and a third from Mustapha Carayol had Forest cruising before a Yann Kermorgant double put the home fans on edge, but Reading couldn’t find the equaliser. The result pulls Mark Warburton’s side three points clear of Blackburn in the third relegation place, who could only manage a goalless draw at Wolves. Wigan’s 0-0 with Cardiff leaves them almost certain to go down, something which would be confirmed should Birmingham pick up a point or more in Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge on Sunday, against Aston Villa.

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The Joy of Six: happy endings in sport | Nick Miller

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 09:30:23 GMT2017-04-20T09:30:23Z

From Nasser Hussain’s farewell century to Rocky Marciano’s perfect legacy and Eric Cantona’s lack of doubt, we salute six triumphant farewells

The decision had already been made when Nasser Hussain went out for his final Test innings. An international career that spanned 14 years had seen him become perhaps the pivotal figure in the last few decades of English cricket. It was Hussain’s brilliant captaincy that had pulled England up from the nadir of being ranked last in the world and laid the groundwork for Michael Vaughan, the 2005 Ashes and all that. Vaughan got the glory, but he had Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss at their peaks: Hussain’s first Test as captain featured Aftab Habib and Alan Mullally.

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Golden Goal: Dani Osvaldo for Southampton v Manchester City (2013)

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-04-13T09:00:00Z

The Argentina-born Italian endured a turbulent spell on the south coast but Osvaldo, now the lead singer of a band, will be long remembered for this strike

“From now on I can show how much I can do, and how well I can perform,” Dani Osvaldo said, after scoring his third – and last – Southampton goal, a peach in the very top right-hand corner: the proverbial postage stamp. It was a promising soundbite, but he failed to kick on from that sumptuous moment in December 2013 and instead head-butted his then-captain, José Fonte, in training, an incident that ultimately ended his career in England. Several subsequent short-term fixes were just that before he retired at the age of 30 last year. “Football was not happy, it is a world full of shit,” Osvaldo is quoted as telling Fox Sports. He continues to perform though, albeit in front of a different crowd.

Osvaldo is the lead singer in a five-piece band by the name of Barrio Viejo and the rock star he always wanted to be. One of the tracks from the band’s pending first studio album, Desorden, translates as “chaos” from Spanish. Throughout his 11-year football career, Osvaldo was a cover star too, no stranger to the glossy magazines, partly because of his relationship with his now ex-girlfriend, the Argentinian actress Jimena Barón.

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Leyton Orient fans force match to be 'abandoned' with pitch protest – video

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 19:30:29 GMT2017-04-29T19:30:29Z

Supporters of doomed Leyton Orient invade the pitch after 85 minutes while losing 3-1 against Colchester at the Matchroom Stadium, halting the game to protest against the ownership of the club. The match was eventually announced as being abandoned, though was restarted once fans had been removed from the stadium

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Sunderland dragged down by 'long, hard season', says David Moyes – video

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:52:29 GMT2017-04-29T18:52:29Z

The Sunderland manager, David Moyes, reflects on a 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth which confirms his side’s relegation from the Premier League. Moyes apologises to fans for not doing ‘a better job’, but refuses to criticise his players, saying they fought until the very end

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Tottenham v Arsenal: is this the end of the St Totteringham's Day streak? – video

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:15:19 GMT2017-04-28T16:15:19Z

Arsenal fans have long held a celebration on the date it becomes mathematically impossible for Tottenham to finish above them in the league – St Totteringham’s Day. It’s occurred every season since 1994-95 but now that run looks set to come to a halt. Three points for in-form Spurs on Sunday in the north London derby will guarantee them a league finish above Arsenal. Is this finally Tottenham’s year?

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Manchester derby: Mourinho questions Agüero after Fellaini red card – video

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 06:57:07 GMT2017-04-28T06:57:07Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho questions Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero after Marouane Fellaini’s red card during the Premier League clash between the two sides on Thursday. The United midfielder was sent off for a head-butt in a goalless derby and Mourinho feels that Agüero’s reaction to the incident played some part the referee’s decision to send Fellaini off

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Charlton Athletic and the fight for the club's future – video

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:00:35 GMT2017-04-26T11:00:35Z

This season has seen almost unprecedented levels of supporter action aimed at forcing controversial owners to sell the football clubs that fans think are being mismanaged and driven to relegation and ruin. Charlton Athletic fans are more organised than most. They have a coalition and a crowd-funded war chest to co-ordinate the protests they feel will force Roland Duchâtelet out of their club before it’s too late. We speak to some of the major players in the protest movement and follow them on their days of action

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Does football have a gambling problem? – video

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 17:36:22 GMT2017-04-27T17:36:22Z

The industries of professional football and gambling have grown ever closer in recent years but has the relationship become a problem? After Joey Barton was banned for 18 months by the Football Association on charges of betting, we explore gambling’s increasing presence in modern football and ask whether this has indeed become a concern for the game

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Goalkeeper scores goal from own penalty area in Bolivia – video

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:24:21 GMT2017-04-26T13:24:21Z

Matías Dituro, goalkeeper for the Bolivian side Bolívar, scores from inside his own penalty area against Club San José on Sunday. With his opposite number up in search of a late equaliser, Dituro collects the loose ball and fires it the full length of the pitch and into the unguarded net. Bolívar won the game 3-1

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Newcastle United clinch promotion back to the Premier League – video

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:19:14 GMT2017-04-25T10:19:14Z

Newcastle United secured promotion on Monday with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Preston at St James’ Park. Newcastle will now join the current Championship leaders, Brighton, in the Premier League next season

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'It's like a circus here': Leyton Orient fans furious with owner after relegation – video

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:13:39 GMT2017-04-24T09:13:39Z

Just under three years ago, Leyton Orient were within a penalty shoot-out of gaining promotion to the Championship. Following a 3-0 loss at Crewe on Saturday, Orient have dropped out of the Football League for the first time in their history. We talk to fans of the Os, who place the blame firmly at the feet of their Italian owner, Francesco Becchetti

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Winning clásico goal a great moment for Lionel Messi, says Luis Enrique – video

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:06:10 GMT2017-04-24T21:06:10Z

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique praises Lionel Messi as his best player following the club’s 3-2 victory over Real Madrid on Sunday. A brace from Messi helped Enrique’s side to a stunning win over their old foes and sent Barça to the top of the Spanish league table

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Besart Berisha heads Victory past Roar and into A-League grand final

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 09:05:50 GMT2017-04-30T09:05:50Z

  • Melbourne Victory beat Brisbane Roar 1-0 at AAMI Park
  • Victory will meet Sydney FC in next weekend’s title decider

Besart Berisha was the difference as his second-half header in a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar sent Melbourne Victory into a mouth-watering A-League grand final against Sydney FC.

Related: Sydney FC advance to A-League grand final after VAR controversy

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Said & Done: ‘I will sue to the high heavens … Court after court after court’

Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:30:23 GMT2017-04-30T08:30:23Z

Also featuring: Wenger on betting, Becali on women, and one in the eye for Zago

Trinidad’s indicted Jack Warner – reacting to Concacaf suing him and his former Trump Tower neighbour Chuck Blazer for $20m by countersuing for $40m. Warner says his defamation case will end “the atrocities perpetrated against me by men of the lower ilk … The time has come. $40m it will be. Double theirs!”

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Crystal Palace 0-2 Burnley: Premier League – as it happened

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 18:27:20 GMT2017-04-29T18:27:20Z

Burnley won on the road for the first time this season, deserved victors at Selhurst Park.

Related: Burnley leave Palace facing nervous finish as Andre Gray seals first away win

And that’s that! Burnley finally win on the road this season! They were worth their victory, which was hard-fought but contained one moment of brilliance: their second goal was a counter-attacking peach. Neither team is mathematically safe from relegation, of course, but both will be confident of Premier League football next season. A great day for the Clarets, who finally get to enjoy a coach ride home.

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Sunderland sink to Championship, Leyton Orient game suspended – as it happened

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:13:40 GMT2017-04-29T16:13:40Z

Sunderland’s defeat at home to Bournemouth and a penalty save in Southampton combined to send David Moyes’ men down, while there was all sorts of Championship and League Two excitement

And that’s all from me. May I usher you towards Scott Murray’s Crystal Palace v Burnley liveblog, as this most underwhelming of top-flight afternoons continues. Bye!

Related: Crystal Palace v Burnley: Premier League – live!

Some match reports for you:

Related: Jamie Vardy goal keeps Leicester’s resurgence going with win at West Brom

Related: Eldin Jakupovic’s late penalty save earns Hull City vital point at Southampton

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Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia: La Liga – as it happened

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 16:12:53 GMT2017-04-29T16:12:53Z

Marcelo’s late goal gives Real Madrid victory after Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener and then missed a penalty

OK, we’re going to wrap this up now. A really good game that suggested the title race will go down to the wire. Thanks for reading. See you later.

Related: Marcelo rescues Real Madrid with late winner against Valencia

Real Madrid go three points clear of Barcelona, and they have Marcelo to thank. They looked to have messed it up: after taking the lead, Ronaldo missed a penalty to make it 2-0, and then with eight minutes remaining Dani Parejo fired a free kick into the top corner. It seemed as though they’d let Barcelona back in, but Marcelo cut in from the left side and beat Dani Alves with a low shot, and everyone inside the Bernabeu breathed a sigh of relief. The pressure’s now back on Barça, who visit Espanyol later.

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Sunderland relegated from Premier League after defeat by Bournemouth

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 15:52:04 GMT2017-04-29T15:52:04Z

Relegation finally became a reality for Sunderland and divorce from David Moyes may not be too far behind it.

A combination of Josh King’s late winner and Hull City’s draw at Southampton pushed Sunderland unceremoniously into the Championship, leaving their manager staring blankly into space.

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Rangers 1-5 Celtic: Scottish Premiership – as it happened

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 12:56:40 GMT2017-04-29T12:56:40Z

Celtic scored five goals at Ibrox for the first time in their history, humiliating their old rivals in an embarrassingly one-sided affair.

Read Ewan Murray’s match report:

Related: Celtic humiliate Rangers 5-1 to equal their biggest victory at Ibrox

The referee blows up with barely 20 seconds of added time played. Celtic care not. They’ve utterly humiliated their great rivals on their own patch! This matches their biggest-ever triumph at Ibrox, a 4-0 win back in 1897. It’s the first time they’ve ever scored five here. They could have had many more. That’s why they’re champions, their fans will sing; their second 5-1 Old Firm victory this season! The players dance and cavort in front of the away end; the rest of the ground is deserted. Celtic were at their brilliant best today. Rangers have a lot of thinking to do this summer.

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Away daze: why are Hull City and Burnley such poor travellers? | Paul Wilson

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:00:23 GMT2017-04-29T07:00:23Z

Between them, Hull and Burnley they have the least impressive away form in the Premier League – worse than the three below them in the relegation zone

Hull City’s remarkable revival under Marco Silva means that with three points on Saturday afternoon they could catch up with Burnley, a club widely perceived to have enjoyed a good season after coming up from the Championship and staying clear of the relegation positions. Burnley need a win to move to 39 points and almost guaranteed safety, though no one in east Lancashire imagines this is going to be a pivotal weekend any more than they do on the east coast.

The reason is simple. Both teams are playing away, and between them they have the least impressive travelling form in the Premier League, worse even than the three sides beneath them in the drop zone. Burnley have yet to win away this season, their healthy points return based almost entirely on 10 wins and a couple of draws at Turf Moor. Hull have performed miracles under Silva since the turn of the year, including beating Watford with 10 men last week, but their only away win came at Swansea in August and since the new manager’s arrival they have picked up only a point away from home.

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Antonio Conte confident Eden Hazard will stay despite Real Madrid rumours

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:30:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:30:12Z

• Spainish club weighing up a world record bid for the Chelsea star
• Manager insists Hazard is ‘happy’ but player’s future is out of his hands

Chelsea have no desire to sell Eden Hazard to Real Madrid regardless of whether the Spanish club’s long mooted interest crystallises in a world record bid this summer, though Antonio Conte has admitted the player himself would end up determining his own future.

Related: Antonio Conte praises ‘psychological step’ in Chelsea’s title push

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Stoke City v West Ham United: match preview

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:43:12 GMT2017-04-28T17:43:12Z

Five defeats in the past six games have put Stoke’s chances of finishing in the top 10 for a fourth successive season in serious jeopardy and West Ham United will move above them in the table with a win. This could bode ill for Mark Hughes, especially after the Stoke manager spoke of “raised expectations” among fans. The visitors will miss the physical presence of Andy Carroll in attack and will be hoping their record signing, André Ayew, can fill the void. Rich Flower

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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David Moyes indicates he could leave Sunderland at end of the season

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:44:19 GMT2017-04-28T16:44:19Z

• Manager will make decision on future once this campaign is over
• Club could be relegated to the Championship on Saturday

David Moyes has indicated he may leave Sunderland at the end of the season. His team could be relegated to the Championship on Saturday and the manager was noncommittal when asked whether he would definitely be in charge in August.

“I would say that I would make that decision at the end of the season,” said Moyes, who signed a four-year deal in July. “Because at this moment in time it would be the wrong time to say that. I just have a situation where we need to see how things are at the end of the season. I will assess the situation at the end of the season.”

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West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City: match preview

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:41:44 GMT2017-04-28T16:41:44Z

Craig Shakespeare returns to the club where he made more than 100 appearances and worked as community officer, academy coach and reserve coach, even caretaker manager for one game, in search of the three points that would end any relegation fears for Leicester City. West Brom have lost their way a little, losing the last three and failing to score in four successive league matches – five would be a club record. Matt Phillips and Hal Robson-Kanu are out while Wes Morgan is a doubt for Leicester. Stuart James

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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Why Arsène Wenger finally decided a back three was Arsenal’s way forward | Jonathan Wilson

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:00:37 GMT2017-04-28T10:00:37Z

One of Wenger’s first acts at Arsenal was to shun the system but 21 years on it is in fashion and – partly out of desperation – his team are employing wing-backs

In late September 1996, Arsenal travelled to face Borussia Mönchengladbach in the second leg of a Uefa Cup tie. Arsène Wenger had been confirmed as manager but was supposed to have only a watching brief, formally taking over after the following weekend’s match against Sunderland. At half-time, with the score 1-1 and Arsenal trailing 4-3 on aggregate, he came down from the stands to the dugout where, according to the caretaker, Pat Rice, he offered “one or two ideas”.

Arsenal had begun the game with three central defenders (given the wing‑backs were Martin Keown and Nigel Winterburn, it was a back five rather than a back three) but, as Rice explained, Wenger advised him “to go to a back four and add extra width to the attack, and of course I took his advice”. Four minutes after the break, Paul Merson put Arsenal 2-1 up on the night, but as they chased a third they were twice caught on the break and ended up losing 3-2.

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Steven Gerrard: ‘There’s a showboating mentality in academies. My teams will be physical’

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:00:22 GMT2017-04-27T16:00:22Z

The former Liverpool captain talks about his new role as coach of the club’s under-18s, why young players should not try to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo and why he turned down the MK Dons job

Steven Gerrard insists judgment should be reserved on his attributes as a coach until his tactical decisions, his leadership from the sidelines and his mistakes have been thoroughly examined. That will come next season as manager of Liverpool Under-18s, where judgment on what is required has already been made. “There is a showboating mentality through academies,” claims Gerrard. “My teams will be physical.”

Related: Steven Gerrard: 'I thought I was a bit young to be Liverpool's captain at 23'

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Ugo Ehiogu: a warrior on the field but a gentle giant off it

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:27:28 GMT2017-04-21T13:27:28Z

The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender, who has passed away aged 44, will rightly be remembered as one of the best English defenders of his generation

Ugo Ehiogu was a man of many labels. He wore them well but none suited him more than that of “gentleman”.

He will rightly be remembered as one of the best English defenders of his generation whose promising coaching career was cruelly ended by Thursday’s cardiac arrest, yet the first thing that struck most people about him was his sheer warmth, courtesy and kindness.

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