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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: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 05:35:25 GMT2017-01-17T05:35:25Z

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



Diego Costa will not return to Chelsea team unless his attitude improves

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:00:31 GMT2017-01-16T18:00:31Z

• Antonio Conte will not hold talks with Costa but judge him on training pitch
• Chelsea likely to sell striker in summer but will reject China bid this month

Antonio Conte has no plans to hold clear-the-air talks with Diego Costa and the onus will be on the Spain forward in training this week to prove he warrants a swift restoration to the Chelsea side for the visit of Hull City on Sunday.

Costa, the subject of interest from the Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, who would apparently be prepared to pay him £30m a year, said he was suffering from a back injury last week and duly became embroiled in a row with Chelsea fitness staff. He was excluded from the squad for the game at Leicester City on Saturday. He has since been pursuing his own rehabilitation schedule and worked outside at Cobham on Monday, as he did the previous day, while the rest of the first team and management staff enjoyed 48 hours off following the 3-0 win at the champions.

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Paul Pogba can handle the ‘24-hour pressure’, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:29:21 GMT2017-01-16T22:29:21Z

• Striker backs United midfielder after mistake against Liverpool
• ‘Paul belongs at the top absolutely and the pressure will be there’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has no doubt that Paul Pogba can handle the “24-hour pressure” of playing for Manchester United despite a poor display against Liverpool which included conceding the penalty that gave Jürgen Klopp’s side a first-half lead.

United required Ibrahimovic’s header in the 84th minute to share the points on Sunday after Pogba handled a corner to gift Liverpool a penalty which James Milner converted. This was the headline mistake in a disappointing display from the 23-year-old, who cost United a world-record £93.2m and had been among United’s best recent performers.

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What has happened to Pep Guardiola’s project at Manchester City?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:17:23 GMT2017-01-16T16:17:23Z

The club chased the Catalan for four years so why has he inherited an ageing squad, and will he change his ways after the drubbing at Everton?

A big question mark hovers over the Pep Guardiola-Txiki Begiristain axis that controls who Manchester City buy. The latter is the sporting director and he does more than merely sign off his head coach’s demands. Begiristain has substantial influence in transfer strategy though he takes Guardiola’s lead so the manager has to accept ultimate responsibility for the errors so far.

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Liverpool’s Joël Matip could be out for a month due to Cameroon row

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:49:57 GMT2017-01-16T17:49:57Z

• Club appealed to Fifa to resolve African Cup of Nations dispute
• Defender was withdrawn from squad against Manchester United

Liverpool could be without Joël Matip for the next month as the row over the defender’s availability rumbles on.

The 25-year-old, who has not played for Cameroon since September 2015, was withdrawn from selection by the club for the 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday as Fifa failed to provide the necessary guidance on the player’s eligibility.

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Alex Morgan: ‘If Fifa start respecting the women’s game more, others will follow’ | Donald McRae

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:51:00 GMT2017-01-16T17:51:00Z

The American star striker is an active campaigner for women’s equality off the field and has set her sights on becoming the world’s leading player on it, having taken the plunge with a six-month loan spell at Lyon

On a cold, grey January day in Lyon the fire of Alex Morgan’s ambition is obvious. She has already spoken of her desire to become the best female footballer in the world and, a long way from the winter sunshine of Florida, to adapt to a new culture in France. Morgan arrived in Lyon just a few days into 2017, after she had been pursued on Twitter by Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon. Aulas made it clear that signing the American star striker would underline Lyon’s commitment to a women’s team which won the French title, domestic cup and Champions League treble last season.

Morgan’s drive might be matched by Lyon but the 27-year-old World Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist, who has scored 73 goals in 120 games for the USA, stresses how many more important battles are still to be won for women’s football. “It’s great to see women standing up in their own line of work and fighting for fair value,” she says after name-checking Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift. Such starry allies suit Morgan, who has more than 2.8 million followers on Twitter, but there is also a wearying grittiness to the struggle for equality in women’s sport.

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Afcon 2017: DR Congo hold off Morocco after Junior Kabananga strikes

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:00:48 GMT2017-01-16T22:00:48Z

• Group C: DR Congo 1-0 Morocco
• Kabananga 55

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Junior Kabananga struck early in the second half to earn a 1-0 win against Morocco in their opening Africa Cup of Nations match on Monday.

Related: Afcon 2017: Sadio Mané on target as Senegal defeat wasteful Tunisia

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Manchester City humbled while West Brom are blown away – Football Weekly

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:27:05 GMT2017-01-16T14:27:05Z

Everton put four past Manchester City to leave Pep Guardiola looking gloomy. Plus, Spurs continue their winning run and we review events in the Championship and abroad

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

AC Jimbo is joined by Michael Cox, Nick Miller and Iain Macintosh for a comprehensive look at the weekend’s action.

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Ex-Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to retire for ‘family reasons’

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:49:30 GMT2017-01-16T20:49:30Z

• Van Gaal has been out of work since leaving Old Trafford last May
• Dutchman was reportedly offered £11m a season by Asian club

Louis van Gaal has confirmed he intends to retire from coaching despite the former Manchester United manager receiving an offer to manage a club in Asia where he would have earned £44m in three seasons.

Related: What has happened to Pep Guardiola’s project at Manchester City?

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Transfer window January 2017: every deal in Europe's top five leagues

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 17:50:25 GMT2016-12-21T17:50:25Z

Every deal in the top five leagues in Europe – Spain, England, France, Germany and Italy – as they happen. And sign up for updates on your team

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Juventus unveil bold new club crest at ceremony in Turin

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:57:22 GMT2017-01-16T21:57:22Z

• Club president Andrea Agnelli says logo took a year to create
• Agnelli: ‘this is a symbol of the Juventus way of living’

Juventus, the current Italian champions, have unveiled a new club crest – with club president Andrea Agnelli claiming the unusual, minimalist design has been one year in the making.

Related: The Joy of Six: weird and wonderful football club crests | John Ashdown

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Everton’s Tom Davies confirms Leighton Baines’ view of a proper player

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:30:21 GMT2017-01-16T22:30:21Z

How 18-year-old Davies has handled first-team life at Goodison Park, especially his role in the rout of Manchester City, has impressed Baines, who has seen other young players be overwhelmed early in their careers

It reflects Tom Davies’s character and confidence that he viewed Yaya Touré not as a more powerful, experienced opponent on Sunday but as a barometer of his own progress on his third Premier League start. The sight of the 18-year-old sending the Manchester City midfielder off course with a flick of the instep and evading his attempted recovery tackle to score a first Everton goal was therefore a significant step. It also underpinned Leighton Baines’s theory of what makes “a proper player”.

Baines was among the first to congratulate Davies and the debutant Ademola Lookman after the teenagers opened their Everton accounts in the 4-0 defeat of Pep Guardiola’s side. The England international has been a mentor to his fellow Liverpool-born Evertonian since Davies graduated to the senior squad late last season and was unsurprised by the midfielder’s impact against City.

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West Ham want Dimitri Payet to apologise after they reject £20m Marseille bid

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:28:17 GMT2017-01-16T17:28:17Z

• Co-chairman David Sullivan adamant club will not be bullied into sale
• West Ham yet to return with fourth bid for Brentford’s Scott Hogan

West Ham United have rejected a second bid from Marseille of around £20m for Dimitri Payet with the co-chairman David Sullivan adamant the wantaway France international should apologise to supporters before he is allowed to leave the club.

Sullivan met the Marseille president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, and the sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, in London on Monday to discuss their interest in the 29-year-old after he informed his manager, Slaven Bilic, that he wants to return to the south of France. Having seen their first offer of £19m rejected before the weekend, Marseille are aware of the delicate situation surrounding Payet and decided to offer only a small increase in their second offer, with West Ham holding out for a figure closer to £30m for a player whose contract expires in 2021 having only signed an extension last February.

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Swansea close in on Tom Carroll and Martin Olsson signings

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:57:04 GMT2017-01-16T21:57:04Z

• Tottenham midfielder Carroll expected to leave White Hart Lane
• Norwich defender Olsson likely to join him at Liberty Stadium

Tom Carroll is expected to join Swansea City from Tottenham for around £4.5m, with the Norwich left-back Martin Olsson also set to arrive in south Wales to bolster their defence.

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

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Sam Allardyce motivated by fear of failure at Crystal Palace

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:30:21 GMT2017-01-16T22:30:21Z

• Allardyce is still searching for his first win after five games at the club
• ‘When you go to any new club the fear is as great as when you first start out’

Sam Allardyce has admitted a fear of failure to guide Crystal Palace to top‑flight safety is serving as personal motivation as he seeks to instigate an upturn at the ailing south London club, and has reiterated how vital it will be to make further additions in the transfer market this month if his team are to survive.

Palace are a point from the foot of the Premier League and will seek to rest first-team players against Bolton Wanderers in their FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday before Saturday’s game with Everton.

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West Bromwich Albion make £10m bid for Hull midfielder Jake Livermore

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:15:48 GMT2017-01-16T15:15:48Z

• Baggies are chasing the 27-year-old after missing out on Schneiderlin
• Player was late substitute in Hull’s weekend win against Bournemouth

West Bromwich Albion have made a £10m offer for the Hull City midfielder Jake Livermore.

It is understood that the Baggies are chasing the 27-year-old after missing out on Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton.

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Barry Bennell: former football coach pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:15:46 GMT2017-01-16T18:15:46Z

Former Crewe Alexandra coach denies seven counts of indecent assault between 1981 and 1986 on a boy and one count of attempted buggery

Barry Bennell, the former football coach, has denied eight charges of sexual abuse against a boy in the 1980s.

Bennell, 63, appeared via videolink at Chester crown court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges during a brief hearing attended by about 30 members of the media.

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Patrick Bamford on verge of joining Middlesbrough after Chelsea accept offer

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:24:23 GMT2017-01-16T11:24:23Z

• Striker leaves Stamford Bridge without making a senior appearance
• Transfer fee for the 23-year-old player could rise to as much as £10m

Patrick Bamford is undergoing a medical at Middlesbrough with a view to signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League club after Chelsea accepted an initial offer of around £5m for the striker. The transfer fee for the 23-year-old could rise to as much as £10m depending on appearances and various clauses being triggered.

Bamford leaves Chelsea without ever making a senior appearance for the club he joined from Nottingham Forest for £1.5m five years ago. He has been loaned out to six clubs, including Middlesbrough, where he scored 19 goals during the 2014‑15 season and was named Championship player of the year.

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Premier League clubs could face legal action over disabled facilities

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:01:08 GMT2017-01-16T00:01:08Z

• Parliamentary report says clubs’ failure ‘completely unacceptable’
• Those who do not comply with law may receive a fine or points deduction

Premier League clubs’ facilities for disabled supporters have been severely criticised in a parliamentary report which states MPs would support legal action to force compliance by clubs with minimum provision set out by law. The report by the culture, media and sport committee cites expert evidence that eight of the Premier League’s 20 clubs will fail to achieve the minimum legal number of wheelchair spaces for supporters, as set out in the Accessible Stadia Guide, by a deadline of August this year.

The report said it was “completely unacceptable” that a number of Premier League clubs, principally those in older grounds, have failed to carry out basic adaptations over the past 20 years.

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Pep Guardiola rules Manchester City out of title race after Everton thrashing

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 18:17:09 GMT2017-01-15T18:17:09Z

• City 10 points behind leaders Chelsea following 4-0 defeat at Goodison Park
• Guardiola indicates Champions League places are now season’s main aim

Pep Guardiola conceded Manchester City were out of the Premier League title race after enduring the heaviest league defeat of his managerial career against Everton.

City were beaten 4-0 at Goodison Park where two teenagers, the impressive Tom Davies and the new signing Ademola Lookman, scored their first Everton goals and two Belgium internationals, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas, were also on the scoresheet. The defeat left City 10 points adrift of the league leaders Chelsea and outside the Champions League qualification places.

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Jürgen Klopp calls for Fifa to make a decision over Joël Matip

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:12:36 GMT2017-01-15T22:12:36Z

• Cameroon have tried to call up Matip for Africa Cup of Nations
• Defender forced to miss Manchester United showdown

Jürgen Klopp has demanded answers from Fifa on the Liverpool defender Joël Matip after he was forced to leave the player out for the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

The Cameroon centre-half retired from international football in 2015 but the national team coach Hugo Broos has attempted to call him up for the Africa Cup of Nations.

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José Mourinho: Jürgen Klopp thought I was trying to get Firmino sent off

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:31:19 GMT2017-01-15T20:31:19Z

• Manchester United manager explains row with Liverpool counterpart
• Late incident results in Roberto Firmino and Ander Herrera being booked

José Mourinho said his bust-up with Jürgen Klopp during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool was because the visiting manager believed he tried to have Roberto Firmino sent off.

The incident occurred late on at Old Trafford when Ander Herrera grabbed the Brazil forward whose retaliation ended with United’s midfielder on the floor.

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Mauricio Pochettino: Chinese have broken the market but no offers to Spurs

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:30:07 GMT2017-01-15T22:30:07Z

• ‘If Chinese Super League offer to Diego Costa is true, it’s unbelievable’
• ‘Tottenham family’ are focused on title after 4-0 win over West Brom

Mauricio Pochettino said none of his Tottenham Hotspur players has been tempted by offers from the Chinese Super League and expressed his relief he did not face a situation of the kind Chelsea have with Diego Costa.

Related: Antonio Conte insists he did not lie over Diego Costa’s absence from team

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Lincoln going for gold in lucrative FA Cup replay with Ipswich

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:36:00 GMT2017-01-16T20:36:00Z

After a draw at Portman Road, Lincoln City take on Ipswich Town in a third round replay, a match eagerly anticipated by the non-league club’s ‘gold members’

There is more than one thing that makes Lincoln City an unusual football club. First there is their crest, a 14th-century grotesque – an imp who once caused havoc in Lincoln Cathedral (until it was turned to stone, so legend has it, by an angel hiding in a book). There is the fact that their manager, Danny Cowley, employs his brother, Nicky, as his assistant. Then, to top it off, there are the “gold members”, VIP fans who pay a standing order to have a say in the club’s direction.

In the past 10 days Lincoln have attracted attention for another unlikely occurrence, their intrepid FA Cup performance at Portman Road. The National League side twice took the lead against Championship Ipswich and looked set to cause the upset of the third round until Tom Lawrence’s low shot from distance in the 86th minute snatched a 2-2 draw and forced a replay. Now it is the Imps against the Tractor Boys at Sincil Bank and the game is a sell-out.

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Sevilla end Real Madrid's run as Sergio Ramos shows sense of theatre again

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:01:28 GMT2017-01-16T14:01:28Z

Real Madrid were set to extend their unbeaten run to 41 matches until a late own goal, against his old club, by Sergio Ramos sparked Sevilla’s comeback

Zinedine Zidane smiled that smile, the one that has served him so well. What had his team lacked, he was asked; what was it they had needed? “Five minutes,” he said gently. Not long, but long enough to change everything. No one had beaten Real Madrid in 40 matches, going back nine months, 30 teams and five competitions, but Sevilla beat them in five minutes. “We knew that this would happen one day,” Zidane said. He just didn’t expect it to happen like this; by 10.30pm on Sunday, he didn’t expect it to happen at all. No one did. But then, suddenly, there was bedlam and, before they knew it, Sevilla’s players were standing before their fans, celebrating a huge victory that Madrid had thought was theirs.

There’s a line in Sevilla’s anthem, belted out before games and plastered on billboards round their Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium, that says in huge white letters on a red background: “it’s said they never give up”, and afterwards their manager, Jorge Sampaoli, insisted that the key to their 2-1 win against Madrid was that they “never lowered our arms”. This season that’s true, too: if this season’s league games had ended in the 85th minute, they would be 13 points and six places worse off. And yet on 85 minutes, you wondered if they finally had, if this time they really were beaten. If Madrid, unbeaten since April, somehow unbeaten just four days before in this very arena, really were invincible.

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What do footballers do while recovering from long-term injuries?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:00:26 GMT2017-01-16T13:00:26Z

Manchester City’s players were mocked for wearing ‘Gundogan’ shirts in December but that camaraderie will keep him positive and help his recovery

By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport Network

Manchester City’s players were ridiculed for wearing “Gundogan” shirts as they lined up in the Etihad before their game against Arsenal in December. Ilkay Gundogan himself tweeted in mock response: “Don’t worry, I’m still alive.” Whether paying such a tribute to their stricken colleague was over the top or not, the City players displayed a degree of solidarity with Gundogan and showed an understanding of the long rehabilitation he faces as he recovers from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Gundogan faces at least six months out of action, as do Crystal Palace’s Connor Wickham, Sunderland’s Duncan Watmore and Everton’s Yannick Bolasie, who have also suffered ACL injuries, which are now among the most common causes of lengthy lay-offs for footballers. There are currently 36 players from Europe’s five biggest leagues out with ACL injuries, which on average require 269 days’ recovery. With months of inactivity and isolation stretching out in front of these players, they not only have to recuperate physically but also need to preserve some mental equanimity in the long, lonely days.

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Paulo Sousa silences hunchback taunts by putting Juventus in a straitjacket

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:42:58 GMT2017-01-16T14:42:58Z

Fiorentina’s manager has been savaged by his own fans for his Juventus links and ill-conceived words but beating his old club may prove a turning point for him

They remember the wins over Juventus, down in Florence. They remember them for the goals: for Gabriel Batistuta’s header beyond Angelo Peruzzi and the Giuseppe Rossi hat-trick that helped convert a 2-0 deficit into a glorious 4-2 victory in 2013. They remember them because they hate Juventus, those entitled ‘thieves’ and ‘hunchbacks’ from Turin. Most of all, though, they remember the wins over Juventus for the simple reason that they don’t come along very often.

Heading into Sunday’s showdown at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina had beaten the Bianconeri just once in their previous 17 league meetings. There’s a reason why this rivalry never generates the same heat up in Piedmont. As Leonardo Bonucci put it in the runup to kick-off: “For them it’s the match of the year. For us it’s just another match like all the others.”

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Kevin Nolan makes instant headway but Notts County must rise from the foot | Jeremy Alexander

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:00:21 GMT2017-01-16T10:00:21Z

A vital point and rare clean sheet may have felt like a victory of sorts at Meadow Lane, but with a new broom in the boardroom sweeping in hope, their fledgling manager will need fortune to favour expectations

Kevin Nolan, appointed on Thursday, was all but anointed on Saturday. Notts County’s manager had arrived at Meadow Lane the day after Alan Hardy’s takeover from Ray Trew was completed and their first game in charge was the lunchtime derby at home to the Stags of Mansfield. After 10 successive league defeats County were the ones in a rut and the goalless draw was a triumph, their first clean sheet since October.

Two hours later Cheltenham’s defeat of Accrington Stanley sent the world’s oldest football league club below the relegation line in League Two but Nolan had seen reassurance enough to justify his pre-match excitement. “I’m really happy that I’m here,” he had said, “and can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.” Afterwards he was “delighted” with the team against a side who had won their previous three games. “We competed from start to finish. I had a chance to work with the players for an hour on Friday and it seems they took it all on board. It proved we are good enough to get results and start climbing the table.”

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Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez goes to the dogs to find solace from his big city blues | Simon Burnton

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:01:20 GMT2017-01-16T10:01:20Z

The workaholic Chilean forward has cut a brooding figure recently but finds comfort in the positive vibrations of his labradors Atom and Humber

With 11 minutes to play at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, the fourth official held up a board bearing the numbers 23 and seven. Danny Welbeck was coming on, and Alexis Sánchez was being replaced towards the end of the 4-0 win against Swansea City. The Chilean walked stroppily to the side of the pitch, brushed past his manager with head bowed, angrily drop-volleyed his gloves and slumped alone on the bench, hiding under the hood of his puffy grey coat. This gifted, workaholic footballer, admired and even adored by millions, thousands of whom were in the stadium with him at the time, seemed utterly apart and friendless. If only at that moment he could have enjoyed the warmth and unquestioning companionship of his two beloved labradors, or just been reminded of their “positive vibrations” and “shiny eyes”.

The idea is not as ridiculous as it might appear. Last month Sánchez spoke about his pets, Atom and Humber, whose names are embroidered on his boots much as David Beckham once sported those of his children. “I appreciate their positive energy, especially after I have played a football game,” he said. “Sharing my time with them makes me feel relaxed. Whenever we play away I leave them with my friends. I miss them a lot because they give me a lot of positive vibrations. They look at me with shiny eyes when I wake up every morning. I just love the fact they want to play with me all the time.”

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Thirty-two games without a win: Rudy Gestede and sport's great rotten streaks

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:58:05 GMT2017-01-16T16:58:05Z

The Middlesbrough striker hasn’t won in the Premier League since August 2015 – while things are even worse for Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell. Who else has had similar runs to forget?

Middlesbrough’s new signing, Rudy Gestede, may have only played one match for his new team, but he has already set an unwanted record in the Premier League. The Benin forward now has the league’s longest winless streak – managing 32 games without victory. (He last won when Aston Villa beat Bournemouth 1-0 in August 2015.) But Gestede isn’t the only sportsperson to be ruing such a grim streak ...

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Jürgen Klopp’s diamond surprise tires under Manchester United pressure | Michael Cox

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:53:43 GMT2017-01-15T19:53:43Z

Liverpool’s narrow system allowed space down the flanks which José Mourinho’s team exploited with regular switches of play, sapping the energy of the visitors

For the first time in the 25 seasons of the Premier League, the two league meetings between Manchester United and Liverpool both ended in a draw. This, however, was a much more exciting contest than the dreadful 0-0 in October. Jürgen Klopp sprung a tactical surprise from the outset by deploying a diamond midfield, a considerably different shape to Liverpool’s regular 4-3-3. This involved Adam Lallana playing as a No10, allowing Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi to make dangerous runs across the opposition defence from out to in.

The main outcome was Liverpool making life very difficult for Michael Carrick, who has been excellent in recent weeks. Lallana marked him excellently in the opening stages, meaning Carrick was unable to put his foot on the ball and put United in charge. It was not entirely surprising when José Mourinho substituted Carrick at half-time, introducing Wayne Rooney and switching to a 4-2-3-1 shape. Lallana’s discipline meant a holding midfielder was always unlikely to find time on the ball.

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Arsène Wenger aims to save Alexis Sánchez’s energy for tougher battles | Nick Miller

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:30:07 GMT2017-01-15T22:30:07Z

The Arsenal forward showed his frustration when he was substituted during their 4-0 win over Swansea, but Wenger dismissed it as a ‘non-story’

A couple of weeks ago, Arsène Wenger admitted Alexis Sánchez looked “jaded”, the relentless Chilean’s workload taking a toll on even his machine of a body. Now, after a couple of weeks rest, Sánchez was back to his fizzing best, the driving force behind Arsenal’s 4-0 win against Swansea City, a bundle of energy that few defences can cope with, let alone the worst in the Premier League.

Sánchez seems to regard being substituted in much the same way as a giddy child playing in the park would after being unwillingly called home for dinner. When his number was put up, the game won and Wenger aiming to prevent him from similar fatigue in the future, he trudged towards the touchline as if he knew it was boiled cabbage waiting on the kitchen table.

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Mourinho and Klopp proving right fit for Manchester United and Liverpool | Jamie Jackson

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:13:26 GMT2017-01-15T19:13:26Z

While United’s dour days under Louis van Gaal are gone, Klopp has built the most complete Liverpool team since the Premier League began

During the buildup José Mourinho and Jürgen Klopp were careful to highlight each other’s qualities. Cut to his arrival at Old Trafford and the Liverpool manager quickly dropped that stance and ended the game arguing with his opposite number saying: “I read the programme notes and it is the first time there was nothing about welcome to Liverpool or something like this. Then I wanted a coffee and in the can was only tea. It’s started already, yeah? It’s all OK. It’s football and we are ready for it.”

So, too, was the crowd whose vibrancy gave the stadium a cauldron‑like feel, the United support answering Mourinho’s midweek demand to “come and play” with his side. All that really mattered to the managers, of course, was the result and how 90 minutes of play may illuminate how clear the vision is for their respective Manchester United and Liverpool teams.

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Eden Hazard and Pedro provide answers for Chelsea in Diego Costa’s absence | Jacob Steinberg

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:30:07 GMT2017-01-15T22:30:07Z

The league leaders were without their top scorer but oozed authority and were a delight to watch in the 3-0 win over Leicester, sending a warning to their rivals

Back at the stadium that hosted the acrid final scene of the second José Mourinho era, the stage was seemingly set for Chelsea to give their title rivals further encouragement that they can be caught. The defeat at Tottenham Hotspur had stalled their momentum, while the deliciously unexpected twist in the explosive Diego Costa story heightened the intrigue before kick-off at Leicester City. A trip to the champions felt like a fine test of their character.

Yet even though Chelsea were without their main striker, who was dropped after a row over a huge offer made to him from a club in the Chinese Super League, there was little dramatic tension at the King Power Stadium. The result never looked in doubt after Marcos Alonso’s early goal, with the left wing‑back’s double offering an impressive display of Chelsea’s adaptability and strength in depth. A header from the excellent Pedro added gloss to the scoreline.

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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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Afcon 2017: Lacklustre Ivory Coast denied by resolute Togo

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:25:05 GMT2017-01-16T22:25:05Z

• Group C: Ivory Coast 0-0 Togo
• Defending champions fail to break down group outsiders

Ivory Coast were held to a 0-0 draw by Togo as they began the defence of their Africa Cup of Nations title with an uninspiring display in the opening Group C game on Monday.

It was the fourth draw in the opening five games at this year’s finals where none of the pre-tournament favourites have made an impact but will be a seen as a moral victory for Togo.

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Stevan Jovetic seals Sevilla win over Real Madrid in thrilling late turnaround

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:12:24 GMT2017-01-15T22:12:24Z

Stevan Jovetic, the former Manchester City player, ended Real Madrid’s 40-game unbeaten record in all competitions when he scored in added time to earn second-placed Sevilla a 2-1 victory over the La Liga leaders. They had come from behind with two late goals at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Real had looked on course for their 13th league win of the season after Cristiano Ronaldo had scored a joint-record 56th La Liga penalty in the 67th-minute but with five minutes left the home side were level when the former Sevilla defender Sergio Ramos scored an own goal.

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Chinese Super League reduces foreign player quota to help curb spending

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:05:54 GMT2017-01-16T12:05:54Z

• Number who can appear at any given time will be reduced from four to three
• High spending on players such as Carlos Tevez has drawn global attention

China’s football association has announced a series of measures in response to “irrational” spending by clubs on transfer fees and player salaries, amid concerns that foreign stars are crowding out local talent and harming the country’s goal of becoming a global force in world football.

The changes include confirmation that the number of foreign club players who can appear at any given time will be reduced from four to three and that each team’s starting list must include at least two Chinese players under the age of 23.

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Afcon 2017: Sadio Mané on target as Senegal defeat wasteful Tunisia

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:19:42 GMT2017-01-15T23:19:42Z

• Group B: Tunisia 0-2 Senegal; Mané 10, Mbodji 30
• Riyad Mahrez scores twice as Algeria draw with Zimbabwe

Liverpool’s Sadio Mané scored a 10th-minute penalty to send Senegal on their way to a 2-0 victory over Tunisia and top of Group C at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Mané scored from the spot after Aymen Abdennour had brought down Cheikhou Kouyaté in the penalty area, giving Senegal the lead against the run of play.

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Afcon 2017: Riyad Mahrez scores twice to rescue draw against Zimbabwe

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 18:38:53 GMT2017-01-15T18:38:53Z

• Group B: Algeria 2-2 Zimbabwe
• Mahrez 13 82; Mahachi 17, Mushekwi 30

Riyad Mahrez scored twice, one a late equaliser, as Algeria were held to a 2-2 draw by Zimbabwe on day two of the Africa Cup of Nations in Group B.

Mahrez, the Leicester City winger, gave Algeria a 13th-minute lead with a curling shot and he salvaged a point for Algeria with his second eight minutes from time after Zimbabwe had turned the game around.

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Juventus lose to Fiorentina and Serie A momentum now lies with Roma

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 23:43:29 GMT2017-01-15T23:43:29Z

• Champions go down 2-1; Roma beat Udinese despite Dzeko penalty miss
• Gap at top down to one point after Roma’s sixth win in last seven games

The Serie A leaders, Juventus, suffered a 2-1 defeat at mid-table Fiorentina as the title race came alive following a bad-tempered but pulsating match.

Juve’s fourth league reverse of the season, all away from home, meant the champions’ lead at the top was cut to one point after second-placed Roma beat Udinese 1-0 away despite a penalty miss from their leading scorer, Edin Dzeko.

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Vedran Janjetović repels abuse as Wanderers show signs of improvement

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:00:02 GMT2017-01-15T19:00:02Z

Western Sydney made their point in a goalless Sydney derby after their goalkeeper reacted admirably to vitriol from his former club’s fans

If you can count on a Sydney derby for one thing, besides providing arguably the best atmosphere at any live sporting event in the country, it’s lashings of pantomime. And so it was that when Vedran Janjetović, the former Sydney FC goalkeeper now with Wanderers, made his way to his goalmouth in front of the Cove before the start of the second half, he was greeted with jeers and a shower of toy snakes that wriggled gelatinously, if not menacingly, as they flew through the humid night air.

Related: Vedran Janjetović keeps tight-lipped after shining in face of Sydney FC abuse

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Afcon 2017: Cameroon held as Issoufou Dayo earns Burkina Faso a point

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:42:34 GMT2017-01-14T21:42:34Z

• Group A: Burkina Faso 1-1 Cameroon
• Dayo 75; Moukandjo 35

Burkina Faso scored a late equaliser through the centre-back Issoufou Dayo to earn a fortuitous 1-1 draw with Cameroon in Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Related: Afcon 2017: Juary Soares header for Guinea-Bissau denies Gabon at the last

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Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi on target as Barcelona thrash Las Palmas

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:33:29 GMT2017-01-14T17:33:29Z

Luis Suárez scored twice and Lionel Messi was also on target as Barcelona thrashed Las Palmas 5-0 on Saturday with a ruthless second-half display at the Camp Nou to provisionally go second and cut the gap with the leaders Real Madrid to two points.

The Uruguay international Suárez scored his 101st goal for Barcelona by stroking in André Gomes’ cutback in the 15th minute as the Portuguese midfielder recorded his first assist for the club since his €35m move from Valencia last summer.

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Newcastle and Perth share points in entertaining A-League encounter

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:27:47 GMT2017-01-15T08:27:47Z

  • Newcastle Jets 2-2 Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium
  • Perth captain Rostyn Griffiths dismissed late on

Newcastle and Perth remain in the A-League’s top six after playing out a neck-and-neck 2-2 draw marred by a controversial late red card to Glory captain Rostyn Griffiths.

The Jets came from behind to lead 2-1 at half-time via a contentious penalty and quick counter-attack, before Perth equalised after the break at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

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Besart Berisha has red card rescinded, free to play against Wellington

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 06:54:57 GMT2017-01-15T06:54:57Z

  • Victory striker controversially sent off during win over Brisbane Roar
  • ‘I haven’t come across anyone who said it was a red card,’ says Kevin Muscat

Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha is free to play against Wellington on Tuesday after his controversial A-League red card against Brisbane was rescinded.

Berisha was issued a straight red 59 minutes into Friday night’s five-goal thriller for a perceived arm to the face of Roar defender Luke DeVere.

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Afcon 2017: Juary Soares header for Guinea-Bissau denies Gabon at the last

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 18:29:38 GMT2017-01-14T18:29:38Z

• Group A: Gabon 1-1 Guinea-Bissau
• Aubameyang 52; Soares 90

Tournament debutants Guinea-Bissau stunned the hosts, Gabon, with a 90th-minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville on Saturday. Gabon were primed to celebrate a winning start to the tournament until the defender Juary Soares headed home from a free-kick as the clock ticked round to 90 minutes, earning the rank outsiders a dramatic point from their first game at a major tournament. “We are very, very happy,” the Guinea-Bissau coach, Baciro Candé, said. “Now we have the motivation to go as far as possible.”

Related: Gabon v Guinea-Bissau: Afcon 2017 – as it happened

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

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:30:30 GMT2017-01-16T07:30:30Z

Manchester City resemble the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, N’Golo Kanté’s return to Leicester shows Wilfred Ndidi what needs to be done and David Moyes regrets catching the bullet dodged by Mark Hughes

This time last year Southampton paid £4m to sign Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers. It was a while before he made an impact, but he certainly made an impact during the early part of this season, scoring nine goals in 19 games. But Southampton’s form has tailed off since Austin suffered a shoulder injury last month. They have lacked a cutting edge and have won only three of their past nine games in all competitions, sinking into the bottom half of the league in the process. Shane Long has rarely been prolific, Jay Rodriguez is still regaining his sharpness after his injury problems and Nathan Redmond is maturing. While Claude Puel’s side dominated for long spells against Burnley, a shortage of ruthlessness left them vulnerable and Joey Barton scored a late winner for the hosts. The outcome might have been different had Austin been available, but he is likely to be out until March. They may have to buy again. Jacob Steinberg

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Everton teenager Tom Davies ensures Pep Guardiola knows his name | Paul Wilson

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 17:41:56 GMT2017-01-15T17:41:56Z

The 18-year-old midfielder made his first start of the season only a fortnight ago but played with a maturity beyond his years as his side crushed Manchester City

Pep Guardiola knew this fixture was going to be hard but felt his side would show the benefit of a full week off in which to prepare. Manchester City had enjoyed that five-goal romp at West Ham United in the FA Cup on Friday 6 January, whereas Everton had played on the Saturday and been dumped out of the only competition remaining open to them by Leicester City.

Related: Ademola Lookman adds flourish for Everton in defeat of Manchester City

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Lunch with Dalglish gives Andrea Radrizzani appetite to bankroll Leeds

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:30:07 GMT2017-01-15T22:30:07Z

The Italian sports media mogul Andrea Radrizzani has taken a 50% stake in ‘sleeping giant’ he is intent on taking all the way to the Premier League

Andrea Radrizzani was not seriously thinking about investing in a football club before a chance lunch with Kenny Dalglish. Leeds United were not really on the Italian’s radar, until he heard Dalglish describe the size and stature of a club whose potential has been wasted for so long.

“It was a casual chat at lunch with friends, it was my first time meeting him,” says Radrizzani of an opportune meeting with Dalglish at the Champions League quarter-final between Manchester City and Paris Saint‑Germain last season. “We were talking about many things and for two minutes we talked about Leeds, the sleeping giant, the opportunity for someone coming here.

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Born roughly 20 minutes before taking the field

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:10:12 GMT2017-01-16T16:10:12Z

In today’s Fiver: Po’ Pep, Diego the Opera and Nightclub Patrick Jr

The blank stare. The slump in the chair. The sense of the most powerful ennui positively pulsing from his being. On Sunday at Everton, Pep Guardiola looked like a man who was gradually realising he’d made a huge mistake. Or contemplating a long look in the mirror. Possibly both.

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Football transfer rumours: Gerard Piqué to Chelsea or Arsenal?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:54:59 GMT2017-01-16T09:54:59Z

Today’s balderdash is also willing to talk

What if there were no transfers? What if everyone just stayed where they are? Would that be so bad? Lots of people would save some money, there would be much less messing around, and the Mill could take a rest from the constant churning, churning, churning. Maybe we could talk about other things. Maybe we could write that novel.
We mention it, at least partly, because going on the transfer whispers on the wind this morning, there might not be too many moves. Diego Costa is apparently ‘willing’ to remain with his current employers, martyr that he is, despite an offer of £600,000-a-week to join Jiangsu Suning; Robert Snodgrass has his eyes on the job at Hull rather than the £4.99 bid made by West Ham; Mauricio Pochettino reckons the lads from the Chinese Super League aren’t sniffing around any of his players. Maybe there really won’t be any transfers.

Here’s one, though. Word in Spain suggests that the prospect of Gerard Piqué moving to England isn’t the most outlandish in the world. And why? Because Shakira, who as you’ll know happens to be married to Gerard, wants him to move away from Barcelona because of all the stick he gets in Catalonia. Apparently she thinks that it’ll all be much nicer in England, which does lead us to think she hasn’t been to England much, but if it means she isn’t so stressed while watching matches, we’re all for it. Who’d be keen? London would be their preferred destination, presumably for either Madame Tussauds or the proliferation of rustic burger joints, so that would be Chelsea or Arsenal. We’ll leave you to decide which is more likely to stump up the necessary.

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Football League your thoughts: Norwich are floored by Rotherham revival

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 19:54:59 GMT2017-01-14T19:54:59Z

The pressure on Alex Neil grows, Newcastle go top as Brighton slip up, Callum Connolly makes an instant impact and League One gets turned upside down

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The gifs that keep on giving: nutmegging, netbusting and snowboarding over a car

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 10:00:23 GMT2017-01-14T10:00:23Z

Featuring a defender falling on his face, an entertaining motorsport, a fight that really jumped up a notch and got out of hand fast and two high-fives failures

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Golden Goal: José Cardozo for Toluca v América (2003)

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:00:17 GMT2017-01-13T12:00:17Z

Team goals have a highbrow appeal of their own, and few have hit the heights like this euphoric crescendo in the Mexican league

There are multiple ways to score a goal, but none are as highbrow as the team goal. They stimulate the arty fart in every football fan. The main reason for that is that they generally involve lots of clever, elegant passing and movement. (Even though it was the work of three men, nobody called this a team goal.) The other is that – good morning Private Eye, ohayō gozaimasu Pseuds Corner – there is a creative grandeur to the team goal that you don’t find elsewhere. The thrill of the orchestra needs no explanation, and not only because we can’t think of an adequate way to convey it.

That thrill is greatest during the crescendo, which is the essence of any team goal. If you are lucky, the commentator will instinctively supply a vocal surge too – as Gerald Sinstadt did during a hypnotic commentary on Mick Channon’s Southampton’s famous goal against Liverpool in 1981-82 that is as near to perfect as dammit. There are so many moving parts to the team goal that it is rare and precious to see them all work in sync. The degree of difficulty and speed involved means that the goal is usually much greater than the sum of those moving parts – especially as it is the result of improv rather than a song sheet or a script.

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The best goals of the week: Darren Bent, Lionel Messi and Thibaut Courtois

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 09:56:48 GMT2017-01-11T09:56:48Z

Featuring the best strikes from the FA Cup third round, a couple of masterful free-kick from Lionel Messi and two moves straight off the training pitch

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Liverpool held by Plymouth and other FA Cup tales – Football Weekly

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 16:02:04 GMT2017-01-09T16:02:04Z

The podders look back on Plymouth’s draw at Anfield and the other thrills and spills in the third round of the FA Cup. Plus, a preview of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and when ‘Deadly’ Doug Ellis kissed Sir Bert Millichip

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

Max Rushden is in the presenter’s chair for this edition of Football Weekly and alongside him we have Iain Macintosh, Jonathan Wilson and Simon Burnton.

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FA Cup third-round fever, NBA All Star talk and the perfect frozen putt

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 11:22:24 GMT2017-01-05T11:22:24Z

This week’s roundup also features David Brent, an irritant ball boy, more woe for Notts County and a painful shriek for Pittsburgh Steelers

1) It’s FA Cup third-round weekend, one of the most nostalgic in the football calendar. It makes sense to start with a ludicrous Liverpool comeback, at Kenilworth Road in 2006, when Rafael Benítez’s side dug deep to turn round a 3-1 scoreline to triumph. Featuring none other than Steve Howard, Stevie Gerrard and Djibril Cissé. Turn back the clock to 1992, and recall Wrexham’s famous win over Arsenal, courtesy of goals from their captain, Mickey Thomas, and Steve Watkin. Then there’s Shrewsbury Town’s toppling of Everton, in 2003, featuring a 17-year-old Wayne Rooney. Plus, when two heavyweights met in 1998 at Stamford Bridge, feat. David Beckham and Gianluca Vialli. To this weekend’s ties, one of which will trigger memories for AFC Wimbledon, who travel to Gander Green Lane, Sutton United’s home, where they were reborn 14 and a half years ago. Here’s a nice short film on their resurrection. There’s also Jaap Stam’s return to Manchester United, a little more than 15 years after he left for Lazio. His only goal came at Leicester City, much to the delight of Sir Alex Ferguson.

2) Get their attention, as David Brent would say. To get a referee’s attention? High-pitched screaming. Mike Mitchell of the Pittsburgh Steelers, fuming over a foul given in a match against the Cleveland Browns, pulls out a shriek Homer Simpson would be proud of. What a racket: the decibel level soars at Goodwood.

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The forgotten story of … Jeff Hall, the footballer whose death turned tide against polio | Simon Burnton

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:15:26 GMT2016-12-09T10:15:26Z

It took the sudden passing of the 28-year-old England right-back in 1959 to get a generation pouring into clinics for inoculation against a disease that in the previous 10 years had killed over 3,000 people in England and Wales

On the face of it there was nothing particularly memorable about Birmingham City’s 1-1 draw at relegation-bound Portsmouth in March 1959 but for the sense of disappointment the visitors took from it. “Blues did themselves no credit in this so-casual stroll in the sun,” wrote Dennis Shaw in Birmingham’s Sports Argus. “Portsmouth did all they could to show why they have not won a league game since November. Blues were little better. After shooting into the lead shortly before the interval they just hadn’t the skill, and the drive, nor the determination to run up a hefty total. On a pitch like concrete the ball was ballooned back and forth over the halfway line like a ping-pong game.”

At right-back for City, making his 227th league appearance for the club, was 28-year-old Jeff Hall. Two days later he was diagnosed with polio, and within a fortnight he was dead.

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Klopp happier than Mourinho after Manchester United and Liverpool draw – video

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:22:31 GMT2017-01-15T20:22:31Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho and his Liverpool counterpart Jürgen Klopp speak at a news conference following the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Old Trafford on Sunday. Mourinho says he isn’t happy with a point from the game but admits that Liverpool deserve plaudits for their defensive effort. Klopp meanwhile thinks his side just about edged the contest and may have done enough to take all three points back to Merseyside

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Guardiola and Koeman speak after Everton thrash Manchester City – video

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 17:39:09 GMT2017-01-15T17:39:09Z

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he needs to identify why his side was dispatched so convincingly by Everton on Sunday. Everton defeated City 4-0 at Goodison Park, providing Guardiola with the largest league loss of his managerial career. Predictably, his opposite number Ronald Koeman is delighted with his players and praises them for an ‘outstanding’ performance

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Chelsea's Antonio Conte: 'I'll give you the truth about Diego Costa' – video

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 22:52:30 GMT2017-01-14T22:52:30Z

Antonio Conte says Costa was not included in Chelsea’s squad for the Premier League trip to Leicester after the striker injured his back in training earlier this week. The London side got back to winning ways at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, overcoming Leicester 3-0. The hungry Chelsea manager also found time after the win to enjoy a slice of cake at the post-match news conference

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Football player scores bicycle kick, proposes to girlfriend, gets booked – video

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:54:34 GMT2017-01-13T12:54:34Z

NAPA Rovers player Ashton Surber scores a remarkable bicycle kick against Guam Shipyard in the Guam Premier Division last week before celebrating the goal by proposing to his girlfriend. After the strike, Surber races to the sideline, removes his shirt and reveals a message reading ‘Marry Me?’. He gets down on one knee just as the referee walks over and books the player. According to reports, Surber’s girlfriend said yes to the proposal

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Mourinho and Klopp preview Manchester United v Liverpool – video

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 14:07:11 GMT2017-01-14T14:07:11Z

Manchester United manager José Mourinho plays down the club’s Premier League meeting with rivals Liverpool this weekend arguing that he sees the game as just an opportunity for three more points. Mourinho is also confident that the outcome will be different to the 0-0 stalemate at Anfield when the two sides last met. Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp meanwhile says that the poor performance at Southampton in midweek will have no bearing on Sunday’s game at Old Trafford

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Graham Taylor, former England manager, dies aged 72 – video obituary

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:35:53 GMT2017-01-12T16:35:53Z

Graham Taylor, former manager of England, Watford and Aston Villa, has died at the age of 72 after a suspected heart attack, it was announced on Thursday. Taylor first enjoyed coaching success at Lincoln City after his playing career, before moving to Vicarage Road and then Villa Park. He was appointed England manager in 1990 but struggled to replicate his club success at the international level. After leaving the role he manager Wolves before returning to both Watford and then Villa

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Wantaway Dimitri Payet will not be sold by West Ham, insists Bilic – video

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:22:26 GMT2017-01-12T12:22:26Z

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic says the club will not be selling Dimitri Payet, despite speaking publicly about the player’s desire to leave. Speaking at a news conference in London on Thursday, Bilic reveals that Payet has ‘refused to play’ for West Ham as he wants to leave in the transfer window and goes on to suggest that the forward may have been ‘tapped up by some clubs’

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Henrik Larsson answer wins contestants Pointless quiz jackpot money – video

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:23:57 GMT2017-01-12T14:23:57Z

Former footballer Henrik Larsson was the subject of a surprising moment on the quiz show Pointless earlier this week. Two contestants gave the former Sweden, Celtic and Manchester United striker as an answer when attempting to identify a goalscorer at Euro 2000. It wins them the jackpot prize money, amazingly, when one of the contestants then reveals her boyfriend, a Celtic fan, had encouraged her before the show to give Larsson as the answer to any football-related question

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World Cup expansion to 48 teams from 2026 confirmed – video report

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 11:21:02 GMT2017-01-10T11:21:02Z

The Fifa council has unanimously approved Gianni Infantino’s plan to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026, it was announced on Tuesday. The tournament will now feature 16 groups of three teams, with the top two nations in each qualifying for a 32-team knockout round. There will be 80 games, up from 64, but the schedule will still run in a 32-day format

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Cristiano Ronaldo wins best Fifa men’s player 2016 – video

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 22:15:09 GMT2017-01-09T22:15:09Z

Cristiano Ronaldo is awarded the best Fifa men’s player of 2016 accolade, following a year in which he was crowned a European champion for Real Madrid and Portugal - with victory in the Uefa Champions League and Euro 2016. Claudio Ranieri was named best FIFA men’s coach for taking his Leicester City side, who were ranked 5000/1 outsiders by some bookmakers, to win the 2015/16 Premier League title

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Portuguese team concede bizarre counterattack goal – video

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 19:29:46 GMT2017-01-07T19:29:46Z

Sporting Lisbon B concede a goal to Sporting Braga B while celebrating at the other end following a header which was disallowed in Alcochete on Saturday. João de Deus heads from close range but the goal is disallowed, before Sporting Braga B attack a weakened defence with Xadas scoring to make it 1-0. Sporting Braga B went on to win 2-1

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Pep Guardiola to target new Manchester City goalkeeper in summer

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:55:00 GMT2017-01-16T22:55:00Z

• Understudy Willy Caballero unlikely to be offered new contract
• Question marks remain over form of first choice Claudio Bravo

Pep Guardiola will target a new goalkeeper for Manchester City in the summer, with Willy Caballero unlikely to be offered a fresh deal when his contract ends.

Caballero is Claudio Bravo’s deputy and although the Chilean remains City’s No1 if his unreliable form were to continue Guardiola would have to decide whether to recruit an understudy or a goalkeeper who could provide direct competition.

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Ivory Coast 0-0 Togo: Afcon 2017 – as it happened

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:57:56 GMT2017-01-16T17:57:56Z

The defending champions were held to a goalless draw by Togo in a cautious opening match

The first rule of tournament football is you shall not talk about tourn lose the first game, and that fear dominated a poor game. We shouldn’t underestimate how good a result that is for Togo, however. Thanks for your company, night!

90 min Added minutes there will be three.

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Afcon 2017: Micho the meticulous gives Uganda hope of 1978 repeat

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:25:00 GMT2017-01-16T17:25:00Z

Milutin Sredojevic has taken the Cranes to their first Africa Cup of Nations for almost 40 years and they open their campaign against Ghana on Tuesday in a rematch of the 1978 final

“Uganda was the first country in Africa that I worked in and your first love stays with you forever,” sighs Milutin Sredojevic – known as “Micho”. “I love and respect the country and feel it is a part of me.”

As international coaches go, it’s fair to say the man who has taken Uganda to their first Africa Cup of Nations finals since 1978 takes his job very seriously. On Tuesday the Cranes face Ghana in a rematch of their 2-0 defeat against the Black Stars in the final nearly 40 years ago as they attempt to qualify from a group that also includes Mali and the seven-times winners Egypt with a squad that is almost totally comprised of players from clubs in Africa.

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Australia moves closer to Asia with A-League to adopt import quota rule

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:27:36 GMT2017-01-16T05:27:36Z

  • At least one of clubs’ five foreign players must come from Asia
  • Move will force Australian clubs to scour continent for talent

Asian players will be a compulsory feature of the A-League’s foreign contingent from 2018-19, Football Federation Australia has confirmed.

FFA chief executive David Gallop has flagged a significant change to the make-up of imports in Australia’s top tier, announcing the governing body will introduce what is known as the “4+1” quota rule that will move it in line with other top competitions in the Asian Football Confederation.

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

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:45:27 GMT2017-01-15T21:45:27Z

Sevilla shattered Real Madrid’s 40-game unbeaten run with a dramatic late comeback, a Sergio Ramos own goal and Stevan Jovetic’s injury-time winner moving them to within a point of the league leaders

Phew. That was quite the finale. Real Madrid’s players look totally shattered; with five minutes to go, leading through Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty, they would have felt disappointed with a draw, never mind lose for the first time since April.

That they did is testament to Jorge Sampaoli throwing caution to the wind, bringing on Sanabria, whose cross coaxed Ramos into an own goal, and Jovetic, who fired a seismic stoppage-time winner. Real still have a game in hand, but they’re just a point above Sevilla, and two above Barcelona. Everything’s changed. Thanks for joining me. Bye!

Related: Stevan Jovetic seals Sevilla win over Real Madrid in thrilling late turnaround

That’s it! Sevilla end Real Madrid’s unbeaten run, and reignite the title race, with a thrilling comeback from a goal down in the last five minutes!

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Tunisia v Senegal: Afcon 2017 – as it happened

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:57:56 GMT2017-01-15T20:57:56Z

A Sadio Mané penalty and a bullet header from Kara Mbodji ensured Senegal got off to winning start in Group B with victory over a wasteful Tunisia

Well, well, well. Tunisia were rather brilliant at times, but truly awful in front of goal. Senegal sat back and basked in their two-goal lead and on another day would’ve been punished for a pretty ordinary display. But it’s Senegal that prosper and regardless of this performance, they’ll go into Thursday’s match against Zimbabwe with confidence. Next up for Tunisia are north African neighbours Algeria, also on Thursday.

That’s all from myself. Thanks for your company, emails and tweets. Bye!

Related: Afcon 2017: Sadio Mané on target as Senegal defeat wasteful Tunisia

It’s all over in Franceville. Two first-half goals win for Senegal, with Sadio Mané’s penalty and Kara Mbodji’s header sending Aliou Cissé’s side top of Group B at this early stage. It could have been very different had Tunisia taken just one of their – what felt like – hundreds of chances in front of goal.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic strikes late for Manchester United in draw with Liverpool

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 18:15:05 GMT2017-01-15T18:15:05Z

There was a banner fluttering at one end of the ground – “26 Years and Counting” – to remind Liverpool about how long it had been since they could call themselves league champions. There used to be a similar one here in honour of Manchester City but it went a few years ago and, for a while, this had looked like being another day when the team from Anfield could also imagine removing those kind of indignities.

Their frustration at not being able to hold on to their half-time lead could be gauged by the exchange late on when Jürgen Klopp, looking close to the point of spontaneous combustion, argued with José Mourinho by the pitch and did not seem too enthusiastic about the prospect of making friends.

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Coaching’s greatest seminar: how Louis van Gaal shaped five top managers | Jonathan Wilson

Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:34:03 GMT2014-08-13T10:34:03Z

In 1997-2000 the present managers of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Southampton were all either playing or working at Camp Nou

In 1997, Louis van Gaal arrived at Barcelona. He had initially been approached to be youth coordinator but with Bobby Robson’s side struggling in the league – despite winning both the Copa del Rey and the Cup Winners’ Cup – he was asked to take over as manager, with Robson taking on an ambassadorial role, becoming, as he put it “the world’s highest-paid scout”.

On Robson’s recommendation, Van Gaal took on José Mourinho, who had become far more than a translator, to be his “third assistant”. In his midfield, he had Pep Guardiola and Luís Enrique. A year later, Phillip Cocu joined the midfield and Ronald Koeman arrived as an assistant coach. Frank de Boer was signed the year after that. Or, to put it another way, in 1999-2000, the present managers of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Southampton were all either playing or working at Camp Nou.

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