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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: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:23:59 GMT2017-12-13T15:23:59Z

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



There is too much irritating respect in football – and here are 10 reasons why | Marina Hyde

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:20:23 GMT2017-12-13T12:20:23Z

The fracas at Manchester United was supposedly all about José Mourinho demanding respect but upstartery is a lot of what makes sport great

Is there a more elastic concept in modern football than “respect”? There certainly isn’t a more self-regardingly irritating one. Endlessly demanded, its absence or insufficiency endlessly condemned, “respect” is mostly a ball game for people too insecure to settle things with a ball game.

Various instances of disrespect are held to have been committed at Old Trafford on Sunday, both during and in the wake of Manchester United’s defeat to Manchester City. By way of recap: there was some loud music, some milk, some pinching and scratching, and the Daily Mail surreptitiously repurposed its biannual Alma Tunnel graphic for the incident. “You fucking show respect!” José Mourinho is reported to have shrieked at some Manchester City players, a reminder that you can order people to respect you about as effectively as you can order people to love you.

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Newcastle sale moves closer as Amanda Staveley increases offer to £300m

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:41:25 GMT2017-12-13T13:41:25Z

• Agreement between two parties close with takeover set for late January
• Mike Ashley could still offer Rafael Benítez a £30m transfer kitty

Optimism that Amanda Staveley will persuade Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United to her Dubai based PCP Capital Partners Middle Eastern investment fund rose on Wednesday when the Yorkshire-born financier increased her offer for the club to around £300m.

Related: Rafael Benítez airs frustration over Newcastle transfer budget uncertainty

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Manchester City could be doing rivals a favour by taking heat out of title battle | Paul Wilson

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:33:38 GMT2017-12-13T14:33:38Z

It is hardly going out on a limb to suggest for example that Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool may see a clearer path to the shiny stuff in the Champions League this season than at home where they are already miles off the pace

When Antonio Conte said at the start of the week that English clubs had a great chance of Champions League success this season he was possibly trying to gloss over a less than favourable draw that left Chelsea with the unenviable task of advancing past Barcelona. The draw was generally kind to English clubs, though Tottenham may beg to differ, and in pitting Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain it guaranteed the removal of at least one of the favourites at an early stage.

A couple of days later when the Chelsea manager was next seen in public he was making the valid point that Manchester City seem to be running away with the Premier League title and acknowledging the fact was not being negative or defeatist, just realistic.

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AFC Wimbledon given permission to build new ground at Plough Lane

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:06:11 GMT2017-12-13T14:06:11Z

• Development of £25m new stadium set to begin next summer
• Club hope to 11,000-seat venue is ready for 2019-20 season

AFC Wimbledon have been given the green light to build a new stadium in their home London borough.

Representatives from the League One club, Merton council and developer GRA Acquisitions signed paperwork on Wednesday which means work can start at the site of the old Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium on Plough Lane.

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Which football clubs have had different shirt sponsors home and away? | The Knowledge

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:00:16 GMT2017-12-13T10:00:16Z

Plus: geographically close World Cup groups, non-league-less FA Cup third rounds and recalling the pros who turned out for pubs. Mail us your questions and answers or tweet @TheKnowledge_GUnext week: Christmas special

“I seem to remember, in the early 2000s, Arsenal having three different strips with three different sponsors; their home kit displayed Dreamcast, their away kit, then gold, was emblazoned with JVC and their third kit, a navy blue number, showed Sega on the front,” writes Elliot Leaver. “Can someone confirm if this is true and, if so, whether other clubs have had similar scenarios?”

Matt Kersley has a correction: “Elliot Leaver is remembering incorrectly; the away shirts had Sega and the blue third shirt kept Dreamcast; the JVC deal ended at the end of the 1998-99 season.”

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Welsh FA chief investigated over ‘definitely not English’ manager comment

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:42:05 GMT2017-12-13T11:42:05Z

• Investigation could delay appointment of next Wales manager
• Jonathan Ford’s remark to be considered by disciplinary commission

The Football Association of Wales chief executive, Jonathan Ford, is to face a disciplinary commission over his comment that the next Wales manager will “definitely” not be English.

The FAW’s investigation could delay an appointment because Ford is due to head up the process of finding Chris Coleman’s successor.

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Sam Allardyce cancels Christmas party because of Everton’s festive demands

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:31:02 GMT2017-12-12T22:31:02Z

• ‘It’s not needed at the moment because of the position we were in’
• Allardyce returning to Newcastle to face old foe Rafael Benítez

Sam Allardyce has cancelled Everton’s Christmas party after telling his players their form this season is no cause for celebration. Everton are unbeaten in three matches in all competitions under their new manager, four in total, with the sense of crisis that preceded his appointment eased by a rise to 10th in the Premier League.

The manager believes Everton have turned things around before Wednesday night’s visit to Newcastle United, a former employer of his, but with six points separating the team from the relegation zone, and having been knocked out of the Europa League at the group stage, Allardyce believes a Christmas party would be an unwarranted and unwelcome distraction from a demanding festive programme.

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Jack Wilshere a January transfer target for West Ham, says David Moyes

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:31:02 GMT2017-12-12T22:31:02Z

• ‘Jack Wilshere would be someone who we’d have to look at,’ says Moyes
• ‘Transfer window could be the difference between relegation and staying up’

David Moyes has declared an interest in Jack Wilshere as West Ham United prepare for a transfer window he believes will be key to them avoiding relegation. Wilshere is likely to be on the Arsenal bench at West Ham on Wednesday night but his future remains unclear as he fights to earn a new contract at the Emirates and a place in England’s World Cup squad. Moyes, who is looking to build on Saturday’s shock win over Chelsea, regards the right January additions as being crucial to staying up.

Related: West Ham’s David Moyes spares a thought for displaced Joe Hart

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José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola pass buck and fail to face the truth | Daniel Taylor

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:31:02 GMT2017-12-12T22:31:02Z

The Manchester managers were happy to go on the attack but in doing so were unable accept that, just possibly, both clubs were to blame

‘Bye-bye,” José Mourinho said. His press conference had been cut short, he was out of his seat and his voice was not exactly filled with warmth. But then he stopped in the doorway and we were given a tiny glimpse of what Ederson, Manchester City’s goalkeeper, encountered in the labyrinthine corridors of Old Trafford on Sunday evening.

“You don’t like Bournemouth, hey?” Mourinho wanted to know of the assembled media. “You don’t respect them? You don’t think they are a team capable of coming to Old Trafford and doing well? No respect for Eddie Howe? No respect for the players?”

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Mohamed Salah may be next in line for Liverpool rotation after injury scare

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:31:02 GMT2017-12-12T22:31:02Z

• I took Mo Salah off because he felt the hamstring a little bit, says Klopp
• I have 500,000 pieces of information, adds manager in defence of policy

Mohamed Salah may be next in line for Jürgen Klopp’s rotation policy after the Liverpool manager substituted his leading goalscorer against Everton as a precaution against a hamstring problem.

Klopp has defended his decision to make six changes to his starting lineup for Sunday’s derby and to substitute the 19-goal Egypt forward at 1-0. Omitting Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum against Everton was, he said, based on “a little information” from after the 7-0 rout of Spartak Moscow four days earlier. However, Klopp confirmed the two Brazilians “could have played” on Sunday and all four may start the Premier League game at home to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

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Roy Hodgson: ‘Where we are in the table you have to work hard for every win’

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:36:57 GMT2017-12-13T00:36:57Z

• Palace manager accepts they will have to keep fighting
• We’re still very close to the bottom of the table, adds Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has warned his Crystal Palace players against complacency after watching a team who had made the worst start to a top-flight season clamber out of the relegation zone for the first time, and for at least 24 hours, with a dramatic late comeback against Watford.

Goals from the substitutes Bakary Sako and James McArthur secured an unlikely 2-1 win and extended Palace’s unbeaten run to six matches, hoisting them out of the bottom three and depositing West Bromwich Albion below the cut-off before Wednesday’s fixtures.

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Chelsea bounce back with comfortable win over Huddersfield Town

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:36:00 GMT2017-12-12T23:36:00Z

Conceding the title early can sometimes backfire, and it would have been easy to imagine Antonio Conte’s players lacking the appetite for a wet night in west Yorkshire after hearing their manager admit Manchester City might be uncatchable, yet in the event Chelsea played like champions.

Huddersfield were outclassed, indeed a little fortunate not to be embarrassed, once Chelsea got into their smooth, attacking stride. “The best team we’ve seem here all season” was one opinion expressed over the PA at half-time, which is quite a compliment considering City have already been to these parts and won.

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Ashley Barnes’ late goal against Stoke sends Burnley soaring into top four

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:05:00 GMT2017-12-13T00:05:00Z

Ashley Barnes grabbed a late winner to send Burnley soaring into fourth place, the team’s highest position in the top flight for 42 years, when they were second in the old First Division in March 1975.

Burnley, on 31 points, are now behind only Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and above Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, for 24 hour at least.

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Crystal Palace’s Bakary Sako and James McArthur strike late to stun Watford

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:46:00 GMT2017-12-12T23:46:00Z

Now Crystal Palace have hope. How could they not when after spluttering in arrears for almost the entire match, blunted and diminished by an imposing Watford team, they still plucked an improbable win from the jaws of defeat?

The din which erupted in the second minute of injury time was a roar to greet the first gasp of air this team have enjoyed above the relegation zone all season. Conviction is flooding back.

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Arsène Wenger says footballers cannot replicate respect shown in sumo wrestling

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:07:24 GMT2017-12-12T11:07:24Z

• Arsenal manager says time in Japan taught him value of being level-headed
• Wenger looking to extend fine record in games at West Ham

When Arsène Wenger lived in Japan as manager of Grampus 8 in the 1990s he watched sumo, and the experience taught him a few things he feels can benefit the tinderbox atmosphere of elite football. “When the winner doesn’t show any emotion out of respect for the loser, that is something that surprises all of us,” Arsenal’s manager said.

Sumo proved an interesting topic of conversation in a week when overspilling passion was on football’s agenda, and Wenger found it particularly fascinating that manners play a crucial role in results. “Every day for 15 days you have a fight and the guy who wins the most fights is the winner of the tournament,” he said. “To become yokozuna – that means the top of the top – you have to win at least two tournaments out of the six, and what is very interesting is you go in front of a committee to have an ethical judgment as well. If you did not behave well, even if you won the tournament, you cannot become the yokozuna, the master of masters.

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Manchester City need defensive signing to avoid trouble says Pep Guardiola

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:34:45 GMT2017-12-12T22:34:45Z

• Injuries to John Stones and Benjamin Mendy give manager a headache
• Guardiola praises team spirit as key to record winning sequence

Pep Guardiola believes he may have to sign a defender in the January transfer window or Manchester City could be “in trouble”.

Benjamin Mendy is recovering from a serious knee problem and will not return before April while John Stones has a pulled hamstring and is unlikely to play before the new year. Guardiola also admits Vincent Kompany is too injury-prone to be relied on, the captain having to be replaced at half-time of the 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford owing to his latest muscle malady.

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'It looks like someone's gran': Diego Maradona statue unveiled in India

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:49:44 GMT2017-12-12T00:49:44Z

  • Bronze likeness ridiculed after unveiling in Kolkata
  • ‘I’m not a god of football’ says former Argentina player

Another football icon has been honoured by a statue with a bronze sculpture of the Argentina great, Diego Maradona, unveiled at a club in Kolkata, although the dubious likeness to the 1986 World Cup winner has attracted online ridicule.

The 12-foot statue features the 1986 World Cup winner with a healthy head of hair and holding aloft the trophy he helped Argentina win in Mexico, but bears little resemblance to the then 25-year-old captain of the side.

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Next Generation 2017: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:00:05 GMT2017-10-04T09:00:05Z

From Vinicius Júnior, who has already signed for Real Madrid, to ‘the Romanian Donnarumma’ the Guardian identifies 60 of the best players in the world born in 2000

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Nicola Hobbs: ‘It was really hard at first to have both, football and the fire service’ | Suzanne Wrack

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:00:30 GMT2017-12-12T10:00:30Z

London Bees goalkeeper navigates two male-dominated lines of work with aplomb but may soon have to choose between her abiding passion and her work

The London Bees goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs was between the sticks at the Hive on Saturday as the Bees recorded their first win of the WSL2 season, a 2-1 victory over Oxford United. Yet just 24 hours earlier she was sitting in a gilded hall in the capital at the excellence in fire and emergency awards 2017. Because Hobbs is also a firefighter, and one who was nominated for this year’s most influential woman in fire award.

A woman navigating one male-dominated line of work is impressive, but two is rarer.

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Things are looking up for Everton – especially with Yannick Bolasie returning

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 13:41:08 GMT2017-12-12T13:41:08Z

Everton are unbeaten in their last four games but their form will really improve when Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman return and give them some pace

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

“They had three shots on target, we had two. That shows how we mastered a really good side.” Sam Allardyce’s summary of events at Anfield on Sunday was more than a little biased, but the result was more important than the performance for the new Everton manager and rightly so at this early stage of his tenure. Everton are unbeaten in their last four matches – with the 1-1 draw at Liverpool coming after a 4-0 win over West Ham, a 2-0 win over Huddersfield and a 3-0 win over Apollon Limassol – but Allardyce knows better than anyone that he still has a huge task on his hands.

Everton’s strongest system, let alone their starting line-up, is still a mystery. They have deployed nine different formations in the league this season, which sums up the issues with this muddled squad better than anything. The fact that 22 different players have started for them in the league shows this is a side lacking an identity. Allardyce has managed to take them into the top half of the table but establishing a clear vision for his players will take time.

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Belated bravado shows José Mourinho is feeling the sting of his own methods | Barney Ronay

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:46:31 GMT2017-12-11T15:46:31Z

In confronting Manchester City’s staff after Sunday’s defeat, the United manager showed an aggression that was missing from his side’s display on the field

At first glance the most startling aspect of the Manchester derby tunnel fracas is the fact it seems to have been kicked off by José Mourinho knocking on the dressing room door and going toe-to-toe with Manchester City’s players. Hearing this, you wondered: why now? The fronting-up, the ballsiness, the stick-it–to-them bravado. Where was all this an hour and a half ago when the score was 0-0 and there was still a match to be won?

At which point, with the day still wide open and the spoils there to be claimed, Mourinho’s men didn’t go banging on anyone’s door. Instead the players of Manchester United coiled back in their own half like a red-shirted draught excluder, abasing themselves in this grand old stadium before the perceived – and conceded – superiority of their opponents

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Manchester City celebrations after derby win 'definitely not' excessive, says Guardiola – video

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:10:02 GMT2017-12-12T17:10:02Z

Pep Guardiola denies that Manchester City celebrated excessively following their derby win over city rivals Manchester United. Asked if his players had enjoyed the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford too much Guardiola replies ‘definitely not’. ‘I encourage players to celebrate victories,’ he adds

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Jürgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce disagree over Merseyside derby penalty – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 20:06:40 GMT2017-12-10T20:06:40Z

The managers of Liverpool and Everton, Jürgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce, saw a late penalty, which was converted by Wayne Rooney to earn the Toffees a point, very differently. Klopp argued that his team were subject to 60-70 similar challenges in midfield which went unpunished, while Allardyce claimed that referee Craig Pawson was ‘brave’ to give Everton their first penalty at Anfield since 1988

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Manchester City deserved derby win over United, says Pep Guardiola – video

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 21:59:41 GMT2017-12-10T21:59:41Z

In the post-match press conference following his team’s 2-1 win over their city rivals, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had a simple explanation for their success: ‘we were better.’ United manager José Mourinho found it within himself to criticise the referee for not awarding his side a penalty and claimed that City scored ‘two disgraceful goals’ considering their flair and skill level

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Antonio Conte concedes title after Chelsea lose at West Ham – video

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:21:30 GMT2017-12-09T18:21:30Z

Chelsea are out of the Premier League title race after losing at West Ham on Saturday, according to Blues manager Antonio Conte. ‘To talk about the title race after a defeat, I think it a bit strange.’ says Conte following the 1-0 defeat at the London Stadium. David Moyes meanwhile is thrilled with the result, his first win as West Ham manager

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Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d'Or of his career – video

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:28:24 GMT2017-12-07T21:28:24Z

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career, equalling Lionel Messi’s record after a season that saw him lead Real Madrid to their 12th Champions League title. Ronaldo was presented with the award at a ceremony in Paris on Thursday evening. 'It's a great moment in my career,' says the Portuguese

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Shakhtar Donetsk manager dresses up as Zorro after Champions League win – video

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:26:52 GMT2017-12-07T10:26:52Z

Paulo Fonseca, the Shakhtar Donetsk manager, conducts his post-match news conference in a Zorro costume on Wednesday. Fonseca promised to dress up as the masked vigilante if his side qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League. The 2-1 win over Manchester City sealed the club’s place in the knockout stage

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Atlético get back to what they know and make La Liga a four-horse race | Sid Lowe

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:59:13 GMT2017-12-11T15:59:13Z

Atlético Madrid, despite a number of issues this season, remain unbeaten in the league and still feel like one of the runners who will compete for the title

Quique Setién says he has told Atlético Madrid’s manager Diego Simeone exactly what he thinks of him but Simeone hasn’t told him back. He can guess, though: it doesn’t take a genius. “He might not like what I do, but he has the decency not to say so,” admits the chess-playing, beach football international, former manager of Equatorial Guinea (for one night only) and defender of an aesthetic footballing faith who briefly made Las Palmas the best thing in the league and is now at Real Betis, if maybe not for much longer. “He might go: ‘Bloody hell, this bring-the-ball-out thing, I shit on its mother!’ He’s good enough not to say that, but I’m sure he thinks it.”

So is everyone else, and more than before. Because if Simeone never told Setién, on Sunday afternoon he showed him. Really, really showed him. It was easy to imagine him barely suppressing a smirk, winking his way back to the dressing room at the Benito Villamarín and breaking into a giggle as soon as he got through the door, points won and point made. At the same time as he arrived, midfielder Koke stood pitchside. Talking to the telly, Koke’s opening line couldn’t have been clearer: “Betis were spectacular,” he said. “They played very well, they play very nice football.” Antonio Adán, Betis’s goalkeeper, agreed: “The football we played was incredible,” he insisted, “our opponents were truly dominated.” The problem was, a ‘but’ hung in the air and it was a big one. Dominated? Perhaps, but still not defeated.

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Dortmund give Stöger 'once-in-a-lifetime' chance after firing Bosz | Andy Brassell

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:01:32 GMT2017-12-11T11:01:32Z

It is left to Peter Stöger, sent packing from Köln last week, to restore confidence at Borussia Dortmund where there has been next to none

A week is a long time in the Bundesliga. On Monday, Peter Stöger and his assistant Manni Schmid cleared their desks and said goodbye to Köln’s players. By midday on Sunday, the Austrian was being presented by Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke as the club’s new coach, in a press conference that also confirmed the firing of Peter Bosz.

That the Dutchman is on his way is no surprise. Dortmund’s only win since late September in any competition was at third-tier Magdeburg in the DfB Pokal in October and performances have been every bit as bad as that run suggests. With confidence in his methods plainly sapped, as underlined by the concession of a four-goal lead in the derby with Schalke, perhaps only the lack of an obvious replacement had kept Bosz in situ since.

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Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:35:53 GMT2017-12-11T12:35:53Z

Still unbeaten in Serie A after the Derby d’Italia, leaders Internazionale are rightly starting to cause a little anxiety in Turin

The stage was set for a spectacle. A full house at the Allianz Stadium and the atmosphere crackling as Juventus fans put on their usual pre-game choreography: a sea of black and white placards broken only by a green, white and red tricolore to remind everyone this is where the reigning champions reside.

Well, no, actually, that wouldn’t quite do it. Ultras also prepared their own banner, in which 1970s cartoon detective Nick Carter was seen, together with sidekicks Patsy and Ten, examining a map of Europe. Italy had been blocked out in black and white stripes. Above the picture was a message aimed at Inter’s owners: “The wise man says, ‘China is close, Italy is a mirage’.”

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Unai Emery's lack of control could kill PSG's hopes in the Champions League

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:22:11 GMT2017-12-11T12:22:11Z

Paris Saint-Germain can waltz through domestic fixtures, but their selfish culture of player power will not cut it in the latter stages of the Champions League

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

“The protagonists are the players.” explained Unai Emery. “The job of the staff is to manage the squad and individuals, to put in place tactics that allow them to show their talent.” He has a point but, as this week has shown, football managers have to control egos as well as tactics. Emery’s weak grip on his team continues to engender limp performances and, with rumours of Luis Enrique being targeted, Emery’s exit may be inevitable.

Little has changed since PSG signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva in 2012 and became the ubiquitous force of French football. They have won four league titles, four league cups and three French cups in that time. Monaco’s glorious ambush upset things last season, but PSG’s points total remained fairly static.

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MLS Cup: Five things we learned from Toronto's cathartic, legacy-sealing win

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:00:32 GMT2017-12-10T09:00:32Z

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore enjoyed sweet vindication as Toronto FC made their most compelling pitch for Major League Soccer’s best team ever

The spirit of blame has been bouncing around US soccer circles since the USA’s World Cup elimination – but over the course of these MLS playoffs far more than its share has settled on Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. Both men were booed by opposing fans every time they touched the ball during the playoffs, and both had their struggles – Bradley was nullified by Tyler Adams in the home playoff loss to the Red Bulls, while Altidore saw red in the same game and missed the first leg against Columbus.

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Peru’s Paolo Guerrero to miss World Cup after testing positive for cocaine

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:43:37 GMT2017-12-08T13:43:37Z

• Captain and all-time leading goalscorer handed 12-month ban by Fifa
• Peru have qualified for a World Cup finals for first time since 1982

Paolo Guerrero, the Peru captain and all-time record goalscorer, has been handed a 12-month ban after testing positive for cocaine, meaning he will miss next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

The 33-year-old striker, who plays for Flamengo in Brazil, had been provisionally suspended by world governing body Fifa after the drug, classified as a stimulant, was found in his system after Peru’s 0-0 draw away to Argentina in a World Cup qualifier in October. He was banned for one year on Friday after failing an anti-doping test.

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Internazionale hold Juventus to goalless draw and stay top of Serie A

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:51:27 GMT2017-12-09T21:51:27Z

Internazionale remain in top spot in Serie A after holding Juventus to a goalless draw in Turin.

Victory for Juve would have seen the defending champions usurp their Derby d’Italia rivals but they could not find a breakthrough despite dominating the chances.

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Hope Solo joins crowded field to become next US Soccer president

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:28:02 GMT2017-12-08T16:28:02Z

  • Controversial former goalkeeper becomes ninth candidate in the race.
  • ‘I know exactly what US Soccer needs to do, I know exactly how to do it.’

Hope Solo, the controversial former United States goalkeeper, is running for president of the US Soccer Federation. The 36-year-old announced her surprise candidacy on Thursday night on Facebook.

Solo, who brings a crowded field to nine candidates, is the second woman to announce a bid for the job, joining Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter.

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Jozy Altidore has last laugh to seal MLS Cup glory for Toronto FC

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 00:07:00 GMT2017-12-10T00:07:00Z

For long stretches of this final it looked as if Stefan Frei was about to singlehandedly thwart Toronto yet again. But this time Jozy Altidore proved to be his nemesis.

Having produced one of the iconic saves in Major League Soccer history to deny Altidore during the smash-and-grab Seattle win here in the 2016 final, Frei resumed where he left off, with a string of acrobatic and reflex saves to keep a rampant Toronto team at bay until the 67th minute of the 2017 repeat edition.

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Champions League: tie-by-tie analysis of the last-16 games | Nick Miller

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:00:12 GMT2017-12-11T19:00:12Z

Chelsea renew their rivalry with Barcelona, City get lucky, Liverpool and United should both progress, while Spurs aim to create more history

First leg 13 February Second leg 7 March

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Manchester United were too passive in derby – Mourinho must take the blame | Jonathan Wilson

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:00:04 GMT2017-12-11T12:00:04Z

Manchester City were vulnerable at times at Old Trafford but their hosts never looked like taking advantage due to tactics that do not fit with Manchester United’s stature or attacking heritage

About 10 minutes before half-time, the plea went up around Old Trafford: “Attack! Attack! Attack!” It’s a chant that dates back to the 1960s. It was heard, for instance, at Wembley in 1968 when Manchester United beat Benfica to win the European Cup as fans revelled in the refusal of Matt Busby’s side to rest on a 1-0 lead even in a game so freighted with emotion and importance. By Louis van Gaal’s time, the chant had taken on a different tone: something between mockery of an approach based on risk-free possession and a demand for something more uplifting. It’s hard to interpret this latest outbreak as being anything other than a complaint.

Related: José Mourinho in post-match fracas over Manchester City’s ‘noisy’ celebrations

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Police must get to bottom of false stories about Crystal Palace fans | Daniel Taylor

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:50:00 GMT2017-12-09T21:50:00Z

The origin of the mysterious misinformation about knuckle-dusters and knives being found at the game at Brighton needs to be tracked down

There is an old episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry David is sitting in traffic when the lights change to green and the car in front does not move. The only issue is that it happens to be a police car and, in those circumstances, what is the etiquette? Who beeps a police car? Larry, is the answer. “No one’s above the beep,” he explains when the police officer gets out of his car.

OK, it is not to be taken too seriously (Larry is also wearing a wig and a false moustache after a fatwa for planning to make a Broadway musical, coincidentally named Fatwa!, about Salman Rushdie). Yet it is easy to sympathise and, ultimately, beeping doesn’t do Larry any good. Officer Jenkins doesn’t take kindly to being asked if he was daydreaming and is not prepared to accept Larry’s get-out clause that, driving a new car, he wasn’t attuned to the subtleties of the horn and had meant it to be a pip rather than a beep. Larry gets a ticket. He takes it to an appeal and the judge accepts the officer was on “important police business”. The case is dismissed and Larry is reminded it doesn’t always make sense to take on the police.

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Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to win race for Thomas Lemar?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:22:20 GMT2017-12-13T09:22:20Z

Today’s rumours have a spreadsheet

Chelsea are, according to Antonio Conte, very tired and need some help. They did not show it at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night but perhaps Conte just meant they required something to set tongues wagging on the long schlep home. In which case, the chatter at the back of the bus would have been thus: the champions-for-not-much-longer have entered the race for our old friend from the summer, Thomas Lemar. It appears Monaco will have to part with one of their few remaining stars of last season sooner rather than later; the question is whether they can fend off the longer-term interests of Arsenal and Liverpool, who will almost certainly be back in.

It being almost January, though, there are irons smouldering away in roaring fires. Chelsea’s pursuit of a wide man has also taken in the Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, with an opening bid apparently being rejected. Liverpool, Manchester United and Barcelona are others keeping their eyes on the situation.

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Said & Done: ‘There's zero tolerance on doping. We always expect fair play’

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:40:32 GMT2017-12-10T09:40:32Z

The week in football – also featuring: Ivan Gazidis, Barça and a human moment

Alexei Sorokin, Russia’s Fifa executive, on 2018 World Cup head Vitaly Mutko’s IOC life ban for “an unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport”: “It has no connection to football. We’ll just keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”

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Football League: Adkins makes flying start at Hull while Wolves fire blanks

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:58:33 GMT2017-12-09T18:58:33Z

  • Hull beat Brentford while Wolves draw with Sunderland
  • Accrington chairman questions referee after postponement

• Nigel Adkins got off to a flying start at Hull City after his team came from behind to see off Brentford. Stunning goals by Kamil Grosicki and then Seb Larsson, who rolled back the years with a fine free-kick, nudged Hull in front after a David Meyler own goal had put the Bees ahead. Jackson Irvine sealed victory before John Egan popped up with a second three minutes from time. “I’ve loved the last two days, I’ve utilised my time well and tomorrow I’m going to take a bit of time to reflect because it has been a whirlwind,” Adkins said. That victory hoists Hull to 18th, and above QPR, who suffered a home defeat by Leeds United. Kemar Roofe helped himself to a hat-trick for Leeds who rise to seventh.

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The Joy of Six: Cup Winners' Cup memories

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:00:02 GMT2017-12-08T12:00:02Z

From Chelsea’s deep freeze to Robbie Fowler’s outrageous skill via a 1970s Milan v Leeds battle, we look at half-a-dozen memories from the Cup Winners’ Cup

When Gianfranco Zola came off the bench to smash home his winning goal in the 1998 final, it meant that no British team had won the Cup Winners’ Cup as many times as Chelsea. Twenty-seven years after they claimed the trophy for the first time, they doubled their tally , triumphing where Arsenal had unforgettably failed in 1995. They had a few scares on their way to the final and sailed dangerously close to the wind in their semi against Vicenza, only for Mark Hughes to wallop home a bouncing ball with time running out in the second leg.

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Tarik Cohen's ridiculous return, flying goalkeepers and derby clangers | Classic YouTube

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:06:08 GMT2017-12-07T10:06:08Z

This week’s roundup also features an NFL match stopped because of crowd noise, Zinedine Zidane at Bordeaux and high school basketball brilliance

1) Tarik Cohen sends the 49ers’ entire pack chasing after the wrong fire with this ridiculous punt return. Oh, and here he is catching a ball while doing a backflip.

2) Trailing 2-1 against Milan and having failed to win a point all season, up trots Benevento’s goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli in the 94th minute to score a stunning flying header to earn a 2-2 draw and join an exclusive club of five goalscoring Serie A keepers. Only 130 more to match Rogério Ceni, though, Alberto.

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Football quiz: how well do you know the Manchester and Merseyside derbies?

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:38:46 GMT2017-12-07T12:38:46Z

Do you remember these all-time records, far-flung fixtures and short-lived leads?Quiz of the week: two big derbies, a petrified referee and a fighting soldierWhich one of these four has played for Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as Liverpool and Everton?Nicolas Anelka John Gidman Peter BeardsleyDavid Johnson Ian Rush is Liverpool’s top scorer in Merseyside derbies. Who is Everton’s?Tim CahillAndy Gray Dixie DeanGraeme Sharp Who is the only player to have played for both Everton and Liverpool in Merseyside derbies in the same season?Nick BarmbyKevin SheedyAbel XavierDave Hickson What was the score in Roy Hodgson’s only Merseyside derby as Liverpool manager?Everton 1-1 LiverpoolEverton 2-0 LiverpoolEverton 4-1 LiverpoolEverton 0-3 LiverpoolWho scored the first Merseyside derby goal in the Premier League, in December 1992, when Liverpool led for one minute before losing 2-1 at Goodison Park?Mark WrightJamie RedknappJohn Barnes Ronny RosenthalRamiro Funes Mori was sent off for Everton in April 2016. Who was the last Liverpool player to be shown a red card in the derby?Steven GerrardMauricio PellegrinoLucas LeivaSotirios KyrgiakosHow many Merseyside derbies have been played since Everton last won one?ThreeSixNineFourteenLiverpool beat Everton in the 1984 League Cup final after a replay. Where was the match staged? WembleyStamford Bridge Old TraffordMaine RoadThe first Manchester derby took place on 12 November 1881. What were the teams called?Salford and BurnageNewton Heath and St. Marks (West Gorton)St Ann’s Gorton and Drayton Grove Trafford and Citizens The Manchester derby has been contested outside of the UK once. Where?ShanghaiDublinTexasMilanWhich player has appeared in the most Manchester derbies?Ryan GiggsPaul ScholesBobby CharltonColin BellHow far apart are the Etihad and Old Trafford?0.9 miles2.5 miles4.3 miles7.8 milesWayne Rooney scored an overhead kick to secure a 2-1 victory for United over City at Old Trafford in February 2011. Who scored the other two goals in that game?Micah Richards and Dimitar BerbatovDavid Silva and Nani Yaya Touré and Darren FletcherSergio Agüero and Patrice EvraManchester City won at Old Trafford for the first time in 34 years when they beat United 2-1 in February 2008. What else was unusual about that game?It was United's only league defeat of the seasonAlex Ferguson was not in attendance as he was at his son's weddingCity beat United home and away that season but were still relegatedThere were no sponsors' logos on the players' shirtsAll of these players represented both Manchester clubs. Which one played for City before he played for United?Owen HargreavesAndy Cole Sammy McIlroy Denis LawBrian Kidd Peter Schmeichel Continue reading...[...]


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Abuse of power: football’s culturally accepted contempt for its own referees

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19:00:15 GMT2017-12-09T19:00:15Z

The shocking verbal abuse suffered by match officials at all levels of football is a stain on the game and stamping it out must be made a priority

Pathetic. Cheat. Joke. These are some of the more “PG” things I’ve been called over the past month while refereeing football. I give up my Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings along with hordes of other qualified referees to ensure that the thousands of football games taking place across the country can go ahead.

I qualified as a football referee in 2011, three months after my 14th birthday. An avid football fan, I was excited to experience football from a different perspective, while at the same time earning a bit of pocket money. At a time when my friends were starting to talk about part-time work, becoming a referee seemed like a no-brainer: spending my weekend outside, running around keeping fit, doing a job that I was actually interested in.

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Free-scoring Luton are bringing the style on their push for promotion | Nick Miller

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:00:01 GMT2017-12-11T10:00:01Z

A corner of Bedfordshire has seen a blizzard of goals and excitement this season, although they were unable to see off promotion rivals Notts County

If entertainment is what you’re after from football (rather than comforting distraction from the awfulness of the real world) then sure, you could spend £50 on a ticket to watch the luxury football of Manchester City, with their flowing attacks and dazzlingly expensive talents. Or you could head down to the slightly earthier surrounds of Kenilworth Road, shell out £20 and watch the only team in the country to have scored more goals than Pep Guardiola’s side.

Admittedly, Luton Town have played five more games than City, but that corner of Bedfordshire has seen a blizzard of goals and excitement this season. They have 49 from 21 games, 11 more than the next most prolific in the division. Only four teams have scored more in total than their goal difference tally of 30.

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Without action, we risk losing a generation of BAME coaches | Liam Rosenior

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:09:21 GMT2017-12-07T16:09:21Z

There has been debate whether the Rooney Rule will be good for our game or if it’s another example of tokenism – surely that debate is missing the point

On Sunday 4 February 2007, I stayed up late and joined millions of other sports fans to watch the Super Bowl – a huge occasion filled with excitement, buildup and anticipation creating a special occasion every year. This one, however, was unique as history was about to be made in a way that would excite, inspire and resonate with me and will stay with me for the rest of my life.

One of the coaches of the teams – Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts, or Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears – was about to become the first BAME head coach to place their hands on the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy. They looked just like me, were positive role models I could relate to and were an example that no matter the colour of my skin, my gender or my religion I could aspire to be anything I wanted to be with humility and hard work.

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David Sullivan: ‘I feel I haven’t done well enough. Nobody’s done well enough’

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:01:45 GMT2017-12-08T12:01:45Z

West Ham’s co-owner discusses regrets over Slaven Bilic, why it may be time to stop allowing the manager to choose all the main transfer targets and how his sons could take over from him

“I feel like I haven’t done well enough,” David Sullivan says as he considers how swiftly and brutally West Ham United’s grand ambitions have unravelled after 18 troubled months in their huge new stadium. “Nobody’s done well enough. I work my socks off but sometimes it’s not good enough.”

West Ham’s co-owner pauses, giving himself time to reflect on everything that has happened since the move to the London Stadium, and it is clear he is hurting. Those who have worked closely with Sullivan respect his intelligence and they talk of a West Ham fanatic.

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José Mourinho questions Manchester City’s education and blames them for brawl

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:39:00 GMT2017-12-12T22:39:00Z

• City coach says his team’s celebrations were ‘definitely not’ excessive
• United manager questions the ‘education’ at his rival’s club

José Mourinho has questioned whether Manchester City’s players have the same “education” as their Manchester United counterparts and insisted the Premier League leaders were to blame for the brawl at Old Trafford that has left the clubs facing the possibility of disciplinary action.

Mourinho accused City of showing a lack of respect with what he perceived to be excessive dressing-room celebrations after Sunday’s win and angrily turned on a BBC correspondent for asking whether his club might be punished. “I think you work for another club,” the United manager said, “and not for the press” on another tense day when the deteriorating relationship between the city rivals was laid bare.

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Rafael Benítez airs frustration over Newcastle transfer budget uncertainty

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:31:02 GMT2017-12-12T22:31:02Z

• Manager left in limbo by stalled takeover talks at St James’ Park
• Newcastle face Everton having taken one point from seven games

Rafael Benítez does not know how much money, if any, he will be allowed to spend during next month’s transfer window and is pressing for clarity, preferably by the weekend.

“It’s always helpful if you have information,” said Newcastle United’s manager, whose struggling side have collected only one point from their last seven games and face a tough test against Sam Allardyce’s Everton at St James’ Park on Wednesday night. “Hopefully after Everton we’ll have good news and everybody will be happy.

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Huddersfield Town 1-3 Chelsea: Premier League – as it happened

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:01:38 GMT2017-12-12T22:01:38Z

Chelsea bounced back from defeat against West Ham to resume winning ways against insipid Huddersfield Town

Paul Wilson braved the rain and cold at the John Smith’s Stadium for the Guardian and here is the on-the-whistle report he typed with his frozen fingers.

Related: Chelsea bounce back with comfortable win over Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield stay mid-table: Defeat for Huddersfield leaves them in 12th place, a highly respectable position but just five points off the drop.

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