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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 23:14:27 GMT
Mikel Arteta won’t blame Guardiola’s ban for Manchester City’s defeat

• Manager absent from touchline because of suspension
• Coach says team were slow and careless against Lyon

Mikel Arteta said he had no idea whether Pep Guardiola’s touchline absence because of suspension had anything to do with Manchester City unexpectedly losing a fourth Champions League game in a row, though the assistant coach did accept that the side had been slow and occasionally careless.

“You can’t say what would have happened had Pep been around, it’s completely hypothetical,” Arteta said. “The only reality is that we lost the game. We started quite slowly, we lost too many duels and twice in the first half we gave away the ball in dangerous areas and allowed Lyon to score both times.”

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:00:20 GMT
Paul Pogba thanks Jos

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:00:20 GMT
F91 Dudelange welcome Milan with a sense of destiny and disbelief | Nick Ames

Dominant side in Luxembourg makes its Europa League debut against club that gave them their first colours a century ago

A five-minute drive from the centre of Dudelange, hugging a hill to the west of town, sits a community of colourful, tightly packed dwellings. The border with France is a mile away but this is “Little Italy”, where migrants from Piedmont began arriving in the 1880s to make a living at the steelworks below. These days the factory is empty, rusting and a symbol of the days before Luxembourg nimbly recalibrated to create its wealth via the financial services; the Italian influence remains vivid, though, and will come to the fore on Thursday in a way nobody could have foreseen.

F91 Dudelange against Milan presents the kind of European tie the modern-day system is designed to avoid. But the 14-times national champions have, against every expectation, reached the Europa League group stage and the identity of their first opponents has hefty historical resonance.

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:30:21 GMT
Kevin Beattie, Enzo Calzaghe and the best of this year's Vuelta | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also includes trick plays, some proper 1980s tennis and a billiards highlight reel

1) “The Beat”, “The Beast”… “Ipswich’s Best Ever”; Kevin Beattie died this week at the age of 64. A player Sir Bobby Robson once called: “The best defensive player who could play forward that this country has produced.” Exhibits A-M can be found here. Beattie was also Michael Caine’s body double in Escape to Victory, beating Sylvester Stallone in an arm wrestle during some downtime in filming (if only smartphones existed in 1981).

2) Boxing and British sport as a whole also mourned the loss of champion trainer Enzo Calzaghe, the guiding light behind his son Joe’s rise to the very apex of the sport. The modest but magnificent Newbridge boxing club was were it all began and this film offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse from 2011. The fight that helped launch Joe to stardom was his win over Chris Eubank in 1997 to claim the WBO super-middleweight strap. And as for the Welsh duo’s greatest win, take your pick between Jeff Lacy in 2006 and Mikkel Kessler a year later.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:57:57 GMT
Cristiano Ronaldo sent off but 10-man Juventus go on to beat Valencia

• Ronaldo may miss trip to Manchester United next month
• Ajax defeat AEK Athens 3-0; Bayern Munich beat Benfica 2-0

Cristiano Ronaldo may miss a return to Old Trafford with Juventus on 23 October after he left the pitch in tears following a red card for violent conduct against Valencia. The striker stands to miss the Young Boys game on 2 October but Uefa could increase the ban.

Ronaldo, the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer with 120 goals, was dismissed after just 29 minutes following an off-the-ball incident but Juventus won 2-0 in Spain thanks to a pair of penalties from Miralem Pjanic

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 23:25:57 GMT
Dejan Lovren denies wrongdoing after being charged with perjury

• Liverpool defender posted a statement on Instagram
• ‘I did not commit any criminal offence’

Dejan Lovren has denied any wrongdoing after being charged with perjury in Croatia.

The Liverpool defender and his fellow Croatia international Luka Modric were caught up in the scandal that brought down Zdravko Mamic, a powerful football administrator, who was sentenced to six and a half years in jail this summer.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:09:52 GMT
Real Madrid begin Champions League defence by easing to win over Roma

It was just one night in Madrid but at the end of it, Real’s fans left the Bernab


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:30:06 GMT
Arsenal’s Bernd Leno gets chance to prove his worth against Vorskla
• ‘We want him to go a long way here at Arsenal,’ says Unai Emery
• Stephan Lichsteiner also gets first start in Europa League match

Unai Emery will hand Bernd Leno his first Arsenal start against Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League on Thursday and has said that it is up to the German to show he deserves to be picked for league games as well.

The goalkeeper has not yet featured since his


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:49:24 GMT
Eden Hazard misses Chelsea’s PAOK trip after complaining of tiredness
• Maurizio Sarri: ‘I thought it was better for him to rest’
• David Luiz and Kovacic also out of Europa League opener

Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad that travelled to Greece before their Europa League meeting with PAOK Salonika on Thursday evening after personally telling Maurizio Sarri, the manager, that he is battling tiredness.

Hazard has made a blistering start to the season, scoring four goals in five appearances, three of them coming in the 4-1 victory against Cardiff City on Saturday.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 22:21:21 GMT
England pair on target as Arsenal make light work of Yeovil

• Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead score in 7-0 victory
• Birmingham beat Brighton thanks to a penalty

The England pair Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead were on the scoresheet as Arsenal made it two wins out of two in the Women’s Super League by hammering Yeovil 7-0 at Jewson Stadium.

Nobbs struck in the sixth minute as the Gunners wasted little time in settling to their task after seeing off Liverpool 5-0 on the opening day of the campaign.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:07:24 GMT
PSG are not playing Tuchel football. It may not even be football | Jonathan Wilson
Leaving three forwards to float about and occasionally pull off a trick may be enough in Ligue 1 – but not when it comes to elite level. How have PSG not learned?

A net ˆ750m spent in eight years and that’s all you get? Success without money is all but impossible in the modern game, but wealth brings no guarantees. Football still has the capacity to make the richest of men seem very foolish if they pursue glamour at the expense of substance – a heartening moral, so long as you don’t think too closely about the source of the wealth that is paying for Neymar to squander his immense talents in an entitled fug of self-indulgence.

For Paris Saint-Germain, there has been no development. The lessons of last season have not been learned. All the flaws that undid PSG against Real Madrid in last season’s last 16 were there again at Anfield on Tuesday. Leaving three forwards high up the pitch to float about and occasionally pull off a trick may be enough in Ligue 1 – given PSG have begun the season with five successive wins and have scored at least three goals in every game, it demonstrably is – but it is no way to play against proper opposition. The Air Jordan branding may be intended to add an extra shot of glamour, but in context it appears to say little more than: “Please nutmeg me while I appeal half-heartedly for offside.”

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:32:46 GMT
Middlesbrough sweep aside Bolton to keep up pressure on Leeds the leaders

• QPR continue improvement with win over Millwall
• Nottingham Forest earn second victory of season

Middlesbrough bounced back from their defeat at Norwich and returned to second place in the Championship with a 2-0 home win against Bolton. George Saville’s first-half drive, his first goal for the club, set them on their way and Brit Assombalonga added a second in the 90th minute. Victory puts Tony Pulis’s team a point behind the leaders Leeds. Bolton manager Phil Parkinson felt his players produced a performance Stephen Darby would be proud of.

Related: Leeds maintain unbeaten start while West Brom put four past Bristol City

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:31:17 GMT
Tottenham need forward momentum to make passing from the back work | Barney Ronay
Mauricio Pochettino needs to remember the key purpose of the Fannying About Theory – to hurt opponents further up the pitch

There was an unusual moment in the first half at San Siro on Tuesday night. With the score 0-0, the sky still deep blue above the stand, the game still to take its decisive shape, Mousa Demb


Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:34:39 GMT
Mauricio Pochettino accuses reporters of disrespect after Inter’s late show

• Spurs manager loses cool over selection questions
• ‘You disrespect the players … it’s so painful to hear’

Mauricio Pochettino accused journalists of disrespecting his players after Tottenham opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 defeat at Internazionale.

Spurs led through Christian Eriksen and the manager described the performance as having been the best of the season. But there would be a sting in the tail, with Mauro Icardi equalising with a sensational long-range volley after 85 minutes and Mat


Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:06:03 GMT
Lionel Messi hits hat-trick as Barcelona trounce PSV Eindhoven

Lionel Messi scored the eighth Champions League hat-trick of his career as 10-man Barcelona eased to an emphatic 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in Group B.

The Argentinian was once again in imperious form as the hosts overcame a low-key start to cruise past their Dutch opponents, with Ousmane Demb


Tue, 18 Sep 2018 22:27:46 GMT
Champions League roundup: Atl

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:58:14 GMT
Spurs stunned by Mat

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:43:20 GMT
Ivan Gazidis leaves Arsenal just as his biggest challenge was about to begin | David Hytner
The Arsenal chief executive is departing after nearly a decade and says he is energised by a move to Milan. Did he decide the gap to the top at the Emirates was too big?

Ivan Gazidis loves to talk about process, about journeys, about minutiae, and he was in his element at Emirates Stadium on the day that Unai Emery was unveiled as Arsenal’s new manager.

It was 23 May and the chief executive went into extraordinary detail about how Emery had been chosen to succeed Ars


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:38:46 GMT
What is the highest combined shirt number in a football substitution? | The Knowledge

Plus: most international debutants, ugly strips (2) and the largest country never to compete at the European Championships. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“In the recent Burnley v Olympiakos match, the away team replaced No 56 with No 66, meaning the substitution had a combined shirt number of 122,” notes Paul Hawkins. “Is this the highest shirt ‘value’ in a substitution ever or has it been beaten? And what is the lowest?”

For the highest, we start in the Mexican lower leagues. “The rule here is that every player registered by a team at any level has to have an unique number,” explains Jason Maxwell. “So the senior team has standard one/two-digit numbers, the reserve team has numbers starting with 100, the youth teams go 200, 300, etc. So in a youth game you’ll have 312 replacing 307 or something. Even at the senior team level, if a player has been called up from the reserves or youths they keep their number, so it’s possible to see something like 208 replacing number 19 (especially in a friendly). In July’s friendly between Tigres U-20s and the MLS Homegrown all-stars, every player subbed on for Tigres had a number of 281 or higher, and the highest number subbed off was 304. So at minimum that’s 585 combined.”

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:00:15 GMT
Rotherham’s Paul Warne: 'Players we sign have to be amazing people'

Paul Warne is hoping that his values and the squad’s hard work will help the club stay in the Championship

It is almost two years since Paul Warne was lounging in the foyer of Rotherham United’s stadium when the chief operating officer walked in and gently suggested to the fitness coach that a swift costume change might be necessary given that he was about to be named the caretaker manager following Kenny Jackett’s surprising resignation. “I was literally sitting in an elf’s outfit,” Warne says, laughing. “It was for a promotional video for the club shop. I’d gone from probably one of the best elves this side of the North Pole to having that dream taken off me and becoming the manager.”

Related: The English managerial success story shunned by the Premier League

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:30:26 GMT
Tottenham fail to heed clear evidence Harry Kane needs a rest | Barney Ronay

The striker has run out of puff, and failed to get a shot on target against Inter, but Spurs have no one in reserve

Well, that escalated quickly. A goal up on 85 minutes: 2-1 down at the final whistle. Defeat for Tottenham to Internazionale in the Champions League makes it three defeats in three – Watford then Liverpool before this one – all of them by the same scoreline, all of them without a goal from Harry Kane. Muddled at the back and lacking energy in the middle: this is becoming a recurrent tableau. These cows can see the train coming but there doesn’t seem to be much they can do about it.

None of this was Kane’s fault on the face of it. Spurs lost because they failed to defend properly at a set piece. Before that their biggest problem was repeatedly giving the ball away playing out from the back, often indulging in the kind of intimate passing moves that would have taxed a triangle of Xavi, Johan Cruyff and David Blaine. Never mind Jan Vertonghen and the twin left feet of Michel Vorm.

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 23:31:24 GMT
Liverpool have the stamina to stick to Klopp's gameplan in PSG thriller | Andy Hunter

With Roberto Firmino absent from the starting lineup, James Milner, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold proved their worth against PSG

In the blink of a damaged eye Roberto Firmino brought Anfield the victory its team deserved and the finale an enthralling contest merited. He also reinforced J


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:21:18 GMT
'Don't disrespect my players': Pochettino angry at media after Spurs defeat – video

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has hit back at questions over his squad selection after they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Internazionale, despite leading until the 86th minute. Christian Eriksen put Spurs ahead in the second half before Mauro Icardi’s volley and a Matias Vecino header gave Inter the points.

Pochettino was particularly irked at being asked why Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier were left out, interpreting it as disrespectful to those players who were chosen for the trip to Italy. The Argentinian added he was pleased with his team’s performance, but admitted they are suffering having lost three in a row

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:28:08 GMT
Benfica women set Portuguese record with 28-0 win over Ponte de Frielas – video

Benfica's women's team enjoyed a 28-0 thrashing on their debut in the Portuguese second division. They opened the scoring two minutes into their match against Ponte de Frielas, were 16-0 up at half-time and went on to set a new record in the country for the largest margin of victory in senior football. Although Benfica's squad features a number of internationals, as a newly-formed team they have been required to compete in the second tier of the women's league.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:49:34 GMT
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores 500th career goal with stunning spinning volley – video

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 500th career goal on Saturday in LA Galaxy's 5-3 loss to Toronto. The 36-year-old Swedish striker has now joined Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only active players with 500 goals for club and country

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Sun, 16 Sep 2018 17:10:17 GMT
Footballers push ambulance from pitch in Brazil after it fails to start – video

Players from Flamengo and Vasco da Gama pushed an ambulance from the pitch on Saturday after the vehicle – which was transporting an injured player to hospital – failed to start.

Vasco’s Bruno Silva had been knocked unconscious in an aerial collision and needed medical attention abut after being loaded into the ambulance it needed the players to push it to be able to leave the pitch.

Play resumed after the incident and the match finished 1-1. Silva has been discharged after a night in hospital.

• This video has no sound

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Fri, 14 Sep 2018 14:52:10 GMT
Maurizio Sarri says he is open to John Terry joining Chelsea coaching staff - video

Maurizio Sarri has said he is open to the prospect of John Terry joining his coaching staff at Chelsea, but fears the club's former captain is intent upon playing for another season before he turns his attention to the dug-out.

When asked about the possibility, Sarri said: "Yes, of course, but last time I spoke with him, he told me he wants to play for another season," adding that Chelsea was Terry's "home".

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Wed, 05 Sep 2018 09:27:52 GMT
Charlton fan proposes to girlfriend during Checkatrade Trophy match – video

A Charlton Athletic fan asked his girlfriend to marry him during half-time of their Checkatrade Trophy match against AFC Wimbledon, the team she supports, at the Valley. The stadium was far from full, but regardless Lauren was thrilled to accept Keiron's proposal on the pitch – and her side also won 4-2 on penalties

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Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:00:24 GMT
The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.

Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10
Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 23:05:55 GMT
Mariners sign key duo as Sydney FC survive FFA Cup scare

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has shown his relief and delight at the club’s passage through a tight FFA Cup squeeze.

The Sky Blues led 2-0 but were forced into extra-time by ambitious Victorian National Premier League grand finalists Avondale FC on Wednesday night.

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:10:58 GMT
Nabil Fekir’s failed transfer and World Cup glory give Lyon much to celebrate
The France forward was so close to joining Liverpool he even conducted an interview with the club’s TV channel. On Wednesday, he lines up for Lyon against Manchester City

The day after Nabil Fekir joined his France teammates and an estimated million supporters on the Champs-


Mon, 17 Sep 2018 17:20:46 GMT
Spain looks north as Real Sociedad and Athletic take giants to the wire | Sid Lowe

Two historic, special clubs battled Madrid and Bar


Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:49:48 GMT
'They're either naive or scheming':

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:02:45 GMT
Ronaldo and Costa steal limelight as Dimarco downs parent club Inter | Paolo Bandini

Inter began this season billed as the team most likely to deny Juve another Scudetto, but things already look gloomy

Cristiano Ronaldo’s first Serie A goal arrived right on schedule. Granted, it might not have felt that way to the Juventus supporters who had been waiting impatiently for this moment since July. But by opening his account in their fourth league game, with his 28th shot of the season, he was emulating precisely the start he made with Real Madrid in 2017-18.

Nobody can truly have believed his ‘drought’ would go on forever, yet the relief at its ending was evident even in Ronaldo’s performance. His first goal was a tap-in: described by Tuttosport as “pushed into an empty net from 30cm out”. Yet it felt like no accident that the Portuguese’s second should arrive 15 minutes later, drilled into the bottom corner with a confidence that had hitherto been lacking.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:43:47 GMT
Monaco are starting to pay for their mistakes in the transfer window

Monaco are 15th in Ligue 1 and now face the daunting task of hosting Atl


Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:03:08 GMT
Schalke adrift without a point as Champions League looms into view | Andy Brassell

Three defeats in three games have left Schalke 17th but the club have backed their young manager to turn things around

Whatever Schalke might be lacking, they can be sure that they have a leader of substance. After the final whistle at Borussia M


Mon, 17 Sep 2018 18:00:05 GMT
Andrea Pirlo and Francesco Totti: do short-term marquee signings really have an effect?

Do Pirlo and Totti still have what it takes to play 90 minutes of intensely competitive football against A-League opposition?

The reaction to news that Andrea Pirlo and Francesco Totti have been approached with offers to come to Australia to play in this week’s FFA Cup quarter-finals has been overwhelmingly positive.

The positivity is not surprising. These are two icons of not just Italian football, but world football. Both had careers spanning more than 15 years playing at the highest level, and both were part of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning team.

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Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:07:44 GMT
European roundup: Inter loanee stuns parent club while Real Madrid held

Three years after going bankrupt Parma returned to winning ways in Serie A with a shock 1-0 win over Internazionale at San Siro thanks to a spectacular strike from Federico Dimarco, who is on loan from the Milan club.

The full-back had already appeared to handle the ball off the line and 11 minutes from time he hit a stunning 30-yard shot into the top corner, celebrating wildly. Inter open their Champions League campaign against Tottenham at San Siro on Tuesday.

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Sat, 15 Sep 2018 19:01:02 GMT
If tapper-uppers won’t change their ways then penalty must be points | Daniel Taylor
It is unusual Watford have pressed their case against Everton over Marco Silva and more or less every club does it, but fines don’t deter and repeat offenders should lose points

The most blatant “tap” I ever heard about goes back to the days when it was quite the norm for the members of the FA’s international committee to use their positions as a way of making clandestine approaches to players from the England team.

It was June 1977 and England had just played Brazil as part of a tour of South America, minus Don Revie on the pretext the manager was flying off to watch Italy, one of their opponents in the World Cup qualifiers (in reality, Revie was negotiating his contract in United Arab Emirates as part of his own exit strategy). The players were relaxing by the pool at their hotel on Copacabana beach when Peter Swales, the chairman of Manchester City, wandered over, as bold as brass, to ask Mick Channon for a word under his own parasol. Everyone knew what that meant. “Off to Manchester City, Mick?” was the gist of it when Channon returned. And he was – his transfer from Southampton went through the following month.

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:54:50 GMT
The Celtic diehards helping football tackle the taboo around periods

Few would expect football clubs to be at the forefront of an effort to break the taboo around periods. Yet here we are

“Sorry to spoil your breakfasts with talk of periods,” tweeted one supporter of the On the Ball campaign, “but as a teenager who suddenly got her period at Stockport away & had to spend the whole afternoon and journey home on the coach with only a wedge of toilet paper & in a panic, this sort of thing would have been very welcome.”

Few would expect football clubs to be at the forefront of an effort to break the taboo around periods. Yet here we are. In less than five months 29 grounds have responded to the campaign of three female Celtic season-ticket holders and now stock free sanitary products.

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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 12:54:37 GMT
It’s a Knockout Cup anyone? How Uefa might sate its competition thirst | Marina Hyde
Europe’s governing body wants yet another tournament so here are some modest proposals, from a Cup Losers’ Cup to a tournament only for Arsenal

Set your sights on adventure, because there is some highly called-for news out of Uefa. The governing body of European football has identified a yawning gap in the market: there is simply not enough European football. To this end, it is planning to launch a third European club competition. According to the president of the European Clubs Association, Andrea Agnelli: “The current model needs modernising.”

Related: Uefa set to introduce third European club competition from 2021-22

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:56:21 GMT
The Fiver | Avant garde art movement PSG

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!

Tottenham Hotspur don’t like playing Internazionale at San Siro very much. They’ve done it three times now, and it never goes well. Eight years ago they were three goals and a man down in 14 minutes, eventually losing a Big Cup group game 4-3, a young Philippe Coutinho running at them again and again with great purpose as ‘Arry Redknapp surveyed the damage with shocked impotence, the closest a football manager has ever come to recreating the cover of McCartney II. Then in 2013 Andr


Wed, 19 Sep 2018 08:02:38 GMT
Football transfer rumours: Paquet

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:38:10 GMT
David Squires on … Champions League big guns getting ready for action

Our cartoonist on the return of European club football’s premier competition (outside of the Anglo-Italian Cup)

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Sun, 16 Sep 2018 20:10:56 GMT
The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Your weekend round-up of the best photography from England’s top flight

The Dozen archive

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Wed, 12 Sep 2018 09:06:17 GMT
What is the longest a team has gone without being awarded a penalty? | The Knowledge

Plus: fans banning their team’s kit, the most home grounds used in a season and more. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

@TheKnowledge_GU Leeds haven't had a penalty awarded in their favour in 44 league games, back to home game v Reading last season - is that a record?

It’s not even a Yorkshire record. “My team Sheffield United beat it in 1991 and 1992,” says Darren White. “United were awarded a penalty on 23 March 1991 at Wimbledon and didn’t get another one until the first ever Premier League game – at home to Manchester United – on Aug 1992. That’s 50 games without a penalty. Incidentally, Brian Deane scored both.”

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Thu, 06 Sep 2018 09:15:29 GMT
College football brilliance, an Alastair Cook tribute and handball mayhem | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Muzzy Izzet, ‘The Ocho’ and Roger Federer still being an absolute boss

1) The college football season is under way Stateside – here are 10 of the opening weekend’s finest plays, topped by a ridiculous one-handed catch from Texas Tech’s TJ Vasher. There was more monodextrous magic from Washington’s Quinten Pounds against Auburn, and Miami’s Jeff Thomas – although there wasn’t much else to shout about for fans of ‘The U’ in the defeat to LSU. Elsewhere, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa was on fire against Louisville, and Toledo scored a punt-return touchdown with a difference against Virginia Military Institute.

2) Alastair Cook announced his retirement from Test cricket this week and bows out as one of England’s greatest ever batsman. Here he is in 2016, talking to Wisden about his favourite innings, whilst his only Test wicket came against India back in 2014. Despite his international career stalling somewhat, there have still been recent moments of genius, such as his record-breaking 244* at the MCG last December – Cricket Australia have been kind enough to upload these highlights. More time, then, for farming and Essex CCC. Farewell Chef, and thanks for the memories.

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Thu, 16 Aug 2018 09:57:42 GMT
The Joy of Six: footballers who can take or leave football | Nick Miller

Some players are happy to live their lives and not let careers on the pitch dominate their existence. Here are a few of them

Of all the players who seemed to play football with a passion and joie de vivre, Batistuta seemed among the most passionate and joiest de vivrest. Those lusty shots, those screaming celebrations, those goals. But, it seems, he wasn’t especially keen on football. “I do not like football, it is just my profession,” he once said in an interview with Argentinian TV.

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Fri, 06 Jul 2018 09:11:03 GMT
The Joy of Six: World Cup goal celebrations

From Roger Milla’s hips to a human Slinky, half a dozen joyful celebrations from the festival of football

Want to feel old? Bebeto’s third son Mattheus Oliviera, the celebration’s subject, recently turned 23, and has signed for Sporting Lisbon. Back to 1994, an hour gone, and from a wayward header Bebeto embarrassed the entire Dutch back-four, caught waiting for an offside flag that never came. Running unimpeded through on goal, he rounded Ed de Goey with a touch both deft and impetuous, before slotting into the empty net. Like your dad at a family barbecue, Bebeto started to laugh at his own joke before the punchline, heading towards the corner flag with a giddy grin plastered on his face. Shaping his arms into a cradle, he began to rock the proverbial baby, before being joined by team-mates Mazinho and Rom


Fri, 14 Sep 2018 10:14:12 GMT
Nwankwo Kanu: ‘We have saved 542 lives. This means more than football’
The former Arsenal striker on how his heart problem inspired him to set up a foundation and why clubs should do more to monitor their players’ health

Nwankwo Kanu remembers the shouting, the confusion and the overriding sense of desperation. A woman had brought her gravely ill daughter to him, feeling she had nowhere else to turn, and now she was begging him to save the child’s life. Then the little girl collapsed. “We had to pick her up and run to the hospital,” Kanu says. “Thank God she didn’t die.”

Related: Nwankwo Kanu: Street dreams are made of this

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