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This is a free service to help you find a football team in your local area. We cover football for toddlers, junior football, youth football, kids football, football for children, football for teenagers, boys football, girls football, disability, adult and veteran football teams.

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You can find a football team here for U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18, U19, U21, Adult and Veterans.

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Football News

» Transfer news LIVE: Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea latest and done deals
We are halfway through the January transfer window - and there are plenty of deals still to be done
» Arsenal transfer news: Gunners 'offered top target but cannot afford him'
Unai Emery has previously revealed that the Gunners would have to rely on loans during this window
» What Man Utd fans did that 'touched' David De Gea and may persuade him to stay
The goalkeeper is still yet to agree a new deal with the club, but seemingly wants to extend his stay at Old Trafford
» Man City stars De Bruyne and Aguero given selection warning after Wolves win
Influential duo Aguero and De Bruyne began Wolves stroll on the bench — and City now have the depth to keep them there
» Nathan Redmond hailed by Southampton boss for making big change in his game
Southampton host Derby in Wednesday's FA Cup replay with star Redmond playing more for the team than himself
» Frank Lampard reveals what Derby must do to produce more Cup glory
Frank Lampard has masterminded a famous Carabao Cup win at Manchester United and now wants Saints' scalp in FA Cup
» David De Gea pays brilliantly classy tribute to retiring Petr Cech
The Manchester United goalkeeper was quick to salute the Czech veteran, who will retire from football at the end of the season
» Neymar transfer: Barcelona respond to reports PSG star wants return
The Brazil star left the Nou Camp for Paris Saint-Germain two years ago in a £200million move
» Jurgen Klopp's plan to make Liverpool STRONGER in Trent Alexander-Arnold's absence
The young full-back will be out for the next three games as Liverpool ramp up their title challenge
» Cristhian Stuani responds to Barcelona transfer rumours
Cristhian Stuani breaks silence amid Barcelona transfer rumours
» Harry Kane injury: Tottenham's options after losing star until March
Terrible timing of injury it's feared could cost Kane ELEVEN games may force Tottenham to buy a striker this month
» Arsenal fans identify who is REALLY responsible for Sven Mislintat mess
The future of the club's head of recruitment is in serious doubt
» How Virgil van Dijk has transformed Liverpool in his first year
Some felt Liverpool were mad to make Van Dijk the world's costliest defender last January but there are a raft of stats showing his huge effect on their previously shaky back-line
» Petr Cech retirement stuns Arsenal great because "he's as good as Bernd Leno"
Former Gunners goalkeeper Bob Wilson was stunned by the 36-year-old's decision to call it a day at the end of the current campaign
» Gonzalo Higuain transfer: AC Milan boss provides update on Chelsea move
Higuain - who is on loan at Milan from Juventus - has emerged as Chelsea's No.1 transfer target
» Alvaro Morata transfer: Sevilla give up on Chelsea striker
The Spanish striker looks set to leave Chelsea this month - but he won't be going to Sevilla
» Horror as football player gets struck by lightning during match in Brazil
Agua Santa defender Henrique had a lucky escape despite being struck by lightening during an under-20s match in Sao Paulo
» Harry Kane's message for Tottenham fans afer injury blow
The Tottenham and England striker will be out until March with an ankle injury
» James Rodriguez 'could join Arsenal for £3m' as Real Madrid star considers exit
The forward has spent the last 18 months on loan at Bayern Munich and his future is uncertain
» Ryan Babel joins Fulham on deal until the end of the season
The former Liverpool attacker returns to English football after eight years away
» Jamie Carragher explains why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has proven everyone wrong
Manchester United have won six games out of six since the Norwegian took over from Jose Mourinho
» Liverpool training: 7 things we spotted as Reds prepared for Crystal Palace
The Reds will again look to extend their lead back to seven points as they return to Anfield for the first time since 2019
» Leeds spying row takes new twist as EFL begins its official investigation
Leeds' "alleged actions appear to contravene the clubs’ charter that all EFL clubs agreed to in summer 2018"
» Marouane Fellaini closes in on Man Utd exit with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer open to January transfer
EXCLUSIVE: The Belgian only signed a new two-year deal last summer but United will let him leave this month for around £15m
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Other sport news:

» Arsenal's post-Wenger plans in tatters with Sven Mislintat set to leave club

• Mislintat’s chances of move to technical director had slimmed
• German feared role would become that of glorified chief scout

Arsenal’s grand plans to restructure post-Arsène Wenger have begun to splinter with Sven Mislintat, brought in as head of recruitment, set to leave after feeling his position has become untenable.

The German, whose ideas in the sphere of spotting and developing talent are highly regarded in European football, was initially appointed in November 2017 by Ivan Gazidis, with the idea that his role would evolve into that of a technical director as the club aimed to refresh its operation once they moved on from the Wenger era.

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» Manchester City refuse to give Uefa any comment on FFP allegations

• Club argues claims are based on ‘hacked or stolen’ emails
• Uefa wrote to City inviting comment before Christmas

Manchester City have refused to give Uefa any comment on allegations that they breached financial fair play regulations and misled the governing body because the club argues the claims were based on “hacked or stolen” emails.

The Uefa committee responsible for FFP wrote to City before Christmas inviting comment on allegations reported in the German magazine Der Spiegel that the club’s declarations in 2013-15 were “a web of lies”.

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» Newcastle see off Blackburn with Joselu and Ayoze Pérez extra-time flourish

In word and deed Rafael Benítez gives the impression the FA Cup is a competition Newcastle can do without. His players’ commitment to victory at Blackburn suggested otherwise. The Premier League strugglers lost a two goal lead and two central defenders to injury before securing their place in round four with a spirited, clinical performance at Ewood Park.

Newcastle were taken to extra time – an exertion both managers would rather have avoided – by Tony Mowbray’s determined Championship side as Adam Armstrong and Darragh Lenihan cancelled out an early advantage provided by two academy graduates. The visitors then lost Ciaran Clark plus his replacement, Jamaal Lascelles, to injury before extra-time goals from Joselu and Ayoze Pérez brought merited reward plus a welcome shot of confidence.

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» Tottenham lose Harry Kane until March due to ankle ligament injury
• Striker sustained injury in defeat by Manchester United
• He will miss games against Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund

Tottenham Hotspur’s worst fears have been realised after a scan on Harry Kane’s left ankle confirmed he sustained ligament damage during the defeat by Manchester United. The England captain is not expected even to resume training until early March.

The striker had hobbled away from Wembley on Sunday after hurting the joint in a challenge with Phil Jones towards the end of the 1-0 loss and, while he had initially conceded he would miss at least a month in rehabilitation, medical tests on the ankle suggest his absence will extend further.

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» Henry and Vieira put aside friendship for first meeting as managers | Nick Ames

Derby on the Riviera between Henry’s Monaco and Vieira’s Nice will be special for the former Arsenal and France teammates

When Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira met in London over Christmas, using a short break in the Ligue 1 schedule to take coffee in the way they always have, both men knew they have to pick their moments carefully nowadays. One of modern football’s powerhouse friendships, an awesome concentration of sheer accomplishment, must be put on hold twice a year from now on and on Wednesday they will discover how that feels. The 108th Derby de la Côte d’Azur is a significant staging post in their careers and, while their bond is rooted in years of success on the pitch, a sense of mutual adversity colours their first encounter as managers of Monaco and Nice.

“We’re both really excited about it,” Vieira said on Tuesday, capturing the sentiment of last month’s chit-chat. But he allowed himself a smile when the notion of feeling sympathy with Henry, whose Monaco side sit second from bottom, was offered. Vieira’s spell at Nice has begun in stately fashion but his feeling of serenity was interrupted last week when Jean-Pierre Rivère and Julien Fournier – the club’s president and general manager respectively, both credited with his appointment – announced their impending departures. The reason given was “divergences” with Nice’s Sino-American owners and, with the team looking to push on from eighth place, the timing could hardly have been worse.

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» Petr Cech’s trophy-strewn career the result of enduring excellence | Dominic Fifield
Cech, who will retire this summer, won every major honour with Chelsea and Arsenal, with the highlights being the Premier League and Champions League

It feels appropriate to start with that night at the Allianz Arena almost seven years ago when, one by one, players of considerable reputation in Bayern Munich’s ranks withered in Petr Cech’s presence. Six different opponents strode up to take a penalty and, on each occasion, the Chelsea goalkeeper dived the right way. The three saves he conjured would effectively secure his club’s first European Cup.

Cech, like his victorious teammates, did not sleep much after that giddy triumph in Bavaria with the celebrations rightly raucous and prolonged. But, on the morning after the night before, he offered an insight into the scale of the planning which had made that success possible. In his possession, as he sat in a small meeting room at the team hotel, was a two-hour DVD detailing every penalty Bayern had been awarded over the previous five years. He and his confidante, the goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon, had studied each in meticulous detail, learning the takers’ habits and routines. He knew what was coming.

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» Transfer roundup: Valencia want Javier Hernández and Fulham sign Ryan Babel
• Striker keen to join Spanish club from West Ham
• Crystal Palace set to sign goalkeeper Lucas Perri

Javier Hernández is wanted by Valencia and is keen to join the Spanish club but West Ham will not allow him to leave unless they can bring in another striker.

Valencia want a loan deal for Hernández, whereas West Ham would prefer a sale – if they do business at all. They are facing the possibility of losing another forward, Marko Arnautovic, to an unnamed Chinese club, and regard Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson as his ideal replacement.

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» Hillsborough police chief guilty of 'extraordinarily bad' failures, court told

Prosecution says David Duckenfield breached duty of care to spectators

The South Yorkshire police officer in charge of the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1989 was responsible for “extraordinarily bad” failures that were “a substantial cause” of the crush on the Leppings Lane terrace that killed 96 people, a court has been told.

Opening the prosecution’s case against David Duckenfield for manslaughter by gross negligence, Richard Matthews QC told the jury: “David Duckenfield’s criminal responsibility for the deaths ... flows from his gross failure to discharge his personal responsibility as match commander.”

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» Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues

All the latest deals and club-by-club guides for the top divisions in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany

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» David Squires on … football spying and Neil Warnock's Brexit views

Our cartoonist looks at the off-field stories dominating the headlines at Leeds, Derby, Cardiff … and Newcastle

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» ‘Football has no gender or religion’: Annie Zaidi’s journey into coaching | Suzanne Wrack

Solihull Moors Ladies’ head coach on how years of abuse could not quash her love for the game and how she owes her career to that fearlessness and Les Ferdinand

‘I still have to pinch myself. Head coach. Ladies’ first team. At a club with so much credibility.” You can hear the giddy excitement in Annie Zaidi’s voice. The new head coach of Solihull Moors Ladies, who play in Division One Midlands of the Women’s National League, has worked hard for this opportunity – harder than most have to because the 34-year-old is not only a woman working in a profession dominated by men but has also had to battle racial and religious stereotyping and abuse as a Pakistani Muslim.

She strives to avoid being defined by those labels, craving the day when her talent is all anyone notices. Widely known as “Coach Annie”, Zaidi has been working with Solihull’s boys’ youth teams since 2017.

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» Football League launches investigation into Leeds spying on Derby training
• EFL starts inquiry after Bielsa admits spying on opponents
• Leeds have apologised for the actions of their manager

The EFL has launched a formal investigation into the Leeds spying row. The Leeds manager, Marcelo Bielsa, admitted before Friday night’s 2-0 win over Derby that he was responsible for sending a member of club staff to watch the Rams training on Thursday.

Derbyshire Police were forced to intervene and move the individual on but he was not arrested. Leeds have since apologised to Derby and said they will remind Bielsa of his responsibilities. Bielsa insisted the practice was not unlawful or illegal, but he could still fall foul of EFL regulations which state clubs must behave towards each other in good faith.

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» Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold out for up to month with knee injury
• Right-back hurt at Brighton but played full 90 minutes
• Milner or Fabinho could fill in with Clyne out on loan

Liverpool have suffered another defensive injury setback with Trent Alexander-Arnold facing up to a month on the sidelines with a knee problem.

The 20-year-old sustained the injury during the warm-up at Brighton on Saturday. He was able to play the full 90 minutes of Liverpool’s 1-0 win but tests have revealed a minor ligament issue that is likely to rule out the right-back for around four weeks.

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» ‘Do your duty’: Boreham Wood FC demand MPs sort out Brexit
• National League side issue extraordinary 1,450-word statement
• Club hit out at Neville Chamberlain and back a ‘NO DEAL’ Brexit

The National League side Boreham Wood called on MPs to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal and immediately begin working “night and day” towards a better one in an unlikely intervention into the debate over Great Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.

Just hours before the House of Commons voted on the prime minister’s long-standing deal to exit the EU, a statement appeared on Boreham Wood’s official website entitled “MPs Do Your Duty”. Running to over 1,450 words and signed by no one in particular, it reads like the type of call-to-arms that Neil Warnock would absolutely love.

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» Tom Rogic late show hauls Socceroos past Syria into Asian Cup last 16
  • Australia 3-2 Syria
  • Mabil 41, Ikonomidis 54, Rogic 90; Khrbin 43, Al-Somah 80 pen

Tom Rogic scored deep into injury-time to ensure the Socceroos emerged from a nervy game against Syria with the win they needed to progress from Group B in second place.

Australia were ahead after 41 minutes when a terrific decoy run from the industrious Rhyan Grant created just enough space for Awer Mabil to lash a perfect curled effort past the outstretched Ibrahim Alma and into the top corner.

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» Chelsea face partial stadium closure over alleged racist chanting by fans

• Uefa open disciplinary proceedings in regards to Vidi incident
• Guilty verdict could reduce crowd at European home match

Chelsea face the partial closure of Stamford Bridge in the Europa League after Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings over allegations that their travelling supporters engaged in racist chanting during the draw at Vidi last month.

The governing body announced on Tuesday that, based on the report submitted by their ethics and disciplinary inspector who had investigated incidents at the fixture in Budapest, proceedings had been instigated against Chelsea. Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body will deal with the case at its next meeting, on 28 February.

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» Martin O’Neill confirmed as new manager of Nottingham Forest

• Former Forest player replaces Aitor Karanka in job
• First game likely to be against Bristol City on Saturday

Nottingham Forest have named Martin O’Neill as their new manager.

The 66-year-old, a former Forest player who won two European Cups at the City Ground, replaces Aitor Karanka in the job after the Spaniard’s departure last week.

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» Sven-Göran Eriksson: ‘I should have taken a mental coach to the 2006 World Cup’
The former England and current Philippines coach discusses a recent stint in Sweden’s fifth division, missing out at Manchester City, and his one regret in football

Sven-Göran Eriksson doesn’t really do regrets. The Swede has had an extraordinary career – and it is still going – having managed 16 teams in eight different countries but, he says on a sunny day in Abu Dhabi, there are not many things he would have done differently over the past 42 years.

Not a single one? “Well …” the current Philippines coach says when we meet at a swish hotel next to the Zayed Sports City Stadium in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. “Maybe one then … and that would be that last World Cup.”

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» David Wagner can hold head high after end of Huddersfield love affair | Barry Glendenning
The German will not struggle to find another job given the miracles he produced at the John Smith’s Stadium

When football clubs and their managers part by “mutual consent” the consent is invariably a lot more mutual on the part of one side than the other. Social media being as it is, it came as little or no surprise when the reaction of many Huddersfield Town fans and neutrals to Monday’s announcement by the club’s Twitter account that David Wagner and the club had severed ties in just such a fashion was one of mouth-foaming outrage based on the incorrect assumption the German had been fired.

For those who actually took the time to read the accompanying statement, it was soon clear the agreement on this parting of the ways seemed genuinely reciprocal. The conversation that ultimately led to his departure was initiated by Wagner, who offered to stand down at the end of the season citing his need for a break “from the rigours of football management”. It was eventually decided between the hierarchy and manager that it would be best for the club if he left immediately. Now they find themselves marooned at the bottom of the Premier League without the man who masterminded their unlikely passage to the top tier. One of top-flight football’s few genuinely warm and gloopy romances has come to an amicable but ultimately sad end.

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» Aaron Ramsey will follow in the footsteps of greatness by moving to Juventus | Richard Williams
Legendary status earned by John Charles in Turin is proof that the Welsh playmaker can still make up for time lost at Arsenal

There may be no second acts in American lives, as F Scott Fitzgerald once claimed, but a footballer’s can sometimes stretch to a third. Aaron Ramsey’s first act opened in 2007, when he made his debut for Cardiff City at the age of 16, as the club’s youngest ever player. His second began in the summer of 2008, when he signed with Arsenal for £4.8m. This summer’s anticipated move will give him the chance, at 28, to make another new beginning.

Midway through his second season in north London he was looking like one of Arsène Wenger’s better ideas, when a challenge from Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross broke the tibia and fibula of his right leg. His recovery and rehabilitation, involving loans to Championship clubs while regaining his fitness, cost him a year.

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» 'Vooooooosh': Iñaki Williams and a run like nobody has run before | Sid Lowe

The Athletic Bilbao forward is not a prolific scorer but, against Sevilla, his incredible sprint and finish astonished San Mamés

When the ball came to Iñaki Williams and he spun, turning it sharply around Sergi Gómez and into the centre circle, a single thought and word occurred to everyone inside San Mamés, Iñaki included: Run! And so he ran. He ran like no one they’d ever seen run before: faster and faster until somehow, eight seconds later and 70 metres away, he was standing before them roaring, and Athletic were 2-0 up with five minutes left, Sevilla beaten. All around they went wild, as breathless as he was.

Related: 'All guilty': Marseille fans spell out their anger at players, coach and club

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» Phil Masinga: South Africa striker who made Premier League history with Leeds | Ed Aarons
Phil Masinga, who has died at the age of 49, was the first black South African player to play in the Premier League

Two decades later Phil Masinga had not forgotten the advice Howard Wilkinson gave him on his first day at Leeds United, in the summer of 1994. “He told me not be scared of anyone,” recalled Masinga when we spoke for the last time at the end of 2015. “Howard said I was as good as everyone else and told me just to do my best because I was capable of being a top player. Gordon Strachan was very friendly and tried hard to make us feel comfortable. He’s the one who helped me open a bank account.”

Born and raised in the township of Khuma, outside Klerksdorp in South Africa’s remote North West Province, Masinga – whose death from cancer at the age of 49 was announced over the weekend – starred as a striker for Jomo Cosmos and Mamelodi Sundowns in his homeland before being brought to Elland Road after turning down Sir Bobby Robson’s overtures at Sporting Lisbon. As part of the £250,000 deal, the defender Lucas Radebe also signed for Leeds, although “Chippa” arrived three weeks before his compatriot “Rhoo” and settled in far quicker than the man who went on to become one of the club’s greatest icons.

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» Thierry Henry won't like Patrick Vieira for a 'little bit' during Monaco v Nice – video

Monaco head coach Thierry Henry has joked that he and former teammate Patrick Vieira 'won't like each other for a little bit' when the Ligue-1 strugglers play Nice on 16 January.

Henry played alongside Vieira, who now manages eighth-place Nice, for Arsenal from 1999 to 2005, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups along the way. The pair also lifted the World Cup together with France in 1998.

'We played with each other, battled with each other, in the national team and with Arsenal. But, it's going to be Monaco versus Nice. That's the most important thing,' Henry told the media ahead of the match at the Stade Louis II 

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» Solskjær praises De Gea's heroics and Manchester United's 'blistering pace' after Spurs win – video

Ole Gunnar Solskjær lauded David de Gea after a breathtaking display at Tottenham that underlined to the Manchester United caretaker manager that he has the 'best goalkeeper in the world'. 

Marcus Rashford's sublime first-half strike sealed a 1-0 win against Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs and extended Solskjær's winning start to a club-record sixth successive match in all competitions, but the main subject of conversation afterwards was De Gea. 

After a quiet opening period, the United goalkeeper pulled off 11 saves in an exceptional second-half display to earn plaudits aplenty. 

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» Mauricio Pochettino 'worried' about Harry Kane injury in Manchester United defeat – video

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he is ‘worried’ about the extent of Harry Kane’s ankle injury, which the striker suffered during Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Wembley.

The England captain was injured at the end of the match after being caught in the middle of Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof. Any lengthy absence for Kane would leave Spurs short of attacking options, with Son Heung-min going away on international duty, Lucas Moura still injured himself and Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen expected to leave the club this month.

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» 'To hell with the rest of the world': Neil Warnock attacks government's handling of Brexit - video

Neil Warnock has used a post-match press conference to attack the government's handling of Brexit negotiations - insisting a clean exit form the EU will be better for Britain 'football-wise', and 'in every aspect'

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» 'I need a player for that position': Sarri asks Chelsea for Fàbregas replacement - video

Maurizio Sarri insisted that Chelsea need a replacement for Cesc Fàbregas after his side's 2-1 Premier League victory over Newcastle on Saturday. Central midfielder Fàbregas joined Monaco on Friday, leaving Jorginho as the only player Sarri considers capable of playing the pivot position in his preferred formation.

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» Klopp praises 'most mature' Liverpool performance after Brighton win – video

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp praised his players' mentality after their 1-0 victory over Brighton.

A Mohamed Salah penalty was the difference between the two sides, restoring Liverpool's seven-point lead at the top of the table. 

Klopp was satisfied with his team's "mature" response to back-to-back losses against Manchester City in the Premier League and Wolves in the FA Cup

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» Refereeing decisions blight wild match as Socceroos advance | Scott McIntyre

The official played a part but, inspired by Tom Rogic, Australia were deserving winners over Syria

In the middle of 2018 an influential Saudi royal adviser bought an unheralded Egyptian football club, renamed it Pyramids FC and then proceeded to create a new club logo dominated by a sphinx rather than any actual pyramids.

Amongst the tens of millions that Turki Al-Sheikh spent was the signing of Syrian defender Omar Midani and if the 24-year-old is confused by his new club’s identity he was even more dumfounded after playing a crucial part in a wild match that saw Australia progress to the round of 16 at the Asian Cup.

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» 'All guilty': Marseille fans spell out their anger at players, coach and club

Marseille are without a win in eight games after their dispiriting 1-1 draw at home to Monaco

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

Marseille’s recent travails continued at the Vélodrome on Sunday during and after their disappointing 1-1 draw with Monaco. The game not only underscored issues in terms of their squad building, but also their fans’ heightened level of dissatisfaction. Marseille’s failure to invest in the summer has left the club lacking depth, at least in the opinion of their manager Rudi Garcia.

Not for the first time this season, Garcia picked Luiz Gustavo in central defence. This had been a matter of necessity in the past, as Rolando had been unavailable, but on Sunday Adil Rami sat on the bench while Luiz Gustavo partnered Rolando. Quite apart from what that says about Garcia’s confidence in his defenders, it also robbed the hosts of having their best midfielder playing in his preferred position.

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» 'We need to talk about this': Markus Babbel lashes 'blind' FFA on refereeing
  • Wanderers fall to late Glory winner in 4-3 thriller
  • Controversial penalty scored by Perth’s Juande

Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel has criticised the quality of refereeing in the A-League, saying Football Federation Australia are “blind” if they can’t see there is a problem. Babbel was left fuming after his side suffered a 4-3 loss to Perth Glory on Sunday following a soft penalty decision in the dying minutes.

Referee Kurt Ams pointed to the spot in the 86th minute after judging that Glory striker Andy Keogh had been held by Wanderers defender Brendan Hamill. But replays showed Keogh initially had an arm around Hamill as well while he was backing into the Wanderers defender.

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» Supercoppa controversy rages over Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women
Protests over the decision to hold the Italian Super Cup in Jeddah have grown since murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October

When, early last June, the Italian football league agreed a €20m deal to play three of the next five Italian super cups in Saudi Arabia, it provoked very little controversy. This is, after all, a trophy that has frequently been decided on foreign soil, sometimes in quite unlikely locations.

In 2002, the year that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi bought 6.4m shares in Juventus, the Supercoppa brought the Turin side to play Parma in Tripoli. Since then the match has been hosted once by the United States, twice by Qatar and four times by China. Wednesday’s game between Milan and Juve in Jeddah will be the sixth time in 10 years that the Supercoppa has been decided outside Europe.

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» Shay Evans: the groundbreaking Indigenous footballer unafraid to push back | Michael McGowan

From playing barefoot in a remote Northern Territory town to Sydney FC, the 17-year-old’s journey has been remarkable

When Shadeene “Shay” Evans made her W-League debut on Thursday night it marked another step in the career of a footballer long touted as one of Australia’s brightest prospects. The 17-year-old striker’s 82nd minute introduction in Sydney FC’s 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Leichhardt Oval was just reward for a player who has developed a reputation among her teammates as a “fighter” with a fierce competitive streak.

“I think back home, competing against the boys, I reckon it comes from that,” she tells Guardian Australia. “The boys up there are pretty rough with everyone and I reckon I just thought, if they give me a push why not give them a push back. But I’ve always been competitive and rough and tough. When I’m training, in the games. Even going out hunting and stuff, chasing goannas, things like that, I always want to give it my best.”

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» Mabil and Maclaren put Australia on course for Asian Cup win over Palestine
  • Palestine 0-3 Australia
  • Socceroos’ qualification chances remain alive after victory

While tougher challenges lie ahead, the Socceroos answered some of the questions being posed of their quality as they produced a scintillating performance to beat Palestine 3-0 in front of 11,915 fans in Dubai.

A first-half one-two punch from the Australians did the bulk of the damage. The opener came in the 18th minute as a delightfully weighted cross from Chris Ikonomidis found Jamie Maclaren in between two defenders. Maclaren glanced a header into the far corner to score his first goal for his country.

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» David Squires on ... the first week of the 2019 Asian Cup

Our cartoonist reflects on events in the UAE and a far from ideal opening to the Socceroos’ title defence

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» Australian relief palpable as Socceroos' Asian Cup defence gets back on course | Scott McIntyre

Graham Arnold’s changes have desired effect against limited Palestine side in Dubai

The sight of Mat Ryan – before he donned an AFC branded cap for the second half that made him look like a weekend golfer – running the length of the pitch to celebrate Australia’s first goal in a 3-0 win over Palestine said it all.

The relief of Australia’s first goal at the tournament, coming in the 18th minute, and the first of Jamie Maclaren’s international career was a huge release of the pressure that had been building from the opening Asian Cup loss to Jordan.

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» Egypt wins right to clean up another avoidable Africa Cup of Nations mess | Nick Ames

Football-mad fans and the presence of Mohamed Salah can revive flagging tournament but for the fourth time in a row the original hosts – this time Cameroon – have had to be replaced

Six weeks ago the notion that Egypt might host this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations had barely passed anyone’s lips. Yet Tuesday’s overwhelming decision by the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee has conferred on them that responsibility and it marks the end of a chaotic process that, quite aside from the logistical blundering that has brought about this situation, leaves the continent once again asking itself broader questions.

Egypt’s candidacy was approved by a vote of 16 to one, with one abstention, a rival South African bid having failed to get off the ground because of inadequate financial commitments. The process was hurried through after Cameroon were stripped of hosting rights on 30 November; an initial reaction is that Caf has stumbled upon the best possible sticking plaster for a bad job but there is little merit in its flair for sailing close to the wind.

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» Mysterious death of Kit Carson leaves too many questions unanswered | Daniel Taylor

Alleged victims may never get the answers they seek about former coach who was set to face trial for child abuse

Of all the many unanswered questions, there is one that leaps out in particular: why, 15 minutes before he was due to start the first day of his trial for multiple child-abuse charges, was the former football coach Kit Carson driving on a country road 45 miles from where he was supposed to be?

The difficult truth is that his alleged victims may never get the answers they seek about why, rather than taking his place in the dock at Peterborough crown court, he was behind the wheel of his red Mazda on the A1303 between Cambridge and Newmarket and, for reasons as yet unexplained, driving in completely the wrong direction.

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» Farewell to Cesc Fàbregas, the conjuror, creator and tempo dictator | Sean Ingle

Whether for Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona or Spain, at his peak the midfielder was the supreme master of the assist

After Cesc Fàbregas had uttered his fond farewells to Chelsea on Friday night, the club’s social media team posted a collection of his greatest assists. Most were 40- or 50-yard passes, launched from within his own half. Yet whether the ball was caressed or caned, sent skyward or scuttling along the ground, it always landed precisely on the foot of a teammate. It provoked the same quiet awe as seeing a major golf winner repeatedly hit a flop wedge to within four feet of the flag, no matter how dicey the approach, or dangerous the lie.

That, I think, is how the Premier League will remember the Spaniard. Sitting deep, unlocking defences, redefining the art of the assist. Yet at his peak, somewhere in his early to mid 20s, Fàbregas was much more than that. Not only a conjuror but a conductor too, able to dictate the tempo and flow of a game as well as change it in an instant – and also buzzy enough to get around the pitch and in opponent’s faces.

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» Can Franck Ribéry not have his gold-leaf steak and eat it? | Barney Ronay

The Bayern Munich forward has been vilified for his display of wealth in Dubai but that ire would be better directed at the excesses of the game rather than those who play it

In his book This One’s On Me Jimmy Greaves describes the pre-match meals of his playing days in the 1960s. At West Ham it was all down to Moody’s cafe for a full roast dinner and apple crumble for pudding. As an England player Greaves records, with some reverence, the pre-match habits of Gordon Banks, who in line with the sports science of the day would prepare himself for a game with a huge steak served with both boiled and roast potatoes, all washed down with “a large bowl of rice pudding”.

Looking back now it is probably a good thing social media wasn’t around in the mid-60s. It isn’t hard to imagine the wider response to such wanton displays of starch-based excess. Banks Flaunts Roast Riches. Soccer Ace in Boiled AND Roasted Shame. Potato Bae: Gloveman Rocked By Double-Spud storm.

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» The Fiver | Cech, mate

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Unlike say, a certain couple of Fulham players, it is difficult to imagine Petr Cech ever clashing with a teammate during a yoga class. While it is easy to imagine the Arsenal keeper trying somebody’s nerves by complimenting them excessively on their Downward Facing Dog, repeatedly offering them drinks from his water bottle or accidentally treading on their velvet slings, the prospect of actually coming to blows with one of football’s nicest men in any environment seems so implausible as to be utterly beyond the realms of possibility. Google “Petr Cech” and “controversy” and one of very few occasions in which the 36-year-old appears to have lost his cool in a senior career spanning almost 20 years was when he cut loose at the end of a game and gave referee Mike Dean both barrels. Which doesn’t really count because it was referee Mike Dean, a fabled attention-seeker who probably deserved both barrels.

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» Football transfer rumours: Tottenham to bring in Malcom from Barcelona?

Today’s tell-all is on the case

Chelsea hog the headlines in this roundup of all the transfer news that’s fit to print and – presumably – more that isn’t. The sound of the jungle drums emanating from Stamford Bridge suggest Atlético Madrid are in talks to bring Álvaro Morata back to the club where he began his career as a whey-faced 13-year-old, before moving on to Getafe and Real Madrid. Unwanted by Chelsea just two largely underwhelming seasons after his record £70m arrival, the 26-year-old could be on his way back to the Spanish capital despite recent rumours suggesting he was more likely to be off to Barcelona or Sevilla.

Related: Crystal Palace set to sign Lucas Perri from São Paulo amid goalkeeper crisis

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action

Manchester City go top after Chelsea blow the title race wide open with victory over threadbare Arsenal

Make no mistake, the title race is wide open now. Chelsea were scintillating at Arsenal and Emma Hayes should be lauded for getting her tactics spot-on. They pressed a makeshift Arsenal backline with real ferocity, defending tirelessly from the front and forcing the home side into a first half full of errors. The energy of Beth England, Karen Carney and Erin Cuthbert, who scored their two goals, was fundamental to their approach. It was evident from the opening minutes that Chelsea, who have not lost since going down 5-0 at home to Arsenal on 14 October, were the team with the momentum and that they were attacking something of a wounded animal. The resources on their bench, which was full of seasoned internationals like Fran Kirby and Anita Asante, are astonishing and they are beginning to reap the rewards of the investment they made to bolster last season’s squad. This was their seventh successive league win and they are gunning for honours in all four major competitions. In this form, and with the belief palpably oozing from them, you would not bet against them achieving something special.

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» The forgotten story of … Di Jones and the footballers who died of tetanus

The infection was a serious threat to British players in the years before a vaccination was introduced, claiming several lives, including that of the Manchester City full-back in 1902

In the past five recorded years, there have been 29 confirmed cases of tetanus in England and Wales and two fatalities, both women in their 80s. Vaccination has been so successful that the vicious, fatal effect of the infection has been forgotten.

But before a vaccination was introduced in the UK in 1961 tetanus was startlingly common and, as it is possible for even the most trivial wound to lead to infection, it made almost any activity potentially fatal. To give a few British-based examples: in 1923 a seven-year-old died after hurting his hand on a toy pistol; in 1927 a farmer died after falling over a pig; the previous year a 62-year-old woman died after scraping her elbow while picking peas; and in August 1899 a man died from an injury sustained while playing the leisurely garden game of quoits. His was the fourth death from tetanus in Kent that week.

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» The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

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» The Fiver | A lament about the EU that might well have been entitled You Lost, Get Over It

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Traditionally more famous for his rants about referees than referendums, Neil Warnock has cut an uncharacteristically chilled out figure since securing promotion to the Premier League with Cardiff City last season. Having spent the past five months wandering from ground to ground openly marvelling at the how big and shiny and expensive everything seems, the 70-year-old has recently gone all Old Man Yells At Cloud – first with Nathaniel Clyne and then in a post-match lament about the European Union that might well have been entitled You Lost, Get Over It.

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» Has a goalkeeper ever been substituted for playing badly? | The Knowledge

Plus: a job lot of early substitutions, and more towns that can fit their whole populations (and more) into their football grounds. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Has a goalkeeper ever been substituted for not playing well enough?” wonders Mitch Mitchell.

Well, here’s a quick answer Mitch: yes, loads. “I’m sure scores of Leeds fans immediately thought of Paul Rachubka who was substituted at half-time in the 5-0 loss to Blackpool in 2011,” begins Jamie O’Hare, one of several to suggest this one. “Rachubka was not a great success at Leeds, he’d been signed that summer following his release from Blackpool. He didn’t play again for Leeds.”

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» The Dozen: the weekend’s best FA Cup photos

Your weekend round-up of the best photography from the FA Cup third round

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» Mauricio Pochettino should reject United and make history at Spurs | Eni Aluko

Why take on a rebuilding job in Manchester when he could win Tottenham the title for the first time in almost 60 years with a little help from the board?

Mauricio Pochettino knows he is the most coveted manager in football right now. I can only describe his comments this week about his future at Tottenham as a direct call for action to the club’s board following his show of loyalty. I understood Pochettino to be saying to them: “I have showed and I am showing my loyalty to you by batting away the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United, but now if you back me financially I want to stay for the next 20 years”.

Pochettino has been at Tottenham for five years, which is rare in modern football and yet has spent a lot less money than rivals clubs who challenge for the Premier League. Jürgen Klopp has turned Liverpool into real title contenders in only three years and has had to spend a lot of money to try to bridge the gap to Manchester City. But Klopp has also moulded that team in his own image, with an exciting brand of play which we have seen in abundance this season. Pochettino has done the same but how much of building a team to win the Premier League is down to having much more spending power versus a coach’s ability to change the playing style, tactical blueprint and perhaps most importantly the winning mentality of the team?

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» The best young players in the Championship this season

Tammy Abraham turned down a move to the Premier League this week. He is not the only youngster who could step up

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored

Tammy Abraham has already been offered a chance to play in the Premier League in this transfer window. He rejected a loan move to Wolves earlier this week in favour of staying with Aston Villa to help with their push for promotion. Not every player would turn down a Premier League club but his decision may prove wise. There’s little doubt the 21-year-old striker will be a Premier League player next season, wherever that may be, so his choice to stick with a side and system that play to his strengths is admirable. Abraham, who has two England caps, is the joint top scorer in the Championship this season with 16 goals in 20 appearances – and 12 of those goals have come in his last 10 games. Rating: 7.40

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» Sky-high mascot fees prove nothing is beneath Premier League profiteers | Richard Williams
Introducing a child to their heroes should be priceless. Sadly, a number of top clubs don’t know the meaning of the word

You can keep your prawn sandwiches, your camo-wrapped Bentleys and even the in-stadium fromagerie at the new White Hart Lane. The latest symbol of wretched excess in the world of the Premier League is the £700 charged by West Ham to the parents of the children who walk out of the tunnel alongside their players before a major home match.

What, you might have been forgiven for assuming, could be a better sign of the enduring connection between the top level of professional football and the innocent enthusiasm of children in the early stages of forming a bond with the game than the practice of inviting some of them to hold hands with players of worldwide renown and stratospheric earning power as they make their way on to the pitch? The players get some brief contact with the real world. For the children, there is a precious glimpse of the stadium from their heroes’ point of view, filled with noise and colour.

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» Next Generation 2018: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Lilian Thuram’s son to Real Madrid-bound Rodrygo and the ‘Croatian Neymar’, the Guardian picks 60 of the most talented players born in 2001. Check out the progress of our 2017 class | 2016 | 2015 | 2014


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» Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle: FA Cup third-round replay – as it happened

A much-changed Newcastle side survived injuries and a Blackburn fightback to earn a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after extra time

And with that, I’m gone. Bye! Here’s Andy Hunter’s match report:

Related: Newcastle see off Blackburn with Joselue and Ayoze Pérez extra-time flourish

Rafa Benitez has a chat with BT Sport:

It’s a big bonus for everyone. The players were working so hard. Really pleased with the effort of everyone. The main thing I said to everyone is everyone was on the pitch giving everything, giving 100%, fighting for each other. And they did it. To win fighting and scoring four goals is better for the confidence of the players. If you win you have more confidence for the net game. The main thing now is to get three point against Cardiff.

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