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Football News

» Liverpool's hectic six weeks in focus as Reds get injury boosts before crucial 13-game run
Jurgen Klopp's side are off the pace in the Premier League and face a fight to catch up with the early season pace-setters, with the next six weeks looking crucial to their season
» Two Man Utd stars set for biggest test yet ahead of Man City and Erling Haaland battle
The Red Devils travel to the Etihad to take on The Citizens in Sunday’s Manchester derby, with two players in particular set to prove exactly what they’re made of
» Laura Woods jumps to defence of Emma Jones after she hits out at online 'misogynists'
TalkSPORT's Laura Woods has defended her friend Emma Louise Jones who received backlash online after sharing a snap in a tight-fitted dress after hosting an awards show
» Chelsea to interview for sporting director role next week with four names in frame
EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly is making waves at Stamford Bridge with his changes following the club's takeover and he is now trying to line up another big appointment for his shake-up of the club
» Bologna chief disputes Man Utd’s claim over Marko Arnautovic transfer collapse
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag worked alongside Marko Arnautovic at FC Twente and was linked with bringing him to Old Trafford during the summer window
» Barcelona make Frenkie de Jong transfer U-turn as Man Utd consider two targets
Frenkie de Jong may be given a new role in Barcelona's midfield as the Catalan club look to rival Manchester United's interest in Wolves midfield ace Ruben Neves
» FIFA 23 Ones to Watch (OTW) promo confirmed start date and squad predictions
Latest FIFA 23 news from Mirror as the Ones to Watch promo in FIFA 23 is set to be shortened to fit other promos into the FIFA calendar
» Roberto Carlos explains why he would love to play with Man Utd star Fred
The Brazilian icon made quite the surprising claim when asked which of his fellow countryman currently playing he'd have most liked to line up alongside himself
» FIFA 23: Every club and national team on new game as 12 World Cup countries missing
Latest FIFA 23 news from Mirror as 12 countries that have qualified for the World Cup won't feature in FIFA 23
» Nottingham Forest warned "ridiculous" mistake gives rivals advantage in relegation battle
Nottingham Forest travel to Leicester City in what is poised to be a tasty East Midlands derby on Monday as 20th play 19th with both sides looking to pick up a much-needed win
» Paul Pogba convinced Donny van de Beek to leave Man Utd as his "disappointment" emerges
Donny van de Beek apparently became upset at Man United after midfielder Paul Pogba was picked to play ahead of him after allegedly turning up late for training
» Lionel Messi PSG transfer brought to top EU court as Barcelona make fresh return plea
Paris Saint-Germain's signing of Lionel Messi last summer following the expiration of his contract at Barcelona is to be heard in front of the General Court of the EU
» Dejan Kulusevski injury worry hands Arsenal huge boost ahead of North London derby
The Gunners are due to take on Spurs on Saturday and have been given an early advantage by their opposition following an injury to one of their star players
» Barrister earns £950k settlement in claim brought by group including Wayne Rooney
Former Manchester United star was among group of more than 100 complainants that launched £50m complaint against Mr Jonathan Peacock and insurers
» Erik ten Hag has already axed six Man Utd stars after last Man City humiliation
Manchester City battered Manchester United in the derby back in March but the new-look Red Devils will be looking to provide an upset after Erik ten Hag axed six big name players
» Kylian Mbappe and Neymar feud takes a new turn after Lionel Messi intervention
Paris Saint-Germain superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have jointly agreed not to discuss each other publicly in a new strategy in an attempt to quell their feud
» Arsenal dealt major injury blow with Emile Smith Rowe sidelined for two months
Emile Smith Rowe is ruled out until at least December following a difficult start to the season due to injuries and will now miss the chance to challenge for England's World Cup squad
» Chesterfield player arrested for alleged car park assault of Oldham star after match
Hallam Hope, 28, was allegedly attacked in a car park outside Boundary Park after a National League game on September 4
» Erik ten Hag draws up fresh Cody Gakpo transfer plan after Man Utd U-turn
Cody Gakpo looked like he was set to join Manchester United in the summer, but the move never materialised, however it seems as though Erik ten Hag is still keen on bringing him to Old Trafford
» Premier League injuries: Latest from all 20 clubs after international break
All 20 top flight clubs return to action this weekend but a number of stars across the Premier League could miss out after picking up injuries across the international break
» Goncalo Guedes opens up on "dream" transfer as Wolves star backs under-fire Bruno Lage
Wolves completed the signing of Goncalo Guedes from Valencia last month and the Portuguese midfielder has opened up about his "dream" Premier League move and differences to La Liga
» Neymar thanks Brazil's far-right president Jair Bolsonaro ahead of elections
Brazil's general election takes place on Sunday, as incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro of the far-right takes on ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the centre-left
» Cristiano Ronaldo Jr responds to dad's Man Utd exit plan with transfer pledge
Cristiano Ronaldo's son Cristiano Jr is keen for his father to call time on his career at Manchester United and return to Lisbon with his first club Sporting CP
» Barcelona eye another Man City star after missing out on No.1 Frenkie de Jong replacement
Ilkay Gundogan has been linked with a move to Barcelona with his Manchester City contract running out and the German international could be set to leave the club

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Other sport news:

» Knowing England’s luck we’ll win this depressing incarnation of the World Cup | Max Rushden

Tainted Qatar 2022 is unlikely to be won by Gareth Southgate’s side, but lose in the wrong manner and it could cost him his job

Nine years ago the then new chairman of the Football Association, Greg Dyke, spoke of his aims for England’s men’s football team. “I want to set the whole of English football two targets,” he said. “The first is for the England team to at least reach the semi-finals of the Euro Championship in 2020 and the second is for us to win the World Cup in 2022.”

So far better than expected, then – but one big step to come: win the blood-soaked, tainted World Cup in Qatar. It always seemed a ridiculous target on which to base any long-term success of the FA – get a dodgy decision in the semi-final and decades-old plans turn to dust.

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» Chelsea’s multi-club network chief made plans with Crystal Palace investor
  • Tom Glick worked on similar scheme with John Textor
  • Chelsea made late bid to buy Lyon after Textor agreed deal

Tom Glick, the executive tasked with helping Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly to establish a network of clubs around the world, spent several months working on similar plans with the Crystal Palace investor John Textor, the Guardian can reveal.

Glick, formerly the chief commercial officer for Manchester City’s owner, City Football Group (CFG), has been instructed by Boehly to take charge of Chelsea’s attempts to set up a multi-club network, which could lead to investment in Brazil, Belgium and Portugal, where Textor has held talks with Benfica and Porto over potentially buying large stakes.

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» My least favourite game: our writers pick out their worst football matches

A trip to the football can create lifelong memories – here are the games our writers remember for all the wrong reasons

The last train back from Hull to London leaves at about 6.20pm. Sitting in the KC Stadium media lounge on a chilly night, I was unaware of this. And so, despite a headlong dash to the station, I missed it. This was an age before hotels had been invented, and in any case I was new to this business and unwilling to test the company expense account. So I took a train to Doncaster, marched straight to the bus station, and waited. And waited some more. Until 4am in fact, when a National Express coach to London finally rolled in. I finally arrived home at 9am. The game? Hull 0-0 Blackburn. Phil Brown moaned about the referee. Sam Allardyce chastised one of his players for not going down in the area. I wrote 300 words. It’s a ridiculous job, really. Jonathan Liew

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» Under-pressure Premier League managers at mercy of owners’ whims | John Brewin

An international break can be a treacherous time for managers who are no longer the most important figures at their clubs

An international break can be a treacherous time for under-pressure club managers. Sackings were expected during the recent run of Nations League matches and friendlies. Even on the morning of the Queen’s funeral there was wide speculation that Steve Cooper would be relieved of his duties at Nottingham Forest. That the announcement had been delayed, suggested the rumour mill, was only out of respect for Her Majesty.

Cooper remains Forest’s manager and will lead his team into the return of the Premier League. On Monday, at Leicester, he will shake the hand of Brendan Rodgers, another manager WhatsApps and social media In-The-Knows were suggesting had been given his cards.

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» World Cup 2022 power rankings: how the 32 look with two months to go

With most teams having played their final matches before the tournament in Qatar, who appear most likely to lift the trophy?

It is three years since Brazil lost to anybody other than Argentina, a forward line of Neymar, Richarlison, Vinícius Júnior and Raphinha potent enough that Gabriel Jesus was left out of the recent friendly wins over Ghana and Tunisia. One defeat in 29 is an exceptional record; the only doubt is that they haven’t played a European team since losing to Belgium at the last World Cup. JW

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» How to fix football with Gary Neville – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning and Gary Neville to discuss his new book The People’s Game, covering: inequality, the European Super League, clubs going out of business, human rights, racism and the importance of the women’s game

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Today: we speak to Gary Neville (here’s some video of the chat) about how to change football for the better – is the answer an independent regulator? Is one even achievable if the Premier League doesn’t want it?

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» Revealed: Football League clubs taking cut of gamblers’ losses with SkyBet
  • Document shows 72 ‘affiliates’ were entitled to ‘share of losses’
  • Premier League clubs urged to reveal if they have similar deals

English football clubs have been taking a cut of the money fans lose with the bookmaker SkyBet, the Guardian can reveal, prompting accusations that they are exploiting supporters and gambling addicts.

An internal document shows that members of the Football League (EFL), comprising the 72 clubs outside the Premier League, operated as “affiliates” for SkyBet. An affiliate is a middleman who encourages a gambler to bet with a particular company, which then pays them a percentage of the money that person goes on to lose, sometimes for the rest of their life.

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» Miedema fires Arsenal into WCL groups but Eidevall hits out over concussion
  • Women’s Champions League: Ajax 0-1 Arsenal (2-3 on agg)
  • Arsenal were denied concussion substitution late in game

It was far from pretty, but Arsenal edged into the Champions League group stage, a goal from the Super League record scorer Vivianne Miedema earning the team a feisty 1-0 away win against Ajax, 3-2 on aggregate.

The Gunners were forced to play a lengthy period of added time with 10 players after Lisa Doorn crashed into the back of the substitute Beth Mead’s head, forcing her off. The Arsenal manager, Jonas Eidevall, asked for use of a concussion sub but was denied, with Arsenal having used all three of their regulation changes.

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» Next Generation 2022: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From Antonio Nusa to Mathys Tel, we pick 60 of the most talented players born in 2005. Check the progress of our classes of 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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» ‘They need role models’ – how football is changing young girls’ lives in Nepal

Sarah Van Vooren and Mashreeb Aryal founded Atoot to empower girls through sport and are already seeing the benefits

Welcome to Moving the Goalposts, the Guardian’s free women’s football newsletter. Here’s an extract from this week’s edition. To receive the full version once a week, just pop your email in below:

On 19 September, more than 15,700 people flocked into Kathmandu’s Dasharath Rangasala to watch Nepal in the final of the 2022 SAFF Women’s Championship. The hosts of the South Asian Football Federation tournament ultimately lost to Bangladesh but, more importantly, it signified a changing of the tide both in the progress of the national team but also the wider relationship between women and football.

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» As Qatar 2022 looms the US look like who they are: Concacaf’s third best team

Gregg Berhalter is executing a masterclass in managing expectations downwards as the World Cup approaches. But that doesn’t mean all is lost

The US men’s national team drew 0-0 with Saudi Arabia in Spain on Tuesday in their final game before their opening World Cup clash against Wales on 21 November. Following on from Friday’s tame 2-0 loss to Japan in Germany, these were two tune-ups that served to underline the team’s shortcomings rather than solve them, played in low-key atmospheres that felt more like pre-season friendlies than the last international fixtures before a World Cup.

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» Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr help Chelsea recover to defeat West Ham in WSL

Chelsea came from behind to beat West Ham in their Women’s Super League match at Kingsmeadow.

Dagny Brynjarsdottir headed the visitors into a shock lead after only three minutes, before Chelsea responded as Sam Kerr twice hit the woodwork and Fran Kirby scored a deserved equaliser in the 40th minute. Kerr then tapped in a second on the hour, with Millie Bright nodding home a third shortly after, before Lauren James saw her late penalty saved.

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» Clarke targets automatic Euro 2024 qualification as next step for Scotland
  • Scotland will be in pot two for Euro 2024 qualifying draw
  • Clarke’s side will step up to A section in next Nations League

It is an indicator of the confidence flowing through the Scotland scene that Steve Clarke believes the Euro 2024 playoff secured alongside promotion from Group B of the Nations League will not be required.

The taking of seven points from a possible nine inside a week saw Scotland hold off Ukraine to claim a berth in section A. The spin-offs are potentially more significant: Scotland will be in pot two for the Euro 2024 qualifying draw on 9 October and have that playoff spot as a fallback option if they fail to qualify, which was how they reached Euro 2020.

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» Denmark unveil World Cup ‘protest’ kits criticising Qatar’s human rights record
  • Designs from Hummel include one to honour migrant workers
  • Qatar’s World Cup committee disputes claims made by Hummel

Denmark will wear shirts at the World Cup that criticise the human rights record of the host nation Qatar, with a black option unveiled to honour migrant workers who died during construction work for the finals tournament.

“The colour of mourning,” the kit manufacturer Hummel said in a post on Instagram releasing the black third-choice design. “While we support the Danish national team all the way, this shouldn’t be confused with support for a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.”

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» Iran footballers show solidarity with protests over Mahsa Amini’s death
  • Team all wore black jackets while national anthem played
  • Forward Sardar Azmoun says: ‘Long live Iranian women’

Iran’s players covered up their national symbols by wearing jackets before the friendly with Senegal on Tuesday evening, showing solidarity with protests against the repression of women in their home country.

The past 11 days have seen significant unrest in Iran after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested on 13 September for refusing to wear a hijab. There have been widespread protests and before their match in Maria Enzersdorf, a town just outside Vienna, the national team made their anger visible.

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» AFC Fylde manager James Rowe charged with sexual assault
  • Former Chesterfield manager due in court in November
  • Offence alleged to have taken place in November 2021

AFC Fylde’s manager, James Rowe, has been charged with sexual assault and is due to appear in court in November.

The alleged offence occurred last November when Rowe was Chesterfield manager. He left the Derbyshire club by “mutual consent” in February and took over at Fylde, of National League North, the following month.

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» Dalian Atkinson’s family condemns justice system for six-year delay

Police officer Mary Ellen Bettley-Smith cleared of assaulting ex-footballer

Dalian Atkinson’s family have criticised police for taking the life of their loved one and condemned the justice system for taking six years to complete criminal trials of officers involved.

The former Premier League footballer died in August 2016 after a clash with two officers in Telford, Shropshire, during which he was shot with a stun gun for 33 seconds and kicked in the head.

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» A pragmatic manager doubted by fans? They often win the World Cup

Gareth Southgate is facing questions in England but conservative teams tend to do well at tournaments

By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces

Six games, no wins and just two goals from open play: England’s form in the Nations League does not make pretty reading, especially in a World Cup year. With each disappointing performance, more focus has turned on manager Gareth Southgate. It’s possible to create a bingo sheet from the criticisms of the England manager, accusing him of being unable to manage the talents at his disposal, being too ponderous during matches and relying too heavily on certain players. Oh, not to forget the pièce de résistance: Southgate’s conservatism.

While it’s fair to criticise the team for a lack of creativity this year, pragmatism is not such a bad approach in international football. In fact, a look back at major tournaments in recent decades suggests it might even be a strength. It might be at odds with the free-flowing, attacking teams that regularly hoover up silverware in the club game, but winning a World Cup is a different thing entirely.

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» Which football managers have appeared in music videos? | The Knowledge

Plus: streets and stands named after backroom staff, chairmen who play themselves, the oldest international debut and more

José Mourinho’s cameo alongide Stormzy made me wonder: which other managers have appeared in music videos?” asks Katie Wright.

Mourinho, who is emphatically living his best life these days, appears alongside Stormzy in the promo for Mel Made Me Do It. The pair are both seen putting their fingers to their lips as Mourinho’s famous quote – “I prefer really not to speak. If I speak I’m in big trouble” – is sampled during the track.

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» Next Generation 2022: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best youngsters at each club born between 1 September 2005 and 31 August 2006, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of our classes of 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

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» David Squires on … Plymouth Argyle’s Jack Leslie – a true football pioneer

Our cartoonist on the forward, who is getting a long overdue statue after being called up for England and then cruelly overlooked

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» On the plane or sofa? How England’s World Cup squad is likely to look

Gareth Southgate remains loyal to his senior players but still has a number of important decisions to make for Qatar

It is inconceivable that Jordan Pickford will not be England’s No 1 despite missing the latest camp with a thigh injury. Gareth Southgate is loyal to his senior players and often prefers to go with the tried and trusted. The manager has repeatedly backed Harry Maguire, even after the centre‑back blundered during the 3-3 draw with Germany on Tuesday, and is past the point of experimentation. He values experience and wants leaders like Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier around. Both are familiar with Southgate’s back three, as is a resurgent Eric Dier, while Reece James’s occasional defensive wobbles are cancelled out by the thrust he offers from right wing‑back.

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» Watford is a club where every bond is unravelling under owner Pozzo | Simon Burnton

Monday’s shock sacking of Rob Edwards has only deepened supporters’ growing resentment of Gino Pozzo

There is no doubt that Watford have been failing this season. The Championship’s pre-season promotion favourites sit 10th and have won one of their last seven league games – and that thanks to a goal deep into stoppage time. Having kept hold of João Pedro and Ismaïla Sarr, two forwards whose combined value has been estimated at upwards of £50m, they have been outscored by 14 sides and had more shots on target than only three. Performances have been incoherent and wildly unimpressive, with the Hornets’ possession consisting largely of central defenders passing the ball among themselves until the crowd grows restless and one of them in desperation shanks it straight to the opposing goalkeeper.

Yet still fans reacted with fury to the dismissal of their manager of 10 league games, Rob Edwards, on Monday. Not because they have appreciated his tactical stylings but because they have grown tired of the club’s constantly spinning managerial carousel and know that blame for the team’s poor start has to be shared. And more than anything because they had been encouraged to believe that he would be allowed to stay and to grow, to put together a play of several acts. Yet here was the curtain falling after little more than the prologue.

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» Gary Neville's view on the problem with money in English football – video

Gary Neville spoke to the Guardian's Football Weekly podcast about his thoughts on the inequality of money in the English football system. He explains why being relegated is a financial 'disaster' for clubs and how fair investment by owners of League One and League Two clubs 'who are good for their money' could create a more competitive Premier League, with new elites coming forward all the time. Neville also discusses the importance of an independent regulator to stop the power being held by 'American investment funds and the top six' clubs of the Premier League. 

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» 'It's very competitive': Wiegman had ‘hard conversations’ when dropping England players – video

Sarina Wiegman has admitted to having had some 'hard conversations after choosing to leave Euro 2022 winners Beth England, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Nikita Parris out of her squad to face USA, the World Cup holders, and Czech Republic next month. The England manager justified her decisions by discussing the how competitive each position in the squad is.  Wiegman spoke of the opportunity to get new players involved in the team ahead of their next big tournament saying, 'it’s 10 months until the World Cup starts, it’s also an opportunity to bring through some young players to see where they are at.'

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» 'That's the blood of Wales': Michael Sheen gives rousing speech to Welsh national team – video

Michael Sheen gave a passionate speech to the Wales national team before their Nations League fixtures. The actor was asked by manager Rob Page to speak to the team after he received great acclaim for a performance of a similar speech on 'A League of Their Own'. The room was full of applause and cheers as Sheen finished the monologue and he was then presented with a bottle of whisky and a signed Wales shirt by captain Gareth Bale.

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» Luís Figo plays in record-breaking zero-gravity football game – video

Portugal legend Luís Figo has helped set a world record for the highest football game played at an altitude of 20,230 ft (6166.1-metres) in zero gravity conditions. Figo teamed up with a diverse team of seven football heroes from across the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to set this Guinness World Records title for the 'Highest Altitude Game of Football on a Parabolic Flight'. The match was played across a 75 square metre pitch specifically set inside the aircraft

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» 'Vested interest and greed': Neville addresses talk of football regulator plan withdrawal - video

Sky Sports pundit and Salford City co-owner Gary Neville spoke about the importance of having an independent regulator in football at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.  

It came after rumours the Conservative government planned to backtrack on proposals to enforce the idea in statue. Neville said that it is an important issue for all parties to agree on as  'vested interest and greed' will otherwise try and take control.

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» José Mourinho stars in Stormzy's new music video – video

Roma head coach José Mourinho teamed up with Stormzy for the UK artist's latest music video for new track 'Mel Made Me Do It'. The pair are both seen putting their fingers to their lips as Mourinho's famous quote: "I prefer really not to speak. If I speak I'm in big trouble" is sampled during the track.

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» Garang Kuol and Jason Cummings shine on debut as Socceroos beat New Zealand
  • Duke and Cummings score in 2-0 win at Eden Park
  • Series wraps up Australia’s World Cup preparations

The Socceroos have wrapped up preparations for November’s World Cup with a 2-0 win over New Zealand which showcased the team’s best and worst form.

In Australia’s final match before taking on France at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah on 22 November, second-half goals from Mitch Duke and Jason Cummings – the latter from the penalty spot – ensured Australia completed their Qatar 2022 preparations with a pair of wins against the All Whites, having defeated the same opponent in Brisbane last Thursday.

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» Nations League roundup: Giroud makes France history after sinking Austria
  • Mbappé strikes before Giroud becomes France’s oldest scorer
  • Croatia beat Denmark, Netherlands ease to victory at Poland

France kept their hopes of staying in the top tier of the Nations League alive as Olivier Giroud became the oldest scorer in their history in a 2-0 home defeat of Austria.

Kylian Mbappé broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with a cool finish after beating five defenders following a perfect pass from Giroud, before the Milan striker scored a header from a pinpoint Antoine Griezmann cross four minutes later.

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» Punchless USA silenced by Japan in penultimate World Cup tune-up
  • Kamada (24th) and Mitoma (88th) hit for Japan in 2-0 win
  • USA star Pulisic does not dress due to unspecified injury

Daichi Kamada scored following Weston McKennie’s giveaway in the 24th minute, Kaoru Mitoma added a goal in the 88th, and Japan beat a lackluster and injury-depleted United States 2-0 on Friday in Düsseldorf, Germany, in the Americans’ next-to-last World Cup warmup.

The Americans failed to get a single shot on goal, playing a dismal first half and showing only slightly more initiative after four changes at halftime. They have one win, five losses and four draws in 10 road games since a victory at Northern Ireland in March 2021, and just one goal in their last five away games.

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» South Korea breathes sigh of relief after Son Heung-min ends ‘silence’

It was no crisis but such is the Spurs forward’s status in his homeland that eight games without a goal had a nation worried

Son Heung-min’s spectacular 13-minute hat-trick against Leicester on Saturday ended his eight-game barren run, or ‘silence’ as it was called in South Korea. As those Tottenham matches came and went without a goal, the mood back in east Asia grew ever gloomier, becoming darkest just before the Seoul dawn last week when the forward was substituted in the 2-0 defeat against Sporting in Lisbon.

However much was said in England about a dry patch that felt longer because it stretched from the start of the season, the conversation was louder in the Land of the Morning Calm. With the Taeguk Warriors’ hopes of a place in the knockout stages in Qatar looking to depend largely on Son’s form and fitness, worries were understandable but it could be that some bench time for the megastar would not have been the worst thing for South Korea’s World Cup hopes.

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» The relegation battle in Ligue 1 this season will be the tightest in years

There are four relegation spots in Ligue 1 this season and as many as 12 clubs are in danger of going down

By Adam White for Get French Football News

Ten clubs have won Ligue 1 since 1996. Seven of them have also been relegated in the same period. Despite the dominance of Lyon and PSG, French football has remained fiendishly competitive on the whole, often catching bigger clubs out – joint-record champions Saint-Étienne and 2009 winners Bordeaux were both relegated last season. With four clubs going down from an evenly matched division, this season’s battle could be the tightest in the league’s history.

As many as 12 teams will be fighting for survival this season. Losing Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne – who have both played Europa League football in the last three seasons – has intensified the tussle by ridding the league of two clubs who were usually capable of extricating themselves from the bottom half.

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» Williams brothers enjoy stirring send-off at Athletic after international calls | Sid Lowe

Having beaten Rayo Vallecano, Iñaki Williams heads for Ghana duty while his brother Nico has been called up by Spain

On Sunday evening Iñaki Williams boarded a plane north to Paris. About the time he set off from there to Le Havre on Monday, Nico Williams was heading in the other direction, south to Barajas and on to Las Rozas, 25km outside Madrid. On Saturday, a night none of them would ever forget – a delirious, joyous celebration of everything they are – they had embraced; then, for the first time, Bilbao’s brothers went separate ways. “It was always our dream to play together and see our mum happy,” Iñaki says. This week they won’t, a new chapter beginning in their lives. But they’ll be back and, boy, had they had a send off.

As for their mum, Maria, she couldn’t be happier. The scheduling means hopefully she’ll be able to see both her sons take their next, giant steps, for a start. This Friday, Iñaki Williams will probably make his debut for Ghana against Brazil in France, aged 28. The following night, Nico Williams, eight years younger, will probably make his for Spain against Switzerland in Zaragoza. They arrive having celebrated those call-ups with a 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano to take Athletic into a Champions League place. It was Inaki’s 239th consecutive game – yes, two hundred and thirty-ninth and, yes, consecutive – for Athletic. It was Nico’s 48th in total. It was also the first match in which they had both scored, San Mamés roaring all around them.

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» Awer Mabil’s long-range rocket ensures Australia sink New Zealand
  • Australia 1-0 New Zealand
  • Socceroos beat All Whites in first encounter since 2011

A long-range rocket from Awer Mabil ensured Australia beat New Zealand 1-0 in their World Cup farewell in Brisbane.

The match, which took place a staggering 11 years after the two teams last met, was Australia’s first game since qualifying for the World Cup and their last on home soil before the tournament in Qatar in November. Aside from Mabil’s 33rd-minute strike, however, it was a far from pretty occasion for the hosts on a wet Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.

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» Bayern’s defeat sours the mood and deepens the doubts over Nagelsmann

Robert Lewandowski is sorely missed and the spectre of Thomas Tuchel now hangs over the Bayern manager

Manuel Neuer has been the hero on so many occasions but here, he very nearly found a new way to be so. His 95th minute header from Joshua Kimmich arrowed towards the corner but his opposite number, the outstanding Rafał Gikiewicz, twisted on his line and dived to push it away with his left hand. Seconds later, Neuer lurched at the ball after Alphonso Davies lifted it back in, and Gikiewicz palmed away again, to the fevered acclaim of his teammates. The plaudits belonged to the Polish goalkeeper, rather than the German one, this time.

But since when were Bayern reduced to this? Neuer’s very presence in the Augsburg penalty area, as Bayern Munich sought desperately to slip out of a first defeat of the Bundesliga season, was an admission of desperation. They were not able to but that their highly decorated last line of defence was almost able to make the difference at the other end was jarring. One of the headlines in Bild on Sunday did not miss the opportunity to highlight that Neuer had more efforts on target than Sadio Mané in a deflating loss to local near-neighbours, an hour to the north-west of Munich, who may have established themselves in the top flight but do not have the stature to be described even notionally as rivals.

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» Monza’s gamble on the unknown pays off with audacious win over Juventus | Nicky Bandini

The new Monza manager took an astonishing senior bow in the dugout as things went from bad to worse for Massimiliano Allegri

Not even Raffaele Palladino’s own boss could provide insight into his management style at the start of the weekend. “I don’t know him well enough to give comparisons,” said Monza’s president, Silvio Berlusconi. “He has worked for a while in our youth system. With our tireless support and technical advice, just like we offered to coaches at Milan for 30 years, I believe he will do well.”

The sentiment was echoed by Berlusconi’s right-hand man, Adriano Galliani, who evoked Arrigo Sacchi as evidence of how well things could go when they make “courageous choices” together. Even this, though, was comparing apples and oranges. Sacchi had already been the manager of Rimini and Parma before they hired him for the Rossoneri in 1987. Palladino has had a year each with Monza’s Under-15s and Under-19s.

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» Harry Maguire blunders are a warning to England – right now he is not up to it | Barney Ronay

After helter skelter draw with Germany, Gareth Southgate must be ruthless and must start with one of his generals

We will meet again: at the Khalifa International Stadium, Doha in eight weeks’ time as a matter of fact. In the meantime, if this really is to be a final trip to Wembley for Gareth Southgate as England manager then it was at least a fun, loose, slightly wild Nations League dead rubber 3-3 draw, a match that sprung up off the gurney in the most unexpected fashion.

At times in the first half at Wembley it felt as though 79,000 people had accidentally wandered into the same stadium and were now stoically seeing it out. For 49 minutes almost nothing happened. Then suddenly everything happened, all the things, a kind of tantrum of football.

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» Why has the FA not spoken up over Uefa failings after Liverpool fans’ Paris ordeal? | David Conn

With no sense of solidarity after the Champions League final chaos it could be that the Euro 2028 bid is seen as a priority

The profoundly shocking way Uefa mishandled its Champions League final on 28 May has prompted alarming questions about the organisation and its president Aleksander Ceferin and, by natural extension, the whole edifice governing modern football.

Uefa may still be that great institution, formed in 1954 to organise the European Cup and still 68 years on, thanks to last year’s defeat of the Super League breakaway, organisers of the glittering Champions League.

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» Against all odds, Lionel Messi has one last shot at World Cup glory with Argentina | Jonathan Wilson

Questions remain for Lionel Scaloni’s side but there is a growing sense that a glorious finale could be on the cards

Argentina went to Russia in 2018 with a sense it was now or never. They had lost in the final of the previous World Cup. A great generation of attacking talent was ageing. Lionel Messi was 31 and two years earlier had flirted with international retirement after a second successive Copa América final defeat to Chile. And at last the Argentinian Football Association had managed to appoint, in Jorge Sampaoli, a dynamic and progressive coach who promised to restore the days of Bielsista optimism.

Messi scored one brilliant goal, against Nigeria and there was a spirited exit against France in the last 16, but the last World Cup was a huge disappointment. There was a drab draw against Iceland and an embarrassingly comprehensive defeat to Croatia.

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» The Fiver | The fight to keep Lowry’s Going to the Match in public view

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Famous for his paintings of the matchstalk men and matchstalk animals that populate his industrial landscapes inspired by the north-west of England, LS Lowry disliked being called an artist, preferring instead to describe himself as “a man who paints”. Upon being labelled “a naive Sunday painter” by one particularly condescending art critic, he countered by pointing out that he was “a Sunday painter who paints every day of the week”. Since his death in 1976, Lowry’s paintings and drawings have sold for numbers heading into the millions and arguably his most famous, Going to the Match, is owned by the PFA and is going on sale at Christie’s auction house next month. It is expected to fetch up to £8m, which at the time of writing is still a lot of money despite the best attempts of the Tories to flatline our economy.

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

Arsenal know to read little into their strong derby victory, while Manchester United look good for a top-three challenge

Two games into a new season is no time to try to determine the destination of the Women’s Super League title or who is on track for a Champions League spot. Arsenal will be aware of this and the need to take things game by game having begun last season with a 3-2 win over Chelsea before being pipped to the title by the same team by a single point. So while Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat of Tottenham on Saturday was comprehensive and slick, Jonas Eidevall and his team will not get carried away, especially given how poor the visitors were in front of a record WSL crowd of 47,367. “We didn’t play our game as well as we could have,” said Tottenham’s head coach, Rehanne Skinner. “We were too tentative in the press and that created challenges for us on the ball.” Suzanne Wrack

Match report: Arsenal 4-0 Tottenham

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» Moving the Goalposts | Will the referees’ strike in Spain’s new Liga F create tension with players?

The new professional league in the country was delayed because of a strike and officials are sure to face greater scrutiny

Welcome to Moving the Goalposts, the Guardian’s new (and free) women’s football newsletter. Here’s an extract from this week’s edition. To receive the full version once a week, just pop your email in below:

It was supposed to be a fresh and shiny start to women’s football in Spain. The new professional league, Liga F, had been formed to ensure the sport can reach the next level in a country that saw record crowds in the Champions League last season.

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» Which national leagues have the most (and fewest) teams in capital cities? | The Knowledge

Plus: clubs boasting the most international top scorers, nickname derbies and teams wearing the same sponsor

“As a Welshman living in Mali, I’m struck by the contrast in the number of teams based in the capital city playing in the top league,” mails Seán Smith. “Whereas the Cymru Premier has for much of its history not included a club based in the capital city (and currently only has one team based in Cardiff out of 12), 13 of the 18 teams in Mali’s Première Division are based in Bamako. Are there any other national top divisions that have a higher or lower proportion of clubs based in the capital?”

In England it has often been said that the Premier League, or the old Division One, is harder for London teams to win because of the number of derbies. This season, seven of the 20 Premier League sides are based in London. That means 12 London derbies apiece for Arsenal, Brentford, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

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

Jack Grealish can still be key for City, Newcastle look lost in transition and Leicester search for positives

Pep Guardiola’s love of tricksy ball-players is well-known – he once spent more than £30m on Cesc Fábregas when Barcelona already had perhaps the greatest midfield of all time. Similarly, adding Jack Grealish to a Manchester City squad already supremely stocked with attacking talent seemed unnecessary and, despite a crucial goal at West Ham in last season’s title run-in, the move has yet to properly pay off. Grealish began Saturday’s game at Wolves under pressure … and then scored after 55 seconds. He will know that this is not the end of the conversation, and needs to be the start of something more significant. The portents are good: others have taken a season to adjust to the specific demands placed upon them by Guardiola. With defences preoccupied with the demands of handling Erling Haaland, there should be both scope and space for Grealish to deploy his unique brand of improvisational brilliance. Daniel Harris

Match report: Wolves 0-3 Manchester City

Match report: Brentford 0-3 Arsenal

Match report: Everton 1-0 West Ham

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

Sam Kerr’s and Chelsea’s offside misfortune, the Daly-Dali show at Aston Villa and a Manchester United landmark for Zelem

Liverpool were able to recovered from a goal down to stun Chelsea at Prenton Park on their return to the Women’s Super League after a two-year absence. As early as the first minute, chaos ensued. Gilly Flaherty was penalised in the box for fouling Guro Reiten and Fran Kirby converted the spot-kick. It seemed there might be a second for Chelsea. And there should have been when Sam Kerr latched on to a sumptuous ball from Kirby and lifted the ball into the net – only for the flag to be raised and the goal ruled out. Further inspection from fans on social media proved that the decision should not have been called offside, with Kerr marginally ahead of her marker but played onside by another defender. The Australian then had another goal ruled out before Liverpool struck with a penalty of their own, Katie Stengel scoring after a long throw from Megan Campbell was harshly adjudged to have been handled by Millie Bright. Stengel calmly repeated the trick five minutes before full-time to make it 2-1. Maryam Naz

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» Football quiz: name the team from the floodlights

Study the picture for clues or just use your nerdy knowledge to put a team name to the set of lights in each of these photos

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» Golden Goal: Roberto Carlos for Brazil v France (1997)

This was not just a unique goal but the uniquest goal; a goal more unique than all other goals that are also unique

In September 1994, Leeds United beat Manchester United – the first time they had done so since February 1981 – with David Wetherall and Brian Deane their scorers in a 2-1 win. Which is a strange place to begin a piece about a Roberto Carlos goal, but please bear with me: the seamless segue will soon reveal itself.

A couple of days later, I returned from school to find a letter addressed to me – a rarity, given I was 15 – so ripped open the envelope in characteristically clumsy manner to discover what can only be described as hate mail. Accompanying newspaper cuttings of the aforementioned game was a letter extolling the virtues of Phil Ma-sing-ahhhh, along with general vitriol aimed at Manchester United in general and Alex Ferguson in particular.

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» Jill Scott: ‘It was almost too big an occasion and I was really nervous’ | Donald McRae

After ending her playing career on the highest of notes with England’s Euro 2022 triumph, the former midfielder is keen to develop her passion for coaching

We have just moved into our second hour of talking when Jill Scott remembers that her longest interview stretched across six hours. It was also different because, while driving alone years ago, Scott interviewed herself out loud. “I always did,” she says as she shows her exuberant character which meant that, even at the grand old age of 35, she was one of the stars of England’s European triumph this summer.

Scott retired last month after the last of her 170 international appearances (nine of which were for Great Britain) came in the Euro 2022 final when she left the bench and helped England to beat Germany. She also lit up social media when she was seen on television swearing at a German player as she displayed the trademark grit and passion of a long career which stretched from unpaid obscurity as a young footballer on Wearside to a European champion at Wembley.

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» Steve Evans: ‘Look at Klopp on the sidelines. That’s me 10 years ago. That’s pressure’

The former Leeds manager is enjoying a good start to the season with Stevenage and says he is mellower now

‘Alexa, stop,” Steve Evans says, sitting at his kitchen table, shutting off the Motown playlist as he reflects on Stevenage’s superb start to the season, hours after victory preserved their perfect home record. It is a summer’s day in Rutland, the sun blasting in from the garden that doubles up as a football pitch for him and Joseph, his eldest grandson. Evans spent the morning strimming the hedges and mowing the lawn and is at ease as he looks back on a colourful career in the dugout. It all began in the 90s, a few minutes down the road at Stamford AFC where he won two of his eight promotions and the management bug gripped him, but much has changed since then.

The rhino skin remains – it is a necessity to last this long in the game – but Evans insists the caricature of the uncensored character who would overheat and berate officials on the touchline is out of date. So does he feel he has mellowed? “Without a shadow of a doubt,” says Evans, 60 next month. “I’ve think if you’ve seen me 10-15 years ago, it could be the most blatant goal-kick and I’m appealing for a corner, and if we lose it’s not my fault because I got the team or the shape wrong, it’s the referee’s fault because he didn’t give us the right throw-in on 74 minutes. I had to change, for health, and because we’re getting to the stage where grandsons are coming to the games. Joseph comes and he’s like: ‘Pops, pops!’ You have to be a bit careful, do you know what I mean?

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» England and Wales’ Inadequate Symbol of Tolerance will make little impact in Qatar

The ‘One Love’ rainbow emblem is at least a gesture, but one that feels corporate and meaningless at this World Cup

And you shall know us by the trail of rainbow love hearts. It is time to consider in detail the Inadequate Symbol Of Tolerance adopted this week by the English and Welsh FAs; a symbol of tolerance that will be worn during the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is punishable by torture and death. And yes, that really does sound like one sweet, sweet symbol of tolerance.

But could we have gone further? Should the FAs have insisted on a slightly more urgent Inadequate Symbol Of Tolerance? Should it have a bolder font, for example? Perhaps the Generic Statement Of Concern, released alongside the Inadequate Symbol Of Tolerance, could have a more disapproving tone.

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» How the Champions League final descended into chaos – visual investigation

The most definitive look yet at what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how Liverpool supporters were instantly blamed on the night of the final against Real Madrid at Paris’ Stade de France

On 28 May 2022 the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool took place at the Stade de France in Paris. But the showpiece match between two great clubs was disfigured by chaotic organisation, in which Liverpool supporters suffered a near disaster and riot police teargassed spectators while failing to protect people from violent attacks by local thugs.

Yet the French government, police and Uefa united instantly to put the blame on Liverpool supporters, claiming that the chaos was caused by thousands seeking entry with fake tickets. Echoes of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 97 people were unlawfully killed but the South Yorkshire police falsely blamed Liverpool supporters, were inescapable.

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» Next Generation 2021: 60 of the best young talents in world football

From ‘the next Alphonso Davies’ to Dortmund’s Moukoko, we pick 60 of the most talented players born in 2004. Check the progress of class of 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» Next Generation 2021: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best youngsters at each club born between 1 September 2004 and 31 August 2005*, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

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» From Jadon Sancho to Alexander Isak: what happened to Next Generation 2016?

With the Next Generation 2021 picks out this week we look at the final updates for the class of 2016. How did they fare?

There was a time when going abroad wasn’t cool. It was a time when British footballers stayed at home, worried about how they might fare in Europe and beyond.

Gary Lineker helped to break the mould with his switch – and success – at Barcelona in the 1980s but Ian Rush’s struggles at Juventus around the same time seemed to put off many players.

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