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Football Team News

» Raheem Sterling opens up on his 16-match scoreless streak against Man Utd
Sterling says barren run against United is 'a wake-up call' but warned Red Devils he is going into Etihad Stadium clash with a new mindset when it comes to finding the net
» Brighton captain Lewis Dunk admits Emirates Stadium tactic in win over Arsenal
Dunk says Brighton boss Graham Potter told his charges how to turn the Emirates crowd against Arsenal players - and it worked with crucial three points for Seagulls
» Man Utd squad confirmed for Manchester derby with Anthony Martial set to feature
French forward Martial missed the midweek win over Tottenham at Old Trafford due to injury, but was at the Lowry Hotel on Friday and hopes to be called upon at the Etihad
» Frank Lampard issues Chelsea warning after lifting of transfer ban
The Blues will be able to add new faces during January after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved the two-window transfer embargo imposed by FIFA in February
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taunts Man City with size claim ahead of Manchester derby
Manchester United boss Solskjaer insists that, despite City's back-to-back titles, they will never be as big a club as the Red Devils
» Raheem Sterling insists Man City still have point to prove in Man Utd showdown
The two Manchester rivals meet at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday with bragging rights and local pride on the line
» Brendan Rodgers explains why he snubbed Arsenal to sign new £40million Leicester deal
The former Liverpool and Celtic boss has penned a massive £40million deal to stay with the Foxes, despite attracting interest from the Gunners to replace Unai Emery
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoping to hit Man City with a Manchester derby sucker punch
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to build on Manchester United's midweek win over Spurs by shocking champions City in the derby at the Etihad
» Arsenal crisis deepens amid managerial search struggle and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang worry
EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal are in the middle of their worst run since 1977 and had hoped Freddie Ljungberg would buy them time - instead, concerns are piling up
» Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ready to quit Arsenal as he pulls out of contract talks
Aubameyang has scored 53 goals in 83 games for Arsenal since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, but wants to challenge for silverware
» James Maddison ready for showdown with close pal Jack Grealish in Aston Villa vs Leicester
Aston Villa captain Grealish and Leicester starlet Maddison are shining for their respective clubs and both want to be in England's Euro 2020 squad
» Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo opens up on stunning transformation of Adama Traore
Traore has been a revelation for Wolves this season, shining in a number of roles and arguably being the club's player of the year so far
» Newcastle boss Steve Bruce speaks on fit-again Andy Carroll and plans for Dwight Gayle
Carroll made his first start of the Premier League season in Newcastle's 2-0 win at Sheffield United on Thursday night
» Kevin De Bruyne explains difference between Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero
The Man City man is responsible for laying on chances for the attackers, so knows their games more than most others would
» Gabriel Barbosa makes Roberto Firmino admission ahead of possible Liverpool meeting
The 23-year-old could come up against the Reds' star at the FIFA Club World Cup later this month after helping his Flamengo side to win this year's Copa Libertadores
» Jurgen Klopp's fantastic, relentless Liverpool team have proven their greatness
Jurgen Klopp has done a remarkable job at Anfield and their midweek destruction of Everton again showed how fantastic and relentless this side are
» Watford confirm third new manager of the season as Nigel Pearson takes charge
Both Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores have already been sacked by the Hornets this term, and now ex-Leicester boss Pearson takes charge at Vicarage Road
» Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri makes Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala admission
The Juve manager has regularly been asked about deploying the pair and Gonzalo Higuain as a front three this season
» Jurgen Klopp confident Liverpool star Sadio Mane can win Ballon d'Or in future
The Senegal international finished fourth in the voting for this year's award behind winner Lionel Messi, team-mate Virgil van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
» Chris Kamara details what might cause Liverpool to falter in title challenge
The Reds are on course for a first league championship in 30 years, but the former Leeds midfielder says there will be hurdles
» Chelsea issue statement blasting FIFA after seeing transfer ban lifted
The Blues were told on Friday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that their appeal against their transfer ban had been successful, allowing them to sign players in January
» Jose Mourinho fires warning to Christian Eriksen amid Man Utd transfer interest
Tottenham playmaker Eriksen is out of contract at Spurs next summer, and is keen for a new challenge in his career amid interest from Manchester United
» Marcus Rashford hailed as "unstoppable" by Man Utd teammate ahead of derby day
"World-class" forward Marcus Rashford has been backed by his Manchester United team-mate to make the difference in Saturday's Manchester Derby
» Man City have not received an approach for Mikel Arteta, says Pep Guardiola
The Manchester City manager has commented on reports linking his assistant with a move to North London ahead of the Manchester derby this Saturday
From

Football resources

» The FA
» BBC Sport
» SportsCoach
» Little Kickers
» Kiddikicks

Other sport news:

» Marcus Rashford can take cue from Raheem Sterling’s development at City | Jonathan Liew
Manchester United striker has just turned 22 and, like Sterling before him, needs to add ugly goals to his repertoire

For a moment all is stillness. Marcus Rashford grinds to a halt. Old Trafford pauses with him. Rashford waits. There’s a wiggle of the toes. And then the explosion.

Rashford’s second goal against Tottenham on Wednesday night was, in many ways, a distillation of everything he does best. As Serge Aurier closed him down on the left flank, Rashford paused for an instant, waiting for his opponent to commit. A twitch of the boot was enough to convince Aurier that Rashford was planning to cut inside. And in that moment, with a conjuror’s cunning, Rashford was away: knocking the ball through Aurier’s legs, sprinting past him, burning around the outside of Moussa Sissoko – himself an exceptionally quick player – and eventually drawing the foul from which he would convert United’s winning penalty.

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» Sam Kerr the best in the world? Tell us something we don't know | Samantha Lewis

Judged this week by the Guardian as the best female footballer on the planet, Matildas captain Sam Kerr now has her chance to prove it on the European club stage

Across all the years I’ve watched Sam Kerr play football, there’s one moment that stands out as a true illustration of her character, as an example of why she’s been voted The Guardian’s Best Female Footballer of 2019.

It’s not a goal, or a back-flip celebration, or a gesture of kindness towards a fan. It’s a moment of failure. One of the biggest in her career, perhaps, and one that feels more significant in hindsight.

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» PSG’s Neymar-Mbappé era will end soon, but there is still time for glory | Barney Ronay
A half-a-billion pound project to bring their talents together and the Champions League to Paris has failed thus far but with both strikers now fit can they deliver at the last?

“Le grand Paris reste une idée, un fantasme qui tourne dans nos rêves mais ne se traduit pas vraiment dans les matchs.”

Some things just sound better in French. See for example the above, taken from a report in Le Parisien of Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 home win against Nantes in midweek. This is definitely best read in the original, ideally in the sad, sonorous tones of Uncle Monty from the film Withnail and I staring wistfully out of a scullery window with a firm young carrot in one hand and a velveteen club-branded Neymar figurine in the other.

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» Nigel Pearson confirmed as Watford manager until the end of season
• Deal could be extended if spell is successful
• Former Leicester manager sacked by OH Leuven in February

Nigel Pearson will attend Watford’s home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday after agreeing to take over from Quique Sánches Flores at the Premier League’s bottom club, initially on a short-term contract to the end of the season.

Pearson will be assisted by Craig Shakespeare, who worked with him during his two spells at Leicester as well as at West Bromwich Albion and Hull City, and briefly succeeded him at the King Power Stadium following Pearson’s departure in 2015.

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» Chelsea accuse Fifa of treating them and Manchester City differently
  • Cas halves two-window ban imposed by Fifa
  • Chelsea clear to make signings in January

Chelsea have launched a stinging attack on Fifa after winning their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the second half of their two-window transfer ban, accusing them of a “deeply unsatisfactory approach” and treating them unfairly in comparison with Manchester City.

The London club were given a two-window suspension by Fifa for breaches of the rules regarding their dealings with overseas players under the age of 18 and they served the first one last summer. But they will not now serve the second in January after Cas ruled that Fifa’s punishment was too harsh.

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» Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson can succeed at Anfield

• Wales international has scored six goals for Bournemouth
• ‘All the players we sent on loan have the chance to make it’

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool would have sold Harry Wilson last summer if he did not believe he had a first-team future at Anfield.

The 22-year-old has impressed on loan at Bournemouth this season with six goals for Eddie Howe’s side, who host the unbeaten Premier League leaders on Saturday. The Wales international, who is ineligible to face his parent club, spent last season on loan at Derby County and was a permanent transfer target for several top-flight teams in the summer. Liverpool’s decision to sanction a second loan, Klopp insisted, reflects their confidence that Wilson can make the grade at Anfield despite world class competition for places.

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» Temporary manager Duncan Ferguson wells up as he sweats on Everton future

• Former player charged with arresting Everton’s alarming slide
• ‘I am here to steady the ship until they find whoever’

It was an incongruous sight and a press conference to shatter preconceptions. There sat Duncan Ferguson, fearsome slayer of Pascal Chimbonda, Fredi Bobic and Steffen Freund to select just a few who regretted upsetting the former Everton centre-forward during his playing days, nervous and emotional as he joked with the media he once loathed.

Several times he choked up while discussing his promotion to Everton temporary manager following Marco Silva’s dismissal: once when recalling the reaction of his children, season ticket holders in the lower Gwladys Street; again when detailing how he was handed the job; and finally when asked about Everton’s alarming slide into the relegation zone, a regression he has been charged with arresting against Chelsea on Saturday.

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» Solskjær: ‘We want City to feel confident so we can throw sucker punch’

• United could benefit from City arrogance, says manager
• Solskjær believes United are still a bigger club than City

Ole Gunnar Solskjær hopes Manchester City will approach Saturday’s derby with arrogance because this could allow Manchester United to land a “sucker punch”.

United travel to the Etihad Stadium 11 points behind City but Solskjær is confident of his side’s prospects. Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur followed victories over Chelsea and Leicester City plus a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

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» I do not know what Manchester City are missing, admits Pep Guardiola

• City trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by 11 points
• ‘I would like to discover the reason for this big gap’

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City’s 11-point deficit to Liverpool is because the champions are missing something he cannot identify.

The manager was asked whether being so far behind was solely because Liverpool have dropped only two points or whether there may have been a slight subconscious drop in performance after winning the Premier League two years in a row.

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» Brendan Rodgers commits future to Leicester with new contract to 2025
• Rodgers was among managers of interest to Arsenal
• ‘Players are a joy to work with every day,’ he says

Brendan Rodgers has committed his long-term future to Leicester by signing of a new contract to 2025.

Rodgers, who was among the managers of interest to Arsenal in their search to replace Unai Emery, has taken Leicester to second in the Premier League since joining from Celtic in February.

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» Sam Kerr sees off competition to be voted best female footballer in the world

The Australian tops the Guardian’s and The Offside Rule’s list for her brilliance throughout the year but finishes only 18 points ahead of Lucy Bronze

In a momentous year for the women’s game, we have a new winner of our best female footballer in the world award. Sam Kerr takes over from Pernille Harder at the top of our list after 12 months during which the popularity of the women’s game soared around the world. The World Cup in France was watched by a total TV audience of 1.12bn people and the fact that Kerr came out on top against all the USA World Cup winners is testament to her enduring brilliance.

Kerr finished second last year, the first time the Guardian and The Offside Rule presented the list together and she is the fourth winner of the award, following Harder, Lieke Martens (2017) and Ada Hegerberg (2016).

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» Manchester derby: what’s gone wrong and right so far at City and United? | Jamie Jackson
Neither side are where they want to be in the league but Solskjær and Guardiola have time to make the season a success

Liverpool’s stellar form, a weakness in central defence and a group of players who before Tuesday’s 4-1 thumping of Burnley lacked an edge are key factors for Manchester City being 11 points behind the Merseyside club. Pep Guardiola rates the midfielder Fernandinho over John Stones or Nicolás Otamendi as first-choice cover for the injured centre-back Aymeric Laporte, illuminating how the failure to acquire an A-list replacement for Vincent Kompany was a serious error. The win at Turf Moor was a reminder of how energy and effervescence from the manager’s pass-and-move play had dipped: given the deficit this has to remain until May.

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» Ademola Lookman keeps World Cup options open as he waits on England
RB Leipzig’s forward discusses his ‘serious decision’ for 2022, who he turns to in tough times and listening to Denzel Washington

When Ademola Lookman has felt in need of reassurance – and there have been a few such occasions over the years – he calls up two men who know him better than almost anyone.

Des and Felix coached him from the ages of 11 to 16, during an extended teeth-cutting process playing Sunday league football for Waterloo FC, and beyond that he has counted both as “mentors” for as long as he can remember. If uncertainty began to take root during those teenage years they would put him straight immediately, keeping his focus trained on the dream that had always consumed him.

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» Everton v Chelsea: match preview

There will be a rare bond of unity between the Everton crowd and technical area on Saturday when Duncan Ferguson takes temporary charge against Chelsea following the dismissal of Marco Silva. For all the goodwill that will come Ferguson’s way, his promotion is not a cause for celebration but a symbol of Everton’s malfunction under the erratic ownership of Farhad Moshiri. A club that has spent over £450m on players since Moshiri’s arrival finds itself in the bottom three and led by a sixth different coach in under four years. Chelsea will relish the opportunity. Andy Hunter

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

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» Bournemouth v Liverpool: match preview

It is still early doors but Liverpool look head and shoulders above the rest in the Premier League. They are unbeaten in 32 games – a club record – and can win with explosive attacking power or with defensive grit and determination. Bournemouth’s chances of even a point look grim considering their best player this season – Harry Wilson – is unavailable to face his parent club. Liverpool have won their last four meetings by an aggregate score of 14-0. Graham Searles

Saturday 3pm

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» Tottenham v Burnley: match preview

Tottenham were strangely passive in defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday – the first bump in the road for José Mourinho. It felt as though the players were preoccupied by what United might do, rather than how they might impose themselves. Had Mourinho’s pre-match instructions been too reactive? Spurs will need greater positivity against a Burnley team who have lost five out of seven but always make life difficult. David Hytner

Saturday 3pm

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» Watford v Crystal Palace: match preview

Crystal Palace have banked six points without conceding after a brutal run of defeats against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. Roy Hodgson will be confident his side can maintain their run against managerless Watford who are back in a rut. Seven points from safety could quickly snowball into being completely cut adrift if they do not hire the right man soon. Wilfried Zaha finding form escalates the danger of a fourth consecutive defeat. Graham Searles

Saturday 3pm

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» Manchester City v Manchester United: match preview

Manchester City need a victory to ensure Liverpool’s lead is kept to a minimum of 11 points. For Manchester United it is about winning a consecutive league game for the first time since March. Both, of course, want the three points because this is the 179th Manchester derby. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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» Macclesfield's League Two match with Crewe suspended over financial crisis
  • Players and staff protest over unpaid wages
  • EFL ‘forced to suspend the game’

Macclesfield’s League Two match against Crewe on Saturday has been “suspended” after the club informed the English Football League they would be unable to fulfil the fixture.

An EFL statement said it had been informed by the financially troubled club, whose players have suffered a number of wage payment delays in recent months, that it was unable to stage the game. As a result, the League had been “forced to suspend the game and under EFL Regulations, the club is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct and will be referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission. The EFL will now consider the matter of determining when the fixture will be played.”

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» Marco Silva appears to be done in England – but he remains a managerial mystery | Barney Ronay

The sacked Everton manager has been in English football for three years but has not grown roots at any of his three clubs, built no notable teams and won only 32 league matches

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.” When it comes to Marco Silva and the Premier League it is tempting to wonder which part of Joseph Heller’s dictum is most applicable. The third part? All of them? None?

There was something haunting about the sight of Silva on the Anfield touchline as Liverpool scored four goals in the first half on Wednesday evening. Usually managers in this position – forced to stand in the light as a game, a season, a version of their own future slips away – have a set of mannerisms to sustain them.

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» Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fred is finding his feet under Solskjær, Maddison and Grealish jostle for England attention and do Everton have a new plan?

Fred has described Fernandinho as his role model in the past but, until recently, it seemed like the only thing the pair had in common was that they both moved from Brazil to Shakhtar Donetsk before arriving in Manchester. Over the last month, however, Fred has finally started showing the quality that persuaded United to spend £52m on him last year. He and Scott McTominay form a midfield partnership of formerly maligned players who have become more than useful. They, along with Marcus Rashford’s refulgent form and the fact that United now relish being underdogs, are reasons why City might not annihilate Saturday’s visitors to the Etihad. Paul Doyle

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» Like Chelsea, Arsenal need legend in the dugout and his name is Patrick Vieira | Eni Aluko

Frank Lampard has transformed atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal’s former captain would do same at Emirates

When I left Chelsea to join Juventus last year Antonio Conte was a couple of weeks away from the sack. I had arrived for my second spell at Chelsea in 2012 just a few weeks after Roberto Di Matteo had lost the job. The men’s team won two league titles in the six years I was there but there was also a lot of disappointment and a lot of managers who struggled to really connect with the fans, a problem that continued under Maurizio Sarri last season. On Wednesday, a few days after my return from Turin, I went back to Stamford Bridge working as a pundit to find a club transformed.

Related: Freddie Ljungberg wants results to do talking under Emirates spotlight | Ed Aarons

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» Manchester United show they are best without possession and expectation
Win over Spurs continues pattern of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side thriving when the pressure is lower and opponents dominate

It is the counterintuitive detail that strikes at the heart of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United rebuild; firing optimism one week, stasis and frustration the next. How can Solskjær’s team play with a freedom of expression against the Premier League’s best, en route to getting encouraging results, but so frequently run into walls against less-fancied opponents?

The manager had a stab at answering the question on Wednesday night, after the stirring 2-1 Old Trafford victory over Tottenham, and it was one of those moments when he caught himself a couple of times before he said too much.

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» The Leeds United fan making the city beautiful – one electric box at a time

Things are looking bright for Leeds this season and the same can be said for the streets around Elland Road

By Joe Marczynski for When Saturday Comes

Electric boxes. It’s doubtful you, or anyone you know, has any strong feelings about them. Primary school teacher and part-time street artist Andy McVeigh, on the other hand, certainly does. He’s been daubing dull electric boxes around Leeds since last year, replacing the lifeless green with vibrant Leeds United-themed murals depicting classic shirts, lyrics of chants and stencils of players past and present.

Popular with fans and residents alike, McVeigh creates his designs independently – he isn’t paid for his time or imagination – simply seeking to improve the aesthetics of his local neighbourhoods and honour his home club. “There’s virtually no Leeds United art anywhere in the city, which seems daft to me,” says Andy. “Even in the City Museum there’s a pretty pathetic token gesture to the club when it’s one of the most famous things about the place.”

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» A fan's-eye view at the football – a photo essay

Photographer and lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan Martin Andersen has turned his camera on fellow fans to create an intimate and often visceral collection of images taken at home, away, and across Europe from
2013 until the last game played at White Hart Lane in 2017. Interview by Felix Petty

My first game at White Hart Lane was Tottenham v Wimbledon on Saturday 10 November 1990. We won the game 4–2. I sat in Park Lane watching a Spurs side featuring Gazza, Lineker, Mabbutt, Walsh … But my love for Tottenham started long before that. We all have our stories as to why we support the club. Mine might be a little different to most, having grown up in Denmark.

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» Sam Kerr: Australia striker named Guardian's best female footballer of 2019 – video profile

Sam Kerr has been named the Guardian's best female footballer of 2019. The Australian player, who recently joined the Women's Super League title contenders Chelsea, scored five goals at the World Cup this summer, leading Australia to the last 16. The 26-year-old tops the all-time scorer charts in both the Australian W-League and the US National Women's Soccer League and improves on her second-place finish in our top 100 last year

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» Marco Silva sacked by Everton after transfer flops and poor results – video report

Everton have parted ways with manager Marco Silva after a poor start of the season. Silva leaves the club after 18 months in charge with the club currently sitting in the relegation zone. During his tenure Everton invested heavily in new recruits, spending big money on players such as Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Yerry Mina but few have made the desired impact. Ultimately, Silva’s demise was down to poor results with the 5-2 defeat to rivals Liverpool proving to be his last game in charge

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» Solskjær praises Rashford as Mourinho admits Manchester United were better than Spurs – video

Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjær has praised Marcus Rashford for his performance in the team's win over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Wednesday. United revelled in their 2-1 victory with José Mourinho admitting that the opposition 'were much better than us' 

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» ‘Why would I want to leave Leicester?’: Rodgers plays down Arsenal link – video

Brendan Rodgers has moved to quash speculation about him taking the vacant manager role at Arsenal. When asked about the role on Monday, Rodgers said 'I'm happy here, very happy and I feel I want to continue with that'. Leicester currently sit second in the Premier League, 13 points above the Gunners.

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» Freddie Ljungberg 'proud' of Arsenal after draw with Norwich City on managerial debut – video

Interim Arsenal manager, Freddie Ljungberg, spoke after the Gunners drew 2-2 away to Norwich City in his first game in charge. 

Arsenal came from behind twice, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring both of the visitors' goals.

Ljungberg said that was he was 'proud and honoured' to be standing on the touchline and leading Arsenal. 

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» Sánchez Flores admits to lack of control in final Watford press conference – video

Quique Sánchez Flores’ second spell as Watford head coach lasted less than three months, with the Spaniard sacked on Sunday with Watford in last place in the Premier League and having won just one match in 14 this campaign.

Flores, who was also in charge at Vicarage Road for the 2015-16 season, was hired again in September as the replacement for compatriot Javi Gracia. Watford had won only once under his charge, at Norwich City last month. Sanchez is the third Premier League manager to be fired in the past 12 days, after Tottenham Hotspur’s Mauricio Pochettino and Arsenal’s Unai Emery.

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» David Squires on ... how long can Markus babble on at Leaky Wanderers?

Our cartoonist looks at how it has gone wrong for the Western Sydney Wanderers coach this season

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» Bordeaux ultras storm pitch and cause 25-minute delay … then team win 6-0
  • Fans demanding resignation of club president
  • London-born Josh Maja fires hat-trick in rout

Dozens of Bordeaux fans stormed on to the pitch during their Ligue 1 match against Nîmes, forcing the game to be halted for 25 minutes.

The angry supporters staged a protest on the touchline, causing the referee, Clément Turpin, to stop the game after 11 minutes and send both teams back into the dressing rooms. Bordeaux’s group of hardcore fans, known as the Ultramarines, were demanding the resignation of the longtime president, Frédéric Longuépée, despite the club’s impressive season so far.

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» US Soccer has $162m in the bank. So where does all the money go?

The US Soccer Federation has huge cash assets but it may need to drain that fund with lawsuits looming, and the men’s team in need of revival

In 2000, the US Soccer Federation was on shaky financial ground. A couple of business plans list ambitious ideas to build the sport in America while reining in expenses to balance against projected revenues around of $30m. The effort worked, and the sport’s American overseers doubled their assets to $14m.

As of March 2018, according to the Form 990 filing required of nonprofits, the federation’s assets are $162.7m. Roughly a third of that money is from the one-time windfall of hosting the 2016 Copa America Centenario, but US Soccer still brought in more than $120m in revenue in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2018, the same fiscal year that the men’s national team flopped in World Cup qualifying.

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» Ellie Carpenter: a truly modern-day full-back with plenty still to offer | Samantha Lewis

The 19-year-old Matilda has the potential to rival the likes of Lucy Bronze and Kelley O’Hara

In Australia’s match against Brazil at July’s Women’s World Cup, there was a moment that perfectly encapsulated the eye-catching playing style of right-back Ellie Carpenter, who has been voted the 88th best women’s footballer on the planet.

It was the second half, and Australia had dragged themselves back into the game after conceding twice, largely against the run of play. Carpenter collected the ball in her own half and drove into the empty green space beyond. It was an image anybody who has recently watched the 19-year old is familiar with: her torso upright, her arms slicing through the air, her white-blonde ponytail blazing out behind her.

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» Socceroos given shot at Lionel Messi and Argentina at Copa América
  • Graham Arnold’s side also face Luis Suárez’s Uruguay
  • Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay complete Group A

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is daring to dream after Australia were drawn alongside co-hosts Argentina and Lionel Messi for next year’s Copa América. Wednesday’s draw in Colombia for the South American continental championship put Australia into Group A alongside the two-time World Cup champions as well as Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and old rivals Uruguay.

The Socceroos will play five group matches against each nation, with the top four teams from the pool progressing into the quarter-finals of the 12-nation tournament. A provisional draw from governing body Conmebol has Australia kicking off their campaign in Cordoba against Uruguay, famously the nation the Socceroos got past in a play off in 2005 to reach their first World Cup since 1974.

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» Atlético Madrid get on the wrong side of Lionel Messi's genius once again

When Messi picked up the ball in the 86th minute on Sunday, what would follow for Diego Simeone’s team became inevitable

“It smelt of danger,” Diego Simeone said. Late on Sunday night, all drenched in black, Atlético Madrid’s manager could see it coming and so could everyone else, a ball collected 50 yards out that felt like an open goal. Chests tightened: there was a long way to go, a lot of defenders in front of him – five six, seven of them – a passage so tight and a target so small it was hard enough to see, let alone hit, but it already felt like Lionel Messi had escaped. They had, after all, seen this so many times before: the same moment, the same movement, the same outcome, simultaneously happening in slow motion and stuck on fast-forward, which defines him somehow. It was all so very Messi.

Related: Lionel Messi’s late winner sinks Atlético Madrid and puts Barcelona top

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» Leon Bailey and lucky Leverkusen hold their nerve to beat Bayern

Bayern-Dusel normally dictates fortune favours Munich but the heroics of Leon Bailey and Lukas Hradecky proved decisive

It’s hard to get too far into the general lexicon of the Bundesliga without Bayern-Dusel coming up. It’s more than the rub of the green. It represents the feeling that the big bad wolf, no matter the plan you hatch, the traps you set and the amount you’re prepared to struggle against fate, will eventually get his dinner. It’s about the inevitability of Bayern Munich always, in the final analysis, coming out on top.

Related: Turati heroics and lethal Lazio offer hope of vintage Serie A title race

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» Turati heroics and lethal Lazio offer hope of vintage Serie A title race

The 18-year-old Sassuolo goalkeeper defied Juventus in a 2-2 draw that puts Inter and free-scoring Lazio in the title hunt

Stefano Turati learned on Saturday morning that he was about to make his Serie A debut. One day later, he stood in front of a mob of reporters at Juventus’s Allianz Stadium, wearing a turtleneck and a bewildered smile. “It’s hard to explain everything that has happened,” he said. “I’m still trying to understand it myself.”

The short version goes like this: Turati, at 18 years old, put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Sassuolo earn a 2-2 draw at the home of the Serie A champions. He thwarted Cristiano Ronaldo, extending his 6ft 2in frame to tip a second-half free-kick over the bar, and denied Gonzalo Higuaín, too, smothering a shot from the Argentinian at point-blank range.

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» Atlanta United now have a seat on Aberdeen's board. Why?

It has traditionally been European clubs that invest in North American soccer. But a recent deal has reversed the trend

One wonders what Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes thought when he walked into Atlanta United’s 71,000 capacity Mercedes Benz Stadium, with its retractable roof and 62,000 square feet wraparound video screen. Aberdeen’s home, Pittodrie, with its non-regulation sized pitch, crumbling stands and gale-force winds swirling in from the North Sea, is a rather different venue. Now, however, Aberdeen and Atlanta United have plenty in common, being sister clubs and all.

Last week saw a “strategic partnership” announced between the Scottish Premiership and Major League Soccer clubs, with Atlanta United’s parent company, AMB Sports & Entertainment, also taking a minority ownership stake in Aberdeen, investing £2m in the Pittodrie club. Darren Eales, the Atlanta United president, now sits on the Dons’ board and, alongside new Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, presented the two clubs under one umbrella.

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» Next Generation 2019: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, the new Paul Pogba and Barça’s Ansu Fati are among our 60 most talented players in the world born in 2002. Check the progress of our 2018 picks | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by DZfoot, BackpagePix, Club Atlético Belgrano, EFE, EPA, Getty Images, Uwe Gruen/Hoffenheim, AMA/Getty Images, Rex/Shutterstock, Zuma Press/PA, FIFA, Tigres, Damir Krajac/CROPIX, Alamy, Daniel Reyes/Ecuafutbol, Reuters, Atromitos, Imago/PA, fotoBERNAMA, New Straits Times, José Alonso Paredes Sánchez, Agencja Gazeta, David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty, AP, Asian Football Confederation, Danubio FC and Championat Asia

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» Next Generation 2019: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

The Guardian selects the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2003, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by David Price/Arsenal/Getty Images, Neville Williams/Aston Villa/Getty Images, AFC Bournemouth, Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC, Paul Dennis/TGS/Shutterstock, Clive Howes/Chelsea/Getty Images, Danny Loo/PPAUK, Emma Simpson/Everton/Getty Images, Nick Taylor/Liverpool/Getty Images, Manchester City/Getty Images, Ash Donelon/Manchester United/Getty Images, Jason Dawson/Jasonpix, James Wilson/Sportimage, Simon Bellis/Sportimage, Robin Jones/Digital South/Southampton FC, Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images, Alan Cozzi/Watford, Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United and Sam Bagnall/AMA

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» Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

From Rashford to Tielemans, we check in on how our initial Next Generation players have got on before the 2019 ones are announced this week

In 2014 we decided that it would be interesting to pick the best young players from each Premier League club – as well as 40 from around the world – and follow them for five years to see how they progressed.

The idea was to try to get a sense of how difficult it is to become a professional footballer despite being one of the best in that country at the age of 16 or 17.

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» Harley Willard: ‘Iceland’s a good place just to concentrate on your football’

The winger, who was part of the Guardian’s first Next Generation in 2014, talks about rebuilding his career after being released by Southampton

Harley Willard made one of those sliding-doors decisions that can turn anyone’s life around last December. He had arrived at Heathrow airport, packed and ready for the 14-hour slog back to Phnom Penh, and at that point another season at the Cambodian club Svay Rieng felt like a trade-off he could just about stomach. The football there offered few real prospects but he had enjoyed the lifestyle and, after such an uncertain year and a half since leaving Southampton, surely his happiness was the most important thing.

Related: Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

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» Amazon creeps into football’s broadcast jungle with stream designed to drown us | Jonathan Liew
Amazon Prime’s debut night was aiming for continuity, as if you wouldn’t even notice it further monetising your love of football

One of the lesser known but more frequently thumbed tomes on my bookshelf is something called The Premier League Handbook. Published in the summer of 1992 before the launch of a zippy new competition called the FA Premier League and competitively priced at £3.99, it’s a nostalgic and richly comic artefact, a sepia‑tinted window into the hoopla and razzmatazz that greeted English football’s brave new dawn.

And so in among the usual season previews (Dean Saunders and Jason Dozzell were among the “players to watch” that year) was a six-page feature on an upstart young broadcaster called Sky Sports, which was promising to reinvent the way we watched football and not the least reticent about it. Sky, we were told, would bring with it “space-age gadgetry” and “computer graphics”. Tension would be heightened by – and I quote – “a clock running constantly in one corner of the screen”. It was, in so many ways, a more innocent age.

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» David Squires on … how are Arsenal doing, boss?

Our resident cartoonist on what the Gunners will do next after Unai Emery’s sacking

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» End of my Italian chapter means trading Turin for fresh adventures | Eni Aluko
Things went well at Juventus on the pitch but the last six months in particular have been difficult off it

This weekend I will play my last game for Juventus, bringing to an end a year and a half of great success and lots of learning. When I arrived in the summer of 2018 I was attracted by a big club still in its infancy as a women’s team, and a big project on and off the pitch that I could be a part of. On the pitch, we achieved a lot of rapid success: a league title, the domestic cup and the Supercoppa. Off the pitch, I think it is fair to say things have been a little more uneven.

Looking back at my achievements with this team, which included finishing last season as top scorer, I feel proud. When I arrived I did not know whether I could adapt to the style of play, or the culture, language and city of Turin. I knew I would play, but I did not know where, or how well. In a team built around a core of nine Italy internationals, I managed to seamlessly fit in. I do not think that is an easy thing to do for an international striker. This season I have moved position, playing wide on the right with different responsibilities. It has been difficult to maintain my goalscoring form and I have not always been the best version of myself, but it has been yet another learning experience.

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» The Fiver | Yes, it’s Middlesbrough v Charlton! Or Woodgate v Bowyer

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It’s the big one this weekend, folks. The one you’ve all been waiting for. A footballing duel like no other. Yes, it’s Middlesbrough v Charlton! Or Woodgate v Bowyer, if you’re wondering why The Fiver is bothering to get the weekend started by previewing 20th v 17th in the Championship instead of the Manchester derby. You see, the former Nasty Leeds players have a history and back when The Fiver was listening to the Strokes and pretending we had a future, we’d have bet all our Tin money on the former nightspot-bothering teammates not making it into management.

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» Football transfer rumours: Erling Braut Haaland to Dortmund for £17m?

Today’s fluff is preparing for the January sales

The Mill welcomes you this Friday with news of an expected stampede in Austria’s post-Christmas January sales. You see, reports in Germany suggest that RB Salzburg “goal giant” Erling Braut Haaland does indeed have a £17m release clause in his contract. The club denied such a thing existed last week which, The Mill supposes, you would do if you had a player on your books whom clubs were falling over themselves to offer £50m-plus for. Manchester United are among a number of European clubs to have been linked with the goal-guzzling big man who Ole Gunnar Solskjær managed at Molde, but talent-polishing German giants Borussia Dortmund appear to be leading the race for the Norway striker as they look to close the five-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga.

In a further blow to United’s January transfer hopes, Dortmund are going to put £100m-rated Jadon Sancho – who is also being monitored by Liverpool – under lock and key at the Westfalenstadion until at least the summer. Hot air emanating from Istanbul suggests that mid-table Süper Lig side Galatasaray will try to sweet-talk Xherdan Shaqiri into leaving Premier League title-chasers Liverpool in January but the “Power Cube” might want to hang around until at least May, having been brought back into the fold and scoring against Everton on Wednesday.

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» The best scoring seasons by players from Asia or Oceania in Europe | The Knowledge

Plus: managers with a knack for getting sacked, goal-hungry teams of 10 men and Premier League Vans

“What’s the highest position in a goalscoring chart a player from Oceania or Asia has finished in Europe?” asks Kenn Rushworth.

If we are talking about the top five leagues in Europe (Spain, Italy, England, France and Germany) the answer is second. New Zealand’s Wynton Rufer scored 17 goals for Werder Bremen in 1992-93 to lead them to the Bundesliga title by one point. The striker, who was named Oceania Player of the Century, was also joint-top scorer in the 1993-94 Champions League with eight goals alongside Barcelona’s Ronald Koeman.

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

Clean sheets and winking managers in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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» Football quiz: José Mourinho v Tottenham Hotspur

Mourinho has won more games against Spurs than any other club. Can you remember his victories, defeats and moans?

What happened the last time José Mourinho led out a team against Tottenham?

He suffered the biggest home defeat of his whole career

He won his last game as Manchester United manager

He lost the match and was sacked the next day

He was sent to the stands for shouting at the fourth official

Mourinho came out fighting after that defeat, demanding “respect, respect, respect man”. What did he say to reporters after the match, while holding up three fingers?

“I won the Champions League three times”

“We should have had three penalties. Three clear penalties”

“I have won league titles in three countries. I am Mr Europe”

“I won more Premierships alone than the other 19 managers together. Three for me and two for them”

Mourinho’s first ever game against Tottenham, in September 2004, finished 0-0. After the match he said: "They brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal. I would have been frustrated if I had been a supporter who paid £50 to watch this game because Spurs came to defend. I'm really frustrated because there was only one team looking to win." Who was the Tottenham manager at the time?

Martin Jol

Harry Redknapp

Tim Sherwood

Jacques Santini

Despite Mourinho’s claims about Spurs “parking the bus” against his Chelsea team, Tottenham pulled off a brilliant 5-3 win when the clubs met on New Year’s Day in 2015. Who scored a penalty for Spurs that day – the only penalty he has ever scored in the league?

Christian Eriksen

Andros Townsend

Roberto Soldado

Paulinho

Mourinho has faced his new clubs once in the Champions League – when Real Madrid were drawn against Spurs in the quarter-finals of the tournament in 2011. How did that tie finish after two legs?

Real Madrid 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Real Madrid 6-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Real Madrid 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Real win on penalties)

Real Madrid 4-4 Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs win on away goals)

Which former Premier League player scored two goals against Tottenham in that tie?

Luka Modric

Xabi Alonso

Cristiano Ronaldo

Emmanuel Adebayor

Spurs lost the first leg of that tie 4-0. Having one of their players sent off after just 14 minutes did not help. Who was shown the red card?

Michael Dawson

Jermaine Jenas

Peter Crouch

Williams Gallas

Mourinho claims that Tottenham tried to appoint him in 2007. What reason did he give for turning them down?

“Because they never spend any money”

“Because I completed the Premier League many times”

“Because I prefer west London”

“Because I love Chelsea supporters too much. I’m Chelsea”

Before this season began, Mourinho was asked which teams could win the league. He replied: “Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool and …

“… Arsenal if they give me the job”

“… any team that appoints me before Christmas”

“… hang on, not Tottenham. They will bottle it”

“… the Man City B team”

Mourinho has won a cup final against his new club. He was the Chelsea manager when they beat Spurs 2-0 to win the League Cup at Wembley in 2015. John Terry scored the first goal for Chelsea that day. Who scored the second?

Hugo Lloris

Kyle Walker

Danny Rose

Eric Dier

1 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

2 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

3 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

4 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

5 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

6 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

7 and above.

You won the League Cup early on but were sacked in your third season

8 and above.

You are the special one

9 and above.

You are the special one

0 and above.

You are a specialist in failure

10 and above.

You are the special one

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» Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

Keep up with the top scorers in European football’s leading five leagues, updated throughout the season

14 Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

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» The Joy of Six: football and the outside of the boot | Rob Smyth

From Brazilian screamers to an extravagant shank via Peruvian insouciance, we celebrate one of football’s most difficult skills

NB: The point of the Joy of Six is not to rank things, only to enjoy them

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» The forgotten story of ... Ray Freeman, the ‘madman’ manager and trailblazer

The British coach enjoyed such success in Norway with Brann in the 1970s that he was awarded honorary citizen status

SK Brann’s Europa League campaign ended on Thursday with a 2-1 defeat by Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, just down the road from where their very first continental adventure foundered 46 years ago at the hands of the Belfast side Glentoran. Decades of competition in Europe for the Norwegian club began under the guidance of an intrepid Englishman, Ray Freeman, who died this year and is remembered with great fondness.

Brann fans used to call him the Madman of Bergen because of his touchline gesticulations and hollering. But his method and personality won such admiration that within two years of his arrival he became the first person to be awarded honorary citizen status in Norway’s second-biggest city. He inspired Brann to their first Norwegian Cup triumph for 47 years. Which was some going for a man who took the job when he was only 27 and just after Brann’s star player, Roald Jensen, had been banned for kicking a referee up the backside.

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» How Duckenfield trial left Hillsborough families distraught again

Victims’ relatives again left to face claims that Liverpool fans contributed to tragedy at 1989 FA Cup semi-final

For the Hillsborough families whose 96 loved ones were killed so horrifically at a football match on a sunny spring day in 1989, a 30-year battle for the truth and accountability has culminated in another outcome they find impossible to accept. They fought for 21 years against the first inquest verdict of accidental death in 1991, finally seeing it quashed in 2012. Then in April 2016, the jury at the new inquests determined that the 96 people were unlawfully killed by the gross negligence manslaughter of the South Yorkshire police officer in command, Ch Supt David Duckenfield, to a criminal standard of proof.

Yet now, following a grim, painful trial and retrial at Preston crown court, in which the families accused the judge of not being impartial, the jury at his prosecution has found him not guilty of, in effect, the same offence: gross negligence manslaughter.

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» Euro 2020: group-by-group analysis for next summer's tournament

All you need to know about the teams that have already qualified for the European Championship finals in 2020

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» Liverpool’s Pep Lijnders: ‘Our identity is intensity. It comes back in every drill’
Jürgen Klopp’s assistant on designing training, playing paddle tennis with the manager and why James Milner inspired him

Long before Liverpool reached last season’s Champions League final, preparations for a possible showdown in Madrid were being made by Pepijn “Pep” Lijnders. The semi-final against Barcelona had not been played but Jürgen Klopp’s assistant was already contemplating the ideal preparation. He thought about inviting a team who could mimic Ajax’s or Tottenham’s style, to give Liverpool an idea of what they could expect if they overcame Barça.

The location was decided. Marbella’s weather was similar to Madrid’s and it would be relatively easy to fly a team there secretly. “I really wanted to organise a game because otherwise it would have been three weeks without any competitive action,” Lijnders says. “I wanted us to play a similar team to the opponents we could face in Madrid. The idea was to privately invite a team to train three to four days in the way we wanted them to play us in the friendly.”

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