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Football News

» Man Utd provide Marcus Rashford injury update after FA Cup win over Liverpool
Marcus Rashford proceeded straight down the tunnel when he was taken off as Man Utd hold their breath on an injury ahead of a scan tomorrow
» Willian Jose faces wait for his debut but vows to make it worth it
New Wolves signing Willian Jose is eager to get scoring but isn't yet in England and is waiting on paperwork
» Klopp sends message to Mourinho after Liverpool exit FA Cup at hands of Man Utd
The Reds went down 3-2 at Old Trafford after Bruno Fernandes came off the bench to score a free-kick winner twelve minutes from time
» Fernandes sends message to Van de Beek after setting example for team-mate
Donny van de Beek was handed a rare Man Utd start against Liverpool in the FA Cup but failed to impress before being replaced by match-winner Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford
» Burnley want Nottingham Forest skipper Joe Worrall but may wait until the summer
EXCLUSIVE: Burnley's new owners have pledged to invest funds in fresh players but are considering saving their cash for a summer overhaul instead
» Fernandes steps up from the bench to be Man Utd's match winner against Liverpool
Bruno Fernandes was Man Utd's match winner after he came off the bench to fire home a late free-kick as he sealed
» Jurgen Klopp's lengthy chat with Paul Pogba on pitch after Man Utd vs Liverpool
Paul Pogba was named man of the match as Man Utd beat Liverpool before being spotted chatting to Jurgen Klopp at full-time as they made their way off the Old Trafford pitch
» Cavani's clever piece of advice to Fernandes before scoring Liverpool free-kick
Fernandes stepped up to score Manchester United's winner as they edged a tight and entertaining FA Cup fourth round tie against Liverpool at Old Trafford
» Fans spot Andy Robertson's 'embarrassing' attempt to put off Mason Greenwood
Liverpool were sent crashing out of the FA Cup by Manchester United after a 3-2 thriller at Old Trafford, but Red Devils fans were not impressed by the antics of Andy Robertson as he tried to stop Mason Greenwood from scoring
» Fernandes' superb reaction to being benched vs Liverpool sums winning mentality
The Portuguese came off the bench to score the winner in Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United's fierce rivals at Old Trafford
» FA Cup 5th round draw: All the confirmed fixtures after Man Utd beat Liverpool
The FA Cup fifth round will be played next month. The draw was made two weeks ago, but the final fixtures are only being confirmed now
» 5 talking points from Man Utd's win over Liverpool in FA Cup classic
Bruno Fernandes' free-kick proved the difference as Manchester United came from behind to see off Liverpool in an FA Cup classic at Old Trafford
» Bruno Fernandes' Liverpool warning to Man Utd team-mates falls on deaf ears
Bruno Fernandes warned his Man Utd team-mates of the danger of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino but the pair linked up to give Liverpool the lead at Old Trafford
» Four players and president of Brazilian club Palmas killed in plane crash
Palmas were due to play Vila Nova on Monday night but a plane crash which killed four of their players and the club president has seen the game postponed
» Lampard makes Werner admission after penalty miss in Chelsea victory
The German saw his effort from the spot saved by Luton goalkeeper Simon Sluga as Tammy Abraham's hat-trick booked Chelsea's place in the FA Cup fifth round
» Fernandes identifies Man Utd's "problems" and pleasing dressing room reaction
United top the Premier League table and are in serious contention for the title this season but Fernandes feels there is still plenty of room for improvement
» Mesut Ozil's shirt number at Fenerbahce and unique reason for breaking tradition
Arsenal have confirmed the exit of Mesut Ozil and the German playmaker is set to wear an unusual shirt number at new club Fenerbahce for a unique reason
» Mesut Ozil's farewell message to Arsenal as Fenerbahce transfer confirmed
Ozil departs Arsenal after a seven-and-a-half year stay ended sourly as he was frozen out of first-team affairs, with Fenerbahce snapping up the midfielder on a free transfer
» Edu comments on Mesut Ozil's "professionalism" as he completes Arsenal exit
Mesut Ozil has left Arsenal and completed his Fenerbahce transfer with Edu and Mikel Arteta both sending positive farewell messages to the German playmaker
» Mesut Ozil completes Fenerbahce transfer and ends Arsenal nightmare
Mesut Ozil has put pen to paper on a deal with Turkish giants Fenerbahce, following eight years at Arsenal but having been a Gunners outcast for the last 10 months
» Six talking points as Tammy Abraham hat-trick sends Blues through against Luton
Abraham hit all three goals in the FA Cup clash at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea overcome a stern challenge from Luton to set up a fifth round tie with Barnsley
» Man Utd vs Liverpool live score and goal updates from Old Trafford FA Cup clash
A place in the FA Cup fifth round is the prize as Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Follow the action LIVE right here
» Koeman makes Barcelona transfer admission amid Wijnaldum interest
Koeman is determined to tempt Wijnaldum to the Nou Camp amidst the midfielder's contract stand-off with Liverpool but accepts the decision of the Barcelona board
» Jesse Lingard poised to leave Man Utd as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sanctions loan
Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham are among the clubs keen on signing Lingard on loan with Solskjaer prepared to lose the 28-year-old from his squad at Man Utd

Other sport news:

» Everton v Sheffield Wednesday: FA Cup fourth round – live!

85 min A double change for Everton: Thierry Small, 16, and Tyler Onyango, 17, come on for Andre Gomes and the marvellous James Rodriguez. At 16 years 176 days, Small becomes the youngest player in Everton’s history. Well in lads.

82 min James sweeps the ball out to Bernard, who cuts inside and has a shot blocked. Kenny puts the rebound into orbit. I know I’m a stuck record, but James has been so good tonight: elegant, regal and another complimentary word.

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» 'Amazing journey': Mesut Özil thanks Arsenal as he seals Fenerbahce move
  • German midfielder completes permanent move to Turkey
  • ‘The support I have felt has been truly incredible’

Mesut Özil has “no regrets” about his time at Arsenal after completing his move to Fenerbahce, finally drawing a line under what he called an “amazing journey”.

Related: Mesut Özil: the galáctico who became symbolic of Arsenal's decline

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» Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes sinks Liverpool in FA Cup thriller

This was a thriller of a Cup tie, Manchester United emerging on the right end of a 3-2 scoreline courtesy of Bruno Fernandes’s late winner. It means Liverpool have only one win from their last seven outings – and this against Aston Villa’s kids in the previous round – and United roll on in the competition to face West Ham here next month.

Related: Solskjær hails Manchester United's statement FA Cup win over Liverpool

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» Chelsea and Arsenal WSL fixtures postponed due to heavy snowfall
  • England captain plays 150th WSL match in rout of Brighton
  • Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all see games postponed

Steph Houghton became the first player to make 150 Women’s Super League appearances as Manchester City issued a reminder that they remain very much part of one of the top tier’s tightest title races on Sunday.

City’s 7-1 win at Brighton, on a day disrupted by three weather‑induced WSL postponements, featured two goals from the England captain. Houghton started her footballing life as a centre-forward and demonstrated precisely why as she scored with a wickedly curling and dipping free-kick in addition to a more routine finish. With Caroline Weir also scoring twice and Ellen White, Chloe Kelly and Janine Beckie claiming one goal apiece, it felt an appropriate way for City to celebrate their seventh birthday.

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» Jay Rodriguez fires double as Burnley coast to FA Cup win at Fulham

Sean Dyche said Burnley side’s “collective mentality” was the key to their 3-0 FA Cup triumph over Fulham.

Related: Manchester United v Liverpool: FA Cup fourth round – live!

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» Chelsea's Abraham hits hat-trick against Luton but Werner frustration continues

The banner draped over the top tier of the Shed End served as a reminder that it will be a long time before Chelsea’s fans give up on Frank Lampard. Although results have been poor, they remain behind one of the finest players in their club’s history. The message, delivered at a social distance, was emphatic: “In Frank We Trust. Then. Now. Forever.”

Related: Chelsea 3-1 Luton Town: FA Cup fourth round – as it happened

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» European roundup: Juventus back on track as Bayern roar to win over Schalke
  • Lozano scores third-fastest Serie A goal but Napoli lose
  • Thomas Müller scores twice in Bayern’s 4-0 victory

Juventus got their Serie A title defence back on track with a 2-0 home win over Bologna on Sunday that moved Andrea Pirlo’s side into the top four. Arthur Melo scored his first goal for the Turin club in the first half with a deflected strike and the American midfielder Weston McKennie headed home the second on 71 minutes.

Related: European roundup: Milan crowned winter champions despite Atalanta defeat

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» Leicester's Cengiz Under sparks comeback FA Cup win after Brentford scare

As James Maddison scored Leicester’s third goal, Brendan Rodgers performed his trademark celebration on the touchline: head bowed, arms imperiously raised skywards, as if beseeching us to exalt him. It is the pose Rodgers adopts when he wants everybody to know exactly whose triumph this was. And as a heavily-changed side accelerated effortlessly through the gears in the second half, it was hard not to beguiled by the character and industry of a team increasingly being cast in its manager’s audacious image.

Certainly, whatever Rodgers managed to impart to his team at the half-time break seemed to work handsomely. In the space of only 25 minutes, Leicester had managed to spin a potential embarrassment into a clinical comeback, cancelling out Mads Bech Sørensen’s early goal and earning a fifth-round tie against Brighton. Most importantly, they did so not by diluting but by reaffirming their principles.

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» Phil Foden and Manchester City dash Cheltenham dreams of Cup upset

Just as Cheltenham Town of League Two sniffed one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history, two goals in three minutes turned an exhilarating tie on its head and earned Manchester City passage to the fifth round. City were made to sweat after a long throw helped Cheltenham take a surprise lead through Alfie May, but late goals by Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus punctured Cheltenham’s hopes of recording the mother of all upsets before Ferran Torres allowed City to breathe easy in the final seconds.

With seven minutes to play, moments after Foden had equalised by gracefully converting João Cancelo’s perfect cross, it spoke volumes that a pernickety Guardiola was still fretting on the touchline, pedantically arguing that Ben Tozer, the Cheltenham captain who heroically led his team, was trying to steal a few yards before unleashing his not-so-secret weapon: that monstrous and now infamous long throw. The reason Guardiola was ruffled was because Cheltenham had already prospered from it, May scoring after nipping in ahead of Benjamin Mendy, one of 10 City changes.

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» Watkins and Traoré on target as Villa pile pressure on Bruce and Newcastle

The pressure on Steve Bruce grew heavier with this emphatic defeat to his former club, who swaggered back into the top half of the table thanks to goals by Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traoré. Newcastle have not won for 10 matches in all competitions and although they are seven points above 18th place, they are far from safe from relegation. Bruce’s position looks even more precarious.

Within moments of the final whistle at Villa Park, Newcastle fans vented their anger over 200 miles away, descending on St James’ Park with banners calling for Bruce to go.

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» Defensive struggles suggest Liverpool have stood still while others push on | Barney Ronay

Rhys Williams had a difficult game against Manchester United but the fact he played at all implies a flaw in the Anfield system

Three minutes into the second half at Old Trafford something happened that was simultaneously startling, avoidable, unfortunate, and also crushingly inevitable. Manchester United’s second goal in this fun, highly watchable 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round win will be cast as a the fruit of a Rhys Williams mistake.

Correctly so: it was a horrible mistake. Rumbling back to cut out a diagonal pass from Mason Greenwood, Liverpool’s centre‑back scuffed a miskicked clearance that ran straight into Marcus Rashford’s path, leaving him a clear run on goal.

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» What does Brexit really mean for the future of British football? | Ed Aarons

New rules regarding transfers from the European Union could give home-grown talent more opportunity to flourish and filter money to the lower divisions

As Jürgen Klopp has asked, what really improves after Brexit? While several industries have been forced to come to terms with the new regulations introduced on 1 January, the debate over their lasting impact on British football continues to rage.

With all transfers from European Union nations set to be subject to work permits that will be allocated using a points-based system and every Premier League and EFL club now banned from signing foreign players until they are 18, the days of Arsenal recruiting a talented 16-year-old from Barcelona’s academy, as they did with Cesc Fàbregas in 2003, are over. Likewise, Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham – both now full England internationals – would not have been able to complete their moves to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City and Birmingham under the new rules.

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» Men's transfer window January 2021 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

All the winter window’s Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A deals with club-by-club guides

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» Solskjær hails Manchester United's 'statement win' over Liverpool in FA Cup
  • Manager’s first win over Liverpool shows ‘we can match the best’
  • Jürgen Klopp says of poor run: ‘We have to solve it together’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær hailed a “statement win” for Manchester United after Liverpool were beaten 3-2 in the FA Cup fourth round at Old Trafford.

An entertaining cup tie was decided by Bruno Fernandes’ late free-kick as United progressed to meet West Ham in the next round at home. Solskjær admitted he was particularly pleased with the manner of victory – his first against major rivals Liverpool at the fifth attempt.

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» Women's transfer window January 2021 – every deal in Europe's top five leagues

Latest deals and club-by-club guides for the WSL and leagues in Italy, France, Germany and Spain

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» Gabriel deflection helps Southampton dump Arsenal out of FA Cup

Arsenal have shrugged off the “cup team” tag for now, but not in the way they would have wanted. The holders will have to seek fulfilment elsewhere after a defeat that showed up the fragility of their reserves to an extent that should concern Mikel Arteta.

Southampton fully merited their win on the strength of a dominant first half and an effective late rearguard action; they will travel to Wolves in the fifth round and should feel confident of a strong run in this competition if they continue to treat it with the seriousness shown here.

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» Basham and Sharp on target as Sheffield United squeeze past Plymouth

Sheffield United have beaten more League One teams than Premier League sides this season and if that sorry statistic explains why their grip on their top-flight status is increasingly loose at least they have proof they can still see off those from the third-tier.

Without that habit, Chris Wilder would never have gravitated to the elite and, four years on, they retain it. After chalking up 100 points in League One in 2016-17, United have now defeated Bristol Rovers and Plymouth, two current third division sides.

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» European roundup: Milan crowned winter champions despite Atalanta defeat
  • Benzema hits double in Real Madrid’s 4-1 win at Alavés
  • RB Leipzig slip to shock defeat against Mainz in Bundesliga

Atalanta consigned Milan to their second league defeat of the season with a 3-0 win at San Siro on Saturday, but Stefano Pioli’s side were still named winter champions in Serie A after Internazionale’s 0-0 draw against Udinese.

A Cristian Romero header put the visitors ahead at half-time before a Josip Ilicic penalty and Duvan Zapata strike completed a dominant victory for the Bergamo side. Atalanta had the chances to win by an even wider margin as an out-of-sorts Milan put in one of their worst performances of the season.

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» Brighton ride their luck as Steven Alzate deflection knocks out Blackpool

Brighton moved into the FA Cup fifth round with a difficult win over lower-league opposition, edging past Blackpool to end the League One club’s impressive cup run.

After lovely first-half goals by Yves Bissouma and Gary Madine, only a wild deflection claimed by Steven Alzate separated the sides.

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» He shoots, he scores – or does he? How VAR changed football for ever

Virtual assistance for referees has drawn complaints from managers, players and fans. What has it done to the beautiful game?

When Manchester City scored a brilliant winning goal in the last seconds of a Uefa Champions League quarter-final against Spurs in the spring of 2019, at least two spectators who were present at the game abandoned watching.

Out in the stands, an overcoated City fan hurried for the exits, delighted with his last-gasp win and keen to beat the rush home. At the same time, down on the substitutes’ bench, Moussa Sissoko, a Spurs player who’d been withdrawn through injury, was so distraught that he turned his back on the game and hobbled to his dressing room alone.

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» Micah Richards: 'I got abuse from my own black community'' | Jacob Steinberg

The former Manchester City and England defender likes to find the positives, but admits he is still learning when it comes to talking about racism

“Everyone thinks I am 45,” Micah Richards says as he ponders whether he has become a role model for young black footballers. The former Manchester City and England defender, forced into early retirement because of injuries, is pointing out he still makes mistakes. The 32-year-old is learning and has found that talking about racism stirs up a lot of emotions on both sides of the divide.

Richards does not pretend to have all the answers. There is a striking moment in his documentary, Tackling Racism in Football, when his father, Lincoln, talks about encountering prejudice as a young man in Britain. They had never spoken about it before.

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» Does Frank Lampard genuinely deserve to be fired right now? | Barney Ronay

It’s easy to make the case he has been overpromoted at Chelsea – but a more interesting question is whether he has failed

Why do people want Frank Lampard to fail so much? This seems like a reasonable question at the end of a week tickled and teased by rumours that Lampard is about to be sacked at Chelsea, that “elements” within the dressing room are already jimmying away at his fixings – all wrapped up in a gleeful surge of postmortems, pile-ons, and a tangible hunger for the great Roman to whirl his terrible scythe.

And yet he still stands! No doubt to the anguish of many watching from the sidelines. Because people really do want Lampard to fall short, and in a way that feels personal. Not to mention – on the balance of the facts – a little premature.

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» 'Once in a lifetime': Alcoyano rock Real Madrid as worlds collide | Sid Lowe

A shock for the ages provided the happiest night in the life of what, right now, might be the saddest city in Spain

“Javi Antón is crying,” said Vicente Parras, and he wasn’t the only one. The manager of Club Deportivo Alcoyano looked across the pitch at El Callao with its whitewashed walls, “Morale” splashed alongside the little blue door in the corner and saw his players still on the grass long after the final whistle. Some of them held white shirts, most of them held phones. “They’re all out there calling home,” he said: endless messages and dozens of conversations starting the way his had a few minutes before. Parras’s son couldn’t come to the game; no one could. “I just wanted to make sure he had seen it,” he admitted.

Not all of them had. José Juan Figueiras’s wife and his daughter were in tears when he called overwhelmed by it all, but his five-year-old son was in bed, asleep. It was late and he had school tomorrow; he’d have to find out what had happened in the morning, just what his dad had done, why everyone was suddenly talking about him. What had happened was this: tiny Alcoyano, the club that had not been in the first division for 70 years and were now in the semi-professional third tier with its 102 teams and 10 groups, had just beaten the biggest of them all, knocking Real Madrid out of the Copa del Rey. With 10 men, no fans and in extra-time.

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» Cristiano Ronaldo's enduring sway gives Juventus and Pirlo timely lift | Nicky Bandini

The pressure on Andrea Pirlo’s team to deliver in the Supercoppa had been intense. Juve’s talisman carried out the delivery

Andrea Pirlo used to love winding up Gennaro Gattuso. In his autobiography, the now Juventus manager described his former teammate as “my favourite target … despite the fact that he tried on numerous occasions to kill me with a fork”. Pirlo recalled bursting out of Gattuso’s wardrobe to scare him in the middle of the night and stealing his phone to message a Milan director with an offer to swap his sister for an improved contract.

It is one thing to tease, though, and another to defeat. If Pirlo derived any additional pleasure from claiming the first trophy of his managerial career at Gattuso’s expense on Wednesday night, then he did a good job of hiding it. “I feel sorry for him,” Pirlo confessed after steering Juventus to a 2-0 victory over Napoli in Italy’s Supercoppa. “But we are doing a different job now to the one that we had before. It was important for me to bring home the win.”

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» 'My fault': Klopp takes responsibility for Liverpool's shock defeat by Burnley – video

Jürgen Klopp took the blame for Liverpool's first league defeat at Anfield since April 2017 which left the team six points behind leaders Manchester United. Ashley Barnes' penalty secured Burnley a first win at Anfield in 47 years as Liverpool have now failed to win in five league games.

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» 'He does everything': Solskjær praises Pogba after winner at Fulham – video

Paul Pogba made the difference again as Manchester United came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Fulham. A stunning strike midway through the second half continued the midfielder's good form in front of goal. 'He does everything. We know Paul can do more or less everything that's asked of a midfielder. Now he's putting all the elements together in the same performance which is great to see' said manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær

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» 'My dreams come true': Mesut Özil arrives in Turkey to sign for Fenerbahce – video

Mesut Özil has landed in Istanbul before his move to Turkish side Fenerbahce. A breakthrough in talks between the midfielder and Arsenal over the weekend brought an agreement in principle to terminate his contract at the club. Speaking on Fenerbahce TV Özil said: 'I am very excited because I was always a fan of Fenerbahce. My dream comes true. I am very excited to wear the Fenerbahce jersey. I hope we will be very successful with my teammates.'

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» Özil and out: the highs and lows of Arsenal’s fallen star – video

Mesut Özil's time at Arsenal is set to come to a close after an eight-year period filled with highs and lows. There was jubilation among fans in September 2013 as the German midfielder signed for Arsenal. Things began well for Özil at the Gunners, winning the FA Cup in his first season and playing among Europe's best sides in the Champions League. 

However, things gradually went from bad to worse as criticism was heaped on the attitude and performances of the World Cup winner. The departure of Arsené Wenger would prove even more significant for the playmaker as under Unai Emery and subsequently Mikel Arteta Özil's chances have been few and far between. Mesut Özil's departure from north London will leave a bitter taste for some fans who will be left wondering what could have been

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» 'It's instinct': Premier League managers sceptical of socially distanced celebrations – video

Premier League managers have expressed scepticism at the idea of socially distanced goal celebrations, after Julian Knight, the chair of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, said footballers were 'brainless' for continuing to hug.

'It's instinct,' said Jürgen Klopp, while Pep Guardiola said it was hard for players to contain their emotions after a goal. Mikel Arteta pointed out that it made little sense ban players from celebrating together when they were coming into contact during play. 'We are trying to do all the right things,' he said. '[These] are things that are pretty complicated to control.'

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» 'This is America': Megan Rapinoe on Capitol attack – video

Megan Rapinoe has spoken on the recent attack on the US Capitol, saying: 'This is America. We showed our true colours'. The 35-year old forward, who is back in the USWNT fold for the first time since the 2020 SheBelieves Cup nearly a year ago, opened a media teleconference on Tuesday with a six-minute exposition on the fractious state of the country in the wake of last week’s siege. She added: 'Unleashing a white supremacist mob is nothing new to America'

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» Sarai Bareman: the Fifa executive bringing women’s football in from the margins | Samantha Lewis

The former Samoa international and only woman on Fifa’s reform committee is driving change from within

From her time as a player on the Samoan women’s national team to becoming deputy secretary general of the tiny Oceania Football Confederation, few people are better suited to addressing the challenges faced by the global women’s game – itself a monument to life on the margins – than Sarai Bareman.

Now, as Fifa’s inaugural chief women’s football officer, the New Zealand-born Bareman is in charge of developing and delivering the sport across the world’s 211 associations.

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» Brazil to California to Lyon: Catarina Macario's long road to stardom

The playmaker left home at the age of 12 to pursue her soccer career. Now she has signed with the most successful club in the women’s game

It has been a week to remember for Catarina Macario, the Brazilian-born, San Diego-raised midfielder who for years has been touted as the future of the US women’s national team but at the moment appears increasingly bound to its present.

Three months after receiving her American citizenship, the 21-year-old playmaker wept tears of joy with her family last Wednesday after receiving confirmation from Fifa of her approval to represent the four-times world champions in international play. The paperwork was finalised a day after Macario signed a contract to start her professional career with European champions Lyon, forgoing her senior season at Stanford University. Then on Monday night, she cut the figure of a polished veteran while making her USA debut in a 4-0 friendly win over Colombia at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.

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» Phil Neville is about to discover that Inter Miami will be no beach holiday

The former Manchester United player will take the reins at a club establishing itself on the field, and grappling with challenges off it

On Monday morning, Inter Miami announced that Phil Neville would step down from his role as manager of the England women’s team to take the helm at the Major League Soccer club. Co-owned by Neville’s former teammate David Beckham, the club played their first season in MLS amid the tumultuous backdrop of 2020, and will hope Neville can turn the team into a force to be reckoned with in the seemingly ever-expanding league.

In his first statement as Miami manager, Neville described Inter as a “very young club with a lot of promise and upside”. But if he expects his new job to be all beach days and sunshine, he is in for a shock.

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» Marseille's title challenge in Ligue 1 has ended before it started

Marseille were fighting PSG and Lyon for top spot in Ligue 1 a month ago. Now they are only fighting among themselves

By Adam White and Eric Devin for Get French Football News

It wasn’t so long ago that we found ourselves tipping Marseille as outsiders for the Ligue 1 title. After six straight wins in the league, they sat just two points off the leaders in mid-December. They also had two matches in hand: a fairly tricky game against Lens and an eminently winnable fixture against a rudderless Nice side. Marseille had been shockingly poor in Europe but, now that their relentless, squad-stretching Champions League campaign was behind him, could they make a fist of things domestically?

Related: Antonio Conte outsmarts Andrea Pirlo in great leap forward for Inter | Nicky Bandini

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» Return to Australia beckons for Daniel Arzani after stagnant two years in Europe | Emma Kemp

A homecoming, however brief, could provide a circuit breaker for the under-utilised 22-year-old

On the eve of Saturday night’s 2-1 derby win over Western United, Melbourne City head coach Patrick Kisnorbo fielded a media query he had probably been expecting. Would he like to see Daniel Arzani back in City’s line-up?

“If that option came up we’d probably talk about it,” Kisnorbo said. “I haven’t spoken to Daniel. At the end of the day, that’s their business. I need to worry about what we want to do here and what we have here at the moment. I just wish Daniel all the best in what he needs to do with his career.”

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» Messi sent off as Athletic Bilbao sink Barcelona to win Spanish Super Cup
  • Barcelona 2-3 Athletic Bilbao (aet)
  • Iñaki Williams hits superb extra-time winner

The moment that ultimately won this match, if it could be reduced to just one among so many, was like the last frame of a comic strip.

It’s 2-2 in extra time in the Super Cup and the team made up entirely of local boys have twice come from behind against the biggest team of all, somehow making it this far thanks to an improbable last-minute equaliser. The ball then falls at the feet of the striker who joined them as a kid and is playing in his 167th consecutive game. From the edge of the area, an implausible position, he hits an unstoppable shot which flies through the air, and rockets into the net.

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» W-League's culture placed under threat after men throw bottles onto pitch | Samantha Lewis

The two worlds of men’s and women’s fan culture collided in an ugly incident during Sunday’s Melbourne derby

Sunday afternoon’s Melbourne derby had everything you could want from a revenge story. The protagonist, Melbourne City, had suffered a great loss the week before. Their 6-0 defeat at the hands of Victory in the first fixture – the biggest in City’s history – was the kind of moment that leads to some existential reckoning; a slow close-up of the bruised and bloodied face of our hero, accompanied by melancholy strings.

But that is always the beginning of the plot. At some point, they must climb out of that deep pit of despair and seek justice for the wrongs inflicted upon them. And that is exactly what City did. Their 3-2 win over Victory had all the subplots and spin-offs you could ask for: the triumphant return of Alex Chidiac from Spain, the growing influence of teenage star Kyra Cooney-Cross, the inspired performance of Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah, and City arresting a potentially fatal slide into mediocrity to keep their state-based rivalry alive.

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» Ibrahimovic double defeats Cagliari as Milan restore three-point lead at the top

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice on his first Serie A start since returning from injury to help Milan restore their three-point lead at the top with a 2-0 win at Cagliari.

The 39-year-old forward has been absent since picking up a thigh injury in Milan’s win at Napoli on 22 November. He returned as a substitute against Torino in the Coppa Italia last week, but was fit enough to start in Sardinia and wasted no time in getting back among the goals.

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» European roundup: Dortmund and Leipzig slip up as PSG go top of Ligue 1
  • Dortmund’s Reus misses penalty, Leipzig draw at Wolfsburg
  • PSG go top in Ligue 1 after Angers win, Marseille slump to Nîmes

Borussia Dortmund had to come from behind to rescue a 1-1 home draw against struggling Mainz on Saturday that kept them in fourth place in the Bundesliga, four points off the top.

Dortmund, who missed a late penalty, wasted a slew of chances while Jude Bellingham also hit the woodwork. Mainz then struck with their first chance after the break as Levin Öztunalı picked up the ball in midfield, beat one defender and released an unstoppable left-footed missile from 25 metres out.

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» Next Generation 2020: 60 of the best young talents in world football

The ‘Tanzanian Mbappé’, Juan Pablo Ángel’s son and the next Kai Havertz are among our players born in 2003. Check the progress of our 2019 selection | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» Next Generation 2020: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

We pick the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2003 and 31 August 2004, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

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» From Ødegaard to Mastour: what happened to Next Generation 2015?

As we prepare to publish our Next Generation 2020 selection, we say goodbye to the class of 2015. So how did they get on?

This is what the Guardian’s Andy Hunter wrote about his 2015 Liverpool player for our series the Next Generation, where we pick one player from each Premier League club in the first-year scholar age group and follow their developments for five years.

The 16-year-old has received rave reviews not only from Liverpool and England coaches during a rapid rise up the ranks but also from Steven Gerrard, his boyhood hero, in the former Anfield captain’s new autobiography. Gerrard reveals he asked Pepijn Lijnders, the first-team development coach, to always include Alexander-Arnold in his group when taking his ’B’ Licence course, and handed him the captain’s armband during a comeback game in Liverpool’s Under-18s side last season. “It was my way of telling Trent that I believed he could make it for Liverpool one day,” Gerrard writes.

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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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» Phil Neville's tenure as England Women coach: tepid and too much arrogance | Suzanne Wrack

Neville exits after one World Cup semi-final, several outbursts and an arrogance not befitting a coach with such limited experience

After the longest of goodbyes the Phil Neville experiment is finally over. He leaves the England job not on the crest of a wave following major tournament success, or tail between legs having fallen short on the biggest of stages, but with a muted press release that sums up a muted and, dare we say it, tepid tenure.

As he leaves to become Inter Miami manager, five days short of his three-year anniversary, what to make of it all? There has been praise for aspects of the 43-year-old’s spell. His holistic approach and the big-game experience he had from his career as a player were perhaps his greatest strengths. His man-management was described as “world class” by his assistant Bev Priestman (who took charge of the Canada national team on 1 November last year) on the eve of England’s 2019 World Cup opener. She was backed by the right‑back Lucy Bronze, who said his relationship-building with players, fans and staff had helped England to “become a better team”.

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» Rooney-mania had many ages but his defining moment remains the first | Jonathan Liew

It is the basic paradox of Rooney that a player of such emotional heft will ultimately be judged largely on numbers and records

In a way, it was the perfect understated ending: with a short, sober statement on the Derby County website. New manager appointed at struggling Championship club. Signs a two-and-a-half-year deal after a cautiously successful stint in caretaker charge. Liam Rosenior to be his assistant.

Meanwhile – buried in the seventh paragraph, as if an entirely incidental detail – England and Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer has decided to retire as a footballer.

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» Set plays and self-criticism: secrets of Hasenhüttl's Southampton success

Team are benefiting from manager’s willingness to adapt, youth revamp and decision to redeploy his goalkeeping coach

It was an accidental masterpiece of theatre that made for one of the most absorbing jousts this season. Even in the seconds before Danny Ings had latched on to James Ward-Prowse’s cunning free-kick, the box-office sideshow to Southampton’s victory over Liverpool was well under way. Jürgen Klopp raged as Ralph Hasenhüttl flip-flopped from apoplectic to equable, willing his players on with the gusto of a marathon spectator, before the Southampton manager crashed to all fours wiping away tears of joy.

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

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» Football transfer rumours: Ødegaard to Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid?

Today’s piffle is grateful to have made it through another week

Reports in Spain say that the world’s 74th best player, Martin Ødegaard, is this close to completing a move to Arsenal on loan from Real Madrid. The 22-year-old former child star has been kicking his heels this season after being recalled from two-year loan spell at Real Sociedad a year early only to be stored in a cupboard to collect dust. He’s made his fresh and funky feelings clear and Zinedine Zidane will happily watch the Norwegian playmaker follow the Dani Ceballos route to north London for the rest of the season.

Related: Arteta turns focus to Arsenal signings after shedding unwanted players

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» The Fiver | Getting the full fraud treatment on various social media disgraces

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Jürgen Klopp, the Premier League’s pre-eminent high-fiving, high-pressing Eurocoach, is having a tough old month. Liverpool’s last five league games have yielded three points and one goal. Truly, there are cross-Channel lorry drivers who have enjoyed January more than big Jürg. But can it be mere coincidence that in the days before Britain took back ruddy control, the wheels came off so spectacularly for football’s favourite Remoaner?

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» Kevin Lasagna and other footballers with surnames that are tasty dishes | The Knowledge

Plus: the tallest strike partnership ever, father and son (refs) and a knockout follow-up

“Udinese have a player named Kevin Lasagna,” notes Yuval Hyman. “Do you know of any other players with a tasty dish as a surname?”

Finding specific delicious meals in a footballer’s surname is no easy feat (or treat) but Tim Postins jumped at the opportunity to combine a few ingredients and serve up some choice dishes on the back of this question. “Adam Curry (currently on loan to Alfreton Town from Hull) would operate well with Declan Rice (West Ham 2016-present). And then there’s Mark Fish (ex-Bolton and Charlton) but only if Worthing’s striker James Lemon is putting the squeeze on. Plus the former Margate defender Paul Lamb who’d go well with a dash of Scott Mint(o). Or maybe you’d prefer a Patrick Berger with a portion of Jonas Fries?”

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» David Squires on … an interactive football lockdown worksheet

Stuck inside with the kids? Here are some alternative home-schooling lessons. There’s a version to print out and colour in too

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» Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend action

Ole Gunnar Solskjær takes a leaf out of Fergie’s book, Mason Mount channels vintage Lampard and Wolves’ woes go on

There has been recent evidence that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s adherence to the lessons learned at Sir Alex Ferguson’s feet was wavering. His Manchester United have lately shown something of their own identity, but here Solskjær used a classic Fergie blueprint. Even when United were far superior to Liverpool, Anfield was where the old master’s team would sit deep and try to score on the counter, or from set pieces. It is not difficult to imagine unsung players like Scott McTominay and Fred being handed a Ferguson detail of sweeping up the bits and pieces in midfield in the mould of a Phil Neville or Quinton Fortune. There was to be no unlikely goalscoring hero in the mould of a John O’Shea, Diego Forlan or Gary Pallister. Instead, Sunday will be recalled in future for Anfield’s emptiness, a match endured rather than enjoyed. And Ferguson, even during his imperial period, would probably have been happy with a point. John Brewin

• Match report: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

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

Players must learn lesson after damaging Dubai trip while Chelsea top WSL after beating Manchester United

It has been a difficult few weeks for the WSL amid the fallout from some players going on a trip to Dubai during the winter break. The trip resulted in positive Covid tests for a number of returning players, leading to games being postponed, and it brought into sharp focus the fact that the spotlight is so much bigger on these players these days. This is good news in many respects and this is what we have wanted for a long time.

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» Buy a classic sport photograph: Dalglish seals the title

The latest in a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images. This week’s picture is of Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish who spurred the Reds to eight league titles during his time as a player and manager

The 1985-86 season was Kenny Dalglish’s first term as player-manager of Liverpool and although he only netted three times that campaign, this strike was particularly precious. It came in the final match of the season, away at Chelsea, as the Reds secured a 1-0 victory to win the league title at Everton’s expense. Dalglish controlled a looping through-ball on his chest and laced a sweet right-foot volley into the far corner – “an unerring finish” in the words of commentator John Motson – before wheeling away in celebration. Dalglish inspired ongoing success, primarily from the dugout, and by his final appearance in 1990 he had netted 169 times in 502 appearances for Liverpool. No wonder they call him ‘King Kenny’.

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» Golden Goal: Terry Gibson for Manchester United v Arsenal (1987) | Rob Smyth

A violent game remembered for a spectacular rampage by Norman Whiteside had a poignant footnote

Not every golden goal has to glister. One of the most euphoric moments of Terry Gibson’s career was a tap-in from eight yards in a match his team would probably have won anyway. After a year of incessant frustration, it was his first goal for Manchester United – and, as it turned out, his last.

Gibson was marginalised almost as soon as he was signed by Ron Atkinson, who was subsequently replaced by Sir Alex Ferguson in November 1986. Two months later, Gibson made one and scored in injury-time to secure a violent 2-0 win over the league leaders Arsenal. Not for the last time, they left Old Trafford bristling with injustice as an unbeaten run – 22 games this time – went up in smoke.

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» QPR's Manisha Tailor: 'I am here to work in football and offer change' | Donald McRae

The only South Asian Indian woman in the English professional game talks about her career and how it has helped her traumatised twin brother to speak again

“There were many times where I would go to games and of course it would be perceived that I was the physio or any role where I couldn’t possibly be the lead coach,” Manisha Tailor says as she remembers arriving at opposition grounds with her Queens Park Rangers boys’ academy teams. Tailor is now the lead foundation phase coach at QPR and she says that “being a South Asian Indian woman, and the only person of South Asian heritage, male or female, in this kind of full-time coaching role at any of the 92 clubs in English professional football is a testament to QPR”.

Yet, when she first began working as the head coach of the under-nine boys, the opposition automatically assumed she was the QPR physio. “Myself and my colleague had conversations about it,” Tailor says with a smile and a shrug. “We’d say: ‘How many times has this happened? Is it three in a row? We laugh about it but you have to be in a position to influence change. You need to be in a position where you have the qualifications – but you also need an opportunity to coach on a level playing field. I was given that at QPR but I know that there are other South Asian people, male and female, who have the qualifications to do my role. So why are so few people of colour, who have pro licences, getting opportunities to become head coaches?”

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» Mesut Özil: the galáctico who became symbolic of Arsenal's decline

The Germany international was supposed to elevate the club when he joined from Real Madrid but he left with no fanfare

There was a first-day-of-school feeling around Arsenal’s training ground when their squad returned from the September 2013 international break. They had a star in their midst and the sense was one of genuine elation. Mesut Özil’s arrival was a show of intent quite out of keeping with the half-decade that preceded it: this seemed the turning of a page and, with that in mind, the players snapped and crackled their way through the morning’s drills.

“It was a complete buzz,” says a senior staff member from that time, who worked with Özil on a daily basis and saw him quickly forge instinctive understandings with fellow schemers such as Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky. “All of a sudden you get a big one coming in, and you felt something was happening again. You could see things forming. There was a real electricity among everyone; you felt something was coming.”

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» Marcus Rashford: the making of a food superhero

Coaches, charity workers – and the footballer himself – reveal what drives the man who twice tackled Boris Johnson on child hunger and won

Show me the child at seven and I will show you the man, the old wisdom says. But in football terms, you never know, not really, which kids are going to make it as players at that age and which are not. Still, looking back at his memories of Marcus Rashford, Dave Horrocks, his first football coach, does remember one thing about him very clearly.

Rashford had first come along to Horrocks’s community club, Fletcher Moss Rangers, as a scrawny five-year-old. From the beginning, Horrocks recalls, he was the kid who left absolutely every atom of energy out on the pitch. Whenever the coach gave him a lift home from training, Rashford would get in the back of the car and – unlike other livewire boys – immediately fall into a deep sleep. When the car pulled up outside his house, Rashford would then jump out, refreshed, pick up a ball, and start practising some more on the patch of grass outside.

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