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Football News

» Scott McTominay sends England warning ahead of Euro 2020 clash at Wembley
McTominay is a key player for Scotland as they look to upset their rivals and get their first points of Euro 2020 on the board, and the Manchester United man has a message for England's stars
» De Bruyne stars on injury return in Belgium win as tributes paid to Eriksen
The Manchester City star came off the bench to create Belgium's equaliser before scoring a stunning winner against Denmark, while play stopped in the 10th minute for Eriksen to be applauded
» Everton owner faces huge fan backlash as Rafa Benitez deal nears completion
Benitez won the Champions League for the red half of Merseyside but now looks set to cross the divide to take over Liverpool's rivals as Everton roll the dice on their next appointment
» Souness fears it will be very difficult for Eriksen to return to football
Graeme Souness described the heroic actions of Denmark's team doctor as "incredible", but confessed the incident has likely brought an end to Christian Eriksen's brilliant professional career
» Belgium and Denmark halt Euro 2020 fixture to pay heartfelt Eriksen tribute
As a touching gesture, Belgium and Denmark agreed to halt the action in the 10th minute of their Euro 2020 encounter to allow a minute of applause for Christian Eriksen
» Inside story as Tottenham end Paulo Fonseca negotiations and turn to Gattuso
Tottenham were close to agreeing a deal with Paulo Fonseca to replace Jose Mourinho but pulled out at the 11th hour and have now turned their attentions to Gennaro Gattuso
» Scotland fans descend on London in their thousands ahead of crunch England clash
Scotland take on England in their second Group D clash of Euro 2020, with Steve Clarke's side followed to the capital by thousands of supporters ahead of the Wembley showdown
» Super agent describes transfer window landscape with Premier League prediction
EXCLUSIVE The coronavirus pandemic made clubs shy in the transfer window last year and in January but with the likes of Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho available, there could be plenty of money changing hands
» 5 players Chelsea could sign as Thomas Tuchel plots title charge
After reigning victorious in the Champions League final, the Blues will be keen to build on their momentum and are looking to win their first Premier League crown since 2017
» Ally McCoist explains why he feels sorry for England ahead of Scotland showdown
Bragging rights are at stake as the two rivals prepare to collide at Wembley in the Euro 2020 Group D clash as England look to secure qualification with a win over Scotland
» Fonseca to Tottenham deal 'falls through' as new candidate for job emerges
The former Roma boss had appeared certain to be the man to take over at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but a hitch in negotiations has reportedly seen the deal collapse
» Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness secrets - five naps a day, cryotherapy, pizza breaks
The Portuguese legend has opened up about his diet and exercise regime over the years, ditching booze, enjoying fresh fish and squeezing in Pilates sessions
» ADVERTORIAL: Jesse Lingard reveals genius social media trick he uses every day
Premier League ace has been speaking about his phone usage, as part of his place in BT's Hope United squad
» Sergio Ramos fires parting shot at Real Madrid as he rules out two transfers
The 35-year-old has left Real Madrid after 16 years and has hit out at the La Liga giants as the Spain international said his farewells at a press conference on Thursday
» Russia boss refuses Cristiano Ronaldo repeat by downing coke in press conference
The Portuguese superstar moved away bottles of Coca-Cola in a press conference and advised people to "drink water" but Russian boss Cherchesov did not take heed
» John Murtough risks repeating Ed Woodward mistake after triple Man Utd blow
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it clear that he needs to be backed in the summer window, if they are to close the gap to Manchester City
» Ex-ref Clattenburg explains why he wasn't able to referee at Everton for 6 years
The former Premier League official was involved in a heated Merseyside derby at Goodison Park back in 2007, when his decisions angered the Blues
» Man Utd make £50m starting transfer bid for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have had defensive shortcomings in recent seasons and a top class central defensive player to partner Harry Maguire is viewed as a priority
» Fonseca made to wait for first Spurs signing as 'agreement' made for striker
The Stuttgart striker was linked with a move to Spurs as director of football Fabio Paratici looked to make his first signing on behalf of incoming boss Paulo Fonseca
» Gary Neville makes prediction for Gareth Southgate's England line-up vs Scotland
Gareth Southgate was criticised for his starting line-up against Croatia, England now face Scotland in their second group game knowing a win would seal qualification
» Newcastle coaches to battle on touchline at England vs Scotland Euro 2020 clash
How two Geordie lads, John Carver and Graeme Jones ended up being the tactical and motivational coaches behind the England versus Scotland Euro 2020 clash at Wembley
» Haaland could be banned from World Cup as FIFA wait on weekend decision
Norway's stance on Qatar's hosting of the 2022 tournament has riled FIFA executives, and they are now said to be considering a number of options
» Doctor shares Christian Eriksen's first words after suffering cardiac arrest
The former Tottenham star collapsed to the ground in Denmark's Euro 2020 clash against Finland and remains in a 'stable' condition in a Copenhagen hospital as he recovers
» Manuel Locatelli explains how he's ignoring Arsenal transfer rumours
Italy Euro 2020 hero Manuel Locatelli, who scored twice in the victory over Switzerland, is available for £34million and is wanted by Arsenal and Juventus

Other sport news:

» Denmark 1-2 Belgium: Euro 2020 – live!

On his return from injury, Kevin De Bruyne’s class ultimately proved the difference between the sides on an emotional night in Copenhagen

Denmark can still qualify: They need to beat Russia in their final group game and hope for the best. For the second time in two matches they’ve had more than 20 attempts on goal and lost. Belgium, for their part, become the first team in this tournament, to come from behind and win.

Group B: It’s all over in Copenhagen, where Belgium have come from behind to win by the odd goal of three and book their passage to the last 16. The second half introduction of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel made all the difference to Belgium, but Denmark can take heart both from an excellent first half performance and the fact they went down swinging haymakers. Metaphorical haymakers, to be clear.

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» Netherlands v Austria: Euro 2020 – live!

Both teams make one change from their victories on Sunday. Mathias de Ligt has recovered from a groin injury and replaces Jurrien Timber in the Dutch defence. Austria bring in Michael Gregoritsch, who scored from the bench against North Macedonia, for Sasa Kalajdzic. Marko Arnautovic is suspended.

Netherlands (3-4-1-2) Stekelenburg; de Vrij, de Ligt, Blind; Dumfries, De Roon, F de Jong, van Aanholt; Wijnaldum; Weghorst, Depay.
Substitutes: Krul, Bizot, Veltman, Ake, Wijndal, Berghuis, L De Jong, Promes, Klaassen, Gravenberch, Malen, Timber.

After 21 years of hurt and hubris – acquired on a blood-splattered balcony in Memphis – the tall showboating preacher in the handsomely cut double-breasted suit received his heart’s desire: anointment. And the television arc lights never went out.

If you were paying attention to your super soaraway Guardian in 1989, you’ll recall this quote from Alex Brummer’s feature on the Reverend Jesse Jackson. It is also, according to a search of our digital archive, the only time the phrase “years of hurt” was used in this beloved rag before 1996. Then Ian Broudie wrote the lyrics to Three Lions, and the phrase became part of the lexicon of sport. It’s used most often during international tournaments - not only in football, and not only when England are getting giddy again.

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» Ukraine edge past North Macedonia as Yarmolenko and Yaremchuk score again

Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukraine manager, admitted his side were given a scare by North Macedonia, as first-half goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Roman Yaremchuk sealed a Group C win in Bucharest.

Ruslan Malinovsky missed a late penalty to make Ukraine sweat after Ezgjan Alioski pulled a goal back, following up when Georgiy Bushchan saved his spot-kick.

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» How to support our sports coverage (without asking a billionaire) | Jonathan Liew

The Guardian’s team will be covering all the action throughout this exciting season of international sport. If you like what we do, here’s how you can help keep us live and kicking

Sportswriting is, among many other things, a terrific ego trip. Perhaps all forms of journalism are in their own way. But there’s something about the purity and the passion that sport generates: that vast reservoir of emotion and yearning you’re tapping into, the buzz of a full arena when you enter it for the first time, plastic lanyard clacking around your neck, complimentary programme (retail price: £8) tucked underneath your arm. Put it this way: to be a sportswriter you don’t have to be a narcissistic, thrill-seeking freeloader hooked on the dopamine of likes and retweets and the kick of seeing your name in print. But, um, it doesn’t necessarily hurt.

Then again, when you work somewhere as renowned as the Guardian, you are frequently reminded that your fragile self-esteem is built on the labours and love of others. The page designer who fits your words perfectly into a pre-assigned slot and surrounds it with pictures and fancy graphics. The subeditor who gets in touch shortly before deadline to politely point out it is generally customary for sentences to contain a verb. The web publishers and social media bods who make sure your article will actually be seen. The in-house lawyers who make sure you haven’t accidentally libelled Roman Abramovich.

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» Spurs open talks with Gennaro Gattuso after Paulo Fonseca move breaks down
  • Former Roma manager unable to agree terms with Spurs
  • Gattuso left Fiorentina on Thursday 22 days after appointment

Tottenham have opened talks with Gennaro Gattuso after their move to appoint Paulo Fonseca broke down in the latest blow to their search for a manager.

Fonseca, a former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk manager, had been expected to sign after a contract was verbally agreed. Sources close to him said the deal collapsed because of issues relating to tax that became apparent to Fonseca in the past 48 hours. Italian law provided him with tax breaks that do not apply in the UK and he wanted his pay adjusted accordingly.

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» ‘I’m only 29 years old’: what Christian Eriksen said after his life was saved
  • Doctor tells of how he dashed from stands to help footballer
  • ‘It was a lovely moment when Eriksen opened his eyes again’

A German emergency doctor has described how he dashed from the stands to help Christian Eriksen after the Denmark midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

Jens Kleinfeld said he saw the team’s medics struggle with the situation and decided he had to intervene. He also described the “lovely moment” when the player opened his eyes after regaining consciousness and told him in English: “I am here.”

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» ‘We had personality’: when Scotland won at Wembley in 1999 but still lost

Match-winner Don Hutchison and Craig Burley recall the last Scotland victory in England and the emotions that followed

It was the epitome of glorious failure. The last time Scotland won a competitive fixture at Wembley their efforts were essentially in vain. A 2-0 victory for England at Hampden Park days earlier meant Scotland’s single-goal success on 17 November 1999 ensured only an aggregate defeat. It was Kevin Keegan’s men who took the place at Euro 2000.

This was, however, an outstanding Scotland display. As Neil McCann stood up a cross, seven minutes before half-time, Don Hutchison arrived to bundle a header beyond David Seaman. Hutchison can talk through the goal as if it happened yesterday. “Christian Dailly played a perfect pass to Neil,” he says. “I got the flight of the ball almost as soon as it left Neil’s boot. Rather than rushing in, I stood still, then made sure I got the jump on Tony Adams. Billy Dodds actually tried to nick the goal from me.”

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» Crystal Palace sound out former Dortmund manager Lucien Favre
  • Swiss expected to hold talks in the coming days
  • Burnley’s Sean Dyche understood to remain a contender

Crystal Palace have made contact with representatives of Lucien Favre as they step up the search to replace Roy Hodgson, with the former Borussia Dortmund manager expected to hold talks in the coming days.

Favre has been out of work since being sacked by Dortmund in December having guided them to second-place finishes during two full seasons in charge. The former Switzerland midfielder is believed to be keen to manage in the Premier League and is understood to have interest from other clubs, with Everton linked with the 63-year-old.

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» Sergio Ramos bids emotional farewell to Real Madrid – video

Sergio Ramos gave an emotional farewell to Real Madrid on Thursday after 16 trophy-laden seasons with the La Liga club.

Since the defender  joined Real Madrid in 2005, Ramos has won 22 trophies, which included five La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.

Ramos, who has also won one World Cup and two European Championships with Spain, revealed that he had received an offer to extend his contract with Real – which had ended in June – but that the expiry date had passed. Now aged 35, he will pursue a fresh challenge for the final phase of his playing career, with his brother and agent Rene expected to be at the forefront of negotiations with clubs.

• Real Madrid confirm Sergio Ramos will leave after 16 years at club

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» Jack Grealish is perfect for Scotland game with England seeking Gascoigne moment | Karen Carney

Spirited visitors will be a challenge but Aston Villa ace can thrive at Wembley where hosts should dominate possession

My abiding memory of the summer of 1996, like many, is Paul Gascoigne’s incredible individual goal against Scotland. Who could forget that dink over the top and volley in England’s win? It was a turning point in the tournament, having managed only a draw in the opening game against Switzerland. It galvanised the team and the country, something England will be aiming to repeat on Friday.

Winning matches against your biggest rivals can change the course of a season or tournament, as they have an extra edge. Against Scotland many of the England players will be up against club teammates, people they have known for a long time, so the banter in the buildup to this match will have started two years ago when the draw was made.

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» Euro 2020: your complete guide to all 622 players

Everything you need to know about all the players, including hobbies, caps, goals and match ratings. Click on the circular player picture for a full profile

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» Women’s transfer window summer 2021 – all deals from 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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» Men’s transfer window summer 2021 – all deals from Europe’s top five leagues

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

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» Milan sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori in £30m permanent deal

• Tomori, 23, went on loan to Italian club in January

• Academy graduate will play in Champions League next season

Milan have completed the signing of Fikayo Tomori after triggering their option to buy the defender from Chelsea.

Tomori impressed after leaving Chelsea on loan in January and convinced Milan to sign him on a permanent basis. The Italian club have agreed to pay £25m plus £5m in add-ons.

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» Rafael Benítez hoping to become Everton manager after talks with club
  • Spaniard is leading candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti
  • Appointment would be controversial given Liverpool links

Rafael Benítez is hoping to receive a formal offer to become Everton’s new manager after holding positive talks with the club.

The Spaniard has emerged as a candidate for the post, which has been vacant ever since Carlo Ancelotti’s shock return to Real Madrid at the start of the month. Everton’s board, led by majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, have mulled over a number of candidates and looked set to hire the former Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo. But subsequent reservations within the club’s hierarchy regarding the suitability of the Portuguese has led to Benítez becoming the frontrunner.

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» Real Madrid confirm Sergio Ramos will leave after 16 years at club
  • 35-year-old to depart at end of month when contract expires
  • Ramos to hold goodbye press conference on Thursday

After 16 seasons, 671 games, 101 goals, five league titles and four European Cups, Sergio Ramos is leaving Real Madrid. The club’s captain will say his final goodbye on Thursday, 13 days before his contract formally runs out.

Related: Spain leave Sergio Ramos out of Euro 2020 squad and call up Aymeric Laporte

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» Arsenal reject Aston Villa bid for Emile Smith Rowe and have no plans to sell
  • Arsenal determined to keep midfielder on new contract
  • Brighton close to signing Stuttgart striker Nicolás González

Arsenal have rejected a surprise bid from Aston Villa for the attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who is yet to sign a new contract.

Smith Rowe’s emergence as a first-team mainstay was among the highlights of a generally disappointing 2020-21 season for Arsenal and he is in discussions about what would be a significant improvement upon his deal, which ends in 2023. Villa have sought to capitalise on any uncertainty around the 20-year-old’s position by offering a sizeable fee, understood to be about £25m, but Arsenal hold no interest in discussing a potential sale.

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» ‘No fear, no pressure’: Wales head to Italy aiming to upset the odds again | Ben Fisher

Impressive win over Turkey has raised hopes of repeating Euro 2016’s magic with a squad that combines spirit and style

“Why not?” came Connor Roberts’ reply when asked, minutes after his goal had put the knockout stages in view for Wales, whether the team could next pull off the unthinkable: defeat Italy, unbeaten in 29 matches and on a run of 31 unanswered goals, in Rome to top Group A. But first, they had to drink in the euphoria. “It’s a Wednesday night but pour yourself a nice glass of wine and enjoy it,” was the defender’s message to supporters in Baku and beyond.

A few sore heads along the promenade suggested they had done that and more, with fans up early for a charter flight back to Cardif. At one hotel, supporters had taken over the flipchart in the bar, scrawling ‘We’re all going on a European tour’ and ‘Don’t Take Me Home’ in block capitals. If Wales top the group, they will head to Wembley. If they finish second, it will be a trip to Amsterdam, with Finland or Russia the likely opponents. If it is third place, Seville, Bucharest or Glasgow are the possible venues. There are a few ifs and buts, but Wales will take some stopping.

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» Des Lynam on the story behind Euro 96: ‘Football got its smile back' | Michael Butler

Presenter reflects on a shy Gary Lineker, a charming Ruud Gullit, and how it felt to anchor coverage of England at home 25 years ago

Hello, it’s June 30th and we’re at Wembley for the European Championship final, England against Scotland. Well, we can dream can’t we?”

So began the BBC’s coverage of Euro 96’s opening match, anchored and narrated, unmistakably, by Des Lynam. Eyebrow cocked, moustache bristling, Lynam was a master of knowing when a moment required stylish understatement or a sincere and earnest address. At the semi-final stage 25 years ago, with the host nation fluctuating between euphoria and hysteria, his introduction to England against Germany was the perfect antidote: “You’ve obviously heard there is a football match on tonight.” Lynam closed that night’s coverage, after England’s penalty shootout defeat, with the line: “If you’re going to have a drink tonight, do it with pride and not with aggression.”

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» Sebastian Larsson keeps on running – for himself and his teammates

The Sweden captain put in a typically battling display in the draw against Spain and is, at 36, more important than ever

There was a moment towards the end of Sweden’s draw against Spain on Monday when Sebastian Larsson got the ball near his own penalty area. As throughout the game he was immediately put under pressure. The options were limited and the Sweden captain decided that he and the team needed a free-kick.

It was obvious what he was going to do before Pablo Sarabia even got close to him. Larsson was in the air before the merest of touches from Spain’s No 22 and after a slightly theatrical fall he had his free-kick. It wasn’t pretty – and staying on the floor clutching a calf wasn’t either – but it was very much in keeping with the rest of the Sweden performance. This was about getting a result, and Janne Andersson’s team managed it.

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» Callum McGregor: ‘Notts County gave Jack Grealish and me a real education’

Scotland midfielder recalls a formative loan spell alongside the gifted England star before the two sides meet at Wembley

From the outside, it looks nothing more than an unremarkable season for a League One club. In 2013-14 Notts County finished 20th in England’s third tier, avoiding relegation by three points. A record of 26 losses from 46 games is hardly auspicious.

Closer inspection reveals some significant detail. Callum McGregor, regarded by many as having no future at Celtic, was a successful loanee alongside a certain Jack Grealish, then a highly rated teenager on a temporary move from Aston Villa. McGregor describes their roles as dual No 10s in Shaun Derry’s team. The Scot outscored Grealish by seven league goals. “When you get sent on loan, 90% of people might think that’s you done,” McGregor says. “I was going there to showcase my talent and try to force myself into the team when I got back.”

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» Wales’s party poopers demolish Turkey’s claims of home advantage | Louise Taylor

Watched by the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan and a partisan crowd, Robert Page’s players refused to be cowed

Visitors to Baku invariably depart Azerbaijan with unnerving memories of crossing roads in the face of kamikaze local motorists.

Pedestrians hoping for longevity require the sort delicately calibrated balance of caution and aggression showcased so superbly on the pitch by Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and the rest of Robert Page’s impressively streetwise side on Wednesday night.

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» Renato Sanches’ career rehabilitation highlighted by Portugal cameo

The midfielder is rebuilding his reputation after his struggles and has rediscovered his belief at title-winning Lille

It was only a glimpse, 14 minutes and 42 seconds to be exact, but a late cameo in Portugal’s defeat of Hungary nevertheless amounted to another important step in the rehabilitation of Renato Sanches.

Portugal’s defence of the title will be strengthened further should his career come full circle at Euro 2020. After an increasingly anxious 84 minutes at the Puskas Arena it was Fernando Santos’s substitutes and switches that gave Cristiano Ronaldo the platform for his record-breaking performance on Tuesday. Chief among them was Rafa Silva, the Benfica forward who replaced Bernardo Silva in the 71st minute and had a decisive influence on all three goals. His claims to start against Germany on Saturday must surely have been enhanced.

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» Diego Maradona honoured in holographic display at Argentina's Copa América game – video

The late Diego Maradona was honoured before Argentina's opening game against Chile in the Copa América. A 3D animation showed Maradona doing keepie-uppies and donning the kits of the teams he made his name with, such as Napoli, Barcelona and Boca Juniors. It also featured some of his greatest moments, most notably his solo goal against England in 1986. The pre-match display took place at the Estadio Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro. The game itself saw Argentina draw 1-1 against Chile

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» Kasper Schmeichel critical of Uefa's 'heat of the moment' decision over Denmark v Finland – video

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has said that the decision for his side to continue playing after teammate Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest should ‘not have been made in the heat of the moment.’ He added: ‘I think it would probably have been a wise decision to maybe change the rules or the regulations in extraordinary circumstances’. Denmark lost their opening game to Finland 1-0 after returning to the pitch after Eriksen collapsed on the field. Eriksen is now recovering in hospital.

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» ‘He was gone’: Christian Eriksen had cardiac arrest, Denmark doctor says
  • Midfielder resuscitated with defibrillator on pitch
  • Eriksen smiling in hospital, says Denmark coach

Christian Eriksen had a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being swiftly resuscitated on the pitch, Denmark’s the team doctor, Morten Boesen, revealed on Sunday.

“He was gone,” Boesen said. “We started the resuscitation and we managed to do it. How close were we to losing him? I don’t know, but we got him back after one defib [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast.”

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» 'A great start': Sterling stars in England's opening victory over Croatia – video

England's Euro 2020 campaign got off to a good start with a 1-0 victory over Croatia at Wembley. 

A goal from Raheem Sterling was the difference after a superb pass from Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips. 'It's a great start' said man of the match, Raheem Sterling, after the game. 

'Playing in Wembley, somewhere not far from where I grew up, as a young boy, seeing the stadium get built. And it's great to get on the score sheet today.'

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» Euro 2020: are Deschamps' France destined for success? – video preview

Karim Benzema returns for France, after five years of international exile, in a side already filled with talent. Didier Deschamps will hope to repeat what he achieved as a player, winning Euro 2000 two years after claiming the World Cup with France. Les Bleus still have questions to answer, notably in defence as they try to find the perfect partner for Raphaël Varane. The 2018 World Cup winners' opener is against Germany, which feels like a make-or-break moment for both sides. The Guardian's Paul Doyle takes a look at whether France are ready repeat history.

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» Euro 2020: can Löw go out on a high with Germany? – video preview

Long gone are the days of Joachim Löw's Germany side lifting the World Cup trophy, he now finds himself with one final challenge to leave on a high before handing the reigns to former Bayern boss, Hansi Flick. Germany were poor in the 2018 World Cup and have had a tough build-up to the competition this time around, most notably a defeat to North Macedonia in March. They find themselves in what is the toughest group of the competition facing France in their opening tie. Ed Aarons looks at whether Löw can work his magic one last time

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» Christen Press spurs USWNT to victory over Nigeria as Olympic cuts loom
  • USA 2-0 Nigeria: US’s home unbeaten run is now 53 games
  • Vlatko Andonovski will decide Olympic squad soon

The winning was expected for the US women’s national team. The harder part for coach Vlatko Andonovski may be trimming the roster to the final 18 players for the Olympics.

Christen Press scored late in the first half, Lynn Williams added a goal in the final moments and the US wrapped their Summer Series with a 2-0 victory over Nigeria on Wednesday night in the last match before setting the Tokyo lineup.

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» Matildas’ defensive woes addressed but questions remain ahead of Tokyo | Samantha Lewis

A clean sheet in a much improved performance against Sweden was tempered by impotency further up the field

It was a catch that Teagan Micah has made hundreds of times before. But as the Matildas’ 23-year old debutant goalkeeper sprang into the Kalmar air and cradled the ball to her chest, this simple take – the final touch of Australia’s 0-0 draw with Sweden on Wednesday morning – became much more meaningful than it first appeared.

After conceding 13 goals in the previous three international friendlies against Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, questions were asked regarding Australia’s defensive integrity and depth. Coming up against a Swedish side ranked fifth in the world and on an 11-game unbeaten streak, having scored 15 goals in their past five, this final friendly of the June window loomed as an opportunity for the Matildas to provide answers.

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» Copa América: Lionel Messi free-kick cancelled out as Chile hold Argentina

Lionel Messi scored one of his trademark free-kicks in the first half but Eduardo Vargas equalised for Chile as their Copa América Group A opener in Rio de Janeiro ended in a 1-1 draw.

With 33 minutes played at the Estádio Nilton Santos, Messi stepped up to curl a superb free-kick into the corner of Claudio Bravo’s net from 25 yards out. The breakthrough came after a strong start from Argentina, with the forwards Lautaro Martínez and Nicolás González missing early chances.

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» Carli Lloyd scores after 24 seconds as USWNT ease past Jamaica
  • US unbeaten streak at home now stretches to 55 games
  • Lloyd also becomes oldest ever scorer for USWNT

Carli Lloyd scored 24 seconds into the game and the US women’s national team went on to defeat Jamaica 4-0 on Sunday night in the Summer Series.

The US women are undefeated in 41 straight matches, the third-longest streak in team history. The team are undefeated in 55 games on American soil. Lloyd’s goal was the fastest for the Americans since Alex Morgan scored after 12 seconds against Costa Rica in 2016. Lloyd also became the oldest woman at 38 years, 332 days to score a goal for the national team. It was Lloyd’s 303rd appearance with the team.

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» Brazil is reluctantly hosting the Copa América that no one wanted

The Copa América begins on Sunday night with a match between Brazil and Venezuela but that is not even half the story

By Tom Sanderson for Yellow & Green Football

Tite’s job is safer now than it was the last time Brazil were preparing to host the Copa América, just two years ago. But his job security has little to do with the fact that he led the team to glory at that tournament, giving Brazilian fans their first major silverware in 12 years. Rather, his position has been strengthened after an argument over where – and whether – this year’s Copa América should be played. Brazilian football is in such a crisis off the field that it cannot deal with any more disruption on it.

The Copa América was meant to be co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina this year but, after social unrest erupted in Colombia and Covid-19 cases surged in Argentina, Conmebol bafflingly decided to move the tournament to Brazil, even though the country is suffering from both of these issues. More than 480,000 people have been lost to the virus in Brazil, where similar numbers have taken to the streets to protest against the mishandling of the pandemic by president Jair Bolsonaro.

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» Argentina’s Rodrigo de Paul: ‘Messi surprised me. He enjoys a song, cards’

The Udinese midfielder discusses Brazil rather than Argentina hosting the Copa América, his future and being a ‘spare tyre’

Rodrigo de Paul had imagined it, but not like this. “We had gone years without playing a Copa América in our country and we had the chance to live that,” he says. “We know the passion Argentinians feel. We knew stadiums would have been bursting. We knew that every team that came to play wouldn’t just be facing us but 60,000 or 70,000 people shouting. We saw it in Brazil two years ago it was like they played with an extra man. This year was our turn, with us it was going to be even more powerful, but …”

But Argentina are heading back to Brazil. The Copa América was supposed to begin at the Monumental in Buenos Aires on 12 June 2020. Instead, it begins at the Mané Garrincha in Brasília this Sunday; De Paul and his Argentina teammates start the following night against Chile in Rio. Delayed a year, the competition was lost by co-hosts Colombia amid political unrest on 20 May. Ten days later, Argentina relinquished, too, because of the coronavirus crisis. The day after, the 2019 hosts stepped in, if not exactly willingly.

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» USWNT stretch unbeaten run to 40 games after win over Portugal
  • Sam Mewis scores only goal of 1-0 victory for US
  • USWNT are now undefeated in 54 games on home soil

Sam Mewis scored in the 76th minute and the US national team beat Portugal 1-0 in the Summer Series on Thursday night.

The US women are undefeated in 40 straight matches, the third longest streak in team history. The team is undefeated in 54 games on American soil. Jamaica won the Summer Series opener 1-0 over Nigeria earlier on Thursday at BBVA Stadium. The United States will play Jamaica on Sunday, following a match between Nigeria and Portugal. The Americans are using their three exhibition matches in the Summer Series to help prepare for Tokyo Olympics.

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» USMNT finish successful run with decisive win over Costa Rica
  • US men’s team won Concacaf Nations League on Sunday
  • Team look forward to World Cup qualifying in September

The United States finished a grueling stretch of four games in 11 days over 5,400 miles that resulted in three wins, including the Concacaf Nations League trophy. Twenty-four players saw action, and eight scored. Preparation time for the Europe-based players is over. Next up is the start of World Cup qualifying in September.

“The depth of this team will really come in handy,” Brenden Aaronson said after scoring in the eighth minute on Wednesday night to start a 4-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica. “I think it’s it’s going really well so far. And I think we showed that today.”

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» The beautiful chaos of the USA-Mexico rivalry has returned

The Concacaf Nations League final encapsulated the good, the bad and the ugly of a feud some believed had lost its bite

The final of the Concacaf Nations League did not have the most auspicious build-up.

Delayed for several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and awkwardly wedged between the end of many club seasons and the beginning of more noteworthy summer tournaments – the culmination of the newly-formed competition initially appeared to be something of a forced assignment. Coupled with both Mexico and the US limping into Sunday’s final with questionable performances in the semis a few days beforehand, there was also reason to believe that the championship game could prove to be a let down.

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» Early signs point to Euro 2020 being a fresh triumph for West v East | Jonathan Wilson

Superior talent production in countries such as England and Belgium suggests a western European nation will prevail

There was a moment about 18 minutes into England’s victory over Croatia on Sunday when Mason Mount drove down the inside-left channel and Luka Modric, already apparently resigned to the way this was going, looked on with an infinite weariness. As it turned out, England soon hit a bump and never quite rediscovered the panache of that early spell, comfortable as their win ultimately was.

But in that moment, there was something very familiar. Hadn’t we seen something like that very recently? That first 20 minutes felt like the first 20 minutes of Chelsea’s performance away to Real Madrid in this season’s Champions League semi-final.

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» Raheem Sterling supplies catharsis in England’s sun-kissed re-emergence | Barney Ronay

Returning crowds supplied a boisterous human touch to an encouraging Euro 2020 opener for Gareth Southgate’s team

And, breathe. It was tight, slow-burn and even a little angsty at times. But as the final whistle blew a great rolling cheer came crackling around Wembley’s vast open tiers from a 18,497 crowd drunk on sun, drunk on England’s 1-0 defeat of Croatia and also, it must be said, drunk.

At the end of which England’s men have made a surefooted start to their Euro 2020 campaign, beating the most dangerous opponents in their group with strength in reserve and knots in the team still to be untangled.

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» ‘We feared the worst’: Finland’s Tim Sparv on seeing Eriksen collapse

The Finland captain on what it was like on the pitch when the Denmark midfielder fell during their Euro 2020 match

Tim Sparv, the Finland captain and midfielder, was one of the team playing Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday when Christian Eriksen collapsed in the 42nd minute. He tells Will Unwin what he saw, what happened next, and how the game restarted after a 108-minute delay.

“We were all just thinking ‘what is going on?’, ‘was he tackled, is that the reason he went down?’. But then we could see he wasn’t moving, you could see the reaction on some of the players’ faces that were close to him, they were in shock, everyone was shouting to get the medical staff on the pitch as soon as possible and you realise this is something serious and then I found out we did not have a player that tried to tackle him, he was just alone and fell down.

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» The Fiver | Not quite Welcome to Hell, more a town on the outskirts of Hades

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As top footer fan Boris Johnson is well aware, Scotland, England and Other Home Nations all booked their tickets to the big EN 2020 cross-continental jamboree. Much like the prime minister, The Fiver has been busy on Social Media Disgrace WhatsTok, keeping in touch with our Pobol y Cwm-watching, rugby-appreciating Welsh cousin Llanfair PG Fiver (Shortbread McFiver mysteriously left the group chat at 3.10pm on Monday). We think the indecipherable clump of emojis and expletives Llanfair PG Fiver posted from Baku on Wednesday night was meant as an emotional tribute to Wales’s thrilling victory, but we can’t be sure.

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» England v Scotland, Maradona at the Copa and Venus Williams | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Yeats and Stradivarius, Valentino Rossi rallying and Roberto Mancini falling over

1) So then, England v Scotland, the oldest/auldest rivalry in international football. Let’s start with some 1977 Home International classicism: a Scotland win, Mick Mills, some Bay City Rollers tartan and those fans swinging off the post at full-time. Or 1961 and England 9-3 Scotland, “nine past [goalkeeper Frank] Haffey” as the old joke went. Of course, there’s Uri Gellar and his Euro 96 penalty bending. And highlights of the match itself, Gazza and all. The last time the teams met in a competitive fixture at the old Wembley, Scotland won 1-0 in 1999, though it wasn’t enough for them to reach Euro 2000 after the two-leg play-off. How about some Graeme Souness ‘player cam’ during Scotland’s 1-0 Rous Cup win in 1985? Bryan Robson features heavily.

2) A glorious tribute to Diego Maradona at the Copa América, a competition he never actually won, though he did show off some of his magic at the 1989 Copa, where Argentina came third.

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» England’s rare ‘big games’ with no Liverpool, Man Utd or Arsenal players | The Knowledge

Plus: Notts County old boys at the Euros, goalkeepers flagged for offside and much more

“There were no players from Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in England’s starting XI against Croatia on Sunday,” tweets Nick Parmenter. “When was the last time this happened in a major tournament?”

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are the traditional giants of English football, so it’s pretty rare for the national team to start a Big Game without any of their players. We think that Sunday’s win over Croatia was only the third time it has happened at a major tournament. The first was England’s opening match of the 1958 World Cup, a 2-2 draw against the USSR. The legendary Tom Finney was injured during that game and missed the rest of the competition, with Liverpool’s Alan A’Court coming into the team for following games.

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» Golden Goal: Bryan Robson for Manchester United v Wimbledon (1993)

A goal that meant nothing also meant everything, because football is about a lot more than football

Very little gets people as excited as football, a fairly embarrassing admission to make given 200,000 years of human history: a bunch of people kick a ball about, then the rest of us go on like it’s something we’ve done ourselves. Except in a way it is, because our clubs were built by us and form part of us, representing where we’re at and what we believe in. So inasmuch as anything makes sense the extent of our love for them makes sense, and when we talk about football what we’re really talking about is love – love for who we are.

Related: Golden Goal: Ronaldinho for Barcelona v Chelsea (2005) | Daniel Harris

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» The Joy of Six: toe-pokes in football and futsal | Jamie Fahey

From Romário’s and Ronaldo’s toe-enders to small-court specialists such as Falcão, half a dozen instinctive gems

It comes from futsal. No space? No time? No backlift? No worries. Boom. The toe-poke finish. Or toe-punt. Or toe-ender. Whatever the name – and there are plenty – its effect is felt before it is seen. As Stuart Dallas showed for Leeds recently, it’s a skill witnessed in “big” football all too rarely. So sit back and marvel at the beauty of this joyfully utilitarian act of predatory pragmatism.

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» Women’s Super League: talking points from the final day of the season

Chelsea motor on with another title, Manchester City settle for second but Manchester United could pose big threat next season

Chelsea are still on course for the quadruple after beating Reading 5-0 at Kingsmeadow to retain their WSL title. Any nerves were calmed when Melanie Leupolz scored in the second minute, and a convincing win ensued. Fran Kirby and the golden boot winner Sam Kerr gave us another demonstration of their unique telepathy, which has been a feature of the whole season. I’ve no doubt Fran will be in contention for the two big player of the year awards. Everybody recognises not just how brilliant she has been, but also what she has achieved after being so ill last season.

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» Football quiz: who was Roy Keane ranting about in these quotes?

Which players and managers took a tongue-lashing from Keane?

"I am sick to death of this goalkeeper!"

Darren Randolph

David de Gea

Jordan Pickford

Roy Carroll

"He’s had loads of plaudits over the last few months - I know he’s still a young man - but his body language today was shocking, really shocking. Shrugging his shoulders when things weren’t going his way, you roll your sleeves up."

Paul Pogba

Mason Greenwood

Anthony Martial

Marcus Rashford

"Who is he, Mother Theresa?"

Niall Quinn

Alan Shearer

Gary Neville

Alex Ferguson

"Stuff like that kinda almost insults me. What am I supposed to do? Give up? Not cover every blade of grass? Not do my best for my teammates? Not do my best for my club? To be honest, I get actually offended when people throw quotes like that at me as if I'm supposed to be honoured by it."

Mick McCarthy

Alex Ferguson

Clive Tyldesley

Ron Atkinson

"I felt I was entitled to say that. He was just a mascot for them. Walking around .... – ‘Look at me, how big I am’ – and he didn’t even own the bloody thing."

Mick McCarthy

David Gill

Alex Ferguson

David Beckham

"He said, ‘I’ve had enough of you. It’s time we sorted this out.’ So I said, ‘Okay.’ And we had a fight. It felt like 10 minutes. There was a lot of noise – ****’s a big lad. I woke up the next morning. I kind of vaguely remembered the fight ... My hand was really sore and one of my fingers was bent backward ... Throughout the flight, **** wore his sunglasses. He never took them off, and it wasn’t very sunny ... Butty had refereed the fight. He even got a new nickname for it – Mills Lane, after the famous boxing referee. Anyway, **** had grabbed me, I’d head-butted him – we’d been fighting for ages."

Steve Bruce

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Niall Quinn

Peter Schmeichel

"One of the best pros you could ever come across, so being late for the bus tarnished him; you’d have thought he’d been caught with drugs or something. He was having a go at me."

Gary Neville

David Beckham

Denis Irwin

Andy Cole

"Reinventing the game, apparently. Sugar lumps at half-time."

Jürgen Klopp

Arsène Wenger

Pep Guardiola

Julian Nagelsmann

"He was an absolute prick to play against. Niggling, sneaky."

Paul Ince

Alf-Inge Haaland

Vinnie Jones

Dennis Wise

"People are telling me he’s playing well, I don’t think so. This guy is 30 years of age, an international player, he’s a car crash. He keeps on making these type of mistakes. He was rightfully punished for it.”

Jordan Henderson

Kyle Walker

Joe Hart

Phil Neville

1 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

2 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

3 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

4 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

5 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

6 and above.

You got a few wrong. Roy will not be pleased

7 and above.

You got a few wrong. Roy will not be pleased

8 and above.

You got two wrong. Roy will not be pleased

9 and above.

You got one wrong. Roy will not be pleased

0 and above.

You scored a bit fat zero. Roy will not be impressed

10 and above.

You scored full marks. Roy would not expect any less from you.

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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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» View from Denmark: Eriksen is one of us and that’s why it hurt so much

Denmark has witnessed a boy grow into one of Europe’s greatest players and his cardiac arrest has shocked us deeply

I still remember it clearly. Seeing this small-ish boy for the first time. He came walking down the stairs in a hotel lobby in Greece. It was in February 2009. As a football reporter at the newspaper Jyllands-Posten I followed the national team on away games and had travelled to Athens, where Denmark were to play a friendly against Greece. The game in itself did not matter that much, so I had time to do other work.

As it happened, the Denmark Under-17 team were also in the Greek capital to play and a reporter on another newspaper told me about this “wonderboy” playing for them. He was supposed to be a genuine No 10. His name was Christian Eriksen.

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» My cross to bear: what it means to support England in these divided times | Jonathan Liew

I feel utterly disconnected from England as a nation, but supporting their football team has brought me happiness

It’s the morning after my wedding. I’m sitting down to brunch with some friends of the family. While we’re waiting for the food to arrive, I pull out my phone and browse the latest sport headlines. “Oh look,” I announce to nobody in particular. “We won the Under-20 World Cup last night.” At this, my sister-in-law’s boyfriend narrows his eyes accusingly. “Who’s we?” “England,” I respond. He looks at me like I’ve just sprinkled salt on my cornflakes. “Huh,” he says eventually. “‘We’. That’s interesting.”

I support England. England is by many objective measures a terrible country ruled by terrible people with a terrible past and a terrifying future, and I support England. None of my forebears were born in England, and I support England. When I watch the news or follow England games abroad or read about politics I often feel utterly disconnected from this country, and I support England. It was an Englishman who snarled at me on the street last month while I was taking my daughter to nursery: “Fuck off Chinaman, and take your Covid patient with you.” Nevertheless, I support England.

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» Ukraine’s shirt maps out the message that Euro 2020 is about more than football | Jonathan Wilson

The draw makes meeting Russia unlikely, but Andriy Shevchenko’s united squad have a clear sense of purpose reflected in the political symbol on their bright yellow kit

Law four of Fifa’s 2020-21 Laws of the Game is explicit: “Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.” It seems straightforward enough. Nothing political.

But of course, everything is political. A minute’s silence is political. Taking the knee is political – although not in the sense it heralds the Marxist apocalypse, as some of the more ludicrous pundits and spokespeople have suggested – and so is not taking the knee. Wearing a poppy is political, and so is not wearing a poppy. That’s especially so when national teams are involved, because nations are political. Every choice of image made by the representative of a nation is necessarily is political, even if that politicisation lies only in avoiding the more overtly political: flags, badges and kits.

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» Euro 2020: the complete guide to all the stadiums

All you need to know about the 11 European Championship venues, including history lessons and the hitches along the way

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» Premier League 2020-21 review: the big quiz of the season

It was a strange, quiet season. How well do you remember it?

Manchester City won the title by 12 points. Where were they in the table on Christmas Day?





Which club was four points clear at the top of the table on Christmas Day?

Manchester United

Leicester City



How many matches did Sheffield United play this season before they won one?





Which two clubs played with same sponsor on the fronts of their shirts?

Brighton and Burnley

Aston Villa and Everton

Southampton and Newcastle

Tottenham and Crystal Palace

Harry Kane finished with more goals and more assists than any other player in the league. Who was the last player to achieve this double?

Alan Shearer

Thierry Henry

Dwight Yorke

Andy Cole

Which team’s top goalscorer only scored penalties?

Manchester United


Sheffield United

Newcastle United

Which team scored seven goals in one match and conceded seven goals in another match?


Aston Villa



Who was the only player to score four goals in a game this season?

Harry Kane

Patrick Bamford

Gareth Bale

Son Heung-min

What did Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have in common this season?

Their away records were better than their home records

They were the only clubs to have players booked for diving

None of them played a game that kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday

They all spent more days at the top of the table than Manchester City

Which unusual Premier League record did James Milner set this season?

The most yellow cards in Premier League history

The most own goals in Premier League history

The oldest player to score a goal in a Premier League game

The most appearances as a substitute in Premier League history

Which player scored two penalties in his team’s first game of the season and two penalties in his team’s last game of the season?

Bruno Fernandes


Gabriel Jesus

Jamie Vardy

A player made Premier League history when he scored an own goal, gave away a penalty and was sent off in the same game. Who was he playing for at the time?



Crystal Palace


This season featured the oldest manager in Premier League history and the youngest manager in Premier League history. How old were they on the last day of the season?

33 and 69

31 and 71

29 and 73

27 and 75

Which player nutmegged opponents on 21 occasions – more than double the number of nutmegs produced by any other player in the league?

Jack Grealish

Mason Mount

Marcus Rashford

Adama Traoré

What was unusual about the goal scored at 2.28pm on 26 September 2020?

It was a winning goal scored by a goalkeeper

It was scored with just the third touch of the game

It went into the net after bouncing off both posts and the crossbar

It was scored after the final whistle had been blown

1 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

4 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

3 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

2 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

5 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

6 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

7 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

8 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

9 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

10 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

11 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

12 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

13 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

14 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

0 and above.

Ah well. Better luck next season

15 and above.

Nicely done. Enjoy the Euros

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» Premier League 2020-21 season review: our writers’ best and worst

The best players, greatest games and notable signings – plus those that didn’t work out, and what needs to change

Nick Ames Harry Kane – which might just be why he wants to set his sights higher than Spurs for the rest of his career. Thirteen assists to go with his 23 goals points to his development into the world’s best all-round centre-forward. Kevin De Bruyne has not been far behind while it has been fascinating to see Riyad Mahrez blossom into one of Manchester City’s most important players.

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» Premier League 2020-21 season review: our predictions versus reality

Before the season started we predicted where all 20 clubs would finish. We were right about one of them

It has been a strange season. Manchester City were eighth on Christmas Day but went on to win the title by 12 points. Manchester United lost six games at Old Trafford but remained unbeaten on the road. Liverpool didn’t taste defeat at Anfield for years but then proceeded to lose six games straight at their ground. Leicester spent more days in the top four than any other club but then finished fifth. And Arsenal ended the season with five wins in a row but still finished below Tottenham, who had a disappointing campaign despite having the player who both scored and set up more goals than any other in the league. Who could have predicted any of this? Not us, that’s for sure.

Pandemic football is not easy to predict. That’s our excuse and we are sticking to it. As you might notice below, we were not entirely successful in our pre-season predictions. But we were right about Brighton.

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» Premier League 2020-21: the best photos from a tumultuous season

Our picture editor Jonny Weeks selects his favourite images from the season including dodgy tackles, irate fans and unforgettable goals

With the start of the season delayed due to coronavirus and football fans still unable to attend matches, it was an eerie beginning to the 2020-21 football calendar. Few could have predicted how it would all turn 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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