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Football News

» Chelsea transfer round-up: David Moyes offers update on Rice's West Ham future
West Ham United boss David Moyes has spoken about the rumours linking Declan Rice with Chelsea, while Fikayo Tomori is nearing a loan switch to AC Milan
» Fernandes sends message to Man Utd fans after disappointing display vs Liverpool
Fernandes failed to reach his usual high standards as Manchester United drew with Liverpool at Anfield - but he was defiant afterwards as his side target the Premier League title
» Roy Keane details hardest part of Man Utd's next step after 'progress' admission
Manchester United stayed top of the Premier League with a draw at Liverpool - and Keane has told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer what his team must do next as they target a 21st title
» Man Utd transfer news round-up as Solskjaer braced for Pogba bid
Manchester United have had a quiet January transfer window so far, but all signs point to a busy ending to the market
» Liverpool transfer round-up as Reds eye Traore and update on centre-back snub
Liverpool's meagre tally of one goal in their last four Premier League outings means it is no surprise to see them linked with a familiar face in Wolves star Adama Traore
» Arsenal transfer round-up as Gunners monitor Ivan Toney and Barcelona block move
Arsenal are keeping close tabs on the Championship ace with a view to a swoop in a future transfer window, while Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has provided an update on Morgan Sanson
» Messi could face four-game ban for Barcelona red card as Griezmann 'p***ed off'
Ronald Koeman defended Messi after the first red card of his Barcelona career, saying the Argentine star had been fouled constantly by Athletic Bilbao in Sunday's Supercopa final
» Roy Keane proved spot on with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly Man Utd comments
Victor Lindelof was brought into Manchester United's defence to replace Eric Bailly, with the 0-0 draw against Liverpool his first Premier League start since Boxing Day
» Jurgen Klopp aims dig at Man Utd tactics after Liverpool held to draw
Liverpool had two-thirds of possession and managed double Manchester United's number of shots but were unable to find a way through their stubborn visitors at Anfield
» Lionel Messi sent off as Barcelona fall to Supercopa final defeat to Bilbao
The Argentinean superstar was caught by VAR aiming a swipe at Asier Villalibre late on and was given his marching orders
» Mikel Arteta makes strong Aubameyang prediction ahead of Arsenal vs Newcastle
The Arsenal captain hasn't been at his ruthless best this season, scoring just three times in the Premier Leaguel but Gunners boss Arteta hasn't lost faith in the former Borussia Dortmund star
» Steve Bruce discusses Saint-Maximin's comeback and Newcastle new goals plan
The Toon Army have been struggling without French star Allan Saint-Maximin, who hasn't played since November 21, and Steve Bruce is now plotting his comeback
» Man City underline title credentials with thumping victory over Crystal Palace
A brace from John Stones and superb strikes from Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling saw City romp to a superb 4-0 win
» Harry Maguire rates Liverpool star Jordan Henderson's performance at centre-back
Jordan Henderson was deployed alongside Fabinho in central defence for Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester United, which ended in stalemate at Anfield
» Solskjaer hammers home Man Utd's title credentials with Liverpool criticism
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his side squandered a major opportunity to extend their lead in the Premier League - and declared they must return to winning ways against Fulham
» Souness' glowing Shaw statement is further proof of importance to Man Utd
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw impressed as the Red Devils stayed top of the Premier League after a draw with Liverpool
» Micah Richards is emphatically wrong with Manchester United title assessment
LIVERPOOL 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITED: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Premier League leaders were solid defensively and had the best chances at Anfield as the champions and challengers played out a goalless draw
» Roy Keane pinpoints "definite" Liverpool problem after Man Utd stalemate
Liverpool have lost their spark going forward and that is why they are struggling to win games, claims Manchester United hero Roy Keane
» Alexandre Lacazette makes promise to Mesut Ozil as Aubameyang backs down
News of Mesut Ozil's imminent departure has prompted a scramble between Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the coveted No.10 shirt the German will vacate
» Man Utd's battling draw v Liverpool shows they are genuine title contenders
A disappointing match at Anfield finished 0-0 but the visitors are likely to be the happier of the two teams as they remain top of the Premier League
» Roy Keane slams Paul Pogba's finishing after golden Man Utd chance vs Liverpool
Paul Pogba’s miss in the second half of Manchester United’s goalless draw against Liverpool will be a “huge moment” in United’s season, believes Roy Keane
» Liverpool vs Man Utd Player Ratings as defenders shine but strikers struggle
LIVERPOOL 0-0 MANCHESTER UNITED: Neither side could find the breakthrough in their goalless draw at Anfield, in a result that will further emboldened Manchester City's title challenge.
» 7 talking points as nothing separates title rivals Liverpool and Man Utd
The result means Manchester United maintain their status as Premier League leaders, two points ahead of second-place Leicester and three ahead of Liverpool in third
» Carragher names players who let Liverpool down vs Man Utd
Liverpool hosted Manchester United in Sunday's headline fixture but the hosts fired blanks against the Premier League leaders

Other sport news:

» Klopp concedes Liverpool face top-four fight after Manchester United stalemate
  • Klopp: ‘This season will be a tough race for the top four’
  • Solskjær says Anfield draw ‘an opportunity missed’

Jürgen Klopp defended his misfiring champions after Liverpool failed to knock Manchester United off their Premier League perch but admits his side now face a battle to stay in the top four.

The front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané endured an off-day as Klopp’s men could not break down United at Anfield. It was Liverpool’s third successive league match without a goal.

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» John Stones double sinks Crystal Palace as Manchester City close gap at top

Like a champion racehorse Manchester City are timing their title challenge perfectly, this win moving them into second with 35 points, two behind Manchester United with a game in hand.

This cruise of a victory over Crystal Palace was their fifth in a row in the league and City can – possibly briefly – take over as leaders if they beat Aston Villa here on Wednesday, while United visit Fulham later in the evening.

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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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» Steve Bruce turns to brutal honesty as moment of truth looms for Newcastle | Louise Taylor

It is now or never for the faltering project of a manager yet to step out from the shadow of his exalted predecessor

Steve Bruce has not spent too much time briefing his squad about the new protocols designed to eliminate hugs, handshakes and, worst of all, kisses from on-pitch celebrations. “I’d like to see us score a goal first,” says Newcastle’s manager. “We can worry about it then.”

After a run of eight games without a win and one goal in 10 hours, Bruce is in big trouble. Although Mike Ashley is believed to have little appetite for sacking him, a majority of fans want the 60-year-old out and he has taken the high-stakes gamble of eviscerating his players in public.

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» European roundup: Juventus off pace after Inter defeat, Bayern beat Freiburg
  • Andrea Pirlo side’s Serie A title bid in balance
  • Bayern extend Bundesliga lead, Metz shock Lyon in Ligue 1

Internazionale climbed to the top of the Serie A table with a 2-0 home win over Juventus that moves Antonio Conte’s side seven points clear of the defending champions.

Arturo Vidal and Nicolò Barella scored the goals as Conte prevailed in his first managerial meeting with his former player Andrea Pirlo. Vidal headed home Barella’s cross to put the hosts in front after 12 minutes. Barella doubled Inter’s lead early in the second half, running on to Alessandro Bastoni’s through ball to finish a break.

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» Mikel Arteta praises 'phenomenal' Granit Xhaka for rallying after red card
  • Midfielder was sent off in 1-0 home defeat to Burnley
  • Arteta: ‘After the red card, he was in a difficult place’

Mikel Arteta has described Granit Xhaka’s form as “phenomenal” and a key reason behind Arsenal’s greater solidity in recent weeks.

Xhaka has been impressive since returning from suspension incurred from the red card he received against Burnley on 13 December. His dismissal came at 0-0 when he lost his cool and grabbed Ashley Westwood by the throat and, after Arsenal had slipped to a 1-0 defeat, it saw him pilloried on social media – and not for the first time.

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» Mesut Özil says Arsenal goodbyes and flies out to complete Fenerbahce move
  • Playmaker’s limbo nears end with move to boyhood club
  • Club’s highest-paid player will leave on a free transfer

Mesut Özil has said his farewells at Arsenal, visiting the club’s London Colney training ground for the final time before he completes a move to Fenerbahce.

A breakthrough in talks between player and club this weekend brought an agreement in principle that Özil would terminate his Arsenal contract and join the Istanbul club, who had previously been interested in signing him on loan. While his release is yet to be rubber-stamped, it was viewed as enough of a formality for Özil to bid goodbye to his teammates and the club staff. Arsenal also gave him permission to travel to Turkey for a medical, with Fenerbahce expected to announce his arrival as a free agent in the next couple of days.

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» Tanguy Ndombele's moment of magic caps Spurs win at Sheffield United

Back in July, Tottenham’s players produced a no-show at Bramall Lane that they came to see as a turning point in José Mourinho’s reign. This time they beat Sheffield United by the same scoreline that had jolted them into action six months ago and will hope it has a similarly transformative effect after such an inconsistent run of form.

Whether or not that proves to be the case, this game will be best remembered for an exquisite and ultimately decisive piece of improvisation by Tanguy Ndombele shortly after the hour.

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» Jürgen Klopp’s tepid attack is feeling ripple effects of a drained defence | Barney Ronay

Last year’s free-scoring champions were blunted by Manchester United but all blame does not lie with Mohamed Salah and co

Of course it was nil-nil. Liverpool came to Anfield for the most spiteful, razor-edged derby in elite-level English football having scored in their last 42 Premier League home games. They took to the field without a single specialist central defender against a free-scoring Manchester United. The week had been shot through with hopeful talk of title charges, Judgment Days and the usual final countdown waffle.

At which point, welcome to the more mannered world of Covid-era football, a stage show that is required to generate its own pulse and where players are asked to alchemise from the empty air the kind of heat and fire that tends to make the difference in a game like this.

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» Fran Kirby hits winner as Chelsea beat Manchester United to go top of WSL

Manchester United could summon no answer to Fran Kirby as Chelsea reminded Casey Stoney’s players they are not about to surrender their title lightly. The England forward is in the sort of form that keeps Women’s Super League defenders awake at night and her winner restored Emma Hayes’s defending champions to the top of the table.

Chelsea are ahead of United only on goal difference but hold a game in hand and Hayes appeared cautiously content afterwards. “We should have been out of sight at half-time,” she said, after another stellar defensive performance from Magdalena Eriksson, as her side extended their record unbeaten WSL run to 31 games. “Manchester United have exceptional players that can hurt you – they’re a tough side, the best we’ve played this year – but Fran came into her own in the last 30 minutes and scored a wonderful winner.”

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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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» 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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» Cedric Itten rescues point for Rangers at Motherwell as Gerrard's run ends

Cedric Itten scored his fourth goal in three games against Motherwell to rescue a point at Fir Park as Rangers missed out on equalling Jock Wallace’s postwar record run.

Steven Gerrard’s squad were looking to match the 16-game winning run set by Wallace’s team in 1973, but could only muster a 1-1 draw.

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» Manchester United stay top after taking point in tense tussle with Liverpool

Manchester United remain on top of the Premier League table, with a three‑point advantage over Liverpool, as the season approaches halfway. It is a state of affairs that would have felt ludicrous as recently as early October, when they were losing 6-1 at home against Tottenham, and even now will cause a few eyebrows to travel skywards.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the manager, had admitted during the week that his team had “not really set the world alight too many times”. They continued the trend at Anfield, wanting primarily to be difficult to beat, and yet they will reflect on having fashioned not one but two glorious opportunities to secure a smash-and-grab victory.

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» Leicester go second as James Maddison sets up win over Southampton

James Maddison showed the way forward both for Leicester’s title aspirations and for Covid-19 protocols as he marked his winning goal by indulging in some socially distanced celebrations.

Related: Leicester City v Southampton: Premier League – live!

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» Derby fall to Rotherham in Wayne Rooney's first game in full charge

Wayne Rooney made no excuses after his first game as permanent Derby manager ended in a poor home defeat to Rotherham. Jamie Lindsay fired home four minutes from time as Rotherham clinched a vital win over one of their Championship relegation rivals. The Scot’s strike meant Derby dropped down to second bottom, behind their opponents on goal difference.

Related: Todd Cantwell seals victory for leaders Norwich over 10-man Cardiff

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» Arsenal v Newcastle: match preview

Arsenal and Newcastle go again at the Emirates nine days after contesting a tight 120 minutes in the FA Cup third round. A similar affair looks likely unless the home side strike early: the Magpies are adept when asked to sit in but, as they showed at Sheffield United, a more proactive approach appears to be beyond them. Arsenal’s turgid draw with Crystal Palace showed their improved form has not cured everything; they will hope Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli, driving forces of late, are able to return from injuries on schedule. Nick Ames

Monday 8pm Sky Sports Premier League

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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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» Manchester United's Leah Galton: 'Press and Heath have changed our mindset'

Forward opens up on how a six-month sabbatical got her career back on track, working with Casey Stoney and taking on Chelsea

Leah Galton suspected her love affair with football was over. After a highly promising stint playing professionally in North America, the left winger hit an unexpected wall at Bayern Munich and, suddenly, craved a different life.

She remained in fantastic physical shape but Galton was mentally jaded, low on confidence and in urgent need of a fix of “normality”. A restorative six-month sabbatical spent reconnecting with friends and family in Harrogate beckoned.

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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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» Guardiola has turned City away from pressing and back to passing | Jonathan Wilson

In circumstances demanding a less energetic approach, the manager has transformed his side’s Premier League prospects

Ominously, Manchester City have eased towards the front of the title race. They went into the weekend third, just four points behind the Premier League leaders, Manchester United, with a game in hand. Their next five league games are against sides in the bottom half and Aston Villa. Had Liverpool beaten them on 8 November, rather than drawing 1-1, their lead over City would have been eight points. As it is, by the time City face Liverpool on 6 February, there’s a good chance they will be top of the table. That, really, is a triumph of coaching.

It’s a triumph of resources as well because almost everything in modern football is (and let nobody ever forget the origin of those resources). The signing of Rúben Dias has been a triumph, not just for his own performances but for the way he seems to have galvanised the entire backline, John Stones in particular. That he is not playing in the position initially envisaged (operating on the left rather than the right of the centre of defence) is a quirky detail rather than something that calls the planning into doubt.

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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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» Yaya Touré: 'I would love to find a role that combines coaching with playing'

When one of my managers said I could become a coach, I wasn’t so sure. But I’m now looking forward to that stage of my career

By The Coaches’ Voice for the Guardian Sport Network

“Yaya, you know you could be a coach,” a manager once told me. “What?” I replied. I was confused. I’d never considered coaching before. “I just want to play,” I said. At the time, I was sure of it. I wanted to finish my playing career properly. But those words sparked something in me, when it had never previously crossed my mind. I wasn’t ready at the time because I wanted to carry on playing, but also because I knew then – and know now – that I couldn’t have coached at that age. I was so shocked! I still had so much to learn.

At Manchester City, Pep Guardiola and I used to talk after training about specific things, parts of the game that he loved to analyse. He saw that I understood the game. Sometimes I would also speak with the chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, too. He agreed I should consider becoming a coach. Up until then, I just thought I was thinking about how I was playing in a deeper way. I didn’t really realise I was thinking like a coach. I’d always thought in that way. It came naturally to me.

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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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» 'A special instinct': Guardiola praises Phil Foden after Man City victory – video

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had only words of praise for midfielder Phil Foden, whose first-half goal secured his side's win against Brighton. During the post-match press conference, Guardiola also addressed Covid-19 restrictions on goal celebrations: 'the moment you score a goal and one guy runs and the other one, doesn''t go to celebrate with him, it is weird, it is uncomfortable'

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» 'Not good enough': José Mourinho on Tottenham's draw against Fulham – video

Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho said his side's performance against Fulham was 'not good enough, but good enough to win'. Tottenham drew 1-1 against Fulham, despite dominating the match. Asked about his side's failure to convert an overall good performance into a win, Mourinho agreed that 'today was a clear situation that we should and we could have killed the game in the first half'

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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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» Héctor Bellerín: The Unseen Journey – video trailer

A new series is being released following Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín during gruelling medical interventions, recovery programmes and his comeback from a devastating injury – including never-before-seen footage of the club’s 2019-20 FA Cup triumph. The fly-on-the-wall docu-series, The Unseen Journey – which follows the 25-year-old from the inner sanctum of surgical theatres to his family home in Barcelona – will be released by Hifen Studios

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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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» 'Inexcusable, a disgrace': Fifa's damning verdict on Yves Jean-Bart

The shocking scale of sexual abuse allegations at Haiti’s national football centre has been documented in a Fifa report that outlines why Yves Jean-Bart has been banned from football for life. Thirty-four alleged victims of sexual abuse at the centre by 10 possible perpetrators and accomplices including Jean-Bart, the former football federation president who has consistently denied the allegations, were identified in a report by the players’ union Fifpro to Fifa’s ethics committee.

The Fifpro report formed part of the investigation into alleged abuses by Jean-Bart, first revealed by the Guardian, at the Centre Technique National in Croix-des-Bouquets. It claimed that 14 of the 34 were alleged victims of Jean-Bart himself.

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» Like father like daughter: Trinity Rodman picked No 2 in NWSL draft
  • Soccer player shares sports talent with NBA star father Dennis
  • Trinity Rodman will play for Washington Spirit

Another member of the Rodman family is headed for the athletic spotlight.

The Washington Spirit selected forward Trinity Rodman with the No 2 overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft on Wednesday. Rodman, 18, is the daughter of Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman.

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» Hope Solo says she was bullied in USWNT's privileged 'mean girls club'
  • Goalkeeper said environment helped make her tougher
  • Solo says long fight for equal pay must continue

Hope Solo says she encountered hostility when she first entered the United States national team set-up.

“When you grow up on the national team, there was a mean girls club,” she told the BBC’s The Players podcast. “It was a mean girls club. Most players have come from rich, white families. That is the culture of the United States women’s national team. It is a very privileged, white culture. I remember Carli [Lloyd] and I always talking about the culture: ‘We have to change this culture’. Carli and I were very welcoming, we weren’t bullies. We were very nice to the young kids coming in, but I think it’s because we were bullied.

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» Bayern Munich dumped out of German Cup, Pochettino claims first PSG trophy
  • Bayern beaten on penalties by second-tier Holstein Kiel
  • PSG beat Marseille 2-1 to win delayed French Super Cup

Bayern Munich were dumped out of the German Cup by second-tier Holstein Kiel, who prevailed 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in extra time.

In the shootout, both sides converted all five spot-kicks before Bayern’s Marc Roca had his sudden-death effort saved. Fin Bartels slotted in the winning penalty to eliminate the holders at the second-round stage, their earliest exit since 2000.

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» Bayern fall to old nemesis as Neuhaus caps glorious Gladbach comeback | Andy Brassell

The serial Bundesliga champions were two goals up and strolling before they were taken apart by Marco Rose’s team

Few would have blamed Marco Rose for being self-congratulatory or even a bit smug. That is not really the Borussia Mönchengladbach coach’s style, so he went for plainly, patiently and concisely explaining his tactical plan that worked to perfection for the benefit of viewers after the match. A plan, by the way, that worked on not just any opponents, but on Bayern Munich.

Any time Bayern stumble it’s a shock, and particularly so in the thus far imperious Hansi Flick era. There are, however, degrees of shocks and if any team was going to not just wrestle the champions to the floor, but pin them down, it was almost certainly going to be Gladbach. After Friday night’s meeting they have now won six and drawn one of their last dozen meetings with Bayern, an unparalleled and quite extraordinary achievement in this reign of bigger-than-ever-before turbo dominance. It was the eighth time Gladbach have beaten Bayern since 2011 overall.

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» Real Madrid freeze at Osasuna as snow brings much of Spain to a halt | Sid Lowe

An icy flight across Spain was in vain for Madrid as they were held in Pamplona while Atlêtico’s games in hand rack up

Athletic Club Bilbao parked the bus but couldn’t land the plane. The driver arrived early and waited outside Barajas Terminal Four on Friday evening while thousands of feet above him the pilot bringing the team to Madrid to play Atlético circled the city before giving up and going home. At around the same time Real Madrid’s players were sitting in another plane on the runway, watching snow fall and time pass. To the south, Rayo Vallecano’s footballers got off the coach and helped push stranded cars along the road, or tried to. “Do you think we should be travelling like this?” midfielder Mario Suárez asked.

Related: European roundup: Real Madrid slip up in snow after Barça thrash Granada

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» US college star Catarina Macario signs for European champions Lyon
  • 21-year-old is considered one of best US prospects in years
  • Forward was born in Brazil before moving to US at age of 12

Catarina Macario, considered one of the best prospects for the US women’s national team in years, has signed with European champions Lyon.

The 21-year-old has been on the radar of big clubs for several years and won the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the best men’s and women’s college soccer players, in 2018 and 2019. She decided to leave Stanford one year early in order to turn professional after scoring 63 goals in 68 games for the university.

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» Antonio Conte's ambition questioned after Inter are pegged back by Roma | Nicky Bandini

Another slip in the Serie A title race, another game in which the adventure of Inter’s opposition caused real problems

Ambition. The word ran through the pre-game press conferences of Paulo Fonseca and Antonio Conte like mozzarella in Roman supplì: the mouth-watering core ingredient that elevates all the rest. Both managers wanted their audiences to know this was a weekend that mattered, an occasion for which the recipe had to be just right.

Fonseca’s Roma were seeking validation for their rise to third in the table. They won only a single game against Serie A’s top four last season, his first at the club, and that against a Juventus side who had already sewn up the title. The Giallorossi were yet to demonstrate they had learned how to handle the big occasions in this campaign, collecting only two points, and conceding 13 times, in fixtures against Milan, Juventus, Atalanta and Napoli.

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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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» Championship at halfway: miracles at Swansea and a Rooney-led revival

Norwich are top but have not hit full tilt and Neil Warnock is targeting a remarkable ninth promotion with Middlesbrough

Things could soon get snug at the summit but, for now, leaders Norwich have a four-point advantage over Swansea, where Steve Cooper continues to work minor miracles. For Daniel Farke the good news is that in 11 of the past 12 seasons, the team top at Christmas have clinched promotion. The bad news? For their rivals, it is that they are not yet at full tilt. Norwich have the same manager and almost an identical team to the one that secured this crown two years ago – the Tottenham loanee Oliver Skipp has slotted into midfield – but it is largely a tried and trusted formula; Tim Krul in goal, Max Aarons marauding into the box, Emi Buendía pulling off preposterous passes, and Teemu Pukki putting the ball in the net.

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» Footballers deserve respect, not to be treated by ministers as punchbags | Paul MacInnes

Rather than suggesting that players are flouting rules, the government would be better off examining its own mishandling of the pandemic

If you’re celebrating a goal in the coming weeks, or thinking of celebrating a goal, or know someone who might be, then please adhere to this simple, three-part process: first CONTROL (your feelings), then SHUN (your teammates), and PERFORM (a short dance move designed by yourself or your agent and easily replicable on social).

Remember those three words and they just might help keep you infinitesimally safer this winter. And deny Matt Hancock another soapbox to jump on. Because, were you to have been following the news these past few days, you might have come away with the impression that one of the most pressing issues facing our country in January 2021 is an absence of social distancing in the close-contact sport known as Association Football.

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» Celtic's plasticine empire is collapsing amid arrogance and awful decisions | Ewan Murray

The club should apologise for a Dubai trip that has disfigured a season already notable for toil on the pitch and mess off it

Celtic: The Implosion. The imagination of a scriptwriting genius would have been necessary to piece together a chain of events which are now far enough removed from fiction as to fatally undermine what was billed as a history-making season.

Grand plans relating to a 10th title in a row are long gone; instead, Celtic’s collective decision-making has reduced the club to a laughing stock. Their supporters, normally so fiercely defensive of reputation, have been united in horror at the unravelling of a setup which appeared untouchable 12 months ago. It really didn’t take much to topple this plasticine empire.

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» David Squires on … FA Cup upstarts rubbing shoulders with the football elite

Our cartoonist on the stories of the third round, including young scorers, Adele singalongs and watching Spurs over a garden fence

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» The Fiver | Gods of football in the middle of some kind of spiritual audit

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Liverpool versus Manchester United at Anfield. It’s a fixture that in the past has ended 7-1, 7-4, 4-4 and 1-4, though exactly how much importance should be attributed to matches played in 1895, 1908, 1953 and 1969 is very much a matter for you and you alone. The Fiver prefers to crunch more recent data, and the last five stagings of this particular super-hyped showdown have produced a grand total of six goals, and two of those were a pair of absurd deflections scored in a trippy seven-minute spell by Xherdan Shaqiri in 2018. Given the way United have just chased Liverpool down with a little help from two big nicks of their own against Wolves and Burnley, it would appear the gods of football are in the middle of some kind of spiritual audit.

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» Football transfer rumours: Chelsea and Spurs to fight over Kim Min-jae?

Today’s piffle is, like many of us these days, mostly staying put

This Gareth Bale thing hasn’t really worked out for either party, has it? Not least because all the golf courses are shut. Tottenham Hotspur are unlikely to seek an extension to Bale’s loan deal for next season, sending the Welsh living legend back to Real Madrid. Reopen the golf courses, Johnson!

Related: PSG and Pochettino step up efforts to sign Tottenham's Dele Alli on loan

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» Football managers who have bounced back after mighty thrashings | The Knowledge

Plus: several other long-distance straight red cards, success without a shot on target and more

“Has any other manager recovered from a huge loss (yes, the 9-0!) as well as Ralph Hasenhüttl?” tweets Kev Van Betlem. “Or simply not been sacked. It’s an astonishing turnaround.”

While the Knowledge bows to no football column in its love of Ralph Hasenhüttl, he has a way to go before he matches Steve Coppell’s recovery from a similar shellacking. “Crystal Palace famously lost 9-0 to Liverpool in 1989-90, then went on to beat them in the FA Cup semi-final later that season,” writes Bobby Dunnett (and a few other Palace fans). “The following season they finished third in the league, their highest ever position. Coppell remained manager throughout.”

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» Liverpool v Manchester United, cracking catches and desert rallying | Classic YouTube

This week’s round-up also features a maverick assist, Aimee Fuller’s snowboard days and much more

1) The Premier League leaders once again play at Anfield on Sunday, but on this occasion Manchester United are the team top of the pile, rather than Liverpool. The clash has brought many famous moments. There was the 3-3 draw in 1988, the 3-3 draw in 1994, Jerzy Dudek forgetting what his job was, a John O’Shea winner, and, not to mention, a brief compilation of other things. There was a less savoury incident in 1986 when the United players were sprayed with CS gas as they arrived at the ground. It was less dramatic last season when Mohamed Salah sealed the win as Liverpool sauntered to the title.

2) Mathieu Valbuena gets knocked down, but sets them up again: a remarkable sprawling assist for Olympiakos against Panetolikos. The consolation goal from Panetolikos was decent too, assisted by former Nottingham Forest winger Gboly Ariyibi and scored by ex-Sheffield United midfielder Aymen Tahar.

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» What's the furthest from goal a player has seen red for a professional foul? | The Knowledge

Plus: record-scoring Champions League flops, winning a game with no shots on target and bad league champions

“What is the furthest away from goal someone has been sent off for a professional foul?” muses Robert Davies.

Our thoughts immediately settled on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s gloriously cynical scything down of Newcastle’s Rob Lee at Old Trafford in 1998 but by the time the Norwegian actually made contact with Lee’s shins, he was only around 30 yards from goal. How about this shocking decision from the 1991 League Cup quarter-finals then, when Southampton’s Jimmy Case was sent for an early bath after hauling down Bryan Robson – hardly known for his blistering pace – a good 40 yards from goal with two covering defenders for company? At the beginning of the season referees had been instructed to tighten up punishment for fouls that denied a clear goalscoring opportunity and, on this evidence, they had a loose understanding of what that meant.

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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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» Ruler of the ranch: the rise and fall of Yves Jean-Bart, Haiti's king of football

Special report: The president of the Haiti FA was once feted by Fifa, but a Guardian investigation led to him being handed a life ban over allegations of the sexual abuse of young female players

Everyone still calls it “the ranch”. Situated in Croix-des-Bouquets, one of Port-au-Prince’s poorest suburbs and where Wyclef Jean spent his formative years, the Centre Technique National was once a country mansion where Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier hosted his wedding reception in 1980 at a reported cost of $5m.

Having allegedly diverted money from US humanitarian aid to finance the development of the sport that helped Haiti qualify the 1974 World Cup, Duvalier was the first to build a football pitch at the site now known as the Fifa Goal Centre. Nowadays the centre it houses up to 200 young players, most of them the best prospects in Haiti. It was a power base for Yves Jean-Bart, the man who ruled Haitian football for 20 years until, in November 2020, he was banned for life by Fifa following a Guardian investigation detailing allegations of sexual abuse and harassment of young female players.

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» The Guardian Footballer of the Year Marcus Rashford: 'My mum is everything'

The Manchester United forward reflects on an extraordinary year where he improved the lives of millions of people – all, he says, inspired by his mother, Mel

The Guardian Footballer of the Year is an award given to a player who has done something remarkable, whether by overcoming adversity, helping others or setting a sporting example by acting with exceptional honesty.

Marcus Rashford is mulling over a quite extraordinary 2020 when his words and deeds have made him the only choice to be named as the Guardian’s Footballer of the Year. The Manchester United and England forward has excelled on the pitch, as usual, but the day job no longer defines him. How can it do so when he has done more than anyone to look after the poorest and most vulnerable children in the United Kingdom?

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» Super-clubs lack patience for rookies like Arteta and Lampard to learn on job | Jonathan Wilson

The financial structures of modern football mean steady progression is unworkable and few former players taking the reins of an elite club are likely to have had adequate preparation

Everybody wants their own Pep Guardiola. That is the dream. You take a club legend just beginning his coaching career, stick him in charge of the reserves for a season, give him the top job, then watch as he revolutionises football with a squad based around academy products and wins three league titles and two Champions Leagues. It’s not just winning, but winning your way.

That’s why so many major clubs have turned to former players with limited or no first-hand managerial experience: Juventus with Andrea Pirlo, Chelsea with Frank Lampard, Arsenal with Mikel Arteta. It fosters the exceptionalist dream that underlies so much of what it is to support a club, the feeling you are different, better, more worthy than the others, and it’s good for the branding, taking a popular, recognisable figure to sell that feeling.

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