EPL Talk Archives for January 2016

Buffon sounds alarm over dangers posed by Serie A rivals

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Milan (AFP) Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon called for improvements despite a 2-1 win over title rivals Napoli that left the Serie A champions four points clear of an increasingly ambitious chasing pack.

A second-half winner from ex-Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain sent Juve four points clear of Roma, with Napoli now seven points off the pace after AC Milan and Lazio won on Sunday to move into third and fourth places respectively.

De Boer on brink after latest Inter loss

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Milan (AFP) The future of Inter Milan coach Frank de Boer was plunged into fresh doubt on Sunday after a 1-0 defeat at Sampdoria left his side mired in mid-table in Serie A.

Inter travelled to the Luigi Ferraris stadium looking to build on a 2-1 mid-week win over Torino that saw Argentine striker Mauro Icardi put two goals past England 'keeper Joe Hart.

Villarreal suffer first defeat, Bilbao held

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Madrid (AFP) Villarreal spurned the chance to move up to third in La Liga as Eibar struck twice in the final 10 minutes to inflict their first league defeat of the season 2-1 on Sunday.

Celta Vigo blew a three-goal lead in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Las Palmas, whilst Athletic Bilbao remain seventh after being held 1-1 at home by Osasuna.

Five things we learned from the English Premier League

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London (AFP) Doubles from Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan for Manchester City and by Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal inspired their sides to handsome wins and ensure they are neck and neck, along with Liverpool, at the top of the table.

Here are five things we learned from the English Premier League this weekend:

Klopp needs to sort defence

As the travelling Kop choir sung their hymns in praise of Liverpool's swaggering 4-2 win at Crystal Palace, boss Jurgen Klopp took their acclaim with a steely expression.

Balotelli scores again as Nice stretch lead

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Paris (AFP) Mario Balotelli starred once again as clinical Nice opened up a six-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 with a 4-1 thrashing of Nantes on Sunday.

The maverick forward, back in form after a nightmare spell at Liverpool, scored his sixth league goal of the season and was involved in two others as Nice took their unbeaten run since the start of the season to 11 matches.

Costa sparkles as Chelsea down Saints

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Diego Costa's sublime strike sealed Chelsea's 2-0 success against Southampton on Sunday as the Blues chalked up a fourth successive Premier League victory.

Costa doubled Chelsea's lead with a fine finish from 25 yards after Eden Hazard had put Antonio Conte's side ahead early in the first half at St Mary's.

Roma fire blanks as Milan, Lazio move up

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Milan (AFP) Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko fired blanks as Roma were held to a scoreless draw at Empoli on Sunday, leaving champions Juventus four points clear at the top of Serie A.

Roma travelled to the Castellani stadium looking to close the gap on a Juventus side which secured a 2-1 win over title rivals Napoli on Saturday when former Azzurri striker Gonzalo Higuain hit the winner in Turin.

Suele helps Hoffenheim go third as Bayern loom

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Berlin (AFP) Rising Germany star Niklas Suele sealed Hoffenheim's 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin which put them third in the Bundesliga and set up a mouth-watering clash against leaders Bayern Munich next week.

Suele's 31st-minute header on Sunday gave unbeaten Hoffenheim their fifth win in nine games.

Roma hit blanks as Milan, Lazio move up

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Milan (AFP) Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko fired a series of blanks as Roma were held to a scoreless draw at Empoli on Sunday that has left champions Juventus four points clear at the top of Serie A.

Roma travelled to the Castellani stadium looking to close a five-point deficit after Juventus secured a 2-1 win over title rivals Napoli on Saturday when former Azzurri striker Gonzalo Higuain hit the winner in Turin.

Suele header lifts Hoffenheim to third

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Berlin (AFP) Rising Germany star Niklas Suele sealed Hoffenheim's 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin which put them third in the Bundesliga and set up a mouth-watering clash against leaders Bayern Munich.

Suele's 31st-minute header on Sunday gave unbeaten Hoffenheim their fifth win in nine games as his side took Hertha's place in Germany's top flight.

MLS Knockout Round viewership down 10% on TV

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Viewership for the four MLS Knockout round playoff matches were down 10% from 2015 despite some matches expanding to include national English language coverage.

Last season's four knockout round matches averaged 329,250 viewers shown exclusively via national TV on UniMás and Univision Deportes.

Barkley strikes to answer critics

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Liverpool (AFP) Ross Barkley's excellent goal sealed an impressive 2-0 win for Everton over West Ham in their Premier League clash on Sunday ending a four match winless run in the league.

For Barkley who had been dropped both from the England squad and the Everton starting line-up this season as his form dipped it was his first goal since the opening day of the season against Spurs.

Balotelli shines as Nice stretch lead

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Paris (AFP) Mario Balotelli starred once again as clinical Nice opened up a six-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 with a 4-1 thrashing of Nantes on Sunday.

The maverick forward, back in form after a nightmare spell at Liverpool, scored one and was involved in two other goals as Nice took their unbeaten run since the start of the season to 11 matches.

Everton’s Barkley strikes to answer critics

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Liverpool (AFP) Ross Barkley's excellent goal sealed an impressive 2-0 win for Everton over West Ham in their Premier League clash on Sunday ending a four match winless run in the league.

For Barkley who had been dropped both from the England squad and the Everton starting line-up this season as his form dipped it was his first goal since the opening day of the season against Spurs.

Villa’s Bruce has to settle for draw on Birmingham return

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London (AFP) Steve Bruce remains unbeaten as Aston Villa manager but his side were unable to get the better of one of his former clubs Birmingham City as their Championship match ended 1-1 on Sunday.

Bruce, who played for Birmingham and had a six year stint as manager before upping sticks in 2007, has so far guided Villa to two draws and a win since replacing Roberto di Matteo, who was sacked after a poor start to their second tier campaign.

Defoe upbeat despite Sunderland’s woeful form

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jermain Defoe believes beleaguered English Premier League tailenders Sunderland can turn things around if they stick together.

The 34-year-old former England international striker who criticised manager David Moyes earlier this month saying the perennial strugglers had gone backwards since he came in for Sam Allardyce said it is vital the team looks forward and doesn't dwell on their latest failure.

Club America-Chivas Copa MX semi-final was most-watched Copa MX match ever

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Wednesday night's Copa MX semi-final between Club America and Chivas was the most-watched Copa MX match ever.

Univision's presentation of the Copa MX SuperClasico between America and Guadalajara was watched by an average of 885,000 (ages 18-49) Wednesday night. The audience size matched ESPN's NBA opener (OKC-Philly) and drew 5x the viewership of NBCSN's NHL/Bruins-Rangers game (162,000).

Giroud dispels Arsenal title talk

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London (AFP) French international Olivier Giroud rubbished talk of Arsenal winning the Premier League title despite an excellent run of form saying Sunday it is far too early to make such predictions.

The 30-year-old striker had been a peripheral figure this season, after suffering a toe injury, but his double after coming off the bench inspired the Gunners to an ultimately convincing 4-1 win over hapless Sunderland on Saturday.

Guardiola hails ‘Special One’ Aguero

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sergio Aguero was branded Manchester City's 'Special One' after ending the worst run of manager Pep Guardiola's career.

Argentina forward Aguero scored twice in the first half against West Bromwich Albion before setting up the third for Ilkay Gundogan, who also grabbed the final goal in City's 4-0 win at the Hawthorns.

Ranieri cheered by Leicester resilience

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London (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri believes his side have finally rediscovered the defensive resilience that helped them to their fairytale Premier League title triumph last season.

The defending champions collected their first point on their travels this season in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur after Ahmed Musa cancelled out Vincent Janssen's penalty.

Gareth Bale extends Real Madrid contract to 2022

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Madrid (AFP) Gareth Bale tied his long term future to Real Madrid on Sunday by extending his contract with the Spanish giants to 2022, the club confirmed.

"Real Madrid C. F. and Gareth Bale have agreed an extension to the player's contract, keeping him at the club until the 30th of June 2022," Madrid said in a statement.

Bale extends Madrid deal to 2022

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Madrid (AFP) Gareth Bale tied his long term future to Real Madrid on Sunday by extending his contract with the Spanish giants to 2022, the club confirmed.

"Real Madrid C. F. and Gareth Bale have agreed an extension to the player's contract, keeping him at the club until the 30th of June 2022," Madrid said in a statement.

Giroud ‘mental strength’ delights Wenger

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wengersays Olivier Giroud will continue to answer his critics after the France forward ended his goal drought in style at Sunderland.

Giroud climbed off the bench to score twice his first Premier League goals since May as the Gunners won 4-1 away to the bottom-of-the-table Black Cats on Saturday.

Klopp makes case for Liverpool defence

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London (AFP) Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool's defensive problems were no cause for alarm after his side maintained their push for the Premier League title with a 4-2 win away to Crystal Palace.

Despite an ultimately comfortable scoreline that drew Liverpool level on points with league leaders Manchester City and second-placed Arsenal, the visitors' shaky backline was badly exposed at Selhurst Park at times.

Mourinho’s right-hand man fumes after Herrera sees red

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United assistant manager Rui Faria suggested sarcastically that referee Mark Clattenburg did "fantastic work" by sending off Ander Herrera during their 0-0 draw with Burnley.

United midfielder Herrera was dismissed for two bookable offences, the second of which came midway through the second half for a foul on Dean Marney.

Luis Enrique seeks more precise Barca for Man City visit

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insisted his side will need an improved display when faced with the very different challenge of former Barca boss Pep Guardiola's Manchester City after labouring to a 1-0 win over Granada on Saturday.

Barca travel to Manchester on Tuesday having thrashed Guardiola's men 4-0 less than two weeks ago to take a commanding lead of Champions League Group C thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick.

Higuain smashes Juve winner over old club Napoli

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Milan (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain hit a fairytale winner as Juventus edged the Argentine's former club Napoli 2-1 in Turin on Saturday to stretch their lead to five points at the top of Italy's Serie A.

Higuain, who hit a Serie A record of 36 goals for Napoli last season, has become a hate figure at the San Paolo stadium after moving to Juventus for an Italian transfer record fee of 90m euros.

Ronaldo hat-trick as Real hold off Barca, Atletico

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo returned to goalscoring form with his first hat-trick of the season and also missed a penalty as Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Alaves on Saturday.

Barcelona move up to second, just two points adrift, despite a below-par display in edging past bottom-placed Granada 1-0 thanks to Rafinha's spectacular winner.

Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Real hold off Barca, Atletico

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo returned to goalscoring form with his first hat-trick of the season and also missed a penalty as Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Alaves on Saturday.

Barcelona move up to second, just two points adrift, despite a below-par display in edging past bottom placed Granada 1-0 thanks to Rafinha's winner.

Monaco stalemate hands initiative to Nice

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Paris (AFP) Surprise package Nice can stretch their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to six points on Sunday after Monaco could only labour to a 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne.

Unbeaten Nice host struggling Nantes knowing that victory would propel them clear in the French league, with Monaco now second, ahead of Paris Saint Germain only on goal difference in what looks increasingly like a three-way title fight.

Lovren hero and villain as Liverpool keep pace

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London (AFP) Liverpool kept pace with Premier League top two Manchester City and Arsenal with a dramatic 4-2 success at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

A breathless first half saw both sides take advantage of defensive errors, with Palace twice levelling through James McArthur after Liverpool took the lead with goals from Emre Can and Dejan Lovren.

City, Arsenal, Liverpool press on, Mourinho off

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London (AFP) Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan each scored twice as Manchester City crushed West Bromwich Albion 4-0 on Saturday to keep their noses in front in the Premier League.

Arsenal won 4-1 at Sunderland and Liverpool prevailed 4-2 at Crystal Palace, but City's win kept Pep Guardiola's side above them both on goal difference as they ended a six-game winless run.

Wasteful Pirates held by Chiefs in Soweto derby

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Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) Orlando Pirates had the better scoring chances during a 0-0 draw with Kaizer Chiefs Saturday in a lively first Soweto derby of the South African season.

Pirate Thabo Rankale was let down by his first touch midway through the opening half at a near-full Soccer City stadium, which accommodates 93,000 spectators.

Lewandowski close to signing new Bayern deal

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski revealed Saturday he is close to signing a new deal with Bayern Munich, which could reportedly make the Poland hot-shot the club's highest earner.

Lewandowski netted his seventh goal in nine league games so far this season when he scored twice in their 3-1 win at Augsburg to leave Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern two points clear in the German league.

Rangers at their best against Killie, says Warburton

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Glasgow (AFP) Rangers manager Mark Warburton hailed his side's 3-0 Scottish Premiership win over Kilmarnock as their best performance of the season.

The Glasgow giants moved up to second place in the table thanks to goals from Lee Wallace, Andy Halliday and Joe Garner in Saturday's game.

It was the Ibrox club's biggest league win of the season and Warburton was delighted by the manner of the victory.

Barcelona seal 150 million a season Nike deal

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona members passed a bumper contract extension with American kit manufactures Nike that will see the Catalans make at least 150 million euros a season from 2018.

The initial deal, which smashes Manchester United's previous record £750 million (835 million euro) deal 10-year deal with Adidas, will run until 2023 when Barca's members will have the chance to vote in favour of a further five-year extension.

Lacazette bags double as Lyon topple Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) Ten-man Lyon survived a late onslaught to earn a 2-1 away win at high-flying Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Saturday with Alexandre Lacazette scoring both goals.

It was just Lyon's fifth win in 11 league outings this season, after coach Brunio Genesio was handed an ultimatum last week by club owner Jean-Michel Aulas to notch up 31 points before the winter break or face the chop.

Ronaldo hat-trick extends Real La Liga lead

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo returned to goalscoring form with his first hat-trick of the season and also missed a penalty as Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Alaves on Saturday.

Ronaldo's wayward form in recent weeks had come under the spotlight he was booed by Real fans after missing one chance recently but he turned the game around after Deyverson had put Alaves into a shock early lead.

Leaders Newcastle make it six of the best

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London (AFP) Newcastle chalked up a sixth successive victory as the Championship leaders cemented their position with a 2-1 win at Preston on Saturday.

Just days after routing Preston in the League Cup, Rafael Benitez's side were made to work harder at Deepdale but eventually emerged with the points.

Ronaldo hat-trick extends Madrid’s La Liga lead

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo returned to goalscoring form with his first hat-trick of the season despite also missing a penalty as Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Alaves on Saturday.

Ronaldo's wayward form in recent weeks had come under the spotlight, but he turned the game around after Deyverson had put Alaves into a shock early lead.

Mourinho banished as Heaton frustrates Man United

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Tom Heaton's saves frustrated his former club Manchester United as Burnley drew 0-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday to secure a first Premier League away point of the season.

Heaton dived to palm away a Jesse Lingard header and spread himself to block a powerful Zlatan Ibrahimovic volley against a United side who finished with 10 men as midfielder Ander Herrera was sent off.

City and Arsenal forge ahead, Heaton thwarts Utd

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London (AFP) Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan each scored twice as Manchester City crushed West Bromwich Albion 4-0 on Saturday to reclaim first place in the Premier League from Arsenal.

Arsenal won 4-1 at Sunderland, with substitute Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez both scoring twice, but City's win kept Pep Guardiola's side top on goal difference as they ended a six-game winless run.

Aguero brace ends Guardiola barren run

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sergio Aguero's brace ended Pep Guardiola's worst run as a manager as Manchester City turned on the style with a 4-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Aguero has been linked with a move away from City after being dropped for a Champions League tie at Barcelona recently, but he underlined his value with clinical first-half goals at the Hawthorns.

Lewandowski, Robben shine as Bayern floor Augsburg again

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben combined for all three goals as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich eased to an impressive 3-1 victory for their second win over Augsburg this week.

Having also beaten their Bavarian neighbours by the same margin on Wednesday at home in the German Cup, Bayern completed the double thanks to Robben's outstanding display with two assists and a goal.

Spurs slip up with Leicester draw

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur lost ground in the race for the Premier League title after a 1-1 draw at home to faltering champions Leicester City on Saturday.

Vincent Janssen's first Premier League goal, from the penalty spot, gave Spurs the lead at White Hart Lane but this was cancelled out by Ahmed Musa as Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri extended his unbeaten record against Tottenham to 11 league games.

City, Arsenal forge ahead, Heaton thwarts Man Utd

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London (AFP) Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan each scored twice as Manchester City crushed West Bromwich Albion 4-0 on Saturday to reclaim first place in the Premier League from Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger's side won 4-1 at Sunderland, with substitute Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez both scoring twice, but City's win kept Pep Guardiola's side top on goal difference.

Robben shines as Bayern floor Augsburg again

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben combined for all three goals as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich eased to an impressive 3-1 victory for their second win over Augsburg this week.

Having also beaten their Bavarian neighbours by the same margin on Wednesday at home in the German Cup, Bayern completed the double thanks to Robben's outstanding display with two assists and a goal.

Manchester United’s Valencia set for arm surgery

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London (AFP) Manchester United's Antonio Valencia will undergo surgery on Saturday after fracturing his arm, the English Premier League giants announced.

Ecuador defender Valencia, 31, has made 11 appearances in all competitions for United so far this season.

But he was missing from Jose Mourinho's squad for Saturday's league match at home to Burnley, with United confirming his injury via a Twitter feed statement that said: "Antonio Valencia has a fracture in his arm and will have surgery today.

Arsenal’s Giroud, Sanchez sink sorry Sunderland

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score twice in five second-half minutes as Arsenal maintained their Premier League title challenge with acomfortable4-1 win at struggling Sunderland.

Alexis Sanchez scored the Gunners' other two goals to make it 14 games unbeaten for Arsene Wenger's side, who would have won with even more to spare had they taken all their chances in a dominant display.

Loew to extend Germany football reign until 2020: reports

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Berlin (AFP) Germany's World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew is set to extend his reign until 2020 amidst reports his new contract will be confirmed on Monday by the German FA (DFB).

German daily Bild reported on Saturday that the 56-year-old, who took charge in 2006, will pen a two-year extension to lead Germany's defence of the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and to the European Championships in 2020.

Conte warns Terry faces fight for Chelsea place

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Antonio Conte has hinted Chelsea captain John Terry could be sent back to the bench for Sunday's Premier League trip to Southampton.

Terry's return to action in Chelsea's midweek League Cup defeat at West Ham didn't go according to plan as the centre-back struggled in his first appearance following six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

Mourinho hopes derby delight leads to United upswing

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United's derby victory over Manchester City can inject fresh life into his team's spluttering Premier League title challenge.

Mourinho's side bounced back from a miserable 4-0 thrashing at Chelsea by defeating arch rivals City in the League Cup on Wednesday and the United boss hopes the momentum carries over into Saturday's meeting with Burnley.

Where to find Spurs vs. Leicester on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Spurs vs. Leicester, you've come to the right place.

In Saturday's big match in the Premier League, the champions Leicester take on Premier League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in a game where Spurs will be expected to win. Both teams are in the UEFA Champions League, but it's been Leicester that has been more impressive in Europe while stumbling in the English top-flight league so far this season.

Where to find Alaves vs. Real Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Alaves vs. Real Madrid, you've come to the right place.

In first place in La Liga, Real Madrid has an opportunity to open up a four point lead atop the Spanish top-flight table if Los Blancos win and Sevilla slip up this weekend. For soccer fans in the United States, the Alaves-Real Madrid match is being shown live on US TV and streaming.

Where to find Dortmund vs. Schalke on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Dortmund vs. Schalke, you've come to the right place.

The Ruhr Derby between Borussia Dortmund vs. Schalke is one of the greatest derbies in world soccer. In the United States, the match will be shown live on FOX Sports 2. If your TV provider doesn't offer FOX Sports 2 (or if it's not in HD), you can watch the game for free with a 7-day trial to Sling Blue.

Juventus vs. Napoli predicted lineups and preview

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Although Juventus, crowned Italian champions for the last five seasons in succession, being perched atop the Serie A table is no great surprise, there's a sense early this season that a more fascinating title race could be on the cards.

It's one that Napoli, in fourth place and four points behind the league leaders, will want to be involved in; they can make a statement of intent when visiting the Juventus Stadium on Saturday evening.

Where to find Juventus vs. Napoli on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Juventus vs. Napoli, you've come to the right place.

The biggest match in Serie A this weekend features top team Juventus battling Napoli, who are currently in third. Unfortunately, the game isn't on US television, but it will be shown live via beIN SPORTS Connect, the streaming service from beIN SPORTS.

Cavani blasts PSG past Lille

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Paris (AFP) A thunderous second-half strike from Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint Germain a 1-0 win over Lille on Friday as the French champions were made to fight all night.

The result sees Unai Emery's PSG climb to second on 23 points behind Ligue 1 leaders Nice who have 26 ahead of hosting Nantes on Sunday.

Rangers cut their losses

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Glasgow (AFP) Scottish football giants Rangers continued their financial recovery from the depths of liquidation as their annual figures showed increased turnover and they had halved their losses on Friday.

Dave King, who has been Rangers chairman since May 2015, said that the turnover of £22.

Mourinho bars Rooney from United escape

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Wayne Rooney will not be allowed to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window despite his frustrations at losing his starting place at Old Trafford and interest from his former club Everton.

Ronald Koeman, in charge at the club Rooney left to join United in the summer of 2004, has become the first Premier League manager to express an interest in signing the England captain should Jose Mourinho be prepared to allow him to leave.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 10

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NBC presents live coverage of two Premier League matches this weekend, when third-place Liverpool visit Crystal Palace this Saturday, October 29, at 12:30 p.m. ET (also available on NBC UNIVERSO), and fourth-place Chelsea visit Southampton this Sunday, October 30, at Noon ET (also available on TELEMUNDO).

Passion not money Ranieri’s motivating factor

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London (AFP) Claudio Ranieri wouldn't mind if Premier League champions Leicester stopped paying him because what motivates the veteran manager is passion, love and a team who fight for each other.

The 65-year-old who was at the helm to guide 5000/1 outsiders Leicester to the Premier League title last season told The Times he didn't even know how much he is paid.

Valbuena sex-tape ‘mastermind’ released from detention

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Versailles (France) (AFP) One of the suspected blackmailers in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal has been released from prison, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mustapha Zouaoui was released on Thursday according to his lawyer Serge Money as French law prevents suspects being held in pre-trial detention for longer than four months.

Guardiola worried by City slump

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits he is worried as he tries to halt the longest winless run of his managerial career.

Guardiola has gone six games without a victory as he prepares to take his team to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.

Mourinho will keep faith with struggling Mkhitaryan

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho admits Henrikh Mkhitaryan is struggling to adapt to life at Manchester United but insists he has no intention of selling the Armenian just three months after his £26 million ($31 million, 28 million euros) signing.

Mkhitaryanhas played just 104 minutes of Premier League football this season since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in the close-season.

Jealousy provokes Guardiola critics – Luis Enrique

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique believes former teammate Pep Guardiola will succeed at Manchester City and that criticism of his methods are borne out of jealousy.

Guardiola is in the midst of the worst run of results in his managerial career having not won in six games, including a 4-0 thrashing by Luis Enrique's men on his return to Barcelona last week.

Koeman offers Everton escape route for Rooney

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London (AFP) Everton manager Ronald Koeman says he would love to bring Wayne Rooney back to Goodison Park if the England star can't revive his flagging Manchester United fortunes.

United captain Rooney has been relegated to the bench by boss Jose Mourinho in recent weeks after a dip in form that prompted speculation he could be on the verge of leaving Old Trafford.

‘Phenom’ Ronaldo deserves Ballon d’Or – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane backed Cristiano Ronaldo's case for a fourth Ballon d'Or on Friday despite the Portuguese superstar's current struggles in front of goal.

Ronaldo won both the Champions League with Real and Portugal's first ever major tournament at Euro 2016 to make him the favourite to land the award for the world's best player on January 9 next year.

West Ham violence could damage safe standing campaign: Wenger

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fears the crowd trouble that marred West Ham United's League Cup victory over Chelsea and left 200 fans facing banning orders could damage the campaign for safe standing areas in stadiums.

Rival fans threw coins, seats and bottles inside West Ham's London Stadium on Wednesday and were involved in clashes in the streets around the east London ground.

Mourinho and United focus on Burnley boost

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho's mood was a little brighter on Wednesday after an EFL Cup victory over Manchester City, but there is still much work to be done in order to get his season back on track.

The Manchester United manager issued a public apology to the club's supporters after an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Chelsea last Sunday, which left his team seventh in the Premier League.

Real wait for misfiring Ronaldo to catch fire

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid are hoping Cristiano Ronaldo can end a lean period in front of goal as they attempt to keep their noses in front of a tight five-way race atop La Liga at Alaves on Saturday.

Madrid bounced back from a four-game draw streak in style by scoring 20 goals in winning their last four outings to move back top of the table and take big strides towards progress in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

Guardiola seeks to end record winless run

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City's form under Pep Guardiola is beginning to show similarities to their final season under his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini, with a fast start followed by an autumn stumble.

Last season, City won their opening five matches under Pellegrini, then fell away so badly that they only just secured England's fourth and final Champions League qualification place.

Bayern hunt quickfire second win over Augsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich face familiar opposition in neighbours Augsburg on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders take on their Bavarian rivals for the second time in four days.

Bayern beat Augsburg 3-1 on Wednesday in the second round of the German Cup as US international Julian Green deputising for striker Robert Lewandowski David Alaba and Philipp Lahm all scored.

Crisis-hit Lyon desperate to arrest slump

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Paris (AFP) Struggling Lyon will attempt to halt their alarming dip in form away to Toulouse on Saturday as the pressure mounts on Bruno Genesio following a run of five defeats in six matches.

Lyon lurched into crisis mode after crashing to a 3-1 home reverse against Guingamp last weekend, and it won't get any easier against a Toulouse side that has been rejuvenated under Pascal Dupraz.

Mustafi strengthens Gunners’ case for the defence

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger has credited Shkodran Mustafi with giving Arsenal the defensive steel that has helped the Gunners share the lead at the head of the Premier League table going into Saturday's match with struggling Sunderland.

Wenger's side will head to the Stadium of Light level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool and unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions since the opening day of the season.

Mazembe disown favourites tag in CAF final

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Johannesburg (AFP) TP Mazembe coach Hubert Velud does not accept that his Democratic Republic of Congo outfit are favourites to beat Algerian club Mouloudia Bejaia in the CAF Confederation Cup final.

The first leg of a classic David-versus-Goliath showdown is set for Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida Saturday with the return match eight days later at Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.

Even Messi couldn’t save S-League, says Pennant

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Singapore (AFP) English footballer Jermaine Pennant fired a parting shot as he left his Singapore club, saying even Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi couldn't lift the moribund S-League.

The former Arsenal and Liverpool winger, 33, made the comment as he departs Tampines Rovers after just nine months in the nine-team Singapore league.

Pulis signs one-year extension with Albion

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London (AFP) West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis ended speculation about his future on Friday as he signed a one-year contract extension with the Premier League club.

Albion are under new Chinese ownership and it had been suggested Pulis might part ways with the Baggies after expressing his displeasure at the lack of quality signings in the last transfer window.

China’s World Cup chances ‘worrying’ – Lippi

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Beijing (AFP) China's chances of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia are "not impossible but definitely worrying", new Italian coach Marcello Lippi said Friday.

The 68-year-old who led his own country to victory in the 2006 mondial was named the national team's new boss by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) over the weekend.

Wenger fumes over Perez injury

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger says Lucas Perez will be out of action for up to eight weeks after the Arsenal striker was targeted by a "stupid" challenge from Reading's Danzell Gravenberch.

Gunners boss Wenger is furious that Gravenberch clattered Perez in Arsenal's 2-0 League Cup victory at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Guardiola plots Man City upturn at West Brom

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London (AFP) Pep Guardiola takes Manchester City to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League this weekend still trying to figure out how to lift the club out of their autumn downturn.

Scintillating over the season's early weeks, which saw them win their first 10 games, they have now gone six matches without victory, culminating in Wednesday's 1-0 League Cup defeat at Manchester United.

Spurs seek end to winless streak against Leicester

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur will kick off at home to champions Leicester City on Saturday as the Premier League's only remaining unbeaten team and just a single point behind leaders Manchester City.

Yet they will do so outside the Champions League qualification slots in fifth place and without a victory in their last four fixtures.

All eyes on Higuain as Juve host Napoli

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Milan (AFP) The fallout from Gonzalo Higuain's move to Juventus has not settled over the bay of Naples, and the Turin giants host Napoli Saturday in a Serie A sizzler that could see Roma go top.

Higuain's record 36 league goals for Napoli last season gave the entire city a reason to cheer after the southerners fell out of contention late in the title race.

200 face banning orders over West Ham violence

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London (AFP) West Ham United said Thursday that up to 200 people faced banning orders after violence marred their English League Cup tie at home to London rivals Chelsea.

Skirmishes broke out towards the end of the Hammers' 2-1 win on Wednesday, with police and stewards battling to keep supporters apart as coins, bottles and plastic seats were thrown.

Liverpool aim to storm Palace in title bid

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London (AFP) Liverpool will look to underline the strength of their squad when they continue their Premier League title challenge away to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Having survived a nervous finish as his team beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 in the Premier League last Saturday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fielded a completely different starting 11 against Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, and secured another 2-1 victory.

Sundowns win first game since CAF triumph

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Pretoria (AFP) Mamelodi Sundowns won their first match since lifting the CAF Champions League trophy four days ago, beating Polokwane City 2-0 Thursday in a South African League Cup last-16 tie.

The new champions fielded six of the team that overcame Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final of the premier African club competition.

Sunderland boss Moyes hit with misconduct charge

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London (AFP) Sunderland manager David Moyes was charged by England's governing Football Association with misconduct on Thursday after being ordered off the touchline during Wednesday's 1-0 League Cup fourth-round loss away to Southampton.

Former Everton and Manchester United manager Moyes was sent to the stands after complaining about a decision by referee Chris Kavanagh not to award a late penalty after Maya Yoshida appeared to trip Victor Anichebe in the box.

Barca report ‘irresponsible’ La Liga chief Tebas

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona reported La Liga president Javier Tebas to Spain's highest sports court on Thursday after he questioned the Barca players' conduct during a heated 3-2 win at Valencia last weekend.

Luis Suarez and Neymar were hit by a plastic bottle thrown by Valencia fans as Barca celebrated Lionel Messi's 94th-minute winner on Saturday.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for week of October 17-23, 2016

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Sunday's MLS "Decision Day" matchup between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake on ESPN delivered the network's worst rating of the season. It also managed to underperform all four MLS matches to air on ESPN2.

Since the start of the Summer Olympics in August, Major League Soccer on ESPN has seen a 41% drop in viewership, averaging only 203,636 viewers in the 11 matches since.

Southgate confident Vardy will end scoring drought

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London (AFP) England caretaker boss Gareth Southgate on Thursday backed Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy to rediscover his best form after suffering his worst scoring drought in almost two years.

Vardy, one of 30 players shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or this week, has not scored in his last 10 appearances for club and country and was dropped by Foxes coach Claudio Ranieri last weekend.

Goal-shy South Africa pick Dutch-born striker

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Johannesburg (AFP) Goal-shy South Africa have turned to Netherlands-born striker Lars Veldwijk ahead of their African World Cup qualifying Group D clash at home to Senegal on November 12.

Bafana Bafana (The Boys) scored only eight goals during six matches in a failed 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, and four of those came away to weak Gambia.

USA vs. Mexico tickets available on secondary market for sold-out game in Columbus

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Tickets for the World Cup qualifier between USA and Mexico are sold out, but tickets are available on the secondary market on websites such as Ticket Liquidator and SeatGeek.

For the fifth time since Columbus has been the host of one of the biggest rivalries in international soccer, tickets for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier sold out very quickly.

Seven held over violence at West Ham-Chelsea cup game

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London (AFP) London police said on Thursday they were holding seven men arrested following violence at the English League Cup clash between West Ham United and Chelsea.

Skirmishes broke out towards the end of the Hammers' 2-1 win on Wednesday, with police and stewards battling to keep supporters apart as coins, bottles and plastic seats were thrown.

Okazaki rings Leicester’s bell, says Ranieri

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London (AFP) Leicester City's Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki is the player who gives the team a lift in times of need, manager Claudio Ranieri said on Thursday.

The Premier League champions ended a three-game winless run last weekend by beating Crystal Palace 3-1 and Okazaki celebrated his first start since September 10 by scoring the second goal.

Zubizarreta named Marseille sporting director

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Marseille (AFP) Former Spain and Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta was named sporting director of French giants Marseille on Thursday, club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud confirmed.

Zubizarreta previously served the same role at Barcelona from 2010 to 2015 and helped the Spanish champions recruit Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Vazquez willing to work for Real chance

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez insists hard work can unlock more first team opportunities at the Santiago Bernabeu after extending his contract with the European champions to 2021.

Vazquez has featured in 12 of Madrid's 14 games this season, but has started just three as the Spanish international has developed a reputation as a game changer off the bench under Zinedine Zidane.

Mourinho charged over Liverpool referee comments

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was on Thursday charged with misconduct over comments he made about the referee in charge of this month's Liverpool game, the Football Association has announced.

United's outspoken Portuguese boss faces a disciplinary hearing after questioning referee Anthony Taylor's suitability to take charge of the October 17 game at Anfield.

Penitent Mourinho humbled by Man Utd support

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho lauded Manchester United's supporters after his team put the disappointment of their 4-0 humiliation at Chelsea behind them to sink Manchester City in England's League Cup.

Sunday's defeat at Chelsea, Mourinho's former club, was United's worst in the league for five years, but they bounced back to beat holders City 1-0 on Wednesday courtesy of Juan Mata's 54th-minute goal.

Celtic boss Rodgers delighted by fringe benefits

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers declared himself delighted with the strength of his squad after a side packed with fringe players helped the Hoops to a 4-0 win over Ross County on Wednesday.

The Hoops made eight changes from the starting 11 who defeated rivals Rangers in their League Cup semi-final clash on Sunday.

Seven held over violence at West Ham-Chelsea game

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London (AFP) London police said Thursday they were holding seven men arrested following violence at the English League Cup clash between West Ham and Chelsea.

Skirmishes broke out towards the end of the Hammers' 2-1 win on Wednesday, with police and stewards battling to keep supporters apart as coins, bottles and plastic seats were thrown.

Mourinho charged over referee comments

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was on Thursday charged with misconduct over comments he made about the referee in charge of this month's Liverpool game, the Football Association has announced.

United's outspoken Portuguese boss faces a disciplinary hearing after questioning referee Anthony Taylor's suitability to take charge of the October 17 game at Anfield.

The Arsenal Yankee book review: Delve inside the struggle to achieve success

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When we see Christian Pulisic score a stoppage time goal for Borussia Dortmund, we have a general sense of how special he is and how hard he has to work to reach this level. Academically, we know he didn't walk off the street and start for a major Bundesliga club. But we really don't have a sense of the long hours and small breaks he had to achieve this level.

Florenzi knee scare for Roma

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Milan (AFP) Roma defender Alessandro Florenzi could be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off with a suspected knee ligament injury in a 3-1 win at Sassuolo.

Roma's seventh win of the campaign kept them in second place at just two points behind leaders and champions Juventus.

West Ham vow to ban fans after violence

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London (AFP) West Ham United pledged to ban supporters found to have been involved in violence towards Chelsea fans during Wednesday's English League Cup tie between the teams.

There was a heavy police presence at the London Stadium, formerly the Olympic Stadium, where there has been violence involving West Ham fans since they moved into their new home at the start of the season.

Real Madrid run riot in 7-1 Spanish cup romp

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León (Spain) (AFP) A much-weakened Real Madrid went goal crazy in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, smashing third-division minnows Cultural Leonesa 7-1 away from home in the first leg of their last-32 encounter.

Marco Asensio and Alvaro Morata each struck twice in a one-sided match, but Spanish international Morata should have had at least a hat-trick as Real ran riot, ensuring the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu is effectively a dead rubber.

Dzeko at the double as Roma stick to Juve

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Milan (AFP) Edin Dzeko hit his ninth and 10th league goals of the season as Roma stayed in hot pursuit of leaders Juventus with a comprehesive 3-1 win at Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Juventus were given an extra incentive to move further clear of their scudetto rivals when AC Milan, who stunned the champions 1-0 last weekend to close the gap to two points, crashed 3-0 at Genoa on Tuesday.

Bayern march on in cup, Dortmund need penalties

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Berlin (AFP) Holders Bayern Munich reached the third round of the German Cup with a 3-1 win over Augsburg on Wednesday while second-division Union Berlin took injury-hit Borussia Dortmund to penalties.

Goals by Philipp Lahm, Julian Green and David Alaba sealed Bayern's win at the Allianz Arena, while Borussia, last season's finalists, endured nervous moments before beating Union 3-0 in a shoot-out after it finished 1-1 in Dortmund.

Mata sinks City, West Ham stun Chelsea in League Cup

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Juan Mata's second-half strike earned Manchester United a 1-0 win over holders Manchester City on Wednesday as Jose Mourinho's side bounced back to reach the English Football League Cup quarter-finals.

Humiliated 4-0 by Mourinho's former club Chelsea at the weekend, United got back to winning ways and claimed a measure of revenge for their 2-1 defeat by Pep Guardiola's City in last month's league derby.

Celtic extend lead with win over County

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to seven points as a much changed side eased to a 4-0 win at Ross County on Wednesday.

The Hoops made eight changes from the starting 11 who defeated rivals Rangers in their League Cup semi-final clash on Sunday.

Mourinho’s Man United beat Man City in League Cup

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Juan Mata's second-half strike earned Manchester United a 1-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday as Jose Mourinho's side bounced back to reach the English Football League Cup quarter-finals.

Humiliated 4-0 by Mourinho's former club Chelsea at the weekend, United got back to winning ways and claimed a measure of revenge for their 2-1 defeat by Pep Guardiola's City in last month's league derby.

West Ham oust rivals Chelsea to reach quarters

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London (AFP) West Ham invigorated their stuttering season with a 2-1 home victory over fierce London rivals Chelsea to surge into the English League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

In the build-up to the clash there were fears of violence between West Ham and Chelsea fans, and a heavy police presence was in place outside the Hammers' new London Stadium home.

What DirecTV NOW could mean for soccer fans in the United States

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DirecTV plans on launching a brand-new streaming service DirecTV NOW on Friday, November 4. While all of the details have yet to be announced, the subscription service could be enticing for both soccer fans and cord cutters alike.

Satellite TV subscribers to DirecTV already have an app they can use to stream games to smartphones and tablets via their DirecTV subscription, but that app is completely different than the DirecTV NOW service.

Brazil pays tribute to Carlos Alberto

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Hundreds of people including Brazilian football greats gathered Wednesday at a Rio de Janeiro cemetery to pay their last respects to "eternal captain" Carlos Alberto, skipper of the 1970 World Cup champions.

Crowds of fans decked out in Brazilian yellow and green swarmed Carlos Alberto's casket as it was carried into Iraja cemetery, in a working-class neighborhood on the city's north side.

Coming out not a problem for sports fans – poll

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London (AFP) Most sports fans in England, Wales and Scotland would have no problem if their club signed a gay player despite a top football official claiming that he would not encourage stars to declare their homosexuality.

A BBC radio poll took soundings from 4,000 people with 82 percent insisting they would be comfortable with having a gay player.

What happened to Brazil’s 1970 football team of glory

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) With Pele, Jairzinho and captain Carlos Alberto, who died on Tuesday, the Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup was one of the greatest ever.

The team of glittering talent ended up as businessmen, trying to get into politics, running charities or met a tragic end like Everaldo who died in a car crash.

NBC to broadcast two Premier League games on over-the-air network this weekend

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NBC Sports will broadcast two Premier League matches across their over-the-air NBC network this weekend.

The matches between Crystal Palace-Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30pm ET) and Southampton-Chelsea (Sunday, Noon ET) will be televised live on the NBC over-the-air network, which is in approximately 116 million homes across the United States.

Zubizarreta set for Marseille role

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Marseille (AFP) Former Spain goalkeeper and Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is set to be named as the new sporting director of French giants Marseille on Thursday, Spanish press said.

Marseille, who were taken over by American tycoon Frank McCourt last week and then named Rudi Garcia as their new coach, parted company with Belgian sporting director Gunter Jacob on Wednesday.

Playing well not enough, says Bangladesh’s Tamim

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Dhaka (AFP) Bangladesh should not be content with just playing well but mustrather try to win Test matches, opener Tamim Iqbal said on Wednesday ahead of the second Test against England in Dhaka.

The home side were highly praised for the thrilling contestin the first Test in Chittagong, which they lost by 22-run on Monday to go down 1-0 in two-Test series.

Club America faces Chivas in Copa MX semi-final on Univision Deportes

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Chivas travel to Azteca Stadium tonight to take on Club America in the semifinals of the Copa MX.

El Súper Clásico, the biggest rivalry in Mexican fútbol, will be shown live on Univision Deportes with the kickoff scheduled for 10pm ET.

The last time these two Mexican soccer giants met, Chivas won the match 3-0 in August.

Valencia fined, Barcelona censured for bottle incident

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Madrid (AFP) Valencia were fined and warned on Wednesday after a section of fans pelted celebrating Barcelona players with a bottle, but the Spanish champions were also criticised for their conduct.

Luis Suarez and Neymar were hit by a plastic bottle thrown by the Valencia fans as Barca celebrated a last-gasp 3-2 win at Mestalla on Saturday in what had been a bad-tempered La Liga encounter.

Henry says can’t see Wenger as England boss

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Mumbai (AFP) Arsenal legend Thierry Henry said Wednesday there was no way he could see his former boss Arsene Wenger filling the vacant England manager's position.

Wenger, who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary as manager of Arsenal, has been strongly linked with the job following the sacking of Sam Allardyce last month.

NBC Sports to celebrate 300th episode of Premier League Live this Sunday

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This Sunday, NBC Sports will celebrate its 300th episode of Premier League Live, it's pre-match, half-time and post-match program that has been a trailblazer for soccer coverage in the United States.

Since launching its coverage of the Premier League in 2013, the Premier League Live program has been a must-watch show on weekends for soccer fans in the United States.

Fresh faces for Australia’s Thai football World Cup game

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Sydney (AFP) Australia coach Ange Postecoglou on Wednesday named two uncapped midfielders and a handful of A-League players in an extended squad for their World Cup qualifier against Thailand, where cheering has been banned.

There was uncertainty about whether the game would go ahead after the death of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, with fans advised to wear white, black or grey clothing.

Five key moments for China’s Evergrande

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Beijing (AFP) Key moments in the history of Guangzhou Evergrande, who won their sixth consecutive Chinese Super League title last week and are touted as Asia's first superclub:

Relegated for match-fixing

If ever there was a cloud that had a silver lining. Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals sold the club in February 2010 when it had been relegated after being found guilty of match-fixing back in 2006.

‘China’s Real Madrid’ set sights on global market

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Beijing (AFP) Six league titles in a row and two Asian trophies along the way could be just the start for China's Guangzhou Evergrande, who have drawn comparisons with Real Madrid and Manchester United and are eyeing global recognition.

The team from the southern metropolis of Guangzhou have risen from obscurity and corruption to break new ground for Asian football, becoming China's first AFC Champions League winners in 2013.

Under siege Mourinho feeling isolated from home comforts

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho's woes aren't just on the pitch, the Manchester United manager is unhappy about his living arrangements and being separated from his family.

The 53-year-old who is in need of a good result later Wednesday in the EFL Cup clash with city rivals Manchester City after the 4-0 hammering by Chelsea on Sunday has yet to find a flat and is living on his own in a luxury hotel.

Heat on Mourinho, Guardiola in League Cup derby

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United and Manchester City resume hostilities in the League Cup later on Wednesday with rival managers Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola starting to feel the heat.

Mourinho is reeling from United's 4-0 humiliation by his former club Chelsea, while City manager Guardiola has gone five games without victory for only the second time in his stellar coaching career.

Coming out not a problem for sports fans: BBC poll

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London (AFP) Homosexual and lesbian sportspeople could be encouraged to come out based on the results of a BBC poll which found 82% of sports fans would not be upset if their club signed a gay player.

Nevertheless the BBC Radio 5 live poll which took soundings from 4,000 people also reveals 8% of football fans would cease supporting their club if they sign a gay player.

Where to find Man United vs. Man City on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Man United vs. Man City, you've come to the right place.

The League Cup game between Man United vs. Man City will be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS. But whether you get beIN SPORTS or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Man Utd greats to bring football cafes, hotels to Asia

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Singapore (AFP) Manchester United greats Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have teamed up with a Singaporean billionaire to open football-themed cafes and hotels in Asia, a spokesperson for the tycoon said Wednesday.

The two sportsmen and Peter Lim, owner of Spain's Valencia football club and Singapore-based property developer Rowsley Ltd, are looking at opening the first Cafe Football outlet in Asia in 2017, the spokesperson said.

McIlroy hints at real reason for Olympic snub

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Shanghai (AFP) Rory McIlroy hinted Wednesday that his Rio Olympic snub may not have been entirely due to fears over the Zika virus, saying his situation was "a little more complicated" than others.

The world number three from Holywood, Northern Ireland, also said he hadn't turned any thoughts yet to taking part in Tokyo 2020, adding that he would instead "concentrate on the 16 majors that we have between now and then".

Foreigner not necessarily best England option – Glenn

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London (AFP) The Football Association may be reluctant to hire a foreigner as Sam Allardyce's replacement as full-time England manager based on previous painful experiences, FA chief executive Martin Glenn told the BBC on Wednesday.

Glenn, who admitted he had been personally disappointed by Allardyce's behaviour in which he advised journalists posing as Far Eastern businessmen about circumventing the ban on third-party ownership of players, added the national set-up had not been left in a great state when the foreign managers left.

Where to find West Ham vs. Chelsea on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch West Ham vs. Chelsea, you've come to the right place.

The League Cup game between West Ham vs. Chelsea will not be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS. But you can watch it live via beIN SPORTS Connect, the streaming service from beIN SPORTS.

No change in Toure situation – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola is standing by his decision not to pick Yaya Toure due to comments by the midfielder's agent, the Manchester City manager said on Tuesday.

Guardiola has frozen Toure out of the first-team picture after the Ivorian's agent, Dimitri Seluk, said his client had been "humiliated" when he was left out of City's Champions League squad.

Genoa end 10-man Milan’s bid for Serie A lead

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Milan (AFP) Nikola Ninkovic, Leonardo Pavoletti and a Juraj Kucka own goal ended 10-man AC Milan's chances of going top of Serie A after crashing 3-0 to Genoa on Tuesday.

Milan travelled to the Luigi Ferraris buoyed by a weekend victory over Juventus that closed the gap on the Italian champions and Serie A leaders to just two points.

Sturridge puts Liverpool through in League Cup

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London (AFP) Daniel Sturridge served a reminder of his worth to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with both goals in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in England's League Cup on Tuesday.

Sturridgehas started three of Liverpool's last four Premier League games on the bench, but he seized his chance at Anfield to send last season's beaten finalists into the quarter-finals.

MLS TV ratings on Univision increase 1.3% in 2016 regular season

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MLS TV viewership numbers on Univision increased 1.3% for the entire 2016 regular season compared to 2015, according to research conducted by Sports TV Ratings and World Soccer Talk.

The fact that Univision was able to increase their average viewing number in its second year of broadcasting MLS under the new TV deal is impressive.

MLS games on ESPN see 25% increase in viewers compared to 2015

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Viewership of MLS games on ESPN during the 2016 regular season increased by 25% compared to 2015, according to research conducted by Sports TV Ratings and World Soccer Talk.

ESPN averaged 307,845 viewers per game (combining ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) compared to 244,970 in 2015.

MLS definitely benefitted from ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision making a conscious effort to feature MLS games more prominently.

Ridgewell arrested for drink-driving in US

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Los Angeles (AFP) Portland Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell has been arrested for drink-driving after rushing to the aid of goalkeeper Jake Gleeson following a late-night car crash, reports said Tuesday.

Former Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion defender Ridgewell failed a roadside sobriety test after driving to pick up Gleeson from the scene of a two-vehicle accident.

Brazil’s ‘eternal captain’ Carlos Alberto dies at 72

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Carlos Alberto, captain of the Brazilian 1970 World Cup-winning side considered one of the greatest teams of all time, died on Tuesday aged 72.

The right-back starred alongside Pele, Tostao, Jairzinho and Rivelino in the legendary Brazil team that beat Italy 4-1 in the 1970 final.

FOX Sports’ MLS viewing numbers increased 37% in 2016 compared to last year

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FOX Sports' coverage of MLS during the 2016 regular season saw a 37% increase compared to viewing figures for the top-flight American soccer league last year.

In total for 2016, FOX Sports averaged 270,258 viewers per game when combining numbers for FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes. That compares to the viewing average of 196,545 from the 2015 MLS season on FOX Sports.

Utd legend Ferguson says Scots can win at Wembley

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London (AFP) Alex Ferguson believes Scotland must beat England at Wembley if they are to revive their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and the former Manchester United manager believes they can do exactly that.

Scotland's two most recent qualifiers saw them manage just one point in games against Lithuania and Slovakia, after a 5-1 win over Malta in their opening group match.

Man Utd’s Bailly expects two-month lay-off

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London (AFP) Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly expects to return within two months after injuring his knee during his side's 4-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea, he said on Tuesday.

"I wanted to thank you for all the messages of support that I received since the injury!" the Ivory Coast defender wrote on his official Facebook page.

2016 MLS TV ratings soar compared to last season

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For the 2016 regular season, Major League Soccer averaged 276,689 viewers per game based on ratings research gathered by Sports TV Ratings and World Soccer Talk.

In total, the viewing averages across FOX Sports, ESPN and Univision saw dramatic increases in viewing numbers during the 2016 regular season:

•ESPN's viewing audience for MLS games increased 25% based on an average of 307,845 viewers per game (combining ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) compared to 244,970 in 2015,

•FOX Sports' average viewing audience for MLS grew by 37% to an average of 270,258 viewers per game (combining FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes) compared to 196,545 in 2015,

•Univision's average viewing audience grew by 1.

Brazil 1970 skipper Carlos Alberto dies at 72

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Carlos Alberto Torres, captain of the great Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup, died on Tuesday of a heart attack in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 72, Brazil's Sportv, for whom he worked, announced.

Carlos Alberto starred alongside Pele, Tostao, Jairzinho and Rivelino in the Brazil team that beat Italy 4-1 in the final in Mexico and is considered as one of the greatest sides of all time.

Chelsea’s Conte defends ‘passion’ after Mourinho exchange

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London (AFP) Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says he deserves the same respect he gives others and described himself as "a passionate man", after he appeared to upset Jose Mourinho with his touchline antics.

The Italian urged Chelsea fans to ramp up the volume following the fourth goal in the 4-0 win over former Blues boss Mourinho's Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola wants Sergio Aguero to stay at Manchester City

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola has reassured Sergio Aguero that he has a future at Manchester City.

Aguero has been through a tricky October, with his early-season run of goalscoring form grinding to a halt and his place in City's starting line-up called into question.

Guardiola dropped the forward to the bench for recent games against Everton and Barcelona, although he did start Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Southampton a result that left City top of the table on goal difference.

Zinedine Zidane ‘not worried’ by Ronaldo strike rate

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has dismissed concerns surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo's supposed troubles in front of goal that have led to boos from the club's notoriously demanding fans.

The Portugal superstar has scored four times in nine appearances for the Spanish league leaders since returning from the knee injury that forced him off in his country's Euro 2016 final win over France.

beIN SPORTS acquires US rights to broadcast Dutch KNVB Cup

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In the United States, beIN SPORTS has acquired the rights to show the Dutch Cup, also known as the KNVB Cup.

The KNVB Cup is a cup competition based on the format of England's FA Cup. The competition was founded in 1898, and consists of all teams from the top three tiers of Dutch league football (Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie and Topklasse), as well as the 24 semi-finalists (or replacements) of regional amateur cup tournaments.

Premier League club in probe over fake HSBC letters: report

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London (AFP) Premier League club Watford are under investigation for allegedly submitting forged HSBC bank letters to support Gino Pozzo taking control of the club, British media reported on Monday.

The English Football League has launched a probe into documentation submitted to the sport authority by Watford in July 2014, The Telegraph newspaper said.

Rangers need to mind the gap, warns Warburton

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Glasgow (AFP) Rangers manager Mark Warburton has cautioned his club not to spend rashly in a bid to bridge the gap with rivals Celtic.

The 54-year-old Englishman's warning came on the back of Rangers' second Old Firm defeat of the season as they lost 1-0 to Celtic in a League Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Drogba, Gerrard near end as MLS playoffs kick off

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Los Angeles (AFP) The Major League Soccer careers of Didier Drogba and Steven Gerrard could end without either man kicking another ball as their teams head into nerve-wracking sudden-death playoff games starting Wednesday.

Two of the biggest names of the English Premier League's golden era, Liverpool icon Gerrard joined Los Angeles Galaxy in 2015 just a few months before Chelsea legend Drogba headed to Montreal Impact.

China’s Evergrande extend Scolari’s contract

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Beijing (AFP) Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been given a new deal by Guangzhou Evergrande after guiding the Asian giants to their sixth consecutive Chinese Super League title, the club announced, putting to rest doubts about his future.

"Continue the fight! #Be the best forever#" the team wrote over a picture of Scolari on its verified Weibo social media account Tuesday.

English coach White makes mark in ‘ruthless’ Chinese football

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Tokyo (AFP) After making a splash on the tiny, honeymoon island of Guam, English coach Gary White is already proving a hit in the cut-throat world of Chinese football.

The 42-year-old, who left the palm-fringed Pacific island to manage Shanghai Shenxin earlier this year, has his eye on winning promotion to the Chinese Super League next season after saving the team from relegation.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Reading on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Reading, you've come to the right place.

The League Cup game between Arsenal vs. Reading will be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS en Español. But whether you get beIN SPORTS en Español or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Where to find Liverpool vs. Spurs on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Liverpool vs. Spurs, you've come to the right place.

The League Cup game between Liverpool vs. Spurs will be shown live on US television via beIN SPORTS. But whether you get beIN SPORTS or not on your cable or satellite system, you can watch the game for free with a 24-hour trial to legal streaming service fuboTV.

Mourinho calls on players to act like men

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United's players must behave like men in the wake of their humiliating 4-0 Premier League hammering by Chelsea, manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday.

The Portuguese coach who sat helplessly as he endured his worst defeat in the Premier League against the club who sacked him last term wants an immediate reaction against city rivals Manchester City in Wednesday's League Cup clash.

United approach could favour City: Kompany

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes bitter rivals Manchester United have handed his team an advantage by playing down Wednesday's League Cup local derby at Old Trafford.

The injury-plagued Belgium international defender started a game for the first time since April in Sunday's 1-1 Premier League draw with Southampton and came through unscathed as City gained a point that put them top of the table on goal difference.

Griezmann beats Messi and Ronaldo to Liga award

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Madrid (AFP) Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann was named La Liga player of the season for 2015/16 on Monday, ahead of the likes of star duo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Atletico's Diego Simeone also took the coach of the season award while Barcelona's Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was named the top non-EU player.

CONMEBOL sues US partner for $18 mn over corruption

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Asuncion (AFP) South American football confederation CONMEBOL said on Monday it is suing American sponsorship partners ISM for $18 million in the continuing fall-out from a world football corruption scandal.

"CONMEBOL has opened a process with New York State to cancel its contract with International Soccer Marketing Inc.

A-League soccer moves to ESPN3 in United States

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In the past few years, live matches from the Australian top flight A-League have aired in the United States on FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus and One World Sports. And now for the 2016/17 season, matches will be shown exclusively via ESPN3.

The new season began October 7 and will run through May 7, 2017 for the A-League Grand Final.

Arsenal want Wenger stay – but won’t rush to talks

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London (AFP) Arsenal hope Arsene Wenger remains their manager beyond the end of the season, but the London club said Monday there was no rush to hold fresh contract talks.

The 67-year-old recently celebrated his 20th anniversary as manager of Arsenal but the Frenchman's contract is due to expire at the end of this campaign.

New ‘$1 billion’ FA Cup broadcast deal agreed

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London (AFP) England's governing Football Association announced on Monday it had agreed a new overseas broadcast rights deal for the FA Cup worth a reported $1 billion (919 million euros, £820 million).

The new agreement will run for six seasons starting in 2018/19. Although the FA refused to specify an exact figure, simply saying the agreement was "hugely significant", the $1 billion figure has been widely reported in the British media.

MLS posts record attendances for third year

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Los Angeles (AFP) Major League Soccer attendances climbed to record levels for a third straight year this season, putting the US top flight above Italy's Serie A and France's Ligue 1 in average gates, figures showed Monday.

The 340 games of the 2016 regular season drew a total of 7,375,144 fans, an average of 21,692, figures released by MLS showed.

Karius Liverpool’s number one: Klopp

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London (AFP) Jurgen Klopp says that Loris Karius is now his first-choice goalkeeper after the young German replaced Simon Mignolet during the Reds' run up the Premier League table.

Mignolet will be back in action for Tuesday's EFL Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur but the competition has long been used by leading clubs to rest key players.

Leicester heroes Vardy, Mahrez on Ballon d’Or longlist

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Paris (AFP) Leicester City heroes Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, stars in their team's fairytale run to the Premier League title, have been named on a 30-player longlist for the 2016 Ballon d'Or.

Vardy who has enjoyed a meteoric rise from amateur football to rub shoulders with the game's biggest names is the sole Englishman nominated for the prestigious prize awarded by France Football magazine, which is organising the trophy on its own after the end of a partnership with FIFA.

MLS breaks attendance record for third year in a row

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For the 2016 MLS regular season, the average attendance was 21,690, which is an 0.66% increase compared to last season.

The 21,690 number is the third year in a row that Major League Soccer has broken its own attendance record. And it means that the league now has a greater average attendance than Argentina's Primera Division, France's Ligue Un and the Netherlands' Eredivisie.

Ronaldo, Bale on Ballon d’Or longlist

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Paris (AFP) Three-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo will have to take on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d'Or.

Both were on the 2016 longlist announced Monday which also featured Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Schedule for League Cup games on US TV and streaming (4th Round)

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Seven games from Round 4 of the League Cup will be shown live in the United States including the Manchester derby, Liverpool against Spurs as well as Newcastle versus Preston and much more.

Three of the seven games will be shown on television, while four of them are available online only for viewers in the United States.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 32 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned on Decision Day as the 2016 MLS regular season drew to a close.

1. The Timbers' Title Defense Goes Up In Flames

Despite enduring a 2016 season with more turbulence than anyone in Portland could have imagined, the defending champion Timbers entered the final day of the MLS regular season in an excellent position: Beat Vancouver, make the playoffs.

Heading footballs ‘affects memory’: study

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London (AFP) Heading a football can significantly affect a player's brain function and memory up to a day, a study by researchers at Scotland's Stirling University has said.

Memory performance was reduced by between 41 percent to 67 percent following heading practice, according to the research, with the effects wearing off after 24 hours

The significance of the study, published in EBioMedicine, is that it is believed to be the first detecting immediate changes in the brain after players were exposed to everyday head impacts, as opposed to clinical brain injuries like concussion.

Premier League gameweek 9 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, we welcome back guest host Laurence McKenna in the final episode of the current format. He's joined alongside Kartik Krishnaiyer and Kristan Heneage to review and analyze the weekend matches, as well as to discuss the important changes to the World Soccer Talk Podcast.

Pedro says Man Utd win proves Chelsea’s title credentials

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London (AFP) Chelsea's 4-0 win over Manchester United is a sure sign of their readiness to mount a bid for the Premier League title, according to Pedro Rodriguez.

The Spain winger opened the scoring after just 30 seconds at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with further goals from Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante ensuring an unhappy return to west London for former Chelsea boss turned United manager Jose Mourinho.

Now go and win cup, Rodgers tells Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers heaped praise on his players after they booked their place in the Scottish League Cup final with a 1-0 win over Old Firm rivals Rangers.

Moussa Dembele's 87th-minute winner was the difference at an intense Hampden Park on Sunday, with Rodgers now hoping to lead his side to the first trophy of the season when they face Aberdeen in the final on November 27.

Mourinho, Guardiola face League Cup reunion

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola face off for the second time this season when Manchester United entertain holders Manchester City in the English League Cup fourth round on Wednesday.

Guardiola's City took the spoils when he and Mourinho resumed hostilities in September, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford through goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho.

MLS Cup champs Portland miss playoffs

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New York (AFP) Reigning MLS Cup champions the Portland Timbers missed out on a playoff berth as the regular season concluded Sunday with a welter of matches that included a big win for New York City FC.

Portland needed a win against the Vancouver Whitecaps to reach the post-season, but fell 4-1 to their Cascadia Cup rivals at BC Place.

Mourinho, Conte tight-lipped over touchline spat

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte refused to divulge the content of a terse touchline exchange between them after the London club's 4-0 win.

Prior to walking down the tunnel following Sunday's game, stony-faced former Chelsea manager Mourinho cupped Conte's head and spent a good while whispering in the Italian's left ear.

Ronaldo, Bale on Ballon d’Or shortlist

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Paris (AFP) Three-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo will have to take on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d'Or.

Both were on the 2016 shortlist announced Monday which also featured Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Despite title, Scolari unsure over Evergrande future

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Shanghai (AFP) Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted he was unsure about his future at Guangzhou Evergrande despite guiding the Asian giants to their sixth consecutive Chinese Super League title.

The well-heeled southern team maintained their stranglehold on Chinese football when they went seven points clear with two games to go after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Yanbian Funde.

Iheanacho calls for Man City ‘focus’ after frustrating run

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London (AFP) Kelechi Iheanacho has urged Manchester City to maintain their "focus" as the Premier League leaders bid to end a run of frustrating results.

City started the season with 10 straight wins under new manager Pep Guardiola.

But their 1-1 draw with Southampton at Eastlands on Sunday means City, top of the table on goal difference, have now gone five games without a victory.

Juan Mata says ‘mental strength’ key for Man Utd after Chelsea loss

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London (AFP) Manchester United's Juan Mata believes remaining "mentally strong" will be vital to their hopes of bouncing back against Manchester City in Wednesday's derby clash following a thumping defeat by Chelsea.

Sunday saw United's six-game unbeaten run in all competitions come to a spectacular end as Chelsea won 4-0 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.

Guardiola gives Manchester City dressing down after Saints draw

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola kept his Manchester City players in the dressing room for nearly an hour after a 1-1 draw with Southampton meant the club had now gone five games without a victory despite the result taking them back to the top of the Premier League.

The City manager insisted that he was not venting his anger on a squad that started his first season in charge at Eastlands with 10 consecutive victories.

Mourinho, Conte keep mum over touchline spat

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte refused to divulge the content of a terse touchline exchange between them after the London club's 4-0 win.

Prior to walking down the tunnel following Sunday's game, stony-faced former Chelsea manager Mourinho cupped Conte's head and spent a good while whispering in the Italian's left ear.

Dzeko still on top as Roma, Milan nudge Juventus

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Milan (AFP) Edin Dzeko took his Serie A scoring lead to eight goals in nine games as Roma outclassed Palermo 4-1 to reclaim second spot and move to within two points off leaders Juventus on Sunday.

Roma had dropped to third after AC Milan stunned champions Juventus 1-0 on Saturday when teenaged midfielder Manuel Locatelli beat Gianluigi Buffon with a second-half scorcher.

Morata winner sends Real top, Atletico beaten

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid took advantage of Atletico Madrid's first defeat of the season at Sevilla to move to the top of La Liga as Alvaro Morata struck a late winner to secure a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Steven N'Zonzi struck Sevilla's winner 17 minutes from time to seal a 1-0 win at a soggy Sanchez Pizjuan.

Marseille hold PSG in drab ‘Classique’

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Paris (AFP) There was nothing "Classique" about it as Paris Saint-Germain and bitter rivals Marseille conjured up an uninspiring 0-0 draw in relentless rain in the French capital on Sunday.

Billed as the Ligue 1 clash to rival Spain's El Clasico, this was a poor advert for French football and did little to dispel the impression that reigning champions PSG are struggling to get to grips with coach Unai Emery's methods.

Football: Fairytale African triumph for Sundowns

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Alexandria (Egypt) (AFP) Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa won a fairytale first CAF Champions League title on Sunday despite a 1-0 second-leg loss to Zamalek of Egypt in Alexandria.

A Stanley Ohawuchi goal on 64 minutes was not enough for the home team as they trailed by three goals from the first leg in Pretoria last weekend and lost 3-1 on aggregate.

Dzeko still on top as Roma, Inter Milan nudge Juventus

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Milan (AFP) Edin Dzeko took his Serie A scoring lead to eight goals in nine games as Roma outclassed Palermo 4-1 to reclaim second spot and move to within two points off leaders Juventus on Sunday.

Roma had dropped to third after AC Milan stunned champions Juventus 1-0 on Saturday when teenaged midfielder Manuel Locatelli beat Gianluigi Buffon with a second-half scorcher.

Morata winner sends Real Madrid top of La Liga, Atletico beaten

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid took advantage of Atletico Madrid's first defeat of the season at Sevilla to move to the top of La Liga as Alvaro Morata struck a late winner to secure a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Steven N'Zonzi struck Sevilla's winner 17 minutes from time to seal a 1-0 win at a soggy Sanchez Pizjuan.

Fairytale African triumph for Sundowns

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Alexandria (Egypt) (AFP) Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa won a fairytale first CAF Champions League title on Sunday despite a 1-0 second-leg loss to Zamalek of Egypt in Alexandria.

A Stanley Ohawuchi goal on 64 minutes was not enough for the home team as they trailed by three goals from the first leg in Pretoria last weekend and lost 3-1 on aggregate.

Mamelodi Sundowns win CAF Champions League

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Alexandria (Egypt) (AFP) Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa won the CAF Champions League for the first time Sunday despite a 1-0 second-leg final loss to Zamalek of Egypt in Alexandria.

A Stanley Ohawuchi goal on 64 minutes was not enough for the home team before a 60,000 crowd as they trailed 3-0 from the first leg in Pretoria last weekend.

Inter to summon De Boer after latest defeat – report

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan will host crisis talks with coach Frank De Boer, according to reports, as the Serie A giants slipped to their third consecutive league defeat to fall further out of title contention.

Inter invested heavily in the close season and parachuted former Ajax coach De Boer in to replace Roberto Mancini two weeks before the start of the season.

Chelsea humiliate Mourinho on Stamford Bridge return

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London (AFP) Chelsea supporters taunted Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with chants of "You're not special anymore!" as his Stamford Bridge return yielded a humiliating 4-0 defeat on Sunday.

With seven major titles across two spells, Mourinho is Chelsea's most successful ever manager, but his return to his old stomping ground ended in one of the most chastening results of his career.

South African football legend Tovey leaves hospital

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Johannesburg (AFP) South African legend Neil Tovey left hospital Sunday a week after suffering a heart attack, the national football association said.

The only white to captain an Africa Cup of Nations-winning team collapsed last Sunday in Indian Ocean city Durban while training for a charity cycle race.

Keita propels unbeaten RB Leipzig past Bremen

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Berlin (AFP) Guinea international Naby Keita scored twice as Bundesliga newcomers RB Leipzig defeated Werder Bremen 3-1 on Sunday to climb up to second place in Germany.

Keita capped off a superb solo run to put Leipzig in front just before half-time, and the midfielder struck again on 74 minutes when he powered home a cross from former Bremen striker Davie Selke.

Napoli boss lashes out at ‘unworthy’ pitch

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Milan (AFP) Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri slammed the "unworthy" pitch at Crotone after a precious 2-1 victory saw his side back to winning ways despite Manolo Gabbiadini's first-half sending-off.

Crotone's promotion to Italy's top flight at the end of last season came with an unwelcome surprise in structural terms their stadium did not meet Serie A criteria.

Manchester United fear serious injury for Bailly

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expressed concern Eric Bailly had sustained a "really bad" injury after he was forced off during his side's 4-0 loss at Chelsea on Sunday.

Ivorian centre-back Bailly, a close-season signing from Villarreal, limped off early in the second half at Stamford Bridge, with Marcos Rojo coming on to take his place.

Mario who? Nice shrug off Balotelli injury

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Paris (AFP) Alassane Plea grabbed a hat-trick as surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice continued their terrific start to the season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at promoted Metz on Sunday.

With Mario Balotelli out injured, Plea assumed the lead role for Lucien Favre's unbeaten side and netted the opener on 12 minutes before adding a second from the penalty spot after Georges Mandjeck had equalised.

Mourinho slams Man Utd’s ‘incredible mistakes’

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho accused his players of making "incredible mistakes" after they lost 4-0 to Chelsea on his return to his former club on Sunday.

Goals from Pedro Rodriguez, after 30 seconds, Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante condemned Mourinho to his heaviest defeat since Real Madrid's 5-0 demolition by Barcelona in November 2010.

N’Zonzi downs Atletico to send Sevilla top

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Madrid (AFP) Steven N'Zonzi's winner 17 minutes from time ended Atletico Madrid's unbeaten start to the season and sent Sevilla top of La Liga with a 1-0 win at a soggy Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday.

N'Zonzi made Sevilla's second-half dominance count when he slotted home from on-loan Atletico striker Luciano Vietto's through ball.

Plea heroics keep leaders Nice rolling

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Paris (AFP) Alassane Plea grabbed a hat-trick as surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice continued their terrific start to the season with a thrilling 4-2 victory at promoted Metz on Sunday.

With Mario Balotelli out injured, Plea assumed the lead role for Lucien Favre's unbeaten side and netted the opener on 12 minutes before adding a second from the penalty spot after Georges Mandjeck had equalised.

Keita propels unbeaten RB Leipzig past Bremen in Bundesliga

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Berlin (AFP) Guinea international Naby Keita scored twice as Bundesliga newcomers RB Leipzig defeated Werder Bremen 3-1 on Sunday to climb up to second place in Germany.

Keita capped off a superb solo run to put Leipzig in front just before half-time, and the midfielder struck again on 74 minutes when he powered home a cross from former Bremen striker Davie Selke.

Chelsea humiliate Manchester United’s Mourinho on Stamford Bridge return

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London (AFP) Chelsea supporters taunted Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho with chants of "You're not special anymore!" as his Stamford Bridge return yielded a humiliating 4-0 defeat on Sunday.

With seven major titles across two spells, Mourinho is Chelsea's most successful ever manager, but his return to his old stomping ground ended in one of the most chastening results of his career.

Manchester City back top but Southampton draw raises doubts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw home to Southampton on Sunday but the performance again raised questions over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola's team.

The stalemate was a fifth consecutive game without a victory for City, as Kelechi Iheanacho's eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond's first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistake by City defender John Stones.

N’Zonzi downs Atletico to send Sevilla top of La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) Steven N'Zonzi's winner 17 minutes from time ended Atletico Madrid's unbeaten start to the season and sent Sevilla top of La Liga with a 1-0 win at a soggy Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday.

N'Zonzi made Sevilla's second-half dominance count when he slotted home from on-loan Atletico striker Luciano Vietto's through ball.

Dembele late show sees Celtic beat Rangers

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Glasgow (AFP) Moussa Dembele grabbed a late winner as Celtic clinched a place in the Scottish League Cup final with a 1-0 defeat of Old Firm rivals Rangers at Glasgow's Hampden Park on Sunday.

Rangers looked a much improved side from the one hammered 5-1 at Parkhead in their last meeting with arch-rivals Celtic in August, but it was the Hoops who had the best chances, with Erik Sviatchenko's header ruled out for a foul before Scott Sinclair crashed a free-kick off the bar.

Kalinic hat-trick gets Fiorentina firing

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Milan (AFP) Nikola Kalinic struck a hat-trick and Federico Bernardeschi hit a brace as Fiorentina's stuttering Serie A season finally took flight with a classy 5-3 win at Cagliari on Sunday.

Elsewhere, 10-man Napoli added to the woes of basement side Crotone with a 2-1 win that reduced their gap on leaders Juventus to four points.

Manchester City back on top but Southampton draw raises doubts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw home to Southampton on Sunday but the performance again raised questions over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola's team.

The stalemate was a fifth consecutive game without a victory for City and Guardiola, as Kelechi Iheanacho's eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond's first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistake by City defender John Stones.

China’s Evergrande claim sixth straight Super League title

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Beijing (AFP) Asian giants Guangzhou Evergrande clinched their sixth straight Chinese Super League title on Sunday as they underlined their status as one of the region's top clubs.

A 1-1 draw with Yanbian Funde was enough to seal the championship with two games to spare as Evergrande stayed seven points clear of second-placed Jiangsu Suning.

Man City back on top as Saints draw raises doubts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Sunday, although the performance again raised question marks over the title credentials of Pep Guardiola's team after a fifth consecutive game without a victory.

Kelechi Iheanacho's eighth goal in his last 11 league games cancelled out Nathan Redmond's first-half opener for Southampton, which owed much to an extraordinary mistrake by City defender John Stones.

Where to find PSG vs. Marseille on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch PSG vs. Marseille, you've come to the right place.

If your TV provider is one of the short list of partners who offer access to beIN SPORTS Connect to you, then you can log in via beIN SPORTS Connect's website. But if your TV provider doesn't provide access, you can watch beIN SPORTS Connect via a free 24-hour trial to the streaming site fuboTV.

Ref got it wrong, slams Allegri as Milan stun Juve

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Milan (AFP) Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri slammed refereeing officials after seeing Miralem Pjanic's goal chalked off as the champions were stunned 1-0 by AC Milan in a San Siro sizzler.

The Turin giants had beaten Milan in the sides' last nine meetings and, in front of 75,829 spectators, showed throughout a stirring encounter why they are being tipped to claim a record sixth consecutive 'scudetto' title at the end of the season.

Where to find Rangers vs. Celtic League Cup semifinal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Celtic vs. Rangers, you've come to the right place.

Rangers and Celtic will battle at Hampden Park for a chance to reach the Scottish League Cup Final. In this, the Old Firm Derby, who will be victorious? Celtic are the favorites, by far, but never count out the Rangers.

Where to find Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid, you've come to the right place.

In a division that's long been dominated by a couple of teams, it's refreshing to see some new names battling it out at the top of La Liga.

Atletico Madrid, of course, have been in the mix at the summit of the table for more than three years now, forcefully challenging the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Where to find Chelsea vs. Man United on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Chelsea vs. Man United, you've come to the right place.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho returns to his former club on Sunday when the Red Devils play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. On the pitch, it should be an intriguing matchup between an improving Chelsea and a United side that steamrolled past Fenerbahce on Thursday in the Europa League with Paul Pogba, in particular, impressing.

Qatar World Cup stadium worker dies

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Doha (AFP) Qatar's World Cup organisers have announced that a worker employed in the construction of one of the stadiums for the 2022 tournament has died in a "work-related" incident.

It is the first time World Cup organisers in Qatar have announced a work-related death in regard to the tournament.

Lippi ‘to net millions’ as China football coach

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Beijing (AFP) Marcello Lippi will earn almost $5 million a year as China coach but will pocket far more through a tie-in with a football academy, state media said Sunday.

The 68-year-old Italian was named boss of the national team by the Chinese Football Association on Saturday and has the tricky goal of steering the Asian giant to qualify for the 2018 World Cup a near impossible feat given recent losses to Uzbekistan and war-torn Syria.

Sluggish Spurs worry Pochettino

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted he is "concerned"after three successive draws called into question his squad's ability to stay the course in the Premier League and Champions League.

He acknowledged his players were not "fresh" in Saturday's goalless draw away to Bournemouth, which cost them the chance to top the Premier League table, especially in a sluggish opening 15 minutes.

Klopp keen to get Gerrard back to Anfield

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Liverpool (AFP) Jurgen Klopp will hold talks with former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard after the 36-year-old midfielder appeared to announce his departure from the LA Galaxy at the end of the current Major League Soccer season.

Gerrard's comments are bound to fuel speculation that the highly popular Liverpudlian could return to play for the club he first represented 18 years ago and for whom he made over 500 appearances.

Tearful Iniesta out for six to eight weeks

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta will be out for between six and eight weeks, the Spanish champions confirmed on Saturday after he suffered knee ligament damage in a 3-2 win at Valencia.

Iniesta was stretchered from the field in tears after just 14 minutes, but fears he could be sidelined for months were eased by tests upon his return to Barcelona.

Milan match-winner Locatelli stunned at beating Buffon

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Milan (AFP) AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli admitted his disbelief after beating Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with a second-half stunner to secure a 1-0 win over the champions and leaders Saturday.

"I still can't believe it, I'm sure I'll shed a few tears when I see my family and friends," a visibly moved Locatelli told Sky Sport after the game.

Locatelli screamer earns AC Milan rare win over Juve

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Milan (AFP) A second-half screamer from Manuel Locatelli ended AC Milan's long wait for victory over Juventus in a contentious 1-0 San Siro win that saw an apparently valid Miralem Pjanic opener chalked off for the visitors.

Milan, enduring a nine-game winless streak against the Turin giants, are now just two points behind the reigning champions and league leaders.

Ancelotti hails Bayern’s ‘best’ first-half display

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed the Bundesliga leaders' first-half performance in Saturday's2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach as their most impressive of the season.

First-half goals by Bayern's Chile and Brazil internationals gave Ancelotti's Munich their first win in three matches in Germany's top flight after draws against Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Liverpool beat Baggies but just miss top spot

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Liverpool (AFP) Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho scored a pair of crackers to give Liverpool a 2-1 win over West Brom on Saturday but Gareth McAuley denied them a place at the top of the Premier League.

The impressive Merseysiders needed to win by at least two goals at Anfield if they were to climb to the summit of English football for the first time since May 2014.

Liverpool fall just short as Arsenal, Spurs misfire

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London (AFP) An 81st-minute Gareth McAuley goal prevented Liverpool from provisionally going top in the Premier League as they defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday.

Needing a two-goal win to move above leaders Arsenal, Liverpool took a 2-0 lead through Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, but McAuley's goal left them in second place on goal difference.

Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid predicted lineups and preview

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In a division that's long been dominated by a couple of teams, it's refreshing to see some new names battling it out at the top of La Liga.

Atletico Madrid, of course, have been in the mix at the summit of the table for more than three years now, forcefully challenging the duopoly of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Liverpool climb to second as Arsenal, Spurs misfire

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London (AFP) An 81st-minute Gareth McAuley goal prevented Liverpool from provisionally going top in the Premier League as they defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday.

Needing a two-goal win to move above leaders Arsenal, Liverpool took a 2-0 lead through Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, but McAuley's strike left them in second place on goal difference.

Bayern break Gladbach jinx to go three clear

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich broke their Borussia Moenchengladbach jinx on Saturday as Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa netted in a 2-0 home win to put the champions three points clear on Saturday.

First-half goals by Bayern's Chile and Brazil internationals gave Carlo Ancelotti's Munich a first win over Gladbach in five German league matches after Borussia claimed home and away league wins in 2015.

Valencia slam ‘lamentable’ referee in Barca loss

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Madrid (AFP) Valencia's sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch railed against the "absolutely lamentable" display of the referee after Barcelona snatched a controversial 3-2 win at Mestalla on Saturday.

Lionel Messi converted a 94th-minute penalty in a bad-tempered match overshadowed by a serious knee injury to Barca's Andres Iniesta.

Rooney takes swipe at ‘United fan’ Owen

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London (AFP) Manchester United star Wayne Rooney took a swipe at former team-mate Michael Owen for expressing support for his club's bitter rivals Liverpool.

Owen has a foot in both camps after making his name during a glittering spell at Liverpool and also playing for United in the twilight of his career.

Reid’s stoppage-time winner adds to Sunderland strife

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London (AFP) Winston Reid's 94th-minute goal enabled West Ham to grasp a last-gasp 1-0 win over Premier League basement club Sunderland at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Defeat left Sunderland still searching for their first league win of the season.

But it had appeared the northeast club would at least come away with only their third point of the campaign and a first clean sheet after surviving some early pressure from the Hammers.

Superb Shaqiri fires Stoke past slumping Hull

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Xherdan Shaqiri's marvellous brace moved Stoke City out of the Premier League relegation zone on Saturday after a 2-0 victory away to struggling Hull City.

Switzerland international Shaqiri rifled in a long-range strike on 26 minutes at the KCOM Stadium before converting a second-half free-kick as Stoke registered successive wins for the first time since March.

Tearful Iniesta suffers knee ligament damage

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is hopeful Andres Iniesta will be sidelined for weeks rather than months after suffering ligament damage in his right knee.

Iniesta was stretchered from the field in tears just 14 minutes into Barca's thrilling 3-2 win at Valencia on Saturday.

"Andres Iniesta has injured thelateral collateral ligament in his right knee," Barcelona said in a statement.

Lyon lurch into crisis with latest defeat

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Paris (AFP) Lyon's alarming slump in form continued on Saturday as they lost 3-1 at home to Guingamp despite leading scorer Alexandre Lacazette putting them in front at their Parc OL.

Lacazette opened the scoring with his seventh league goal of the campaign from the penalty spot but Guingamp turned the game on its head with two goals in the first seven minutes of the second period from Yannis Salibur and Marcus Coco.

Rampant Newcastle boost promotion push

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London (AFP) Newcastle went three points clear at the top of the Championship after an emphatic 3-0 win over Ipswich, while promotion rivals Norwich crashed to a shock 1-0 home defeat on Saturday.

Rafael Benitez's side scored the fastest goal in the Championship this season when Ayoze Perez struck after just 60 seconds at St James' Park.

Swansea stop rot on Bradley’s home debut

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Swansea City are still without a win since the opening day of the season but did take a step in the right direction by drawing 0-0 at home to Watford on Bob Bradley's home debut.

The result ended a sequence of four consecutive defeats for the struggling Swans, including their 3-2 loss at Arsenal last weekend in Bradley's first game at the helm.

Arsenal, Spurs fire blanks to hand City initiative

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London (AFP) North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were both held to goalless draws on Saturday, handing Manchester City the initiative in the nascent Premier League title race.

Spurs drew 0-0 at Bournemouth, before Arsenal were held at home by promoted Middlesbrough, nudging Arsene Wenger's side a point above previous leaders City, who host Southampton on Sunday.

Messi penalty snatches thrilling Barca win

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Madrid (AFP) Lionel Messi's 94th-minute penalty moved Barcelona to the top of La Liga in dramatic fashion in a pulsating 3-2 win at Valencia on Saturday.

However, victory came at a cost for Barca as a tearful Andres Iniesta suffered ligament damage in his right knee that could keep him out for several months.

Battling Boro deny Wenger birthday win

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London (AFP) Arsenal went top of the Premier League, for a few hours at least, but their seven-game winning run came to an end as Middlesbrough secured a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The North London side have gone above Manchester City, who play on Sunday, but could yet be leapfrogged by Liverpool, who face West Bromwich Albion in Saturday's late kick-off.

Arfield late show breaks Everton hearts

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Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Canada international Scott Arfield's 90th-minute winner earned Burnley an improbable 2-1 victory over a dominant Everton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Everton impressed in a 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend and were looking to close to within a point of Pep Guardiola's side in the Premier League table.

Arsenal, Spurs fire blanks in pursuit of Man City

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London (AFP) North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were both held to goalless draws on Saturday, handing Manchester City the initiative in the nascent Premier League title race.

Spurs drew 0-0 at Bournemouth, before Arsenal were held at home by promoted Middlesbrough, nudging Arsene Wenger's side a point above previous leaders City, who host Southampton on Sunday.

Ambitious China appoint Lippi

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Beijing (AFP) World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi was named China's new boss on Saturday at a time when the country's ambitions to become a footballing powerhouse have rarely looked more remote.

The appointment of the Italian one of the world's most decorated football coaches comes with China all but out of contention for the 2018 World Cup in Russia following embarrassing qualification losses to Syria and Uzbekistan.

Hertha down Cologne to join Bayern at summit

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Berlin (AFP) Hertha Berlin joined Bayern Munich on 17 points at the top of the Bundesliga table on Saturday with a 2-1 home win over Cologne, who lost their unbeaten record.

With Bayern looking for their first win in three league games against Borussia Moenchengladbach later at the Allianz Arena, Hertha took their chance to put pressure on Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Duo end goal droughts as Leicester sink Palace

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester strikers Shinji Okazaki and Ahmed Musa ended lengthy goal droughts as the Premier League champions beat Crystal Palace 3-1 on Saturday.

Claudio Ranieri's side were on course for their first win in four league matches after Nigeria international Musa claimed his first Leicester goal in his 10th appearance since a pre-season move from CSKA Moscow.

Football: Ambitious China appoint Lippi

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Beijing (AFP) World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi was named China's new boss on Saturday at a time when the country's ambitions to become a footballing powerhouse have rarely looked more remote.

The appointment of the Italian one of the world's most decorated football coaches comes with China all but out of contention for the 2018 World Cup in Russia following embarrassing qualification losses to Syria and Uzbekistan.

Marcello Lippi – one of the world’s great coaches

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Milan (AFP) Italians with selective memories might remember Marcello Lippi as the coach who quit moments after the Azzurri's first-round elimination, as defending champions, from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

But for connoisseurs of the beautiful game the dapper 68-year-old is the wily tactician who, in 2006, ended Italy's 24-year wait to be crowned world champions again.

Buzzing Bournemouth keep Tottenham from Premier League summit

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur had to settle for a third successive draw in a hard-fought but goalless encounter with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Overrun by Eddie Howe's hard-running Bournemouth side in the opening stages, Tottenham battled their way back into the game and were in charge for most of the final hour.

Where to find AC Milan vs. Juventus on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch AC Milan vs. Juventus, you've come to the right place.

For soccer fans in the United States, the match was originally scheduled to be shown on television on beIN SPORTS but due to a late programming change, the game has been moved to the legal streaming site beIN SPORTS Connect.

Arsenal can last pace in title race, says Wenger

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal are finally equipped to last the pace in the Premier League title race.

Wenger's side have struggled to match the financial muscle and strength in depth of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City in recent years.

But the Gunners appear in much better shape to slug it out with their title rivals this season after reeling off seven successive wins in all competitions.

Guardiola won’t change despite Barca mauling

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he would rather quit than change his footballing philosophy.

City have gone four matches in all competitions without a win and head into Sunday's Premier League clash home to Southampton on the back of a 4-0 thrashing at Barcelona in the Champions League.

Russia chooses wolf as 2018 World Cup mascot

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Moscow (AFP) Russia has chosen a goggled wolf as mascot for the 2018 World Cup.

The wolf, unveiled to the public early Saturday after a month of online voting, prevailed over a cat and a tiger dressed in a space suit after receiving more than half the votes.

The mascot named "Zabivaka", which in Russian means "one who scores" was presented on a popular late-night show on Pervy Kanal state television.

Zamalek chase ‘miracle’ in CAF Champions League final

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Johannesburg (AFP) Zamalek of Egypt can draw comfort from the past as they seek to overturn a 3-0 deficit on Sunday in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Canon Yaounde (Cameroon), Mouloudia Alger (Algeria) and Asante Kotoko (Ghana) faced similar dire circumstances to the Cairo club in previous finals and only the latter did not finish overall winners.

China names Lippi for national team coach

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Beijing (AFP) Former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has been named to lead China's national side following the resignation of Gao Hongbo, the Chinese Football Association announced Saturday.

The appointment comes after World Cup qualifying losses by the men's team to Syria and Uzbekistan left the Asian giant with virtually no chance of qualifying for Russia 2018.

China names Marcello Lippi as national team coach

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Beijing (AFP) Former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has been named to lead China's national side following the resignation of Gao Hongbo, the Chinese Football Association announced Saturday.

The appointment comes after World Cup qualifying losses by the men's team to Syria and Uzbekistan left the Asian giant with virtually no chance of qualifying for Russia 2018.

China names Marcello Lippi for national team coach

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Beijing (AFP) Former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has been named to lead China's national side following the resignation of Gao Hongbo, the Chinese Football Association announced Saturday.

The appointment comes after World Cup qualifying losses by the men's team to Syria and Uzbekistan left the Asian giant with virtually no chance of qualifying for Russia 2018.

Fellaini was Man United ‘panic’ buy – Giggs

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London (AFP) Manchester United great Ryan Giggs has described former manager David Moyes's decision to buy Marouane Fellaini from Everton in September 2013 as a "panic" buy.

Fellaini joined United from Everton, Moyes's former club, in a 27.5 million pounds ($33.6 million, 30.9 million euros) move on transfer deadline day.

Mourinho braces for Chelsea return

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London (AFP) Less than 12 months since his second spell as Chelsea manager ended amid on-pitch turmoil and bitter off-pitch recrimination, Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge with Manchester United on Sunday.

With three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup won across his two stints in west London, Mourinho is the most successful manager in Chelsea's history.

Drogba fined by league over Impact no-show

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New York (AFP) Didier Drogba has been fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Soccer chiefs after his refusal to play for the Montreal Impact last weekend, the league said Friday.

Former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star Drogba stunned the Impact by demanding to be left out of the squad for their game against Toronto FC on Sunday after discovering he was not in the starting lineup.

Rangers vs. Celtic League Cup semi-final to air live in USA on FOX Soccer 2GO

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Sunday's Scottish League Cup semi-final between Rangers and Celtic will be shown live on FOX Soccer 2GO, the legal streaming service in the U.S.

The match, which will be beamed live from Hampden Park in Glasgow, is scheduled to kick off at 9:15am ET (6:15am PT). The broadcast begins at 9:05am ET.

Falcao on target as rampant Monaco go second

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Monaco (AFP) Radamel Falcao scored on his return from a month out to help Monaco dismantle Montpellier 6-2 to move within a point of Ligue 1 leaders Nice on Friday.

Rampant Monaco leap-frog champions Paris Saint-Germain into second with PSG and Nice both in action on Sunday.

Despite the lop-sided scoreline they did not have it all their own way on a night of controversial refereeing decisions, a sublime free kick and some rank-bad defending from Montpellier.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 9

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Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United face off this Sunday, October 23, at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO, highlighting NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this week. The Blues most recently defeated Leicester City 3-0 with a goal from leading Premier League scorer Diego Costa (7 goals).

Messi back for Argentina’s World Cup duel with Brazil

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Lionel Messi was named in Argentina's squad for their heavyweight World Cup clash against bitter rivals Brazil on Friday having missed the last three fixtures through injury.

Messi had been sidelined from international duty with a thigh injury but buoyed by a midweek hat-trick for Barcelona in the Champions League against Manchester City, he returns to an Argentina team struggling in fifth spot in World Cup qualifying.

Garcia plots return to Europe at Marseille

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Marseille (AFP) Marseille coach Rudi Garcia set the struggling French giants the goal of qualifying for Europe next season, a day after he was appointed the Ligue 1 club's new boss.

The former Lille and Roma manager has penned a three-year contract at the Stade Velodrome, where his task is to resurrect a side that slumped to its worst league finish in 15 years last season.

Liverpool-Man United game breaks record for most streamed game ever on NBC

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Monday's match between Liverpool and Manchester United broke the record for the most streamed Premier League game ever on NBC Sports.

The broadcast, a 0-0 draw between the two rivals, ranks as NBC Sports Group's most-streamed match ever. The match, played on Monday from 3-5pm ET, delivered 10.

Oscar out as Brazil name Real duo

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Rio de Janeiro (AFP) Chelsea star Oscar misses out but Brazil include the Real Madrid pair of Marcelo and Casemiro for the crunch clash next month with old rivals Argentina in World Cup qualifying.

Coach Tite on Friday named a strong 24-man squad for the games at home to Argentina on November 10 and away in Peru five days later.

Neymar signs new Barca deal until 2021

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Barcelona (AFP) Brazilian superstar Neymar has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him at Barcelona until 2021, the Spanish champions said on Friday.

The deal, which had been agreed in June, includes a buy-out clause of up to 250 million euros as Barca seek to ward off interest from potential suitors.

Aguero and Kompany staying at Man City: Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday rejected speculation star Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero and injury-plagued club captain Vincent Kompany are not part of his long-term plans.

Neither player started in City's 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday which has cast an element of doubt over both their futures.

Mourinho deserves warm reception on return: Conte

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho should be given a warm welcome when the Manchester United manager returns to Chelsea, on Sunday said present Blues incumbent Antonio Conte.

Conte, who took over in July after Guus Hiddink had stepped in when Mourinho was fired last term, added that the Portuguese coach who guided Chelsea to three league titles merited his place in the club's folklore.

Sport integral to Haiti recovery, says GOALS chief

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London (AFP) Hurricane Matthew left over 500 people dead and a trail of destruction in Haiti, but Jolinda Hackett of the award-winning GOALS programme told AFP that morale can be rebuilt through the power of sport.

The American has seen that on the ground as GOALS (Global Outreach and Love of Soccer), which was set up in 2010 and dedicated to working in Haiti by her compatriot Kona Shenis, has been involved in some of the most remote and poverty-stricken areas of the Caribbean nation.

London duo look to compound Manchester City’s Premier League pain

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London (AFP) North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will both have the chance to pile the pressure on Pep Guardiola by leapfrogging his Manchester City side at the top of the Premier League table on Saturday.

The Gunners, level on points with City, are at home to struggling Middlesbrough while Spurs, a point behind, travel to Bournemouth.

Liverpool ready to bounce back against West Brom

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Liverpool (AFP) The mood at Liverpool is an optimistic one despite the frustration of Monday's goalless draw at home to Manchester United, as Jurgen Klopp's injury list shortens.

Georginio Wijnaldum's influence was missed against United as he recovered from a hip injury sustained on World Cup duty with the Netherlands, but the midfielder is back in training and ready to play against West Brom at Anfield on Saturday.

Arsenal aim to extend long unbeaten run against Middlesbrough

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London (AFP) Arsenal will aim to make it eight consecutive victories when they host Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday in defence of an 11-match unbeaten record in all competitions.

The North London side are riding high after beating Ludogorets 6-0 in the Champions League in midweek, a match where Mesut Ozil scored a hat-trick.

Mauricio Pochettino urges Spurs to push for the top

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino is keen for his Tottenham Hotspur players to rise to the occasion and move to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday.

That may only be for a few hours but Spurs know that victory at Bournemouth in a lunchtime kick-off will be enough to lift them above current leaders Manchester City, who play on Sunday, and Arsenal, who are in action later on Saturday.

Resurgent Milan can beat Juve, says Bonaventura

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Milan (AFP) Midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura said AC Milan are primed and ready to finally taste victory over Juventus when the sides meet in an enticing San Siro clash on Saturday.

Eight games into the season Juventus look to be on their way to a record sixth consecutive Serie A crown after opening up significant gaps on key title rivals Napoli and Roma.

Tough Marseille test against PSG for Garcia debut

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Paris (AFP) Rudi Garcia faces a daunting first assignment as Marseille coach with the struggling French giants travelling to bitter rivals and reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 this weekend.

The former Lille and Roma boss has penned a three-year contract at the Stade Velodrome where his task is to resurrect a side that slumped to its worst league finish in 15 years last season.

Stumbling Bayern hunt rare win over Gladbach

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Berlin (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti's Bayern Munich bid to claim a rare win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders look to get back to winning ways in Germany's top flight.

Having won their first eight games under Ancelotti in all competitions, Bayern then went three matches without a win but got back on track with a 4-1 thumping of PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Thailand bans cheering at World Cup qualifier

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Bangkok (AFP) Thailand's football association said Friday it would ban cheering at next month's World Cup qualifier against Australia as the nation mourns the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Thailand initially tried to change the venue of the November 15 match after the Thai king, the world's longest reigning monarch, died last Thursday, plunging the kingdom into grief.

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho says he’s lost Stamford Bridge luck

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London (AFP) Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he will no longer feel a sense of invincibility when he returns to Stamford Bridge with Manchester United on Sunday.

Mourinho avoided a home league defeat in his first three-year stint at Chelsea and prior to a 1-0 Champions League victory there with Inter Milan in March 2010 he said the stadium was "lucky" for him.

5 managers once rumored to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been a raging success since he was appointed as Gunners manager in 1996. The Frenchman has collected three Premier League titles, six FA Cups, six Community Shields, and was awarded as the Premier League Manager of the Season on three different occasions. Nevertheless, there will come a time in which Wenger will not be manning the sidelines at the Emirates.

Wenger wants Arsenal to rule the Premier League ‘jungle’

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger compared the Premier League to "a jungle" on Friday saying every day was a fight for survival.

The 66-year-old Frenchman whose side are on a hot streak of form with seven successive wins in all competitions will hope his players heed such words when they host struggling Middlesbrough on Saturday.

European leagues open hostilities over Champions League changes

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Zurich (AFP) European football leagues on Friday cancelled an accord with UEFA in protest at reforms to the Champions League which give greater power to major clubs.

By withdrawing from the memorandum of understanding the 25 championships can now organise their own league games on the same day as Champions League matches.

Two-goal Pogba still needs time – Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Paul Pogba needs time to fulfil his full potential in England after the French midfielder scored twice in a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce.

Pogba, a world-record 89 million pounds ($109.1 million, 100 million euros) signing from Juventus, scored a penalty and a long-range effort in Thursday's Europa League group game at Old Trafford.

NBC Sports honored at US Embassy in London in recognition for EPL growth in US

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NBC Sports Group was recognized today at the US Embassy in London at an event celebrating the growth of the Premier League in the United States.

The event, held at Winfield House, the residence of Ambassador Matthew Barzun, celebrated the growth of the Premier League in the United States, highlighted by NBC Sports Group's coverage and promotion of the league.

Pogba at the double, Saints lose to Inter

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Paris (AFP) Paul Pogba scored twice as Manchester United crushed Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday, while their Premier League rivals Southampton went down to Inter Milan.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the action on matchday three:

Pogba stars, United romp

Paul Pogba scored twice in the first half as Jose Mourinho's Manchester United thumped Fenerbahce 4-1 at Old Trafford.

Pogba purrs as Man United trounce Fenerbahce

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Paul Pogba struck twice as Manchester United invigorated their Europa League campaign with a classy 4-1 home victory over Turkish giants Fenerbahce on Thursday.

France midfielder Pogba scored a penalty and curled in from distance to take his tally to three goals since his world-record 89 million pounds ($109.

Inter beat Southampton, relieve pressure on De Boer

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Milan (AFP) Under-pressure Frank de Boer saw his Inter Milan side hold on with 10 men to beat Premier League outfit Southampton 1-0 in their Europa League clash at San Siro on Thursday.

Antonio Candreva got the only goal of the game midway through the second half for the Serie A club, who were forced to play out the final 13 minutes a man down after Marcelo Brozovic was sent off.

Inter Milan beat Southampton in Europa League, relieve pressure on De Boer

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Milan (AFP) Under-pressure Frank de Boer saw his Inter Milan side hold on with 10 men to beat Premier League outfit Southampton 1-0 in their Europa League clash at San Siro on Thursday.

Antonio Candreva got the only goal of the game midway through the second half for the Serie A club, who were forced to play out the final 13 minutes a man down after Marcelo Brozovic was sent off.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for week of October 12-17, 2016

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After the close of the international break, the English Premier League and German Bundesliga both returned to American airwaves on Saturday. The mid table clash between Crystal Palace and West Ham on the over-the-air NBC network averaged 104% more viewers than FOX's match between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen on its over-the-air network.

MLS playoff race registers two least-viewed games on ESPN for entire season

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The penultimate weekend of the 2016 MLS regular season this past weekend was the league's worst on ESPN.

Sunday's playoff race matches, which featured Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids (178,000 viewers) and Montreal Impact against Toronto FC (161,000 viewers), were two of the lowest rated programs for the entire day on ESPN.

Suarez picks up Golden Shoe after prolific last season

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona's Uruguayan star Luis Suarez on Thursday collected the Golden Shoe award for the leading scorer in Europe last season and admitted he never imagined being the most prolific member of such a star-studded attack.

"I didn't imagine myself as the top scorer, I only thought about being a champion, winning the Champions League, which I have done," said Suarez at a prize-giving ceremony in Barcelona.

Football: Garcia appointed new Marseille coach

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Marseille (AFP) Marseille's new American owner on Thursday appointed former Roma and Lille boss Rudi Garcia as the club's coach on a three-year deal.

Garcia replaces Franck Passi and will take charge for the French giants' clash against arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Garcia appointed new Marseille coach

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Marseille (AFP) Marseille's new American owner on Thursday appointed former Roma and Lille boss Rudi Garcia as the club's coach on a three-year deal.

Garcia replaces Franck Passi and will take charge for the French giant's clash against arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Rudi Garcia appointed Marseille coach

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Marseille (AFP) French giants Olympique Marseille on Thursday named former Roma and Lille boss Rudi Garcia as their new coach on a three-year deal.

Garcia will take charge for Marseille's clash against against arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

"Rudi Garcia, 52, has signed a three-year contract.

Buffon reveals Italy job interest

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Milan (AFP) Juventus goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon could become a future coach of Italy after revealing he would be tempted by a national team coaching role once he retires.

At 38 years old, 2006 World Cup winner is still going strong for both club and country at the tail end of what has been a hugely successful career.

Where to find Man United vs. Fenerbahce on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Man United vs. Fenerbahce, you've come to the right place.

After Manchester United's impressive 0-0 draw away against Liverpool on Monday, the Red Devils return to action today in an Europa League game at Old Trafford against Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

‘Carefree’ approach can help nervous Napoli, says coach

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Milan (AFP) Coach Maurizio Sarri says a more "carefree" approach could help Napoli unlock a Champions League last 16 place after a 3-2 defeat at home to Besiktas kept the Italians waiting.

Napoli welcomed the Turkish champions knowing a third consecutive Group B win, along with a Dinamo Kiev-Benfica draw, would secure entry to the knockout phase with three games to spare and set a new competition record.

Patchy PSG must do better, admits coach Emery

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery acknowledged that his team are not yet up to the standard expected of serious Champions League contenders despite their 3-0 win over Basel on Wednesday.

Goals from Angel Di Maria, Lucas and Edinson Cavani, with a late penalty, gave PSG an ultimately comfortable victory that keeps them on course to qualify for the last 16 from Group A.

Motors prepare to take on Al Ain in AFC Champions League final

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Seoul (AFP) A painful defeat on penalties is driving Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as they prepare to take on Al Ain in the AFC Champions League final, their coach said.

The K-League outfit beat domestic rivals FC Seoul 5-3 on aggregate late Wednesday to go into next month's two-legged title match against the Emirati giants.

No ‘untouchables’ for Mourinho at United

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho has insisted the likes of high-profile Manchester United signings Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are far from "untouchable" players.

Both midfielder Pogba, a world record £89 million ($115 million, 102 million euros) arrival from Juventus, and striker Ibrahimovic have had their recent performances called into question.

De Boer risks job against Southampton: report

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan coach Frank De Boer could be sacked if the struggling Italian giants fail to claim their first Europa League group win at home to Southampton on Thursday, said reports.

De Boer stepped in to replace Roberto Mancini two weeks before the start of the season with expectations the Nerazzurri would be among the title challengers at home and in Europe.

Garcia appointed Marseille coach – report

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Paris (AFP) Rudi Garcia was named as the new coach of French giants Marseille on Thursday, just three days after US tycoon Frank McCourt completed his purchase of the club, RTL radio reported.

Garcia, 52, is set to replace Franck Passi, and will reportedly be in the dugout for Sunday's showdown with bitter rivals Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes.

Wenger tells in-form Arsenal to stay grounded

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger warned his Arsenal stars not to get carried away after they gave another demonstration of their sky-high confidence with a 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets in the Champions League.

Wenger's side are in peak form at present and Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets were powerless to prevent their hot streak extending to seven successive victories in all competitions.

Bayern romp delights Ancelotti after winless dip

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said their 4-1 romp against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League was the reaction he was looking for after a three-match winless streak.

Bayern bounced back in emphatic style on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena with winger Arjen Robben in outstanding form.

Guardiola won’t sacrifice style despite Barca blunders

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Barcelona (AFP) Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was defiant he will not change his ways despite a harrowing night for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo on his return to Barcelona as a Lionel Messi hat-trick inspired a 4-0 Barca win on Wednesday.

Bravo was sent-off with City trailing just 1-0 for saving Luis Suarez's effort when outside his area after gifting the ball to the Uruguayan striker, putting Guardiola's decision to jettison England number one Joe Hart under more scrutiny.

Celtic almost down and out, admits Rodgers

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits it will be very difficult for his side to progress further in Europe following their disappointing 2-0 home Champions League defeat by Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Germans arrived in Glasgow with a horrendous injury list and struggling for form following defeats by Manchester City and Barcelona in their opening Group C fixtures.

Messi ruins Guardiola return, Bayern stop rot

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Paris (AFP) Lionel Messi spoiled Pep Guardiola's homecoming by scoring a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-0 win over 10-man Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Bayern Munich shook off their recent patchy form to defeat PSV Eindhoven 4-1.

Messi pounced on a Fernandinho slip to nudge Barca in front on 17 minutes, and the Argentine doubled his tally on the hour following the dismissal of City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Celtic’s Euro hopes in tatters after Toure blunders

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic's Champion League hopes were in tatters on Wednesday as Borussia Monchengladbach produced a clinical performance to inflict a 2-0 home defeat on the Scottish champions.

The Germans arrived in Glasgow with a horrendous injury list and struggling for form following defeats by Manchester City and Barcelona in their opening Group C fixtures.

Aboubakar double helps Besiktas down Napoli

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Milan (AFP) Cameroon forward Vincent Aboubakar hit a brace as Ricardo Quaresma-inspired Besiktas ended Napoli's dreams of making Champions League history with a 3-2 win at the San Paolo on Wednesday.

Napoli welcomed the Turkish champions knowing a third consecutive win in Group B, along with a draw between Dinamo Kiev and Benfica, would secure their entry to the last 16 with three games to spare.

Messi hat-trick punishes Guardiola’s error-prone City

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Barcelona (AFP) Manchester City's Claudio Bravo and Pep Guardiola endured a nightmare return to Barcelona as Lionel Messi's hat-trick spearheaded a 4-0 Champions League rout for the Spanish champions on Wednesday.

Guardiola led Barca to 14 trophies in a glorious four-year reign between 2008 and 2012, but his homecoming was undone by a series of shocking defensive errors and Messi's clinical touch on his return from injury.

Di Maria points the way for PSG

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Paris (AFP) Angel Di Maria's first goal of the season set Paris Saint-Germain on their way to a 3-0 Champions League victory against an unlucky Basel side at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

Di Maria grabbed the opener late in the first half and Lucas doubled PSG's lead just after the hour mark before Edinson Cavani's late penalty sealed the victory as the French giants moved closer to qualifying for the last 16 from Group A.

Bayern thump Eindhoven to break winless streak

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Bayern Munich broke their three-game winless streak with an emphatic 4-1 win at home to PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday in the Champions League with winger Arjen Robben outstanding.

Thomas Mueller and Joshua Kimmich put Bayern ahead at the Allianz Arena before Luciano Narsingh netted for Eindhoven before the break, but Robert Lewandowski made it 3-1 on the hour mark.

Ozil treble, Sanchez gem inspire rampant Arsenal

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London (AFP) Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez showed why their value to Arsenal is priceless as the peerless duo inspired a 6-0 thrashing of Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has urged Ozil and Sanchez not to get greedy after reports they both plan to demand Arsenal increase their wages to £250,000-per-week ($307,000, 279,000 euros) when contract talks are reopened later this month.

I. Coast start Nations Cup campaign against Togo

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Libreville (AFP) Wilfried Bony's Ivory Coast will start their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations against Togo in January, according to the draw made Wednesday.

Ivory Coast are in Group C against Togo, Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Hosts Gabon will stage the opening match in Libreville on January 14 against Guinea Bissau who are making their first appearance in the 16-nation tournament.

Messi starts, Aguero dropped on Guardiola’s Barca return

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Barcelona (AFP) Pep Guardiola dropped top scorer Sergio Aguero to the Manchester City bench on his return to Barcelona for Wednesday's Champions League clash, whilst Lionel Messi will make his first start in a month for the Spanish giants at the Camp Nou.

Guardiola oversaw a glorious four-year spell in charge of Barca between 2008 and 2012, but lost on his only previous return as a visiting boss with Bayern Munich in 2015.

Polish fans held in Madrid after clashes

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Madrid (AFP) Thirteen Polish supporters of Legia Warsaw were being held Wednesday following clashes with police before the football club's Champions League game against Real Madrid, police said.

Among them is the leader of an ultra group, a police spokeswoman said, without giving further details.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors roar into AFC Champions League final

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Seoul (AFP) Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors stormed into the AFC Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate victory over FC Seoul despite losing the all-Korean semi-final's second leg 2-1 on Wednesday.

After Jeonbuk had dominated the first leg 4-1, Brazilian marksman Adriano gave the home side hope when he slotted a record-equalling 13th goal of the tournament in the first half.

Mourinho issues Rashford with England Under-21 warning

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho does not want Marcus Rashford to be selected for next year's European Under-21 Championships if the Manchester United striker is a regular in the senior England squad.

The United manager was responding to stories that England's governing Football Association were keen to include Premier League stars, such as Rashford, in their Under-21 squad for the tournament in Poland in June.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Manchester City on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Manchester City, you've come to the right place.

In the most eagerly anticipated game of the UEFA Champions League, Pep Guardiola returns to Barcelona in the hopes that his Manchester City team can get something from the game against his old team.

Family lobbying brings hope for autistic football fans

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London (AFP) Peter and Kate Shippey's successful lobbying of Sunderland to install a room dedicated to largely autistic football fans could see more Premier League clubs follow suit.

Alex White, Premier League Charitable Fund Executive, said the Shippeys had served as an example and funding has been made available to other clubs to set up similar rooms for home and away fans.

Korea’s Motors roar into Asian final

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Seoul (AFP) Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors stormed into the AFC Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate victory over FC Seoul despite losing the all-Korean semi-final's second leg 2-1 on Wednesday.

After Jeonbuk had dominated the first leg 4-1, Brazilian marksman Adriano gave the home side hope when he slotted a record-equalling 13th goal of the tournament in the first half.

‘Mentally tough’ Modric aims to retire at Real Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric wants to play out the rest of his career with the Spanish giants after signing a new contract until 2020.

Modric, 31, has become a fundamental part of the Real side, winning two Champions League titles, since his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

How Theo Walcott’s growth as a more well-rounded player is benefitting Arsenal

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Photo credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Since his arrival to Arsenal a decade ago, Theo Walcott has been somewhat of a polarizing figure. While once thought as a possible successor to club legend Thierry Henry, the speedy England international hasn't exactly filled the Frenchman's shoes.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Ludogorets on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Ludogorets, you've come to the right place.

Due to Barcelona-Manchester City being shown on FOX Sports 1 in the United States, the Arsenal-Ludogorets game will be shown live on FOX Sports 2 for viewers in the United States. While that's great news if you have FS2, many soccer fans in the United States either don't get FS2 or their FS2 is in SD, not HD.

Ranieri irked by Leicester’s split personality

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri urged his side to take their fine European form into the Premier League after they closed on a place in the Champions League last 16.

Riyad Mahrez's goal earned Leicester a 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, extending their 100 percent record in Group G and leaving them one win away from the knockout phase.

Is Mourinho getting his mojo back?

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London (AFP) In successfully stymying a strongly fancied Liverpool team and sowing a bit of mischief with his post-match comments Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looked like something approaching his old self.

Mourinho has made an unsteady start to life at Old Trafford, with three successive defeats in mid-September threatening to derail United's season before it had really begun.

Saints chase famous win at San Siro, Van Persie returns

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Paris (AFP) Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster is looking for the Premier League club to make "a massive statement" by beating Italian giants Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Saints travel to the San Siro and as many as seven thousand of their fans are expected to follow them knowing a win at the home of the three-time European champions would be a big step towards progressing to the knockout phase from Group K.

Lippi set to coach China national team: report

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Milan (AFP) Former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi is being tipped to take over as coach of China after being offered the job following the resignation of Gao Hongbo, reports said Wednesday.

"Lippi, coach of China," ran the headline on the front page of Italy's second most popular sports daily Corriere dello Sport.

Mahrez takes Leicester closer to last 16, Madrid win big

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Paris (AFP) Riyad Mahrez secured another Champions League victory for Leicester City on Tuesday while big boys Real Madrid, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund were also in winning form.

Leicester maintained a perfect record in Group G in their first foray in Europe's elite club competition by edging FC Copenhagen 1-0 at the King Power Stadium with Mahrez getting the only goal of the game.

Rooney insists he has a “lot of football left”

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London (AFP) Wayne Rooney has insisted he's got a "lot of football left" amid suggestions his days as a regular starting player for Manchester United could be coming to a close.

United and England captain Rooney, who made his name as a goal-scoring forward, has been a substitute in five of the last six matches for club and country, including the Red Devils' goalless draw away to arch-rivals Liverpool on Tuesday where he failed to find the back of the net after coming on for Marcus Rashford.

Fan violence mars Madrid cruise past Legia

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Madrid (AFP) Holders Real Madrid edged towards the last 16 of the Champions League, but disturbances between visiting Polish ultras and the police marred their 5-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Five fans and two police officers were treated for minor injuries after clashes outside the stadium before kick-off.

Kiessling miss gives Spurs a point at Leverkusen

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Leverkusen (Germany) (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur preserved their unbeaten record away this season with a goalless draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in the Champions League after Stefan Kiessling's late miss for the hosts.

A decade after Leverkusen lost 1-0 at home to Spurs in the old UEFA Cup, Kiessling was the only survivor in either team from the November 2006 fixture.

Al Ain seal Asian Champions League final berth

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Doha (AFP) UAE giants Al Ain progressed to the final of the AFC Champions League at the expense of Qatar's El Jaish after a 2-2 draw in their semi-final second leg in Doha ensured a 5-3 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

El Jaish needed to raise their game a few notches to overcome a two-goal deficit following their 3-1 defeat in the first leg, but despite Brazilian Romarinho's double the Emirati giants held their nerve to clinch a last-gasp draw with Mohamed Abdulrahman finding the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

‘Brilliant’ Lloris helps Spurs draw at Leverkusen

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Leverkusen (Germany) (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur's coach Mauricio Pochettino hailed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' 'brilliant' display to rescue a Champions League away point in their goalless draw at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

After a quiet first-half which his side dominated, the Frenchman had a busy second 45 minutes at the BayArena as Leverkusen beefed up their midfield and fired in 16 shots at the Spurs goal.

Cuadrado strikes as 10-man Juve sink Lyon

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Lyon (AFP) Juan Cuadrado came off the bench to score a late winner as 10-man Juventus beat Lyon 1-0 in France in Champions League Group H on Wednesday.

The Italian champions saw Gianluigi Buffon save a first-half Alexandre Lacazette penalty and then had Mario Lemina sent off early in the second period.

Ninga blow for Monpellier as Chad striker out for six months

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Montpellier (France) (AFP) Montpellier's Chadian striker Casimir Ninga has been ruled out for six months after suffering ruptured cruciate ligaments in his right knee, the Ligue 1 club said Tuesday.

The 23-year-old, who scored his first Ligue hat-trick earlier this month, picked up the injury during training.

Madrid cruise past Legia, towards last 16

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Madrid (AFP) Holders Real Madrid edged towards the last 16 of the Champions League, but disturbances between visiting Polish ultras and the police marred their 5-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Five fans and two police officers were treated for minor injuries after clashes outside the stadium before kick-off.

Mahrez takes Leicester to brink of last 16

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Riyad Mahrez struck to give Leicester City a third consecutive Champions League victory as the fairytale Premier League champions edged FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Tuesday.

Mahrez's athletic 40th-minute volley at the King Power Stadium left Claudio Ranieri's men five points clear in Group G and they are still to concede a goal in the competition.

Seven injured as Polish fans clash with police in Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) Five Polish fans and two police officers were injured after clashes before Tuesday's Champions League game between Real Madrid and Legia Warsaw in the Spanish capital.

The clashes started as fans arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu before kick-off for the Group F game classed as a high-risk fixture by the Spanish authorities.

Besiktas expect ‘most difficult’ group game at Napoli

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Milan (AFP) Besiktas coach Senol Gunes "feels at home" in Naples but admits the Turkish champions face their toughest Group B encounter when they meet Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"I feel at home here, also because of the traffic coming to the stadium!" Gunes joked on Tuesday.

Wolfsburg take a chance on Ismael

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Berlin (AFP) Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on Tuesday unveiled inexperienced ex-Bayern Munich defender Valerien Ismael as head coach with a view to making the job permanent if results in Germany's top flight pick up.

The 41-year-old Frenchman has been promoted from being coach of the Under-23 team to Wolfsburg's senior side.

City need time to reach Barca standards – Guardiola

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Barcelona (AFP) Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City cannot be expected to compete on equal terms with Barcelona due to the clubs' respective history in the Champions League ahead of their showdown clash on Wednesday.

Guardiola won the Champions League twice in four glorious years as Barca coach between 2008 and 2012 and returns to the Camp Nou for the second time as a visiting boss just two months into his reign at City.

Basel ‘not in Paris to take selfies’ in Champions League clash

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Paris (AFP) Swiss champions Basel have a respectable record in Europe in recent seasons and fancy their chances of springing a surprise when they face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

"We have not come to Paris to take selfies," warned Basel's Ivory Coast midfielder Geoffroy Serey Die ahead of the game at the Parc des Princes.

Drogba dispute settled – Montreal chief

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Montreal (AFP) Montreal Impact chief Joey Saputo said Tuesday the club had settled its dispute with Didier Drogba after the star striker sensationally refused to play last weekend.

The 38-year-old former Chelsea and Ivory Coast star had stunned the club last weekend after demanding to be left out of the match-day squad upon discovering he would start on the bench.

Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich to air on over-the-air FOX network

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The upcoming match between the Bundesliga's two biggest teams, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, will be televised live in the United States on the over-the-air FOX broadcast network on Saturday, November 19 at Noon ET.

By broadcasting the game on over-the-air television, FOX is making sure that the game can get the biggest viewing audience possible for a match that is often the highlight of the season.

Sarri a believer as Napoli look to make history

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Milan (AFP) Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri insists he has "total faith" his side will make up for recent setbacks in Serie A by making Champions League history against Besiktas on Wednesday.

Successive Group B wins over Dinamo Kiev and Benfica means Napoli stand on the verge of becoming the first team to clinch a last 16 berth after just three games.

Wenger adamant Walcott was always staying at Arsenal

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger insisted Tuesday there was never any danger of Theo Walcott leaving Arsenal despite a reduced role with the Gunners last season.

The England international started just 15 league gammes and scored five goals in the 2015/16 season.

But Walcott, 27, has already matched that goal tally this term following a double in Arsenal's win over Swansea on Saturday.

NBC Sports to debut ‘Inside the Mind of Claudio Ranieri’ documentary on November 6

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It's time to mark your calendars for NBC Sports' upcoming interview and documentary entitled 'Inside The Mind of Claudio Ranieri,' which will debut on NBCSN on Sunday, November 6.

Hosted by Robbie Earle, the documentary features an exclusive sit-down interview with Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, where he'll discuss the highs of last season that resulted in Leicester shocking the world and winning the Premier League.

Ancelotti dimisses talk of ‘crisis’ at Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich are determined to break their mini winless streak on Wednesday against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, with head coach Carlo Ancelotti dismissing any talk of a 'crisis'.

Bayern have drawn both of their German league games since losing 1-0 at Atletico Madrid three weeks ago and are three games without a win.

FOX Soccer 2GO free trial returns in time for Champions League games

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Just in time for the return of the UEFA Champions League, FOX Sports is now offering a 14-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO, its online service that streams every single Champions League and Europa League game to your computer, smartphone or tablet.

With so many games to choose from, soccer fans can sign up for the free 14-day trial to watch any of the games for the next 2 weeks from the Champions League, Europa League, Bundesliga, Scottish Premiership, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup and Copa Sudamericana and MLS.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Legia Warsaw on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Legia Warsaw, you've come to the right place.

For soccer fans in the United States, the game is being shown live on TV via FOX Sports Net across the United States. But no matter where you live in the USA, you can watch the game with a free 14-day trial to FOX Soccer 2GO.

Barcelona’s Gerard Pique sticking to Spain retirement plan

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona defender Gerard Pique insists he will not reverse his decision to retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup.

Pique announced his intention to leave La Roja after having to demonstrate he did not cut the colours of the Spanish flag off his kit during a 2-0 win in Albania last week.

Guardiola changed Barcelona, says Pique ahead of Man City clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Pep Guardiola's legacy at Barcelona will never be forgotten, according to Barca defender Gerard Pique, ahead of the Manchester City manager's return to the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Pique was a major part of the Guardiola side that won 14 trophies in a golden four-year period between 2008 and 2012.

Where to find Leverkusen vs. Spurs on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Leverkusen vs. Spurs, you've come to the right place.

With Spurs having won one game and lost one in Group E of the UEFA Champions League, it's imperative that Tottenham either get a draw or a win tonight in Germany in order to stay near the top of their group.

Arsenal revival driven by grit as well as guile

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London (AFP) After crumbling at the first sign of pressure far too often in recent years, Arsenal are finally showing signs of developing a steely spine and Theo Walcott is the unlikely standard bearer.

Arsene Wenger's side have been guilty of squandering numerous chances to mount Premier League title challenges and go deep into the Champions League due in a large part to a woeful lack of backbone.

Borussia Monchengladbach face test of fire in Glasgow

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Glasgow (AFP) Borussia Monchengladbach face a test of fire as they travel into the cauldron of Celtic Park on Wednesday with a first Champions League Group C win at stake for both sides.

Celtic's raucous fans carried the Hoops to a 3-3 draw with Manchester City last time out and coupled with Gladbach's poor away record the crowd could be a bankable asset again.

Barcelona sharpen knives on massive Champions League night

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Paris (AFP) AFP Sports previews Wednesday's Champions League action with Pep Guardiola taking Manchester City to Barcelona.

(all kick-offs 1845 GMT):

GROUP A

At Paris

Paris Saint Germain (FRA) v Basel (SUI)

As coach of Sevilla last season Unai Emery beat Basel on the way to winning the Europa League.

Guardiola heads home seeking break from away day blues

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Barcelona (AFP) For one of the most decorated coaches of all-time, boasting a 75 percent career win percentage and 21 trophies, Pep Guardiola's record of two wins from his last 11 away Champions League matches is an uncharacteristic stain.

Manchester City's long court of the Catalan was not just to dominate at home, but secure City's place amongst the European elite by winning the Champions League.

Liverpool shown up by Man Utd, says Mourinho

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Liverpool (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho claimed that his team had exposed Liverpool's shortcomings after holding Jurgen Klopp's well-regarded team to a 0-0 draw.

Liverpool went into Monday's game at Anfield seeking a sixth successive win in all competitions and bidding to draw level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City and second-place Arsenal.

Grieving Thai footballers may play Australia behind closed doors

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Bangkok (AFP) The Football Association of Thailand has said it may hold a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors while the nation mourns King Bhumibol Adulyadej and all forms of entertainment are reined in.

The venue for the November 15 tie against Australia was cast into doubt after the Thai king, the world's longest-reigning monarch, died last Thursday and plunged the kingdom into intense grief.

Liverpool shown up by Manchester United, says Jose Mourinho

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Liverpool (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho claimed that his team had exposed Liverpool's shortcomings after holding Jurgen Klopp's high-flying team to a 0-0 draw.

Liverpool went into Monday's game at Anfield seeking a sixth successive win in all competitions and bidding to draw level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City and second-place Arsenal.

Manchester City make record revenue

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) English Premier League leaders Manchester City on Tuesday announced record turnover of $480 million and its Abu Dhabi owners said the club has reached a "turning point".

City, who were hit by UEFA sanctions over their finances in 2014, announced a 20 million pound ($24.

David de Gea defiant as Manchester United stifle Liverpool

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Liverpool (AFP) Arch-rivals Liverpool and Manchester United failed to spark as England's two most successful clubs played out a forgettable 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

Victory would have lifted Jurgen Klopp's in-form Liverpool level with leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, but they remain fourth after seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end at Anfield.

De Gea defiant as Manchester United stifle Liverpool

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Liverpool (AFP) Arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United failed to spark as England's two most successful clubs played out a forgettable 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

Victory would have lifted Jurgen Klopp's in-form Liverpool level with leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, but they remain fourth after seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end at Anfield.

Mourinho hails Manchester United for silencing Anfield

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Liverpool (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho praised his team for subduing Anfield after they held in-form Liverpool to a dour 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

United have won only one of their last five league games and remain seventh in the league, three points below fourth-place Liverpool and five points off leaders Manchester City.

De Gea defiant as Man Utd stifle Liverpool

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Liverpool (AFP) Arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester United failed to spark as England's two most successful clubs played out a forgettable 0-0 draw in the Premier League on Monday.

Victory would have lifted Jurgen Klopp's in-form Liverpool level with leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, but they remain fourth after seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end at Anfield.

Sevilla ride away win momentum into Zagreb visit

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Zagreb (AFP) Fresh from ending a 17-month wait for an away La Liga win, Sevilla will seek another scalp on the road at Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday to take a huge step towards the Champions League last 16.

Victory at the 23rd attempt on the road, 3-2 at Leganes on Saturday, moved Sevilla up to third in La Liga, sandwiched between Real Madrid and Barcelona, as an impressive start to life under Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli continued.

Ranieri urges calm ahead of Copenhagen visit

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is not worried by the English champions' poor domestic run and is confident they will rediscover their winning ways, he said on Monday.

The Foxes have won just twice in eight Premier League games and slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday, leaving them only two points above the relegation places.

US tycoon vows to restore Marseille glory

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Marseille (AFP) American tycoon Frank McCourt on Monday officially completed his purchase of Marseille and vowed to return the fallen French Ligue 1 giants to glory.

The 63-year-old former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers signed the necessary paperwork in Paris having entered into exclusive discussions to buy Marseille from owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus on August 29.

McCourt turns to Marseille after Dodgers divorce

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Los Angeles (AFP) If new Marseille owner Frank McCourt's turbulent eight-year reign over the Los Angeles Dodgers is anything to go by, fans of the French giants could be in for a bumpy ride.

The 63-year-old Boston-born tycoon, who on Monday completed his purchase of the Ligue 1 side, began his career in commercial real estate in the 1970s, forming a formidable team with his wife Jamie who he had met while studying economics at Georgetown University.

FA chairman Clarke ashamed over football’s homophobia

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London (AFP) Football Association chairman Greg Clarke told members of parliament on Monday that he was ashamed of the sport's homophobia and admitted the governing body must do more to tackle the issue.

Clarke, who was speaking before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, believes there is a vocal minority who make it impossible for a leading player to come out as gay.

South African football icon Tovey ‘slightly improved’

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Johannesburg (AFP) South African football legend Neil Tovey was "slightly improved" Monday after suffering a heart attack the previous afternoon while training in Durban for a charity cycle race.

"Neil is slightly improved, but remains in a critical condition," said brother Mark, himself a former professional footballer.

Frankfurt’s captain Russ targets 2017 return after cancer

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Berlin (AFP) Eintracht Frankfurt's captain Marco Russ is hoping to get the green light from doctors on Wednesday to resume training after battling testicular cancer and hopes to play again in 2017.

The 31-year-old defender says his goal is to rejoin his Bundesliga team-mates for their winter training camp in Abu Dhabi in early January and is keeping his fingers crossed for good news on Wednesday.

US tycoon completes Marseille purchase

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Paris (AFP) American tycoon Frank McCourt on Monday officially completed his purchase of French Ligue 1 side Marseille, his communications office confirmed.

The 63-year-old former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers signed the necessary paperwork in Paris having entered into exclusive discussions to buy Marseille from owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus on August 29.

Wolfsburg sack Hecking: reports

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Berlin (AFP) VfL Wolfsburg on Monday reportedly sacked coach Dieter Hecking after their latest defeat left the ambitious Bundesliga club winless in their last six league games.

According to both German daily Bild and broadcaster Sport1, ex-French defender Valerien Ismael, 41, has already been promoted from the Under-23 team to be caretaker coach for Saturday's Bundesliga match at Darmstadt.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri says no reason to panic

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London (AFP) Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri says he is not worried about the English champions' poor domestic run and is confident they will rediscover their winning ways.

The 64-year-old Italian added the manner in which the team were showing fighting qualities satisfied him they would turn the corner sooner or later.

Chinese group complete takeover of Birmingham

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London (AFP) Chinese group Trillion Trophy Asia (TTA) completed their lengthy takeover of English club Birmingham City on Monday making it the third club based in the city to fall under Chinese control.

The confirmation of the purchase of the second tier side by TTA who are controlled by 55-year-old Hong Kong businessman Paul Suen and his business partner Daniel Sue brings to a definitive end the stormy ownership of disgraced businessman Carson Yeung.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 31 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from the penultimate week of the 2016 MLS season.

1. Who Would You Want To Be In The West?

We will enter the final day of the MLS regular season next weekend with four teams vying for the final three Western Conference playoff spots.

Where to find Liverpool vs. Man United on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Liverpool vs. Man United, you've come to the right place.

One of the most eagerly anticipated Premier League games of the season kicks off today, and it'll be shown live on US TV and streaming. With Liverpool firing on all cylinders and Manchester United still trying to find its feet, this is a perfect time for the two biggest teams in English soccer to battle.

Amid Drogba drama, Impact clinch MLS playoff berth

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Los Angeles (AFP) Amid drama surrounding the absence of Didier Drogba, the Montreal Impact settled for a 2-2 draw against Toronto that proved enough to secure a Major League Soccer playoff spot.

The Impact announced on their Twitter feed before Sunday's game that Drogba was absent with back trouble.

Real Madrid aim for goal fest as Champions League action resumes

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Paris (AFP) AFP Sports looks ahead to Tuesday's Champions League action as champions Real Madrid go on the goal trail against minnows Legia Warsaw.

(all kick-offs 1845 GMT):

Group E

At Leverkusen, Germany

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) v Tottenham (ENG)

Tottenham's surprise home defeat to Monaco on the opening day has put a spanner in the works in this group, putting both the English side and Leverkusen under pressure coming into their home-and-away series.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors hope to reach AFC Champions League final

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Seoul (AFP) Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors hope to ride out a bribery storm and reach the AFC Champions League final when they take a 4-1 lead into their semi-final second leg against FC Seoul.

The K-League leaders were slapped with a nine-point deduction and a 100 million won ($88,000) fine last month after one of their scouts was convicted of bribing referees.

Australia wait on fate of Thailand World Cup tie

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Sydney (AFP) Australia could play their World Cup qualifier against Thailand on neutral territory if efforts fail to keep the match in Bangkok following the death of King Bhumibol, Football Federation Australia said on Monday.

The venue for the November 15 match has been in limbo since the world's longest-reigning monarch died Thursday aged 88, after years of ill health, plunging Thailand into mourning.

Evergrande thrash Ever Bright in 6-0 Chinese Super League rout

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Shanghai (AFP) Guangzhou Evergrande are within touching distance of the Chinese Super League trophy after demolishing Shijiazhuang Ever Bright 6-0 away from home.

The reigning champions were 5-0 up by half-time Saturday thanks to goals from China's Gao Lin as well as from Brazilian trio Alan, ex-Spurs midfielder Paulinho and Ricardo Goulart who scored two.

Juventus untouchable as Napoli, Inter Milan crumble

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Milan (AFP) Paulo Dybala hit a brace as champions Juventus underscored their Serie A title credentials with a battling 2-1 win over Udinese as rivals Napoli and Inter Milan crumbled.

Juventus had been given a huge incentive before their late kick-off against the league's other 'bianconeri' side on Saturday evening after Roma stunned Napoli 3-1 at the San Paolo.

Marseille see out old era with win

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Paris (AFP) Marseille prepared for a new US-owned era by squeezing past Metz 1-0 on Sunday thanks to Bafetimbi Gomis's first half goal.

In the last match of the Louis-Dreyfus era, under-performing Marseille gave their long-suffering fans some rare cheer in a miserable season that regardless sees them sit 12th in Ligue 1.

South Africa foootball icon Tovey suffers heart attack

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Johannesburg (AFP) South African Neil Tovey, the only white footballer to captain an Africa Cup of Nations-winning team, suffered a heart attack in Durban on Sunday, his brother said.

"Neil suffered a heart attack while training this afternoon and was rushed to hospital," former professional footballer Mark Tovey told reporters.

Prandelli’s Valencia off to winning start

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Madrid (AFP) Cesare Prandelli enjoyed the perfect start to life in charge of Valencia as Mario Suarez's double lifted Los Che out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Sporting Gijon.

The former Italy boss is Valencia's fourth coach in under a year, but got an instant response as Suarez finished off a fine team move to open the scoring after just seven minutes.

Bayern’s latest draw ‘unacceptable’ – Rummenigge

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge describes as 'unacceptable' their 2-2 draw at ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt which leaves the German league leaders winless in their last three games.

Bayern host PSV Eindhoven in a key European match on Wednesday needing a win following last month's 1-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid and their 1-1 draw with Cologne a fortnight ago in the Bundesliga.

Austin double takes Saints into Premier League top eight

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Charlie Austin scored twice as Southampton beat Burnley 3-1 at St Mary's on Sunday to climb into the top eight of the Premier League.

The south coast club were in dominant form, with Nathan Redmond also on target before Sam Vokes pulled a goal back for the visitors late on.

Late Ndoro goal saves sinking Orlando Pirates against Polokwane

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Johannesburg (AFP) Zimbabwean Tendai Ndoro scored a dramatic equaliser for Orlando Pirates as they snatched a 1-1 draw at Polokwane City Sunday to preserve their unbeaten South African Premiership record.

The 31-year-old leading league scorer this season with six goals nodded a cross past compatriot George Chigova four minutes into stoppage time in the northern city.

Austin double takes Saints into top eight of Premier League

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Charlie Austin scored twice as Southampton beat Burnley 3-1 at St Mary's on Sunday to climb into the top eight of the Premier League.

The south coast club were in dominant form, with Nathan Redmond also on target before Sam Vokes pulled a goal back for the visitors late on.

Unbeaten Leipzig down Wolves to go third in Bundesliga

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Berlin (AFP) Controversial new-boys RB Leipzig are up to third in the Bundesliga after claiming another big-name scalp in Germany's top flight with a 1-0 win at VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Sweden international midfielder Emil Forsberg's winner gave unbeaten RB their fourth win in seven games as Wolfsburg joined Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg and Augsburg, in losing to Leipzig.

Zenit beat Ural to join Spartak on top in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Zenit St Petersburg beat Ural Yekaterinburg 2-0 on Sunday to go level on points with Russian Premier League leaders Spartak Moscow.

Spartak kept top spot having won more games, with Zenit joining them on 22 points after maintaining their unbeaten start to the season.

Reigning champions CSKA, who beat Ufa 1-0 on Friday, are one point behind in third.

Bremen’s teenage refugee delights at ‘dream’ first goal

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Bremen (Germany) (AFP) Werder Bremen striker Ousman Manneh admitted it was "a dream come true" to score his first Bundesliga goal, just two years after the teenage refugee fled Gambia.

The 19-year-old netted Bremen's winner in Saturday's 2-1 shock victory over Bayer Leverkusen to cap his fairytale rise having only been plucked from Bremen's reserves at the start of the season.

Unbeaten Leipzig down Wolves to go third

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Berlin (AFP) Controversial new-boys RB Leipzig are up to third in the Bundesliga after claiming another big-name scalp in Germany's top flight with a 1-0 win at VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Sweden international midfielder Emil Forsberg's winner gave unbeaten RB their fourth win in seven games as Wolfsburg joined Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg and Augsburg, in losing to Leipzig.

De Boer slams forgetful Inter as Icardi feud rumbles on

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Milan (AFP) Frank De Boer slammed his forgetful Inter Milan players after a shock 2-1 San Siro defeat to Cagliari left the Nerazzurri 10 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday.

Inter started the season with new Chinese owners and fresh ambitions after capturing a number of top players in the close season.

Athletic Bilbao edge five-goal Basque derby

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Madrid (AFP) Athletic Bilbao moved to within three points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid with a 3-2 win over local rivals Real Sociedad in a pulsating Basque derby on Sunday.

Sociedad took the lead against the run of play when David Zurutuza volleyed home Xabi Prieto's corner on 17 minutes.

Embattled Icardi misses penalty as Cagliari stun Inter

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Milan (AFP) Disputed captain Mauro Icardi missed a first-half penalty as Inter Milan's unlikely title hopes were dented by a shock 2-1 San Siro defeat to Cagliari on Sunday.

Elsewhere, high-flying Lazio needed a 97th minute penalty from Italy forward Ciro Immobile to rescue a share of the spoils at home to Bologna, who saw Filip Helander hit his maiden goal for the club in the 10th minute.

Mourinho promises Rooney ‘respect he deserves’

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London (AFP) Wayne Rooney will get the "respect he deserves" when the 30-year-old forward returns to Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho has insisted.

The dropped England captain returned to Old Trafford earlier in the week following an international break when he was booed by home fans during a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta at Wembley.

Eibar moving on from sex-tape scandal

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Madrid (AFP) Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar lamented the Basque side's fine start to the season has been forgotten amidst a sex-tape scandal involving striker Sergi Enrich and defender Antonio Luna.

The players issued a joint statement to apologise just days after Eibar secured a historic point in a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid last week when the video of them engaging in sexual acts with a woman was leaked online.

Greece’s Holebas sees Watford to Middlesbrough win

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Holebas's powerful strike saw Watford to a 1-0 win away to Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Sunday.

Victory saw Watford climb to ninth in the table but the result condemned northeast side Middlesbrough to a fourth defeat in five league matches.

Greece’s Holebas sees Watford to Boro win

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Holebas's powerful strike saw Watford to a 1-0 win away to Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Sunday.

Victory saw Watford climb to ninth in the table but the result condemned northeast side Middlesbrough to a fourth defeat in five league matches.

Intensity key to Real revival – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid must match the intensity of a stunning first 45 minutes urged coach Zinedine Zidane after snapping a four-game draw streak with a 6-1 rout at Real Betis on Saturday.

Zidane's men surrendered top spot on goal difference to city rivals Atletico Madrid with three consecutive La Liga draws, along with a point at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, prior to the international break.

Pochettino positive after Baggies draw

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, insisted after a 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion that his delight at the character they had shown outweighed any disappointment with the result.

Victory would have extended Spurs run of victories in all competitions to six, but Pochettino was satisfied to keep his team's record as the only unbeaten Premier League side this season.

Wenger ready to accept Xhaka red card

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he will not be appealing the red card given to Granit Xhaka during the Gunners' narrow 3-2 win over Swansea City.

The midfielder was controversially sent off 20 minutes from the end of Sunday's match at the Emirates Stadium for a late tackle on Modou Barrow.

Rodgers hails Celtic side’s character

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his side's hunger for success as they extended their unbeaten start to the defence of their Scottish Premiership title with a 2-0 win over Motherwell on Saturday.

Celtic maintained their four point lead over Aberdeen at the top of the table thanks to a first-half strike from Scott Sinclair and a late penalty from Moussa Dembele.

I’m in charge, says Conte after Costa sub dispute

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte revealed he ignored Diego Costa's request to be substituted because the volatile Chelsea striker's passion is too important to lose.

Costa scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season as Chelsea cruised to a 3-0 win over spluttering champions Leicester at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Klopp still wary of Rooney threat

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Liverpool (AFP) Alex Ferguson once described Liverpool versus Manchester United as the biggest fixture in club football and Monday's clash at Anfield has been made all the more intriguing by the debate over the form of Wayne Rooney.

United's captain, dropped to the bench by manager Jose Mourinho for his club's last three fixtures, suffered the same fate with England during last week's goalless draw away to Slovenia in a World Cup qualifier.

City pay the penalty for lack of practice

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola admitted his Manchester City players had not practised penalties before they missed two during a 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero both had spot-kicks saved by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg before substitute Nolito's header earned a point for City.

Leicester’s Mahrez favourite for African player award

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Johannesburg (AFP) Hot favourite Riyad Mahrez of Algeria was among 30 nominees named Saturday for the 2016 African Player of the Year football award.

The winger, who is equally efficient at scoring and creating goals, was a key figure for sensational 2015-2016 English Premier League (EPL) title winners Leicester City.

Dybala double sends Juve clear of Roma, Napoli

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Milan (AFP) Paulo Dybala hit a brace as champions Juventus underscored their Serie A title credentials only eight games into the campaign with a battling 2-1 win over Udinese on Saturday.

Juventus had been given a huge incentive before their late kick-off with the league's other 'bianconeri' side after Roma stunned Napoli 3-1 at the San Paolo.

Dybala double sends Juve clear of title rivals

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Milan (AFP) Paulo Dybala hit a brace as champions Juventus underscored their Serie A title credentials only eight games into the campaign with a battling 2-1 win over Udinese on Saturday.

Juventus had been given a huge incentive before their late kick-off with the league's other 'bianconeri' side after Roma stunned Napoli 3-1 at the San Paolo.

Messi scores on return, Atletico, Real stay on top

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Madrid (AFP) Lionel Messi took just three minutes to score on his return from injury as Barcelona thrashed Deportivo la Coruna 4-0 on Saturday, but Barca remain two points adrift of free-scoring Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Yannick Carrasco's hat-trick and Nicolas Gaitan's first two goals for Atletico inspired a storming fightback by Diego Simeone's men to flatten Granada 7-1 after falling behind early on.

Bruce starts Villa reign with draw; Norwich top Championship

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London (AFP) Steve Bruce began life as Aston Villa boss with a fortunate 1-1 draw at home to Wolves in their Championship clash on Saturday.

Bruce, who is Villa's fourth full-time manager since Paul Lambert was shown the door in January 2015, at least saw his side climb out of the relegation places but Wolves will be kicking themselves for not taking a hatful of chances.

Spartak beat nine-man Rostov to regain Russian lead

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Moscow (AFP) Spartak Moscow skipper Denis Glushakov scored the only goal as Russia's most decorated club beat nine-man Rostov 1-0 on Saturday to go top of the Premier League.

Spartak moved one point clear of reigning champions CSKA, who beat Ufa 1-0 on Friday, while Zenit St Petersburg, who visit Ural Yekaterinburg on Sunday, sit third, two points further back.

West Ham on the up with Crystal Palace coup

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London (AFP) West Ham United climbed out of the relegation zone with just their second Premier League win of the season after Manuel Lanzini's goal secured a 1-0 victory away to London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Hammers hung on to all three points despite playing the final 15 minutes a man down after Aaron Cresswell was sent off to record their first win since August.

Lahm, Ancelotti slam Bayern’s ‘bad attitude’

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Berlin (AFP) Both captain Philipp Lahm and coach Carlo Ancelotti both slammed Bayern Munich's 'bad attitude' as Saturday's 2-2 draw at ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt left them winless in three games.

Bayern host PSV Eindhoven in a key Champions League game on Wednesday needing a win, following their 1-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid nearly three weeks ago, to stay on course for the knock-out stage.

In-form Cavani gifts PSG win at Nancy

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Paris (AFP) Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani scored again as Paris Saint-Germain overcame a determined display from Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy to win 2-1 on Saturday and move into second place.

Lucas' free-kick gave the reigning champions a 13th-minute lead at the Stade Marcel-Picot with Cavani contributing his league-leading ninth goal shortly after on the artificial surface.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United predicted lineups and preview

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In the early weeks of the Premier League season, plenty has pointed towards a potential title challenge for Liverpool. But you sense the most emphatic indication of their credentials to be the top dog in English football would be a win over bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Monday.

A lot has aligned for the Merseyside club early on.

Messi return perfect prep for Pep reunion – Luis Enrique

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona boss Luis Enrique hailed Lionel Messi's goalscoring return in a 4-0 rout of Deportivo la Coruna as the perfect preparation for Barca's Champions League showdown with former coach Pep Guardiola's Manchester City on Wednesday.

Messi netted with just his third touch after nearly a month out with a groin injury having come on just before the hour mark with Barca already 3-0 in front.

In-form Dembele seals win for Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) Moussa Dembele's hot-streak continued as his late penalty sealed a 2-0 win for Celtic over Motherwell in the Premiership on Saturday the perfect boost for their Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Dembele who scored a double for the France Under-21 side in the international break and another goal by the equally prolific Scott Sinclair ensured Celtic maintained their four point lead at the top of the table.

Schalke’s Swiss star Embolo breaks ankle

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke 04 are expected to be without teenage striker Breel Embolo for the rest of 2016 after the Swiss international broke his left ankle on Saturday.

The 19-year-old was stretchered off after 25 minutes of Schalke's 1-1 draw at Augsburg, which lifted them out of the Bundesliga's relegation places into 15th.

In-form Cavani steers PSG to win at Nancy

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Paris (AFP) Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani scored again as Paris Saint-Germain overcame a determined display from Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy to win 2-1 on Saturday and move into second place.

Lucas' free-kick gave the reigning champions a 13th-minute lead at the Stade Marcel-Picot with Cavani contributing his league-leading ninth goal shortly after on the artificial surface.

Dzeko joy as Roma oust Napoli to become the ‘anti-Juve’

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Milan (AFP) Edin Dzeko was celebrating hitting his first league brace on the road as Roma stunned Napoli 3-1 in the 'Derby del Sole' to relaunch their Serie A title hopes Saturday.

"It's not easy to win at Napoli and to score three goals here, we did very well," Dzeko told Sky Sport.

"Scoring two goals is great, it's my first brace away from home.

Alli spares Spurs blushes in Baggies draw

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) Dele Alli rescued a point for Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after it looked as if the Premier League high-flyers might suffer an agonising defeat.

The visitors dominated possession only for Nacer Chadli, a player Spurs sold to West Brom in pre-season, to put the hosts in front eight minutes from time against the run of play.

Messi scores on return in Barca rout, Sevilla top

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Madrid (AFP) Lionel Messi took just three minutes to score on his return from injury as Barcelona enjoyed the perfect preparation for the visit of Manchester City in midweek with a 4-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna on Saturday.

The Spanish champions were already 3-0 up thanks to Luis Suarez and a double from Rafinha when Messi was introduced after nearly a month out with a groin problem just before the hour mark and wasted no time in scoring his ninth goal of the season.

Nolito eases City’s penalty pain

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Nolito's header saved a point for a dominant Manchester City side as the Premier League leaders had two penalties saved in a 1-1 draw at home to Everton on Saturday.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku scored on the break 19 minutes into the second half after Ronald Koeman's visitors had absorbed sustained pressure

Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who had saved a first-half penalty from Kevin De Bruyne, then blocked another from Sergio Aguero.

Walcott double helps 10-man Arsenal see off Swansea

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London (AFP) Theo Walcott scored two first-half goals and Mesut Ozil a fine third as Arsenal beat Swansea City 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to go level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City.

But the Gunners had to survive a nervy finale after Granit Xhaka was dismissed 20 minutes from the end in what was former United States manager Bob Bradley's first game in charge of Swansea.

Bournemouth inflict 6-1 misery on Phelan’s Hull

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) A double by Junior Stanislas inspired Bournemouth to a 6-1 Premier League thrashing of Hull on Saturday and make it a miserable start for Mike Phelan in his first match as permanent manager.

Stanislas' brace plus goals by Charlie Daniels, Callum Wilson, Steve Cook and Dan Gosling Ryan Mason getting his first for Hull extended the Cherries unbeaten run to six matches.

Allen brace earns Stoke first win of season

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Joe Allen scored twice as Stoke City collected their first win of the Premier League season on Saturday by defeating bottom side Sunderland 2-0 to climb out of the relegation zone.

Allen headed in the opening goal after just eight minutes before the Wales midfielder doubled his tally with Stoke's second in first-half stoppage time to end a seven-match winless run.

Man City and Spurs stumble as Arsenal advance

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London (AFP) Manchester City twice missed penalties in a 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday as 10-man Arsenal went level with them on points at the top of the Premier League table after seeing off Swansea 3-2.

Arsenal leapfrogged Tottenham Hotspur into second place after their arch north London rivals also dropped points in a 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.

Ten-man Frankfurt extend Bayern’s winless run

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Berlin (AFP) Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are now winless in their last three games after being held to a 2-2 draw at ten-man Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in the German league.

After last month's 1-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid and their 1-1 league draw with Cologne before the international break, this was neither the performance nor the result coach Carlo Ancelotti wanted.

Dzeko hits brace as Roma dent Napoli scudetto hopes

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Milan (AFP) Edin Dzeko struck a brace and Mohamed Salah added a third as clinical Roma dented Napoli's Serie A title hopes with a superbly-orchestrated 3-1 win at a shocked San Paolo on Saturday.

Napoli were looking to get back to winning ways after a shock defeat at Atalanta two weeks ago left them four points behind leaders and champions Juventus.

Injured Ribery to miss PSV clash

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery has been sidelined for up to three weeks with a fresh injury and will miss Wednesday's Champions League game at home to PSV Eindhoven.

The 33-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, picked up a leg injury on Friday in training and Bayern's assistant coach Hermann Gerland confirmed he is unlikely to play again this month.

Spurs’s Son first Asian to win Premier League award

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur and South Korea winger Son Heung-min has become the first Asian footballer to be named the English Premier League's player of the month after he won September's edition of the award.

Son scored four goals in the top flight for Spurs last month and played a key role in taking the north London club to within a point of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Ranieri demands improvement from sloppy Leicester

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London (AFP) Claudio Ranieri admitted Leicester had only themselves to blame for the latest setback in their lacklustre defence of the Premier League title.

Ranieri's side slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday and are languishing 10 points behind leaders Manchester City just five months after becoming English football's most unexpected champions.

Stylish Chelsea give Conte vote of confidence

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London (AFP) Chelsea gave Antonio Conte a well-timed vote of confidence as Diego Costa and Eden Hazard inspired a 3-0 win against spluttering champions Leicester on Saturday.

Conte had to endure speculation he was in danger of being sacked just three months into his Chelsea reign after bookmakers suspended betting on his dismissal on Thursday.

Australia seek clarity on Thai World Cup qualifier

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Sydney (AFP) Football Federation Australia was Saturday seeking clarity on whether its Asian World Cup qualifier against Thailand in Bangkok next month will still go ahead following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The FFA said it was chasing official notification from governing football bodies whether the match scheduled for the Rajamangala Stadium in the Thai capital could still be played on November 15.

Where to find Chelsea vs. Leicester on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Chelsea vs. Leicester, you've come to the right place.

Premier League champions Leicester City travel to Stamford Bridge in the early kickoff on Saturday with the pressure on Antonio Conte to deliver. Chelsea are currently in 7th place, while Leicester are in 12th.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Swansea on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Swansea, you've come to the right place.

In one of the most anticipated games of the weekend, Swansea City manager Bob Bradley makes his managerial debut in the Premier League against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in London. The match is being shown live on CNBC.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Deportivo on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Deportivo, you've come to the right place.

Barcelona are ready to bounce back in La Liga after their recent defeat versus Celta Vigo. Even though Barcelona are currently in fourth place, they still have an opportunity to temporarily move into first place with a win against Deportivo.

Where to find Real Betis vs. Real Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Betis vs. Real Madrid, you've come to the right place.

The pressure continues to be on the back of Zinedine Zidane after Real Madrid have failed to win their last few matches against Eibar, Las Palmas and Villarreal. With Real Betis sitting in the bottom half of the table, you would expect Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates to win this one very convincingly.

Atletico Madrid adding crucial variety in their chase for glory

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Being top of La Liga is no longer a novelty for Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

Indeed, seven games into the Spanish football season, the Vicente Calderon club's hike to the summit of the table has barely made headlines.

The bald statistics totted up from their games no longer make for spectacular reading either.

Nice down Lyon to pull clear of Monaco

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Paris (AFP) High-flyers Nice stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Lyon on Friday after second-place Monaco crashed to defeat at Toulouse.

Nice captain Paul Baysse volleyed in a fifth-minute strike at the Allianz Riviera while Jean-Michael Seri swept in a second on 76 minutes to send Lucien Favre's men four points clear at the summit.

Aubameyang rescues Dortmund in Hertha draw

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Berlin (AFP) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty and hit the bar before scoring to earn Borussia Dortmund a 1-1 home draw against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Friday as both sides ended with 10 men.

Valentin Stocker gave the visitors a 51st-minute lead with a calm finish before Aubameyang made up for his saved penalty when he converted at the back post with 10 minutes to go.

Centurion Miller gives Rangers edge over Inverness

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Glasgow (AFP) Kenny Miller scored a stunning 100th goal for Rangers to give them a 1-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Premiership on Friday.

The 36-year-old striker, in his third spell at the club, got on the end of Lee Wallace's cross to send a sensational strike fizzing past Owain Fon Williams into the net for the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute.

Wales’s Evans cleared of rape at retrial

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London (AFP) Wales international footballer Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday following a retrial.

Evans, who plays for English third-tier club Chesterfield, was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room near Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

Premier League US TV schedule revealed for December and January

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The Premier League today announced which matches will be moved in December and January for the purposes of being shown live on British television. As a result, we can now extrapolate the US TV schedule of games for those months —at least for many of the games.

NBC Sports typically doesn't reveal the official TV schedule until 5-6 days before each Premier League weekend, but we've been able to discern the schedule for now through February.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 8

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Liverpool host Manchester United in a clash of English football's two most successful clubs on Monday, October 17, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC UNIVERSO, highlighting NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this week. Liverpool (18 top-flight titles) have won four straight Premier League matches, most recently defeating Swansea City 2-1 on October 1.

Most-watched soccer games on US TV for week of October 3-11, 2016

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Out of the international games being played during the past 10 days, which ones do you think were the most watched? According to our research as well as SportsTVRatings.com, the four most viewed matches were the four friendlies involving either the United States or Mexico. Mexico's matches averaged 1.

French prosecutors press sex-tape case against Cisse

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Paris (AFP) French prosecutors on Friday called for former Liverpool and Marseille striker Djibril Cisse to be charged with blackmail over a sex tape that cost Karim Benzema his place in France's Euro 2016 squad, legal sources told AFP.

Cisse and Benzema were both arrested last year over their alleged attempt to blackmail Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena with a tape of Valbuena and his girlfriend.

Liverpool boss Klopp hits out at January fixture schedule

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit out at the congested Christmas and New Year fixture schedule which he believes will hamper the Merseyside club.

The Reds match against Manchester City has been moved back to a 5:30pm (1730 GMT) kick-off on New Year's Eve, leaving Liverpool with less than 48 hours before their next match away to Sunderland at 3:00pm (1500 GMT) on January 2.

FIFA puts off call on disputed Israeli clubs

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Zurich (AFP) Palestinian hopes that FIFA would get tough on Israel were muted Friday when world football's governing body put off a decision on Israeli clubs based in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestine Football Association this week called on FIFA to either expel the six clubs in settlements, which are illegal under international law, or relocate them within Israel's recognised borders.

FIFA boss makes gains on World Cup expansion

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino built momentum towards expanding the World Cup Friday as some powerbrokers appeared to back the move, while sceptics will have to be convinced before a final call in January.

Growing the cash cow tournament from 32 to as many as 48 teams topped the agenda at this week's FIFA Council meeting.

Guardiola backs Aguero to recover from penalty pain

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola insisted Friday that Sergio Aguero has the mental strength to bounce back from a nightmare week.

The Manchester City striker has returned to England seeking a lift after suffering a significant setback to his World Cup hopes with Argentina.

Aguero suffered a minor calf problem during a 2-2 draw in Peru on Thursday of last week, but recovered in time to face Paraguay on Tuesday only to miss a penalty as Edgardo Bauza's side lost 1-0 in Cordoba.

Wales’s Ched Evans cleared of rape at retrial

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London (AFP) Wales international footballer Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday following a retrial.

Evans, who plays for English third-tier club Chesterfield, was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room near Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

Mourinho wants end to Manchester United-Liverpool taunts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho has pleaded with Liverpool and Manchester United supporters not to become embroiled in a vile war of words making a mockery of the respective tragedies involving both clubs.

The two north-west rivals meet at Liverpool's Anfield ground on Monday, the first meeting between the teams since Mourinho took over as United manager in pre-season.

Watch the Fantasy Premier League Show for the latest tips

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With the end of the international break comes the time to refresh your Fantasy Premier League squad, and what better way to get tips is there than by watching the latest episode of the Fantasy Premier League Show, hosted by the one-and-only James Richardson.

In addition to AC Jimbo, the show features Fantasy Football Scout's Mark Sutherns and journalist Jules Breach.

Mourinho wants end to United-Liverpool taunts

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho has pleaded with Liverpool and Manchester United supporters not to become embroiled in a vile war of words making a mockery of the respective tragedies involving both clubs.

The two north-west rivals meet at Liverpool's Anfield ground on Monday, the first meeting between the teams since Mourinho took over as United manager in pre-season.

Confident Chelsea boss Antonio Conte laughs off sack talk

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Cobham (United Kingdom) (AFP) Antonio Conte insists he has no reason to fear for his future at Chelsea after bookmakers suspended betting on the Italian being sacked.

Conte has only been in charge at Stamford Bridge since July, but he had to answer questions about his job security on Friday following heavy betting on his imminent dismissal 24 hours earlier.

Gerard Pique eyes Barcelona FC presidency

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes he can take the unusual route into club politics rather than management when his playing career comes to an end by becoming Barca president.

The Catalan giants are run by a president voted for by the club's near 150,000 members with mandates lasting up to six years.

Welsh footballer Ched Evans cleared of rape at retrial

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London (AFP) Wales international footballer Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday following a retrial.

Evans, who plays for third-tier Chesterfield, was accused of raping a woman in a hotel room near Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

The 27-year-old was previously found guilty of rape, but the jury was told that the Court of Appeal had quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial.

Messi returns as Barcelona, Real Madrid battle ‘FIFA virus’

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Madrid (AFP) Argentina's pain is Barcelona's gain as Lionel Messi returns for the Spanish champions when Deportivo la Coruna visit the Camp Nou on Saturday after being sidelined for three weeks with a groin injury.

Messi missed Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay as La Albiceleste's struggles without the five-time World Player of the Year continued, putting at risk their place at the 2018 World Cup.

Wenger aims to avenge Swansea title shocker

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger is out to banish the memory of a surprise defeat by Swansea which shattered Arsenal's hopes of winning the Premier League title last season.

A devastating 2-1 loss at the Emirates Stadium in March effectively ended Arsenal's hopes of catching eventual champions Leicester.

George Best film opens up football’s flawed genius

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London (AFP) George Best's prodigious rise to football superstardom and plunge into alcoholic self-destruction is laid bare in a new documentary film that focuses on the characterbehind the tragic tale.

"George Best: All By Himself", which has its world premiere at the London Film Festival on Friday, looks at what lay behind one of football's greatest-ever players a man who drove himself to the top of his game and the bottom of a bottle.

Mourinho weighs up Rooney recall for Liverpool clash

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho faces one of the biggest decisions of his Manchester United reign as he weighs up whether to recall Wayne Rooney for the Premier League clash with bitter rivals Liverpool.

Rooney has endured a miserable few weeks after being dropped by United and England.

The 30-year-old's troubles have led to a debate about whether he should be used in midfield instead of his long-time role as a striker, while some critics claim he is no longer worthy of his place with club or country.

Gabbiadini to step up for Milik, Napoli, says Zoff

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Milan (AFP) A crushing knee injury to Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik paves the way for substitute Manolo Gabbiadini to lead Napoli's Serie A title challenge, according to Italian goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff.

Napoli sit second at four points behind leaders Juventus and face their first big test since Milik was sidelined for up to six months with a cruciate ligament injury, when they host Roma on Saturday.

Dembele’s star continues to shine at Celtic

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Glasgow (AFP) From Paris to Glasgow via London, Celtic striker Moussa Dembele has packed a lot into his short footballing career.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a dream start to life at Celtic Park where he has already netted 12 goals since his summer move from Fulham and has been keeping last season's top scorer Leigh Griffiths out of the starting line-up.

Messi returns as Barcelona, Madrid battle ‘FIFA virus’

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Madrid (AFP) Argentina's pain is Barcelona's gain as Lionel Messi returns for the Spanish champions when Deportivo la Coruna visit the Camp Nou on Saturday after being sidelined for three weeks with a groin injury.

Messi missed Argentina's World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay as La Albiceleste's struggles without the five-time World Player of the Year continued, putting at risk their place at the 2018 World Cup.

Mueller dismisses talk of Bayern wobble

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller says there is no need to panic as the Bundesliga leaders look to get back to winning ways when they play Eintracht Frankfurt away on Saturday.

Bayern dropped their first league points of the season after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Cologne a fortnight ago, four days after their Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid.

Galaxy’s Gerrard seeks injury treatment at Liverpool

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Los Angeles (AFP) Steven Gerrard is back home in Liverpool, where he's rehabbing the troublesome hamstring that disrupted his Major League Soccer season, Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena confirmed.

Gerrard will miss Sunday's match against the Houston Dynamo, and his status for the remainder of the campaign is unclear, he said Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo vows ‘spectacular season’

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Madrid (AFP) Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo insists he will have a "spectacular" season despite a slow start to the campaign caused by knee ligament damage.

Ronaldo was sidelined for two months by a sprained left knee ligament picked up during Portugal's Euro 2016 final triumph over France, forcing him to miss Madrid's first three games of the season.

Pique eyes Barcelona presidency

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes he can take the unusual route into club politics rather than management when his playing career comes to an end by becoming Barca president.

The Catalan giants are run by a president voted for by the club's near 150,000 members with mandates lasting up to six years.

Where to find Dortmund vs. Hertha Berlin on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Borussia Dortmund vs. Hertha Berlin, you've come to the right place.

Now that the international break is over, club soccer returns and what better way to start it again than with a match featuring high-flying Borussia Dortmund who welcome the return of American Christian Pulisic from international duty with the US Men's National Team.

Arsenal must keep Hector Bellerin amid transfer swarm

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According to recent reports, the reigning Premier League right back of the year, Hector Bellerin, is "waiting for the call" from Barcelona. claims that the Gunners star will be a transfer target by the Catalan club, with whom Bellerin spent eight years of his youth with, come January due to the potential departure of Aleix Vidal.

Friends reunited as Guardiola and Koeman face off

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Former Barcelona team-mates Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman are reunited at Eastlands on Saturday as Manchester City and Everton square up for the first time in the Premier League this season.

And Everton manager Koeman is relishing the chance to pit his wits against his City counterpart, who was just setting off on his glorious playing career with the Catalan club when Koeman signed for Barca in 1989.

Swansea can evolve from forgotten club to Americans’ second favorite team

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True story. Two weeks ago when I was walking toward the bleachers to watch my daughter play her soccer game, I saw one of the parents wearing a Tottenham Hotspur jersey. I asked him if he had watched the Spurs-Manchester City game earlier that morning, but he only had a chance to watch the first half before driving to the girls U-13 game.

Bloodied Neymar to continue with flashy style

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Barcelona (AFP) Brazilian striker Neymar has vowed to continue to produce his trademark dribbles and dummies even if that makes him a target for rough tackles, he said on Thursday.

Neymar was left heavily bleeding from a cut eyebrow when he was elbowed in the face during a 5-0 World Cup qualifying win over Bolivia last week.

FIFA to decide on World Cup reform in January

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA executives will make a final decision on World Cup reform in January after weighing up three proposals on Thursday, as president Gianni Infantino pushes plans to grow the lucrative tournament.

Infantino said it was possible that FIFA will leave the competition as a 32-team event, but he has made no secret of his desire to see the World Cup involve more countries, and more revenue, from 2026 and beyond.

FIFA probe Aurier throat slit gesture

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Paris (AFP) Controversial Paris Saint-Germain full-back Serge Aurier is under investigation by FIFA after making a throat slitting gesture duing a World Cup qualifier last weekend.

Ivory Coast international Aurier celebrated a goal against Mali by turning to the crowd and dragging his finger across his throat.

Hull City appoint Phelan as permanent boss

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London (AFP) Mike Phelan has become the new permanent head coach of Hull City, the English Premier League club announced Thursday.

"The Tigers are pleased to confirm the appointment of Mike Phelan as the club's new head coach on a permanent basis," said a Hull statement.

Phelan had been in caretaker charge of the club ever since fellow former Manchester United player Steve Bruce stepped down as the Tigers' boss in pre-season.

Chelsea sign club record kit deal with Nike

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London (AFP) Chelsea have signed a club record kit deal with Nike that is reported to be worth £60 million ($73 million, 66 million euros) per season to the Premier League club.

The Blues have been in talks with American sportswear giants Nike since May, when it was confirmed Chelsea were ending their partnership with adidas six years early at the end of June 2017.

Liverpool, Man Utd fans warned to behave

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London (AFP) Liverpool and Manchester United fans have been warned to cut out their offensive behaviour during Monday's potentially explosive Premier League clash at Anfield.

Meetings between the bitter rivals have been marred by violence between supporters and vile chants from the stands since the 1970s.

Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos defends under-fire coach Zinedine Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid's World Cup-winning German midfielder Toni Kroos on Thursday defended coach Zinedine Zidane as "very important" for the La Liga giants despite a series of draws.

"I don't read the newspapers or opinion pieces but it's obvious that Zidane is very important for Real Madrid," the 26-year-old told a press conference after the extension of his contract until 2022.

Favre keeps Nice grounded despite flying start

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Paris (AFP) Nice coach Lucien Favre urged the surprise Ligue 1 leaders to look no further than Friday's clash against traditional French giants Lyon as they bid to extend their unbeaten start.

Nice lead Cote d'Azur rivals Monaco by a point at the top after eight matches, and Favre is counting on his players to resume where they left off prior to the international break.

48-team World Cup faces test at FIFA meet

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Lausanne (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino's plan to expand the World Cup faces a key test from Thursday at a meeting of world football's top executives.

Infantina wants to expand the tournament to 48 teams, a contentious move that critics say would dilute the quality of World Cup competition and add new fixtures to football's already packed calendar.

Football fans fear rise of Germany’s ‘plastic clubs’

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Berlin (AFP) The promotion of RB Leipzig to the Bundesliga has caused resentment amongst hardcore fans of traditional teams, sparking fears that "plastic clubs" could ruin the traditional culture in Germany's top flight.

RB Leipzig are backed by Austrian energy-drinks giants Red Bull, who took over a football licence and founded the club in 2009.

China’s football crisis shows money can’t buy success

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Beijing (AFP) China's latest football defeat has left the country's World Cup hopes in tatters, led the national team's coach to fall on his sword and even prompted state media to ask if the programme should start again from scratch.

China coach Gao Hongbo announced his resignation at a press conference in Tashkent following a 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan on Tuesday night, the latest in a string of humiliations, including a World Cup qualifying defeat at home to war-ravaged Syria a week ago.

Villa appoint Bruce as Di Matteo successor

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London (AFP) Aston Villa appointed Steve Bruce as the Championship side's new manager on Wednesday, the struggling second-tier English club confirmed.

Bruce, 55, replaces Roberto Di Matteo at the helm of a team who were relegated from the Premier League last season and who are now languishing in 19th place in the Championship.

US looking to continue hex on Mexico in qualifiers

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Washington (AFP) For the past 15 years, the United States has owned arch-rival Mexico in World Cup home qualifying matches, each time coming away with a 2-0 victory at Columbus, Ohio.

Now with an emotional last-round qualifying opener between the border foes only a month away, US supporters are already practicing their battle cry: "Dos a Cero.

Palestinians urge FIFA to act on settlement clubs

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) The Palestinian Football Association on Wednesday reiterated a call for FIFA to act against Israeli clubs based in settlements in the occupied West Bank, a day ahead of a key meeting.

Six Israeli teams are based in settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, and FIFA is expected to discuss the issue during its executive committee on Thursday and Friday.

Aurier praised for saving player’s life

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Paris (AFP) Controversial Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier has been praised after his quick-thinking helped save another player's life.

Mali's French coach Alain Giresse thanked Aurier, who has made the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons, for helping a stricken Moussa Doumbia during an African World Cup qualifier in the Ivory Coast last Saturday.

Pride on display at Algerian football derby

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Algiers (AFP) MC Alger and USM Alger may be fierce city rivals from the Algerian capital but they nonetheless share a history intwined with their country's revolt against French colonialism.

Thursday marks the 100th derby between the bitterly divided neighbours from the Algiers port communities of Casbah and Bab El Oued.

Patterson lifts New Zealand to 1-1 draw with USA

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Washington (AFP) New Zealand teen striker Monty Patterson scored in the 73rd minuteto lift the All Whites into a 1-1 draw with the United Statesin an international football friendly.

German-born US striker Julian Green on Tuesday scored his second goal in as many matches in the 27th minute to open the scoring, but the Americans could not hold off the Kiwis in a final tuneup for both teams for World Cup qualifying matches next month.

Argentina stunned, Vidal rescues Chile in South America qualifiers

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Montevideo (AFP) Argentina crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Paraguay in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifiers as two goals from Arturo Vidal helped Chile reignite their campaign with a victory over rivals Peru.

A superb counter-attacking goal from striker Derlis Gonzalez on 18 minutes was enough to give Paraguay all three points in their match with Argentina as the hosts once again struggled to plug the gap left by injured talisman Lionel Messi.

Brazil go top, Argentina stunned in World Cup qualifiers

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Montevideo (AFP) Brazil powered to the top of the table in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying race with a victory over Venezuela as Argentina suffered a shock defeat at home to Paraguay.

Goals from Manchester City teenager Gabriel Jesus and Chelsea's Willian secured a 2-0 win over Venezuela in a match interrupted by a lengthy floodlight failure that plunged Merida's Estadio Metropolitano into darkness.

China football coach Gao Hongbo quits after Uzbek defeat

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Beijing (AFP) China's national football coach Gao Hongbo announced his resignation after a 2-0 defeat to Uzbekistan left the perennially underachieving side's hopes of reaching Russia 2018 hanging by a thread.

The loss in Tashkent on Tuesday left Team Dragon bottom of their third stage qualifying group for the next World Cup, with only one point from four games.

Green shows dual citizens’ spark in US football draw with N. Zealand

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Washington (AFP) German-born Julian Green scored his second goal in as many matches for the United States in a 1-1 draw with New Zealand, showing critics of dual-citizen players on Jurgen Klinsmann's squad how much America means to him.

The 21-year-old Bayern Munich forward, in only his third US career start and eighth appearance, on Tuesday sparked the Americans, who settled for a draw thanks to teen striker Monty Patterson's equalizer in the 73rd minute for the All Whites.

Lionel Messi back in Barcelona training after injury

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona on Wednesday following three weeks out with a groin injury.

France international defender Samuel Umtiti also returned to training according to a statement on the Catalan giants' website.

"BothLeo MessiandSamuel Umtiti, despite neither yet being declared fit for selection as they battle to recover from injury, were able to join the rest of the team for the workout," said the statement accompanied by a photo showing Argentine Messi at training.

Manchester United can be champions under Mourinho, says Cantona

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Lisbon (AFP) Former Manchester United great Eric Cantona has backed Jose Mourinho's squad to get back to challenging for top honours, three years since they last won the Premier League.

"It's just the beginning. Manchester can still be champions. Jose Mourinho is a successful manager at a successful club which this year has succesful players," the former French international said in an interview published Wednesday in Portuguese daily newspaper Publico.

Mina rescues Colombia in Uruguay draw

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Barranquilla (Colombia) (AFP) Towering center-back Yerry Mina scored an 85th-minute equaliser as Colombia came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw against South American qualifying leaders Uruguay on Tuesday.

Mina, who plays for Brazilian side Palmeiras, soared high in the 84th minute to send a looping header beyond Fernando Muslera at a rain-lashed Estadio Metropolitano in Barranquilla.

Valencia double rescues Ecuador

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La Paz (AFP) Everton striker Enner Valencia put the seal on a tumultuous week with two goals as Ecuador came from behind to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw with Bolivia in South America's World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

Valencia lashed home an 89th-minute leveler to give Ecuador a share of the points after earlier giving his team hope with a 48th-minute goal.

Germany impossible to contain – O’Neill

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Hanover (Germany) (AFP) Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says a rampant Germany are almost impossible to stop after the world champions' dominant 2-0 win in a World Cup qualifier.

The Germans made it three wins from three qualifiers for the 2018 finals in Russia with first-half goals by Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira sealing the routine win in Hanover on Tuesday.

Heroic Hart ‘in pieces’ after saving England

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Ljubljana (AFP) Joe Hart admitted that he felt battered and bruised after his heroic display in England's underwhelming 0-0 draw in Slovenia on Tuesday.

Hart enjoyed his best day of a difficult season as the England goalkeeper made a series of fine saves in the World Cup qualifier, including a brilliant effort to keep out Jasmin Kurtic's second-half header.

Benfica launch wedding dress collection

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Lisbon (AFP) Heavily indebted Portuguese giants Benfica unveiled Tuesday a collection of wedding dresses which it will sell alongside other club items such as nappies and dog beds.

The club put on display 24 wedding dresses, including several in red the team's colour at a fashion show at their Stadium of Light that included an appearance by the club's mascot, an eagle.

England toil without Rooney in Slovenia stalemate

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Ljubljana (AFP) England failed to shine without Wayne Rooney as they escaped with a 0-0 draw against Slovenia after a dire display in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.

With Rooney watching from the bench after being dropped by interim manager Gareth Southgate, England's turgid efforts could easily have led to an embarrassing defeat.

Colombia investigates death threats against Real Madrid’s James

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Bogota (AFP) Prosecutors have opened an investigation into alleged online death threats against Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez, of Real Madrid, an official said Tuesday.

"The Attorney General's office is launching a probe to determine responsibilities in a crime involving threats" that carries up to eight years in prison, Luis Alberto Perez of its investigating unit told reporters, referring to the threats against James.

Poor England held in Slovenia as Germany coast

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Paris (AFP) England laboured to a 0-0 draw away to Slovenia on Tuesday in their 2018 World Cup qualifier with Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench, while title-holders Germany remained firmly on course for the finals.

Manchester City reject Joe Hart produced three terrific saves to deny Roman Bezjak, Josip Ilicic and Jasmin Kurtic, who also hit the post, as Gareth Southgate's inexperienced side clung on desperately for a point in Ljubljana to remain top of Group F.

Germany down N.Ireland to extend perfect record

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Hanover (Germany) (AFP) Ruthless Germany made it three wins from three World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 victory over spirited Northern Ireland on Tuesday to stay top of their group.

First-half goals by Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira sealed the win in Hanover and the world champions have yet to concede a goal in their qualifiers for Russia 2018.

China, South Korea suffer World Cup blows

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Doha (AFP) China's bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup suffered a crushing blow on Tuesday while Iran sprang a shock to establish themselves as the frontrunners in Group A at the expense of South Korea.

The Chinese were outclassed 2-0 by Uzbekistan in Tashkent with the Central Asians scoring twice in the second half through Marat Bikmaev and Otabek Shukurov to leave China bottom of the pile on just one point and almost certainly facing more World Cup heartbreak.

Uzbeks outclass China to take charge of group

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Doha (AFP) China's bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup suffered a crushing blow after they were outclassed 2-0 by Uzbekistan in a crucial Group A Asian qualifier on Tuesday.

The Chinese, who have invested heavily in football and also plan to bid for the 2030 World Cup, came apart in Tashkent with Uzbekistan scoring twice in the second half through Marat Bikaev and Otabek Shukurov.

Qatar edge Syria to keep World Cup dream alive

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Doha (AFP) Qatar salvaged some hope of reaching the 2018 World Cup finals with a narrow and desperately needed victory against Syria in a crucial Group A Asian qualifier on Tuesday.

The 1-0 victory, secured by a first half Hasan Al-Haydos penalty, brought to an end a run of three consecutive group defeats.

Iran football fans banned from celebrating on holy day

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Tehran (AFP) Iranian football fans faced a tricky balancing act Tuesday as they watched their team win against South Korea during a religious holiday in which they were banned from expressing joy.

Many took part in mourning processions as they gathered at the 75,000-capacity Azadi ("freedom") stadium in Tehran to mark the eve of Ashura, one of the holiest days in the Iranian calendar.

Algeria sack coach Rajevac – report

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Algiers (AFP) Algeria sacked national team coach Milovan Rajevac on Tuesday, just over three months after he took charge, according to Algerian public television.

"The Algerian Football Federation have decided to amicably terminate the contract of Milovan Rajevac," the station reported, with the Serb having only replaced Christian Gourcuff in June.

Palestinian youths march on settlement in message to FIFA

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Maale Adumim (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) Palestinian children marched on an Israeli settlement to play football there on Tuesday, in a protest ahead of a key FIFA meeting to discuss teams from Israeli settlements.

Boys aged between 11 and 15 from nearby Bedouin communities tried to enter the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Real stadium revamp back on track

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Madrid (AFP) Spanish giants Real Madrid on Tuesday relaunched their 400 million euro ($443 million) bid to modernise their Bernabeu stadium paid for by an Abu Dhabi investor.

The project, less ambitious than the previous version blocked by the courts, includes the creation of a 6,000m2 public garden alongside the stadium, will be financed by Abu Dhabi-based sponsor IPIC, who will be given naming rights.

NBC Sports ready for huge weekend of Premier League games after international break

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For most soccer fans, time seems to slow down during international breaks as the lengthy qualification process of international soccer drags on at a tedious pace. Thankfully, club soccer returns this weekend to rescue us from the boredom. And for fans of English soccer, NBC Sports has a bumper weekend of matches in store.

Real Madrid to appeal against EU ruling on ‘illegal aid’

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid said Tuesday it would appeal against an EU decision requiring the club to repay 18.4 million euros ($20 million) in alleged illegal aid from a land deal.

"We are going to file an appeal, and I am absolutely convinced we will win," Real president Florentino Perez told a press conference.

Plenty of reasons for Liverpool supporters to be optimistic this season

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On the evidence of Liverpool's first two games of the season, it is certainly fair to assume that inconsistency would continue to plague Jurgen Klopp's men. The Reds produced a stunning display at the Emirates Stadium on the opening weekend in which they put four past the Gunners in the space of twenty minutes, only to fall flat at the hands of newly promoted Burnley, against whom they created few chances.

Where to find Venezuela vs. Brazil on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Venezuela vs. Brazil, you've come to the right place.

With their country in turmoil, Venezuela faces a difficult game at home against Brazil. Venezuela sits bottom of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group while Brazil is in second place and on fire after their 5-0 win against Bolivia last week.

Where to find Slovenia vs. England on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Slovenia vs. England, you've come to the right place.

Gareth Southgate's England squad got through their game on Saturday against Malta with no problems, but in Southgate's second game in charge of The Three Lions, the national team will face a tougher test against a Slovenia side.

Where to find Colombia vs. Uruguay on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Colombia vs. Uruguay, you've come to the right place.

Two of the better teams in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying face each other on Tuesday with Uruguay atop the group and Colombia in fourth place. Uruguay will be full of confidence after defeating Venezuela, while Colombia beat Paraguay.

Where to find Chile vs. Peru on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Chile vs. Peru, you've come to the right place.

After a string of poor performances, Chile could miss out on qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But after defeats to Ecuador and Paraguay, as well as a draw with Bolivia, Chile has the opportunity to make things right with a home match against Peru.

Where to find Argentina vs. Paraguay on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Argentina vs. Paraguay, you've come to the right place.

Argentina and Paraguay are neck-to-neck in trying to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup from the CONMEBOL region. Argentina, sitting in fifth, are followed by Paraguay in sixth position. Paraguay lost last week against Colombia while Argentina will be disappointed with their 2-2 draw versus Peru.

FC Barcelona plants flag on US soil with opening of New York City office

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FC Barcelona recently opened its first office in the United States to help promote the team and its business interests on the North American continent.

The U.S. corporate office, located on the 20th floor of 250 Park Avenue in New York City,represents a key step toward implementing its 2016-2021 strategic growth plan.

Australia come back to secure draw in Japan World Cup qualifier

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Melbourne (AFP) Australia came from behind through a Mile Jedinak penalty to grab a 1-1 draw against Japan to remain unbeaten in Asian World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The Blue Samurai rocked the Socceroos with a fifth-minute goal from midfielder Genki Haraguchi but skipper Jedinak retrieved a point in a tense game with his spot kick.

How to stream soccer for free with go90 [VIDEO]

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It's the busy part of the soccer season with World Cup qualifiers as well as key games and derbies in major leagues upcoming that could help or hurt a team's chances.

For soccer fans in the United States, we can stream games anywhere through go90. Simply download the app via App Store or Google Play.

Pogba fires France as Belgium, Portugal run riot

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Amsterdam (AFP) A searing first-half strike from Paul Pogba handed France a 1-0 win at rivals the Netherlands as Belgium and Portugal clocked up 6-0 victories and Christian Benteke grabbed a slice of World Cup qualifying history.

Criticised by coach Didier Deschamps for his performance in Friday's 4-1 win over Bulgaria in Paris, the world's most expensive footballer emphatically replied with a towering display for Les Bleus in Amsterdam in the most eye-catching fixture on Monday.

Pogba fires France as Belgium, Portugal run riot in World Cup qualifying

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Amsterdam (AFP) A searing first-half strike from Paul Pogba handed France a 1-0 win in the Netherlands as Belgium and Portugal clocked up 6-0 wins and Christian Benteke grabbed a slice of World Cup qualifying history.

Criticised by coach Didier Deschamps for his performance in Friday's 4-1 win over Bulgaria in Paris, the world's most expensive footballer emphatically replied with a towering display for Les Bleus in Amsterdam in the most eye-catching fixture on Monday.

US Men’s National Team vs. New Zealand preview

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Despite a horrendous playing surface, the US limped away from Havana on Friday with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Chris Wondolowski and Julian Green. In a region notorious for poor playing surfaces, Friday's game against Cuba took the cake with dead patches and bumps everywhere (there was also no running water in the stadium, so three cheers for Communism).

Benteke scores record seven-second goal

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Faro (Portugal) (AFP) Christian Benteke set a new World Cup record for the fastest goal in the competition, including the finals, scoring after seven seconds in Belgium's qualifier against Gibraltar on Monday.

The 25-year-old Crystal Palace striker picked up the ball in the first action of the Group H qualifier in Faro and racing towards goal with the Gibraltar defence in disarray left goalie Deren Ibrahim with no chance.

Bob Bradley’s first game as Premier League manager to be shown live on US TV

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Swansea City manager Bob Bradley will make his debut this Saturday in a game against Arsenal, which will be shown live on US television.

Bradley, who became the first American to be hired as a manager of a Premier League club, will take his Swansea team away to north London to play against Arsenal.

England drop Rooney for Slovenia qualifier

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Ljubljana (Slovenia) (AFP) England captain and all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has been dropped to the bench for the World Cup qualifier away to Slovenia on Tuesday, interim manager Gareth Southgate said.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson will lead the side out in Ljubljana as England look to maintain their perfect start to qualifying.

Roberto, Cillessen add to Barcelona injury list

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Barcelona (AFP) Full-back Sergi Roberto and goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen have returned to Barcelona from international duty injured, the Spanish champions said on Monday.

Dutch back-up keeper Cillessen is expected to be out for three weeks after suffering an ankle ligament injury while Roberto also faces a spell on the sidelines with a groin injury picked up during training with Spain.

Evans admits at retrial to ‘childish’ behaviour

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London (AFP) Ched Evans admitted he had behaved in a "childish" fashion as he gave evidence in a retrial for rape in Cardiff on Monday.

Wales international Evans, who plays for third-tier Chesterfield, is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court accused of raping a woman in a hotel room near Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011.

England bench beckons for Rooney in Slovenia

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London (AFP) England captain Wayne Rooney is in line to be dropped to the bench for the World Cup qualifier away to Slovenia on Tuesday, several British media outlets reported Monday.

The BBC said that, in the absence of any last-minute injuries, interim manager Gareth Southgate would leave Rooney, now among the substitutes as England look to preserve their perfect record.

Dutch union plans to sue FIFA over Qatar worker rights

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The Hague (AFP) The Netherlands' largest trade union and one of its members are threatening to sue FIFA for failing to halt alleged abuses of workers' rights in 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, the union said on Monday.

The FNV Bondgenoten "together with (a) Bangladeshi worker wants to take FIFA to court to demand an end to modern slavery", the union said in a statement.

Germany target ‘Perfect 12’ on road to World Cup in Russia

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Berlin (AFP) Germany are not only targeting another win in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland but want a perfect 12 points on the road to Russia with wins in both of their remaining games this year.

Victories away to Norway and at home to the Czech Republic by the same 3-0 scorelines leave Germany top of Group C and the world champions are in no mood to drop points against Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland in Hanover.

Where to find Netherlands vs. France on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Netherlands vs. France, you've come to the right place.

Netherlands and France meet each other in a top of the table clash between the teams from Group A of World Cup qualifying. With Dutch captain Wesley Sneijder set to miss the game, France has been handed an advantage.

Must-win for Chile in ‘Clasico del Pacifico’

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Montevideo (AFP) Chile face a must-win showdown with fierce regional rivals Peru on Tuesday as the South American champions aim to make up lost ground after a stumbling start to their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

After a 3-0 thrashing by Ecuador in Quito on Thursday, the Chileans limped back to Santiago a full five points adrift of the qualifying places in South America's marathon battle for World Cup berths.

Thomas Mueller – zero to hero for Germany

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Berlin (AFP) It was not long ago that Thomas Mueller's lack of goals was a hot topic in football-mad Germany.

The 27-year-old failed to score in six matches at Euro 2016 leaving some wondering if the Bayern Munich star had lost his goal touch.

But after 599 minutes without scoring for the national team, the self-confident Mueller dismissed any doubts by scoring four goals in his last two internationals to put Germany firmly on the path to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

Northern Ireland expect tough times in Germany

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Berlin (AFP) Kyle Lafferty says Northern Ireland must 'work their socks off' in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Germany as they chase a first victory over the world champions for 33 years.

Lafferty scored two goals off the bench in Saturday's 4-0 win over minnows San Marino in Belfast, the same night Germany beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in Hamburg to keep their perfect record at the top of Group C.

Cahill factor haunts Japan in Australia showdown

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Melbourne (AFP) The Tim Cahill factor threatens Japan's hopes of re-energising their World Cup campaign in a crucial qualifier against Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Talismanic Cahill is in line for a recall for the Socceroos against the Blue Samurai in the Asia qualifying Group B encounter after playing only a few minutes as substitute in Australia's 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia in Jeddah last week.

Gerard Pique says will quit Spain team in political spat

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Madrid (AFP) Spanish defender Gerard Pique has announced that he will end his international career after the 2018 World Cup amid renewed controversy over his political views.

The Barcelona star, who supports independence for Catalonia, came under fire again after Sunday's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Albania.

Joe Hart ready for tough World Cup qualifier in Slovenia

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London (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart expects Slovenia to push the side hard when the teams meet in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Ljubljana on Tuesday.

Victories over Slovakia and Malta have propelled England to the top of Group F.

But Hart is taking nothing for granted given Slovenia were the only side to score against him during England's largely untroubled run in qualifying for Euro 2016.

Controversial Pique to end Spain career after 2018 World Cup

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Madrid (AFP) Controversial Spanish defender Gerard Pique insisted Sunday that he will end his international career after the 2018 World Cup.

The Barcelona star has come under regular fire for his performances on the field and his support off the pitch for his pro-Catalan stance.

"The World Cup in Russia is going to be my last tournament with the national team and I hope to take a lot of pleasure from these last two years," he said after Sunday's 2-0 qualifying win against Albania.

Southgate ‘brave enough to make big calls’

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London (AFP) England interim manager Gareth Southgate has declared he has the necessary courage to make contentious decisions, amid clamour for him to drop under-performing captain Wayne Rooney.

Rooney was booed by some fans during England's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta on Saturday and former national team captain Alan Shearer has led calls for him to be dropped.

Iwobi, Iheanacho score as Nigeria triumph in World Cup

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Johannesburg (AFP) Nigeria opened their 2018 World Cup group-phase qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory in Zambia on Sunday thanks to goals from English Premier League duo Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho

The 20-year-old strikers scored in the opening half before a capacity 40,000 crowd at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in central city Ndola that included President Edgar Lungu.

Ramos hands Real Madrid injury worry

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Madrid (AFP) Key defender and captain Sergio Ramos suffered a left knee strain in Spain's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in Albania on Sunday which could sideline him from the Real Madrid team for three games.

Ramos was hurt late in the game after falling awkwardly following an aerial duel before he was eventually replaced by Inigo Martinez.

Immobile rescues Italy as Spain cruise

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Paris (AFP) Lazio striker Ciro Immobile grabbed an injury-time winner as four-time champions Italy snatched a 3-2 comeback win at Macedonia on Sunday, narrowly avoiding a World Cup qualifying embarrassment.

Italy, who had needed a late penalty to salvage a point against Group G rivals Spain on Thursday, were staring at a shock defeat in Skopje against a Macedonia side ranked a lowly 146 in the world.

Sunderland keeper Pickford replaces Heaton in England squad

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London (AFP) Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has been called into the England squad after Tom Heaton withdrew because of injury, the Football Association announced Sunday.

Pickford, who has made five Premier League appearances for northeast side Sunderland so far this season, had been due to join up with the England Under-21 squad

But instead the 22-year-old, who played for the Under-21s when England interim manager Gareth Southgate was in charge of the junior side, will join up with the senior squad ahead of their World Cup qualifier away to Slovenia on Tuesday.

Wales drop World Cup points in Georgia draw

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Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) Wales let slip two 2018 World Cup qualifying points in a 1-1 draw at home to Georgia in Cardiff on Sunday.

Real Madrid star Gareth Bale headed Wales into a 10th-minute lead and the Euro 2016 semi-finalists should have scored more goals before half-time.

Georgia hit back after the break, equalising through Tornike Okriashvili's 57th-minute header and they nearly won the game late on when Valeri Kazaishvili struck the crossbar.

FOX broadcast network to air Bremen vs. Leverkusen game featuring Chicharito

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FOX will air the game between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen live on over-the-air network television on Saturday, October 15.

The match, which will feature Javier Hernandez (aka Chicharito), will pit sixth-place Leverkusen against 15th-place Werder Bremen. With the game being televised live on big FOX, the executives from FOX Sports and the Bundesliga will be hoping for impressive viewing numbers to boost the German league.

Wales held in World Cup stalemate

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Paris (AFP) Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Georgia in Cardiff on Sunday as their push to reach a first World Cup since 1958 hit a roadblock.

The draw followed a 2-2 stalemate against Austria four days ago as Chris Coleman's side were left to regret not making the most of a host of chances in the first half.

Libya fire Clemente after World Cup thrashing

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Johannesburg (AFP) Libya sacked Spanish coach Javier Clemente Sunday after a 4-0 World Cup thrashing in the Democratic Republic of Congo the previous evening.

The match was the first in Group A, which includes Tunisia and Guinea, and immediately put the Mediterranean Knights on the back foot.

Costa Rica’s late show sinks Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Joel Campbell's injury-time spotkick lifted Costa Rica to a 4-3 win over Russia on Sunday to end the 2018 World Cup hosts' unbeaten run under new coach Stanislav Cherchesov.

Goals by midfielders Randall Azofeifa, Bryan Ruiz and Sporting Lisbon's Campbell and an own goal by Russia's skipper Vasily Berezutsky set Costa Rica on their way to success in the friendly at the newly-built Krasnodar Arena.

Messi deserves to retire as world champion – Bauza

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Madrid (AFP) Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza believes Lionel Messi deserves to retire from international football in style as a World Cup winner.

Messi flirted with the notion of quitting playing for his country after three successive final heartbreaks, to Germany in the 2014 World Cup and to Chile in the Copa America in 2015 and earlier this year.

Iwobi, Iheanacho score as Nigeria win World Cup opener

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Johannesburg (AFP) Nigeria opened their 2018 World Cup group-phase qualifying campaign with a 2-1 victory in Zambia on Sunday thanks to goals from English Premier League duo Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho

The 20-year-old strikers scored in the opening half before a capacity 40,000 crowd at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in central city Ndola that included President Edgar Lungu.

Aurier throat slit gesture during World Cup qualifier causes stir

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Paris (AFP) Controversial Paris Saint-Germain full-back Serge Aurier has caused a social media stir after making a throat slitting gesture duing a World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

Ivory Coast international Aurier celebrated a goal against Mali by turning to the crowd and dragging his finger across his throat.

Henderson backs Rooney to cope with England fans’ boos

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London (AFP) England midfielder Jordan Henderson insists under-fire Wayne Rooney won't let the boo boys throw him off his game.

Rooney was jeered by frustrated England fans after the Manchester United star capped a lacklustre performance with a wayward shot in the closing stages of his country's 2-0 win over Malta at Wembley on Saturday.

Mexico edge New Zealand 2-1 in football friendly

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Washington (AFP) Giovani dos Santos returned to international action with a goal for Mexico in their 2-1 friendly victory over New Zealand in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday.

Los Angeles Galaxy striker dos Santos, in uniform for Mexico for the first time since July of last year, converted a penalty to open the scoring in the 29th minute.

Buoyant Germany set sights on N. Ireland

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Berlin (AFP) Germany coach Joachim Loew has called 'same again' for Tuesday's next World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland following his side's demolition of the Czech Republic.

Thomas Mueller scored twice and Toni Kroos also netted as Germany dominated the Czech Republic with a 3-0 win on Saturday night.

Where to find Albania vs. Spain on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Albania vs. Spain, you've come to the right place.

After Spain's 1-1 draw with Italy on Thursday, it's Albania who are the surprising leaders of Group G in World Cup qualifying among the teams in UEFA. A win for Spain will move them to the top of the group, but as we saw in Euro 2016, Albania will be no pushover.

Napoli’s striker Milik out for ‘months’

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Warsaw (AFP) Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik could be out for several months after suffering a knee injury in Poland's World Cup qualifier win against Denmark.

The Polish football federation said Sunday he will probably need surgery on the injured left knee which suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage during Poland's 3-2 win against Denmark in Warsaw on Saturday.

Where to find Macedonia vs. Italy on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Macedonia vs. Italy, you've come to the right place.

After Italy's 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday, the Azzurri sit in third place in Group G in World Cup qualifying from the European region. In order for Italy to win, they'll have to do without the services of striker Graziano Pelle after he was removed from the squad because he was being disrespectful.

Buoyant Germany set sights on N. Ireland World Cup qualifier

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Berlin (AFP) Germany coach Joachim Loew wants the 'same again' for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland following his side's demolition of the Czech Republic.

Thomas Mueller scored twice and Toni Kroos also netted as Germany dominated the Czechs 3-0 on Saturday night.

It was an impressive display from the hosts in Hamburg and the scoreline could have been much higher as Julian Draxler, Mario Goetze and Mueller all missed clear chances.

Rooney boo brigade baffles Southgate

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London (AFP) England's interim manager Gareth Southgate expressed bewilderment after captain Wayne Rooney was booed by his own supporters during his side's 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Malta.

Rooney, his country's record goal-scorer and most-capped outfield player, played in a midfield holding role at Wembley on Saturday and produced a low-key display as England ground out a laboured win.

Ivorian goal blitz, drama as South Africa draw

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Johannesburg (AFP) A three-goal blitz enabled Ivory Coast to whip Mali 3-1 Saturday in World Cup qualifying while Burkina Faso snatched a dramatic 1-1 draw with South Africa after wasting two penalties.

Democratic Republic of Congo thrashed Libya 4-0, Senegal overcame Cape Verde 2-0 and Gabon and Morocco drew 0-0 in other matchday 1 African clashes.

World Cup games see England win Southgate opener, Germany cruise

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Paris (AFP) England ground out a low-key 2-0 victory over Malta in Saturday's 2018 World Cup qualifier in interim manager Gareth Southgate's first game in charge, while defending champions Germany strolled past the Czech Republic 3-0.

Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli scored first-half goals in front of a crowd of 82,000 at Wembley to steer England to a second straight win in Group F, leaving them two points clear at the top.

Mueller brace inspires impressive Germany win

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Hamburg (AFP) Thomas Mueller netted twice as Germany eased to an impressive 3-0 home win over the Czech Republic to keep them top of their World Cup qualifying group on Saturday.

It leaves Germany with a perfect six points ahead of Tuesday's next qualifier, home to Northern Ireland, who beat San Marino 4-0.

Five things learnt from England v Malta

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London (AFP) Gareth Southgate's reign as England interim manager started with a 2-0 victory over Malta at Wembley. Here AFP Sport looks at five things we learnt from Saturday's World Cup qualifier:

Southgate faces challenges

When Daniel Sturridge put England ahead midway through the first half, Gareth Southgate punched the air as if celebrating a last-minute winner in a cup final.

Southgate makes winning start with England

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London (AFP) First-half goals by Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli earned England a laboured 2-0 win over minnows Malta on Saturday in interim manager Gareth Southgate's first game in charge.

Southgate has stepped into the breach following the departure of Sam Allardyce, who was brought down by a newspaper sting, and saw his side secure a second successive World Cup qualifying victory.

Derby County part with suspended boss Pearson

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London (AFP) Derby manager Nigel Pearson left the struggling Championship club by "mutual consent" on Saturday, less than two weeks after he was suspended following reports of a row with the owner.

Former Charlton and Huddersfield boss Chris Powell, who played for Derby in the 1990s, is the early favourite to replace Pearson after stepping in as caretaker following the suspension.

Dutch captain Sneijder out of France clash

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The Hague (AFP) Dutch captain Wesley Sneijder will miss the mouthwatering visit of France in Monday's World Cup qualifier after the midfielder aggravated a hamstring injury in the victory over Belarus.

Feyenoord's Tonny Vilhena 21, will replace the 32-year-old Sneijder, the Dutch football federation (KNVB) said on Saturday, a day after the Netherlands saw off Belarus 4-1 and they are top of a competitive Group A with four points after two games.

Portugal’s Nani ruled out of Faroe Islands clash

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Lisbon (AFP) Valencia forward Nani has been ruled out of Portugal's World Cup qualifier away against the Faroe Islands on Monday due to injury, the Portuguese Football Federation said.

Nani, 29, who played a starring role in Portugal's Euro 2016 triumph, already missed Portugal's 6-0 defeat of Andorra at home on Friday because of a muscle strain in his right leg.

Red Bull boss rules out a New York move for Schweinsteiger

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Berlin (AFP) A potential transfer for Manchester United-reject Bastian Schweinsteiger to Red Bull New York has been ruled out by the club's head of global soccer, according to a report on Saturday.

"Bastian Schweinsteiger is a great player with a great career. But there have been no conversations, he isn't and will not be a topic for us," Red Bull's Oliver Mintzlaff told German daily Bild.

West Ham count cost as relocation sparks turf war

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London (AFP) While historic Upton Park is being reduced to rubble by demolition workers, just across east London the price of progress seems painfully high to the West Ham fans engaged in a struggle for their club's soul.

Just five months ago West Ham waved farewell to Upton Park, their home for 112 years, and headed into a bright and lucrative future in their new and bigger London Stadium.

Where to find England vs. Malta on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch England vs. Malta, you've come to the right place.

In Gareth Southgate's first game in charge as caretaker manager of England after Sam Allardyce disgraced the position, England have the opportunity to wipe away all of the controversy from the past two weeks.

Where to find Germany vs. Czech Republic on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Germany vs. Czech Republic, you've come to the right place.

Germany is currently atop Group C in the World Cup qualifying group after one win from one game, while Czech Republic tied Northern Ireland in their first match. A win for Germany will keep them in pole position in qualification from their group.

USA beat Cuba 2-0 in historic football friendly in Havana

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Havana (AFP) The United States warmed up for their looming World Cup qualifying clash with Mexico with a 2-0 friendly victory over Cuba, only the third time in history the two nations have met on Cuban soil.

Chris Wondolowski in the 62nd minute and Julian Green in the 71st scored for the United Stateson Friday.

China football chief consoles players after shock Syria upset

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Beijing (AFP) The chief of China's football association has told the country's players not to lose their confidence, after the team's embarrassing loss to war-torn Syria jeopardised hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The national side's 0-1 defeat Thursday before a home crowd of 40,000 in the northern Chinese city of Xi'an had enraged fans, spurring many to call for the sacking of China's football association president Cai Zhenhua.

Southgate caught up in tax avoidance dispute – report

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London (AFP) England interim manager Gareth Southgate is among hundreds of rich clients caught up in a multi-million-pound tax avoidance dispute with British authorities, a newspaper reported Friday, on the eve of his first match in charge.

Southgate invested in two partnerships set up by a film investment fund, Ingenious, which is accused by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of being part of an elaborate scheme to avoid paying tax, the Daily Mirror said.

Four-goal Ronaldo targets perfect run-in to Russia

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Aveiro (Portugal) (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo marked his international return with four goals in a 6-0 mauling of hapless Andorra on Friday and then demanded eight more wins to guarantee Portugal a place in the 2018 World Cup.

The Real Madrid superstar took his Portugal career tally to 65 goals in 134 games but his team, the European champions, are only third in Group B, a point behind minnows Faroe Islands and three back from leaders Switzerland.

Ruthless Ronaldo hits four on Portugal return

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Paris (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the opening four minutes on the way to a four-goal haul as European champions Portugal smashed Andorra 6-0 in World Cup qualifying on Friday, while France recovered from a goal down to thrash Bulgaria 4-1.

The Real Madrid superstar was making his first appearance for Portugal since he was stretchered off injured and in tears from the final of Euro 2016 and he wasted no time in making up for his three-month absence from international football.

Ruthless Ronaldo hits four, France and Dutch run riot

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Paris (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the opening four minutes on the way to a four-goal haul as European champions Portugal smashed Andorra 6-0 in World Cup qualifying on Friday, while France recovered from a goal down to thrash Bulgaria.

The Real Madrid superstar was making his first appearance for Portugal since he was stretchered off injured and in tears from the final of Euro 2016 and he wasted no time in making up for his three-month absence from international football.

Gameiro hits double in handsome France win

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Paris (AFP) Kevin Gameiro marked his first international start in almost five years with a brace as France came from behind to beat Bulgaria 4-1 and kick-start their World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday.

On their first outing at the Stade de France since losing the Euro 2016 final to Portugal in July, France fell behind to an early Mihail Aleksandrov penalty but Atletico Madrid striker Gameiro not part of the European Championship squad got the equaliser.

FIFA scandal: Former Costa Rican official pleads guilty

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New York (AFP) The former president of the Costa Rican soccer federation, Eduardo Li, pleaded guilty Friday in New York to extortion and fraud in a corruption case that has also touched dozens of former leaders of soccer's world governing body.

This was a reversal for the 57-year-old, who had pleaded not guilty in December 2015 shortly after Swiss authorities handed him over to their American counterparts.

Rooney, Walcott set for England starts

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St Albans (United Kingdom) (AFP) Captain Wayne Rooney and winger Theo Walcott will both start England's World Cup qualifier at home to Malta on Saturday, interim manager Gareth Southgate confirmed on Friday.

Rooney, 30, has been a substitute in Manchester United's last three games and recently admitted that his poor form meant he deserved to be dropped.

Infrastructure to blame for lack of CAN expansion

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Paris (AFP) African football chief Issa Hayatou blamed "a lack of infrastructure" for the 16-team Africa Cup of Nations tournament failing to mirror the expansion of the European Championship, he told RFI on Friday.

"If there was no handicap originating from infrastructure we would have gone to 24 teams," said Hayatou, the long-serving president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Hot-shot Icardi extends Inter Milan stay

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Rome (AFP) Striker and captain Mauro Icardi has extended his contract with Inter Milan until June 2021, the Serie A giants said on Friday, disappointing some of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Argentine, who has hit 58 goals in 114 games in all competitions since joining Inter in 2013, has reportedly pocketed a salary increase to 5.

New Swansea boss Bradley comes out fighting

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London (AFP) Swansea manager Bob Bradley hit back at his critics on Friday as the American insisted his nationality had nothing to do with his arrival at the struggling Premier League club.

Bradley was hired by Swansea's new American owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan to replace the sacked Francesco Guidolin ahead of popular candidates like Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.

Diarra demands six mn euros compensation

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Brussels (AFP) French international Lassana Diarra, ordered to pay a 10-million-euro ($11m) fine to former club Lokomotiv Moscow, has in turn demanded millions in compensation from FIFA and the Belgian football federation, his lawyer said on Friday.

The 31-year-old appeared before a Belgian court along with his lawyers on Thursday and demanded six million euros from FIFA and the Belgian federation over the midfielder's failed transfer to Charleroi.

Diarra demands 6 mn euros from FIFA – report

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Brussels (AFP) French international Lassana Diarra, ordered to pay a 10-million-euro ($11m) fine to former club Lokomotiv Moscow, has in turn demanded millions in compensation from FIFA and the Belgian football federation, Belgian media reported on Friday.

The 31-year-old appeared before a Belgian court along with his lawyers on Thursday and demanded six million euros ($6.

Cavani at the double as Uruguay down Venezuela

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Montevideo (AFP) Edinson Cavani maintained his superb start to the season with two goals as Uruguay extended their lead at the top of South America's 2018 World Cup qualification tournament with a 3-0 win over Venezuela.

Cavani, who has been in sensational form for club and country, struck twice in the second half after Nicolas Lodeiro had headed Uruguay into the lead midway through the first half.

Neymar dazzles as Brazil thrash Bolivia

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Natal (Brazil) (AFP) Neymar scored one goal and set up two more as Brazil turned on the style with a 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying competition.

Barcelona superstar Neymar's 49th international goal in his 73rd appearance took him one clear of Zico on Brazil's all-time topscorer's list.

Brazil, Uruguay romp as Chile crash again

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Montevideo (AFP) Brazil and Uruguay scored easy victories to maintain their lead at the top of South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament as Chile lost ground after crashing to defeat in Ecuador.

A virtuoso performance from Barcelona superstar Neymar lay at the heart of Brazil's 5-0 mauling of Bolivia in Natal, with the striker launching the rout with his 49th international goal.

Germany want power show, Czechs eye ‘little miracle’

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Berlin (AFP) Germany want a show of power in Saturday's 2018 World Cup qualifier against a Czech Republic side hoping for 'a little miracle' against the world champions.

"We're playing against a team that can only be defeated in exceptional circumstances. We hope for a little miracle," Czech coach Karel Jarolim told German magazine Kicker.

Southgate hopes to restore England’s tarnished reputation

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London (AFP) England will hope to erase the lingering stain of Sam Allardyce's embarrassing exit when interim manager Gareth Southgate takes charge for the first time in Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Malta.

Just 12 days after Allardyce was forced to quit in disgrace following his indiscreet and offensive comments to undercover newspaper reporters, Southgate and his players desperately need to deliver a positive performance to restore some lustre to the English game's tarnished reputation.

Italy axe ‘disrespectful’ striker Graziano Pelle

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has axed Graziano Pelle for this weekend's World Cup qualifier against Macedonia, accusing the striker of "disrespect".

The Chinese-based former Southampton forward has paid the price for failing to shake his coach's hand when he was substituted in Thursday's 1-1 draw against Spain.

Chile crash again in Ecuador drubbing

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Quito (AFP) South American champions Chile suffered another jolt to their 2018 World Cup qualification hopes on Wednesday, crashing to a 3-0 defeat against Ecuador to remain outside the qualification places.

Chile, the region's dominant side over the past two years with back-to-back Copa America wins, were torn apart as Ecuador produced a rampant display at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa.

‘Work to do’ for outclassed Italy, says Ventura

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Italy coach Giam Piero Ventura admitted there's work to do after an outclassed Azzurri stumbled to a 1-1 World Cup 2018 qualifying draw with Spain on Thursday.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi levelled from the spot eight minutes from time as Italy grabbed a lucky point after Sevilla forward Vitolo had given La Roja a 55th minute lead after pouncing on a rare blunder from goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Cuba vs. US Men’s National Team preview

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The semi-final round of World Cup Qualifying is over and the final round of World Cup Qualifying is only a month away. The United States Men's National Team has a pair of friendlies to prepare for a tough pair of World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica in November. The first of these two friendlies is in a place where the US has only played once: on the road at Cuba.

Italy fight back to hold Spain, Wales denied in Austria

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Paris (AFP) Daniele De Rossi's late penalty rescued a point for Italy against Spain in a heavyweight World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as Wales played out an entertaining draw in Austria.

Spain dominated possession against the Italians in Turin and looked set to come away with a precious victory when Vitolo pounced on an uncharacteristic error by Gianluigi Buffon to put the visitors in front.

De Rossi saves outclassed Italy against Spain

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi levelled from the spot eight minutes from time as Italy grabbed a lucky point in a 1-1 World Cup 2018 qualifying draw with dominant Spain on Thursday.

Italy's 2-0 defeat of La Roja in the last 16 of the European Championships this year ended Spanish hopes of challenging for a record third consecutive title.

Saudis deny Australia with late equaliser

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Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) Saudi Arabia's Nassir Al Shamrani scored late to deny Australia a crucial victory in Thursday's World Cup 2018 qualifier between the top two sides in Asian zone Group A.

The entertaining 2-2 draw ensured both sides maintained their unbeaten start after three matches in the final round of qualifying for Russia.

Balotelli has red card overturned

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Paris (AFP) Mario Balotelli will be able to play in Nice's next game after a red card he picked up last weekend was overturned on Thursday.

The Italian striker was sent off in stoppage time in Nice's 2-1 win over Lorient on Sunday that kept his new club on top of Ligue 1 and unbeaten after eight games.

France out to exorcise Bulgaria ghost on return home

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Paris (AFP) France make their first appearance at the Stade de France since the Euro 2016 final on Friday as Didier Deschamps' side play host to a Bulgaria side with whom they have a bit of history.

Almost three months on from their draining extra-time defeat to Portugal on a sticky night in the European Championship final, Les Bleus have moved on to their next goal, reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Czech stars fined for ‘go back to kitchen’ woman ref blast

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Prague (AFP) Two Czech internationals were fined Thursday for telling a female referee to "go back to the kitchen" after she failed to whistle for an offside decision.

Sparta Prague goalkeeper Tomas Koubek and midfielder Lukas Vacha were each fined 40,000 koruna (1,500 euros) and ordered to conduct a training session for the club's junior side for their outbursts after Sunday's 3-3 draw with Zbrojovka Brno.

I owe my success to Cruyff, says Guardiola

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London (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has saluted Barcelona and Dutch legend Johan Cruyff as the inspiration behind his incredible success.

Guardiola has established himself as one of the finest managers of his generation after winning a host of trophies with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Japan, Korea survive World Cup scares as China crash

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Suwon (South Korea) (AFP) South Korean star Son Heung-Min kept Qatar's World Cup ambitions on hold and Japan also survived a scare as China suffered a potentially calamitous defeat to Syria on Thursday.

Iran, meanwhile stayed on course for a Russia 2018 spot after shifting Uzbekistan from the top of Asian qualifying Group A on goal difference with a 1-0 victory in Tashkent.

Japan, Korea survive scares as China crash in World Cup qualifiers

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Suwon (South Korea) (AFP) South Korean sharpshooter Son Heung-Min kept Qatar's World Cup ambitions on hold and Japan also survived a scare as China suffered a potentially calamitous defeat to Syria on Thursday.

Tottenham Hotspur's Son extended his electric club form with the winner in South Korea's 3-2 triumph over 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, whose hopes of reaching Russia 2018 now look distant.

Syria’s Al-Mawas dents China’s World Cup hopes

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Xian (China) (AFP) Syria dented China's bid to reach a second World Cup when they pulled off a stunning 1-0 qualifying upset on Thursday.

Mahmoud Al-Mawas's breakaway goal in the 54th minute settled a gritty game in Xian which left China stranded on one point from their first three games in Group A.

Super Son fires South Korea past Qatar in World Cup qualifyer

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Suwon (South Korea) (AFP) In-form Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min grabbed the winner as South Korea came from behind to beat Qatar 3-2 and take a step towards the 2018 Russia World Cup on Thursday.

After South Korea trailed 2-1 at half-time, the hosts levelled throughJi Dong-Won before Son extended his electric scoring run with the decisive strike on 58 minutes.

Viewing numbers for soccer games on US TV for week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2016

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Saturday afternoon's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen on FOX Sports 2 and Fox Deportes delivered the league's highest cable viewership so far this season. No doubt thanks in part to the lack of a Premier League match airing in the same time slot. It was also the highest viewed Bundesliga match on FOX Sports 2, beating almost every game carried on FOX Sports 1 so far with the exception being the Friday afternoon match on September 9 between Bayern Munich and Schalke, another game that faced no Premier League competition.

Syria’s Al-Mawas rocks China’s World Cup hopes

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Xian (China) (AFP) Syria dented China's bid to reach a second World Cup when they pulled off a stunning 1-0 qualifying upset on Thursday.

Mahmoud Al-Mawas's breakaway goal in the 54th minute settled a gritty game in Xian which left China stranded on one point from their first three games in Group A.

Yamaguchi rescues Japan against Iraq in World Cup qualifier

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Saitama (Japan) (AFP) Substitute Hotaru Yamaguchi's 95th-minute winner rescued Japan and their stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign as they escaped with a 2-1 victory over Iraq on Thursday.

The Blue Samurai were headed for an ignominious draw in Saitama when Yamaguchi smashed a loose ball from a corner through a forest of legs and into the Iraqi goal.

Where to find Peru vs. Argentina on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Peru vs. Argentina, you've come to the right place.

Ninth against third battle in the CONMEBOL region of World Cup qualifying for FIFA Russia 2018. Peru, who sit in ninth position after only 2 wins out of 8 compete against a resurgent Argentina team.

Where to find Brazil vs. Bolivia on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Brazil vs. Bolivia, you've come to the right place.

Brazil currently sits in second place in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table, so the national team will want to try to leapfrog into first place to take a commanding lead in qualifying for World Cup 2018.

US, Cuba friendly latest chapter of sports diplomacy

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Los Angeles (AFP) When the United States take to the field to face Cuba at Havana's Estadio Pedro Marrero on Friday, it will mark another step on the road towards normalization of relations between the former foes.

In July last year, Cuba and the United States brought more than half a century of enmity to an end when they restored diplomatic ties which had been cut in 1961 at the height of the Cold War.

Where to find Paraguay vs. Colombia on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Paraguay vs. Colombia, you've come to the right place.

Colombia, sitting in fourth place in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, takes on Paraguay who is currently in sixth place. A win for Paraguay will see them leapfrog over Colombia. Remember the top four teams in CONMEBOL Wor