SoccerLens Archives for January 2008

Tottenham’s preparations for next season

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Since Tottenham crashed out of the UEFA Cup on penalties back in March, its fair to suggest that cruise control mode has set in a White Hart Lane. The north London club are guaranteed a spot in next season's UEFA Cup following their Carling Cup victory. But with just two games of the season remaining, [.

MLS, LA Galaxy, and Ruud Gullit: A Very Long Way from ‘Sexy Football’…

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Being the Los Angeles Galaxy manager isn't easy, or rather, it's much harder than Ruud Gullit had anticipated. The former Chelsea coach and 1987 European Football of the Year is getting a closer grip on reality day after day, and isn't hiding his malcontent (event though the team is currently ranked 2nd in the [.

Destination Moscow - Scholes shows United the way

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Manchester United, take a bow. Out gunned and out classed, but not beaten. 3 games more to go and how things swing from one direction to the other. There really should be a full match report here, but you'll have to wait for it tomorrow on Red Rants. I will touch upon a few [...]

Conference play-offs: A Devon Derby and a possible underdog story

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The teams for the Blue Square Premier playoffs had already been decided ahead of the final day of the season but, although the final fixtures would just shakedown the final playoff pairings, there was still a decent smattering of last-day drama. The expected pairings for the playoffs before kick-off were Torquay taking on Nigel Clough's Burton [.

Manchester United still favourites against Barcelona at OT

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When the referee pointed to the spot in the 2nd minute of the match, it looked like we are about to witness an entertaining match, with a lot of attacking football and scoring chances. Unfortunately, the spectators were the only ones thinking so, as both teams did their best not to score. To be [..

Aston Villa captain or Liverpool bench-warmer?

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Looking through the Soccerlens mailbag this week we came across a letter from a Premier League player who is facing a difficult dilemma. As always, Soccerlens can help. Dear Soccerlens, I am faced with an impossible decision at a crucial stage in my career. I don't know what to do for the best and I am told [.

EPL Highlights: Everton 2-2 Aston Villa and Pompey 0-1 Blackburn

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Sunday 27 April 2008, Premier League highlights: Portsmouth 0-1 Blackburn Boring match but in the end, Blackburn prevailed with a Roque Santa Cruz winner Everton 2-2 Aston Villa Not so entertaining in the first half but became exciting after Phil Neville opened the scoring for Everton. Agbonlahor scored twice for Villa while Yobo scored the other for Everton "EPL Highlights: [.

La Liga week 34: Real Madrid need just two points from four games

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Real Madrid need just two points from their remaining four matches to seal their 31st La Liga title after comfortably beating Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening. Barcelona are in big danger of losing out on second place to Villarreal. The Catalans obviously had their minds on Tuesday's return match with Manchester [.

Advantage Chelsea but title is still Manchester United’s to lose

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The stench of defeat is unbearable, as is the joyous celebration of the the non-Man Utd football family. We love to build up teams and then knock them down, and as far as the mob is concerned it's time for United to be knocked down. Since yesterday a lot has been said (hardly in praise [...]

Premier League Highlights: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United, West Ham 2-2 Newcastle, Fulham stun City and Spurs stumble

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Saturday 26 April 2008 - English Premier League highlights: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United The race is on for the EPL title as Ballack double strike destroyed defensive minded United. Birmingham 2-2 Liverpool Birmingham was dealt a severe blow when Benayoun scored a late equalized for Liverpool. The relegation battle is still on.

Euro 2008 Nike Video

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Nike just released a new video in their buildup to Euro 2008 - it's well-directed (very 'in your face' and raw) and it features the likes of Wenger, Fabregas, Gallas, Ronaldo, Rooney, Materazzi, Ibrahimovic, and a couple of babes and ends with...well, I'll let you see that for yourself. They're supposed to be showing a [.

‘Squeaky metatarsal time’ for stars six weeks out from Euro 2008

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Two years ago (well, actually it was April 29, 2006) England's chances of winning the World Cup went splat. Or should that be crack! I'll always remember where I was when, amid Chelsea's second consecutive Premiership celebrations at Stamford Bridge, Man United striker Wayne Rooney chased a lost cause in the penalty area and went down [.

Odds stacked against Chelsea with Manchester United needing only a point from Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea v Manchester United Stamford Bridge, 12:45 BST Chelsea make a strange phenomenon. While being under heavy criticism throughout the season, The Blues find themselves just 3 points behind highly respected Manchester United. It seems that all the noise surrounding Avram Grant made us forget that Chelsea have one of the most talented squad in the [.

Chelsea 08/10 Home Kit out now

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The Chelsea 08/10 home kit is now available for pre-order. The official images for the Chelsea home shirt will be available later today, but you can catch a glimpse of the leaked kit images here. The launch date for the the 08/10 Chelsea home kit is 8th May but you know how these things go out [...]

Liverpool 08/10 Home Kit + Free Torres Shirt

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The Liverpool 2008/2010 Home Shirt is now available for pre-order. The shirt will be launched on 22nd May and as with all things Liverpool they are bound to be a sell-out so get your order in as quickly as possible to ensure that you get your hands on the new 08/10 Liverpool home kit [...]

Italian-Style Manchester United: Sir Alex and his Catenaccio Tactics

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Noun catenaccio m. (plura; catenacci) 1. a bolt (for a door) 2. a system of defensive play in football Catenaccio is tactical playing scheme in the game of football. It consists mostly in a 5-4-1 formation alignment characterized by its defensive propensity. Under the definition of catenaccio lie a series of modules and tactical schemes that define the main [.

Who’s going up and down: non-league football reaches the last day of the season

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A couple of weeks ago the Blue Square Premier looked to be moving towards several thrilling last-day games but, surprisingly, after Tuesday night, the final weekend is a lot more sedate. The play-off places are now all settled after Exeter's 4-1 victory over Stafford and Stevenage's slip up to Northwich Victoria left Boro four points off [.

Adriana Lima is an Interista, Sheva and Ronny on their way to the Serie A

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Steve Amoia returns with his preview of Week 35 in the Serie A - with a look at Adriana Lima, transfer rumours involving Milan and highlights from last weekend in Italy. Brazilian Supermodel Adriana Lima is an Interista with changing room privileges: Quotes of the Week from Italian Calcio "He has forgotten Italian and that's why he wants [.

Megan Fox, Megan Fox, and some Premiership football

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We might be jumping the gun here, but we'd like to think that Gerry would have written about Megan Fox instead of French foibles and Ashley Cole if he'd gotten his hands on this collection of Megan Fox snaps. It quite puts media coverage into perspective, doesn't? Airbrushed to death and all that. Kind of [.

Barcelona v Manchester United Highlights

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Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United Will Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty miss prove costly for Manchester United in their quest for European glory? 2nd leg will commence 6 days after this. Visit goalcentre.com for more football videos. "Barcelona v Manchester United Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.

MLS Roundup: Champions Cup teams struggling at bottom, table shifts after exciting weekend, and Champions Cup Final first leg preview

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This is the moment North American soccer fans have been waiting for; the CONCACAF Champions Cup Final is here. However, with more exciting MLS action coming up this weekend, Americans are spoiled for choice as we creep closer to summer. CONCACAF Champions Cup This will be a good final, contested by two teams with rich histories in [.

What Cristiano Ronaldo Needs To Do To Be Truly Great

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With the football season almost at its end, there is no doubt that the most outstanding player this year has been the Portuguese wing-wonder, Cristiano Ronaldo. With almost 40 goals in all competitions, few would argue that he is the player of the moment.Naturally, this has led some fans to wax lyrical about him.

Fergie’s 1994 Nou Camp humbling - Where are they now ?

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Without suspended inspiration Eric Cantona and crippled by the three-foreigners rule, Manchester United lost 4-0 to FC Barcelona on a memorable night in 1994. Hristo Stocihkov (2), Romario and Albert Ferrer were the executioners of Alex Ferguson's depleted forces at the packed Nou Camp. But who were the 12 players in black chasing shadows that [.

Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea - CL Semifinal Video Highlights

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Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea Liverpool players scored both goals with Dirk Kuyt giving the Kops the lead. Riise scored a shocker own goal which beat Reina all the way. Advantage Chelsea! By the way, you can catch all coverage of the Liverpool - Chelsea semifinal here. Visit goalcentre.com for more football videos.

Aldershot Town: Back in business

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The football league is taking on a distinctly nostalgic tinge. Two seasons after football's most famous milk drinkers, Accrington Stanley, won promotion to the football league the familiar name of Aldershot Town has fought its way out of the non-league pyramid and into League Two, sixteen years after the original Aldershot FC went bust.

No place in football for gays?

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Juve's managing director Luciano Moggi seems to think so: "There are no gays in football, I don't know if players are against having them in their team but I definitely am. In the teams where I worked there were never any. I never wanted to have a homosexual player and I still wouldn't sign one. I'm old [.

Sage advice for Rafa and Grant (Chelsea v Liverpool preview)

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Photo Caption: Grant thinks Kenyon was joking when Chelsea picked AG as manager - the ironic bit is, Kenyon might have been. Both Avram Grant and Rafael Benitez have been locked in various off-pitch wrangles lately. Grant with the press and the fans and if the media is to be believed, players. Benitez with the owners, [.

La Liga Week 33: Title moves closer to Real Madrid

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If there was any doubt that Real Madrid are going to win their 31st La Liga title, it was dispelled after their 0-2 victory over Racing Santander. With a ten point advantage over closest rivals Villarreal, Madrid now need just five points from their remaining five games and they will now be hoping to clinch [.

CL Preview - Barcelona still favourites to overcome Manchester United

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Manchester United v Barcelona, Semifinal, 2007/2008 Champions League. First Leg Camp Nou, Barcelona - Wednesday 23 April 2008 - 19:45 GMT Second Leg Old Trafford, Manchester - Tuesday 29 April 2008 - 19:45 GMT Overview It's tempting to paint this tie as the anti-thesis of the 'shit on a stick' syndrome some people are expecting to see at Anfield and [.

The Cesc Fabregas Show

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Cesc Fabregas is set to star in his own one-off TV program called "The Cesc Fabregas Show: Nike Live" which will be broadcast on Monday 19 May on Sky Sports 1. In the show, Cesc will be taking the audience on the journey of his own life to date as a player and person. The [...]

What do Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Chelsea have in common?

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Apparently, these clubs have (or have had) players with the most Champions League semifinal appearances. Before you go through the list, try guessing who'd be on this list. Several Italians, of course, which is where Juve / Milan come in, and then there is the Madrid - Chelsea connection (bonus points if you can think [.

Can Jose and Rafa catch up with Fergie?

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On Wednesday, 9 April, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reached his fifth Champions League semifinal after his club progressed at the expense of AS Roma. Only Carlo Ancelotti has reached so many semifinals as head coach in this competition. What's interesting to note here is both Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez have made [.

Premier League Highlights: Aston Villa thrash Brum, Newcastle outclass Sunderland and City humble Pompey

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Sunday's Premier League highlights: Aston Villa 5-1 Birmingham Villa ran riot in their derby match against a poor Birmingham City. Birmingham City should drop together with Fulham and Derby. Newcastle United 2-0 Sunderland Another derby match where the home side won. Michael Owen is back with a brace.

Liverpool striker nearing Manchester United record

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While Manchester United keep closing the gap between themselves and rivals Liverpool in terms of league titles, a debutant playing at Anfield is close to matching (and if opportunities permit, breaking) a record set by a former Manchester United striker. With 3 games left in the Premier League (2-3 more in Europe), Fernando Torres has [.

Manchester United and Barcelona undefeated in Europe this season

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Manchester United and Barcelona have enjoyed several unbeaten streaks in Europe in the last decade - United went 16 matches without defeat twice, while Barcelona have 2 14-game streaks and 1 15-game streak (the one that won them the Champions League) to their name. In fact, despite their domestic league troubles, Barcelona go into this [.

Champions League Preview: Liverpool favourites as Chelsea bank on quality

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Liverpool v Chelsea, Semifinal, 2007/2008 Champions League First Leg: Anfield, Liverpool - Tuesday 22 April 2008 - 19:45 GMT Second Leg: Stamford Bridge, London - Wednesday 30 April 2008 - 19:45 GMT Overview This annual Champions League tie (3rd semi-final between two sides in 4 years) is often billed as a contest between old and new, established and imposing, equal [.

2007/2008 Champions League Top Scorers - Ronaldo, Messi and Gerrard lead the way

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Here's a list of the top scorers in this year's Champions League (so far), plus their career stats for the Champions League: Top scorers 2007/2008 Champions League Player Nation Club Goals Matches All-time Goals All-time Apps Cristiano Ronaldo POR Manchester United 7 8 10 37 Lionel Messi ARG FC Barcelona 6 7 8 19 Steven Gerrard ENG Liverpool 6 10 12 52 Zlatan Ibrahimovic SWE Internazionale 5 7 14 52 Raúl ESP Real Madrid 5 8 61 116 Fernando Torres ESP Liverpool 5 8 5 8 Frédéric Kanouté MLI Sevilla FC 5 8 5 8 Deivid BRA Fenerbahçe 5 8 5 8 Filippo Inzaghi ITA AC Milan 4 5 42 71 Goran Pandev MKD Lazio 4 5 4 5 Robinho BRA Real Madrid 4 6 5 21 Liedson BRA Sporting CP 4 6 4 11 Ruud van Nistelrooy NED Real Madrid 4 7 53 68 Karim Benzema FRA Olympique Lyon 4 7 7 11 Didier Drogba CIV Chelsea 4 8 21 42 Cesc Fábregas ESP Arsenal 4 8 6 34 Mirko Vucinic MNE AS Roma 4 8 5 14 Luis Fabiano BRA Sevilla FC 4 8 4 12 Wayne [.

Premier League Highlights: Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham win as Tottenham and Manchester United stumble

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Highlights from Saturday's games: Arsenal 2-0 Reading A stroll in the park for the gunners with goals from adebayor and gilberto. Fulham 0-2 Liverpool Fulham doomed for relegation after the 0-2 defeat from Liverpool. The Kops scored from Pennant and Crouch. West Ham 2-1 Derby Derby is destined to be the worst club in the EPL history.

The mark of Za-Ro ? A new Argentinian partner for Rooney ?

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I have to admit I didn't know much about Mauro Zarate before he joined Birmingham City on loan in January. In truth, I didn't know a lot more until after he announced himself to the Premiership with his second and third goals of his spell in the Blues' 3-1 home win over Manchester City. Then [...]

New contracts for Rio and Wes and Manchester United’s amazing transfer record

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Sometimes the bleeding obvious gets lost in the speculative hype the media creates. So here's a clear-the-air edition focused on some misconceptions about Manchester United: Fiction: Brown wanted to leave Manchester United. Truth: Wes Brown, born and bred in Manchester and a long-term club servant, would never leave the club unless he knew he didn't have [.

Everton 0-1 Chelsea - Video Highlights

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Everton 0-1 Chelsea Everton hopes of qualifying of the Champions League is all but over after Essien gave Chelsea the winning goal Visit goalcentre.com for more football videos. "Everton 0-1 Chelsea - Video Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

Giornata/Week 34: Serie A Preview

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Quotes of the Week in Italian Calcio You didn't know that Salma likes Italian football? Or can quote the great masters of literature? Do you really care? "I wouldn't repeat the same gesture that cost me a five-game ban. It was a big mistake, especially for the example that I set the children who were [.

Sorry, your club has no right to be in the Premier League

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Today I want to talk about the Gentlemen's club that each level of football in England pretends to be. Should any team not deemed worthy of admittance to their particular club have the temerity to be successful and gain promotion to join them, they will be met with criticism, hilarity and condescending pity wherever they [.

Déjà Vu – Liverpool and Chelsea in the Champions League

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Yes, we're back to that age old rivalry between the Red-Men from Liverpool, and the Blues from London, the Angels of the North against the Arseholes of the South. So here is a very Liverpool view on why we will beat Chelsea, and then see Fergie in the final in Moscow. Reason One: L4 The Spion Kop, [.

Weekend Predictions: Arsenal, Newcastle United and Manchester City to win, Chelsea and Liverpool to lose

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Gerry McDonnell returns with a fistful of Ashley Cole, playing offside (or playing them onside if you're Ashley Cole), and expert relationship advice (although in A. Cole's case, 'she deserves a lot better, you moron' should suffice). As a society, we're obsessed with appearance. I blame teen magazines for perpetuating the myth that skinniness equals [.

A letter from Steve McClaren

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I received a letter this morning from former England manager Steve McClaren. (If you believe that, you'll believe anything!) Anyway, I thought I would share it with you because it contains some wonderful insights into some of the decisions he made over his England career. Dear Graham, Firstly, let me say that I think you are probably [.

Fabio Capello calls for some English pride

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England boss Fabio Capello has warned his players that those who make themselves unavailable for games without a genuine reason will be putting their international careers at risk. This message has been sent prior to the forthcoming friendlies against the United States at Wembley on 28 May and the visit to Trinidad and Tobago on [.

MLS Roundup: Chivas USA, New England, New York, and DC United all lose; troubles continue for LA Galaxy

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Although there are two teams (San Jose and New York) that have only played two matches, this will be the first review in which I publish the Major League Soccer table, and this season there are some surprises early on. In fact, what I predicted to be a weekend of matches that are nothing special [...

Barcelona season now hinges on United performance

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Football Club Barcelona is not in the best state to go into the Champions League semi final with Manchester United. If you regularly read the Spanish sports press you will know that Barça is a club in crisis. It may also seem that the press always says the same, at least when Barça are not [...]

Euro 2008 Fantasy Football - SoccerLens League!

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Has anyone ever noticed how little there is to do with regards to football between matches? Once you read the paper, rant like a nut on your favourite blog, post a few things on a forum and elaborately explain to anybody willing to listen why your team should have won, you are left with nothing [...]

Six of the Rest – League One players who could hack it in the Premiership

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From Coca Cola kid to Kazim Kazim. Whether you know him as the player who Brighton fans won in a fizzy drinks promotion or the Champions League super-sub who shook a billionaire's empire and now goes by a Brazilian-style moniker, Colin Kazim-Richards is a modern rarity. In these days of over-stuffed Premier League academies and [.

Interview with Uruguayan Legend Enzo Francescoli, CEO and Founder of GolTV

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Images courtesy of GolTV. Soccerlens is very privileged and honored to welcome a legend of world football, Enzo Francescoli. Mr. Francescoli, who was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, was one of the best players of the modern era. He was a striker with unusual grace and elegance on the football pitch. He was affectionately known as [.

AC Milan Football Camps To Start Later This Year In Singapore

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Previously, I had mentioned that AC Milan have chosen Singapore to set up a youth football base. Now, according to Channel News Asia (CNA), training camps could begin as soon as this year. Milan have plans for 5 day football camps for children aged 6 to 16, and these camps could begin later this year.

How do you define success?

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As we approach the end of the season and that awful time called ‘the cricket season' in England, I thought I would take a look at what constitutes a successful year. The Summer is a truly dreadful period when us footy fans be come morose and irritable. We suffer from SAD, Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, it's just [.

2007/2008 Premier League Team Of The Season

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It's that time of the season when the player of the season awards start being handed out. It's also the time of the season when us fans argue about who has been the best player in each of the positions. It is unlikely that any two fans would select an identical ‘team of the year' [...]

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Hate Juventus

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In my eyes, Juventus is the greatest team to have ever graced the pitch. Obviously, this is questionable. But I am on a mission to clear the cheating, horrible and dishonest view people have of the better club from Turin. Now get ready for five hopefully convincing reasons to not hate Juventus.... 1.

Football Nicknames - Pelé, Pibe de Oro, Gazza, Becks, Zizou: A Century of Diminutives

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Don't call me Hugo any more. I'm English, don't you know? So you have to change my name. At school, P.E. teachers insisted on branding me "Steckel", although I suppose I should just be grateful I escaped that awful nom de plume that is the quintessentially British "Macca". It's 10:30pm, and a day both frustrating and [.

Corinthian-Casuals 2 AFC Wimbledon 8: A Match Made of Memories

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There was a sense of history in the air at Wembley this weekend. Not history being made, but the history of the two clubs taking to the field. In the pink and chocolate shirts, Corinthian-Casuals: a club that plays strictly to the amateur code and the inspiration behind one of Brazil's most famous names.

Chelmsford City would do well to remember the past as they look to the future

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While Colchester United prepare for the life in League One and Dagenham struggling at the wrong end of League 2, one club in Essex is on up the up. Chelmsford City won the Ryman Premier with a 1-1 draw against Ramsgate at last weekend and, with a strong set of players and decent cash behind [...]

Chelsea 1-1 Wigan (Video Highlights)

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Is it the end of Chelsea's title chase after the draw against Wigan? Essien gave the blues the lead but Heskey gave Chelsea the blues with an equalizer late into the match. "Chelsea 1-1 Wigan (Video Highlights)" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

La Liga Week 32: Real Madrid within sight of the winning post

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Real Madrid moved another step closer to their 31st La Liga title with an uninspiring 1-0 victory over relegation bound Murcia. Barcelona have more or less said adios to their title hopes after only drawing at Recreativo, but the big news this week is the almost certain sale of Ronaldinho to AC Milan.

Championship players dare not get promoted

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What a shame it was to see Derby County concede six at home to Aston Villa over the weekend. I'm sure Villa fans and probably all of Derby's local rivals will have enjoyed the humiliation but no neutral football fans can enjoy watching a team so desperately out of their depth. I watched my beloved Watford [.

Liverpool 3-0 Blackburn and Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal - Video Highlights

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Highlights from the Premier League games on Sunday, 13 April 2008: Liverpool 3-0 Blackburn Liverpool was wasteful in the first half but turn on the style in the second with goals from Gerrard, Torres and Voronin. 4th spot is close. Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal Manchester United is nearing to the finishing line for the EPL title.

Premier League Highlights: All of Saturday’s games

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Saturday's Premier League game highlights: Birmingham 1-1 Everton Everton UEFA Champions League hopes are fading after Zarate canceled out Jolean Lescott opener. Bolton 1-0 West Ham Kevin Davies goal decisive for Bolton's survival in the EPL. Derby 0-6 Aston Villa Aston Villa trashed sorry Derby 6-0.

I hate Arsenal (I think…)

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This article was partly inspired by this incredible piece from the Guardian. As anybody who has heard me talk about the Premier League, and even European football in general, will tell you, I don't speak very highly about Arsenal Football Club. I never found any reason to respect them. It seemed all they did was blame [.

Ronaldinho One Step Closer To AC Milan?

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Once the world's most feared attacker, injuries and a drastic loss of form have Ronaldinho a shadow of his former self. For a long time, Ronaldinho has been widely rumoured to be on the way out of the Nou Camp and today, numerous reports [Goal, Soccernet, International Herald Tribune] have emerged claiming that the former FIFA [.

Manchester United v Arsenal - History and Preview

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Manchester United play Arsenal on Sunday, 13 April needing to win to keep Chelsea at arm's length. Arsenal have been United's trickiest opponents since Alex Ferguson took over at Old Trafford in November 1986. The London club have won 13 league fixtures against United in this period and collected 53 points, more than any [.

Is football more important than life and death?

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"It's just a game. Twenty-two stupid men chasing a ball around a pitch." We've all heard it said. In fact, when our team have lost a game we have even been known to say it ourselves. Usually after the fourth or fifth pint. Bill Shankly once famously said that football was more important than life and [.

Weekend Predictions: Real to wrap up title, Roma to close in on Inter, Arsenal to upset United and more

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This can be a difficult time of the season for strong recommendations as title hopes evaporate; teams get lost in mid-table mediocrity with little to play for and those resigned to their fate fail to perform to expectation. But there are some interesting clashes this weekend as in Serie A six of [.

Ronaldo v Torres - who should win the PFA awards this season?

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Like last season, Ronaldo is a strong favourite for winning the Professional Footballers' Association players' player of the year and the PFA young player of the year awards. Here's the full list of nominations: PFA player of the year: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal) Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) Fernando Torres (Liverpool) David James (Portsmouth) PFA young player of the [.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United making Champions League history

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Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all progressed to the Champions League semifinals for the second season in a row which equals the record set in 2000/2001 when three of the previous year's semifinalists again reached the last four. In 2000/2001, the previous season's winners Real Madrid were joined by 1999/2000 runners-up and losing semifinalists [.

Weekend Predictions: Tottenham, United and City to lose, Arsenal, Newcastle & Liverpool to win

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Soccerlens welcomes odds man Gerry McDonnell for another round of playing offside, general debauchery and betting scams...although there is no evidence to suggest that Gerry McDonnell was involved in a scam, or in fact a scam actually took place, or that he's actually paying for exclusive access to Lindsay Lohan.

North American Roundup: MLS teams knocked out of Champions Cup, New England wins, and a new MLS team finds their roots

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In the past couple of days: •The Mexican league continued its commanding dominance in the Champions Cup – the most finalists in the history of the competition with thirty-two, twenty-three of which have won. •Costa Rica has also had a good record – in second place with ten finalists, six of which were also winners.

Brimingham shares suspended, what exactly are they looking for?

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Trading in shares in Birmingham City football club was suspended on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday amid an investigation into suspected corruption, the Stock Exchange said. Trading in the English Premiership club's stock was halted pending a further announcement, after it emerged that managing director Karren Brady and co-owner David Sullivan had been interviewed.

Juventus and Manchester City to end season with Hong Kong trip

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Manchester City and Juventus will play exhibition matches in Hong Kong next month against a South China invitational XI, a report said Thursday. The English Premier League side, owned by former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, will appear at Hong Kong Stadium on May 22, followed by a match between South China and the Italians, [.

Help me, I’m a Watford supporter

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One of the many privileges of being a football writer is that occasionally you can be totally self indulgent and write something just to get it off your chest. Today I am going to abuse my position and do just that. Hello everyone, my name is Graham and I'm a Watford supporter. I'm thinking of setting up [.

Hicks slams shut doors of reconciliation at Liverpool

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It's a bit unfortunate that we're not privy to behind-the-scenes machinations at Liverpool, particularly when it comes to the current owners. It would be so much easier if we knew exactly why relations between Hicks and Gillett deteriorated (although all hints point to the way Hicks has dealt with the press over several issues), [.

PSV Eindhoven 0-2 (1-3) Fiorentina - Italians through to the semis

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A superb goal in each half from Adrian Mutu ensured ACF Fiorentina progressed to the UEFA Cup semi-finals while recording their 50th victory in European competition at PSV Eindhoven. With the Serie A side having to score to stay in the tournament after a 1-1 first-leg draw, they started in an adventurous 4-3-3 formation.

Zenit St Petersburh 0-1 (4-2) Bayer Lerverkusen - Russians set up date with Bayern Munich

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Zenit St Petersburg reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals on Thursday despite drawing a blank in their quarter-final return, a 1-0 reverse to German side Bayer Leverkusen.The result gave the Russians a 4-2 aggregate win after their surprise stroll in Germany, rendering academic the only goal scored by Leverkusen's Russian star Dimitri Bulykin on 18 [.

Sporting 0-2 (0-2) Rangers - Scots to face Fiorentina

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Rangers stunned Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on Thursday with a 2-0 victory to book their place in the UEFA Cup semi finals. French striker Jean-Claude Darcheville had put the Scottish side ahead against the run of play in the 60th minute and in injury time substitute Steven Whittaker scored a brilliant second to clinch the [.

Toni drags Bayern Munich one step closer to UEFA Cup final

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Luca Toni saved Bayern Munich's blushes against courageous 10-man Getafe here Thursday with a late extra time double to put the German giants into the UEFA Cup semi-finals on away goals. The high achieving Spaniards, who were down a man after just six minutes, produced another heroic performance after eking out a crucial 1-1 draw [.

Can Sunderland beat Manchester City?

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Roy Keane insists that Sunderland haven't yet secured their Premier League future. A fourth consecutive win for the Black Cats at home to Manchester City on Saturday will all but see the north-east club safe. Despite the recent upturn in fortunes which leaves them 10 points clear of Bolton Wanderers, who occupy the final relegation place, [.

AC Milan To Set Up Youth Base In Singapore

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Amidst a week of hectic Champions League and UEFA Cup matches, this piece of news almost slipped past me. According to TODAY newspaper, Milan have plans to set up a football school in Singapore. The camp, set to be called AC Milan Junior Camp, will provide training for youngsters between the ages of 6 and 18.

Have Liverpool already signed Rafinha?

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Recently Rafa Benitez talked about how he had already signed three Liverpool players for next season, two of those youth prospects while the other a senior "ready for the first team". This player according to 'The Daily Mail' is believed to be the FC Schalke right-back Rafinha. With Guilleme Balague, La Liga expert [.

Cardiff deserve better from the English FA

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When the full-time whistle blew at Wembley on Sunday afternoon and Cardiff City booked their place in an FA Cup final for the first time in 81 years there was a ray of sunshine over South Wales, but a black cloud hanging over Soho Square. The prospect of Dave Jones' mid-table Championship side winning the greatest [.

U.S. Soccer School Affiliates with Italian Powerhouse ACF Fiorentina

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9 April 2008 For Immediate Release For further information, contact: Lisa Cherubini 703.477.6590 executivedirector@cuginisoccer.com U.S. Soccer School Affiliates with Italian Powerhouse ACF Fiorentina Great Falls, VA - AC Cugini Scuola Calcio President Fabio Diletti has announced that Cugini was accepted by world-renowned Italian professional club ACF Fiorentina as an affiliated Fiorentina scuola calcio (soccer school).

Manchester United 1-0 Roma and Barcelona 1-0 Schalke - Video Highlights

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Highlights from last night's Champions League quarter-final ties: Manchester United 1-0 Roma Even with Ronaldo and Rooney on the bench, United were just too strong for Roma. Turning point of the game, Del Rossi's penalty miss for Roma. Barcelona 1-0 Schalke Early aggression by Schalke could not turn into goals.

Tottenham looking at expansion or new stadium

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Tottenham Hotspur are exploring the possibility of building a new stadium on the trading estate that is adjacent to White Hart Lane. The Wingate estate is to the north of the ground, behind Paxton Road and between the High Road and Worcester Avenue. The club has identified it as an option, as they seek [.

Chelsea sow seeds for financial domination in Asia

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Trust a billionaire to go after the jugular when it comes to make long-term financial investments. Chelsea are now boosting their involvement in grassroots development of football in Asia with China and India top of their list. Spurred by chief executive Peter Kenyon, the side in 2006 became the first major team to sign a agreement [.

Football bosses are hypocrites over dodgy ref decisions

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It always amuses me how football managers can have selective eye sight when decisions either go for or against their respective teams during big games. There is no doubting that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is one of the world's best coaches and has done wonders since being unveiled by the north Londoners on October 1 1996.

Henry would rather move to Liverpool than to Tottenham, Newcastle United, Manchester City or any other ratty outfit

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Heard a rumour the other day that Thierry Henry might be moving away from Barcelona after just one season. Henry's name may not be synonymous with loyalty for most fans but why would he pack up and leave so quickly when he's taken so much time to get settled in? And then I heard that [...]

Neil Warnock - The Marmite man of English football - Love Him or Hate Him?

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All English football fans know all about Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock. He is a manager who you either absolutely love or absolutely hate. For those fans not in England you might not know too much about him. He is a loud, opinionated and vaguely unpleasant man during games and is constantly in trouble with the [.

Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal - Video Highlights - Goals and Babel Dive

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Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal Yet again another controversial match with the referee playing a big part on it. Arsenal was poised for the semi finals with the score 2-2 but the referee awarded Liverpool a controversial penalty. Arsenal crumbled after that. Penalty or not? Kolo Toure's challenge a right or wrong decision from the referee?

Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce - Video Highlights

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Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce Never really troubled by the Turkish champions with goals from Ballack and Lampard settled the match. Brought to you by goalcentre.com. "Chelsea 2-0 Fenerbahce - Video Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.com - Football News.

The Footballer’s Life: more than just glory, fame and fortune

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So, a twenty-two year old goalkeeper has been charged with blackmail against a Premier League footballer. The story is that currently club less Goalkeeper Ashley Timms, is accused of demanding £15,000 from an unnamed player. He appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court on Saturday charged with making an unwarranted demand for money with menaces between March [.

Wenger: Arsenal can still win both Champions League and Premier League

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Arsene Wenger is adamant that Arsenal can not only beat Liverpool at Anfield but also pip rivals Chelsea and Manchester United for the Premier League title by winning the remaining games of the season. To progress into the last four of the Champions League, Arsenal must score at least once on Tuesday evening and, having [.

Schalke and Fenerbahce aim to attack Barcelona and Chelsea

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In the buildup to the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, both Barcelona and Chelsea have talked about the quality of their players and the fact that pound for pound, their teams are good enough to on and progress to the semi-finals (at the very least). But that's only half the story.

Ballack: Tottenham and Barnsley didn’t beat Chelsea, we beat ourselves

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Michael Ballack has said that Chelsea's stars have to reach the Champions League semi-finals to make up for their self-inflicted misery in the FA and League Cups. Chelsea face Fenerbahce tonight after trailing 2-1 from last week's away game in Istanbul. Although Chelsea are only 3 points behind Manchester United with the champions still to [.

Should Pique start for Manchester United against Roma at Old Trafford?

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21-year old Gerard Pique has long been heralded as a future first-choice center-back for Manchester United and a successor to Rio Ferdinand. He's done well whenever he's been called upon this season and with more playing experience in the first-team squad there is every chance that he could blossom into an imposing central defender.

Who’ll be staying in the Blue Square Premier next season

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Just as teams in the Championship are stuttering as the finish line for the prize of Premiership football gets ever closer, so the contenders for the playoffs in the Blue Square Premier are also doing their hardest to avoid a top five finish, with just half a dozen games to go. Aldershot have no such worries.

6 Reasons why moving to Asia is the best thing to ever happen in Australian football

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Until the 2010 qualifying series, Australia's road to the World Cup was a twisted, teasing and torturous one. Stuck in a Confederation with only one credible opponent and too far away for anyone else to fly out for friendlies, Australia would dominate its neighbours and be forced to play the also-rans of a stronger [.

My State of the US Men’s National Team Address

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In many ways US soccer remains a bastard child. Unwanted by many sports fans in the states, and scoffed at by much of the rest of the world as second class. I generally try to ignore my countrymen who hate soccer. For the rest of the soccer world, I try to present a realistic [...]

Ronaldinho to Manchester City - Fact Or Fiction?

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The basis for this very short piece lies in a phone call received from my brother after work today, which comprised predominantly one-way traffic on his part, proclaiming all that was great about Ronaldinho and how he would be joining Manchester City in the summer. He never seems to be aware of the hyperbole created [.

2008 Emirates Cup - Arsenal, Juventus, Real Madrid and Hamburg

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The 2008 Emirates Cup kicks of on 2nd August this year in preparation for the 2008/2009 season. The tournament will mark Ranieri's return to London as Juventus take on hosts Arsenal along with Hamburg and Real Madrid. The competition is played in a Group format with three points for a win, one for a draw [.

The truth about shirt-swapping in football

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Award-winning blogger Laurie writes: Ever wonder what leads up to a photo like this one? How it came to be that the most beautiful players on the teams end up swapping shirts with each other? Of course you have. Admit it. Once again, we have the answers. Here's how it went down after the first leg of [.

Liverpool fan exposes media bias for Arsenal’s transfer record

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Paul Tomkins has written an interesting article over at liferpoolfc.tv, in which he talks about tonight's game at Anfield, the falsity of the notion that Liverpool are a 2-man team, and hypocrisy of the media in lauding Arsene Wenger's transfer record while trashing that of Rafa Benitez. Here are a few excerpts: Arsenal are a young [.

If he can’t keep him at Liverpool, Rafa will only sell Crouch to Everton

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On one hand, he's a good looking chap (when he can keep a straight face) and an 'effective' striker (when he can find his bearings, is motivated and doesn't have to jump). On the other hand, he's woefully underused at Liverpool, even though he's had more than a handful of substitute appearances. As he himself [.

Tomas Rosicky might the rest of this season including Euro 2008

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Czech captain and Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky is doubtful for Euro 2008 because of recurring knee tendonitis. The 27-year Rosicky is suffering from a painful inflammation at the back of his knee and has been out of action since the end of January. The vice president of the Czech football federation Vlastimil Kostal says that [.

Petr Cech undergoes surgery after training ground incident

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Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (as if you didn't know who he played for, hah) had facial re-constructive surgery (fancy term for fixing a broken jaw, I bet) on Sunday after, according to official reports, a training ground collision with another player. The memory of Petr Cech being put into the hospital needing emergency medical attention [.

La Liga Week 31: Real Madrid take relief from rival’s failures

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The top three all failed to win this week but Real Madrid who played badly will be the happiest with their 1-1 draw at Mallorca which leaves them seven points clear with seven games to go. Barcelona played better than in recent weeks but will be most disappointed with their 0-0 draw at home to [...]

North American Roundup: Champions Cup and MLS

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Major League Soccer's second week kicked off on Thursday, with two matches, and finished with five more at the weekend. Also, CONCACAF Champions Cup semi final action took place in Pachuca, Mexico, and Houston, Texas. Review Before I get all excited about the great weekend matches in MLS, I have to take a moment to review the [.

The Magic of the FA Cup - Lost in Memories

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Something very sad happened to me on Sunday 6th April. It was the day that I realised that the FA Cup had finally lost its ‘magic'. I was watching the semi-final between Cardiff and Barnsley on the television and my fourteen year-old football mad son said, "I don't care about this game," and walked out of [.

Premier League Video Roundup: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool, Newcastle United 3-0 Reading, Middlesbrough 2-2 Manchester United and more

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All the goals from 5-6 April 08 English Premier League games: Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool Arsenal hopes of winning the English Premier League went up to smoke after this 1-1 draw with Liverpool. Arsenal had Bendtner to thank for the 1-1 score. Aston Villa 4-0 Bolton Villa trashed sorry Bolton with a thumping 4-0 win.

Manchester United - no first-choice center backs, no problem?

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It's April, the season is coming to a head, there's a United-Chelsea game ahead that could decide the season as United do their best to hold off Chelsea for the Premier League title. There's a crucial Champions League game coming up at Old Trafford. United have just drawn away at Riverside, a game they [.

Can Everton Catch Liverpool?

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3 points behind (4 if you factor in the goal difference) and 5 games to go - can Everton catch Liverpool? David Moyes seems to think so: "We are optimistic, we believe we can still catch Liverpool. That's 60 points and we have won 18 games in the Premier League, and with five to go we [...]

Inter vs Roma vs Juventus: The Battle for the Serie A

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At the beginning of the season, no one expected Juventus to achieve UCL qualification. All the critics (some of them were even Juve fans!!) predicted that La Vecchia Signora would only manage the UEFA Cup. But they've been proven wrong. The question is: can the bianconeri rise from the mist and mount a season-ending title [.

How Rafa has solved Liverpool’s wing problems this season

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Rafael Benitez has demonstrated how to best utilise Dirk Kuyt effectively in the last 10 games that Liverpool have played. Whereas before Kuyt was an auxillary striker he now plays out on the right wing. In the 4-2-1-3 (and NOT 4-2-3-1) formation that the manager employed the team has won nine, drawn one and [.

Bad behaviour in the Premier League? - Let’s get things in perspective

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There has been an awful lot written this season about the ‘respect agenda', the malicious tackles creeping into the game and the hounding of referees. Most of what has been written has been along the lines of suggesting that the players at the very top of the game have a duty to act as role [...]

Note to Arsenal fans - you wimps, stop giving up!

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Hey! You! Yes, you Arsenal fans, I'm talking to you. You are 5 points behind Manchester United, 3 behind Chelsea, and only 5 games to go. You've drawn a must-win game, at home, to Liverpool's B-side. You will be up against it away to Liverpool next week. Worse, the champions have a game in hand [...

Sunderland secure top-flight status with away win against Fulham, bring on Newcastle

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Sunderland effectively ensured they will be playing Premier League football again next season with an impressive 3-1 win at Fulham, who will now need a most unlikely turnaround in their form and fortunes to avoid relegation. Sunderland (13th) are now 10 points clear of Bolton (18th) and with 5 games to go, it's hard to [.

Blackburn and Tottenham must do better to deserve European football

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Blackburn Rovers' hopes of UEFA Cup football next season took a hit when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham. Bulgarian international Dimitar Berbatov gave Tottenham, who have already made sure of a return to Europe by winning the League Cup, a sixth-minute lead before Morten Gamst Pedersen levelled for Blackburn on the [.

Ramos to play Football Manager this summer, what will Tottenham look like next season?

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After a turbulent season as replete with failure as success – an extremely disappointing league position and a whimpering exit from the UEFA Cup compensated only by a euphoric Carling Cup win – one gets the feeling that Juande Ramos and his team are to take advantage of the long summer break to effect a [.

Why are Arsenal fans turning on Wenger?

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OK, before I start I need to make a couple of things clear. I'm not a Manchester United fan, nor do I support Arsenal or Chelsea or Liverpool. The fact is that I still curse my mum and dad on a daily basis for living in Watford. Why couldn't they have moved to Manchester or [...]

Clarence Seedorf: Gifted, Accomplished and Wise

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Just got done reading through Steve's translation of Seedorf's recent interview (the original appeared in La Gazetta dello Sport last week, I think). Seedorf talks about his future plans (he's very focused and clear on them), how he deals with pressure, his thoughts on the commercialisation of football and most enlightening, what he says about [.

Youngest Champions League Goalscorers

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FC Barcelona's Bojan Krkic scored against Schalke 04 on Tuesday, 1 April to become the youngest goalscorer in a Champions League knockout match. Peter Ofori-Quaye is still the youngest player to score a Champions League goal but he scored in the group stage. Krkic missed Ofori-Quaye's record, which has stood for over 10 years, by [.

Arsenal v Liverpool v Chelsea v Manchester United - Away Records Against Each Other

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On Saturday, 5 April, Arsenal play at home to Liverpool in the second of their three fixtures against each other in the space of seven days. It will be Rafael Benítez's 12th Premier League visit to one of the big four and he has yet to win. Benítez has lost all three matches at [...]

Manchester City gunning for Europe, Chelsea gunning for Respect

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Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson still believes that Manchester City can make it into Europe this season. I'm not going to argue with him (or other Manchester City fans) but I'd just point at their recent run in the league and ask - why are you trying to pretend you're Keegan (we're going [.

Manchester United Update: Rio’s new contract, Neville, Vidic and squeaky bum time

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Sir Alex Ferguson says that Rio Ferdinand is close to agreeing a new contract at Manchester United, that Neville and Silvestre are fit and ready to play, that Vidic will be back for the semifinals and that, yes, we need to win our away games. Ferguson on Rio: "Negotiations have been on-going for a few weeks [.

Nicolas Anelka on playing for Chelsea

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Nicolas Anelka has gone a long way to shed his reputation of being a spoiled brat (he credits his family and the time away from the fishbowl that is the Premier League for the transformation) and if you were to listen to him, you'd think him a wise man (how wise you can be [...]

Should Gary Neville start ahead of Wes Brown this season?

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Gary Neville played a full game for the Manchester United reserves this week and along with Mikael Silvestre is considered fit to play a role in the remaining games this season by SAF. While Silvestre will most probably be used to give Patrice Evra a breather, it is Neville's return to the fold which is [.

Death by Football: The Fall of the ‘big’ Teams

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In recent seasons, we have witnessed (and continue to witness), slowly but surely, the elegant destruction of what we know as the 'big' teams. Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Russia, Greece, and Turkey have all fallen to the inevitable rise of the 'middle' teams. Let's review the movers and shakers: Spain Last season, Real [.

Javier Mascherano’s apology and playing ‘hard but fair’

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I make no apologies for returning to the Javier Mascherano sending off at Old Trafford, despite the strong feelings the subject aroused on both sides of the argument. If we couldn't all agree on who was right or who was wrong in the incident and the analysis of it, then I hope we can all agree [...]

Gomez going for 50m euros, Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United all interested

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Stuttgart have slapped a 50m euros price tag on Mario Gomez, in a manner reminiscent of Lyon's incessant posturing that comes every year before they sell their star player in the summer (usually to Madrid or Chelsea, or Barcelona have been the beneficiaries as well). Mario Gomez is in demand right now and if he [.

How much money does Keegan need to revive Newcastle United?

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What will it take to fix the mess at Newcastle United? 100m? 50m? 200m? Unless Ashley pulls an Abramovich and Keegan turns into a pleasant version of Jose Mourinho, things aren't going to change overnight at St James' Park. Keegan will first have to convince players to come play for Newcastle United, which, to be [.

David Beckham fires LA Galaxy to first win of season

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David Beckham scored his the first goal and set Landon Donovan (who set Becks up for the first one) up for another as LA Galaxy win 2-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes. I don't care what the match was like. I don't particularly care about the LA Galaxy either. All I care is that Beckham [...]

The Perfect Free Kick?

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Cristiano Ronaldo. Straight up, straight in. No time to react, no time to even breathe. Perhaps not the best player, but definitely one of the best free kicks ever taken by CR. There have been better goals than this, surely - I remember a Leighton Baines free kick against United that was a rocket into [.

Why Chelsea fans want Mourinho back

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There's been a lot of criticism for Avram Grant, most of it undeserved (he's NOT the best manager in the world, and sometimes his players just don't play well enough). But if there's one arena Grant definitely lacks in, it's the ability to deal with other managers. Remember the Grant whinge about the fixture switch [.

The FA is right to charge Ferguson and Queiroz, but when will they accept responsibility and start respecting the game?

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To be fair, I support the principle of fining / charging players and managers with disciplinary charges if they publicly insult referees or the system in general - there is very little to be gained from such actions and all it does is bring the game into more disrepute (if bringing attention to the [.

Schuster claims Ronaldo will leave Manchester United to join Real Madrid in a couple of years

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As a rule, I don't believe anything that comes out of Real Madrid. But the following statement made by current Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster about Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo is a bit interesting: "He's the star at Manchester United and until they win the Champions League and another league title or two then [.

West Ham’s fighting talk: We hope they’re too tired to beat us

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A points difference of 9, with 6 games to go, is hardly something to make you quiver in your boots. In fact, such chances are excellent opportunities for fighting talk - just now Southgate is talking about derailing Manchester United's title march this weekend and recently Keegan talked about overtaking Tottenham in the league [.

The big mystery at Portsmouth

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Why did Harry buy David Nugent, and why did he then not use him like a mid-table club would use a 6m striker (that is, frequently)? Surely they tried before buying, gave him the ball and checked if he could shoot and run with it. A medical is standard procedure, right? If he's not good [...]

Toronto FC sign former Newcastle United player

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Laurent Robert has signed for Major League Soccer side Toronto, after his contract at Derby was cancelled by mutual consent. The French winger was one of several players signed by Paul Jewell during the January transfer window, but made just three appearances. Robert, 32, played under current Toronto coach John Carver at Newcastle.

Pele, Best, Maradona or Cristiano Ronaldo? How does CR rank with the best?

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Comparisons can be a pain in the backside. My dad says that nobody was ever better than Tom Finney or Puskas, my older brother says George Best and Pele have no equals, I believe Maradona to be the best ever and my son says that Cristiano Ronaldo has more than the lot of them put [...]

Cristiano Ronaldo: A Touch of Humility

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After I read Graham Fisher's superb article about Cristiano Ronaldo, I was reminded of something from last year. I saw a goal by Ronaldo, along with his resulting display, against his childhood team, Sporting Lisbon. I wrote a blog about it on 19 September 2007, and believe that it would serve as an interesting complement [.

Fergie, Wenger, Benitez, Grant move over, I could do that, give us a job

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What does being a manager mean? For teams in the Blue Square Premier and the lower reaches of League Two it means a much different thing to being the manager of a top Premiership side. For those down there in the depths being a manager might mean sweeping out the dressing rooms, ringing players up to [.

Arsenal v Liverpool Preview - will Liverpool play for another draw?

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A lot was said regarding Arsenal's and Liverpool's three consecutive matches. After all, two of English football giants clash in three extremely important matches, so there is no doubt we are to face high pace and tense matches. And this line of thought continued up to the point when Dirk Kuyt squeezed in Liverpool's [.

Abbey Clancy wants you, and how to make some money this weekend

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The inimitable (we're running out of adjectives) betting expert Gerry McDonnell gives his take on this weekend's FA Cup action, Premier League action and all the other action he loves watching on the telly. The adult film industry has many knockers, but I remain a fully-fledged supporter. My only possible critique would be that [.

Is Defence the Key to English Success in the UEFA Champions League This Season?

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Ever since Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all made it to the Quarter-Final stage of the UEFA Champions League, this topic has been debated ad nauseam. However recently, with the real lesson in efficiency inflicted by Manchester United upon AS Roma Tuesday night, Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport joins the table and provides [.

When is a dive not a dive?

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Kevin Thomson is fit for Rangers' UEFA Cup tie against Sporting Lisbon. I am so relieved because I thought he might be seriously injured. He took an awful clattering from Celtic's Georgios Samaras when he deliberately moved his leg to the side so that he could make minimal contact with the Celtic player before throwing [.

Why Cristiano Ronaldo is good for football and England

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Roma midfielder David Pizarro has hit out at Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo saying that his tricks are unnecessary and show a lack of respect for the opposition. He says Ronaldo is a show off and big headed. Whilst this comment has all the hallmarks of being a great big dish of sour grapes, I wonder [.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool - Champions League Video Highlights

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It is all square at the Emirates with Adebayor giving the lead to Arsenal before Dirk Kuyt equalized for Liverpool. You can catch the coverage here, and the videos are below. Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool - Adebayor Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool - Gerrard Brought to you by goalcentre.com. "Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool - Champions League Video Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.

Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea - Champions League Video Highlights

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Fenerbahce stunned Chelsea with a Deivid cracker which rocket into the back of the net. You can catch the coverage here, and the videos are below. Fenerbahce 0-1 Chelsea - Deivid (own-goal) Fenerbahce 1-1 Chelsea - Kazim-Richards Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea - Deivid Brought to you by goalcentre.com. "Fenerbahce 2-1 Chelsea - Champions League Video Highlights" was originally published at Soccerlens.

The Other Side of “Respect for Referees”

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Generally I try to steer clear of criticising referees. I am a believer that they have a very difficult job and am in the camp that doesn't like the analysing of decisions from all conceivable angles in super slo-mo by the experts on the television. Despite this, I have to speak out about one particular referee [.

Is Rafa nearer to getting Liverpool back to top of the league?

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Despite the 14 point difference between Liverpool and the league leaders Manchester Utd at present, I feel it is only a matter of time before Rafael Benitez achieves success in the Premiership. This summer will no doubt be more telling than ever, but with his future pretty much reassured (Guillem Balague, the Spanish journalist [.

David Bentley - not as good as David Beckham

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"David Bentley is David Bentley, he ain't bloody Maradona." Those were the words of Reading's Irish midfield player Stephen Hunt after the 0-0 draw with Blackburn on Saturday. "He plays for England and hype comes with England. People don't go on about Damien Duff and Robbie Keane every day so they need to get a life.

Champions League Videos Roundup 1: Roma 0-2 Manchester United, Schalke 0-1 Barcelona

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Roma 0-2 Manchester United The R-R show again. Ronaldo and Rooney destroyed Rome in the UEFA Champions League 1st leg quarter finals. Schalke 0-1 Barcelona Bojan Krkic the toast for Barcelona in Germany as Barcelona come out tops. "Champions League Videos Roundup 1: Roma 0-2 Manchester United, Schalke 0-1 Barcelona" was originally published at Soccerlens.

The Rooney-Ronaldo show takes Manchester United past Roma

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Before this game (and indeed, before any away game Manchester United have played in the last couple of seasons) the media trotted out figures to suggest that United were abysmal away in Europe - and few United fans would have argued against it after 4 away defeats last season (Celtic, Copenhagen, Roma and Milan) [.

Liverpool and Newcastle United in for £10m Tottenham winger

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Reports both Newcastle United and Liverpool are interested in signing Tottenham's Aaron Lennon. For starters, I don't see why Ramos would want to sell Lennon - it's not like Tottenham need the money, it's not like Lennon is going to fetch too much money, and it's hard to see Ramos replacing someone like Lennon when [.

David Bentley plots move to Champions League club

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David Bentley has admitted that his desire to be England's first-choice right-winger at the 2010 World Cup could result in him leaving Blackburn if a bigger club comes knocking. Bentley has begun discussing a new contract with Blackburn but says his top priority is playing regularly in Europe, something the Lancashire club may not [.

Premier League Title Run-In: Manchester United Blitz Aston Villa, Chelsea Barely Hang On and Arsenal’s Miracle Comeback

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This year's Barclay's Premier League is perhaps one of the most exciting in recent memory. Three teams, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, are vying for the right to be crowned Champions, with only 6 points separating them and 6 games to go. To spice things up even more, these three teams will meet one another [.

Offending Liverpool and Everton fans should be banned for life

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Everton have complained to the police in order to draw attention to the abuse targeted at their players during the Merseyside derby on Sunday. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez had already made his feelings known in the post-match conference with his disgust towards the treatment of Steven Gerrard by a section of the visiting fans.

Chelsea confirm deal for £30m Manchester United defender

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Chelsea have reached an agreement with debt-ridden Manchester United to buy the England and Manchester United captain, Rio Ferdinand. Rio Ferdinand will cost Chelsea £30m, and the amount will go some way towards helping the Glazers pay off Manchester United's mountain of debt. One wonders how Chelsea will make space for Ferdinand in their starting line-up, [.

Tottenham confirm bargain £30m deal for 4 Manchester United players

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Juande Ramos has decided to splash the cash in Manchester United's direction with Tottenham picking up a host of stars from the Manchester United firesale. Tottenham are reported to have struck deals with United keeper Ben Foster, former Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick as well as French internationals Louis Saha and Mikael Silvestre.

Manchester United Sex Scandal - Ronaldo, Rooney, Anderson and Nani in US orgy

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Manchester United's fearsome four have established their reputation not only for their brilliant football but also for their sexual exploits, the likes of which have never been revealed to the mass media before. Sources close to Wayne Rooney have revealed the grand exploits of this foursome with their conquests ranging from the top of Hollywood [.

Real Madrid promise £100m for Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United cash in

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In the most expensive transfer in the history of professional sports, Real Madrid have committed to paying 100m for Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo. In a move that David Gill described as 'the textbook definition of too-good-to-refuse', Manchester United will net £100m upfront and take off around £6m / year from their bloated wage bill.

Premier League punish Newcastle United with 20 point penalty

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The Premier League have slapped a 20 point penalty on Newcastle United, condemning them to certain relegation this season. The huge penalty leaves Newcastle United with a paltry 15 points in the season, ahead of Derby but well behind the likes of Bolton, Fulham and Birmingham, and with 6 games to go, Newcastle look certain [.

Roman Abramovich to SELL Chelsea and go back HOME

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Chelsea have been the most successful club in the Premier League ever since Roman Abramovich took over - 2 back-to-back titles and if the Premier League were to finish today, 3 2nd placed finishes that put them ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal in the last 5 years. And yet this has come with a [.

Liverpool fans consortium confirms £500m bid for Liverpool FC

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A consortium of Liverpool fans have outlined their plans for buying out Tom Hicks and George Gillett for a staggering £500m, making a fan-based takeover imminent and throwing Liverpool FC smack in the middle of a possible bidding war between the fans and DIC. The fan-based consortium (called "We Heart Liverpool") have promised a total [.

Manchester United to sell players and stadium to pay off £700m debt

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BURIED under mountains of debt and interest payments, Manchester United's American owners have decided to cash in their star players and get rid of the club's debt in an ambitious plan to be debt-free by 21 December 2012. With Manchester United expected to win the Premier League second year in a row and also win [.

Usmanov buys out Arsenal board, DD returns with JM as AW and CF jet off to Barcelona

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In a stunning takeover, Alisher Usmanov has bought out Stan Kroenke AND the Arsenal board, giving him ownership of more than 80% of Arsenal and effectively making him the ruler of all things Arsenal. Shocking as this news is, it might be least of worries for Arsenal fans - 2 of the most important people [.

Arsenal to buy Manchester United duo for £30m

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Arsenal have decided to bolster their squad by splashing big for the first time under Monsieur Wenger. Backed by Alisher Usmanov's millions, Arsenal will spend around 30m to bring Owen Hargreaves and Carlos Tevez from Manchester United to the Emirates. Manchester United have been eager to offload their star players this summer in a bid [.

Liverpool strike bargain £40m deal for Manchester United striker

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In an ambitious and somewhat desperate attempt to wipe off their debt, Manchester United have struck a stunning 40m deal with Liverpool, taking Scouser and former Everton star Wayne Rooney to Anfield. Reports suggest that Manchester United's need to sell, coupled with the lack of quality strikers at Liverpool and Steven Gerrard's desire to win [.

Champions League Predictions: Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea to go through

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Today's matches: Roma v Manchester United (match discussion here) and Schalke v Barcelona. European football is around the corner (as soon as we deal with today's Sunday fixtures - Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham for the win, btw) and it's time for us (you and me) to predict the future with all the confidence that being [.

Chelsea favourites despite Fenerbahce’s goal advantage

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Chelsea take on Fenerbahce today at Stamford bridge in a game that they need to score at least two goals more than the opposition (keeping in mind Fener's ability to score away from home) to safely negotiate a berth in the Champions League semi-finals where they will meet the winner of tonight's Liverpool v [.

Liverpool primed to end Arsenal’s season?

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Twice Rafa has taken Liverpool to the Emirates and twice he's come out more satisfied, with his team getting the better result in both cases. Away draws are nothing to write about but against Arsenal and at this stage of the season, if Liverpool fans were offered this last week they'd have taken it.

Barcelona 1-0 (2-0) Schalke - Barca set up date with United

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Two below-par performances, two 1-0 wins and Barcelona are through to the Champions League semi-finals in the most unconvincing fashion. Not to begrudge them their victories - they took their chances (few as they were) and Schalke made a hash of the many that fell their way. And there's still time for Barcelona to improve [.

Manchester United 1-0 (3-0) Roma - Hargo / Tevez / Rio kings of Old Trafford

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A controlled performance at Stadio Olimpico and another European class act at Old Trafford secured passage to the Champions League semi-finals for Manchester United for a second year in a row. Roma go home humbled (and tired of playing United) but while they actually showed up this time around at Old Trafford, so did [.