SoccerLens Archives for January 2011

Batigoal: The Career Of Argentina’s Most Prolific Goal-Scorer, Gabriel Batistuta

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In the words of arguably football's greatest, Diego Maradona once said; "He was the best striker we ever had here and were never going to see his like again – we're not going to see anything like him from anyone, no matter what they're called. For me he was the greatest goal-scorer that I saw in my life".

Inter Milan v Bayern Munich Preview

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Click here to watch Inter Milan v Bayern Munich Live!

Inter Milan v Bayern Munich
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
San Siro
Wednesday, 23 February
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 20:45 CET

Last year's Champions League finalists meet at the San Siro on Wednesday as Inter Milan and Bayern Munich contest the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

GGOAL Review – A Football Strategy Game

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"GGOAL is a tactical/strategic browser game, where different players can experience a real challenge on a soccer chessboard of sorts.

The main feature of GGOAL is the appropriate management of the on-field players.

It is possible to move your own players, to make them run, to make them pass the ball, tackle and, naturally, to make them kick and score a goal!

Marseille draw should suit Manchester United

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Click here to watch Marseille v Manchester United Live!

Marseille v Manchester United
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
Stade Velodrome
Wednesday, 23 February
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 20:45 CET

Bolstered by injuries to key personnel at Manchester United and their lacklustre away form, Marseille will be going all-out to beat the Red Devils in the first leg.

Karim Benzema Interview: Lyon, Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho

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In the buildup to the Champions League second round tie between Lyon and Real Madrid, Karim Benzema sat down to talk about his time at Lyon, the move to Real Madrid, Zidane, the upcoming Lyon v Real Madrid game, and rising French stars.

Some highlights:

On comparisons with Ronaldo (Brazilian):

I do not know, maybe the technique.

Midfield tactics: The title winning potential of Man City’s midfield juggernaut

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Fun fact: Man City's first pick midfield of Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and Nigel De Jong isn't in itself negative.

I can hear the outcry even now naturally three defensive midfielders can be seen as very, very negative, if you choose to go along with the popular designation of these players as defensive midfielders.

Lyon can’t keep beating Real Madrid, can they?

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Click here to watch Lyon v Real Madrid Live!

Lyon v Real Madrid
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
Stade de Gerland
Tuesday, 22 February
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT, 20:45 CET

We've heard it all before Madrid will finally end Lyon's unbeaten run against them.

Manchester United and Chelsea plot Champions League success

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Click here to watch Champions League Games Live!

Watching their respective seasons unfold, it seems unlikely that either Chelsea or Manchester United will be celebrating at Wembley come 28 May 2011. It's not to say that they're not capable of winning the Champions League only Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and.

Chelsea and Manchester United plot Champions League success

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Click here to watch Champions League Games Live!

Watching their respective seasons unfold, it seems unlikely that either Chelsea or Manchester United will be celebrating at Wembley come 28 May 2011. It's not to say that they're not capable of winning the Champions League only Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and.

Soccerlens’ Top Five Strikers Of The Last 20 Years

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As the footballing sphere bids farewell to one of it's greatest ever patrons, legendary Brazilian forward Ronaldo, we good folk at Soccerlens thought it high time to compile a concise list of our top five 'strikers in world football' with the only stipulation being that any nominee must have played 'up top' and have had been in their prime at some point during the last two decades.

3 UP FRONT: Arsenal and Tottenham rejoice as Chelsea and Manchester United ponder their futures

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Welcome to the latest brand new episode of the fastest growing football podcast around, 3 Up Front!

In today's jam-packed show Adrian Clarke guides Iain Spragg and Iain Macintosh through a selection of topical debates that include;

The Champions League is back with a bang fact or fiction?

Pressing tactics: How half pressure caught Barcelona out against Arsenal

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Fun fact: There are different types of pressing.

It could possibly seem common sense that the quicker the tempo the opposition attempts to play the ball around, the quicker opposition should press. Which usually can work quite well, except that Barcelona are far, far too good at keeping the ball, and exploiting the space left.

Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona – Goals (Video)

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David Villa scored the first goal of the game, capping off a pass from Lionel Messi in the 26th minute and Barcelona were cruising to an away win until halftime. Arsenal remained a constant threat to Barcelona's goal throughout but even in the second half, Barca seemed content and in control.

When Messi started walking across the pitch and choosing which player to close down and which ball to run after, it seemed Barca were a bit too relaxed.

Fastest Red Card

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The dubious honour of receiving the quickest red card goes to Chippenham Town striker David Pratt, who was sent off only three seconds into his side's loss at Bashley back in late December 2008.

Pratt, 21, lunged at Bashley midfielder Chris Knowles straight from the kick-off and received his marching orders from referee Justin Amey.

Ten Overhead Kicks That Put Rooney’s Derby Shinner To Shame

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After Wayne Rooney reminded us all that he used to be a fairly decent professional footballer with his derby day belter against Manchester City last Saturday, the received (Sky Sports-infused) wisdom seems to be that the decidedly off-colour striker's effort was, without need for second thought, the greatest overhead kick ever scored by anyone, anywhere, ever.

Pele & The New York Cosmos: America’s Match Made In Heaven

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If it hadn't have been for Warner Brothers President Steve Ross, the New York Cosmos and its legacy may have been nothing more than a distant dream. Twenty-six years on after its disbandment which left a brief yet storied legacy to football in the United States, one marquee name started the jugular for the world's global game to kick off in the land of the opportunity.

Wenger on Barcelona’s transfer / youth policy and their lies about Fabregas

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Following on from yesterday's article looking at Barcelona's hypocrisy, it's worth looking at Arsene Wenger's reply to comments made by Barcelona's ex-president Joan Laporta and current VP Javier Faus about Cesc Fabregas.

While Faus was only talking about how much money they have available for transfers, Laporta went a step further, talking about a sense of 'entitlement' with Fabregas "It's an issue of justice, we now want to recover them," he said.

Gattuso Headbutts Jordan, Flamini’s two-footed tackle on Corluka and Crouch 1-0 Milan

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Tottenham recorded a memorable 1-0 win over AC Milan last night and put themselves in a very strong position ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane. Milan had few answers for Tottenham's verve and attacking intent, and although the game only finished 1-0 in Tottenham's favour, Milan rarely looked like taking the game away from them.

Barcelona beat Arsenal off the pitch

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Arsenal used to be the self-proclaimed 'masters' of playing 'pretty football' until their English rivals forced them to seek balance and Barcelona usurped them on the pitch, with two Champions League titles and their players forming the core group of the Spain team that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

‘Stronger’ Arsenal aim to beat Barcelona at their own game

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Click here to watch Arsenal v Barcelona Live!

Arsenal v Barcelona
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
Emirates Stadium, London
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT / 20:45 CET

How do you beat Barcelona? That's the question Arsene Wenger's Arsenal must answer over 180 minutes as Barcelona-lite Arsenal take on Spanish champions Barcelona in this week's biggest Champions League second round matchup.

Stat Attack: Arsenal v Barcelona

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Click here to watch Arsenal v Barcelona Live!

As we build up to Wednesday's massive Arsenal v Barcelona match, here's a look at the some of the head 2 head stats between Barcelona and Arsenal players.

Robin van Persie v Lionel Messi

In Robin Van Persie, Arsenal have a striker in the form of his career, with the Dutchman netting a fantastic 10 goals in the league in 2011 so far.

Euro 2012 Tickets

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The UEFA Euro 2012, to be held in Poland and Ukraine between 8 June to 1 July 2012, will cost as little as €30 to watch live.

UEFA.com announced the ticket prices for Euro 2012 earlier today tickets for the general public will be sold from 1 March to 31 March exclusively through UEFA.com.

Shakhtar Donetsk see Roma as stepping stone to greater glory

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Click here to watch AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk Live!

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT / 20:45 CET

Roma go into their Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on the back of indifferent form in the domestic league, but manager Ranieri knows that a series of good results (and progress to the Champions League quarterfinals will breathe life back into a faltering campaign.

Valencia v Schalke Preview

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Click here to watch Valencia v Schalke Live!

Valencia v Schalke 04
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
Mestalla, Valencia
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT / 20:45 CET

Valencia host Schalke in the first leg of their Champions League second round tie.

Can Tottenham score in Milan?

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AC Milan v Tottenham Hotspur
Second Round, UEFA Champions League
San Siro, Milan
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Kickoff: 19:45 GMT / 20:45 CET

Premier League Champions League hopefuls face off against Serie A title contenders in a clash between new and old at the San Siro tonight.

Guardiola’s journey with Barcelona to continue till 2012

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It has been revealed that Barcelona and Pep Guardiola have reached an agreement to renew his contract with the club until June 30th, 2012.

Guardiola is developing into a club legend after an illustrious career as a player, guiding the reserve team to promotion as a coach and then taking over as the head coach of Barcelona and bringing trophy after trophy to Nou Camp.

Ronaldo: Goodbye To A Legend

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The famous gap toothed grin will be a thing of the past as Brazilian superstar Ronaldo has announced his retirement after a storied career that has seen him revered as one of the games most iconic and gifted front men.

The 34-year old had his heart set on hanging up his boots at the end of the year with a Copa Libertadores medal being hoisted over his neck with Corinthians, however, dreams don't always materialise in a sport that can be cruel as well as kind – the aforementioned knowing that all too well.

Allegri: Ibrahimovic As Good As Messi

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AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has paid a glowing testament to his striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who he believes is on a level par with Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

The Swede has had a magnificent start to his Rossoneri career after joining from Catalonia on loan for the season with the inevitable transfer being made permanent at the end of the campaign.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City Goals (Video)

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I could say a lot about the Manchester United v Manchester City game this afternoon, but the three goals scored sum of the game perfectly. Without any further ado:

Manchester United 1-0 Manchester City (Nani)

Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City (Silva)

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City (Rooney)


United v City: Three Fantasy Football Strategies

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No doubts about which is the biggest game in the Premier League this weekend: Birmingham City vs. Stoke City, obviously. Just kidding. It's Manchester United versus Manchester City in the more relevant than ever Manchester derby. With United in first and City five points behind in third (and second placed Arsenal hosting Wolves) this game has a direct impact on the Premier League title race.

Dimitar Berbatov v Carlos Tevez in 2010/2011

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Manchester United's Berbatov leads the scoring charts but Manchester City's Tevez is the better all-round player.

Carlos Tevez has been involved in more goals than any other player in the Premier League this season, having scored 18 times and delivered five assists.

Tevez may trail Berbatov by one goal in the scoring department, but it's the Argentine who is more of a threat in all departments of the game.

Money Talks: Analysing The 20 Richest Football Clubs

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When Deloitte release their annual list of 'Richest Football Clubs', there's plenty of debate on English football's earning power, the individual TV deals negotiated by Real Madrid and Barcelona, Manchester United's position at the top of the Premier League food chain, insane amounts of debt in the game, and so on.

3 UP FRONT: Arsenal’s psychological problems, Liverpool’s tactical mastermind, and England

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If you have a spare half hour or so check out the latest episode of the 3 Up Front Podcast!

Our trio of football journalists trawl through all the most topical debates during another fun-filled show that features;

Numero Uno Who was England's top man in Copenhagen?

Cristano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi, Head 2 Head

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As Argentina and Portugal line up to face each other in a battle to decide who's got the better player / fine-tune tactics for more important games / make some money, we look at a head-to-head comparison between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (Part #439571291).

Oh, and if you're interested in the game, you can watch it live online, as well as all other international friendlies being played out today click on our watch live football online page for more details.

The Olympic Stadium War – West Ham play dirty, but are Tottenham really ‘progressive’?

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The Olympic Stadium decision will be announced this week, and the biggest question the legacy committee will be asking themselves is what bad things will Karren Brady have to say about them if they rule in favour of Tottenham?

She's conducted herself in a manner any unscrupulous politician in the world would be proud of latched on to one key piece of rhetoric (promises, legacy, equating Tottenham with 'shaming Britain') and subsequently ignored everything tangible about the Tottenham position.

The Final Word On Torres: All Hail The New Berbatov!

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Since his record-breaking transfer to Chelsea, Fernando Torres has been compared to many former big-money strikers from Shevchenko (by one of Soccerlens' own) to Chris Sutton.

And after a low-key debut against Liverpool where the tactics of both sides were analysed to death (although few remembered that Steve Clarke, the former Chelsea assistant coach, now works with Dalglish), it's worth remembering another record signing who took more than just a few games (almost two seasons to be exact) to find his feet at his new 'big' club Dimitar Berbatov (who is, according to the latest sports betting from BetUS, odds-on favourite to finish top goalscorer in the Premier League this season what a turnaround from the last two seasons!

Olympics v Euros, Club v Country, and Money

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On the surface, the argument makes perfect sense football players, especially young football players should not be asked to play competitive football 11 months out of 12. By asking UEFA to mandate the national European FAs to only select players for one international tournament per season, the European Club Association (ECA) feels that they well prevent burnout / injuries in young prodigies, and thereby not only having them available at the start of each season but also prolonging their careers.

Torres on Liverpool’s history, Chelsea’s future and Roy Hodgson

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How Torres fares against his former employers in the Chelsea v Liverpool clash at Stamford Bridge today is a small part of a new chapter for both Premier League clubs. Liverpool, with Suarez and Carroll in their ranks and Kenny Dalglish leading them, claim to have 'moved on from Torres'. Chelsea, with Torres and Luiz in their squad and an expectation to spend more in the summer, feel that Torres is just the starting point to their renewed drive for success.

Stat Attack: Barcelona top scoring charts across Europe

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Out of the top leagues in Europe (Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France), Barcelona have scored the most goals and maintained highest goals per game ratio. They have scored 67 goals in their 21 La Liga games so far this season an average of 3.19 goals per game. Barca have only conceded 11 goals in their matches; roughly one goal every two games.

Summer 2010 English Premier League Transfers

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All English Premier League transfers are listed on this page.

You'll find the Premier League Transfers from summer 2010 listed here. Archives for older transfer seasons are at the end of this page. For the latest transfer rumours and transfer lists for other leagues, see our transfer news column.

US Pre-Season Friendlies Schedule (Summer 2011)

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United States Geared For Influx Of Star Names This Summer As Europe's Elite Prepare For Pre-Season.

Football, or should we say soccer in respect to our transatlantic friends over in the United States, who can look forward to a summer of household names jetting in from Europe for their pre-season tours in preparation for the 2011/12 season.

The Best and Worst Of Fernando Torres

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Fernando Torres has posted his worst stats this season since he joined the Premier League nearly four years ago. However, in the history of the Premier League, no player has scored more frequently than Torres and he has proven Champions League knockout stage pedigree.

If his poor recent form is down to him being low on motivation and considering that he's nearly back to full fitness this season, his move to Chelsea should be just the spark he needs to start scoring buckets of goals again, with Chelsea v Liverpool at Stamford Bridge is first assignment.

Can Newcastle turn Nile Ranger into an Andy Carroll?

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This time, more than any, seems perfect for overlooked Newcastle striker Nile Ranger to jump into the frame at the Magpies. Now the number nine slot is open after the foray at the end of the January transfer window, which saw Andy Carroll flying in to John Lennon airport by helicopter, it leaves the thought of who will take up this monumental task.

Benitez misses Liverpool, wishes he had 70m to spend back then

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"I think last year we were talking about £70m," Rafael Benitez.

He was speaking about Fernando Torres in an interview with BBC's Football Focus (where the discussion would invariably have turned to all things Liverpool).

"People were talking about maybe you receive an offer from another club.

3 UP FRONT: Andy Carroll, Gary Neville, Chelsea and Arsenal

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3 Up Front is back and this week's show is better than ever!

After fending off competition for their signatures in the transfer window Adrian Clarke returns alongside wing men Iain Spragg and Iain Macintosh for a bumper podcast bursting with top football chat.

This week's show features.

Is Jose Mourinho Losing Belief In His Real Dream?

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Jose Mourinho looked a shell of the man we have either came to love or loaf in the last seven years as he stood aside in his technical area in Pamplona Sunday night and witnessed his Madrid master plan seemingly blow up in smoke.

The special one was helpless to resist yet another slip up in as many weeks that has derailed his hopes of dashing the dream of a Barcelona side that is continuously getting better and better – seemingly unstoppable in their quest for domestic and European domination.

La Liga Statistical Review: Barcelona v Ronaldo

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Barcelona's relentless quest for world domination leaves Real Madrid and the rest far behind.

Simply put, Barcelona are just too good for Madrid, or any other team in Spain. We knew that in November when in this season's first El Clasico, Madrid were beaten 5-0, a scoreline that flattered their beleagured team and coach.

Will Torres score for Chelsea against Liverpool on Sunday?

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"This isn't happening...this isn't happening...this isn't happening." Rochelle, Left 4 Dead 2

Last weekend we had a bit of a laugh at the Soccerlens headquarters when players signed up in our Football Manager 2011 game ended up playing against their former clubs in their first starts.

The Age of Desperation: From Chelsea to Arsenal, via Manchester, Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle

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The transfer deadline day madness that resulted in Chelsea spending 70m+ and two new entries on the most expensive football transfers list had people wondering what had happened to the 'age of austerity' as brought about by the financial crunch and UEFA Financial Fair Play policy. It's not every day that 24m and 27m buys (Bent and Dzeko) are a forgotten footnote in transfer spending.

Andy Carroll Can Groom Himself Into Mould Of Anfield Hero Ian Rush

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New Liverpool signing Andy Carroll has all the potential to replicate Anfield legend Ian Rush.

The 22-year old Geordie born striker made a deadline day move for £35million to Merseyside from his boyhood club Newcastle United. After just six-months of regular first-team football at the highest level, he has became one of the league's most sought after properties with his previous club resisting a big money offer from Tottenham Hotspur just last week.

Fernando Torres: The New Shevchenko?

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With their omnipresent oligarch stirred into transfer action by his Premier league cash cow's continuing on-field malaise, Chelsea's money men threw a last-ditch £75 million wodge at the club's collective problem (i.e. the very real possibility of missing out on £100 million's worth of Champions League football next season) by shelling out for Benfica's David Luiz and, in case it passed you by, Fernando Torres who signed a considerable £50 million, £175,000-a-week, five-and-a-smidge year deal at Stamford Bridge just as the window began to dwindle away.

Lies? What Andy Carroll and Newcastle aren’t telling the fans

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"Despite getting the best financial deal of the day you suspect Newcastle will end up being the window's biggest losers." Adrian Clarke.

In a nutshell, that's what Liverpool's record £35m signing of Andy Carroll from Newcastle United boils down to they got silly money that they couldn't refuse, but with no time to reinforce the squad, they now face 4 months without one of their best players and might as well be dragged into a relegation battle given the tight nature of the bottom half of the table.

Transfer Deadline Round-Up: Torres And Carroll Smash Records

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For the first time in a long time, the transfer deadline day actually lived up to it's monstrous, gossip-driven hype.

Over the course of 24 hours of prime pantomme, we witnessed both the fourth and the eighth most expensive transfers of all time take place, with Chelsea bagging themselves a new number nine and Liverpool taking 35 million steps to fill the void left thereafter.

2010/2011 UEFA Champions League Second Round Preview

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The 2010/2011 Champions League knockout stages kick off this week with the second round matches to be played from 15th February to 16th March. 16 teams will be looking to progress to the quarterfinals, with no easy winners in sight (except maybe Chelsea).

This season's Champions League sees Tottenham making their Champions League debut, while 2009 UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk are in the knockout stages for the first time.

Juventus v Inter Milan Preview

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Juventus v Inter Milan
Serie A
Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sunday's Derby d'Italia is being billed as Juve's last chance at making significant progress towards securing a Champions League spot this season a gap of 11 points behind Milan with 14 games to go means title hopes have been shelved for next year.