Sanford's Soccer Net Archives for January 2009

Vive le Foot!

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The major non-event of last weekend was the cancellation of the Classico between Marseille and Paris SG. The supporters made up for it by rioting in downtown Marseille antagonizing locals and behaving like the idiots they are. Many arrests, mostly local fans when it seemed like the Parisians started it all.

Vive le Foot!

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Marouane Chamakh, Hull City's interested...

The major non-event of last weekend was the cancellation of the Classico between Marseille and Paris SG. The supporters made up for it by rioting in downtown Marseille antagonizing locals and behaving like the idiots they are. Many arrests, mostly local fans when it seemed like the Parisians started it all.

The Joy of Six: Classic Arsenal vs. Tottenham Matches

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From Gazza's Wembley howitzer to an infamous off-field result, here are half a dozen memorable north London derbies.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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Saturday lunchtime's North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur kicks off the latest round of Premier League fixtures.

The day of Halloween sees nine top-flight matches take place, including Chelsea's trip to Bolton Wanderers, Fulham versus Liverpool, Manchester United against Blackburn Rovers and troubled Hull City's clash with Burnley.

England Premier League Preview: Arsenal vs. Tottenham

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Third host fourth in 162nd competitive clash between north London foes...

When: Saturday, 31 October
Kick-off: 8:45am EDT
Where: Emirates Stadium, London N5
U.S. TV: ESPN2

Preview

The Big Interview: Emmanuel Adebayor

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Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor was interviewed on CNN International by the sports correspondent Pedro Pinto. He spoke about his early months at Eastlands, how they can get into the top four and why the attitude of former team-mates hurts.

MLS Friday Forecast

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The Forecast reflects on Thursday night's 0-0 draw between Houston and Seattle before casting its eye over the remaining first leg ties on tap this weekend.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Schalke host Leverkusen, Bayern travel to Stuttgart and Werder pay Nuernberg a visit in this week's action...

Friday
Borussia Dortmund – Hertha Berlin

Saturday
Koeln - Hannover
Hamburg – Borussia M'gladbach
Nuernberg – Werder Bremen
Stuttgart – Bayern Munich
Wolfsburg – Mainz
Schalke – Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday
Freiburg – Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt – Bochum

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero has urged his side to "turn the page" ahead of their clash against Getafe. "We have to turn the page and think of Getafe. We are Real Madrid and we have the club's prestige to defend. We are going to give it everything against Getafe."

Reigning European and Spanish champions Barcelona have no such concerns, and they go to Osasuna with a three-point lead over second-placed Madrid with seven wins in eight games.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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Juventus are looking to end an impressive week on a high when they host Napoli on Saturday.

Third-placed Sampdoria expect to erase the humiliation at the hands of Juve and focus on maintaining their unbeaten run at the Luigi Ferraris stadium against Bari.

Promoted side Parma are determined to defend their fourth position in the standings when they travel to the San Siro to meet AC Milan on Saturday.

MLS Playoffs: Seattle 0 - 0 Houston

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Blood, noise, yellow cards and a disputed whistle outnumbered scoring chances as expansion Seattle made its MLS postseason debut with a scoreless tie against the more experienced and bullish Houston Dynamo on Thursday night.

Seattle couldn't take advantage of dominating possession, or the energy created by 35,807 fans at Qwest Field.

Serie A: Inter Milan 5 - 3 Palermo

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Inter Milan moved four points clear at the top of Serie A after winning an eight-goal thriller against Palermo tonight.

The game seemed to be all wrapped up when two goals each from Samuel Eto'o and Mario Balotelli gave Inter a 4-0 lead at the interval, but Palermo fought their way back to put the Nerazzurri under pressure.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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The 5-1 win over Samp was an ideal start for Jean-Claude Blanc, who's wasted no time in seeking a club badge makeover.

Show of force from Juventus as their new president sees the stars.

Cuauhtemoc Blanco to leave Chicago Fire for Mexico

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"I had a great experience in the MLS, where they treated me very well, but at this stage of my career there were some clubs from the Mexican league that wanted me to come home," Blanco said on his Web site. "I will start a new stage in Veracruz, a place where I used to play and I promised to come back.

Marlon King jailed for 18 months following club attack

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Wigan striker Marlon King has been jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of groping a young woman in a nightclub and then breaking her nose when she spurned his "disgusting'' advances, with the Premier League club confirming they will now sack the player.

Gunners Vs Reds - mini match report

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I'd planned to write a full match report for the Arsenal vs Liverpool Carling Cup game I went to last night, but there's not much to write. For a League Cup fixture it wasn't a bad game at all, with two excellent goals and quality throughout. But most of the things I could write about either side have been written plenty of times before.

Arsenal v Tottenham: Arsène Wenger can relax after Robbie Keane's boast

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Robbie Keane reckons Spurs have a better squad than Arsenal, which gives the Daily Bung a fair idea how Saturday might turn out...




I don't like Robbie Keane...

Henrik Larsson bids tearful goodbye after final match of his career

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Striker Henrik Larsson bid an emotional farewell to football last night, admitting his decision to retire had left an "emptiness".






A class act who will be missed...

MLS Playoffs: McCarthy's Musings: Ranking the MLS Cup Contenders

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Kyle McCarthy runs the rule over the eight MLS Cup contenders and assesses which teams are in the best spot to lift the trophy at Qwest Field.

Carlisle: MLS postseason promises upsets among final eight

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The MLS playoffs are an exercise in which lunacy often prevails. In the past five postseasons, the lower seeds have won their first-round series almost half the time. Top seeds have found the going especially rough, falling six out of ten times during this period. In fact, you have to go back to 2003, when Chicago and San Jose both triumphed, to find the last time that the No.

Italy: Serie A Wednesday Roundup + Table

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Juventus moved up to second in Serie A after thrashing Sampdoria as AC Milan were denied three points by a dramatic comeback from Napoli.








CLUB PWDLGDPts Internazionale97111522Juventus106311021Sampdoria10622520Parma10523017AC Milan10442-116Genoa10514-216Palermo9432315Fiorentina10433115Bari10352314Chievo Verona10424214Udinese10424014Napoli10424-214Cagliari10415-113AS Roma10325-211Lazio10244-410Atalanta10235-39Bologna10235-69Livorno10235-69Catania10145-57Siena10127-75

Lucy Turner in Spain

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While other clubs are fighting for silverware, worrying over bad results or wondering if they could do better, there's one team that is proving to be a revelation in the Spanish Primera División. Real Mallorca are reborn from the ashes and, with hardly any new faces, are comfortably in the top half of the table.

World Cup Word On The Street: What To Do, What To See, What To Eat In South Africa

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With the world writing about South Africa ahead of the 2010 World Cup, Goal.com thought it was time to find out what people who actually live in the host country have to say.

We talked to three young, talented and passionate people who call the Rainbow Nation home.

England: Wednesday's Carling Cup Reports

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Arsenal 2 - 1 Liverpool
Arsenal's youngsters shine brightly again

Manchester City 5 - 1 Scunthorpe
Santa Cruz leads returning calvary

Chelsea 4 - 0 Bolton
Chelsea reserves thrash Megson's pussycats

FA to probe Oakwell trouble

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The Football Association has confirmed they are to investigate reports of crowd disturbances in the clash between Barnsley and Manchester United.

There are reports that eight catering staff were trapped inside a food kiosk and had to barricade themselves in a store room for around 25 minutes as fans broke in and stole cash from the till and food from the shelves.

Italy: Serie A Wednesday Preview

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Luigi Del Neri believes Sampdoria's match at Juventus on Wednesday evening will provide a true indicator as to their potential.

Inter are set to welcome their top scorer Diego Milito back to the starting line-up for Thursday's game against fourth-placed Palermo with the Argentinian having shaken off a thigh injury.

England: Wednesday Carling Cup Previews

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Arsenal vs. Liverpool


Chelsea vs. Bolton


Manchester City vs. Scunthorpe

Brad Guzan the hero after Kenwyne Jones misses chance in spotlight

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"His was a terrific performance," O'Neill said of Guzan, who was standing in for Brad Friedel, his fellow American. "I think he's a great goalkeeper in the making. He's got everything in his locker and he's as brave as they come. I can pay him no higher compliment than to say I expected him to make all those saves.

Real Madrid - From Embarrassment Of Riches To Pure Embarrassment

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Google the word "AD Alcorcon". Chances are the first thing you will notice is the glaring typo made by every football website across the globe. But there's no typo. Alcorcon did beat Real Madrid 4-0 on Tuesday night.

Madrid name team worth £125m, with 465 caps and 95 honours - and are humbled 4-0 by third division Alcorcon

Top 10 World Cup Goalkeeping Blunders

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With the World Cup playoffs and draw just around the corner, Carlo Garganese looks at the Top 10 World Cup goalkeeping blunders of all time...

MLS: Top 10 Goals of the Season

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From Landon Donovan's volley against New England to Claudio Lopez's strike against L.A., 2009 has seen a superb batch of goals.

Paris Hilton: I Am Behind Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo’s Voodoo Curse

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"I can't stand it when someone is mean," she complained to the weekly celebrity gossip publication. "I want a man anyway, not someone who runs about like a little girl. He's a wimp!"

England: Tuesday Carling Cup Roundup

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Manchester United bounced back from their weekend disappointment, while Tottenham, Portsmouth and Blackburn also reached the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Stoke City involved in mid-air plane scare

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A private plane carrying the Potters back from Fratton Park was forced to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport after players became concerned by a burning smell in the cabin.

Spurs spark a reserve revolution

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A game against Dagenham & Redbridge at Spurs Lodge training ground last week saw a Spurs XI packed full of internationals take to the field eager for some much-needed match practice, but Redknapp has few qualms about the plight that established and highly-paid stars Bentley and Pavlyuchenko find themselves in.

Freddie's Column: Enjoying life in Seattle

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It was great to see the U.S. qualify for the World Cup and I think that's great for American soccer, but as a Swede, of course I'm upset that we couldn't qualify. Our biggest rival is Denmark and we knocked them out last qualification round and unfortunately they knocked us out this time.

And they are much more relaxed here in Seattle.

Please Sign This Petition

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Stop the God-awful crawl ticker thingy during ESPN's soccer coverage. I'm tired of tying two scarves together and wrapping them around my television to block the crawl. Cheers to Jackie for passing this along. -Sanford

Stop the Crawl


Case in point...

Quotes & Chants of the Week

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"I had come from Man United with the slippers, dressing gowns and heated floors. All of a sudden I was getting changed in a tent, chasing ducks off the training pitch and cleaning up their mess. And they leave a mess like dogs, believe me."
Steve Bruce fondly recalls the day he left United to join Birmingham.

Onyewu, Davies Face Uphill Climb To World Cup

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The length of time for both injured American players to recuperate for the World Cup is short.

Italy: Serie A Worst Team of the Week

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Goal.com looks at those who performed poorly in the ninth round of action...











Klaas-Jan...

England: Tuesday Carling Cup Preview

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The first set of fixtures in the fourth round of the Carling Cup take place on Tuesday night as holders Manchester United bid to avoid an upset. Elsewhere, there are all-top-flight clashes as Sunderland host Aston Villa, Portsmouth welcome Stoke, and Everton visit Tottenham in the quest to reach the quarter-finals.

Tim Vickery in South America

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South America is a million miles away from contemporary, cosmopolitan western Europe. Distances are vast, mass salaries are low, air travel is expensive. There has been little significant mass immigration to the continent in decades.

Sid Lowe in Spain

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Everyone knew Abel Resino was going to get the sack. What everyone didn't know was that Atlético would such a mess of it.

Nine coaches in one day? And still Atlético blow it in most ridiculous way.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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The former Italy defender wasn't the only hero for Milan at Chievo, but the other one would have been far harder to predict.

Milan saved by Alessandro Nesta's brilliance and an unlikely helping hand.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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A time-wasting ballboy dared to cross the Stuttgart goalkeeper as the club suffered a fourth straight defeat.

Jens Lehmann aims ire at Hannover ballboy after Stuttgart hit 'rock bottom'.

Kevin McCarra: Vulnerability of Premier League's elite makes for engrossing entertainment

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The leading sides are no longer good enough to feel safe – and that makes the season more compelling.

Eduardo Alvarez in Spain

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Last Friday, Atlético de Madrid's supremo, Enrique Cerezo, decided to fire the rojiblanco coach, Abel Resino. Just like all things Atlético, Abel's tenure was an emotional rollercoaster full of expectations, disappointments and a significant amount of comedy.

During these intense eight months, any sharp observer would distinguish four very different phases.

Americans In The UK: Dempsey Stuns Manchester City

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The Texas native scored his first Premier League goal of the season on Sunday, grabbing an equalizer in Manchester to give Fulham a share of the points.

Phil Ball in Spain

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A mixed week for Spanish fortunes, with the country's leading European lights (at least in statistical terms), both slipping up in the Champions League, although Sevilla continued to make it look like child's play with a 3-1 win at Stuttgart. Champions League? They're 'aving a laugh. Chelsea had one as well, predictably stuffing Atlético Madrid 4-0 and condemning their manager, Abel Resino, to the social security queue.

Hull fines Altidore for tweeting apology

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"It's going to cost him a lot of money, unfortunately," Brown said. "That for me is information that stays in house. The reason he wasn't on the bench was our business."





Get fired already, will you...?

Seattle vs. Dallas: Sheedy Photos

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Pre-Game















Freddie


















Anthem

Teams of the Week: England, Germany, Italy

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English Premier League


German Bundesliga


Italian Serie A

Riots in Marseille after swine flu leads to postponement

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Frédéric Thiriez, the president of the French Football League, has defended his handling of the decision to postpone Marseille's Ligue 1 match at home to Paris St Germain because of swine flu.

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

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Manchester United are negative, Birmingham should be more positive and Phil Brown fans are braced for the worst.


"...this was the most spineless, lily-livered and unforgivable performance of Ferguson's 23 years at the club."

Free T-Shirt Night at Pride Park

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Rams fans show their displeasure after loss to QPR...

Monday MLS Breakdown: Dramatic Conclusion Unfolds Minute-by-Minute

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With two playoff berths on the line and a host of possible outcomes, the final weekend of the MLS season promised drama and delivered it in a big way. Kyle McCarthy kept a running diary of the weekend and breaks it down minute-by-minute.

England: Premier League Special Reports

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Richard Jolly at Anfield
Liverpool 2 - 0 Manchester United

Kevin Palmer at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 5 - 0 Blackburn

Harry Harris at Upton Park
West Ham 2 - 2 Arsenal

England: Premier League Weekend Review

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Liverpool's victory over Manchester United ensured a change in mood on Merseyside while Chelsea climbed to the Premier League summit in emphatic circumstances.

Elsewhere on another top-flight weekend of twists and turns, Arsenal were made to rue two points dropped against West Ham United, Manchester City also let a two-goal lead slip while Stoke City pulled off a smash-and-grab at Tottenham Hotspur.

Product Test and Review: Puma King Classic Top di

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The fine folks at soccerpro.com have once again asked for my razor-sharp product analysis. This time, it's something a wee bit more important than a t-shirt. The item in question this time around is the Puma King Classic Top di. Yes, it's the boot revered across the globe for its simple lines, supple leather, and all-black no-nonsense approach to the game.

Vive le Foot!

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It was quite the week for French teams in European football where Lyon showed incredible poise and Hugo Lloris certainly scored some points as the # 1 goalkeeper for France for the World Cup...it was also somewhat poetic justice to see a team Houllier successfully coached for 2 years beat Benitez's Liverpool at Anfield.

Tickets and Safety May Be Scarce in South Africa

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"Yes, we have crime," Jordaan said, noting that South Africa has seen an increase in tourism of around one million visitors a year. "But there is a difference between societal crime and hosting a big event and tourism."




If the crime is being sexy, then lock 'em up, right?

England: Premier League Previews & Predictions

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Liverpool host Premier League champions Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday in what is considered to be a make-or-break game for Rafa Benitez. Elsewhere on a full weekend programme of top-flight action, Wolverhampton Wanderers entertain Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime, Chelsea are in action against Blackburn Rovers while Arsenal make the short trip across London to Upton Park to tackle struggling West Ham United.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United: Top 10 Video Moments

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Watch YouTube clips of classic matches between Liverpool and Manchester United as English football's fiercest rivalry is renewed in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday.

Fulham v Roma exposed the folly of Michel Platini's extra assistant referee plan

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It had always looked a desperate, last-ditch attempt to avoid introducing video technology, but on Thursday night the true folly of Michel Platini's idea to introduce an extra assistant referee behind each goal in Europa League matches was truly exposed.

The Big Interview: Sid Lowe Talks to Jermaine Pennant

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Jermaine Pennant has accused Rafael Benítez of "restricting" his players and failing to get the best out of the Liverpool squad. The winger, who left the club to join Real Zaragoza in the summer, believes the Spaniard's managerial style and cautious tactics have resulted in some high-profile players finding their best form elsewhere.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast gears up for the final weekend of the regular season and winds its way through the decisive round of fixtures.

Landon Donovan Wins USA Player Of The Year, Decade

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U.S. National Team forward Landon Donovan made history today by winning the 2009 Honda Player of the Year Award, thus becoming the only six time winner of the most coveted prize in U.S. Soccer. For the last 19 years, the award has honored the best player on the U.S. National Soccer Team as chosen by the American soccer media.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Tough challenges lie ahead for Leverkusen, Hamburg and Schalke in this weekend's Bundesliga action...

Friday
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund
Saturday
Bayern Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia M'gladbach - Koeln
Hannover - Stuttgart
Mainz - Freiburg
Hoffenheim - Nuernberg
Sunday
Hertha Berlin - Wolfsburg
Schalke - Hamburg
Bochum - Werder Bremen

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Barcelona and Real Madrid attempt to bounce back from midweek losses.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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Fiorentina host Napoli, Inter welcome Catania, Milan go to Verona to face Chievo, Roma have Livorno, Siena host Juventus...

Europa League Wrap: Everton humbled, Fulham denied

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Javier Saviola and Oscar Cardozo both scored twice as Benfica blew UEFA Europa League Group I wide open with a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of previously unbeaten Everton.

Wrap

Amy Lawrence: Milan's Madrid win pushes Rubin's at Camp Nou for underdog-of-the-week

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The Russian team with a name like a Harry Potter spell have turned Group F into a magical prospect.

The Joy of Six: Great Performances with 10 Men

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From England's doomed heroism in St Etienne to Man City's stunning comeback against Spurs, here are half a dozen of the best displays with 10 men.

Liverpool class of '87 finish second despite run of four straight defeats

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Rafael Benítez's team may have lost their fourth consecutive game in all competitions against Lyon on Tuesday night but they are not the first Liverpool team to suffer such a poor run of form, and probably won't be the last.

Champions League Team Of The Week

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Goal.com selects the best in show from a week in which the big teams struggled...

Norman Hubbard: Bruce Has Black Cats Purring

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First there was the question of Alan Wiley's fitness. Then there were the issues caused by an inflatable ball purchased from the Liverpool club shop. Sunderland's successes have an unfortunate habit of being obscured in unlikely fashion. Nevertheless, the last two matches have marked a seismic step forward from Steve Bruce's side.

Richard Jolly: Moyes' Myriad of Options Poses Problems

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And now, all of a sudden, Moyes may have a new and unfamiliar problem: options. The days of untried unknowns making up the numbers on the bench may be nearing an end, the era when substitutions were predictable because the alternatives were so underwhelming is almost over. Everton still have three significant long-term absentees - Jagielka, Arteta and Phil Neville - but their squad is acquiring a depth.

2010 World Cup Mock U.S. Roster

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With World Cup qualification confirmed, U.S. coach Bob Bradley continues to evaluate players. ESPNsoccernet projects whom we think Bradley will choose as his 23-man U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup.


Still in the mix...



Players are ranked from top to bottom in terms of how certain a lock they appear to be for the roster and their current perceived pecking order.

Red for danger: Liverpool empire could be one defeat from crumbling

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Four consecutive losses have left Liverpool seemingly at the risk of implosion. After defeat by Lyons in the Champions League on Tuesday, their next opponents are Manchester United and Rafael Benítez's side will take to the pitch at Anfield on Sunday in the knowledge that another loss would all but end their Barclays Premier League title hopes with seven months of the campaign remaining.

Ribery expected to miss play-offs

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France are likely to be without midfield star Franck Ribery for their two World Cup play-off matches against the Republic of Ireland.

Wenger at 60

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It is a measure of Arsene Wenger's impact on global football that having arrived at Arsenal in 1996 to the headline "Arsene Who?", he could now waltz into almost any managerial post in the world.

Other leading clubs would long since have sacked a manager who failed to lift a single trophy in four years but, as Gerard Houllier told BBC Sport, "Why do Real Madrid still want him then?

Champions League: Wednesday Reports

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Chelsea and Manchester United maintained their 100 per cent records in the UEFA Champions League group phase as AC Milan beat Real Madrid in a thriller.

Real Madrid 2 - 3 AC Milan:
Pato settles five-goal thriller
Sid Lowe: Pato double rocks Madrid
Player Ratings



CSKA Moscow 0 - 1 Manchester United: Valencia completes happy Moscow return
United meals destroyed by Russian customs
Player Ratings

Bordeaux 2 - 1 Bayern Munich: Two missed penalties, two red cards

Chelsea 4 - 0 Atletico Madrid
Palmer: Blues call on reserves to crush Atletico
McCarra: Kalou double helps keep Chelsea perfect
Player Ratings

Rangers hunt for fan who racially abused Edu

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Rangers were continuing their hunt for the "moron'' who Maurice Edu alleges racially abused him after the Champions League thrashing by Unirea Urziceni.

Schalke midfielder Jones approved for U.S. switch

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Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones' application to switch to the U.S. national team from Germany has been approved by FIFA.

Tim Vickery in South America

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World Cup qualification in South America came to a close with only one change from the previous two campaigns. Brazil, Paraguay and, in the end, Argentina made it through once again, while Uruguay claimed fifth spot, the play-off position, for the third time running. The sole modification is that Chile have qualified instead of Ecuador.

Quotes & Chants of the Week

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"I lost sight of the official ball and stayed on the red one. I went for the red ball instinctively as it was the closest to me and the other went past me."
Pepe Reina on THAT beach ball.

"You have to say he was right on the spot and kept up with play well."
Mischievous Mark Hughes praises Alan Wiley's handling of the Wigan-Man City game, following Sir Alex Ferguson's comments that the official was too unfit.

Champions League: Wednesday's Previews

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Wednesday sees Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid put their 100 per cent records in the UEFA Champions League on the line.


Amy Lawrence: Madrid hold all the aces as Milan struggle

Champions League: Barcelona 1 - 2 Rubin Kazan

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Rubin Kazan have created one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history when they stunned a seemingly indestructible Barcelona side 2-1 at the CampNou.

Player Ratings

Pep ready to fight after shock home defeat

Champions League: Tuesday Roundup

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A miserable night for British interest in the UEFA Champions League saw Liverpool and Rangers both lose at home, while Arsenal dropped points on their travels as AZ Alkmaar grabbed a last minute leveller. Elsewhere, Inter Milan were held at home.



Rangers lost 4-1 at home.

Edu accuses Rangers fans of racism on Twitter

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Edu wrote a message on his Twitter feed which read: "Not sure what hurt more: result last nite or being racially abused by couple of r own fans as I'm getting in my car."

Gordon Strachan set to replace Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough

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Suggestions have intensified that Steve Gibson, Boro's chairman, had already lined up Strachan when, at around midnight last night, he sacked Southgate following the team's 2-0 home win over Derby County.

Ferguson storms out after being quizzed on FA charge

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"Silly question gets no answer," he said. "I'm not answering it."

Another reporter replied that "It's not a silly question", Ferguson then got up and left the room, saying only "Good night" as he stormed out.

Sounders goalie Keller thinks 2010 won't be the end

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After 28 regular season Major League Soccer matches, two international exhibitions and a run to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller still feels pretty good. Not bad for a 39-year-old.









Mullitude?

Champions League: Liverpool 1 - 2 Lyon

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Sailing close to the wind has been a feature of Liverpool's European adventures under the stewardship of Rafael Benítez. A defeat at home to Lyons last night meant they were all but blown off course altogether.

As in 2007, only a trio of victories from their final three group games will give the Merseyside club a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of this season's Champions League, and having lost their past four matches — Liverpool's worst run in 22 years — hopes will not be high that an upturn in fortunes is just around the corner.

Tuesday's Champions League Previews

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Liverpool and Rangers are in urgent need of victory in the UEFA Champions League, while Arsenal can extend their 100 per cent start.

Liverpool vs. Lyon: Preview
Gerrard back as Liverpool aim to avoid worst run in 22 years.

Debrecen vs. Fiorentina: Preview

Barcelona vs.

USA Striker Charlie Davies Out Of Intensive Care

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He will have surgery next week on his broken elbow and may require further surgery as he begins his rehabilitation.

Americans On The Continent: In Our Hearts

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After a joyous weekend during which the US Men's National team clinched qualification for the 2010 World Cup, tragedy struck when Charlie Davies USMNT and Sochaux was involved in a horrific one-car collision on October 13th.

Elsewhere, Michael Bradley scored in Borussia Mönchengladbach's loss.

Americans In The UK: Friedel Stifles Chelsea

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Aston Villa's defensive stalwart stunted the formidable Chelsea attack on Saturday, limiting them to one goal while allowing his squad to press on for the winner.

Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe

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The teenage Bosnian playmaker is relishing the opportunity of a showdown against Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.

Lyon's Miralem Pjanic holds key to unlocking Liverpool.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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It has not escaped anyone's attention that Inter have now won all six of their league games in which the Dutch midfielder has played.

Wesley Sneijder the key as Mourinho's master plan works wonders for Inter.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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The stalemate between Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend reflects a wider trend this season.

Goals dry up as Bundesliga's top sides revert to kontrollierte Offensive.

Sid Lowe in Spain

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Their football isn't as super as in the days of Rivaldo and co, but Depor's cut-price squad is again surprising Spain's big boys.

Deportivo La Coruña grind their way back to where they once belonged.

Phil Ball in Spain

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Time is an inconvenience between football matches. Who said that? Albert Camus? Nah - it was actually my mate Rob from Grimsby - but you can best appreciate that sort of sentiment if you come from such a place. In Spain, however, some extraordinary stuff again this weekend. Who needs beach balls when you've got La Liga?

Uli-Hesse Lichtenberger in Germany

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It's no surprise so many Müllers have run out for Germany, as this is the most common family name in this country. It is one of those names that refer to an occupation and means, of course, miller.

England: Premier League Report + Table

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Phil Brown has much to ponder between now and Portsmouth's visit on Saturday, when Paul Hart's bottom-placed strugglers must surely be defeated or the questions regarding the future of Hull's perma-smiling manager will again be raised. This was a particularly disappointing defeat to comprehend for Brown and City's travelling support, who admirably filled the away end

Fulham 2 - 0 Hull City




English Premier League Table
Club Played Points Manchester United922Chelsea921Tottenham Hotspur919Arsenal818Manchester City817Aston Villa816Sunderland916Liverpool915Stoke City912Burnley912Everton811Fulham810Blackburn Rovers810Wigan Athletic910Bolton Wanderers88Wolverhampton Wanderers98Birmingham97Hull City97West Ham United85Portsmouth93

Dean Windass finally calls time on his playing career at 40

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Dean Windass has announced his retirement as a player. The former Bradford City and Hull City striker, 40, has decided to hang up his boots after an 18-year playing career in order to focus on completing his Uefa coaching badges.

Should Irish eyes be smiling after Fifa's seeded World Cup qualifying play-off draw?

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Republic of Ireland fans should not grumble that their team will have to beat a good team to qualify for South Africa.

'Beach ball' goal referee Mike Jones dropped from Premier League duty

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Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0 thanks to a fifth-minute goal from Darren Bent which beat Pepe Reina only after striking a beach ball thrown from the crowd by a Liverpool fan.

It later emerged that Jones should have ruled the goal out and, instead, ordered a free-kick after the ball struck an "outside agent".

Arsenal’s Andrei Arshavin loves London but is baffled by customs

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Meet the tough little forward whose foot was sliced open yet he carried on, even scoring as the blood seeped out.

"But the lifestyle is very difficult for me. There are a lot of rules I don't understand. In Russia, you can break any rule. Here you can't break rules.''

"There are a lot of crazy things here.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Roundups + Team of the Week

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Valencia hold Barcelona, Raul inspires Real Madrid...


Saturday

Sunday

Team of the Week

Italy: Serie A Weekend Roundups

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Inter thump Genoa, Fiorentina and Juventus draw, Milan beat Roma...

Saturday

Sunday

Monday MLS Breakdown: Stage Set For Wild Final Weekend

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After the penultimate weekend boosted the playoff hopes of several teams, there are plenty of matters still left to decide heading into the final weekend. Kyle McCarthy spends some time perusing the playoff landscape before breaking down all of the Week 31 action.

Spanish Inquisition: Barcelona Stumble, Sevilla Crumble - La Liga's Back With A Bang

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Goal.com's Cyrus C. Malek recaps an exciting return to La Liga football...

England: Premier League Weekend Review

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Liverpool and Chelsea both lost as Manchester United climbed to the top of the table on a cracking weekend of top-flight action.

Elsewhere, Harry Redknapp enjoyed a happy return to Fratton Park, Arsenal saw off Birmingham City, 10-man Manchester City earned a point at Wigan Athletic while West Ham United suffered another defeat to ensure they remain in the relegation places.

ESPN Hire Martin Tyler For 2010 World Cup

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The voice that will guide American viewers through 2010 FIFA World Cup is a familiar one to international soccer fans. SI.com has learned that Martin Tyler, the venerable British announcer who was voted the FA Premier League Commentator of the Decade, has been hired by ESPN to be the lead play-by-play voice for the network's English-language coverage of next summer's tournament in South Africa.

2010 FIFA World Cup: UEFA Playoff Draw

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Ties to be played on November 14 and 18
Republic of Ireland v France Portugal v Bosnia-Herzegovina Greece v Ukraine Russia v Slovenia
Article

England: Premier League Special Reports

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Blackburn 3 - 2 Burnley
Richard Jolly at Ewood Park

Wigan 1 - 1 Manchester City
Harry Harris at the DW Stadium

Sunderland 1 - 0 Liverpool
Kevin Palmer at the Stadium of Light

Vive le Foot!

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The World Cup qualifiers handed two wins to France and a ticket to the playoffs in November. The feat was celebrated like a resounding success despite the overall weakness ofGroup 7. France will find out on Monday if they play Ukraine, Ireland, Slovakia or Bosnia Herzegovina...it could be 1993 all over again.

Club Football Returns!!

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Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. I am blessed (uncomfortably ubiquitous North Carolina saying...)

After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, the latest slate of internationals is finally over and we can now get back to business. Don't get me wrong -- international soccer is fine.

Look Alikes of the Week: Raul Tamudo and Adam Yauch

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Espanyol de Barcelona Veteran







Beastie Boy Veteran

England: Premier League Previews & Predictions

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Ol 'Arry Redknapp returns to Portsmouth with Tottenham, Aston Villa host Chelsea, Liverpool will be without Gerrard and Torres for their trip to Sunderland, Manchester United won't have Rooney when Bolton go to Old Trafford, Manchester City are at Wigan, Burnley are at Blackburn, Birmingham are at Arsenal, Stoke host West Ham and Everton welcome Wolves to Goodison Park.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp shuns bodyguards and insists he'll return to Portsmouth with his head held high

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Asked whether he would be taking extra security with him on Saturday, Redknapp told talkSPORT: 'Absolute rubbish. Am I bothered about some nutter running up to me? No.

'If I'd have been at Portsmouth and been the worst manager that they'd ever seen, got them relegated and turned out c**p football teams then they should have the hump.

Argentina live to fight another day

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Sam Kelly wonders if Diego Maradona was the mastermind behind Argentina's escape.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast notices how David Beckham's fortunes have changed recently before tackling the Week 31 slate.

The Joy of Six: Great teams that missed out on the World Cup

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From England's crop of 1934 to Zambia's talented but tragic USA hopefuls: half a dozen teams who didn't make it to the big party.

Amy Lawrence: Get ready for an American dream showing in South Africa

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After reaching a sixth straight World Cup, the USA feel they are not as far behind the best as the stereotype would have it.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Barcelona will look to create a new club record when they attempt to keep their 100% start against Valencia at the Mestalla.

League Preview

Italy: Awesome Threesome - It's Serie A Super Weekend!

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Goal.com's Subhankar Mondal gives his take on the three huge matches in the Italian top flight this weekend.....

Juventus vs. Fiorentina
Saturday at Noon (Live on FSC)

Genoa vs. Inter
Saturday at 2:45pm EDT
(Tape-Delay at 11:30pm on FSC)

Milan vs.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen meet in Autumn's penultimate match. Clark Whitney previews all the weekend action...

Saturday
Eintracht Frankfurt - Hannover
Koeln - Mainz
Nuernberg - Hertha
Freiburg – Bayern Munich
Stuttgart - Schalke
Bremen - Hoffenheim
Hamburg – Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday
Wolfsburg – Borussia M'gladbach
Borussia Dortmund – Bochum

Premier League Heroes: Dwight Yorke: Smiling Assassin

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In a Premier League full of seriously high stakes and grave financial ramifications for failure, it is easy to forget that football is just a game. And no player better embraced that philosophy - enjoying making a living playing the sport you love - than Dwight Yorke. For 15 Premier League seasons, the striker charmed English fans with his smiling demeanour and impressed them with his finishing prowess.

AC Milan hoping for compensation from U.S. Soccer

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"I'm very angry because once again the national teams take players and we lose out due to injuries," AC Milan chief executive officer Adriano Galliani told Italian media Thursday.




Hey Galliani! Join the club, pal. That's the way it works...

Ultimate XI: World Class, but No World Cup

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Edward Fischman is an occasional commenter on the Goal blog under the handle fischy. He was in the stands in Florence, Italy, on June 10, 1990 when the United States returned to World Cup play after a 40-year absence. As the 2010 World Cup qualifiers wind down, he provides his selections for an Ultimate XI of players who have never competed in a World Cup tournament game.

England: Peter Crouch shines but Capello's forward thinking remains imperfect

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Peter Crouch showed Emile Heskey the way to goal but Gabriel Agbonlahor will struggle to make the World Cup squad.

El Hadji Diouf Parking Ticket Escape

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Why am I not surprised that he drives a car like this...?


Italy: Who Will Go to South Africa?

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With the World Cup qualification programme completed following last night's dramatic 3-2 comeback win over Cyprus in Parma, all the talk in Italy now is over who will make the Azzurri squad for South Africa.










Si o no...?

FIFA 2010 UEFA World Cup Qualfying Wrap: Switzerland and Slovakia Make It

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Switzerland and Slovakia clinched Europe's last two automatic spots at next year's World Cup on Wednesday, while Portugal got the win it needed to keep alive its hopes of reaching the competition in South Africa.

The playoffs start Nov. 14, with the return matches four days later.


He's not going to South Africa.

Marcela Mora y Araujo in Argentina

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Argentina's much-maligned manager may have qualified for next year's World Cup, but his mood was anything but mellow.


Just because Maradona's paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get him.

FIFA 2010 World Cup: How It Looks

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The World Cup of 2010 is already taking shape, with twenty-three of the 32 teams on offer having already staked a claim towards a tournament berth.

Already Qualified:

South Africa (CAF - as hosts)
Japan (AFC)
Australia (AFC)
South Korea (AFC)
Netherlands (UEFA)
North Korea (AFC)
Brazil (CONMEBOL)
Ghana (CAF)
England (UEFA)
Spain (UEFA)
Paraguay (CONMEBOL)
Cote d'Ivoire (CAF)
Germany (UEFA)
Denmark (UEFA)
Serbia (UEFA)
Italy (UEFA)
Chile (CONMEBOL)
Mexico (CONCACAF)
USA (CONCACAF)
Switzerland (UEFA)
Slovakia (UEFA)
Argentina (CONMEBOL)
Honduras (CONCACAF)

FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying: Uruguay 0 - 1 Argentina

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Late Goal From Supersub Bolatti Puts Argies Into World Cup.







Diego lashes out at journalists:
"They can suck it and carry on sucking it," he fumed in the press conference after the dramatic win. "This is for all Argentines, minus the journalists.

FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying: United States 2 - 2 Costa Rica

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With their World Cup place already locked up, the United States were able to see themselves into the tournament in dramatic fashion pulling back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Costa Rica 2-2.

Ives: U.S. shows heart in salvaging tie

U.S. digs deep to honor Davies

Winners and Losers
Player Ratings

Gooch out for 3-4 months

Quotes & Chants of the Week

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"If I had a cat I'd buy another one so I could kick one and then the other."
The fur flies from Carlisle boss Greg Abbott after seeing his side concede a soft winner to Norwich.

"He made one mistake, that is all, and that was for the penalty. The only other one was for the goal.

Top 10 Crazy Diego Maradona Moments

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Following Diego Maradona's eye-catching diving celebration after Martin Palermo's dramatic last-gasp winner against Peru, Goal.com looks at 10 other crazy moments during the footballing career of the current Argentina coach.

Marcela Mora y Araujo in Uruguay

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Uruguay have slipped right off the international radar. But tonight the dream of a resurgent force could flicker again.

El Maestro seeks to restore the tradition of a forgotten footballing identity.

Jonathan Wilson in Eastern Europe

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Having once been the smallest ever nation to qualify for finals, Slovenia could do the unthinkable and qualify again tonight.

Climbing second World Cup mountain would be tiny Slovenia's greatest feat.








Not the prettiest of nations, but don't hold that against them.

Sven-Goran Eriksson 'rejects offer' to manage North Korea at World Cup

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Sven-Goran Eriksson is understood to have turned down an offer from North Korea to become their technical adviser for next year's World Cup.




Don't be surprised if Sven is found floating face down in the Thames...

FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying: Honduras and Costa Rica fight for finals spot in CONCACAF

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Honduras are seeking their first appearance in the World Cup finals since 1982 when they take on El Salvador in the final round of qualifying matches for the CONCACAF region. They will need some help, however, from the United States to avoid the play-off route and pip Costa Rica to third place.

South Africa 2010: The Final Countdown

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With the final games of the 2010 World Cup qualifying upon us on Wednesday, we take a look at the remaining matches that matter.

Already qualified: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Korea DPR, South Korea, Japan, Australia, England, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Mexico, U.S., Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, South Africa (hosts).

FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying: The Final Hurdle in Africa

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With just one round of qualifying matches left, half of Africa's six places at next year's World Cup are still up for grabs, as teams battle desperately to be involved in the first finals to be held on the continent.

U.S. Striker Davies Injured in Car Accident

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Charlie Davies, a striker for the United States national soccer team, was involved in a one-car accident early Tuesday in suburban Washington, D.C., in which another person was killed, a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman said. Davies was in surgery Tuesday afternoon at Washington Hospital Center and in stable condition, U.

A Voyage of Discovery to Japan

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But the Japanese fans would have come along even if the away side was Swaziland instead of Scotland, such is their fervour for their national team.

Many of them took their seats as much as two hours before kick-off - a phenomenon almost unheard of in our country where we like to keep the waiting around to an absolute minimum.

Tim Vickery in South America

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As the heavens opened in Buenos Aires it took Diego Maradona a few seconds to go from King Lear Gene Kelly, to from howling in the storm trapped in tragedy to singing, dancing and sliding in the rain in celebration.

The forgotten story of ... Danish Dynamite, the Denmark side of the mid-80s

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They won nothing, but the ultra-attacking team of Elkjaer, Laudrup and the Olsens was one of the most interesting in football history.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

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Lippi reiterated a point made in the Italian press; that the only previous times the Azzurri had secured their passage to the World Cup with one game to spare were in 1981 and 2005 and, as fate would have it, two World Cup triumphs followed soon after.

Monday MLS Breakdown: The Elusive Final Playoff Spot

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Several teams have had the chance to lock up the eighth and final playoff spot over the past few weeks, but none has stepped to the fore as of yet. Kyle McCarthy details how the chase for the final wild card berth has flummoxed most of the clubs fighting for the berth before reviewing all of the Week 30 action.

Fatih Terim quits as Turkey's coach after failure to reach World Cup finals

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Terim has managed Turkey since 2005 and took them to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, where they lost narrowly to Germany.







Happier times...

Richard Williams on Argentina

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Argentina's last-minute victory over Peru was great theatre but a poor comment on Diego Maradona's coaching.

Diego Maradona's Argentina: it's magnificent but it's not football.

Ives: Bradley proves he's the right man for the job

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Bradley guided the U.S. to qualification for the 2010 World Cup, and did so amid criticism for everything from his lineup selections to the perception of some that he is too conservative a coach. On Saturday, Bradley once again showed a willingness to make decisions that might be unpopular to some, such as starting Conor Casey ahead of fan favorite Jozy Altidore on Saturday, and added yet another victory to a résumé that is far more impressive than he gets credit for.

Kevin McCarra on England

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Wayne Rooney's performance against Ukraine drew high praise from Fabio Capello but England must develop other options.

Belarus dead rubber lets Fabio Capello plan for life without Rooney.

Phil Ball in Spain

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The fact that several high-profile clubs are in a tizzy about the possibility of their star men not making the World Cup is a new twist to the saga of club power. It all started with Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, and the fact that if Portugal fail to make it to South Africa, he will suffer from gloom and a lack of motivation that will affect his club performances for the rest of this season, poor chap.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenburger in Germany

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"Quite how Germany keep on doing it is mystifying," he wrote on Sunday, meaning how the team keeps on getting results with uncanny regularity. He also said "it feels at times Germany are proceeding by some ancient genetic memory rather than on merit" and concluded "this was simply one of those nights when Germany exercised their age-old hold on the fates".

The Joy of Six: Classic World Cup Qualifying Deciders

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From France blowing it against Bulgaria to England holding out in Rome, The Guardian looks at half a dozen classic qualifying deciders.

Denmark: "FC Solidarity" Qualify for the World Cup

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Danish brilliance has been in short supply ever since the Laudrup brothers announced their goodbyes to the game and without the luxury of a glut of talent, Denmark have usually relied on the sum of the team's parts to produce their "total football".

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Select Reports

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Malawi 1 - 1 Ivory Coast
Elephants book ticket

Cameroon 3 - 0 Togo
Lions too much for Togo

Republic of Ireland 2 - 2 Italy
Trap rues ability to hold lead as playoffs loom

Russia 0 - 1 Germany
Klose strikes to send Germans through

Serbia 5 - 0 Romania
Rout clinches spot in South Africa

France 5 - 0 Faroe Islands
Les Blues seal play-off spot

Denmark 1 - 0 Sweden
Late goal sends Danes through

Mexico 4 - 1 El Salvador
El Tri cruise through

Bolivia 2 - 1 Brazil
Selecao run out of steam in La Paz

FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifier: Ukraine 1 - 0 England

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Fading Rio Ferdinand cast in new role as England's premier saboteur.

Twenty years on, the 'hate match' between Egypt and Algeria is on again

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In 1989 all hell broke loose when Algeria and Egypt met for a World Cup place - the stakes will be just as high when they meet again.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Who's In & Who is Still on the Road

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These Countries Will Be There:

South Africa (CAF - as hosts)
Japan (AFC)
Australia (AFC)
South Korea (AFC)
Netherlands (UEFA)
North Korea (AFC)
Brazil (CONMEBOL)
Ghana (CAF)
England (UEFA)
Spain (UEFA)
Paraguay (CONMEBOL)
Cote d'Ivoire (CAF)
Germany (UEFA)
Denmark (UEFA)
Serbia (UEFA)
Italy (UEFA)
Chile (CONMEBOL)
Mexico (CONCACAF)
USA (CONCACAF)

Here's the situation for those still on the path.

Argentina's Miraculous Victory: God & The Saint Prevail Right At The Death

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When Peru's Hernan Rengifo scored an unlikely equaliser in the final minute of the World Cup qualifier against Argentina at the Monumental stadium on Saturday, it seemed that Diego Maradona's and Argentina's World Cup dream had come to an abrupt end.

Honduras 2 - 3 United States: South Africa Clinched

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It was touch and go in the final moments, and a missed penalty kick played a role, but Americans triumphed in a tough away match versus Honduras.


Player Ratings
Winners & Losers

Joy and relief and U.S. clinches World Cup berth

Ives: Casey gets the party started
Rogers: USA To-Do list for 2010

Vive le Foot!

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The ever troubled French national team will be facing the Faroe Islands @ Guingamp, the 2009 winner of the Coupe de France and "birthplace" of the current Chelsea partnership of Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda. The match should be a formality but even with a win against Austria at Stade de France on Wednesday , it will take a miracle to see France finish first of group 7 and qualify directly for the World Cup.

World Cup Qualifying Weekend Grab-Bag

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Who has qualified already?
Top Five Biggest Matches of the Weekend


South America
Diego to rely on Messi
Diego: "I will not quit!"
Uruguay face tactical dilemma
Bolivia Wary of Kaka



North America
Mexico/El Salvador Preview
Costa Rica/Trinidad Preview
USA/Honduras: Cletus looks back
USA Needs Midfield Quality


Africa
Future bright for Ghana
Cameroon Ready for Revenge
Pressure mounts on Egypt


Europe
Fabio: England will play for win
Ronaldo fit to face Hungary
Danes Wary of Zlatan
Arshavin trains his sights on Germany
Trapattoni Does Italian Job on Irish
Henry demands France improvement


Asia
Last run out for Socceroos Golden Generation
Playoff Preview: Bahrain/New Zealand

Barack Obama Awarded FIFA Player of the Year

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In an unexpected decision which shocked many, FIFA has decided to award its annual Player of the Year award early this year, saying that United States President Barack Obama was the obvious choice and that there was no point in delaying the decision. There has been no comment at this time from the trio expected finalists, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Christiano Ronaldo.

Martin Tyler's Column

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Every week he will be here to offer you statistical gems to make your day, impress your mates and, on occasion, to settle the odd bet.

Sky Sports' voice of football and his back-up team of experts are here to answer your questions and queries on all things statistical and historical from the beautiful game.

Ten things you didn't know about Ukraine

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England take on Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk on Saturday, with the hosts desperate for victory to keep their World Cup hopes alive. But just how much do we know about Ukraine...

Martin Rogers: The big game that few people will see

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Picture the scene: Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula is rocking with a mass of flag-waving Hondurans clad in blue and white. Bob Bradley looks pensive on the sidelines, and Tim Howard flexes his neck muscles, trying to alleviate some of the tension before the game that could clinch the United States' place in next year's World Cup.

Belgium turn on their own team as self-obsessed players hit new lows

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Turkey hope to sustain their World Cup qualifying hopes in Belgium, but the hosts will just want to avoid another fiasco.

"But the mentality of some of the players is deplorable ... we got fed up with the many intolerable things that made it impossible for us to do our jobs .

Quotes & Chants of the Week

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"We saw Jaws from James Bond at our hotel. He looks frightening in real life, like in the film. We all had a group photo and he was pretending to choke some of us. He would make a good keeper judging by the size of his hands."
Bristol City goalkeeper Dean Gerken as the team meet an unexpected guest at their hotel in Newcastle.

Giovanni Trapattoni gives Ireland reminder of glory days

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The Italian hopes to follow the path laid by Jack Charlton and lead his side to the World Cup finals.

Fresh Injury Worry For Schalke Midfielder Jermaine Jones

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The news does not only come as a blow for Schalke coach Felix Magath, but endangers the player's chances of making it into the USA's 2010 World Cup squad. Jones will not be able to participate in any of the States' potential November international friendlies due to the recovery setback.

17-Year-Old Kevin Keegan at Scunthorpe

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(Summary is not available.)

Alex Ferguson's dirty diversion drags Wiley's reputation into the gutter

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The Manchester United manager is prepared to put Alan Wiley's professional reputation at risk just to stop people pointing out his keeper is hopeless.

Ives: U.S. faces the most talented Honduras team in history

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While World Cup qualifying has become a rite of passage for the U.S. national team, given its five straight trips to the World Cup, the same success has eluded Honduras, which has not qualified for the World Cup since its lone appearance in 1982.

A loaded generation of talent stands poised to change that.

Which African Sides Will Join Ghana In South Africa Next Year?

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Goal.com's Peter Pedroncelli & Samm Audu take a close look at all the possible permutations as World Cup qualifying draws to a climax, and they find that some big names will miss out...





In trouble...

World Cup Games To Watch: Where's The Decisive Action This Weekend?

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There are literally dozens of international games taking place across the world this weekend, from Argentina to Bahrain to Croatia and beyond. For many countries, there is nothing left to play for but pride. They may have already qualified, as is the case with Brazil, or have been eliminated, like Peru.

Spanish Inquisition: Pedros, Manuels, Marc, Mikel & ‘El Pirata’ - Spain’s Best Uncapped Secrets

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As Vicente del Bosque nails down his Spain World Cup squad, Goal.com's KS Leong takes a look at some of the country's other gifted stars who have so far been deprived of a call-up to La Seleccion...




Alvaro Negredo, Sevilla...

Calcio Debate: Top 10 Youngsters In Serie A

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Who are the finest Under-23 players in Serie A? Who has shone the brightest in the Italian top flight so far this season? Goal.com's Gil Gillespie cuts through an increasingly congested forest of young talent and singles out the ten most outstanding saplings around...



Marek Hamsik, Napoli.

Embattled Argentina coach Diego Maradona considering resignation

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Maradona said his appointment a year ago had made him "the happiest guy in the world, but then things happened that I didn't like."

"If I carry on, it will be on my terms," Maradona told reporters after a squad practice, adding he would discuss the job with Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona.

Amy Lawrence: Will France Make the World Cup?

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The first of a series on former World Cup winners struggling to reach South Africa looks at France.

Avram Grant is Portsmouth's new director of football

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Grant has been out of the game since being sacked by Chelsea at the end of the 2007-08 season after they lost to Manchester United in the Champions League final and were beaten to the Premier League title on the final day.

North East Football: A Three-Month Report

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International week. For clubs and supporters alike, an opportunity to sit back and reflect (cliche alert - why? Why can't we do star jumps and reflect?) on the first three months of the season and consider the tribulations which might lie ahead. In the lack of any grand theme to get our teeth into, this column is getting in on the act: this week, a scattergun approach to North East football.

Lee Dixon's Tactical View

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I can still remember my first impression of Arsene Wenger when he took over as Arsenal manager back in 1996. He had the look of a geography teacher about him and came across as being very studious. A few of us in that Arsenal side were of an age where we were set in our ways, but also looking over our shoulders to see how long we had left in the game.

Richard Jolly: Clarets crowd help conquer opposition

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For a succession of visitors to a foreign corner of Lancashire, it has become the Turf Moor death rattle. Seemingly rocking, the stands erupt as the bouncing Burnley fans celebrate another goal, another win and another vaunted victim. It is becoming a routine.

Dell'Apa: Slim chance for U.S. World Cup seeding in 2010

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FIFA doesn't easily forgive or forget when it comes to World Cup seedings.

If the U.S. goes to South Africa next year, hanging over its head will be losses to Germany, Iran and Yugoslavia (1998) and to the Czech Republic and Ghana (2006). And, even should the U.S. remain high in the FIFA rankings and win the CONCACAF qualifying group, it has almost no chance of being selected as a seeded team.

Kevin McCarra: More surprises in store as stagnating Big Four fall back into the pack

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A levelling down of the Premier League's dominant clubs does not mean they are spent forces in Europe, but it does make for a season of surprising results.

Phil Minshull on the Continent

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Sampdoria and Jermaine Pennant...

Tim Vickery in South America

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It's South America's newest force against the oldest when Ecuador meet Uruguay this Saturday in a crunch World Cup qualifier.

It is a match with much to teach about the geography of the continent and the history of the game in this part of the world.

George Gillett: blame Rafael Benítez for Liverpool's failings

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George Gillett has claimed that Rafael Benítez is to blame for Liverpool's failings on the pitch – rather than the owners – after stating that the club is in "extraordinarily" good financial shape compared with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

England: Kids Get Arrested

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Aston Villa youngster Isaiah Osbourne has been arrested during training on suspicion of conspiracy to rob, it emerged on Tuesday afternoon.

Everton striker Jose Baxter has been released on bail following his arrest on a drugs charge, it was confirmed on Tuesday morning. Baxter, 17, was one of three men arrested in Kirkby on Monday on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply and on suspicion of possessing counterfeit money.

Americans On The Continent: Five for Fighting

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Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 squad hit five goals against SC Freiburg over the weekend, ending their streak of three games without a win.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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In isolation, defeat at Palermo might have been shrugged off. But in the context there are deeper issues for Ciro Ferrara and Juve.

Cause for concern at Juventus as Old Lady's fragility is exposed again.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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Jupp Heynckes has instilled the characteristics of their midfield maestro into a team that is now hammering away at the imperfections.

Simon Rolfes finds mean streak and Sami Hyypia helps send Leverkusen top.

Sid Lowe in Spain

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It was more than just the season's first big clash. It was as if Sevilla were representing the whole league.

For a moment Sevilla's fans thought Real Madrid were going to get away with it. They weren't.

Napoli Sack Roberto Donadoni, Walter Mazzarri Appointed As Coach

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"SSC Napoli would like to communicate that Roberto Donadoni has been relieved of his duties as first team coach. We have given the technical duties to Walter Mazzarri.

Americans In The UK: European Success And League Mediocrity

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Both Everton and Fulham took charge of their Europa groups but looked less than stellar in the Premiership last week.

Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger in Germany

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On the evening of February 11, while Germany were playing Norway, unexpected breaking news appeared on Schalke's official website, announcing the club had terminated the contract of striker Kevin Kuranyi due to "Kevin's intolerable statements directed at the team".

England: Aston Villa 1 - 1 Manchester City

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It was meant to be the night when Gareth Barry showed Aston Villa just how much they are missing him.

But instead it was Richard Dunne, cast aside by Manchester City almost as an afterthought after Barry's arrival at the City of Manchester Stadium, who proved how strong a character Martin O'Neill has gained.

Phil Ball in Spain

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I've just watched the Sevilla v Real Madrid game, and it was a bit of a cracker, as was expected. The game may prove to be significant in various ways this season, but anyone watching can have little doubt as to the wonders that La Liga will have to offer this season. A two-horse race? Forget it. More like fools and horses - the fools being those that write off Sevilla, the horses being the chaps who occupy the left side of Real Madrid.

England: Monday's Premier League Preview

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Who: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City
Where: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
Kick-off: 3:00pm EDT
U.S.TV: ESPN2
Preview

Boca's Martin Palermo Scores on a 40-Meter Header

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(Summary is not available.)

Old Firm: Rangers 2 - 1 Celtic

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Kenny Miller strikes early and more than once as Rangers punish limp Celtic.

FA to review Sir Alex Ferguson's referee comments

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The FA have confirmed that they will review comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson about Alan Wiley, the referee, in Saturday's draw at home to Sunderland.

The Manchester United manager is facing a charge of improper conduct after his post-match rant claimed that Wiley was not fit enough to take charge of a game of that standard.

French football boss Raymond Domenech an online hit with fan's love song

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The song is by Catherine Ringer, a former porn actress, who gushes admiration for Domenech in lyrics such as "un sacré beau mec (a bloody handsome guy)".

"If he attacked my penalty areas, I would be without defenders," sings Ringer.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Reviews

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Bayer Leverkusen maintained their unbeaten record and moved to the top of the Bundesliga after an easy 4-0 victory over Nurnberg.
Saturday


Friedhelm Funkel was shown precisely how big a task he has on his hands as he witnessed his Hertha Berlin side collapse to Hamburg 3-1.

Monday MLS Breakdown: Rapids Fullbacks Prepared For Service

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With a raft of knee injuries sidelining every available Colorado winger, Rapids fullbacks Jordan Harvey and Kosuke Kimura are facing additional pressure to provide service from the wide areas. Kyle McCarthy checks in with the Rapids to see how their fullbacks are coping with the additional strain before taking a look at all of the Week 29 action.

Teams of the Week in Serie A and Premier League

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Serie A

Premier League

FIFA Under-20 World Cup: U.S. team's flaws brutally exposed by Korea

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In its final group match, the U.S. U-20 national team played just as they had in a previous match at this World Cup in Egypt. Unfortunately for coach Thomas Rongen, the match the U-20s replicated was not their convincing win over Cameroon, but rather the comprehensive opening loss to Germany. A clinical and hard-working South Korean side was everything the Americans weren't, winning battles in every sector of the field and taking away a convincing 3-0 victory, to leave the Americans' chances of advancing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup dangling by a thread.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Roundups

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Champions Inter Milan moved back to the top of Serie A with a last-gasp 2-1 win over in-form Udinese on Saturday.
Saturday


Juventus and Sampdoria both missed out on the chance to reclaim top spot in Serie A as AC Milan's stuttering start to the season continued.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Roundups

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Barcelona made it six wins out of six with a narrow 1-0 win over Almeria at Camp Nou.
Saturday


Real Madrid missed the chance to return to the top of the La Liga table after suffering their first defeat of the season to Sevilla.
Sunday

England: Premier League Special Reports

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Kevin Palmer at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool

Harry Harris at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 - 0 Liverpool

Harry Harris at Old Trafford
Manchester United 2 - 2 Sunderland

Amy Lawrence at Emirates Stadium
Arsenal 6 - 2 Blackburn Rovers

England: Premier League Weekend Review

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Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League table after edging out title rivals Liverpool at Stamford Bridge while at the wrong end of the standings Portsmouth earned their first points of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Review

Vive le Foot! (En Retard)

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Vive la Foot!

A belated Vive le Foot this week since I found myself flying to the land of Ligue 1 overnight...sadly enough I will not be able to attend the PSG -Nancy tie in Paris...but my SF correspondent will be at the Emirates scouting some Frenchies vs. Blackburn...

Boulogne lost the match of the promoted last weekend and will face a Lille side that destroyed Slavia Prague 5 - 1 in the last 15 minutes of their Europa League tie.

Hull City team in high spirits after saving suicidal woman from bridge

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It certainly would have been an unusual sight for the drivers making their way across the world's fifth largest suspension bridge, as manager Phil Brown took the entire first-team "looking for clarity" during a walk over the bridge.

Instead, as Brown revealed in a weekly news conference, the team found the woman who Brown managed to "sweet talk" to safety.

Amy Lawrence on AC Milan

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The Berlusconis want to sell, the team look old and Leonardo may not be around for long. Things do not look good in Milan.

Milan's humbling defeat to FC Zurich sends them lurching deeper into crisis.









"Screw Milan.

Lawrence Donegan on Scotland

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The national team is a joke, the top two are nowhere and it is only going to get worse.

Old Firm's decline signposts the end of Scotland's glorious heritage.









"20 paces to the shower room..."

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview + League Table

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Italian league leaders Sampdoria are brimming with confidence heading into this weekend's game against Parma. This follows their 1-0 victory over three-time defending champions Inter Milan last week, a victory that pushed Samp one point clear of Juventus after six matches of the season.

England: Premier League Previews, Predictions & League Table

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Liverpool's trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea is the big clash of the weekend. Elsewhere, Manchester United host Sunderland, Wolves welcome Pompey, Arsenal host Blackburn, Wigan go to Hull, Birmingham are at Burnley, Spurs are at Bolton, Everton host Stoke and West Ham welcome Fulham. Monday Night Football is Manchester City at Aston Villa.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast discusses how a traditional English front duo has sparked Colorado towards the playoffs before it unveils its Week 29 selections.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Previews + League Table

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Real Madrid's 100% record could come under serious threat this weekend when they travel to face in-form Sevilla.

Guillem Balague's Preview

CLUB PWDLGDPts Real Madrid55001415Barcelona55001315Sevilla FC5401912Mallorca5311710Deportivo La Coruña530239Athletic Bilbao5302-29Valencia522128Real Zaragoza521207Osasuna5212-17Espanyol5212-27Almeria513106Getafe5203-16Tenerife5203-66Sporting Gijon5122-35Racing Santander5122-55Valladolid5113-54Málaga5104-23Atlético Madrid5032-63Villarreal5023-42Xerez5014-111

Thierry Henry Interview

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Barcelona Star Thanks Arsene Wenger And Arsenal Fans, Tips Gunners For Champions League Push.

Premier League Heroes: Ginola: Because He's Worth It

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In an era in which boy bands dominated popular culture, David Ginola, a man who looked like a Musketeer crossed with a male model, was football's answer to Take That. Dancing down the wing for Newcastle and Tottenham, and making opposition defenders play to his tune, the flamboyant Frenchman was every inch a modern superstar and a true Premier League hero.

FIFA Under-20 World Cup: United States vs. South Korea

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The Americans' itinerary will depend largely on which group turns up against the South Korean team -- the one that was trounced by Germany in the opening match, or the squad that pummeled Cameroon on Tuesday night.


U.S. vs. South Korea
Mubarak Stadium; Suez, Egypt
October 2, 12:30 p.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Stuttgart host Bremen, Lukas Podolski returns to Munich and Prussians face off in Moenchengladbach in Round 8. Clark Whitney previews all the weekend action...

Friday
Schalke – Eintracht Frankfurt

Saturday
Hannover - Freiburg
Bayern Munich - Koeln
Bayer Leverkusen - Nuernberg
Bochum - Wolfsburg
Mainz - Hoffenheim
Borussia M'gladbach - Borussia Dortmund

Sunday
Stuttgart - Werder Bremen
Hertha Berlin - Hamburg

Scottish Old Firm Preview: Rangers vs. Celtic

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It is meant to be Scottish football's most eagerly anticipated match. A fixture that, love or loathe it, is impossible to ignore. A derby that even has English fans, brought up on the champagne football of the Premier League, glancing upwards through jealous eyes - fascinated by a rivalry that is always capable of reducing even the most cultured player into a raving lunatic.

Drug or Soccer Team?

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Take the Quiz!






Cheers to Smith for this one...

Arsene Wenger Becomes Arsenal's Longest Serving Manager

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Skysports.com's James Dall reflects on Arsene Wenger's impact on football since arriving at Arsenal 13 years ago.

Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in pictures

Arsene Wenger's Top 10 Signings

Arsene Wenger's Top 10 Moments

Andy Gray: Wenger still a winner

Quotes & Chants of the Week

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"He is married and a perfect husband, so sorry for the women, but they will not have any chance."
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez breaks the hearts of Fernando Torres' female admirers.

"Giving a penalty to someone else because you feel sorry for him, because he has not scored, is the sort of thing you do in the school playground, not the Premier League.

Norman Hubbard: Evergreen Giggs Continues to Shine

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Speed was his original forte. If it is now skill, it is a sign of an ability to reinvent himself. Once a fixture on the left flank, he has been a second striker, a deep-lying central midfielder, a right winger, though this season has brought him full circle with a return to his old territory.

Wednesday's Champions League Reports & Analysis

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General Review
General Review II

AC Milan 0 - 1 FC Zurich: San Siro shocker
Leonardo defiant despite defeat
Player Ratings

Apoel 0 - 1 Chelsea: Struggle in Cyprus
Harris: Lampard stuck in a rut

Bayern Munich 0 - 0 Juventus:
Old Lady looks better

Bordeaux 1 - 0 Maccabi Haifa: Ciani winner

CSKA Moscow 2 - 1 Besiktas: Krasic winner

Porto 2 - 0 Atletico Madrid: Atletico woe

Manchester United 2 - 1 Wolfsburg: Owen hurt again
Jolly: Berbatov takes his chance

Real Madrid 3 - 0 Marseille: Ronaldo double
Player Ratings

Best of the Week in the Champions League