Sanford's Soccer Net Archives for January 2010

Spain: Eduardo Alvarez's Quiniela

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Everything worked out like a dream this week: work, family, social and other forms of interaction. The last few days have been so utterly positive that I'm feeling enlightened, empowered, discerning, king-like, able to do no wrong.

Will this be the week? Will I get the perfect ten?

The Joy of Six: Big Wins

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From Scotland's shellacking at the 1954 World Cup to a 149-0 thumping in Madagascar, here are half-a-dozen hammerings.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Friday
Bayern Munich - Freiburg

Saturday
Koeln – Hamburg
Kaiserslautern – Borussia Moenchengladbach
St Pauli – Eintracht Frankfurt
Wolfsburg – Stuttgart
Werder Bremen – Nuernberg
Schalke – Bayer Leverkusen


Bruchwegstadion, Mainz, Germany

Sunday
Mainz – Borussia Dortmund
Hoffenheim – Hannover

This weekend includes tantalising tests between Mainz and Dortmund, Schalke and Leverkusen, and Wolfsburg and Stuttgart.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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Expect goose bumps when Newcastle United do battle with Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby at St James' Park.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa play out the Second City derby against Birmingham, Blackburn Rovers welcome champions Chelsea to Ewood Park and Arsenal host bottom-of-the-table West Ham United.

UEFA awards 3-0 win to Italy after Serbia trouble

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UEFA has awarded Italy with a 3-0 victory after their Euro 2012 qualifier against Serbia in Genoa was abandoned due to crowd trouble. Serbia will also have to play their next two home games behind closed doors.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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Juventus will face a stern test against second-placed AC Milan, who are two points behind league leaders Lazio and riding a four-match winning streak.

Red-hot Lazio, meanwhile, travel to La Favorita to meet Palermo.

Third-placed Inter take on Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Friday hoping to spark their campaign into life.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Real Madrid will look to avoid becoming the latest big gun to fall foul of Hercules this weekend while Barcelona host Sevilla. Fourth-placed Valencia will attempt to get back on track when they host bottom club Real Zaragoza, who are still searching for their first win in La Liga this season.

Dominic Raynor: Off The Ball

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Off The Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories.

This week, the Chilean miners lose a costly bet with the president, a red-carded footballer drives his 4x4 at the referee, Dynama Brest bring on a 56-year-old sub, a Paraguayan defender is duped by a fake kidnapping and they ink it's all over for Paul the Octopus.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast reviews Colorado's victory over Columbus and shares its weekend selections.

Chris Hughton unbowed while sack rumours persist at Newcastle United

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Newcastle's 'on-trial' manager is not about to be distracted, before the Tyne-Wear derby, by talk of his possible replacement.

Edwin van der Sar at 40: Manchester United's iceman stays cool

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Van der Sar joins the Premier League fortysomethings but the goalkeeper seems anxious to carry on making saves.

Manchester City forward Carlos Tevéz facing race to be fit for Manchester United clash

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Carlos Tevéz has been given permission to return to Argentina for "three to four days" by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini after being told he is likely to miss next month's potentially-explosive Manchester derby due to injury.

Steve Davis: MLS Playoffs: First-round Preview

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Taking a look at the first round of the MLS playoffs, which begin this week:

Kyle McCarthy: MLS Playoffs: First-round Preview

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When the MLS postseason starts, one maxim serves as a guiding principle.

Expect the unexpected.

The well-worn phrase may appear a bit trite on the surface, but it pops up time and again as the eight chosen teams battle for the right to lift MLS Cup every year.

Norman Hubbard on Roberto Di Matteo

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There has never been a better time to be an Italian manager in England. Roberto Mancini possesses the world's biggest transfer budget. Carlo Ancelotti is a languid, likeable double winner. Fabio Capello may be heavily criticised but, for £6 million a year, he is prepared to accept that. And then there is the man who represents the revelation among his compatriots in England, Roberto Di Matteo.

England: Carling Cup Round-Up

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Theo Walcott's double helped Arsenal rout Newcastle 4-0 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the League Cup. Aston Villa defeated Burnley 2-1 and West Ham beat Stoke 3-1 in Wednesday's other matches, which both went to extra time.

Round-Up


Grant Wahl: Concussions take toll in soccer too

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When Taylor Twellman won Major League Soccer's MVP award in 2005, he threw his head at balls in the penalty box with the force of a bird smacking into a window. That's how the U.S. and New England Revolution forward scored 101 goals in eight MLS seasons -- and how his playing career took an irretrievable turn on Aug.

The Big Interview: Michael Owen

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The Manchester United striker admits age and injuries have taken their toll but he remains determined to go out at the top.

Michael Owen insists he's still good enough for Manchester United.

Let's hear it for the media's army of Wayne Rooney shrinks

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The media no longer understand the concept – "footballer wants more money" – without recourse to an army of doctors.

Tom Adams: Rewind to 1999

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On Sunday, Newcastle and Sunderland meet at St James' Park to contest the Tyne-Wear derby. Eleven years ago, the same stadium played host to one of the most notorious incidents in the history of the North East's premier match as Ruud Gullit dropped his captain Alan Shearer. It was a bewildering decision that exposed the poisonous atmosphere surrounding the club, and led to Gullit's departure from Newcastle after they were beaten 2-1 by their local rivals.

England: Wednesday's Carling Cup Previews

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Aston Villa vs. Burnley

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

West Ham vs. Stoke City

Owen out for weeks with new hamstring problem

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Michael Owen has suffered a fresh hamstring injury and will be out of action for "a few weeks".
Owen has been out with a groin injury after being substituted in Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Sunderland on October 2. He was back in training last week but picked up a hamstring strain ahead of Tuesday night's Carling Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Paul the octopus is dead – but conspiracy theories are thriving

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No sooner had death's tentacles slackened their grip on Paul's squidgy body than the first conspiracy theory concerning his demise emerged like a cephalopod from a crevice.

Not everyone, it seems, is prepared to accept the news that the "psychic" octopus – who made such a splash over the summer by successfully predicting the results of World Cup games – passed away on Monday in the comfort of the German aquarium he called home.

Manchester United's young devils - a lot of promise but far from polished

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As Javier Hernandez establishes himself as Manchester United's latest young talent, Rory Smith looks at six other promising players coming through the ranks at Old Trafford.

Quotes of the Week

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"I thought I would either stay with Portsmouth, move to a Premier League club or go to Scotland. In between thinking about all that, there was my wedding to Amanda to organise. Somehow it all converged at a single point, the morning after my stag do. I received a phone call from an unknown number.

Jonathan Wilson: Premier League title far from a formality for early leader Chelsea

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Under normal circumstances in the Premier League, you'd look at a side that was five points clear with a quarter of the season played and assume it was strolling toward the title. These, though, are not normal circumstances.

Chelsea has been the best team, scoring four more goals than anybody else and conceding five fewer.

The Big Story Of MLS In 2010? A Derby Is Born

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But the most important number is 90.

As in it's 90 miles from PPL Park to Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Martin Tyler Column

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Martin Tyler's stats and facts column is here!

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.

England: Carling Cup Round-Up

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Javier Hernandez was again the hero for Manchester United as he came off the bench to score the winner in their Carling Cup fourth round clash with Wolves at Old Trafford. League One Brentford suffered heartbreak at St Andrews as they lost on penalties to Birmingham City. Roberto Martinez ended the run of his former club Swansea as his current charges Wigan sealed a 2-0 win at the DW Stadium.

Ballon d'Or shortlist puts English football in its place

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With not a single English name on it, the 23-man Ballon d'Or list will induce many a wince around Premier League clubs

Newcastle United Join Everton In The Race For American Loan Star Landon Donovan

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Magpies manager Chris Hughton has identified Donovan as an ideal replacement for Hatem Ben Arfa, who is not due to return to action until March after suffering a double leg break against Manchester City earlier this month.

Donovan, 28, is also desired for his versatility as he can play as a striker or in midfield and Hughton is desperate to strengthen his attacking options in January to provide support for Andy Carroll.

Americans On The Continent: Moving Up

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Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 secured a vital win to slide into the top three in the German Bundesliga.

The Rest

Americans In The UK: Mike Grella Sparks Near Comeback For Carlisle

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On-loan striker Mike Grella started for Carlisle on Saturday, scoring a fine goal which inspired his squad in their match against Charlton Athletic.

The Rest

Europe: Teams of the Week

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Italy: Serie A

Spain: La Liga

England: Premier League

Germany: Bundesliga

England: Tuesday's Carling Cup Preview

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Holders Manchester United host struggling Wolves, while high-flying West Brom travel to Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. Elsewhere, Birmingham welcome Brentford to St Andrews, and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez sees former club Swansea arrive at the DW Stadium.

Preview

Paolo Bandini in Italy + Serie A Table

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The Romanian is in difficulties again at a time when Fiorentina need him to bolster their injury-depleted attack.

Fiorentina need returning Adrian Mutu to help them through a bruising time.











CLUB PWDLGDPts Lazio8611619AC Milan8521717Internazionale8431615Chievo Verona8413213Juventus8332712Napoli8332312Palermo8323311Sampdoria8251211Genoa8323-111Lecce8323-611Udinese8314-410Catania823309Brescia8305-39AS Roma8233-59Fiorentina8224-18Bologna8152-48Cesena8224-48Bari8224-68Cagliari814307Parma8143-27

Raphael Honigstein in Germany + Bundesliga Table

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His side rock bottom and a victim of Mainz's success, Zvonimir Soldo got the axe. But the buck shouldn't stop with him.

Köln in meltdown as Zvonimir Soldo is shown the door.





CLUB PWDLGDPts Mainz98011124Borussia Dortmund97111422Hannover 969513116TSG Hoffenheim9432415Bayer Leverkusen9432315Hamburg SV9432215SC Freiburg9504015Werder Bremen9423-114Eintracht Frankfurt9414513St Pauli9414-113Bayern Munich9333012Nurnberg9333-112VfL Wolfsburg9315-110VfB Stuttgart9216-17Kaiserslautern9216-87Schalke 049135-66Borussia Monchengladbach9135-136FC Cologne9126-85

Sid Lowe in Spain + La Liga Table

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With a talented group of youth talent added to astute signings, there doesn't seem to be an end in sight for Villarreal's miracle.

Out of Villarreal's old orange grove grows 'the perfect football eco-system'.




CLUB PWDLGDPts Real Madrid86201820Villarreal86111019Barcelona8611819Valencia8512516Espanyol8503-215Sevilla FC8422314Getafe8413413Atlético Madrid8413313Mallorca8323-111Athletic Bilbao8314010Real Sociedad8314-110Osasuna823319Hercules8233-19Levante8224-68Sporting Gijon8224-68Almeria8143-17Málaga8215-67Racing Santander8215-97Deportivo La Coruña8044-114Real Zaragoza8035-83

Phil Ball in Spain

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I was invited to dinner last Friday night by some colleagues from the day job, all of whom were women. This does not guarantee, in any shape or form in the Iberian Peninsula, that the evening's conversation would not revolve around football, but the way that the long table was arranged, with myself at one end and the only other bloke at the other, led me to believe that some sort of conspiracy had been arranged beforehand to keep us apart.

Tim Vickery in South America

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The game runs on passion, from fans, players and coaches. Take the passion away and the game is nothing but too much is deadly. Football has brought countless benefits, but there is also plenty to lament from stadium disasters to lives lost in pointless conflicts. Uncontrolled human emotion can be a very terrible thing.

Paul the World Cup octopus dies in his tank in Germany

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Paul the octopus, an unlikely star of the 2010 World Cup who 'predicted' the outcome of eight matches, has died at an aquarium in Germany.

Sheikh Mansour takes spending at Manchester City past half-billion mark

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Manchester City's owners have injected another £80m into the club, taking Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan's investment since buying City in 2009 to more than £573m.

According to documents released to Companies House last Monday, Mansour purchased 37,547,169 new shares in the Eastlands club on 30 September, each costing him £2.

Uli Hesse in Germany

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The story of that logo goes back to the 1980s. The exact year is a matter of debate, because the man who got the ball rolling was drinking heavily then.

Thus the details are hazy, though St Pauli's recent centenary exhibition says the year was 1987 and circumstantial evidence has me presume that's correct.

SSN Separated at Birth: Andy Carroll and Kevin Federline

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Both of these knuckleheads are known for playing and scoring in leagues well above their talent level.

England: Premier League Weekend Review, Reports & Analyses

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Arsenal overcame 10-man Manchester City to climb to second in the table, Liverpool claimed a much-needed win but remain in the relegation zone while Javier Hernandez helped Manchester United to an away day triumph at Stoke City. In light of City losing to Arsenal, Chelsea extended their advantage at the summit to five points as they saw off Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Review

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Villarreal moved back to within a point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid after a hugely impressive 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid.

Review

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review

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Stefano Mauri inspired Serie A leaders Lazio to a 2-1 victory over Cagliari at the Stadio Olimpico. Inter Milan lost ground on the leaders as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Sampdoria.

Review

Five decades of England football players cashing in

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How did England's top players earn a crust in days gone by?

Benzema Still Struggling at Real

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France coach Laurent Blanc and Jose Mourinho, in charge of Real Madrid, used to spend hours talking football when the pair crossed paths at Barcelona during the 1996-97 season. Blanc was a player then, and Mourinho part of Bobby Robson's coaching staff (they were often joined by fellow players Gica Popescu, Luis Figo and, ironically, current Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola).

Mutu explains waiter incident

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According to Corriere dello Sport, Mutu's representatives Nino D'Avirro and Michele Ducci said: "Mutu reacted to a series of repeated and serious racist insults and the threat that he would end up like the Romanian nurse who was killed by a punch in the Rome metro."

Star Exports: The Top 20 U.S. Soccer Players In Europe

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With foreign stars like Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez, and David Beckham moving to the MLS, the U.S. soccer league has certainly boosted its international profile. But what about the quality of homegrown talent in America? Perhaps the best way to gauge the true standard of U.S. soccer is to examine the impact that American players are making abroad—specifically, those who've hopped across the pond to prove themselves in Europe.

Rooney Aftertaste

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Wayne Rooney wasn't even in the country this weekend but last week's ill-advised saga still leaves a bad taste in the mouth, according to skysports.com's Alex Dunn.

The Fifth Official: The Gardening Adonis

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Few of us like Mondays but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the past week in football.

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

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Peter Crouch appears to have been found out, Chelsea can live without Frank Lampard and Liverpool: the bald facts.

Rangers come from behind again to beat Old Firm rivals at Celtic Park

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No Old Firm occasion is complete without its share of controversy and verbal jousting, and today's derby victory by Rangers supplied both in spades. This one ended with complaints from the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, over the performance of the referee, with Rangers' Walter Smith responding that undue pressure was exerted on the official by the Parkhead club before a ball was kicked.

Monday MLS Breakdown

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Only in MLS could Los Angeles control its destiny in such a perverse manner.

The Western Conference leaders faced two stark choices as it entered last night's match with FC Dallas. Bruce Arena's side could either (1) clinch the Supporters' Shield and seal a date with Seattle (sixth overall in the combined league table) in the first round of the playoffs with a win or a draw or (2) arrange a two-legged series with FCD (tied for fourth overall) and hand the Shield and the corresponding home-field advantage in the Western Conference final over to Real Salt Lake with a defeat.

Defender Brown announces retirement from Fire

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The last remaining original member of the Chicago Fire is retiring. The team said Thursday that central defender C.J. Brown will end his career with Saturday's season finale at Chivas USA.

Bobbie B.S.'s better half, the future Dr. Dickie, enjoys the company of C.J. Brown at "Meet the Fire" day back in 1998 (?

The Joy of Six: Surprise Winners

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From Italy at Espana 1982 to Greece at Euro 2004, here are six teams that unexpectedly triumphed.

Chilavert accused of hitting agent

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An Argentine soccer agent said Monday that former Paraguay national team goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert hit him after a dispute over money allegedly owed from player transfers.

Pablo Seijas said the argument with Chilavert, who played in the 2002 World Cup, started when they met in Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires and continued until they arrived in Paraguay.

Europa League: Thursday Review

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Liverpool and Juventus were held to draws while Manchester City and Atletico Madrid won on a busy Europa League night.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has an added motivation to find the back of the net at Bologna on Sunday. Del Piero is one goal shy of becoming Juve's all-time Serie A scorer. Inter Milan would like nothing more than for Samuel Eto'o to keep up his goalscoring form when they host Sampdoria on Sunday.

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will be demanding no let-up from his in-form side as they host Racing Santander this weekend.

While life is looking good for Madrid, it is not so pleasant at the other end of the Primera Division standings where Real Zaragoza are having a tough time of it.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Friday
Hamburg – Bayern Munich

Saturday
Borussia Moenchengladbach – Werder Bremen
Eintracht Frankfurt – Schalke
Hannover – Koeln
Nuernberg – Wolfsburg
Freiburg – Kaiserslautern

Sunday
Borussia Dortmund – Hoffenheim
Bayer Leverkusen – Mainz
Stuttgart – St Pauli

Preview

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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Manchester United at Stoke City and Arsenal's trip to Manchester City on Sunday are the highlights of the weekend fixtures. Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur face Everton off the back of their dramatic midweek European tie, pace-setters Chelsea host Wolverhampton Wanderers while struggling Liverpool are in action at home to Blackburn Rovers.

Wayne Rooney Changes His Mind

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Wayne Rooney has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester United, ending speculation about his future. It brings to an end an amazing ten days of claim and counter claim coming out of Old Trafford which began with Rooney refuting manager Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that he was suffering from an ankle injury and seemed set to culminate with the player being sold in January.

Paul Gascoigne arrested one day after being warned he faces prison

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Paul Gascoigne has been arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs one day after being warned he could face prison for drink-driving.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast backs New York's playoff credentials before examining the final matchday of the season.

QPR are good, but where do they rank among the greatest second-tier teams?

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There is a heady list of contenders, ranging from Alf Ramsey's Ipswich through to 02-03 Pompey, via Leeds and Liverpool.

Champions League Chalkboards, Matchday Three

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A new feature on Zonal Marking for Champions League weeks.

This site has long used the Guardian's excellent Chalkboards facility to illustrate Premier League games. There is now a similar tool for analysing Champions League games, the TotalFootball iPhone app which allows real time analysis.

It also has a more specific range of options – nabling analysis of particular aspects of a game, like the passes received by a certain player, the type and distance of pass played, and passes played within the final third of the pitch.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday's Round-Up, Reports & Analyses

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Inter Milan survived a Gareth Bale inspired Spurs comeback, Manchester United edged out Bursaspor, while Rangers were held by Valencia. In the other game in Group A FC Twente and Werder Bremen shared the spoils after a 1-1 draw in Holland.

Barcelona moved to the top of Group D with a hard-fought 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen at Camp Nou.

Champions League Team Of The Round: Matchday Three

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Goal.com runs through the best in show from the third set of fixtures.





Still got it...

First XI: The stars who left Fergie's United

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Wayne Rooney has informed Manchester United he will not sign a new contract and wants to leave the club. With a squad of ageing stars and youngsters yet to prove themselves, there are fears his departure could put the club into decline, but this is far from unchartered territory for Ferguson.

ESPNsoccernet selects the First XI stars who left Ferguson's United.

Sid Lowe: Spanish award sparks controversy

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The Príncipe de Asturias awards are Spain's equivalent of the Nobel Prizes, the most prestigious of decorations. Held every year in the Campoamor theater in Oviedo, designated by a 'jury' and handed out by the Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish crown, they reward excellence in a number of fields -- from international cooperation (in other words, peace), to science and arts.

Georgina Turner's Column

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Thoughts on the weekend's action in the Premier League:


Carroll victim of car attack outside Nolan's house

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Newcastle striker Andy Carroll was the target of an arson attack on Wednesday, when his car was torched while parked on the drive of club captain Kevin Nolan.

Police admit Liverpool fans were targeted by 'Ultras' in Naples ahead of Europa League clash

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Italian police have admitted gangs of Napoli's hardcore Ultra fans went out hunting Liverpool supporters to attack in the city last night. There were a number of incidents ahead of the club's Europa League match at the Stadio San Paolo tonight, which resulted in five English people - two of whom were stabbed - and one Italian being taken to hospital.

Manchester United set for emergency talks on Wayne Rooney's future

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Sir Alex Ferguson will hold emergency talks with Manchester United's chief executive, David Gill, on Thursday morning to decide whether to sell Wayne Rooney after the player's damning statement accusing the club of not matching his own ambitions and questioning whether they are in decline.

Rooney has a point about where Manchester United are heading

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Rooney is right. Manchester United no longer have the means to match the ambition and wealth of their rivals.

UEFA Champions League: Wednesday's Key Previews

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Manchester United will attempt to find some solace from the Wayne Rooney saga when they host Bursaspor, while Tottenham face defending champions Inter Milan and Rangers welcome Valencia to Glasgow.

Barcelona see Copenhagen arrive in Spain, FC Twente and Werder Bremen meet, and Lyon and Benfica clash.

Tim Vickery in South America

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It is one of the ancient battles of sport, the struggle between talent and the ravages of time. And it's being fought out as the Brazilian Championship reaches a thrilling finale.

With eight rounds to go - and at least four clubs still in contention - one of the big questions is this: Can he really do it again?

Ambition key to Rooney revolt

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But on Tuesday I witnessed a Ferguson I had never seen before. Crestfallen, befuddled, exasperated, he took on the air of a heartbroken father, saddened and stunned by the wayward antics of a favourite son.

At one point, having abandoned the piece of paper from which he had initially intended to read, Sir Alex fell silent, apparently lost for words.

German Chancellor Merkel in football flap over photo

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The chancellor's office and the German football federation are trying to iron out a flap over Chancellor Angela Merkel visiting the Germany dressing room and congratulating half naked players after their 3-0 win over Turkey. A photograph showing Merkel with Mesut Oezil, a German player of Turkish background, upset German federation president Theo Zwanziger—apparently because he was not taken along for the occasion in Berlin on Oct.

Frank Rijkaard leaves post as Galatasaray coach

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Ex-Barcelona boss Rijkaard has been linked to Liverpool, although the Reds' new owners have backed manager Roy Hodgson, despite the club's poor form.

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's Round-up, Reports & Analyses

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Arsenal and Chelsea have one foot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League after victories over Shakhtar Donetsk and Spartak Moscow. Braga picked up their first victory of the campaign against Partizan Belgrade in the clash between Group H's also-rans. Marseille got off the mark in Group F as they inflicted a third successive defeat on MSK Zilina.

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson flies off-key Liverpool to Italy

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There are many ways to lift a team in crisis. Train harder, for example. Or appoint a new manager. Or go on a team-bonding boot camp.

Liverpool, however, have taken a slightly different route. They have been flown to Naples for their Europa League game against Napoli on Thursday by the Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson.

Donovan open to Everton return in January

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Donovan, 28, scored two goals and claimed three assists in ten Premier League games last season as he proved a real short-term success at Goodison.

Alex Ferguson's stance poses questions about Wayne Rooney's attitude

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The Manchester United manager has cast Rooney as a mercenary with no regard for the club's health.

UEFA Champions League: Tuesday's Key Previews

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Chelsea return to the scene of their UEFA Champions League final heartbreak in Tuesday's early kick-off, while a former friend becomes foe for Arsenal.

Elsewhere, European giants Real Madrid and AC Milan meet, Bayern Munich host Cluj, Roma welcome Basel, and Auxerre travel to Ajax.

Braga take on Partizan Belgrade, and Marseille see Slovakian outfit MSK Zilina arrive in France.

Russia's 2018 bid leader talks up London crime rate

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"It's no secret, for example, that in London they have the highest crime rate compared with other European cities, and the highest level of alcohol consumption among young people."

Sorokin went on to again insist that a banner with a picture of a banana aimed at West Brom's striker Peter Odemwingie and produced by fans of his former club Lokomotiv Moscow was not racist, and he points out that anti-Glazer fans had burned an American flag at Old Trafford on the same day.

Marcus Christensen in Sweden

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Violence in the stands, threats to players and coaches, and poor quality on the pitch are blighting Swedish football.

Hooliganism sends Sweden crashing back into football's dark ages.

Sid Lowe in Spain

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Barça's members' assembly gave the club president Sandro Rosell the chance to settle a few old accounts – literally – with Joan Laporta.

End of an expensive era, but Barcelona's players prove priceless.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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Inter silenced fans in Sardinia but still look short of firepower, while supporters in Genoa made a political point.

Effigy brandished at Sampdoria and Eto'o silences Cagliari in Serie A.

Marcela Mora y Araujo in Argentina

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If his agent and the selling club are to be believed, Palermo's Javier Pastoré is the market's most wanted commodity today, with the "pressure" from interested giants Real Madrid and Barcelona increasing in the hope to secure the young Argentinian's talents.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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Borussia top, Schalke going down and Bayern nowhere. Things can't get much better for Jürgen Klopp's side right now.

Why Dortmund's form is the stuff black and yellow fantasies are made of.

Americans In The UK: Frank Simek's Rebirth Continues

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Frank Simek's inspiring play continued last week for Carlisle as he sent his squad into the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Quarterfinals.

The Rest

Americans On The Continent: Setbacks Galore

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Wins were hard to come by for our boys in Europe.

Steve Davis on MLS

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Know your MLS -- five things we learned from Round 29:


Ferguson Confirms Rooney Wants Out

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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed the "terribly disappointing" news that Wayne Rooney has told Manchester United that he will not sign a new contract and wishes to leave the club.

Phil Ball in Spain

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We learned a few things this weekend, and we are likely to learn some more in midweek when three of the pretenders to the Spanish throne pit their wits against European rivals in the Champions League. Meanwhile, it will befit Villarreal - the team that continues to lend La Liga its face validity - to return to the top of the table on Monday night by beating Hercules away, and thus dampen a little the growing feeling that Real Madrid could be shaping up for an over-imperious campaign.

Steve Davis: Projected U.S. team depth chart

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The U.S. national team depth chart is clearly in transition. It certainly is a tricky time to assign order as the value of "potential" is elevated slightly for the time being. On the other hand, U.S. coach Bob Bradley and the federation is gung-ho for the 2011 Gold Cup. The winner gets a coveted place in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Review

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Hoffenheim are up to fourth place in the Bundesliga while Hamburg ended Mainz's perfect start to the season.

Bayern Munich are well off the pace but a 3-0 win at home to Hannover may give them some momentum, the glory going to Mario Gomez as he scored a hat-trick.

England: Premier League Weekend Review, Reports & Analysis

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It was misery on Merseyside for Liverpool, the vulnerability of a two-goal advantage was twice exploited as Manchester United and Wigan Athletic dropped two points apiece, Manchester City moved closer to leaders Chelsea while Arsenal overcame their recent wobble but had Jack Wilhsere sent off. Bottom-of-the-table West Ham Unitedcan count themselves unfortunate not to have come away from Molineux with all three points.

The Fifth Official: White Socks 2-0 Red Socks

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Few of us like Mondays but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the past week in football.

Monday MLS Breakdown

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Top seeds aren't as protected as most would expect at this point in the season.

Rooney, Rooney, Rooney

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Wayne Rooney has thrown Manchester United's season into a state of turmoil after informing the club he has no plans to sign another contract and intends to find new employers.

Richard Williams:
Rooney loss would be careless

Phil McNulty:
Sir Alex must solve Rooney crisis

Kevin McCarra:
Rooney ready for change of scene

Paul Hayward:
Rooney close to point of no return

Spain: La Liga Weekend Review

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After an exciting weekend of action, Barcelona managed to defeat Valencia, while Real Madrid kept pace with a crushing win over Malaga.

Review

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review

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Lazio returned to the top of Serie A during the weekend after scrambling a 2-0 win over Bari at the Stadio San Nicola. Earlier, Inter Milan's 1-0 victory at Cagliari was marred as the referee threatened to halt the game following apparent racist chanting against Samuel Eto'o. Juventus thrashed Lecce 4-0 to move up to fifth.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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The Merseyside derby pits troubled Liverpool against a resurgent Everton on Sunday. Elsewhere, newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion travel to Old Trafford, Aston Villa host league leaders Chelsea, Arsenal aim to bounce back against Birmingham City, while Blackpool welcome Manchester City to Bloomfield Road.

Merseyside Derby Moments

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Ahead of Sunday's meeting between Everton and Liverpool, ESPNsoccernet selects the First XI moments from the match that has historically been known as the 'Friendly Derby'.

Carlisle: Holden right there

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Whenever an American player heads overseas, the move is fraught with questions. Will he settle in quickly and crack the starting lineup, or will he find himself in purgatory, forgotten, and left to rot on the bench?

Fortunately for Bolton Wanderers and U.S. international midfielder Stuart Holden, getting playing time at a top club hasn't been a problem.

US company NESV set to announce purchase of Liverpool

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New England Sports Ventures are set to complete their takeover of Liverpool after the club's co-owners removed the restraining order blocking any sale.

Tom Hicks and George Gillett accepted defeat in their bid to prevent a sale to NESV but say they will pursue £1bn damages, arguing the deal is "illegal".

The Joy of Six: Great Dribbles

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From the first-ever Varsity match to Paul Gascoigne, via Garrincha and Pele, here are half a dozen memorably mazy runs.


Minute four is lovely...

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Pacesetters Valencia will look to prolong Barcelona's stuttering home form and prove to be genuine title contenders this weekend. That match takes place on Saturday night, along with the local derby between Atletico Madrid and Getafe at the Vicente Calderon and Real Madrid's trip to 10th-placed Malaga.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a key absentee when the Rossoneri host Chievo in Serie A on Saturday. Inter Milan are level on 11 points with Milan and Napoli and this weekend travel to face a Cagliari side which remains unbeaten at the Sant' Elia this season. A tough examination for Rafael Benitez's side will be made that bid harder by the possible absence of several key players, among them Diego Milito, Goran Pandev and Esteban Cambiasso, all of whom are carrying knocks.

Dominic Raynor: Off The Ball

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Off The Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories.

This week, Liam Gallagher is accused of stealing Eric Cantona's car door, Japan plan to beam live holographic matches around the world, a voodoo goat is blamed for Egypt's shock defeat and a fan gets a full-chest tattoo of Andres Escobar's shirt.

Focus: River Plate

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In the boardroom, things have seldom been calmer at River Plate. Daniel Passarella became the club's president at the end of 2009, and recently his board of directors approved an ambitious new refinancing programme. The fans, alienated and angered by the corrupt and bumbling administration of previous president Jose Maria Aguilar, had almost forgotten what it was like not to feel irritated by the board.

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast previews FC Dallas – Real Salt Lake before sorting through the Week 29 fixture list.

Wayne Rooney plays with fire to clear Sir Alex Ferguson's smokescreen

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The Manchester United forward knew what he was doing by contradicting the manager, but it was not the wisest course.

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Friday
Koeln – Borussia Dortmund

Saturday
Bayern Munich – Hannover
Mainz – Hamburg
Schalke – Stuttgart
St Pauli – Nuernberg
Werder Bremen – Freiburg
Wolfsburg – Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday
Kaiserslautern – Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim – Borussia Moenchengladbach

Preview

Yossi Benayoun perplexed by Chelsea's failure to spot torn achilles

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Yossi Benayoun has admitted his surprise and dismay that Chelsea's medical staff "missed" detecting the seriousness of an achilles injury after the Israel international was tonight ruled out for up to six months.

Tom Adams: Rewind to 2000

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After flirting with relegation last season, Lazio are the surprise leaders of Serie A after six matches. Could an unlikely title challenge be on the cards? Probably not, as the Biancocelesti have won the scudetto just twice in their history. Their most recent title success came in chaotic circumstances in the 1999-2000 season as a team bankrolled by Sergio Cragnotti, coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson and inspired by the likes of Juan Sebastian Veron snatched glory away from Juventus on the final day of the campaign.

Will La Liga spread the wealth?

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Whisper it, in these troubled geopolitical times, but Spain is getting ready to invade China.

The fact that sports economists predict that there is at least $210 million to be gained by the Spanish clubs if they market and sell a properly structured package of television rights to China has been a galvanizing force in the Primera Division.

Abby Wambach Hits Guys Carrying Food

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(Summary is not available.)

Martin Rogers Column

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Two more friendlies, two draws, two goals and precious few answers came from the United States' efforts over the past week. Yet with two more years to go until the business end of Bob Bradley's second cycle really begins, the head coach can afford to take his time in clicking things into place ahead of the next World Cup.

Genoa Riot Explained: Serbia hits rock bottom

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One has to ask how all sorts of illegal weapons could enter the stadium in Genoa, and how did the troublemakers manage to slip under the radar of the Serbian security and judicial system and travel as far as Genoa with the intent of causing a major incident?

The first question, related to the Italian hosts, I'd prefer to leave with UEFA's pending investigation.

Roberto Gotta in Italy

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Qualifiers for the World Cup and the European Championship are seen by most Italian fans less as competitive, unmissable affairs than chances to witness the progress towards another inevitably exciting month of June, every two years, when all of that will come to fruition.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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VfB Stuttgart's early-season woes are nothing new. For the last few years the Swabians have started the season lethargically, only to look like a different, stronger team in the second half of the season. But sitting 18th and last in the Bundesliga, management was alarmed enough to change coaches yet again.

Liverpool board return to high court to overturn owner's injunction

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The battle over the future of Liverpool returns to the high court today after its American owners used a court in Dallas to prevent a sale of the club.

Felipe Alvarez gets full Andres Escobar shirt tattoo, is hardcore

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When Andres Escobar was killed not long after scoring a decisive own goal against the United States in Colombia's disastrous 1994 World Cup showing, Felipe Alvarez was just 9 years old. Now 25 and a obsessive fan of Atletico Nacional -- Escobar's club team at the time of his death -- Alvarez has paid tribute to Escobar in a painful and permanent way.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Tuesday's Review

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England left Wembley with the jeers of their own fans ringing in their ears as they failed to score at the rebuilt stadium for the first time and had their 11-match winning streak on home soil ended by Montenegro. Fernando Llorente's late winner for Spain sealed a 3-2 win and broke Scotland hearts after they had come back from two goals down at Hampden Park.

International Friendly: United States 0 - 0 Colombia

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With the United States experimenting again with a new formation, the Americans finished the home portion of their 2010 schedule with a dull 0-0 draw against Colombia on Tuesday night that extended their three-year winless streak against South American opponents to nine matches.

Eric Lichaj and Brek Shea made their national team debuts, among the only highlights on a night U.

Edgar Davids involved in a furious training-ground bust-up at Crystal Palace

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The Dutch hothead, 37, stunned players and staff by grappling with left-back Julian Bennett and shouting: "I'm the boss around here."

Ernst Bouwes in Holland

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Ruud Krol and Frank de Boer are the only world-class left backs the Dutch have ever had. Few kids ever aspire to become a left back, so in professional football this position is mainly occupied by frustrated left wingers who have been demoted by their coach. The supply is even more restricted as a left-footed orientation is preferred.

Wayne Rooney struggles to see big picture in England stalemate against Montenegro

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Rooney ought to have found the Montenegro defence easier to penetrate than those of Chelsea, Inter Milan and Barcelona, despite the blanket nature of it.

That he failed again to leave a substantial mark on a game of football, as opposed to the ankles of Elsad Zverotic, for which he was booked, is a consequence of two things; a dearth of talent and the blunt thinking of Capello.

Richard Williams: A bad moment for English football

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The FA's money-grubbing imperative is putting the future of England's gifted young players in grave danger.

England need long-term planning to ensure talent is not wasted.

Italy vs. Serbia clash abandoned after violence

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Ivan the Terrible...?




Italy's Euro 2012 Group C qualifier against Serbia was abandoned by UEFA after just six minutes had been played due to crowd disturbances. The game at Genoa's Luigi Ferraris stadium was delayed for 35 minutes after a section of Serbian fans threw fire crackers and flares in the direction of the north stand where Italian supporters were seated, and onto the pitch.

Liverpool takeover to go ahead as owners lose case

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The High Court has ruled in favour of Royal Bank of Scotland and against Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, meaning the takeover agreed by the board with New England Sports Ventures (NESV) can go through as planned.

Barney Ronay at The High Court

Monday MLS Breakdown: Tactical Switch Prompts New York-Real Salt Lake Postseason Preview

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New York's adjustments to Dane Richards' absence contributed to eventual stalemate.

What Is The Best XI That Could Be Constructed From Nations Of The Former Yugoslavia?

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The 1960 European Championship final squad of Yugoslavia featured players from four of today's FIFA eligible nations. Those are Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia - Herzegovina. There was also representation from Kosovo, which is not formally recognised by FIFA.

What follows is not intended as a politically charged discussion.

International Friendly Preview: USA - Colombia

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Who:
United States vs. Colombia
What: International Friendly
Where:
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
When:
Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
TV:
ESPN2, Galavision
Preview

Liverpool future unclear amid court case, new bids

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Liverpool's proposed takeover by the owners of the Boston Red Sox is uncertain after a Singapore businessman raised his offer for the Premier League club on Tuesday and lawyers representing the current owners said a third group is also making a bid.

The future of the club was being discussed in a hearing at the High Court in London.

IAN HOLLOWAY INTERVIEW: The Great Entertainer

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Before Ian Holloway stepped into the intense spotlight of the Barclays Premier League most football fans' only exposure to the quirky manager came via his highly publicised post-match metaphors - which included comparisons to pulling women in the back of a taxi and burgling houses - but after just seven games in the English top flight the Blackpool boss has asserted what he is really about: attacking, entertaining football.

Charlie Davies fined for speeding

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U.S. soccer player Charlie Davies was fined $1,040 and his license was suspended by French police because of a speeding violation in which he said a teammate was driving.

This would be a fine candidate for a "Really?! with Seth and Amy" segment...


Davies was with Sochaux teammate Jacques Faty when they were pulled over in the early hours of Oct.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Tuesday's Previews

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It might still be early days in qualifying but the matches remain a crucial test for many big football nations which flopped at the World Cup in South Africa. England, Italy and France all have the chance to take big steps into securing their Euro 2012 Qualifying Groups with wins tonight.


Here are the previews for all the groups.

Uli Hesse in Germany

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At 3.30pm on October 22, 1977, Cologne forward Yasuhiro Okudera attempted to separate Duisburg's Herbert Bussers from the ball. It was the first minute of Okudera's first Bundesliga game and it would have been his first touch of the ball in a competitive game in Germany. If he had made proper contact with the ball, that is.

Troubled Gazza on new drink-drive charge

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Former Spurs and England midfielder Gazza, 43, was stopped by cops just before 3pm on Friday after a member of the public reported him driving erratically.

Officers pulled over his blue MG sports car in Jesmond, Newcastle, and breathalysed him. He will appear before the city's JPs on October 20.

The Fifth Official: The Liverpool soap opera continues

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Few of us like Mondays but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from the past week in football.

Danny Murphy wrong to criticise managers, says LMA

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The League Managers Association has criticised Danny Murphy for his comments about Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis and Mick McCarthy, in which the Fulham captain accused the trio of encouraging reckless tackling.

Sid Lowe: Early-Season La Liga Review Part II

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Previously, on SI, we reviewed this season's Spanish football awards, as presented by the sports daily Marca, and asked who will win them next year. Having started with the Pichichi and Zarra awards for the top scorer and top Spanish scorer respectively, we then left you on a cliff hanger as we prepared to continue the run down of next year's likely winners, based on the opening weeks of the season, turning our attention to the best coach, referee, and player.

Euro 2012 Qualifying: Group Round-Ups

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Group A
Germany continued their impressive start to qualifying for Euro 2012 with a win over Turkey, while Austria overcame Azerbaijan and Belgium defeated 10-man Kazakhstan.

Group B
Republic of Ireland produced an impressive last-gasp comeback but were unable to overthrow Russia in a 3-2 defeat at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

International Friendly: United States 2 - 2 Poland

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The U.S. finally played with a lead, only to waste it.

Twice.

Oguchi Onyewu's goal and Jermaine Jones' assist in his first game in an American uniform weren't enough for the United States, which had to settle for a 2-2 draw in an exhibition against Poland on Saturday night after giving up leads in each half.

Breaking People's Legs is Part of the Game

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The furor over Nigel de Jong's X-rated tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa over the weekend continues to rage, with De Jong dropped by the Netherlands for the upcoming slate of international matches. Fortunately for Nigel, Ryan "Not That Kind of Player" Shawcross, whose firm-but-fair testing of players like Francis Jeffers, Emmanual Adebayor and most famously Aaron Ramsey has resulted in a cumulative 2 seasons lost to injury by the aforementioned players, has leaped to his defense:

"You have just got to accept in these times, with the ball moving so fast and the player moving so fast, sometimes you are going to mis-time tackles and that is when injuries can happen.

There's Nothing Happening

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It's pretty dead out there, people. There are some Internationals tomorrow, and we'll get to those then. Since it's so dead, I'm taking the day off. Stay the course.

-Sanford

Jonathan Wilson: Hodgson overwhelmed by high expectations as Liverpool manager

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Roy Hodgson always was likely to face two problems at Liverpool: that his football was too boring for the fans, and that his training was too boring for the players. A certain stodginess leading to long-term grumbling was perhaps to be expected, but what nobody predicted was that Liverpool would be as bad as it has been so far this season, and that there would be immediate outrage.

American by way of Germany, Jones fits right in

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Jermaine Jones blended right in, chatting with Steve Cherundolo and Michael Bradley during a warmup jog and finding his new American teammates with smooth, effortless passes. It was as if he's been part of the U.S. midfield for years. A year after switching countries, the German-born Jones has finally joined his new national team at training camp this week.

Liverpool to be sold to parent company of Boston Red Sox

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The board of Liverpool has agreed to sell the club to the US owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team following an extraordinary boardroom wrangle that seems to signal the end of Tom Hicks and George Gillett's turbulent three-year ownership.








Liverpool FC chairman expects £300m sale to go through next week.

Sullivan warns of 'riots' if Spurs win Olympic bid

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West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has warned of "civil unrest" and "riots" if Tottenham win ownership of the Olympic Stadium in east London.









You do not want to make him angry...

Seattle Sounders Win U.S. Open Cup

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Fireworks popped from the top of the scoreboard. Confetti fluttered all over the field. And 40-year-old Kasey Keller acted like a dared teenager, flipping over the crossbar and onto the back of the net.

A year after celebrating their first U.S. Open Cup title nearly 3,000 miles away from home, the Seattle Sounders FC thoroughly enjoyed a second straight title before their home fans.

Seattle going for 2nd-straight Open Cup title

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More than a year after some harsh words for U.S. Soccer, the Seattle Sounders FC get their chance at winning a championship before their home fans.

The Sounders host the Columbus Crew in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup final Tuesday night.

A year ago, the Sounders felt slighted when D.C.

Sid Lowe in Spain

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A week ago, all was doom and gloom; now, there is optimism. Sevilla are a changed club under new coach Gregorio Manzano.

Sevilla get their season going ... all it took was to ditch the mother-in-law.

Americans On The Continent: Early Rest

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Jermaine Jones earned an early rest before the U.S. national team match against Poland, drawing a red card after 53 minutes over the weekend.

Americans In The UK: Dempsey Strikes Again

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Clint Dempsey burned keeper Robert Green again, sending the ball past the England keeper during Saturday's draw with the Hammers.

Former Portugal star Deco slams 'false' Queiroz

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"Speaking about Queiroz is not easy because it's complicated kicking a dead person,'' Deco told Record. ''I don't like talking about him because I have a very bad opinion of him. He is a false person.

Europe: Teams of the Week

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English Premier League

Italian Serie A

Spanish Primera Liga

German Bundesliga

Steve Davis on MLS

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Know your Major League Soccer --

Five things we learned from Week 27:

Nigel de Jong: The Lawnmower is football's repeat offender

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It only requires ten minutes on Twitter to gauge the strength of feeling for and against Nigel de Jong in the wake of his challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa on Sunday which left the Newcastle winger with a double break of his left leg.

Rob Kelly and Jason Burt on Chelsea vs. Arsenal

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Rob Kelly
Another big game, another defeat for Arsenal, another Didier Drogba goal and another demonstration of the gulf that currently exists between Chelsea and their London rivals. Some things seemingly never change at the top of the Premier League, no matter what the Sky hype machine would have you believe.

Richard Williams: Football has a duty to disarm its human missiles

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Nigel de Jong's tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa raises questions of exactly what constitutes an acceptable challenge.

Paolo Bandini in Italy

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Off the pitch the relationship between Inter and Juve remains as fractious as ever, but last night's match was a sedate affair.

Peace breaks out in the Derby D'Italia as Inter and Juve draw a blank.

Raphael Honigstein in Germany

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There will be no beers and lederhosen for the Bundesliga champions after another defeat left them 13 points behind Mainz.

Oktoberfest cancelled for Bayern as Dortmund inflict fresh humiliation.

Tim Vickery in South America

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I'm flying to back to Rio and feeling a bit jealous of people who live in the Midlands - not a sentence you're likely to come across every day.

The reason?

Next Monday, Brazil come to Derby to face Ukraine, giving fans at Pride Park the chance to have a close look at a fascinating moment in the development of the five-times world champions.

Phil Ball in Spain

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Why do some teams improve when they lose their best players? Because football isn't very logical?

Possibly.

Or perhaps in order to do well this season in Spain your team's name must start with a 'V'?

Valencia and Villarreal, in that order, are making this a fun season so far, and although the Auld Firm are very close behind, there are reasons for several teams in La Liga to be both cheerful and aspirational, perhaps until the winter winds begin to truly blow.

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

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Liverpool miss their snarling Argentinian, and other thoughts from the weekend's Premier League action.

Monday MLS Breakdown

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Designated Player Infusion Could Beckon For MLS -- Rule change opens door for DP additions throughout the league.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Review + Report

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Lazio moved to the top of the Serie A table - for the time being at least - with a narrow 1-0 win over 10-man Brescia on Sunday. Fiorentina's frailties returned to haunt them as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Palermo. Napoli claimed their first Serie A win at the Stadio San Paolo this season as two late goals helped them beat Roma 2-0.

Spain: La Liga Wednesday Review + Report

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Real Mallorca held Barcelona to a shock 1-1 draw at Camp Nou on Sunday evening. On Saturday night Valencia beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 after a dramatic conclusion at the Mestalla.

Review

Real Madrid 6-1 Deportivo La Coruna: Report

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Review

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Borussia Dortmund kept up the chase of Mainz at the top of the Bundesliga as they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 on Sunday. Elsewhere on Sunday, Stuttgart's Bundesliga struggles continued with a 2-1 home loss against Eintracht Frankfurt, condemning them to sit in last place over the international break. Marius Ebbers' first goal of the season earned St Pauli a 1-0 victory over high-flying Hannover at the AWD-Arena on Friday night.

Bayern sacrifice Oktoberfest for extra training

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Bayern Munich's worst start to a Bundesliga season has cost the team their traditional annual visit to the city's Oktoberfest beer festival, with the squad handed extra training sessions instead.

Not this year...

The Fifth Official: Liverpool - A Club In Crisis

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Few of us like Monday but The Fifth Official does, for it brings with it a chance for him to point the finger and laugh. Here he pulls out the pretty, the puzzling and the downright pig-ugly from a five-star weekend.

England: Premier League Weekend Review, Reports & Analysis

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It was an all too familiar story for Arsenal as they lost to Chelsea, while Liverpool sunk to a new low as Blackpool silenced Anfield.

Elsewhere, Everton climbed off the foot of the table with their first win of the season, Rafael van der Vaart stole the show at White Hart Lane, while Manchester City rose to second place.

Phil McNulty: Hodgson faces Liverpool fight

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Roy Hodgson's reign as Liverpool manager has declined at such speed that even owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett were spared Anfield's wrath for a few brief moments on Sunday.

It currently requires events of previously uncharted mediocrity to divert The Kop's attention away from the despised owners, but Hodgson's Liverpool achieved it as Blackpool joined Northampton Town in leaving Anfield triumphant this season.

Tom Adams: Where do Liverpool go from here?

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Very rarely can a Merseyside derby be described as a relegation six-pointer, but these are unusual times at Anfield. When the international break disappears and Liverpool refocus on their trip to Goodison Park on October 17, they will do so with a worm's eye view. Sunday's humiliating defeat to Blackpool leaves them in 18th place after seven league games.

Spain: Eduardo Alvarez's Quiniela

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What a loaded week! In just five days, La Liga presented us with managers being fired, managers being hired, a Golden Boot trophy winner, the surprising dismissal of a club President and the shocking realisation that a €96 million player can also feel anxiety. We need to understand how this news storm impacts our bets.

England: Premier League Weekend Previews & Predictions

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Premier League champions Chelsea host London rivals Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash at Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere, Manchester United face a potentially tricky trip to Wearside as they meet Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur host Gerard Houllier's Aston Villa off the back of their first UEFA Champions League group win, Manchester City welcome Newcastle United to Eastlands while Liverpool tackle newly-promoted Blackpool.

What's the appeal of St. Pauli?

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Like many football fans, I had heard of the German club St Pauli and its pioneering stance against racism, sexism and homophobia but my knowledge began and ended there.

So when the editor of Football Focus suggested I forget about the Premier League and head to Hamburg to see St Pauli make a bit of Bundesliga history, I leapt at the chance.

Manchester City reveal financial losses of £121m

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Manchester City have announced losses of £121m for the 12 months leading up to 31 May this year, having spent more on wages than their entire turnover.

The financial losses, up from £92.5m for the previous year, represent one of the heaviest in Premier League history.

Chief executive Garry Cook says City will now scale back on new signings.

The Joy of Six: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

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From an anti-football encounter in 1966 to high-scoring romps in the 1990s, here are six classic Arsenal v Chelsea games.



The most brutal match I've ever seen live. I was in the corner, separated from the Chelsea fans by a wall of stewards. It still hurts... -Sanford

Friday MLS Forecast

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The Forecast wonders why one MLS club bears the brunt of the U.S. national team's October burden and trawls through the rest of the Week 27 slate.

From Ashley Cole To George Graham - The Footballers Who Have Played For Both Chelsea And Arsenal

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Since Roman Abramovich acquired Chelsea and the club established themselves among English football's elite, clashes between the Blues and fellow 'Big Four' members Arsenal have arguably become the biggest derby games in London.

Yet despite the intense rivalry that marks the relationship between the two clubs today, they have shared several players - as well as managers and coaches - over the years.

Europa League: Thursday Review

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Liverpool and Manchester City were both held to draws while reigning champions Atletico Madrid failed to win as well.

Review

Germany: Bundesliga Weekend Preview

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Friday

Hannover - St Pauli

Saturday
Borussia Moenchengladbach - Wolfsburg
Hamburg - Kaiserslautern
Mainz - Hoffenheim
Nuernberg - Schalke
Freiburg - Koeln



Sunday

Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayer Leverkusen - Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich

Preview

Spain: La Liga Weekend Preview

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Madrid welcome second-bottom Deportivo La Coruna to the Bernabeu on Sunday night in the final game of the weekend, by which time they will know how their rivals have fared.

Champions Barcelona, who sit a point and a position better off in third, kick off two hours earlier against Real Mallorca at the Nou Camp.

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

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An inspired Inter Milan host Juventus on Sunday evening looking to pick up where they left off in midweek. If Inter fail to win, Lazio could climb to the top of the standings. The Biancoceleste are level on 10 points with Inter after five games and they host Brescia on Sunday.

Roma claimed a 2-1 win over CFR Cluj in midweek and they will go up against Napoli at the San Paolo.

Dominic Raynor: Off The Ball

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Off The Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories.

This week, Wayne Rooney is voted the worst dressed player at Manchester United, Cuauhtemoc Blanco makes his acting debut alongside topless Paraguay fan Larissa Riquelme, Arsenal are forced to change by mobile phone light, and we introduce the world's first interactive Super Mario Brothers banner.