Jermain Defoe held his nerve to convert the last-gasp penalty that gave Sunderland a dramatic 1-1 draw against Stoke, but the Premier League strugglers still slipped back into the relegation zone on Saturday.
Sam Allardyce's side started the weekend outside the bottom three on goal difference, but their survival bid suffered a setback despite Defoe's late leveler at the Britannia Stadium.
Gareth Bale's thunderous header 10 minutes from time inspired an under-strength Real Madrid to a hard-fought 1-0 win at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
However, Real remain a point behind Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga after Antoine Griezmann scored a minute after coming on as a substitute to hand them an equally nervy 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Arsenal's long-serving manager Arsene Wenger acknowledged the grievances of fans who protested against him during the north London club's 1-0 Premier League win over Norwich City on Saturday.
In a pre-planned protest, a smattering of fans held up A4 posters bearing the words "TIME FOR CHANGE" in the 12th and 78th minutes of the game at the Emirates Stadium, in a nod to Arsenal's 12-year league title drought.
Leicester City's surge to within touching distance of the Premier League title is proof that money does not always yield success, according to manager Claudio Ranieri.
Seven points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur, 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester will be crowned champions on Sunday if they win at Manchester United, who are fifth in the table despite a heavy pre-season outlay.
If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Betis vs. Barcelona in La Liga, you've come to the right place.
The pivotal league match kicks off today after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid play earlier in the day. And with all three teams in the race to try to win the Primera Liga title, here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming:
Middlesbrough's bid for promotion to the Premier League suffered a setback after they were forced to settle for a controversial 2-2 draw against Birmingham on Friday.
Aitor Karanka's side are battling with Burnley and Brighton for the Championship's two automatic promotion places and their attempt to secure one of those lucrative berths in the top-flight was dented at St Andrews.
Leicester City can bring their fairytale pursuit of glory to a suitably spectacular conclusion on Sunday by beating Premier League standard-bearers Manchester United at Old Trafford to capture the title.
Seven points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur with three games remaining, Leicester, the 5,000-1 outsiders, will be champions for the first time in their 132-year history if they prevail at the home of United, the dominant force of the Premier League era.
Leicester City continue their "Cinderella" title contention this Sunday, May 1, at 9:05 am ET against Manchester United on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO, highlighting NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this weekend. In the simplest of scenarios, the Foxes can clinch the title with a win against the Red Devils on Sunday.
TV viewing numbers for MLS have increased 15% so far this season compared to the regular season averages from last year. With ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision establishing a set schedule of broadcasts each weekend as well as improved coverage, it's finally some good news for a league that hasn't had much to rave about lately when it comes to US TV numbers.
The top of La Liga takes center stage this weekend, as three teams continue their tussle to be crowned Spanish champions. But it's not the only division in European soccer where an extremely tight battle is set to pan out at the summit.
In the Championship, English soccer's second tier, three teams on the same amount of points are chasing two automatic promotion spots; one of those sides has a chance to pile pressure on the others with victory on Friday night.
London (AFP) Leicester City defender Danny Simpson insists the prolonged absence of star striker Jamie Vardy won't stop the Premier League leaders clinching the most incredible title triumph in English football history at Manchester United on Sunday.
Claudio Ranieri's side have the eyes of the world on them as they head to Old Trafford knowing a victory against United would see the 5,000-1 outsiders crowned champions for the first time in their 132-year history.
Lviv (Ukraine) (AFP) Holders Sevilla remain on course to reach yet another Europa League final after escaping from Ukraine with a 2-2 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in their semi-final first leg on Thursday.
Marlos and Taras Stepanenko scored for Shakhtar after Vitolo had given Sevilla an early lead, but Kevin Gameiro's 82nd-minute penalty ensured the holders have the upper hand ahead of the return in Spain next week.
Paris (AFP) While Paris Saint-Germain have long since had the Ligue 1 title wrapped up, the battle for Champions League qualification beneath them is only intensifying in the final weeks of the French season.
Just two points separate Lyon in second from Saint-Etienne in fifth with three matches remaining, including a crucial set of fixtures this Saturday.
Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew insists hehas no hard feelings towards Newcastle United as he prepares to return to his struggling former club for the first time on Saturday.
Pardew claims he would love to see current Magpies boss Rafael Benitez lead Newcastle to safety as they battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Bangkok (AFP) A sex-tape of a racially charged orgy in a Bangkok hotel was a public relations catastrophe for Thai-owned Leicester City but it proved an unlikely turning point in their journey to the top of the English Premier League.
The offending video featured three young players including James Pearson, son of then manager Nigel Pearson, engaging in explicit acts with group of Thai women in a Bangkok hotel.
Liverpool have been ordered to pay English second-tier club Burnley £6.5 million ($9.5 million, 8.4 million euros) for striker Danny Ings following a tribunal on Thursday.
Ings joined Liverpool last year after his Burnley contract expired, but because he was aged under 23 at the time of the move, Burnley, who rejected an offer of £6 million, were entitled to compensation.
Watching grass grow is not usually considered exciting but there's currently a buzz of anticipation among Qatar's World Cup organizers about 12 different types of turf gently sprouting on former Doha farmland.
If all goes well, one of these dozen grasses will eventually take centre stage and become the most watched strips of green on the globe, at least for a 28-day period, during the 2022 World Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli will not play again this season after he was given a three-game ban for violent conduct by the Football Association on Thursday.
The 20-year-old, elected England's Young Player of the Year last weekend, was retrospectively punished after punching Claudio Yacob in the stomach during Spurs' 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
The cross-section of Copa America Centenario and Euro 2016 tournaments this summer will bring a combination of 83 live games into homes across the United States. That's 32 Copa America matches and 51 Euro 2016 games between June 3-26 (Copa America) and June 10-July 10 (Euro 2016). Between June 3 to July 10, that's an average of 2.
It was a more interesting weekend than usual in terms of soccer TV ratings as the FA Cup returned to the airwaves as Everton-Manchester United and Crystal Palace-Watford battled to try to win their way to the final. Unfortunately for most viewers, the games were pushed to FOX Sports 2, so the lackluster TV ratings were either (1) a reflection of the declining interest in the FA Cup, (2) the continued poor ratings on FOX Sports 2 or (3) a combination of both factors.
A collective euphoria has gripped Leicester's humdrum streets as the often-overlooked English city stands on the cusp of achieving global sporting immortality by winning football's most coveted league title.
Many in the medium-sized Midlands city will not talk about the possibility of one of sporting history's most unlikely triumphs for fear of jinxing their heroes.
Kartik Krishnaiyer's newest book, SoccerWarz: Inside America's soccer feud between MLS, NASL and USL, examines the role that the now disgraced Traffic Sports had within NASL, as well as the league's plans to challenge Major League Soccer's position as the top division in the United States.
About a year ago, I attended a convention in downtown Detroit. This meeting of about 5,000 professionals took place at various sites throughout the city and was designed to show that Detroit was back. A city of great history, musical tradition, and sporting prowess was being revitalized by aggressive private sector investment and smart government spending, shedding its old stereotypes and taking its place as a cosmopolitan gem near the Canadian border.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for bravery from his players if they are to overcome Villarreal to reach the Europa League final and maintain their hopes of Champions League football next season.
Klopp's men produced a sensational second-half comeback from 3-1 down to beat his old side Borussia Dortmund 4-3 at Anfield to reach the last four.
Online retail giant Alibaba is on the verge of leading a Chinese takeover of AC Milan from disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Italian media reported Wednesday.
Company supremo Jack Ma was recently in Italy and was wined and dined by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the VinItaly trade fair, where the Italian leader notably observed "the future of Italy and Alibaba are intimately entwined.
FOX Sports has unveiled its TV schedule for Copa America Centenario. Every single game of the 32-match tournament will be televised in English-language across several FOX networks including FOX, FX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.
While the vast majority of games will be featured on FOX Sports 1, none of the games featuring the US Men's National Team will be on the over-the-air FOX network.
"I'm going to wait until the summer time and make a decision in the summer time," David Moyes recently told Sky Sports. The former Preston North End, Everton, Manchester United and Real Sociedad manager was addressing the issue of the impending opening at Celtic.
Moyes noted that there are a lot of teams that will "interest" him.
A sensational solo effort from Saul Niguez handed Atletico Madrid a precious 1-0 advantage over Bayern Munich from the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.
The Spanish under-21 international skipped past four Bayern players before firing into the far corner to give Atletico the perfect start after 11 minutes.
German league leaders Bayern Munich on Tuesday confirmed they are negotiating with Borussia Dortmund's Germany defender and club captain Mats Hummels.
Should he sign for Bayern for next season, Hummels would be the third big-name Dortmund star to quit Borussia for Munich in the last three years after midfielder Mario Goetze in 2013 and striker Robert Lewandowski in 2014.
So far, 2016 has been a difficult year for both Arsenal and their manager Arsene Wenger. They have only managed 5 wins in 16 games, with two of those coming in the FA Cup against Burnley and Hull both Championship sides. Arsenal have dropped 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City and were recently knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, making it their sixth consecutive exit out of the competition at the last 16 stages.
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has insisted his side face as stern a task in their Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid as in their failed attempts at this stage in the past two seasons.
Guardiola, whose side face Atletico at the Vicente Calderon in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday, will leave Bayern at the end of the season to join Manchester City.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been with the north London club since 1996. That's longer than any other club manager in Europe. He has guided the team to nine significant trophies, along with six Community Shields as well. The Frenchman also has the distinction of collecting the most FA Cup triumphs in the competition's history (along with Aston Villa's George Ramsay).
Champions League top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was a frustrated spectator as his Real Madrid side played out a slow-burning 0-0 draw at Manchester City in Tuesday's semi-final first leg.
Injury prevented the Portuguese superstar from adding to his 16-goal tally and in his absence the visitors were unable to convert the handful of chances they created, with a sensational late Joe Hart save to deny Pepe the closest either side came to a goal at the Etihad Stadium.
Thousands of sympathizers were expected to pay an emotional tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims on Wednesday after a landmark inquest found that 96 Liverpool football fans were unlawfully killed.
The day after the biggest inquest in English legal history determined police blunders caused the fatal 1989 stadium crush, the city of Liverpool was due to come together to reflect on the relatives' arduous 27-year campaign for justice.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been charged with violent conduct, the Football Association announced on Tuesday.
The charges relate to an incident involving West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob, whom the 20-year-old Alli appeared to punch during the course of a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane on Monday that left Spurs' hopes of winning the Premier League title hanging by a thread.
Fledgling AC Milan coach Cristian Brocchi faced the wrath of fans after a shock 2-1 defeat to basement side Verona left the seven-time European champions in danger of missing out on Europe next season.
Brocchi said he had fulfilled a long-held dream when he was appointed to replace Sinisa Mihajlovic following the popular Serbian's surprise sacking three weeks ago.
In the midst of his best form since joining Real Madrid, Gareth Bale is desperate to end Manchester City's Champions League dream in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday.
Without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale led Madrid back from a 2-0 deficit with a double in a hard-fought 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday to keep Real just a point adrift of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Writing a children's book is difficult.You have a delicate balancing act when you are writing it to appeal to the right age of children, and stick to that age range throughout. Not only do you have to appeal to kids, but you have to make it interesting, which is extra hard for an adult. And, since kids usually do not make purchase decisions, your content has to at least catch an adult's eye and make them chuckle enough to think their kid will like it.
If Manchester City are to outwit Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, goalkeeper Joe Hart may need to produce another of his bravura displays in the competition.
The 29-year-old England international was decisive in City's quarter-final victory over Paris Saint-Germain, repelling a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty in the first leg and keeping a clean sheet in the second as City reached the last four for the first time.
Manchester United haveno plans to replace their heavily criticized manager Louis van Gaal despite weekend reports proclaiming the club hasreached a two-year agreement with Jose Mourinhoto take charge next season.
United's board is firmly behind Van Gaal, havingnever wavered in their support of the Dutchman and his three-year project in Manchester.
It took some time to splutter to life but Juventus's "crazy, incredible" rollercoaster ride towards a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title was the "best" of the lot, said goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon.
A hard-fought 2-1 win at Fiorentina on Sunday allowed Juventus to stretch their lead over closest rivals Napoli to 12 points.
Tottenham Hotspur's prospects of catching Leicester City in a thrilling Premier League title race suffered a major blow as they dropped two points in a frustrating 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane on Monday.
Albion defender Craig Dawson made amends for his 33rd-minute own-goal by heading home an equalizer 17 minutes from time that has huge ramifications for the destiny of this season's English title.
Defending champions Juventus secured a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title on Monday after Roma struck late to beat second-placed Napoli 1-0.
Juventus, emulating their feat of 1935 when the Turin giants won a fifth straight title for the first time, had gone 12 points clear of Napoli with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina on Sunday when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a last-gasp penalty save from Nikola Kalinic.
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has steeled his fairytale-chasing players for a pivotal trip to Manchester United, but believes that there is no match for his team's "heart and soul".
Leicester, who dramatically escaped relegation from the Premier League last season, went eight points clear at the top of the table after crushing Swansea City 4-0 on Sunday and require five points from their last three games to claim the club's first ever championship.
Alan Pardew claimed Crystal Palace were inspired by the spirit of 1990 as they beat Watford 2-1 to set up an FA Cup final revenge mission against Manchester United.
Pardew scored the winning goal when Palace shocked Liverpool in the Cup semi-finals 26 years ago and the Eagles manager leaned heavily on that famous giant-killing to mastermind the south Londoners' success at Wembley on Sunday.
Leonardo Ulloa deputized seamlessly for Jamie Vardy in a 4-0 victory over Swansea City on Sunday that took Leicester City to within five points of the Premier League title.
Vardy's suspension, after he was shown a second yellow card for diving against West Ham United, robbed Leicester of their top scorer, but Argentine striker Ulloa proved a capable deputy by scoring twice as Claudio Ranieri's men moved eight points clear of Tottenham Hotspur.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi fulfilled his promise to the NBA's MVP Steph Curry for reaching 10 million followers on social media network Instagram by sending the Golden State Warriors talisman a Barcelona shirt with his name and number 10 emblazoned on the back.
Curry is a long-time admirer of the five-time World Footballer of the Year and sent the Argentine a signed Warriors number 30 shirt when Messi reached 30 million followers back in December.
Down two-nil in Saturday's top of the table clash, Bayer Leverkusen made a remarkable second half comeback to solidify their place in the Bundesliga's top three.
Bayer's six minute goal blitzkrieg was capped off by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez in the 60thminute. The Mexican international's go-ahead goal came during Bayer's brilliant counter attack, as Chicharito scored from an acute angle.
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini admitted his side will "be supporting Napoli" when the southerners visit Roma on Monday looking to tighten their grip on Serie A's second automatic Champions League qualifying spot.
Inter reinforced fourth in Italy's top flight on Saturday with a 3-1 home defeat of Udinese a match referred to in the Italian media as 'Strangers in the Night' because it kicked off without a single Italian player.
The Professional Footballer's Association team of the year was announced this week, and, as expected with the league table looking the way it does, it was dominated by Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur players.
Most players can't be quibbled with. However, it seems that the PFA have focused on trying to reward Leicester and Spurs for having great seasons rather than rewarding individual players for having an amazing season.
Brighton bolstered their bid for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 3-1 win at Charlton on Saturday, while Milton Keynes Dons were relegated to the third tier after a 4-1 thrashing by Brentford.
Chris Hughton's Brighton are third in the Championship but only goal difference is keeping them below leaders Burnley and second placed Middlesbrough with two games remaining in a thrilling finale to the promotion race.
Teenager Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice as Manchester City tuned up for their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid by sinking Stoke City 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.
Iheanacho, 19, struck twice within 10 second-half minutes, adding to goals by Fernando and Sergio Aguero, to lift City, who host Madrid in the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday, back above Arsenal to third place.
French forward Anthony Martial scored a nerveless stoppage-time winner as Manchester United edged Everton 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday to reach their first FA Cup final since 2007.
Martial set up Marouane Fellaini to score against his former club in the 34th minute, but after United goalkeeper David de Gea had superbly saved a penalty from Romelu Lukaku, Chris Smalling's 75th-minute own goal looked to have sent the semi-final to extra time.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc knows Lille pose a serious threat to his side's chances of completing another clean sweep of the domestic trophies as the teams prepare to clash in Saturday's French League Cup final.
With the Ligue 1 title and the season-opening Champions Trophy already in the bag, PSG are bidding to win the League Cup for the third year on the bounce before returning to the Stade de France for a French Cup final against Marseille next month.
Inter Milan have been hit with a partial stadium ban after Napoli's Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly was the victim of racist abuse at the side's last league meeting, Serie A officials have announced.
Koulibaly was subject to sporadic monkey chants from groups of hardline ultra fans in the Curva Nord section of the San Siro two weeks ago when Napoli lost 2-0.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will miss his side's visit to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday to ensure he will be fit for their Champions League semi-final, first leg at Manchester City on Tuesday.
The club confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo suffered a thigh strain as he hobbled off towards the end of Real's 3-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger complained that criticism of his team was misplaced following their 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion and said that stay-away supporters were not necessarily protesting.
Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal returned to winning ways on Thursday following successive draws, climbing above Manchester City and into third place in the Premier League in the process.
Live weekend match coverage begins this Saturday, April 23, at 7 a.m. ET with Premier League Live on NBCSN, followed by Manchester City v. Stoke City on NBCSN and NBC UNIVERSO. Manchester City come off a 1-1 draw against Newcastle today, while Stoke look to rebound from yesterday's 4-0 loss against second-place Tottenham.
Although soccer purists will tell you the semi-finals of the FA Cup shouldn't be at Wembley Stadium, every time this weekend comes around on the soccer calendar there's a sense of excitement at the two games to be played under the iconic arch approach.
This weekend's clashes should be fascinating affairs, especially given all four sides involved will view this trophy as a priority, something which hasn't always been the case in recent campaigns.
When the PFA Premier League Team of the Year was announced on Thursday there was quite an omission from the prestigious list of players. Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil, despite nearing the Premier League record of assists in a single season, was overlooked by the voters. Instead of the Germany international, the PFA decided to go with West Ham United's Dimitri Payet and Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli in midfield.
Barcelona's Brazilian star Neymar will miss the Copa America Centenario in the United States in June, but will be released to represent his country at the Rio Olympics in August, the Catalan giants announced on Wednesday.
"FC Barcelona thanks the Brazilian football federation and their president Marco Polo del Nero, who have accepted the proposal made by the club that Neymar only play in the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016, which take place between 3-21 of August," the club said in a statement.
A potentially serious injury to in-form striker Divock Origi cast a shadow over Liverpool's 4-0 thumping of Everton in the 226th Merseyside derby.
The usually ebullient Jurgen Klopp admitted he found it difficult to raise a smile despite Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho completing a rousing victory over their near-neighbors.
Barcelona presented plans for the extensive renovation of their Camp Nou stadium on Thursday that will see the capacity of Europe's biggest stadium extended to 105,000 and an open facade to allow views across the city.
"It will be a unique stadium," said club president Josep Maria Bartomeu at the presentation inside the stadium attended by the first-team squad.
The viewing figures are in for the soccer matches on US television from the weekend of April 15-18 where Chelsea against Manchester City was the biggest draw, netting almost 900,000 viewers across NBCSN and NBC Universo.
Also impressive was the viewing figure of 676,000 who tuned in to watch Barcelona lose to Valencia on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español.
Soccer is an outlier in the landscape of American sports in that the major debates shaping the sport are about the leagues themselves. In the other sports leagues, the debates are about the rules of the game or how players are perceived, but only among American soccer fans are the major debates about the competence of the divisions.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted he should have rested star Cristiano Ronaldo more in recent weeks after he limped off in Real's 3-0 win over Villarreal.
Ronaldo was seen holding his right hamstring before leaving the field in the closing minutes, putting at risk his presence in Madrid's Champions League semi-final, first leg at Manchester City next week.
A Paulo Dybala brace kept Juventus's title push on track but Francesco Totti stole the show in Serie A with two goals in a 3-2 win over Torino that moved Roma closer to Champions League qualification on Wednesday.
Juve's closest rivals Napoli had fired a warning shot after putting six unanswered goals, including a hat-trick from Belgium midfielder Dries Mertens, past Bologna on Tuesday.
Defending champion Club America scored a pair of second half goals to defeat Tigres 2-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.
Dario Benedetto scored in the 49th minute and Osvaldo Martinez added an insurance marker three minutes into stoppage time as the Mexican side took a huge step towards defending their title with a victory on the road at Estadio Universitario.
The French government said Wednesday it would seek a new extension of a post-attacks state of emergency to cover this summer's Euro 2016 and the Tour de France, drawing criticism from rights defenders.
"The state of emergency cannot be a permanent state," Prime Minister Manuel Valls insisted.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his side delivered the "perfect" message to Premier League leaders Leicester City after an emphatic 4-0 win at Stoke City saw them close the gap at the top of the table to five points.
Leicester's 2-2 draw at home to West Ham on Sunday gave Spurs the opportunity to reduce the deficit with four games remaining and they seized it in commanding style with a fourth win in five matches thanks to two goals each from the England duo of Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
On the face of it, life for PSG has never been sweeter. Until recently the Parisians were far from giants of the French game, despite being the only side in the capital. Now they have four back to back league titles, with their most recent one was wrapped up in record time.
The team from the capital have once again crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter finals, and their success remains limited to the annual domestic title and cup.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will take his side on the short journey to Anfield in dire need of some Merseyside derby joy against Liverpool on Wednesday.
Martinez may have guided the Toffees into an FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United this coming Saturday, as Everton seek a first major trophy in 21 years, but that hasn't stilled a growing sense of frustration with the Spaniard's regime among many supporters.
Claudio Ranieri claims Leicester's dramatic escape in their 2-2 draw against West Ham has bolstered his players' belief they are set to become Premier League champions.
Ranieri's side were seconds away from a damaging defeat at the King Power Stadium on Sunday after late goals from Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell put West Ham ahead following Leicester striker Jamie Vardy's dismissal for diving.
The 2015-16soccer seasons in Europe areedging closer to an end,and already many of the top European clubs are working feverishlyon their transfer strategies for what is expected to be a very busy summer — especially in England where the Premier League clubs will enjoy more riches from TV rights than ever before.
On-form Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi will join forces with German veteran Miroslav Klose on Wednesday when a rejuvenated Lazio aim to put the brakes on Juventus planning for an early title party.
With Juventus nine points ahead of second-placed Napoli with five games remaining, the black and white half of Turin is preparing to break out the champagne and celebrate a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title.
Barcelona must reverse an amazing loss of form to win all five of their remaining La Liga games to be assured of retaining their title, starting with a trip to Deportivo la Coruna on Wednesday.
The Catalan giants have taken just one point from their last four La Liga games and lost four of their last five in all competitions having previously enjoyed a 39-game unbeaten run stretching back six months.
Despite a superb spell leading the line for West Bromwich Albionlast season, Saido Berahino's footballing career is only just recovering from a rather rapid downward trajectory.
Since his breakthrough season, the 22-year-old found himself in a chaotic situationover a failed move to Spurs, tweeting that he would never play for chairman Jeremy Peace after four bids were rejected for the striker at the eleventh hour.
Manchester City stars Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling are set make timely returns when Manuel Pellegrini's men continue their quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League away to Newcastle on Tuesday.
City captain Kompany is set to make the journey to the north-east after a month out with yet another of the calf-related problems that have plagued the Belgian defender this season.
There was once a time when Theo Walcott was destined to become an Arsenal legend. When the teenage prodigy was brought to north London from Southampton in 2006, the Gunners had a blossoming star on their hands. Upon making his Arsenal debut in August of the same year, Walcott showcased his talents as a speedster winger.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley and Kartik Krishnaiyer discuss the weekend's action in the Premier League, the Champions League draw, a tightening title race in La Liga, and the battle for promotion in the Football Championship.
Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.
A US judge released transcripts of guilty pleas from three prominent defendants in the sweeping FIFA corruption investigation who confessed to crimes and agreed to pay $37.5 million in compensation.
Former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, Argentinian-Italian marketing executive Alejandro Burzaco and Brazilian intermediary Jose Margulies pled guilty last year to racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.
Star men Harry Kane and Dele Alli shared the goals as Tottenham Hotspur brilliantly beat Stoke City 4-0 on Monday to close the gap on Premier League leaders Leicester City to five points and keep their title hopes very much alive.
Spurs have just four more games to try and wipe out the deficit and claim their first league championship since they did the 'Double' in 1961.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique claimed his side are capable of winning their final five La Liga games to claim the title despite slipping to a fourth defeat in five games as they were beaten 2-1 by Valencia.
The Catalans hadn't tasted defeat in 39 games until losing to Real Madrid earlier this month, but have since thrown away a nine-point lead at the top of La Liga and been dumped out the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wants his side to repair the "mental damage" of a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace when they face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Thursday.
The Gunners blew a chance to take a major step towards securing Champions League qualification for a remarkable 19th successive season after being held at home by London rivals Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Here are the top 10 things we learned from gameweek 7 of the 2016 MLS season from April 15-17:
1. Referees Remain in the Spotlight
MLS PRO's nightmare continues. Red cards didn't play a huge part in MLS' seventh week, but, "thanks" to Baldomero Toledo's meltdown at the end of Orlando City's game against New England, referees remained in the spotlight.
Five thousand to one. Those were the odds at the beginning of the season of Leicester City winning the Premier League title. While they haven't done it yet, they're well on their way to not only achieving the greatest title surprise in Premier League history, but also the biggest underdog story EVER in all of sports history.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri refused to condemn Jonathan Moss after the referee sent off Jamie Vardy for diving and gave West Ham a controversial penalty in a potentially damaging 2-2 draw for the Premier League leaders on Sunday.
Moss dismissed England forward Vardy when he threw himself to the turf in search of a second half penalty and compounded Leicester's frustration by awarding a late spot-kick for Wes Morgan's shove on Winston Reid.
Manuel Pellegrini said it was "strange" Sergio Aguero has never been player of the year in England after the Manchester City star's hat-trick secured a 3-0 win at Chelsea.
Despite being one of the Premier League's most consistent goalscorers in recent seasons, Aguero has yet to win either the Football Writers' player of the year award or the equivalent honor from his peers in England's Professional Footballers' Association.
Louis van Gaal admitted Manchester United's latest contribution to the race for the Champions League was not enough to get Old Trafford excited.
Yet the United manager believes his side's stodgy 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday a result that confirmed the Birmingham club's relegation from the Premier League was enough to send out a message to Manchester City and West Ham.
Didier Drogba scored his first goal of the Major League Soccer season on a clever backheel shot as the Montreal Impact snapped the Fire's four-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win in Chicago.
The former Chelsea star and all-time leading scorer of the Ivory Coast national team was standing in the centre of the box with his back to the goal when he redirected the ball into the bottom left corner.
Goals by Mauro Icardi and Marcelo Brozovic earned Inter Milan a Champions League lifeline on the way to virtually ending Napoli's hopes of a first Serie A title in 26 years with a dramatic 2-0 win on Saturday.
Napoli travelled to the San Siro hoping they could make light of 30-goal Gonzalo Higuain's three-match ban following his dramatic meltdown in a 3-1 defeat at Udinese two weeks ago.
So long the part of the team most derided for being useless, suddenly the part of the team most praised for being ruthless, England's striking problem going into Euro 2016 this summer is a good one to have.
Six or seven players can make reasonable claims for contention, and quite a lot of the English players amongst the goals in this Premier League season play in different ways, making even the ones who do not fit into Roy Hodgson's first XI useful ways to add a shock factor into the squad.
Aston Villa's long-expected relegation from the Premier League was finally confirmed with a 1-0 loss away to Manchester United on Saturday as teenage rising star Marcus Rashford scored his seventh goal in 12 games.
The 18-year-old striker, also on target in United's FA Cup quarter-final replay win over West Ham United in midweek, struck in the 32nd minute when he turned in Antonio Valencia's low cross.
Karim Benzema overcame the disappointment of being left out of France's Euro 2016 squad with a goal and two assists as Real Madrid moved to within a point of La Liga leaders Barcelona with a 5-1 thrashing of Getafe on Saturday.
Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane urged Benzema to "rally quickly" after the French Football Federation announced on Wednesday he will not be selected for the tournament on home soil due to his involvement in a sex-tape scandal, where international teammate Mathieu Valbuena was the subject of a blackmail plot.
Rangers and Celtic will battle it out for a place in the Scottish Cup final on Sunday as one of world soccer's most intense and bitter rivalries resumes at Hampden.
It is just the second time in four years that the Glasgow giants, who have dominated Scottish soccer with 100 top flight title wins between them, have clashed since Rangers were forced to start life again in the country's bottom tier following an amazing fall from grace that resulted in liquidation in June 2012.
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter told AFP Friday he "is available" to appear as a witness at a United States trial into mass corruption in world football.
"Yes. When they need me to defend FIFA, I will be available," Blatter said, when asked if he would be prepared to attend the trial into the sweeping bribery scandal that has sparked an unprecedented crisis at the top of the game.
A Chinese consortium with big ambitions for AC Milan should complete a takeover of the seven-time European champions within six to eight weeks, a broker acting for both parties said in reports Saturday.
If confirmed, it would prove a dramatic about-turn for Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, who only weeks ago said he would not sell a majority share in the Serie A giants.
Leicester City's rise to the top of the Premier League with just five games remaining has been a remarkable story, and has spread positivity across Englandin an otherwise cynical time for the much maligned image of English soccer. The flip side of Leicester's rise has been the ongoing struggle of Arsenal, the team that many tipped at Christmas to be the top of the league by the end of the season.
The top of a selection of European football's illustrious divisions this season have made for encapsulating viewing, but the tension which accompanies key relegation battles arguably makes for a much more gripping backdrop.
And in our first and second selections this weekend, teams who are hoping to steer clear of the trap door are in action.
Fresh from keeping alive their hopes of winning a first trophy since 2013, Manchester United return to their bid to secure a place in next season's Champions League when they host Aston Villa on Saturday.
United will play Everton in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on April 23 thanks to their 2-1 win at West Ham United in their quarter-final replay in midweek as they look to win the competition for the first time since 2004.
Napoli's Serie A title credentials face the acid test on a trip to Inter Milan on Saturday when record-chasing striker Gonzalo Higuain sits out the second of a four-game ban for the visitors.
Higuain, whose 30-goal league tally so far leaves him just five short of Gunnar Nordahl's all-time Serie A record for AC Milan, was handed the untimely sanction two weeks ago after a spectacular meltdown at Udinese.
Leicester's Danny Drinkwater has insisted there will be no change in the club's approach as they eye a remarkable Premier League title success.
The Midlands club were 5,000/1 outsiders to be crowned champions of England before the season started.
Yet they now lead England's top flight by seven points from second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and head into this weekend's match at home to West Ham needing just three wins from their final five league games this season to complete a stunning title success.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he had invoked the spirit of the club's famous Champions League fightback in Istanbul to inspire his team to Europa League victory over Borussia Dortmund.
Two-nil down at half-time in Thursday's quarter-final second leg, and 3-1 behind on aggregate, Klopp reminded his players of the memorable night in May 2005 when former captain Steven Gerrard inspired his team-mates to come back from 3-0 down and overcome AC Milan in a penalty shoot-out in the final.
The 2015/16 season has been a bit of a strange one for the Gunners. It seems as if the north London club are always either in the middle of a high-scoring shootout, or fighting to a 0-0 draw. There hasn't been much in between. In fact, Arsenal have been a part of 13 matches in which at least four goals were scored in total, but have also kept 20 total clean sheets on the campaign as well.
With the Premier League season heating up as well as the increasing interest in the ever popular US Women's National Team, TV ratings for soccer in the United States were better than usual last weekend.
Specifically, some very interesting numbers included more people watching Sunderland versus Leicester than West Ham United against Arsenal.
Footballer Didier Drogba said Thursday he would take legal action against Britain's Daily Mail newspaper after it published allegations that most of the money raised by his charity in Britain was not going to good causes.
The newspaper reported that less than one percent of over £1.
The "next big thing" has been a US soccer mantra for players going back to Jovan Kirovski's time at Manchester United two decades ago. Time and again, American soccer fans and the media have hyped teenage players. First, it was Kirovski, then it was John O'Brien — a great whose career was curtailed by injuries.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has instructed his players to forget about their slender away-goal advantage ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg against his former club Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool secured a 1-1 draw in last week's first leg in Germany, with Divock Origi's first-half opener for the visitors cancelled out by a header from Mats Hummels.
The owner of struggling French giants Marseille, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, has put the Ligue 1 club up for sale, she announced in a letter addressed to fans on Wednesday.
"I understand the frustration of not seeing OM being able to be competitive at this level and I'm informing you that I took the decision to give up the club to the best investor possible for the long term," Louis-Dreyfus said in the letter seen by BFM TV.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, Richard Farley returns along with Kartik Krishnaiyer to review an upending week in Europe, where the Champions League's holders were seen out of the competition after a Wednesday loss at the Vicente Calderon.
Your hosts also preview Thursday's Europa League action as well as the 34th round of action in the Premier League, where a six-pointer at Carrow Road could reveal the final pieces of this year's relegation puzzle.
Joao Plata is in form and extremely dangerous. Four goals and three assists in five games, Plata has been Real Salt Lake's most important player through the opening stage of the Major League Soccer season.
As a matter of fact, Plata has had a hand in at least on goal in every Real Salt Lake match.
Bayern Munich came out on top in an entertaining Champions League last-eight clash with Benfica, reaching the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory, after a second-leg 2-2 draw in Lisbon on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola took his German champions to the Estadio Da Luz with a 1-0 first-leg lead thanks to Arturo Vidal's early strike at the Allianz Arena last week.
Atletico Madrid dumped holders Barcelona out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for the second time in three seasons as Antoine Griezmann's double sealed a 2-0 win on Wednesday to progress 3-2 on aggregate.
Griezmann put the hosts ahead on away goals with a fine first-half header before converting from the penalty spot two minutes from time after Andres Iniesta had handled inside the area.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini backed his players to go on and win the Champions League after they overcame Paris Saint-Germain to reach the semi-finals for the first time.
Having procured two away goals in last week's 2-2 first-leg draw, City went into Tuesday's home leg in a position of strength, but it was not until Kevin De Bruyne struck in the 76th minute that their passage to the last four was secure.
"Goals are in my DNA," concluded Cristiano Ronaldo after spearheading a famous Real Madrid comeback with a hat-trick to see off Wolfsburg and reach the Champions League semi-finals for a record sixth straight season.
The three-time World Player of the Year's self-appraisals are rarely humble.
Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi insists Barcelona's belief hasn't been affected by a poor run of form as they travel to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday holding a precarious 2-1 first-leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final.
A run of just one point from their last three La Liga games has seen Atletico close to within three points of Barca at the top of La Liga.
With their leading scorer Jonas already suspended, Benfica are sweating on the fitness of their biggest creative threat Nicolas Gaitan ahead of their Champions League quarter-final, second leg against Bayern Munich.
The teams meet at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday with German champions Bayern defending a 1-0 first-leg lead after an early Arturo Vidal goal last week.
So far this season compared to last year, reported attendances in MLS have increased by 1.39%. The marginal increase is based on the reported (not actual) attendances for the first 52 games of the season compared to the first 52 of the 2015 MLS season.
The reason 'reported attendances' are mentioned is because attendances in Major League Soccer always have to be taken with a grain of salt.
Escaping narratives is difficult. They're ever-present and often times inescapable. So is the case with Manchester City's 2015-16 campaign, and particularly their departing manager Manuel Pellegrini. He won the League Cup and Premier League in his first campaign, dropped quite a bit in form last season, and will be exiting stage right after this season with some City fans and onlookers wanting more.
We're just a few months away from the soccer tournament of the year: Euro 2016, often touted as a sign of things to come in the World Cup which usually follows two years later, Euro 16 brings together the best of top flight European football for four weeks of excitement and action rarely seen in the continent's numerous domestic leagues.
US prosecutors on Tuesday set a February 2017 target date for the start of the huge FIFA corruption trial that has ensnared dozens of world soccer's top executives.
"The proposed schedule set forth below contemplates that jury selection would commence on February 27, 2017," prosecutor Robert Capers wrote in a letter late Monday to federal Judge Raymond Dearie, who is presiding in the case.
There have been times this season when, for all their evident brilliance, Barcelona have been coasting through matches.
Arguably the high point of their campaign, the 6-1 win over Celta Vigo, saw Luis Enrique's side produce some stunning football. Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez tore the Galicians to shreds in thetriumph, with a brash passed penalty routine epitomizing the swagger that was on show that day.
Manchester City reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time after Kevin De Bruyne's fine 76th-minute goal earned them a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
A week on from their 2-2 draw in the French capital, City saw Sergio Aguero squander a first-half penalty after he had been felled by PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, but De Bruyne's late strike settled the Etihad Stadium nerves and completed a 3-2 aggregate success.
Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to a record sixth successive Champions League semi-final with a hat-trick as the Spanish giants overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit, beating Wolfsburg 3-0 on Tuesday.
Ronaldo struck twice in just over a minute to bring Madrid level in the tie inside 17 minutes.
Having each seen their Champions League qualification hopes fade at the weekend, West Ham United and Manchester United approach Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay with special motivation to progress.
For West Ham, the competition represents a final opportunity to crown their farewell season at the Boleyn Ground, which stages its last ever FA Cup tie, with a piece of silverware.
Jamie Vardy has revealed he acts as a makeshift goalkeeper in training as Leicester City's top scorer gave an insight into the camaraderie underpinning their unlikely Premier League title march.
Claudio Ranieri's side are closing in on English soccer's biggest prize and require nine points from their five remaining matches to confound all the pre-season predictions by finishing top of the pile in May.
Football betting can be a great way to earn big while enjoying your favorite sport. There are some people who consistently profit from betting on football. The question is can their winning streak be attributed to pure luck or are there some secrets to winning in sports betting? Sports betting is a gamble, but there are some important tips that you can keep in mind before you invest your money to increase your chances of winning.
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will look to their superstar strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in desperate bids to clinch Champions League semi-final berths against Wolfsburg and Manchester City on Tuesday.
The Parisians were held 2-2 at the Parc des Princes last Wednesday when Ibrahimovic missed a spot-kick and fluffed a one-on-one with Joe Hart, before ruthlessly exploiting a City error to net an equalizer.
European expansionists Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain resume their pursuit of new frontiers on Tuesday with their Champions League quarter-final delicately balanced at 2-2 following last week's first leg.
Both clubs are fueled by vast Middle Eastern wealth and both have landmarks in sight: for Qatar-backed PSG, a first semi-final appearance since 1995; for UAE-funded City, an unprecedented last-four berth.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted he remains positive his side will overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League semi-finals against Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
Madrid need to end a run of bowing out in the Champions League the last eight times they have lost the first leg, but Zidane also stressed the need for patience as an away goal for the Germans would leave Real needing four to go through.
As I walked among supporters group members before the Orlando City against Portland game, which was televised live on FOX Sports 1 last weekend, I was quite surprised. From speakingwith fans, I learned many had opted to watch the previous night's North American Soccer League (NASL) matchup between Fort Lauderdale and Miami on beIN SPORTS instead ofpaying any attention to MLS games going on at the very same time.
The United States women's soccer team could boycott the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro if demands to be paid the same as their male counterparts are not met, World Cup winner said.
Sauerbrunn, a member of the USA team that lifted the World Cup in Canada last year and a gold medal-winning veteran of the 2012 Olympics, told ESPN that players would not rule out the possibility of a boycott.
"Doing a Leicester City" is already a phrase that's made its way into general soccer parlance. The meaning of the term, of course, is for a team that's beyond the established elite to propel themselves to a position in the table thatfew would have anticipated they're capable off.
It's fair to say an overwhelming majority of soccer supporters from all walks of life have enjoyed the Foxes' run to the summit of the Premier League table.
Arsenal have endured a fairly up-and-down season during the 2015-16 campaign. Following triumphs in the FA Cup competition in consecutive years, the Gunners will finish off the current season without a significant trophy. The disappointing year is attributed to inconsistency, both up front and in central defense, as well as multiple injuries to important players.
Manchester City have the advantage coming into this match after managing a 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes last week.
The Citizens went ahead via Kevin De Bruyne's goal in the 38thminute but Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized three minutes later. Adrien Rabiot then put the hosts 2-1 up but City drew level soon after with Fernandinho the scorer.
Univision Deportes has revealed its schedule for this summer's Copa America Centenario tournament. The Spanish-language network will air all matches across Univision Deportes' portfolio of networks including Univision Deportes Network, UniMás and Univision Network. The first match of the tournament will be simultaneously broadcast on all three networks, the first for a sports event on Univision.
Spanish giants Real Madrid need to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit against Wolfsburg on Tuesday if they are to reach the Champions League semi-finals for a fifth consecutive season.
The 10-time European champions have a famous history of turning around heavy first leg defeats in European competition, but haven't managed to do so in their last eight attempts stretching back to 2002.
The leading streaming service fuboTV has now added beIN SPORTS Connect to its portfolio of soccer streaming properties, which makes available a large number of soccer games to fans in the United States.
Previously, beIN SPORTS Connect was only available via authenticated login to customers of AT&T UVerse, COX, DirecTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable and a small select list of regional TV providers.
At a time when the established powerhouses of the continent are apparently keen to change the format of the Champions League, there is just a possibility that the semi-final order will be greatly shaken up this season.
The quarter-final, second legs this Tuesday and Wednesday see Real Madrid up against it and both holders Barcelona and Bayern Munich defending narrow leads while one of Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain will break into the last four.
Of the 12 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) teams anxiously awaiting Tuesday's draw for the Russia World Cup 2018 third round qualifiers, arguably Qatar has the most at stake.
Since being controversially chosen to host the 2022 tournament, the Gulf state has been battered by ongoing allegations of corruption, charges it denies, and labour abuse, which it claims to be addressing through reform.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said that he had no regrets about not taking the Tottenham Hotspur job after the London club damaged his side's Champions League qualification hopes.
Three goals in six second-half minutes from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela gave Spurs a clinical 3-0 win on Sunday that took them back to within seven points of Premier League leaders Leicester City and left them 12 points clear of fifth-place United.
Manolo Gabbiadini opened the scoring as Napoli made light of Gonzalo Higuain's four-game ban to keep their Serie A title hopes alive with a 3-0 win at home to 10-man Verona on Sunday.
Champions Juventus had stretched their lead to nine points with a precious 2-1 victory at AC Milan on Saturday that took the Turin giants a step closer to a record-equalling fifth consecutive 'Scudetto'.
Premier League leaders Leicester City qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history on Sunday.
Leicester's 2-0 win away to Sunderland allied to fifth-placed Manchester United's 3-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur guaranteed the Foxes a top-four finish and with it one of the places on offer to English teams in European club football's elite competition next season.
Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela struck in six second-half minutes as Tottenham Hotspur swamped Manchester United 3-0 on Sunday to keep Premier League leaders Leicester City in sight.
A game delayed half an hour by United's late arrival due to traffic congestion burst to life in the 70th minute with three rapid-fire goals that allowed Spurs to trim Leicester's advantage back to seven points.
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique urged his side to show they are still the best team in the world in the final two months of the season after suffering a second consecutive La Liga defeat 1-0 at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
The European champions saw their lead at the top of La Liga shrink to three points over Atletico Madrid with six games remaining after they beat Espanyol 3-1.
Jose Mourinho insisted he will be back in management this summer, but it won't be with the Syrian national team despite an ambitious approach for his services from the war-ravaged country.
The 53-year-old Portuguese, out of work since being axed by Chelsea in December, has been widely linked to Manchester United where Louis van Gaal has spent most of the season under almost constant siege.
This season's Premier League has been a poisoned chalice for anyone wanting to form coherent arguments about teams. On one hand, there's plenty to talk about, but it's also near-impossible to actually know what's going on. An accurate description would be that the usual favorites have dropped the ball, and that outsiders have capitalized.
Gylfi Sigurdsson handed Chelsea their first Premier League defeat under interim manager Guus Hiddink as Swansea beat the Blues 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Iceland midfielder Sigurdsson struck in the 25th minute to earn Swansea a victory that should ensure they avoid relegation, while Chelsea were left pointless for the first time since a 2-1 loss at Leicester on December 14 signaled the end of the Jose Mourinho era.
Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday's crucial Champions League quarter-final at Benfica with a 3-1 win at Stuttgart on Saturday to maintain their iron-grip on the Bundesliga title race with five games left.
An own goal from Stuttgart defender Georg Niedermeier and a second-half David Alaba strike put Pep Guardiola's Bayern 2-0 up.
Claudio Ranieri has called on Leicester to maintain the consistency that has made them favorites to be crowned Premier League champions and carried them to the brink of the Champions League.
While a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham is not enough to persuade Ranieri to discuss Leicester's chances of winning an historic first top-flight title, the Foxes boss is now willing to contemplate a top four finish and a place in Europe's elite club competition.
Brazilian superstar Neymar was Friday given the go-ahead to play at the Olympics by his club Barcelona but was ordered not to take part in the Copa America, local media reported.
Brazil coach Dunga had been hoping to have the influential striker at both tournaments the Copa in the United States from June 3-26 and the Rio Olympics football tournament which runs from August 4-20.
Tottenham Hotspur will once again grapple with historical portents on Sunday when their bid to prevent Leicester City running away with the Premier League title sees them entertain Manchester United.
It is 15 years since Tottenham last won a home league game against United and they spurned one opportunity to reverse a long-standing trend last weekend when a 1-1 draw at Liverpool where they have won just once in 22 league visits allowed Leicester to open up a seven-point lead.
For the commentators who will be gracing our TV sets this weekend for another gameweek of Premier League soccer, the big news is that Ian Darke will be announcing the West Ham against Arsenal game. He'll be alongside Danny Mills on the broadcast for BT Sport, which NBCSN has generously agreed to use instead of the international feed.
The fall-out from Gonzalo Higuain's four-match ban will overshadow Serie A this weekend, when the Argentine striker and his Napoli team-mates will be glued to a crucial San Siro clash between AC Milan and Juventus.
Sitting three points behind Juventus before last week's games, Napoli's bid for a first Serie A title in 26 years looks to be in tatters following a shock 3-1 defeat at Udinese that saw Higuain lose the plot after being shown a red card.
Kasper Schmeichel says Leicester's rock solid defense is the secret to the shock leaders' remarkable charge towards a fairytale Premier League title.
Claudio Ranieri's side are within touching distance of becoming the most unexpected champions in English soccer history as they head to struggling Sunderland on Sunday and Denmark goalkeeper Schmeichel has no doubts he and the four men immediately in front of him will lay the foundation for another priceless victory.
Barcelona must overturn a terrible run in recent years of results away to Real Sociedad to prevent losing their grip on the Spanish title race on Saturday.
Despite tasting defeat for the first time in 40 games on their last La Liga outing at home to Real Madrid last weekend, Barca still hold a commanding six-point lead over Atletico Madrid with Real a further point adrift and just seven games remaining.
Antonio Conte's Chelsea reign doesn't start until after Euro 2016, but following confirmation this week that the Italy coach will take charge at Stamford Bridge, the focus has already switched towards next season.
Guus Hiddink has again done a fine job in his second spell as interim manager at the club and the Blues will head to Swansea on Saturday keen to extend their unbeaten Premier League run under the Dutchman.
Occasionally soccer schedule computers throw up matches that seem too good to be true. A Jürgen Klopp homecoming to Dortmund for example, or a Liverpool vs. Manchester United clash or Real Madrid-Barcelona Clasico in Europe. How convenient was it that Liverpool started their league campaign this year against Stoke City, the side that thrashed them 5-1 towards the end of last season's disappointing denouement.
Arsene Wenger insists he has not given up on Arsenal's Premier League title challenge but admits there are lessons to be learnt from Leicester's dominance at the top of the table.
Wenger's third-placed side, who lie 11 points adrift of the leaders, head to West Ham on Saturday where they will seek the third successive victory they need to keep their slender hopes of becoming champions alive.
When the Premier League got underway back in August last year, few would have anticipated that this year's edition would churn out quite so many surprises. And this weekend's round of matches—the reverse of Week 1—will prompt memories of just how we've come this term.
Two games have made the final cut, with each involving a title challenger and a side seeking to finish in the Champions League places.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted his side must not repeat the defensive errors that marred their Champions League quarter-final, first leg with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday despite the 2-2 draw giving them the edge.
Away goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho at the Parc des Princes mean City have the upper hand ahead of next Tuesday's return, but those strikes sandwiched a farcical goal gifted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and an Adrien Rabiot effort for PSG.
Not surprisingly, last weekend's el Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid ruled the roost in terms of the most number of viewers tuning in to watch a soccer match on US television. The impressive number was fewer than last spring's el Clasico, but that may possibly have something to do with the decision by the executives in Spain to schedule the game immediately after the international break, which is poor timing because it's harder to build up momentum for club soccer when the previous week is filled with international stories.
The latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio features an interview with Alison Bender, the former Chelsea TV reporter who has now expanded her role at ESPN FC. As well as revealing some of ESPN's plans for Euro 2016, she shares her opinion about Antonio Conte being hired as the new Chelsea boss.
Bender has expanded her role at ESPN FC as its UK-based soccer presenter and reporter, contributing daily content, analysis and breaking news on Premier League, European and world soccer.
AC Milan skipper Riccardo Montolivo has backed embattled coach Sinisa Mihajlovic as the struggling Serie A giants prepare for a league clash with Juventus that could define their chances of playing in Europe next season.
With Champions League qualification now virtually impossible Milan are 14 points behind third-placed Roma with seven games left to play the Rossoneri are left battling to qualify for the Europa League.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, host Nipun Chopra is joined by the returning Morgan Green as they review the UEFA Champions League games from midweek as well as previewing this weekend's Premier League matches.
On top of that, Nipun and Morgan share their opinions about Chelsea's decision to hire Antonio Conte as their new manager to replace Guus Hiddink.
Away goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho handed Manchester City a 2-2 first-leg draw at Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday to give the English side the edge in their Champions League quarter-final tie.
On a night that will be remembered for some comical defending and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty that was saved by City goalkeeper Joe Hart, the Premier League side twice punished mistakes by their hosts.
Swiss police on Wednesday searched UEFA's headquarters for contracts linked to a Champions League television rights deal revealed in the so-called "Panama Papers", which involves FIFA's new president Gianni Infantino.
"UEFA can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant," the European football confederation said in a statement sent to AFP.
Leicester City are staying grounded despite requiring just 12 points from their final six games to complete an extraordinary Premier League title triumph, according to goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
A year ago, the east Midlands club were bottom of the table and six points adrift of safety, but Sunday's 1-0 win over Southampton left them seven points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur at the summit.
Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi's trial for tax fraud has been reset to its initial start date of May 31 after an earlier change in the schedule threatened his participation in June's Copa America in the United States.
The initial decision to delay the start of the trial till June 7 would have seen Messi at least miss Argentina's opening group game against reigning champions Chile in Santa Clara, California, on June 6.
Jurors at the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster retired to consider their verdicts on Wednesday, over two years since the hearings began.
The jury of seven women and three men, which has been sitting since March 2014 at a purpose-built courtroom in Warrington, northwest England, will consider 14 key questions set out by coroner John Goldring.
Soccer fans who tuned in to watch the Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City on FOX Sports GO got a surprise Wednesday when the broadcast of the match suddenly switched to live coverage of FOX News.
The mistake happened in approximately the 9th minute of the game.
After last season's successful decision to send NBC's entire broadcast team to England to cover a select number of Premier League matches, NBC Sports Group has decided to do the same again this April but with a twist.
Last season, the crew of Rebecca Lowe, Kyle Martino, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle teamed up with their UK commentating teams for pitch-side studios as well as other exclusive opportunities.
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale says their El Clasico win over Barcelona has given the Spanish giants the perfect confidence booster for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final, first leg at Wolfsburg.
Real used to have a terrible record away to German opposition in Europe, but their run to the 2014 title, when they claimed their tenth European crown, changed all that.
The history of the evolution of soccer in the United States is a fascinating journey that's awash with acronyms. MLS, NASL, USL, USSF, APSL, NPSL and MISL are just a small number in a long list of soccer organizations that have tried to grow the game on these shores. Nowadays, three acronyms that interestmany soccer fans areMLS, NASL and USL.
With Leicester City's title hopes squarely on the line Sunday, the Foxes captain Wes Morgan rose to the occasion, thumping a header past Southampton keeper Fraser Forster. Morgan's goal sent Leicester seven points clear atop the Premier League a year to the day the club sat buried seven points from safety at the bottom of the table.
The signature of new FIFA president Gianni Infantino has cropped up in the so-called "Panama Papers" in connection with questionable TV rights sales in South America, the German newspaper behind the mass leaks reported on Tuesday.
Swiss-Italian lawyer Infantino, 46, succeeded the suspended Sepp Blatter in February as the head of FIFA, which is reeling from the arrests of leading officials last year, as well as the clouds over the awardings of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
Atletico Madrid were left to rue Fernando Torres's first-half red card as Luis Suarez's double handed Barcelona a 2-1 lead on Tuesday heading into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Torres got Atletico off to the perfect start as he slotted home Koke's through ball for a vital away goal on 25 minutes, but saw two quick fire yellow cards to leave his side a man short for over an hour.
Attendances in Major League Soccer always have to be taken with a grain of salt. While teams such as Seattle Sounders and Orlando City generate impressive numbers that can't be denied, there are always some teams that report home attendances that are considerably more than what we can see in the stadiums and on television.
Hundreds of column inches have been written in recent months on Leicester City's monumental rise from relegation fodder to title favorites in the space of twelve months.Nevertheless, it still seems so surreal. Out of nowhere, Claudio Ranieri's boys have sprinted ahead of the multi-millionaires residing in London and Manchester.
Napoli's Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain has been hit with a four-match ban following his sending off in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Udinese, a blow for his team who are battling with Juventus for the Serie A title.
Higuain was shown his second yellow card for kicking out at defender Felipe, prompting the striker to launch a verbal tirade against the referee.
French emergency services carried out terrorist attack simulation exercises on Monday at selected fan zones and venues two months ahead of the 2016 European Championships.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Health Minister Marisol Touraine both assisted at the exercise at a fan zone in the western city of Bordeaux which mobilized 600 fire fighters, police, army, and emergency services.
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw returned to training on Monday for the first time since suffering a horrendous double fracture in his leg last September.
England international Shaw, 20, was training with a United physio as he enters the final stages of a long rehabilitation period from the injury he sustained in a Champions League tie against PSV Eindhoven.
The first el Clasico of 2016 between Barcelona and Real Madrid was watched by 1.9 million viewers in the United States between the beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español networks. Of the 1.9 million total, 695,000 watched it on beIN SPORTS (English-language) while the remaining1,220,487 watched it on beIN SPORTS en Español (Spanish-language).
Pep Guardiola says he can handle the pressure to deliver the triple of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles in his swansong season as Bayern Munich's head coach.
"Everyone at Bayern Munich wants to win the triple, but it is just the same at Barcelona and Real Madrid," said Guardiola ahead of Bayern's home Champions League quarter-final against Benfica on Tuesday at Munich's Allianz Arena.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes Atletico Madrid pose an even greater threat to his side than Real Madrid, who ended Barca's 39-game unbeaten run in El Clasico on Saturday.
Atletico travel to the Camp Nou on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, but are also Barca's closest challengers in La Liga as they sit six points behind the European champions with seven games to go.
The family of Lionel Messi denied on Monday that he was involved in tax evasion after the Barcelona star emerged as one of many personalities accused of shady offshore dealings in the Panama Papers scandal.
"The Messi family wants to make clear that Lionel Messi has not carried out any of the acts attributed to him, and accusations he created a.
Current UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona will hope to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat in the El Clasicowhen they host Atletico Madrid the in first leg of their Champions League quarter-final encounter.
The Blaugrana were outwitted tactically by Real Madrid in that game but their overall record is still impressive with 32 wins and seven draws in their previous 39 outings before Cristiano Ronaldo's winner put an end to that astonishing run.
In recruiting and signing manager Antonio Conte, Chelsea has hired the one man that can single-handedly bring the club back to the heights Jose Mourinho 2.0 aspired. At only 46 years old, Conte has the resume, coaching acumen, and man-management style that fits Chelsea's goals as a top club internationally.
Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel says his team's confidence is sky-high for Thursday's Europa League quarter-final, first-leg, at home to Liverpool in what has been dubbed the 'Jurgen Klopp derby'.
The Liverpool manager enjoyed seven stellar years at Signal Iduna Park and can expect a warm welcomed in Dortmund, ahead of the return leg at Anfield on April 17.
Bayern Munich are eager to avoid suffering another Champions League slip-up to Portuguese opposition when they host Benfica for the quarter-finals first leg on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola's Bavarians were humbled 3-1 away to Porto at the same stage of the competition last season in the first leg before roaring back with a 6-1 victory in Munich to reach the semi-finals with a 9-2 aggregate win.
Holders Barcelona will seek to overcome their defeat in El Clasico when they host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in an all-Spanish Champions League quarter-final, first leg at the Camp Nou.
On a night when Barca paid tribute to the late Dutch great Johan Cruyff, the Catalan giants' 39-game unbeaten run came to a halt after goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo erased Gerard Pique's opener.
Asked whether, having watched his Leicester City team move seven points clear at the Premier League summit, he was worried they might choke, manager Claudio Ranieri responded: "What is 'choke'?"
The question was more a reflection of his imperfect English than a display of brazenness, but after having the word explained to him, the 64-year-old Italian put his hand around his own throat and mimicked a throttling noise.
On this edition of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Gabe Smith as they dissect the weekend's results including el Clasico, Leicester's continued good form against Southampton, as well as all of the results from a busy weekend of Premier League action after the dreaded international break.
Leicester City captain Wes Morgan scored his first goal in almost a year as the Premier League title-chasers edged Southampton 1-0 on Sunday to establish a potentially decisive seven-point lead.
Tottenham Hotspur's 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday had given Claudio Ranieri's men an opportunity to strengthen their grip on first place and they duly took it courtesy of Morgan's 38th-minute header.
Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed into the Bundesliga's Champions League places on Sunday with a 5-0 hammering of Hertha Berlin as Andre Hahn scored his first goal since his horror injury.
Gladbach routed third-placed Hertha 4-1 in Berlin last October and again ran riot at Borussia Park as Thorgan Hazard scored twice with Germany winger Patrick Hermann and Ibrahima Traore joining Hahn on the scoresheet.
Opening day of the NASL season. It should be the point in the season when players are full of vigor and making sprinting runs across the pitch. But in Fort Lauderdale's opening game of the 2016 season in its home derby against Miami FC, the Strikers looked lethargic, uninspired and lacked any creativity.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila says it will be hard to leave Patrick Roberts out of his side for the title run-in after the teenager's double inspired his side's comeback in a 3-1 win over Hearts on Saturday.
The 19-year-old, in only his second start for the Hoops, helped set up Gary Mackay-Steven to cancel out Jamie Walker's opener before grabbing his first senior goals to seal a vital win for the Glasgow giants.
AC Milan led Serie A tributes to former defender and club legend Cesare Maldini, who died on Sunday at the age of 84.
Maldini, the father of 1990s club icon Paolo Maldini, made 412 appearances with the Rossoneri between 1954 and 1966, winning four league titles including a "scudetto" in his first season with the club.
United States international Clint Dempsey scored the game's only goal as the Seattle Sounders finally bagged their first Major League Soccer win of the season with a 1-0 victory over a depleted Montreal Impact.
Dempsey headed home from a corner on 79 minutes to settle a hard fought encounter against a Montreal side still missing star striker Didier Drogba, who is nursing a knee injury.
Franck Ribery's spectacular bicycle kick sealed Bayern Munich's 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders warmed-up for their Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Benfica.
The 32-year-old Ribery produced a magic moment on 20 minutes by drilling his overhead kick into the top corner of the Frankfurt net at Munich's Allianz Arena.
The latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio features an interview with Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss the latest developments within US soccer including the US Women's National Team suing the US Soccer Federation regarding wage discrimination, in addition to the continued soccer feud between MLS, NASL and USL.
Relegation is not for the faint of heart. It can be a cruel mistress. But, for the neutral, it's a fascinating part of the world's most beautiful sport that adds so much suspense in the final weeks of a season.
Not surprisingly, NBC Sports Group has latched on to the interest in the race to avoid relegation by releasing a brand-new commercial to promote its coverage.
A trip to Bournemouth on Saturday will inspire thoughts of what might have been for Manchester City, who have not recorded back-to-back Premier League victories since crushing the Cherries 5-1 in mid-October.
Manuel Pellegrini's side led the league then and felt certain they would be in contention for a third title in five years, but now they are struggling just to make certain of finishing in the top four.
Despite two clubs ceasing operations after the 2015 North American Soccer League season ended, the league is about to kick-off its sixth year since returning in 2011. With a fresh TV deal announced with beIN SPORTS this week, the NASL can legitimately offer Major League Soccer some much needed competition.
The first el Clásico of 2016 between Barcelona and Real Madrid kicks off this weekend as hundreds of millions of viewers from around the world tune in to watch the most popular club soccer game on the planet.
The 172nd meeting between the two teams will be played at Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Here are the details of when the game is on, as well as where to find it on your local TV.
Bayern Munich midfielder Sebastian Rode says Pep Guardiola's side can ill afford any slip-ups in the Bundesliga title race against his former club Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Bayern host relegation-threatened Frankfurt and Rode insists the Bavarians have not given a second's thought to playing Benfica at home four days later in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg.
Roma icon Francesco Totti faces the ignominy of playing possibly his final derby in a virtually empty stadium following a call by fans to boycott Sunday's fixture against Lazio.
Totti is in his 23rd season with the 'Giallorossi' and some, especially his wife Ilary Blasi, expect it to be his last as appearances become rarer and club bosses stall on offering the 39-year-old playmaker a new deal in the hope he accepts a director's role.
With streaming services, instead of being tied down to the one local cable company that's available in your neighborhood, you can cut the cord and select from several streaming companies that each offer different channels to suit your needs. One streaming provider that I was recently made aware of is YipTV, which specializes in Spanish-language TV networks as well as offering beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español.
In what can only be described as the worst possible timing, KlowdTV has informed its customers that it will no longer carry beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Español effective immediately.
KlowdTV CEO Bill O'Hara, in an e-mail to subscribers last night, said, "We regret to inform you that beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Espanol will no longer be available in our Sports and Tus Deportes packages as of 4/1/2016.