World Cup Buzz Archives for January 2016

Jermain Defoe rescue act can’t stop Sunderland slipping into bottom three

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Bayern Munich made to wait for historic fourth consecutive title

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Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich must wait to have their historic fourth consecutive Bundesliga title confirmed after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

The champagne had to be put back on ice at the Allianz Arena after Thomas Mueller's first-half header for Bayern was cancelled out by Andre Hahn's superb second-half strike for Gladbach.

Gareth Bale hits Real Madrid winner; Griezmann puts Atletico top

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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.

Arsene Wenger ‘sorry’ for failings amid Arsenal protests

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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 show money isn’t everything, says Claudio Ranieri

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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.

Viewing audiences for Premier League clubs on US TV

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Not only is the Premier League one of the fastest growing properties on all of US television, but the clubs up and down the league are seeing a significant increase in the average number of viewers.

If you've ever wondered how many people watch each of the Premier League clubs, here's a table that shows the average numbers for weekend games based on gameweeks 1 through 35 of the 2015/16 season.

Where to find Real Betis vs. Barcelona on TV

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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:

Who: Real Betis vs.

Middlesbrough frustrated as draw dents promotion bid

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Old Trafford coronation beckons for Leicester City

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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.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 36

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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.

MLS TV viewing numbers have increased 15% so far this season

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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.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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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.

Platini prepares for make-or-break CAS hearing

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Paris (AFP) Michel Platini appears before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to appeal his six-year FIFA ban for ethics violations, with his future in football hanging on the outcome.

The stakes could not be higher for the suspended head of European football.

A favourable verdict and the 60-year-old will take his place in the stands at the Stade de France for the Euro 2016 opener between hosts France and Romania on June 10.

Vardy absence won’t stop Leicester title coronation, says Simpson

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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.

It’s red Leicester thanks to China’s number one fan

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Beijing (AFP) He has never seen a Premier League match live or even set foot outside China, but Leicester City's fairytale season has made Zhang Tianbo, 16, their most high-profile fan in the country.

For the last two years Zhang has run the most active Chinese social media account devoted to the Foxes, racking up more than 3,000 posts on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Gameiro penalty gives Sevilla edge against Shakhtar

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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.

Fresh Arsenal fan backlash lies in wait for Wenger

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger will be forced to confront renewed supporter protests at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as he attempts to stop Arsenal's troubled season imploding in the final weeks.

A number of fans' groups are planning to mark the visit of struggling Norwich by displaying placards during the game demanding change after another frustrating campaign.

Quartet scrapping for Champions League berths in France

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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.

No hard feelings for Pardew on Newcastle return

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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.

Barca await Real, Atletico Champions League hangover

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona hold the slightest of advantages in a thrilling three-way La Liga title race with just three games remaining ahead of their trip to Real Betis on Saturday.

The Catalans lead Atletico Madrid solely thanks to their better head-to-head record with Real Madrid just a point behind the leaders in third.

Leicester go from sex-tape to tickertape after Bangkok orgy

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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.

Griffiths bemoans ‘disappointing’ season as title nears

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Glasgow (AFP) Leigh Griffiths says it has been a disappointing season for Celtic, despite the Hoops closing in on the Scottish Premiership title.

The Scotland striker has been in the form of his career and is the country's top scorer with 38 goals.

His goal-scoring exploits and match-winning performances have led to a PFA Scotland Player of the Year nomination alongside Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes and Dundee duo Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart.

Liverpool told to pay Burnley £6.5m for Danny Ings

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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.

The turf battle for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup

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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.

Three-game ban ends Spurs star Dele Alli’s season

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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.

Villarreal strike late to dent Liverpool Europa League hopes

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Adrian Lopez's stoppage-time winner put Villarreal on the verge of reaching their first ever Cup final with a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.

A game of few chances was decided by a brilliant goal at the death as Denis Suarez unselfishly squared for substitute Lopez to tap home from close range.

Highlights of combined Copa America and Euro 2016 TV schedules

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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.

Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of April 22-25, 2016

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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.

Leicester holds its breath for soccer miracle

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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.

Read chapter 1 of ‘SoccerWarz: Inside America’s soccer feud between MLS, NASL and USL’

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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.

Detroit announcement shows fallacy of unfettered MLS expansion

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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.

Jurgen Klopp seeks brave Liverpool against Villarreal

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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.

Mexico’s Club America retain CONCACAF Champions League crown

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Mexican giants Club America clinched back-to-back CONCACAF Champions League crowns on Wednesday after coming from behind to beat fellow Liga MX side Tigres 2-1, sealing a 4-1 aggregate victory.

America had been heavy favorites to retain their continental crown and seal their place in this year's FIFA Club World Cup after a superb 2-0 away victory in last week's first leg.

PAOK fail to show for Greek Cup semi-final

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PAOK failed to show up for their Greek Cup semi-final second leg away to Olympiakos on Wednesday as they promised and now face more disciplinary action from the country's football federation.

The move by the Thessaloniki club had been pre-announced by Greek-Russian owner Ivan Savvidis, who was angry after they were punished for crowd violence during the first leg on March 3.

Alibaba on verge of leading Chinese takeover of AC Milan, say reports

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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 announces TV schedule for Copa America Centenario

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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.

A return to Celtic may be David Moyes’ next best path in management

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"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.

Atletico Madrid stunner gives Spaniards slender lead over Bayern Munich [VIDEO]

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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.

Dortmund expect Mats Hummels to join Bayern Munich

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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.

Is time up for Arsene at Arsenal?

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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.

Winning at Atletico all the more special for Fernando Torres

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Fernando Torres believes winning Atletico Madrid's first ever Champions League would be an even greater feeling than lifting the World Cup.

Atletico face the might of five-time winners Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semi-final at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.

Atletico as tough as Barca or Madrid, says Pep Guardiola

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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.

Leicester’s most far-flung fan? Lonely New Zealander nurtured on Shoot magazine

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Unless there's a penguin somewhere in Antarctica sporting a Jamie Vardy replica shirt, it's no stretch to describe New Zealander Rod de Lisle as Leicester City's most far-flung supporter.

De Lisle has kept faith with the Foxes from 11,500 miles for more than 40 years, candidly admitting there have been more lows than highs.

Diego Simeone planning return to Inter Milan as coach

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During an interview with the Italian news outlet Sport Mediaset, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone once again reinforced his desireto return toInter Milan andcoach his former team.

Simeone played two seasons for the Nerazzurri from 1997-99, winning the UEFA Cup in 1998, and has made no secret of his desire to return to Italy over the past few seasons.

Where to find Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich on TV; Champions League semi-final 1st leg

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, you've come to the right place.

The first leg of the semi-final kicks off today, and here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming:

Who: Atletico Madrid vs.

Diego Simeone should be Arsenal’s first choice as next manager

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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).

No Ronaldo, no goals as Manchester City and Real Madrid draw 0-0

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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.

Liverpool unites in city for Hillsborough tribute

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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.

Everton’s dismal home form could be best reason to sack Roberto Martinez

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Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, has gone from hero to zero in three years and there is a feeling at Goodison Park that the Spaniard could be sacked at the end of this season.

The situation for Martinez has intensified given that the Toffees have a new majority owner in Farhad Moshiri who purchased 49.

Leicester an inspiration for giant-killing Atletico Madrid

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Leicester City's remarkable run to the verge of the Premier League title has inspired Atletico Madrid in their aim to land a historic Champions League and La Liga double, claims defender Filipe Luis.

Atletico face Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday looking to cause another big upset after dumping defending champions Barcelona out in the quarter-finals.

Which is better for soccer fans, DirecTV or DISH?

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Soccer fans, I need your help. I'm putting together a comparison guide to compare how DirecTV stacks up against DISH (and vice-versa).

Since I haven't had a satellite subscription in over 10 years, I don't have the first hand experience that you do to completely understand the pros and cons of both DirecTV and DISH.

Spurs’ Dele Alli hit with violent conduct charge

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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.

FOX Sports GO redesign goes live

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FOX Sports has launched a redesigned version of its streaming app FOX Sports GO with a completely different look-and-feel including a bolder look and more prominent TV schedule.

The app —available via desktop, mobile and smartphones —still requires a TV subscription in order to access the live content streamed from FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX Deportes.

Lights ‘go out’ as AC Milan hopes of qualifying for Europe may end in disaster

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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.

MLS attendances for gameweek 8 of the 2016 season

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The reported attendances for gameweek of the 2016 MLS season are in, with an average of 19,400+ this past weekend.

The attendance numbers were generally strong this week. It's good to see Colorado's strong number, which is hopefully due to the team's surprising start. The same can be said for Philadelphia.

On-fire Gareth Bale relishing return to scoring goals in England

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Review of ‘Messi, Superstar’ children’s book

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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.

Champions League spotlight beckons again for Joe Hart

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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 have no plans to replace Louis van Gaal next season

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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.

Where to find Manchester City vs. Real Madrid on TV; Champions League semi-final 1st leg

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Manchester City against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final, you've come to the right place.

The first leg of the semi-final kicks off today, and here are all of the details of where you can watch it on television and via legal streaming:

Who: Manchester City vs.

Jury concludes police failures led to deaths of Liverpool fans in Hillsborough disaster

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Photo credit: AFP

The 96 Liverpool fans who died in Britain's 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster were unlawfully killed, a jury found Tuesday following the longest-running inquest in English legal history.

After hearing more than two years of evidence, the jury also concluded that the behavior of Liverpool supporters on the day did not cause or contribute to Britain's worst sports stadium tragedy.

Gigi Buffon salutes Juventus’s ‘crazy, incredible’ season

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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.

Spurs’ draw against West Brom leaves title hopes hanging by a thread

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Roma beat Napoli to hand Serie A title to Juventus

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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.

Neymar to lead Brazil’s push for Olympic Medals

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Soccer superstar Neymar will lead Brazil's charge for gold medals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics as the country seeks to forget its political and economic blues.

The country of 200 million people faces a nervous 100-day countdown to the start of the Games where it is counting on winning about 30 medals.

Claudio Ranieri hails Leicester’s unconquerable heart

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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.

I’ll see season out as Celtic boss, insists manager Ronny Deila

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Ronny Deila has insisted he will get to see the season out as Celtic manager as speculation continues to grow about his future.

The Hoops boss announced in midweek that he would be stepping down in the summer following two years in charge of the Glasgow giants.

However, after being held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Ross County on Sunday the Celtic manager was visited in the dressing room by club chief executive Peter Lawwell for talks.

Alan Pardew plots revenge after Crystal Palace emulate spirit of 1990

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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.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 8 of 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 8 of the 2016 MLS season.

1. Toronto makes its move

The last time Toronto traveled down the 401 to Montreal, they were humiliated in the MLS Cup Playoffs. On that night, TFC didn't show up. It was 3-0 Impact at halftime.

But in the first derby of the year in Montreal on Saturday had a very different feeling.

Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez named PFA Player of the Year

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Leicester City's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez on Sunday became the first African player to be named English football's Player of the Year, as voted for by his fellow professionals.

The 25-year-old French-born Algerian international, outstanding in Leicester's incredible charge towards the Premier League title, received the trophy at a lavish awards ceremony in London.

Bayern’s Matthias Sammer suffering from brain disorder

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Bayern Munich revealed on Sunday that director of sport Matthias Sammer has missed their last two games on the bench alongside coach Pep Guardiola after suffering from a brain disorder.

The 48-year-old is suffering from "a tiny circulatory disorder of the brain that will heal completely and without consequence", according to club doctor Prof.

Feyenoord beat Utrecht to win 2015/16 Dutch Cup [VIDEO]

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Rotterdam giants Feyenoord ended their trophy drought on Sunday, winning the Dutch Cup with a 2-1 defeat of Utrecht in the final.

In a game played at their own De Kuip stadium, Michiel Kramer scored to give Feyenoord a half-time lead, only for Ramon Leeuwin to equalise early in the second half.

Leonardo Ulloa propels Leicester eight points clear atop Premier League

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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.

Messi keeps 10 million shirt promise to Steph Curry

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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.

Wickham sends Crystal Palace to FA Cup final showdown with Manchester United

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Crystal Palace will face Manchester United in their first FA Cup final for 26 years after Connor Wickham sealed a 2-1 win over Watford at Wembley on Sunday.

Alan Pardew's side swept into an early lead in the semi-final through Congo forward Yannick Bolasie before Watford's Troy Deeney equalized soon after the interval.

Chicharito no longer a super sub after scoring 38% of Leverkusen’s goals

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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.

Aston Villa flops won’t be protected from fan backlash

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Relegated Aston Villa's beleaguered players face three more weeks of public humiliation before their nightmare season comes to an end.

But Villa caretaker manager Eric Black has no plans to shield any of his highly-paid but underachieving troops from their fate in the final fixtures.

Inter ‘supporting Napoli’ as delegation of Chinese investors visit club

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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.

New York City FC slump to MLS loss as star midfielder Andrea Pirlo dropped

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New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira's shock decision to omit Italian star Andrea Pirlo from his squad failed to pay off in a 2-0 Major League Soccer defeat to the Union in Philadelphia.

Vieira on Saturday stressed that Pirlo wasn't injured, and his absence was strictly a coach's decision.

3 notable snubs from the PFA Team of the Year

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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 take step towards automatic promotion, but MK Dons get relegated

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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.

Iheanacho lifts Manchester City, while Rafa Benitez denies Liverpool

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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.

Bayern Munich made to wait for historic fourth straight title

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Bayern Munich must wait another week to claim an historic fourth consecutive Bundesliga title although Saturday's 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin left them seven points clear with three games left.

Bayern could have had the league wrapped up in the capital had second-placed Dortmund not won 3-0 at VfB Stuttgart.

Gareth Bale rescues Ronaldo-less Real Madrid, while Atletico Madrid go top

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Gareth Bale struck twice to inspire a Real Madrid fightback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

However, Real continue to trail city rivals Atletico Madrid by a point with three games remaining in La Liga after Angel Correa's deflected strike handed them a 1-0 win over Malaga.

Ice-cool Anthony Martial sends Manchester United to FA Cup final

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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.

PSG wary of in-form Lille in League Cup final

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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.

Racist Inter fans force partial stadium ban

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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.

Lionel Messi fit to face Sporting Gijon, says Luis Enrique

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insisted Lionel Messi will be 100 percent fit to face Sporting Gijon on Saturday despite suffering a series of knocks in Barca's 8-0 hammering of Deportivo la Coruna.

"He didn't have much luck with the blows in the game the other day, but he trained today and is in perfect condition," said Enrique on Friday.

Roberto Martinez tells Everton to forget league form ahead of FA Cup semi-final

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Roberto Martinez is urging Everton to put their poor Premier League form behind them when they face Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.

The Toffees travel down to London just days after an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Liverpool in this week's Merseyside derby raised fresh questions about Everton manager Martinez's future at Goodison Park.

Cristiano Ronaldo mind set on facing Manchester City, says Zidane

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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.

Unfair to single Arsenal out for criticism, says Wenger

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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.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC, Gameweek 35

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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.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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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.

Backlash as ‘AC Milan’ perform pre-match Haka in advertising stunt

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Struggling Serie A giants AC Milan were left red-faced amid a social media backlash that mocked the club for a bizarre pre-match 'Haka' ritual dance prior to a Serie A game on Thursday.

Seven-time European champions Milan hosted relegation-haunted Carpi at the legendary San Siro stadium looking for a win to boost their bid to qualify for next season's Europa League.

Raging Jamie Vardy leaves Leicester in a bind in Premier League tilt

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His exploits with Leicester City have alerted Hollywood scriptwriters, but an on-pitch indiscretion by Jamie Vardy has compromised his unheralded team's extraordinary bid for the Premier League title.

With 22 goals in the season to date, Vardy has become the symbol of a football fairytale, but his dismissal during last weekend's 2-2 draw with West Ham United leaves Leicester in the lurch.

Mesut Ozil wrongfully snubbed from PFA Team of the Year

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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.

Neymar to play Olympics and miss Copa America

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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.

Divock Origi’s ankle not broken but injury casts shadow on Liverpool’s derby win

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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.

Michael Keane hails Burnley’s ability to fight to the end

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Michael Keane has praised Burnley's never-say-die spirit after the club again showed their ability to strike in 'Fergie time'.

The Clarets extended their unbeaten run to 20 games in midweek thanks to Keane's last-gasp equaliser against Sky Bet Championship leaders Middlesbrough.

The defender, 23, kept Burnley on Boro's tail with a scuffed stoppage-time finish from a corner in a 1-1 draw which came just four games after Keane had also salvaged a draw at third-placed Brighton.

West Ham loss leaves Quique Sanchez Flores’ Watford future in doubt

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Quique Sanchez Flores will lead Watford out at Wembley on Sunday with question marks surrounding his future.

The Spaniard has guided the promoted Hornets to Premier League safety with room to spare and to an FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.

Yet Watford's owners are reportedly unhappy at the club's recent slump in form, with just three league wins since the turn of the year.

Humbling derby defeat piles pressure on Everton boss Roberto Martinez

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Under-fire Roberto Martinez faced further fan fury as his Everton side crashed to a humiliating 4-0 derby defeat at the hands of rivals Liverpool on Wednesday.

There was also controversy as Toffees defender Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off for a poor challenge on Liverpool goalscorer Divock Origi, who consequently left the field at Anfield on a stretcher.

Barcelona present plans for increased capacity at Camp Nou

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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.

Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of April 15-18

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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.

Soccerwarz: An insider’s guide to the conflicts holding back US soccer

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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.

Manchester United’s Van Gaal angered by Old Trafford empty seats

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal reacted angrily to suggestions that his club's supporters had voted with their feet by missing a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The Premier League side announced a near-capacity crowd of 75,277 for the win which maintained their bid to finish in the top four and claim a place in next season's Champions League.

Injured Cristiano Ronaldo needs more rest, says Zidane

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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.

Klopp keeps cool after Liverpool’s derby romp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to get carried away after his rampant side crushed neighbors Everton 4-0 in a one-sided 226th Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Wednesday's Premier League encounter was little short of a humiliation for the visitors, who finished the match with 10 men after Ramiro Funes Mori's second-half red card.

Juventus march on as Totti sets Roma hearts racing

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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.

Club America blanks Tigres 2-0 in opener [VIDEO]

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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.

Arsenal seek top-four spark against West Brom

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Arsenal's quivering tightrope walk towards their Premier League top-four objective resumes this Thursday when West Bromwich Albion visit the Emirates Stadium in a re-arranged fixture.

Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace saw Arsene Wenger's side slip to fourth place and left them with precious little wriggle room ahead of their final five matches of the season.

France to extend state of emergency to Euro 2016

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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.

Dortmund down Hertha to face Bayern in DFB-Pokal final

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Borussia Dortmund will face Bayern Munich in the German Cup final on May 21 after their comprehensive 3-0 semi-final win at Hertha Berlin on Wednesday.

A first-half goal by Gonzalo Castro, plus late second-half strikes from wingers Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealed Dortmund's deserved win at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

Suarez hits four in 8-0 Barcelona rout; Torres scores winner for Atletico

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Barcelona bounced back from their worst run of La Liga defeats for 13 years in emphatic fashion as Luis Suarez scored four in an 8-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Marc Bartra and Neymar were also on target as Barca reasserted their control on the Spanish title race.

Thomas Mueller double puts Bayern in German Cup final

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Bayern Munich took a step towards winning the treble as Thomas Mueller netted twice in Tuesday's 2-0 semi-final win over Werder Bremen to reach the German Cup final.

Mueller now has 31 goals in all competitions, four in the Cup, as the 26-year-old headed home in the first half, then converted a penalty after a cynical dive from Arturo Vidal.

Pochettino proud as ‘perfect’ Spurs maintain title charge

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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.

Napoli thump Bologna to make Juventus wait

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Dries Mertens scored a hat-trick and Manolo Gabbiadini notched a brace as Napoli kept their faint Serie A title hopes alive as Bologna were thrashed 6-0 on Tuesday.

David Lopez rounded off the scoring a minute form time with a fortuitous goal as his prod rebounded off Bologna goalkeeper Antonio Mirante, hit him in the chest and the bounced in.

Louis Van Gaal says Manchester United can afford no slip-ups

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Manchester United have no margin for error if they are to secure a top-four Premier League finish and qualify for the Champions League, manager Louis van Gaal said on Tuesday.

Fifth-place United trail Manchester City and Arsenal by four points ahead of their league game against potential FA Cup final opponents Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Ronny Deila to step down as Celtic manager

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Ronny Deila will step down as manager of Scottish giants Celtic at the end of the season, the Norwegian announced on Wednesday.

Celtic are currently eight points clear of Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership and on course for a fifth successive title, but Deila's position has been under scrutiny for some time.

What’s next for Paris Saint-Germain?

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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.

World Cup 2018 could be first with video technology, says Infantino

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Tuesday that testing is to begin on video technology that could be ready to use at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow to check on preparations for the 2018 soccer showpiece, Infantino also said the hard graft "starts now" in the crisis-hit country.

Liverpool vs. Everton preview: Roberto Martinez in search of derby relief

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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.

Late escape will be a Premier League title boost, says Claudio Ranieri

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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.

Jose Mourinho suffered for trusting too much, says Fabregas

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas claims Jose Mourinho lost his job at Stamford Bridge because he trusted the players too much.

Mourinho was dismissed as Blues boss in December with Chelsea struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League less than a year after being crowned English champions.

Speculation rises over future of Ranieri, Mourinho, Marquinhos and Kante

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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.

Lazio look to halt Juventus title party preparations

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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.

Leicester City to play Paris Saint-Germain at Stubhub Center

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Premier League cinderella team Leicester City will play French champions Paris Saint-Germain in a friendly this summer, as part of the International Champions Cup.

The match, which is scheduled for July 30, will be played at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California, just outside Los Angeles.

Barca on brink of implosion on La Liga super Wednesday

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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 pitfalls, Tony Pulis’ tough love for Saido Berahino is helping the striker grow

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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.

Kompany and Sterling set for Manchester City return against Newcastle

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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.

Theo Walcott is running out of time at Arsenal

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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.

Goal-hungry Robert Lewandowski eyes German Cup final berth

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Robert Lewandowski is firmly focused on adding to his impressive goal-haul when Bayern Munich hunt a place in the German Cup final in Tuesday's semi-final at home to Werder Bremen.

Having drawn Atletico Madrid in the last four of the Champions League, Bayern are chasing a repeat of their 2013 treble when they added the Bundesliga and cup titles to their European crown.

EPL GW 35 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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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.

US judge releases Jeffrey Webb guilty plea transcript

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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.

Exodus at Aston Villa after two directors quit club

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Aston Villa suffered another blow just days after their relegation from the Premier League as directors David Bernstein and Mervyn King quit with immediate effect on Monday.

Former Football Association chairman Bernstein only joined Villa last month following the February appointment of King, who had previously served as the Governor of the Bank of England.

Jamie Vardy charged after red card row

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Jamie Vardy has been charged with improper conduct following the Leicester striker's angry reaction to his red card against West Ham, the Football Association announced on Monday.

Vardy was sent off by referee Jonathan Moss after earning a second booking for diving in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty in the second half of Sunday's 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium.

Tottenham beat Stoke to close gap with Leicester

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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.

Sling TV launches new Multi-Stream service that includes FOX Sports and Univision

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Sling TV has launched a brand-new package to its offerings that includes an array of different channels not previously available including FOX, FOX Sports 1, Univision and UniMas.

The streaming platform Sling TV already has Sling International, Sling TV and Sling Latino, but is now offering a new package called Multi-Stream Service for $20 per month.

Ilkay Gundogan can be a key presence at the crux of Guardiola’s Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola's arrival at Manchester City will trigger the reconfiguration of a side who have become accustomed to following a familiar blueprint.

With a spine of players consisting of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero, particular methods and patterns have been prevalent at the Etihad Stadium for years now.

Barcelona can win final five despite dramatic slump, says Luis Enrique

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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.

MLS reported attendances rise 3% compared to last season

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After 65 matches, the average attendance for the 2016 MLS season is just over 21,300, which represents a 3.15% increase over the first 65 games of the 2015 season.

Of course, you have to take the numbers with a grain of salt.

For gameweek 7 of the 2016 MLS season, the average reported attendance was 20,750.

Arsenal boss Wenger eager to repair Gunners ‘mental damage’

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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.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 7

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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.

No split loyalties for Spurs old boy Peter Crouch

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Stoke City striker Peter Crouch will have no qualms derailing Tottenham Hotspur's Premier League title bid when the two teams meet despite some residual loyalty to his former club.

Victory for second-placed Spurs will see them close to within five points of leaders Leicester City with just four games of the season remaining.

New NBCSN video promotes Leicester as the biggest underdog story in sports history

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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.

Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie punctures Arsenal’s Champions League bid

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Yannick Bolasie put a dent in Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with an equaliser for Crystal Palace nine minutes from time in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's side appeared on course for victory following Alexis Sanchez's headed goal in first-half stoppage-time.

Borussia Dortmund cool on Gundogan to Manchester City reports

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Borussia Dortmund reacted coolly on Sunday to reports Germany international Ilkay Gundogan is set to join Manchester City next season to work with Pep Guardiola.

Both German daily Bild and UK tabloid The Sun claim the 25-year-old defensive midfielder will leave at the end of the season and has already signed a five-year contract with City.

Italy blow as Marchisio limps out of Euro 2016

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Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio will miss Euro 2016 after his club Juventus confirmed he has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Juventus star Marchisio was stretchered off 15 minutes into the champions' 4-0 victory over Palermo in Turin after a challenge that left him rolling on the turf in pain.

Claudio Ranieri refuses to condemn ref after Vardy sees red

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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.

US teen star Christian Pulisic nets as Dortmund break Hamburg bogey

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American teenager Christian Pulisic scored his first Bundesliga goal on Sunday as Borussia Dortmund kept some pressure on leaders Bayern Munich with a 3-0 win over 10-man Hamburg.

Dortmund bounced back from the heart-break of their last-gasp 4-3 defeat at Liverpool on Thursday, which ended their Europa League campaign at the quarter-final stage.

Totti to the rescue as Roma drop points at Atalanta

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Francesco Totti came off the bench to hit a late, precious leveler as Champions League-chasing Roma dropped two points in a thrilling 3-3 draw away to Atalanta on Sunday.

Roma travelled to Bergamo feeling the pressure after Inter Milan stunned Napoli 2-0 on Saturday to close the gap on third place to three points.

Rangers beat Celtic in shoot-out to book Scottish Cup final berth

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Rangers booked a place in the Scottish Cup final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out Sunday in an action-packed semi-final against Old Firm rivals Celtic that ended 2-2 after extra-time at Hampden.

Australian international Tom Rogic blasted the decisive spot-kick over the bar to hand Rangers a 5-4 victory after Callum McGregor and Scott Brown had also missed.

Sergio Aguero’s lack of player honors baffles Pellegrini

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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 accepts Manchester United must be more ‘entertaining’

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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.

Late sub Didier Drogba makes Montreal Impact happy

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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.

Inter Milan dent Napoli scudetto hopes to keep Champions dream alive

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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.

An analysis of which four strikers England should take to Euro 2016

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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.

Jordan Rhodes late show lifts promotion chasers Middlesbrough

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Jordan Rhodes fired Middlesbrough a step closer to the Premier League as the Scotland striker's dramatic double sealed a 2-1 win over already-relegated Bolton on Saturday.

Aitor Karanka's side fell behind to Josh Vela's 61st-minute goal, but former Blackburn star Rhodes leveled in the 73rd minute and struck again in stoppage-time at the Macron Stadium.

Leverkusen climb to third but Chicharito limps off [VIDEO]

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Bayer Leverkusen climbed to third, and are on course for a direct Champions League place next season, after their 3-0 win over Bundesliga strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Kevin Kampl gave Bayer the lead on 70 minutes, just 43 seconds after coming off the bench for Leverkusen's top scorer, Javier Hernandez, who limped off after pulling up with an injury.

Biggest Champions League shocks

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When you get the best football teams from around Europe together in one competition, the gap between the top clubs and those just happy to be there is razor thin, all things considered.

While usually it's one of the favorites that prevails in the end, that doesn't mean along the way there aren't always a number of shock upsets that nobody sees coming.

Aston Villa relegated from Premier League as Man United’s Rashford strikes again

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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.

Wenger won’t call time on Arsenal’s fading title bid

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Arsene Wenger refuses to call time on Arsenal's fading Premier League title challenge as the Gunners boss tries to spark a late rally from his inconsistent side.

Wenger's team host Crystal Palace on Sunday having seen the gap between themselves and leaders Leicester increase to 13 points last weekend after a frustrating draw at West Ham.

Benzema bounces back from France snub in Real Madrid rout

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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.

Where to find Rangers vs. Celtic Scottish League Cup semi-final on US TV

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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.

Sepp Blatter ‘available to defend FIFA’ at US corruption trial

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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.

Chinese set to buy AC Milan, says broker

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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.

Chelsea vs. Manchester City predicted lineups and team news

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Chelsea host Manchester City on Saturday (12:30pm ET kickoff on NBC) with both teams gunning for a positive result for very different reasons.

A win for thevisitors puts more distance between themselves and Manchester United in the race for the top four and UEFA Champions League qualification.

5 things Arsene Wenger can learn from Leicester’s Rise

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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.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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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.

Manchester United return to Premier League top-four chase

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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.

Crucial Inter visit for Serie A title-chasing Napoli

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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 promise no let-up in title pursuit

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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.

Bring back the fun, Bayern Munich sporting director Sammer urges

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Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has called on his players to rediscover their fun-loving side ahead of Saturday's fixture against Schalke 04.

The German champions qualified for a fifth consecutive Champions League semi-final this week, and now have the chance to establish a ten point lead at the top of the Bundesliga.

Jurgen Klopp invokes Istanbul in Liverpool Europa League comeback

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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.

Key areas that Arsenal need to address in defense before 2016/17 season

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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.

Draw for UEFA Champions League semi-finals is complete

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Manchester City will play Real Madrid while Atletico Madrid will face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League, after the draw was made on Friday.

The first leg of the semi-finals will be played on April 26-27, with the second leg scheduled for May 3-4. The final will take place at Milan's San Siro stadium on May 28.

Draw announced for Europa League semi-finals

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Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool will play Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals while defending champions Sevilla face Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk.

Liverpool, who hit back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to beat Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund 4-3 and progress into the semis 5-4 on aggregate, have never played Villarreal before.

FIFA told to get tough with World Cup rights abusers

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FIFA must show that it respects human rights and brandish the threat of withdrawing a World Cup to prove it means business, an independent review of football's world body said Thursday.

The report by former UN special representative on human rights and business John Ruggie is likely to intensify pressure on 2022 hosts Qatar, widely condemned for its treatment of migrant laborers.

5 reasons for Barcelona’s dramatic dip in form

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Barcelona's hopes of becoming the first side to retain the Champions League were dashed as they were eliminated 3-2 on aggregate by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

A 2-0 defeat at the Vicente Calderon was Barca's third in four games after a 39-match unbeaten run stretching back the previous six months.

West Ham in £2.5 million-a-year Olympic Stadium deal

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West Ham move home to the Olympic Stadium in August at a cost of £2.5million ($3.54 million) per year, it was revealed on Thursday.

The Premier League side have taken up a 99-year tenancy agreement with The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

West Ham's new landlords will meet running costs for the centerpiece of the London 2012 Games for areas such as the pitch, goalposts, floodlighting and corner flags.

Groups named for men and women’s soccer teams in Rio Olympics

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Hosts Brazil will open their bid for a first Olympic men's football title against South Africa after Thursday's draw was made in the Maracana Stadium.

Brazil, three-time runners-up including in 2012, have won every title apart from the Olympics and are drawn in the same Group A as South Africa, Iraq and Denmark.

France votes for promotion/relegation play-offs

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France will introduce a play-off to decide the final promotion and relegation place between the top two divisions from next season, the French Football League (LFP) said on Thursday.

The top two finishers in the second division Ligue 2 and the bottom two Ligue 1 sides will swap places as is the current case.

Liverpool’s last-gasp Lovren sinks Dortmund in Europa thriller

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Dejan Lovren scored a heart-stopping stoppage-time header as Liverpool completed an astonishing comeback to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on Thursday and reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Held 1-1 in last week's first leg at the Westfalenstadion, Dortmund scored twice in nine minutes through Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to take a firm grip on the tie.

Karim Benzema axed to avoid upsetting French ‘spirit’ at Euro 2016

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Karim Benzema was axed from France's Euro 2016 squad so as not to "disrupt the spirit" in the national squad, French football chief Noel Le Graet told sports daily L'Equipe on Thursday.

The French Football Federation (FFF) president added that the Real Madrid striker had "done something really stupid" over the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape affair.

Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of April 8-10

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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.

Slumping Barcelona must bounce back, coach Enrique says

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique admitted his side are suffering a slump in form after a third defeat in four games saw them dumped out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.

Antoine Griezmann struck twice for Atletico in a 2-0 win Wednesday to seal their passage to the last four at Barcelona's expense for the second time in three years, 3-2 on aggregate.

Manchester United’s Van Gaal struck by rational Rashford

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hailed Marcus Rashford's startling self-awareness after the 18-year-old striker's memorable goal inspired his side to FA Cup victory at West Ham United.

Rashford broke the deadlock in the 54th minute of Wednesday's quarter-final replay, shimmying inside James Tomkins and arcing an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner.

Didier Drogba to sue Daily Mail over claims about his charity

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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.

Why Dortmund’s American prodigy Christian Pulisic is the real deal

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Photo credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Jurgen Klopp calls for Liverpool bravery in Dortmund showdown

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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.

France’s Karim Benzema to miss Euro 2016

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Embroiled in the Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape scandal, France forward Karim Benzema will not be selected for Euro 2016, the player and the French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately for me and for those who have always backed me and supported me, I will not be selected for our Euro in France," Benzema revealed on his official Twitter account.

Marseille owner puts club up for sale

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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.

Anfield return holds no fear for Borussia Dortmund against Liverpool

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Borussia Dortmund have no qualms about coping with an electric Anfield atmosphere on Thursday when the German giants take on Liverpool in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Divock Origi's away goal, later cancelled out by a Mats Hummels header in a 1-1 draw in Dortmund, put Liverpool in a favorable position as Jurgen Klopp made an emotional return to his former club.

EPL GW 34 preview and Champions League review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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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 has been Real Salt Lake’s most important player of 2016 so far

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Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Remembering Atletico Mineiro’s pivotal tour to Europe from 1950

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In 1950, after Brazil lost to Uruguay in the World Cup final, no national or continental matches took place in South America for the remainder of the year.

Following the World Cup, acommission was formed by the German FA to explore the possibility of a Brazilian club team playinga series of friendliesagainst some of the Germany'sclub teams.

Jurgen Klinsmann denies Everton link

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United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann on Wednesday denied reports suggesting he was being lined up to take over from Roberto Martinez at Everton.

A tweet from respected television commentator Ian Darke said there were "persistent Merseyside rumors" linking Klinsmann to the Premier League club.

Rashford brings Manchester United FA Cup cheer against West Ham [VIDEO]

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Teenage sensation Marcus Rashford scored a delicious goal as Manchester United won 2-1 at West Ham United in Wednesday's FA Cup quarter-final replay to bolster manager Louis van Gaal.

West Ham were bidding to crown the final cup tie at their venerable Boleyn Ground home with victory, having pushed United close at Old Trafford in the 1-1 draw when the teams first met.

Bayern see off Benfica to reach Champions League semis [VIDEO]

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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.

Atleti dump Barcelona out of Champions League

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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.

PSG left haunted by familiar feeling of failure

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Paris Saint-Germain have some serious soul-searching to do after once again coming up short in the Champions League as they exited the competition at the hands of Manchester City on Tuesday.

A 1-0 defeat in England saw PSG lose 3-2 on aggregate as they became the first team to lose in the quarter-finals of the Champions League in four consecutive seasons.

Manchester City can win Champions League, says Pellegrini

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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.

Fans ‘with Mihajlovic’ as Berlusconi cops AC Milan flak

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Angry fans of seven-time European champions AC Milan have turned on club president Silvio Berlusconi for sacking Sinisa Mihajlovic and appointing yet another coach with no top level experience.

"Mihajlovic is just the latest innocent (coach) to pay for the mismanagement of the club, all with the complicit approval of President Berlusconi," a prominent supporters group said on Wednesday.

Hat-trick king Cristiano Ronaldo silences big game critics

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"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.

Barcelona confidence not shaken by blip, insists Messi

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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.

Benfica worried about fitness of Nicolas Gaitan ahead of Bayern Munich match

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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.

MLS attendances increase 1.39% compared to last season

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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.

Pellegrini getting the most out of his broken Man City squad as a lame duck manager

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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.

Everything you need to know about this summer’s Euro 2016 competition

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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.

Date proposed for start of FIFA trial to be held in New York City

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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.

Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona predicted lineups and team news

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Atletico Madrid welcome FC Barcelona to the Estadio Vicente Calderon for this deciding leg that will determine who goes on to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona hold a slight advantage after Luis Suarez's brace canceled out Fernando Torres' opener in a game that was rife with controversial refereeing.

Walter Smith wants ‘bitterness’ to inspire Rangers

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Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has said the Glasgow giants should use the bitterness over their forced demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football as an enduring source of motivation.

Rangers were kicked out of the Scottish Premiership after entering administration in February 2012 over an unpaid tax bill during the short, but chaotic, reign of Craig Whyte.

Atletico Madrid can capitalize on jaded Barcelona to progress in Champions League

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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.

De Bruyne downs PSG as Manchester City reach Champions League last four [VIDEO]

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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 hat-trick fires Real Madrid into Champions League semis [VIDEO]

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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.

Manchester United and West Ham in ‘last chance’ FA Cup replay

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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.

Stand-in keeper Jamie Vardy hails Leicester camaraderie

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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.

How to win big as a football fan

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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.

Steve Sidwell strikes late as Brighton close gap in promotion race

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Brighton closed the gap in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League as Steve Sidwell's last-gasp strike clinched a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Chris Hughton's third placed side moved to within one point of second placed Middlesbrough and two of Championship leaders Burnley after a dramatic finale at the City Ground.

Heat on Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic to turn tables on Wolfsburg and Manchester City

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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.

Manchester City seek to seize moment against PSG

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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.

‘Positive’ Zidane seeks patience in Real Madrid recovery mission

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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.

NASL might pose a threat to MLS on TV

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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.

US women raise prospect of Olympic soccer boycott

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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.

AC Milan sack Sinisa Mihajlovic, appoint Cristian Brocchi

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AC Milan have announced the sacking of coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, replacing the Serbian with youth team handler Cristian Brocchi until the end of the season.

A statement from the struggling Serie A giants on Tuesday read: "Sinisa Mihajlovic has been relieved of his role as AC Milan coach.

Leicester could be the first minnow of many to challenge giants of Premier League

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"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.

Why Alvaro Morata wouldn’t be the ideal signing for Arsenal

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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 vs. Paris Saint-Germain predicted lineups and team news

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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.

Copa America Centenario TV schedule on Univision

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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.

Four famous Real Madrid European fightbacks

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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.

fuboTV adds beIN SPORTS Connect to its portfolio of soccer streaming offerings

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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.

PSG’s Angel Di Maria out to banish Manchester ghosts

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Angel di Maria will attempt to exorcise some personal ghosts when he returns to Manchester for Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester City on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Argentina international endured a miserable time in the city with Manchester United last season, with a traumatic burglary expediting his departure at the end of the campaign.

Established order in peril in UEFA Champions League

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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.

Tears, no fears as Ranieri’s Leicester close on Premier League title

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri played down his emotional response after the Foxes took their latest big step towards the English Premier League title.

Ranieri left the pitch in tears after Jamie Vardy's second-half double sealed a hard-fought 2-0 win at relegation-threatened Sunderland on Sunday.

Forget 2022, Qatar focus now on 2018 World Cup

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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.

Divock Origi’s Liverpool potential excites Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Divock Origi is at the start of something special after he scored twice in a 4-1 win over Stoke City at Anfield.

Just days earlier, the Belgian grabbed a precious away goal against Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund as the first leg of Liverpool's Europa League quarter-final ended all square at 1-1.

Manchester Utd ‘still ahead’ of Spurs, says Van Gaal

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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.

Borchers own-goal gives LA Galaxy 1-1 draw with Portland Timbers

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An own-goal by Portland's Nat Borchers gave the listless Galaxy a 1-1 draw against the Timbers in Los Angeles in a clash of the last two MLS Cup champions.

Fanendo Adi had given reigning title holders Portland the lead in the 52nd minute, taking advantage of Rafael Garcia's hesitation to belt a low drive into the bottom right corner.

Napoli see off Verona to keep Serie A title hopes alive

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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'.

Leicester City qualify for Champions League for first time

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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.

Borussia Dortmund’s draw at Schalke puts Bayern on verge of title

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Shinji Kagawa's superb chip was not enough to prevent Borussia Dortmund drawing 2-2 at Schalke on Sunday, edging Bayern Munich towards a historic fourth straight Bundesliga title.

The draw in Gelsenkirchen leaves Pep Guardiola's Bayern seven points clear of second-placed Dortmund with five games left.

Supersub Divock Origi at the double as Liverpool beat Stoke

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Divock Origi came off the bench to score twice as Liverpool beat Stoke City 4-1 at Anfield on Sunday for their biggest home win this season.

Victory saw the Reds leapfrog the Potters into eighth place in the Premier League table.

Origi had been on the pitch less than five minutes after replacing Sheyi Ojo at half-time when he scored his second goal in as many games, nodding home James Milner's cross in front of the Kop.

Spurs stun Manchester Utd with six-minute blitz [VIDEO]

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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.

Paul Pogba winner at Milan as Juventus march on

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Paul Pogba struck a second-half winner as Juventus continued their march towards a record-equalling fifth consecutive Serie A title with a 2-1 victory at AC Milan on Saturday.

Juventus, who last won five on the trot in 1935, are now nine points clear of second-placed Napoli, before they host basement side Verona on Sunday.

Barcelona must prove they are world’s best, says Luis Enrique

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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 will be back but not with Syria national team

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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.

Roberto Martinez is turning Everton into Wigan

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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.

Guus Hiddink defends move to bench Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois

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Guus Hiddink defended his decision to rest goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after a 1-0 loss at Swansea condemned Chelsea to a first Premier League defeat under their interim manager.

Hiddink left Belgium international Courtois on the bench at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, preferring to name Bosnia's Asmir Begovic in his starting line-up.

Swansea end Chelsea’s unbeaten run under Hiddink [VIDEO]

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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.

Barca beaten again at Sociedad while Atletico and Real apply pressure

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Barcelona suffered a second consecutive La Liga defeat to blow the title race wide open as Mikel Oyarzabal's header handed Real Sociedad a 1-0 win over the European champions on Saturday.

Atletico Madrid are now only three points behind Barca after goals from the on-form Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann and Koke saw them come from behind to win 3-1 at Espanyol.

Bayern win to go eight points clear in Bundesliga [VIDEO]

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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.

Aston Villa cling on, while Andy Carroll treble thwarts Arsenal; EPL roundup

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Hapless bottom club Aston Villa avoided relegation from the Premier League by the skin of their teeth on Saturday despite a 2-1 loss at home to Bournemouth.

Goals from Steve Cook and Josh King gave Bournemouth victory at Villa Park, but Norwich City's 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace kept Villa hanging by a mathematical thread.

Swansea reveal American investor talks

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Swansea City revealed on Saturday they are in talks with American businessmen Stephen Kaplan and Jason Levien, who are seeking to purchase a controlling stake in the Premier League club.

Kaplan and Levien, both of whom have extensive sporting experience in the United States, are heading up an investment group that hopes to take charge by the end of the season.

Consistency the key as Leicester’s Ranieri eyes Champions League

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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.

Neymar gets Barca go-ahead for Olympics, not Copa America

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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.

Guus Hiddink backs Antonio Conte to lure stars to Chelsea

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Guus Hiddink insists incoming boss Antonio Conte will be able to attract top stars to Chelsea even without the lure of Champions League action.

Conte was this week confirmed as Jose Mourinho's permanent successor and will take charge at Stamford Bridge after Italy's Euro 2016 campaign comes to a conclusion.

Spurs confront Man United demons in Premier League title pursuit

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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.

Ian Darke among highlights of EPL commentator assignments for Gameweek 33

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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.

Napoli eyes on Juventus trip to San Siro

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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.

Gritty Manchester City can’t afford to relax, warns Jesus Navas

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Manchester City have edged closer to a place in the Champions League semi-finals but Jesus Navas has warned they can't afford to relax when they return to Premier League action on Saturday.

City's 2-2 draw at Paris St-Germain in the first leg of their quarter-final has made them favorites to progress to the last four following next Tuesday's return meeting at Eastlands.

Borussia boss warns Bayern ahead of Stuttgart derby

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Borussia Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has warned Bayern Munich that his team is ready to pounce in the Bundesliga title race should Pep Guardiola's leaders slip up at Stuttgart on Saturday.

With only six games left, the Bavarian giants are five points clear of second-placed Dortmund but face a tricky tie at Stuttgart in the south Germany derby.

Kasper Schmeichel reveals secret of Leicester’s success

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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.

Luis Suarez-less Barca seek rare win at Real Sociedad

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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.

Chelsea rebuilding for start of Antonio Conte era

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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.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sees a movie career in his future

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Never one to shun the limelight, Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed Thursday that he could make a film about his life and portray it as a 10-part saga just like Rambo.

"There are talks but nothing has been decided," the Paris Saint Germain star told Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri.

SEE MORE: Watch the trailer for 'Becoming Zlatan,' the upcoming Zlatan documentary

"Lots of other people do films about me, my life and make money but it's obvious that if the subject of a movie is me then I should have control.

Against Dortmund, Liverpool coped admirably facing their future self

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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.

Liverpool wait on Jordan Henderson after Dortmund knock

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is waiting on the fitness of Reds' captain Jordan Henderson after the midfielder was forced off in their Europa League quarter-final draw at Borussia Dortmund.

The full extent of Henderson's injury will only be known after a scan on Friday.

"He's injured his knee.

Wenger admits Arsenal can learn from Leicester fairytale

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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.

Kieran Tierney backs Celtic to recover from stumble

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Kieran Tierney insists Celtic will return to winning ways when the Scottish Premiership leaders take on Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.

Ronny Deila's side were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Dundee in midweek to give nearest rivals Aberdeen hope in the race for the title.

Liverpool earn draw on Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund reunion [VIDEO]

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Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool grabbed a precious away goal on his emotional return to Borussia Dortmund as Thursday's Europa League quarter-final, first leg finished in a 1-1 draw.

A superb finish from Liverpool striker Divock Origi was cancelled out by a bullet header from Dortmund captain Mats Hummels.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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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.

Paulo Dybala to miss Milan vs. Juventus clash

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Injury-hit Juventus star Paulo Dybala is set to miss the trip to AC Milan on Saturday where the champions can take another step towards a record-equalling fifth consecutive title.

Dybala, who is Juve's top scorer with 14 league goals this term, has been sidelined since March 20 when he crumpled to the ground in pain after taking a free-kick in a 4-1 derby win at Torino.

Manchester City must cut out mistakes, says Pellegrini

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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.

Tickets on sale for Arsenal vs. Chivas Guadalajara game in Los Angeles

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As of press time, less than one thousand tickets remain for the Arsenal vs. Chivas Guadalajara friendly that's scheduled to be played at the Stubhub Center outside Los Angeles on Sunday, July 31.

Tickets for the game will certainly be sold out very soon. And for most Arsenal fans, the game will be the best chance to watch the Gunners play in the United States this summer.

Most-watched live soccer games on US TV for weekend of April 1-3, 2016

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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.

Wolfsburg manager tells Real Madrid’s Marcelo to ‘cut the acting’

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Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking has told Real Madrid defender Marcelo to "cut out the acting" following his antics during his team's 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat in Germany.

The Brazil left-back thrust his head towards Wolfsburg midfielder Maximilian Arnold's chest in the 69th minute of Real's shock defeat, then crumpled to the turf, clutching his face.

Arsene Wenger plays down Jack Wilshere nightclub incident

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Thursday played down a late-night scrape involving Jack Wilshere and revealed that the midfielder will make his long-awaited return to action this week.

Wilshere, 24, was photographed speaking to police in the early hours of Sunday morning after reportedly being rejected from a nightclub in central London.

Claudio Ranieri hails ‘horse’ Jamie Vardy and battery-powered N’Golo Kante

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has described Jamie Vardy as a "fantastic horse" and says that his Premier League title-chasing players were "too small or too slow" for other clubs.

A year ago, Leicester were six points from safety at the foot of the table, but Sunday's 1-0 win over Southampton left them seven points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur with six games to play.

Alison Bender interview; World Soccer Talk Radio (4.6.16)

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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.

Montolivo backs ‘Miha’ as Juve threaten Milan’s Euro bid

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Damiani resigns from FIFA ethics committee in Panama Papers fallout, says FIFA

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Photo credit: AFP

Uruguay's Juan Pedro Damiani has resigned from FIFA's ethics committee after the Panama Papers showed his law firm acted as an intermediary for a disgraced FIFA official.

"We can confirm that Mr. Damiani resigned from his position as member of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee of FIFA," panel spokesman Marc Tenbuecken told AFP in an email.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp says Borussia Dortmund are favorites in quarter-final

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Photo credit: AFP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says there will be no place for sentimentality when he faces his former club Borussia Dortmund in Thursday's Europa League quarter-final, first-leg.

"I want to beat them, even though they are all my friends here. No question," said the Liverpool boss who quit as Dortmund coach last May after seven years with Borussia.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s evolution has put him in the world-class bracket

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There aren't many forwards in world soccer who intertwine attributes as neatly and as devastatingly as Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Soccer is full of players with searing pace, forwards with a strong running style and strikers who are unerringly composed when chances come their way.

EPL GW 33 preview and Champions League review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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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.

Real Madrid suffer shock first leg defeat at Wolfsburg [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-0 Champions League defeat at Wolfsburg in Wednesday's quarter-final, first-leg to leave them on the verge of a European exit.

Just five days after ending Barcelona's 39-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 away win in El Clasico, Real were humbled as Wolfsburg ignored their struggling mid-table form in Germany's top flight.

Manchester City in driving seat after slapstick night against PSG [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

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 raid UEFA headquarters in Panama Papers case

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Photo credit: AFP

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 not getting carried away, says Kasper Schmeichel

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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.

Messi tax trial dates altered for Copa America

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Schedule of Europa League games on US TV and live streaming

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We're down to the final eight teams in the UEFA Europa League —a competition where this year, the winner gets an automatic qualification into next season's UEFA Champions League.

For viewers in the United States, all of the Europa League quarter-final games will be shown live on television and live streaming.

Hillsborough jury retires to consider verdicts

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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.

FOX Sports interrupts soccer game to show 15 minutes of FOX News election coverage

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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.

Barcelona protected by referees, fumes Fernando Torres after red card

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Photo credit: AFP

Fernando Torres raged that Atletico Madrid are not treated equally to Barcelona by referees after his early red card turned their Champions League quarter-final, first leg around on Tuesday.

Torres had put Atletico in front at the Camp Nou before seeing two quick-fire yellow cards to leave the visitors a man light for over an hour.

NBC Sports to visit England again to cover Premier League games live from pitchside

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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.

El Clasico win buoys Real’s Gareth Bale for Wolfsburg mission

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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.

‘SoccerWarz’ book by Kartik Krishnaiyer examines feud between MLS, NASL and USL

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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.

Wes Morgan’s rise to glory is a well-deserved Leicester and CONCACAF success story

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Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Gianni Infantino implicated in Panama Papers, says report

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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.

Arturo Vidal gives Bayern slender lead against Benfica [VIDEO]

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Arturo Vidal gave Bayern Munich a slender 1-0 lead for their Champions League quarter-final return leg at Benfica next week, after hitting the winner just 109 seconds into Tuesday's first leg.

Bayern produced an off-key display at Munich's Allianz Arena and their fifth straight appearance in the Champions League semi-finals is far from assured.

Rangers secure title to seal Scottish top flight return

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Fallen Scottish football giants Rangers have ended their four-year absence from the Scottish Premiership after their 1-0 win at home to Dumbarton clinched the Championship title for the Ibrox club.

A goal from James Tavernier sent the Gers 17 points clear of Falkirk in second place with four games remaining while third-placed Hibernian, who have two games in hand, are 20 points adrift.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Manchester City predicted lineups and team news

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Both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester Cityare bidding to reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time ever after unsuccessful attempts in the recent past.

For the French champions, this is their fourth successive quarter final appearance in the Champions league but they were eliminated on the three previous occasions by Barcelona (twice) and Chelsea.

Middlesbrough close on Championship leaders Burnley [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

The race to be crowned champions of English football's second-tier Championship took a new twist on Tuesday when Burnley's lead at the top of the table was cut to a point.

Championship leaders Burnley could only manage a goalless draw at home to Cardiff as nearest challengers Middlesbrough and Brighton both won.

Luis Suarez double salvages Barcelona against 10-man Atletico [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Average reported attendances for MLS through gameweek 5 of the 2016 season

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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.

19 amazing facts about Premier League darlings Leicester City

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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 Higuain banned for 4 matches

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

France stages terror attack exercises ahead of Euro 2016

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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’s Luke Shaw back in training after injury woe

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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.

El Clasico scores 1.9 million viewers on beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS en Espanol

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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 can live with Bayern’s triple pressure

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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.

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte faces 6-month prison suspension for match fixing

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An Italian court on Tuesday called for incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to receive a six-month suspended prison sentence over match-fixing allegations.

The current Italy manager, who will take over Chelsea after Euro 2016, is accused of sporting fraud.

The "Calcioscommesse" (football-betting) probe maintains that the 46-year-old former Juventus boss failed to expose an alleged rigged second-division match in May 2011.

Atletico tougher than Real Madrid, warns Gerard Pique

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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.

Messi denies tax evasion in Panama Papers scandal

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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.

Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid predicted lineups and team news

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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.

Antonio Conte appointment is key to Chelsea’s resurgence

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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.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 4

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Here are the 10things we learned from week four of the 2016 MLS season.

1. The Red Card Controversy Continues

As the calendar flipped to April, red cards continued to dominate the discussion in MLS.

Felipe, Matias Laba, Benoit Cheyrou, and Warren Creavalle were all casualties this week.

Schedule of UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on US TV and Internet

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We're down to the final 8 teams in the UEFA Champions League as some of the best teams in Europe battle to try to make it into the semi-finals of the continental tournament.

Spanish teams Barcelona and Atletico Madrid battle against each other, while Ligue Un winners Paris Saint-Germain face Manchester City.

All eyes on Liverpool for Dortmund’s ‘Jurgen Klopp derby’

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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 wary of Champions League slip-up against Benfica

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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.

Barcelona seek el Clasico tonic in Champions League against Atleti

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Louis Van Gaal backs Manchester United to salvage Champions League place

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Photo credit: AFP

Louis van Gaal is convinced Manchester United are on track to claim a Champions League place from the wreckage of one of Old Trafford's most difficult seasons in recent memory.

Van Gaal's job as manager, in his second campaign at the club, has been the subject of widespread speculation since United's early exit from the Champions League group stage in December.

Claudio Ranieri keeps calm amid Leicester maelstrom

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Ajax fans pay Cruyff stadium-to-stadium tribute [VIDEO]

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Hundreds of Dutch soccer fans on Sunday paid an emotional tribute to the late Johan Cruyff, as they marched between the former and current Ajax stadiums in Amsterdam.

"Johan rest in peace," proclaimed a large black banner bearing a picture of the Amsterdam boy, who rose to become one of soccer's greatest players, carried at the front of the procession.

Neymar open to ‘dream’ PSG move, says agent

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Brazilian superstar Neymar could join Paris Saint-Germain if the French giants pay his huge 193 million euros ($220 million) get-out clause, his agent said Monday.

"Neymar has a contract with Barca until 2018," Wayne Ribeiro told French sports daily L'Equipe.

"But the prospect of living in a city like Paris and to play for a club like PSG is also a dream for every player.

Kaka stars as Orlando cut down Portland Timbers [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

Brazilian star Kaka made a triumphant return as Orlando City thrashed reigning champions the Portland Timbers 4-0 to maintain their unbeaten start to the Major League Soccer season.

Former world footballer of the year Kaka had missed Orlando's opening three games due to a thigh injury, depriving Adrian Heath's team of a vital creative outlet.

Antonio Conte confirmed as new Chelsea manager

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Photo credit: AFP

Italy coach Antonio Conte was named as Chelsea's new manager on Monday after the reigning Premier League champions announced he had signed a three-year deal that will start following Euro 2016.

The 46-year-old former Juventus boss took over the Italian national team in August 2014 and secured their qualification for the European Championship.

EPL GW 32 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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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.

FIFA, Platini, Messi named in secret offshore files

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Photo credit: AFP

Disgraced FIFA officials, suspended UEFA chief Michel Platini and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi were amongst the names found Sunday in leaked documents which reveal offshore financial dealings.

'The Panama Papers' claim the law firm of a FIFA ethics watchdog had business relationships with three men recently indicted in football's global corruption scandal.

Captain Wes Morgan sends Leicester seven points clear

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Abby Wambach faces drink driving charge

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Photo credit: AFP

Abby Wambach, who retired from football in October after helping the United States win the Women's World Cup, was arrested Sunday in Portland, Oregon, on a drink-driving charge.

Wambach, 35, was booked at 2:02 am and charged with A misdemeanor, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

Gladbach rout Hertha to climb into Champions League berths

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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.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers fail to impress in season opener against local rivals Miami FC

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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.

Patrick Roberts to the rescue for Celtic

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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.

Arsene Wenger still believes Arsenal can win the Premier League title

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger vowed that his side will not give up on the Premier League title after closing the gap on leaders Leicester City to eight points.

Saturday's 4-0 victory over Watford came on the back of a win at Everton before the international break and maintained the pressure on Leicester, who host Southampton on Sunday.

AC Milan lead tributes on death of Cesare Maldini

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Dempsey strikes as Seattle finally get off the mark [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester slam doping claims

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Arsenal, Chelsea and Premier League leaders Leicester City on Sunday rejected claims made by a British newspaper that a doctor who prescribed performance-enhancing drugs treated their players.

The three teams were cited in a Sunday Times report in which British doctor Mark Bonar was secretly filmed talking about providing professional athletes with banned substances.

Franck Ribery’s wonder goal keeps Bayern on title track [VIDEO]

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Spurs held at Liverpool while Arsenal and Manchester City stroll

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Photo credit: AFP

Leaders Leicester City can go seven points clear in the Premier League after closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur dropped points in a frantic 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday.

Harry Kane struck in the 63rd minute to cancel out Philippe Coutinho's opener for Liverpool, leaving Spurs four points below Leicester, who host Southampton on Sunday.

Manchester United vs. Everton predicted lineups and team news

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Manchester United host Everton on Sunday (at 11am ET) with the Red Devils looking to build on their 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the last game before the international break.

Louis Van Gaal's men are just four points off the Champions League places and only a win will do if they are to keep up with their nearby top four challengers City and West Ham United.

Cristiano Ronaldo winner breaks Barcelona’s 39-game unbeaten run in El Clasico

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Photo credit: AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo struck the winner as 10-man Real Madrid came from behind to end Barcelona's 39-game unbeaten run 2-1 in El Clasico at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

Gerard Pique's towering header put the hosts in front on the night they honored legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff.

Kartik Krishnaiyer interview; World Soccer Talk Radio

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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.

NBCSN’s new video celebrates the drama of relegation [VIDEO]

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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.

Real Madrid seek redemption in el Clasico while Barcelona ready to honor Cruyff

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Barcelona will honor legendary former player and coach Johan Cruyff as they look to inflict more misery upon eternal rivals Real Madrid in the Clasico on Saturday.

The most watched game in world football is Barca's first since Cruyff passed away last week at the age of 68 after a short battle with cancer.

Zidane mustn’t make the same mistakes as Benitez in el Clásico clash

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The team selected by Rafael Benitez for his ever Clasico earlier this season wasn't in line with his standard managerial blueprint.

While Barcelona made tactical sacrifices, bringing in the altruistic Sergi Roberto into the side in place of Munir El Haddadi on the right flank, Los Blancos were cavalier.

Manchester City travel to Bournemouth after sliding in league table

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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.

2016 NASL preview: Excitement building for new season of American soccer

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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.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Real Madrid on TV

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If you're asking yourself "Where can I find el Clasico on TV or Internet," here's all of the details you need.

There's only one TV network in the United States that has the rights to show the game live on television, and that's beIN SPORTS (English-language) and beIN SPORTS en Espanol (Spanish-language).

When time does el Clásico start?

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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 feel Dortmund’s pressure in Bundesliga title race

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Photo credit: AFP

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.

Totti facing fan boycott on what could be final Serie A derby

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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.

Sir Alex Ferguson salutes Leicester as Premier League resumes

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Leicester City continue their once unlikely quest to win the Premier League title on Sunday with Alex Ferguson among those backing them to be crowned champions.

This weekend sees the Premier League resume after the international break, with Leicester currently five points clear of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

el Clasico preview: Barcelona and Real Madrid prepare for 172nd clash

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Barcelona will bid to honour the memory of Johan Cruyff this weekend by ending Real Madrid's faint La Liga title hopes.

FC Barcelona's El Clásico jersey to commemorate Johan Cruyff: https://t.co/65Pr51FuwN pic.twitter.com/yU2nlX8zdM

- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 1 April 2016

The Catalans head into Saturday's El Clásico 10-points ahead of their bitter rivals and on a run of 39 games without defeat following their 2-2 draw with Villarreal.

YipTV offers beIN SPORTS and 100+ international channels via streaming service

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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.

KlowdTV streaming service drops beIN SPORTS coverage

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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.

Knee operation to sideline LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane for up to 6 weeks

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Los Angeles Galaxy and Ireland forward Robbie Keane will be sidelined four to six weeks after surgery on his ailing right knee, the Major League Soccer team said.

The Galaxy said Keane, the club's top scorer in the last four seasons, underwent a successful procedure in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Arsenal have screwed up, admits Mesut Ozil

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Photo credit: AFP

Mesut Ozil has delivered a damning assessment of Arsenal's season by admitting Arsene Wenger's side have "screwed up" in their Premier League title challenge.

Wenger's team go into their game with Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday 11 points adrift of Leicester with a game in hand on the leaders.

Top 5 must-see soccer games on US TV this weekend

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In a Premier League season that has swayed one way and then the other, this upcoming weekend is likely to be looked back upon as one that was vital in determining the eventual winners.

Both of the top two have seven games remaining and both have testing contests to come against teams who are well in the hunt for a European push.