World Cup Buzz Archives for January 2016

Ranieri challenges superstitious Vardy

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has challenged Jamie Vardy to prove his curious pre-match drinking ritual still works by ending his goal drought against Southampton on Sunday.

Vardy revealed in his new autobiography that he superstitiously drank a glass of port out of a Lucozade bottle the night before every match last season.

Allardyce could face ban, Redknapp in ‘own players bet’ claim

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London (AFP) Former England manager Sam Allardyce, whose one-match reign ended after being caught up in a newspaper sting, could face suspension, Football Association (FA) chief executive Martin Glenn said Friday.

Glenn, who could not say whether 61-year-old Allardyce had received a pay-off when he resigned on Tuesday after just 67 days in the job, admitted charges could be laid at the former manager's door.

Lukaku, Benteke strike as Everton, Palace draw

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Liverpool (AFP) Goals by Belgian international strikers Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke saw Everton and Crystal Palace draw 1-1 in their Premier League clash on Friday.

Lukaku struck with his fifth of the season in the first-half before Benteke, who endured a disappointing spell at Liverpool before moving to Palace in the summer, levelled with a superb header in the second-half.

Premier League corruption claims a lie, says agent

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London (AFP) One of the agents caught on film making sensational revelations of corruption against eight current and former English Premier League managers admitted to the BBC on Friday that he had lied.

Italian agent Giuseppe Pagliara, who claimed he opened Swiss bank accounts for managers and worked through intermediaries to cover the illegal payments, said he had hoped to pick up business in a series of meetings with the representatives of a fake Far East company, who were in fact undercover reporters.

Conte doesn’t have magic solution for Chelsea woes

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London (AFP) Antonio Conte admits he doesn't have an instant answer for the problems that have plagued his spluttering Chelsea team in recent weeks.

Conte's side slumped to lacklustre defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal in their last two Premier League matches.

Chelsea have only one clean sheet in 15 matches in all competitions ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Hull, when they will again be without injured captain and key defender John Terry.

Brief guide to the Aussie Rules Grand Final, Gaelic football and NRL Grand Final

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Landon Donovan, David Villa, and Carli Lloyd are in a Heineken ad campaign called "Soccer is Here" that's all about how America now loves the sport that was once an unwanted and unloved import. But the truth is that most of our sports were imports to some extent. Baseball was brewed from arcane and baffling British ingredients like cricket, stoolball, and rounders.

Guardiola spellbound by ‘amazing’ Ryder Cup

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that watching Europe's 'Miracle of Medinah' comeback at the 2012 Ryder Cup was his "highest experience" as a fan of sport.

Guardiola was invited to watch the final day at Medinah Golf Club in Illinois by his friend Jose Maria Olazabal, the Europe captain, and watched as the Europeans overcame a four-point deficit to prevail.

Guardiola salutes kindred spirit Pochettino before league clash

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lavished praise on his Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Mauricio Pochettino on Friday, ahead of their sides' Premier League tussle at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

City top the table after winning their first six games and Tottenham, last season's runners-up, are four points back in second place with the only other unbeaten record in the division.

Spurs vs. Manchester City predicted lineups and preview

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We're only seven weeks into the 2016-17 Premier League season and already we're set to sample a top of the table showdown, as leaders Manchester City make the trip south to face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

So far, the notoriously difficult nature of English football has been straightforward to tame for City's new manager Pep Guardiola.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 7

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Tottenham host Manchester City in a match between the Premier League's only two unbeaten clubs this Sunday, October 2, at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO.

Under new manager Pep Guardiola, first-place Manchester City have won all six of their league matches this season. Last week, Sergio Aguero scored twice in Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Swansea City, with the forward now tied for the Premier League lead with five goals.

Where to find Everton vs. Crystal Palace on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Everton vs. Crystal Palace, you've come to the right place.

Today's Friday match between Everton and Palace could conjure up some interesting developments. If Everton win, the Toffees will move into second in the Premier League table. Vice versa, a win for Palace will push them up into 6th place (or potentially even higher).

Rangers seek to lift deepening sense of gloom

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Glasgow (AFP) Scottish giants Rangers' return to the top tier is proving a rude awakening to those fans who thought they would be automatically challenging bitter rivals Celtic for the Premiership title.

They host bottom side Partick Thistle on Saturday badly in need of a win to offset recent troubles on and off the pitch that threaten to derail their season.

Juve, Napoli back to basics after dream dates in Europe

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Milan (AFP) Juventus and Napoli get back to Serie A basics after impressive Champions League wins while Inter Milan's league-leading scorer Mauro Icardi looks to add to his tally away to Roma on Sunday.

Champions Juventus, favourites for a record sixth consecutive 'scudetto', can feel confident of maintaining their one-point lead on Napoli at Empoli.

Spain’s big three renew football title battle

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Madrid (AFP) After another stellar week for Spanish clubs in the Champions League, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid resume their three-way battle for La Liga supremacy on Sunday.

Real were the only Spanish side not to win in midweek, but got a creditable 2-2 draw at Borussia Dortmund to remain on course for the last 16.

Liverpool seek Swansea success without Sakho

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Liverpool (AFP) An in-form Liverpool head to Swansea City this weekend without Mamadou Sakho as he looks to repair his rocky relationship with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

The France international claimed in a late-night Snapchat post before Liverpool's 5-1 win over Hull City last weekend game that the club were telling "lies" about his fitness.

High-flyers Nice seek boost after European woe

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Paris (AFP) Lucien Favre's extended honeymoon on the Cote d'Azur pits his surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice against Lorient this weekend, while Lyon host bitter foes Saint-Etienne in the Rhone derby.

Favre, who replaced Southampton-bound Claude Puel in the summer, has overseen a remarkable start to his tenure at the Allianz Riviera with Nice the league's sole remaining unbeaten side.

Leaders Spartak regroup for Zenit after Ufa flop

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Moscow (AFP) Russian Premier League table-toppers Spartak Moscow hope to bounce back from last week's 1-0 home defeat to minnows Ufa when they visit Zenit St Petersburg on Sunday.

Despite last weekend's shock, Spartak still have a one-point lead at the top over second-placed reigning champions CSKA, while Zenit sit third, two points further back.

Chelsea boss Conte to look to Terry to halt slide against Hull

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London (AFP) Chelsea icon John Terry looks primed to be thrown straight back into action on Saturday against struggling Hull in a bid to end a run of two successive Premier League defeats.

Both losses to Liverpool and Arsenal have been since Terry damaged ankle ligaments but having returned to training this week and with England central defender Gary Cahill out of form the 35-year-old club captain is needed more than ever.

Arsenal boss Wenger says England job a possibility one day

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London (AFP) Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted for the first time he would be willing to manage England in the future if he had no club commitments.

Wenger has been linked with the England job following the Football Association's decision to part company with Sam Allardyce on Tuesday.

QPR halt Hasselbaink transfer probe awaiting evidence

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London (AFP) QPR chiefs insist they won't proceed with an internal investigation into the conduct of manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink until the full evidence into transfer corruption is revealed.

The Daily Telegraph have been publishing information obtained during a 10-month probe which the newspaper claims lifts the lid on bribery and corruption in British football.

Croatia’s age-old foes united by hatred

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Zagreb (AFP) A north-south antagonism, a duel between the prosperous capital and a poorer port city: as ever, Sunday's Croatian derby between age-old rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split promises high tension.

These giants of Croatian football, who have only once since independence in 1991 let another club win the national championship,are known by local media as the "eternal rivals".

Arsene Wenger looks to future after Arsenal 20-year anniversary

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger insists he is more concerned with future success than reminiscing about past glories as the Arsenal manager's 20th anniversary celebrations reach a climax.

Wenger reaches two decades in charge of Arsenal on Saturday and the notable milestone has been toasted time and again over the last week.

Mourinho bemoans ‘poisoned’ Man United schedule

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho rued the "poisoned gift" of his side's fixture schedule as he contemplated a potentially seismic run of matches in October.

United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday and host Group A leaders Fenerbahce in their next game on October 20.

Allardyce casts shadow over Premier League action

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London (AFP) Premier League chiefs will hope attention returns to on-field matters this weekend after an uncomfortable few days in the spotlight for English football.

Sam Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a shock end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters, which continued Thursday with Southampton assistant manager Eric Black filmed offering alleged advice on giving bribes to officials at other clubs.

Bayern’s Ancelotti poised for next record

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Berlin (AFP) A sixth straight Bundesliga win for Bayern Munich, at home to Cologne on Saturday, will see coach Carlo Ancelotti equal the record for the best start in Germany's top flight.

Borussia Moenchengladbach's Andre Schubert, who managed the feat last year, and Willi Entenmann, with Stuttgart in 1986, are the only two Bundesliga coaches to have won their first six league games.

How to watch soccer games projected to your wall from a smartphone

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I had a chance to demo new technology recently that blew my mind.

Watching as much soccer as I do and I'm sure you do too, the rate that technology is changing our viewing experience is progressing at a slow and steady pace. Many of us are watching more soccer via legal streams than we used to.

Totti sets up Roma rout, Ibrahimovic delivers for United

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Paris (AFP) Francesco Totti at 40 continues to shine for Roma, Manchester United needed Zlatan Ibrahimovic's height to see off stubborn Zorya Luhansk while Mario Balotelli got on the score sheet for Nice again in Europa League action.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the games from matchday two on Thursday:

Three assists for Totti

Two days after his 40th birthday, captain Francesco Totti set up three of Roma's goals as they romped past Romanian outfit Astra 4-0.

Ibrahimovic gets Man Utd moving in Europa League

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed in a 69th-minute winner as Manchester United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a laboured 1-0 home win over Zorya Luhansk on Thursday.

Beaten 1-0 at Feyenoord in their Group A opener, Jose Mourinho's side struggled to break down their unadventurous Ukrainian opponents until the introduction from the bench of Wayne Rooney.

Schalke breathe easy, Inter slump at Sparta

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Paris (AFP) Inter Milan were stunned at Sparta Prague, Schalke 04 put their Bundesliga woes to one side when cruising past Salzburg while Mario Balotelli got on the score sheet for Nice again in Europa League action.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the early games from matchday two on Thursday:

Schalke reborn in Europe

While Schalke 04 have suffered five consecutive Bundesliga losses under new coach Markus Weinzierl, the Blues skipped to a 3-1 win over Austrians Salzburg.

Pogba wanted by Chelsea last year – agent

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Milan (AFP) Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was targeted by Jose Mourinho for Chelsea last year but was blocked by an agreement between his agent and Juventus, the Frenchman's agent Mino Raiola said Thursday.

Pogba, who left United for free to join Juventus in 2012 at the age of 18, returned to Old Trafford in a world record 105m euro deal earlier this summer.

beIN SPORTS to debut Argentina World Cup ’86 film ‘Impossible Champion’ this Sunday

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beIN SPORTS will debut a brand-new documentary about Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph this Sunday night in a film that features exclusive interviews, fantastic match highlights and the unbelievable story of a World Cup that almost never happened.

The Impossible Champion tells the inspiring story of Argentina's 1986 World Cup Victory and what is considered to be the best goal in the international competition's history by Diego Maradona.

Robben wants Bayern extension – father

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Cologne (Germany) (AFP) Dutch winger Arjen Robben wants to prolong his Bayern Munich contract beyond the end of his current deal which expires at the end of this season, German football magazine Kicker reported on Thursday.

"Arjen would like to stay but there are two parties involved in the debate," the 32-year-old forward's father and agent Hans Robben told Kicker in an interview.

Viewing numbers for soccer games on US TV for week of Sept. 20-26, 2016

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The National Women's Soccer League returned to the airwaves with the league's third and final regular season match broadcast on Fox Sports 1 attracting 47,000 viewers, the lowest of the league's three nationally televised matches. Major League Soccer on Fox Sports 1 did not fare much better either with Columbus Crew and DC United drawing only 97,000 viewers.

Ribery loses appeal after book ‘scum’ slur

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Paris (AFP) Former France international footballer Franck Ribery on Thursday lost an appeal against the author of a book in which he was described as "scum".

A Paris appeals court upheld the original judgement from last January but overturned a 5,000 euro fine against the 32-year-old footballer for abusive proceedings.

Pogba wanted by Chelsea last year: agent

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Milan (AFP) Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was targeted by Jose Mourinho for Chelsea last year but was blocked by an agreement between his agent and Juventus, the Frenchman's agent Mino Raiola said Thursday.

Pogba, who left United for free to join Juventus in 2012 at the age of 18, returned to Old Trafford in a world record 105m euro deal earlier this summer.

Finland’s Pohjanpalo out for Leverkusen

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Cologne (Germany) (AFP) Bayer Leverkusen's Finnish midfielder Joel Pohjanpalo has been ruled out for several weeks with a fractured foot, the Bundesliga club said Thursday.

The 22-year-old is joint third in the list of goal scorers for Leverkusen this season with four goals including a hat-trick against Hamburg on September 10.

Legia Warsaw to host Real Madrid behind closed doors

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Lausanne (AFP) Legia Warsaw will play their next Champions League game against Real Madrid behind closed doors, European football's governing body UEFA ruled Thursday, following crowd trouble during their last home game.

The club was also fined 80,000 euros ($90,000) for the incidents which included racist behaviour and fighting among the home fans during the September 14 game in which Germany's Borussia Dortmund achieved their biggest European win 6-0.

Eddie Howe rules out England football job — for now

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London (AFP) Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe ruled himself out Thursday of replacing Sam Allardyce as England manager, although he said the "ultimate job" could tempt him later in his career.

Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

Fit-again Ronaldo back in Portugal squad

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Lisbon (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the Portugal squad Thursday after recovering from a knee injury that wrecked his Euro 2016 final and is expected to start in the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and the Faroe Islands.

The European champions need the Real Madrid forward to start firing immediately after they suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Switzerland earlier this month to sit bottom of Group B after one game.

Review of Friday Night Football, Sky Sports’ new night for Premier League TV coverage

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Premier League soccer on a Friday Night will take a bit of getting used to for watchers of the English game's top flight.

Opinion is split on the new slot on the weekend schedule. For some, mainly home supporters, the prospect of a live game to round off the working week is an enamoring one, while those sat at home have something to tune into on a night when the TV guide otherwise leaves much to be desired.

Atletico hit new heights in latest Bayern humbling – Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hailed his side's display as one of the best in his hugely successful five-year reign in charge as Yannick Carrasco inflicted another 1-0 defeat for Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon.

Simeone's men also beat Bayern at home in April on their way to a second Champions League final in three years.

Guardiola urges Man City to learn Celtic lesson

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Glasgow (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed hope his players would learn their lesson after losing their 100 percent season record in a spectacular 3-3 Champions League draw at Celtic.

Aiming to equal Tottenham Hotspur's English record of 11 straight wins at the start of a season, City had to come from behind three times to earn a point in Wednesday's Group C clash in Glasgow.

Southgate vows England ‘stability’ as Allardyce admits error

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London (AFP) Gareth Southgate promised to bring some "stability" to the England set-up after Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgement" was behind his shock exit as the national side's manager.

Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

‘Emotional’ Sarri calls for Napoli calm

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Naples (Italy) (AFP) Emotional Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri called for calm after a 4-2 demolition of Benfica on Wednesday put the Italian giants within sight of a coveted place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"Mentally, this is only a confirmation for us and it will give us a spur. But we have to be mindful that that is all it will give us," Sarri told reporters.

Fewer errors was key to Barca fightback – Pique

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Monchengladbach (Germany) (AFP) Gerard Pique said committing fewer second-half errors was the key to Barcelona's 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday as they proved they can win in the Champions League without injured Lionel Messi.

Thorgan Hazard the younger brother of Chelsea midfielder Eden gave Gladbach a shock yet deserved first-half lead at Borussia Park.

ISL doing it India’s way as China splurges

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Mumbai (AFP) The third Indian Super League season kicks off on Saturdaywith organisers intent on turning it into a global brand and shrugging off comparisons with big-spending China.

Former Atletico Madrid star Diego Forlan, Brazilian World Cup-winner Lucio and Champions League winner John Arne Riiseare some of thestars of yesteryear turning out in the eight-team, 11-week-long football tournament.

Chinese football investors must ‘respect local culture’ in Europe

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The flow of Chinese billionaires seeking to invest in European clubs, especially the Premier League, must be sensitive to local feeling should they succeed in buying a team, a senior media executive warns.

Molly Li Mo, director of international and external relations at sports service platform Alisports, admitted in talks she had with European football powerbrokers at the SoccerEx Global Football Convention she had detected mixed feelings.

Asia brings in extra refs for goalmouth incidents

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New Delhi (AFP) Asia's football body said Thursday it would use extra referees to help stamp out goalmouth controversies in its top competitions, falling into line with Europe.

The additional assistant referees will patrol each goal area, helping out with the goal line, penalty and offside decisions that can be critical to a game's outcome.

Howe rules out England job — for now

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London (AFP) Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe ruled himself out Thursday of replacing Sam Allardyce as England manager, although he said the "ultimate job" could tempt him later in his career.

Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

Banana-throwing mars PSV clash at Rostov in Russia

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Moscow (AFP) Russian football authorities on Thursday downplayed a banana-throwing incident at the Champions League match between Rostov and PSV Eindhoven, despite it coming as the club served a punishment for racist abuse.

The problem of widespread racism in Russian football is under the microscope as the country gears up to host the 2018 World Cup and the authorities are often accused of turning a blind eye to the issue.

Eddie Howe rules out England job — for now

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London (AFP) Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe ruled himself out Thursday of replacing Sam Allardyce as England manager, although he said the "ultimate job" could tempt him later in his career.

Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

Southgate vows England ‘stability’ as Allardyce admits ‘judgement’ error

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London (AFP) Gareth Southgate promised to bring some "stability" to the England set-up on Wednesday after Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgement" was behind his shock exit as the national side's manager.

Allardyce's one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end after just 67 days on Tuesday following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

Wenger coy over England links

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has refused to completely rule out accepting a potential offer to take charge of England at the end of the season.

Wenger has been linked with the England job following the Football Association's decision to part company with Sam Allardyce on Tuesday.

Celtic hold City in thriller, Atleti sink Bayern

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Paris (AFP) Raheem Sterling netted at both ends as Manchester City were made to fight for a 3-3 draw with Celtic in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday, while Atletico Madrid once again did for Bayern Munich.

While City's perfect start to the season was ended in Glasgow, their Premier League rivals Arsenal eased to a 2-0 victory against Basel.

Messi-less Barca fight back to down Gladbach

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Monchengladbach (Germany) (AFP) Barcelona proved they can win away in Europe even without Lionel Messi as they posted a 2-1 comeback victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Thorgan Hazard the younger brother of Chelsea midfielder Eden gave Gladbach a shock, yet deserved first-half lead.

Atletico inflict more pain on Ancelotti’s Bayern

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Madrid (AFP) Atletico Madrid haunted Bayern Munich once more as Yannick Carrasco inflicted Carlo Ancelotti's first defeat as coach of the German giants with a 1-0 win at the Vicente Calderon in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Spaniards eliminated Bayern on away goals in the semi-finals of last season's Champions League and there was to be no revenge for the five-time European champions as Carrasco drove the ball in off the inside of the post 10 minutes before half-time.

Milik, Mertens star as Napoli outclass Benfica

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Milan (AFP) Arkadiusz Milik struck his third Champions League goal and Dries Mertens hit a brace as Napoli staked an early claim for a place in the last 16 with a 4-2 win against Benfica on Wednesday.

Milik, signed as a replacement for Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, headed a brace in a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Dinamo Kiev a fortnight ago to hand coach Maurizio Sarri his maiden win in the competition.

Subs make impact in Besiktas, Dynamo Champions League stalemate

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Istanbul (AFP) Dynamo Kiev substitutes Nikita Korzun and teenage star Viktor Tsygankov made crucial impacts as the Ukrainians battled to a 1-1 Champions League draw at Besiktas on Wednesday.

Korzun gave away the free-kick that led to Besiktas's first-half opener in Istanbul before Tsygankov came off the bench in the second period to secure a point for Dynamo.

Dembele at double as Celtic check Man City charge

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Glasgow (AFP) Manchester City failed to win for the first time under Pep Guardiola as Mousa Dembele-inspired Celtic claimed a 3-3 draw in a pulsating Champions League encounter on Wednesday.

City had won their first 10 games of the season and were bidding to equal Tottenham Hotspur's English record of 11 successive victories at the start of a campaign from 1960.

Walcott at the double as rampant Arsenal down Basel

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London (AFP) Arsenal showed why the Football Association can only dream of hiring Arsene Wenger to take charge of England as Theo Walcott's double inspired a swaggering 2-0 victory over Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The FA's decision to part ways with disgraced England manager Sam Allardyce on Tuesday triggered reports that Gunners boss Wenger is the governing body's top choice to become the national team's next permanent coach.

Cavani grabs brace as PSG coast in Bulgaria

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Razgrad (Bulgaria) (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain recovered from a slow start to canter to a 3-1 win at Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League on Wednesday night and keep pace with Arsenal at the top of Group A.

Edinson Cavani scored a brace after Blaise Matuidi had cancelled out Natanael Pimienta's surprise opener for the Bulgarians.

Plucky Rostov held 2-2 by PSV

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Rostov-on-Don (Russia) (AFP) On their home Champions League group phase debut Russia's Rostov were twice pegged back in an action-packed first-half as PSV Eindhoven grabbed a 2-2 draw on Wednesday.

Dmitri Poloz put the Russian rookies ahead twice in the eighth and 37th minutes as they took the game to PSV, who on their own 100th Champions League appearance equalised first through Davy Propper on 14 and then Luuk De Jong on the stroke of half time.

Allardyce admits ‘judgement’ error in England farce

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgement" on Wednesday after his one-game career as England manager came to a humiliating end following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

"Entrapment has won on this occasion and Ihave to accept that," Allardyce told reporters outside his home in Bolton, northwest England.

Allardyce admits ‘judgement’ error as minister calls for probe

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgement" on Wednesday after his career as England manager came to a humiliating end following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

"Entrapment has won on this occasion and Ihave to accept that," Allardyce told reporters outside his home in Bolton, northwest England.

Klinsmann rules out England switch

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Los Angeles (AFP) Jurgen Klinsmann has ruled out a move for the vacant England manager's job, saying Wednesday he remained firmly focused on the United States' upcoming World Cup qualification campaign.

The US coach has been named in several reports as a potential candidate to succeed Sam Allardyce, who was ousted as England boss on Tuesday after just 67 days.

Xavi becomes Qatar 2022 ‘ambassador’

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Doha (AFP) Former Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez has become an "ambassador" for a key initiative run by Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers, officials in Doha said on Wednesday.

Xavi, 36, who now plays for Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League, will become the public face of the "Generation Amazing" programme and will visit a refugee camp in Jordan later this week to hold training sessions with youngsters there.

Mourinho ready to leave Rooney out again

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho may leave Wayne Rooney out of Manchester United's starting side for the second match in a row when they face Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League on Thursday.

Rooney was on the bench for United's weekend game with Premier League champions Leicester City and didn't get on until very late in the game as Mourinho's side showed their best form of the season in a superb 4-1 win

That led to huge speculation over whether Rooney has a future under Mourinho at United, where he made his club debut, scoring a hat-trick in a 6-2 Champions League win over Fenerbahce, exactly 12 years ago on Wednesday.

Beautiful game gives kiss of life to ‘dust of life’

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Brazilian World Cup winner Gilberto Silva knows what it is like to grow up without money, but admits he cried when he heard first hand the harrowing story of one homeless child.

"I came from a poor background but at least I had my family around me," said the 39-year-old, a former midfielder who won the World Cup in 2002 and was also a key member of the Arsenal side known as the "Invincibles" that went through a season unbeaten in the Premier League.

Mourinho ‘feels sorry’ for Allardyce

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Wednesday he "feels sorry" for Sam Allardyce and still respects him, a day after his reign as England boss came to a sudden and premature end.

After a mere 67 days in charge of the national side, Allardyce paid the price on Tuesday for indiscreetly talking with undercover Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.

Ex-England manager Allardyce admits ‘error of judgment’

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Bolton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgment" on Wednesday after his career as England manager came to a humiliating end following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

"Entrapment has won on this occasion and Ihave to accept that," Allardyce told reporters outside his home in Bolton, northwest England.

Third straight Real Madrid draw frustrates Zidane in Dortmund

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Zinedine Zidane admitted he was frustrated at Real Madrid's third straight draw after Andre Schuerrle's late equaliser ensured a 2-2 stalemate at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Real's serene run since Zidane took charge in January has hit a minor slump in the past week as Real dropped points against Villarreal and Las Palmas to snap a 16-game winning streak in La Liga.

Ranieri heartened by Leicester ‘spirit’

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manager Claudio Ranieri said he had seen reassuring signs of the 'old' Leicester City after his team's 1-0 Champions League victory over Porto at the King Power Stadium.

Leicester's fairytale Premier League title success was built on a miserly defence, but they have suffered some heavy losses already this season, most recently losing 4-1 at Manchester United.

Europa League Ukrainian underdogs to visit Manchester United

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Paris (AFP) Manchester United host unheralded UkrainiansZorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday with Jose Mourinho's side aiming to get their Europa League campaign off the ground after a bumpy start.

Mourinho's reluctant contenders in Europe's second-tier club competition kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Feyenoord in Rotterdam a fortnight ago.

Matchfixing a vital battle to win: UEFA integrity chief

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Combating match-fixing in football is absolutely crucial for the integrity of the sport, says Emilio Garcia UEFA's head of disciplinary and integrity matters.

However, he concedes that it is not an easy task with the mafia behind a lot of corruption.

Garcia, who was speaking at the SoccerEx Global Football Convention, said it was crucial to get local authorities in different countries on board.

Allardyce exit leaves England a laughing stock yet again

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London (AFP) As Sam Allardyce beat a shame-faced retreat from Wembley after being forced out as England manager, his place as a punchline in the national team's ever-expanding hall of shame was already etched in stone.

Allardyce had coveted the England post for decades and proudly hailed his appointment in July as an overdue chance to seize the spotlight after being denied a crack at one of the Premier League's top clubs.

Tibet’s first football club aims at unity, struggles for Chinese players

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Lhasa (AFP) Green jersey soaked with sweat, midfielder Luosang Sanzhu practises his passing on the manicured pitch of Lhasa FC, Tibet'sfirst football club the latest gambit to soothe lingering tensions between Tibetans and Han Chinese.

Officials hope the highest club in China, which was established last year, can break down barriers in the mountainous region, where relations with Beijing have sometimes been strained since its "peaceful liberation" in 1951.

Ex-England manager Sam Allardyce admits ‘error of judgment’

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Bolton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sam Allardyce admitted an "error of judgment" on Wednesday after his career as England manager came to a humiliating end following controversial comments made to undercover reporters.

"Unfortunately it was an error of judgment... Entrapment has won on this occasion," he told journalists outside his home in Bolton, the morning after he was forced out of the job after 67 days.

China set sights on hosting 2030 World Cup

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Panaji (India) (AFP) A top Chinese football official has urged FIFA to realise the "dream" of China's fans by bringing the World Cup to the giant Asian nation in 2030 or even sooner.

Chinese Football Association vice-president Zhang Jian said FIFA's rotation policy probably ruled out a return to Asia in 2026, after Qatar hosts the World Cup in 2022.

Where to find Gladbach vs. Barcelona on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Barcelona, you've come to the right place.

After Barcelona's 7-0 victory against Celtic in matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League, it'll be interesting to see what tactics Borussia Monchengladbach will employ against a Barcelona team that is firing on all cylinders.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Basel on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Basel, you've come to the right place.

Finding Arsenal easily on US television has been a bit of a chore lately as some Gunners' matches on both NBC and FOX have been harder to find. For Arsenal vs. FC Basel in the Champions League, the match is on FOX Sports Net, which is the local FOX Sports affiliate in your region.

Where to find Atlético Madrid vs. Bayern München on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Atlético Madrid vs. Bayern Munchen, you've come to the right place.

Two of the most exciting teams in Europe clash on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League as Atletico Madrid hosts Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Spain. For viewers in the USA, the game will be shown on ESPN2 and not FOX Sports.

Premier League managers accused of taking kick-backs

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London (AFP) Eight current or former Premier League football managers were on Tuesday accused of taking kick-backs for player transfers, as part of a broader newspaper sting which led to England manager Sam Allardyce being axed.

Three agents were filmed discussing corruption in football and the use of illegal "bung" payments to sign players, which the Daily Telegraph said involved eight current or former Premier League managers and two second-tier Championship bosses.

Ancelotti can give Bayern Munich early Champions League impetus versus Atleti

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Under the guidance of new manager Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern Munich's immaculate start to the season hasn't taken up too many column inches.

For the apex juggernaut of the German game five wins from five Bundesliga games—including 15 goals scored and just one conceded—is par for the course, such is the depth of their squad and their recent domestic dominance.

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi is among Premier League’s budding stars

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There is no shortage when discussing talented, young Premier League players. Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford are regularly praised for their high level of play, and rightfully so; however, Arsenal's Alex Iwobi should also soon be considered a budding star as well.

FA ‘guardians’ say they had to act over Allardyce

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce's departure as England manager was essential to preserve the Football Association's integrity as "guardians of the game", the governing body's senior figures said on Tuesday.

FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn met with Allardyce at Wembley to seal his fate after damaging newspaper revelations left his position untenable.

Leicester’s ‘Dragon Slayer’ Slimani cuts down Porto

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City striker Islam Slimani resumed his torment of Porto as the Premier League champions preserved their 100 percent Champions League record with a narrow 1-0 victory on Tuesday.

Playing in their first ever Champions League home game, Claudio Ranieri's Leicester prevailed thanks to Slimani's 25th-minute header to make it two wins from two in Group G.

Schuerrle frustrates Madrid as Leicester win again

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Paris (AFP) Andre Schuerrle smashed in a late equaliser as Borussia Dortmund held Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Leicester City claimed another famous European victory.

Premier League champions Leicester made it two wins from two in their debut Champions League campaign as Islam Slimani's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win against FC Porto, and it was a good night all round for English clubs as Tottenham Hotspur beat CSKA Moscow in Russia.

Schuerrle strikes late as Dortmund deny Real

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Andre Schuerrle rescued Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday with an 87th-minute equaliser to seal a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid and deny the Spaniards a rare Champions League win in Germany.

Real were minutes from a first win in Dortmund in six attempts, and the result means the Spanish giants have won only four times in 30 away games against German clubs.

Son sparks Spurs in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) South Korean winger Son Heung-min got Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League campaign up and running with a 1-0 win at CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

Son picked up a pass from Erik Lamela after 71 minutes to score his fifth goal in five games for the north Londoners.

The three points put Tottenham second, one point behind French Ligue 1 side Monaco, who drew 1-1 with Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen in the other game in Group E.

Dempsey out for rest of the season over heart problem – club

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Los Angeles (AFP) US international striker Clint Dempsey has been ruled out of the remainder of the 2016 season as he battles his irregular heartbeat problem, his club said Tuesday.

The Seattle Sounders said the forward, who returned to light training on September 14 after discovery of the problem in August, had stopped training again last week.

Wenger wants Arsenal to go for top spot

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger has challenged Arsenal to aim for top spot in their Champions League group as they prepare to face Basel on Wednesday.

Wenger's side have made it through the group stage for the past 16 years but have failed to get beyond the last 16 in the previous six attempts.

The Gunners' main problem has been their inability to finish in top spot in their group, leaving them open to face some of Europe's superpowers in the first knockout round.

Leicester’s ‘Dragon Slayer’ cuts down Porto

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City striker Islam Slimani resumed his torment of Porto as the Premier League champions preserved their 100 percent Champions League record with a narrow 1-0 victory on Tuesday.

Playing in their first ever Champions League home game, Claudio Ranieri's Leicester prevailed thanks to Slimani's 25th-minute header to make it two wins from two in Group G.

Africa Cup of Nations seeds named

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Johannesburg (AFP) Title-holders Ivory Coast, hosts Gabon and former champions Algeria and Ghana were named Tuesday as the top seeds for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Ivory Coast defeated four-time champions Ghana after a penalty shootout in Equatorial Guinea last year to win the African football showpiece a second time.

Ben Yedder winner edges Sevilla past Lyon

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) Sevilla took a big step towards reaching the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time in six years as Wissam Ben Yedder's header ensured a 1-0 win over Lyon on Tuesday.

Ben Yedder was left with the simple task of heading into an empty net from Luciano Vietto's knockdown early in the second-half, but Vietto had a night to forget in front of goal as he skied a penalty over the bar 20 minutes from time.

Big mouth, big bother for axed Allardyce

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce's straight-talking style helped land him the England manager's job, but just 67 days later it has cost him the dream role he coveted for years.

Allardyce, known as "Big Sam", was secretly filmed by The Daily Telegraph giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules and mocking the speech impediment of predecessor Roy Hodgson.

‘Deeply disappointed’ Allardyce forced to leave England job

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce's reign as England manager came to a humiliating end on Tuesday as he departed after just 67 days in charge following his controversial comments in a newspaper sting.

Allardyce's reign was sensationally brought to a close as he paid the price for indiscreetly talking with undercover Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.

De Bruyne ruled out of City’s Celtic clash

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Glasgow (AFP) Kevin De Bruyne is out of Manchester City's Champions League trip to face Celtic in Glasgow, his manager Pep Guardiola confirmed on the eve of the game.

"Kevin is not a big injury in two and a half or three weeks, maybe he will be ready," Guardiola said at Celtic Park on Tuesday.

Julio Cesar out to banish ‘bad memories’ at Napoli

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Naples (Italy) (AFP) Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar said he will be looking to put bad memories of previous visits to the San Paolo behind him when Benfica face Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old spent "seven beautiful and successful" years with Serie A giants Inter Milan, helping them to Champions League glory with a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the 2010 final.

Five short football managerial reigns

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sam Allardyce left his post as England manager 67 days after his appointment on Tuesday.

Here AFP Sports looks at five other managers whose reigns lasted an even shorter space of time (days in brackets):

Steve Bruce Wigan (55)

Ironically the front runner in the betting to fill the England vacancy the former Manchester United skipper didn't dally long at Wigan.

Five facts on Sam Allardyce

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) AFP Sport picks out five facts on Sam Allardyce who resigned as England manager after just 67 days on Tuesday:

+ Big Sam

Blunt talking is his style reflected in his autobiography 'Big Sam' and no surprise after a playing career where uncompromising and no-nonsense would be the attributes most commonly used to describe him as a central defender.

Former Argentina coach Martino heading to MLS

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Miami (AFP) Former Argentina coach Gerardo Martino is heading to Major League Soccer after agreeing a deal with new expansion side Atlanta United FC, the club said Tuesday.

Martino, who stepped down as Argentina coach this year after his team was beaten in the final of the Copa America Centenario in June, will oversee Atlanta's first season in the MLS in 2017.

Abdulrahman stars as Al Ain see off El Jaish

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Al-Ain (United Arab Emirates) (AFP) Emirati giants Al Ain kept on course for a second AFC Champions League title with a 3-1 semi-final first leg win over Qatar's El Jaish at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.

Brazilian Douglas and UAE international Omar Abdulrahman scored within five first half minutes to put Al Ain in front before Sardor Rashidov struck from the spot in the second half to give El Jaish hope of a comeback.

Allardyce leaves England job by mutual consent

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce has left his role as England manager by mutual consent, the Football Association (FA) announced on Tuesday.

Allardyce and the FA felt his position was untenable after he wascaught making a series of controversial comments in an embarrassing newspaper sting.

"The FA can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his position as England manager," an FA statement read.

Bayern wary of ‘extraordinary’ Griezmann in Atletico reunion

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Madrid (AFP) Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm insists the German champions must be on guard to stop Antoine Griezmann as they travel to face their Champions League conquerors last season in Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Griezmann ousted two German sides from semi-finals in recent months as his away goal sealed Atletico's path to the Champions League final after a 2-2 draw on aggregate in May and then scored twice as France dumped the world champions out of Euro 2016.

Enrique expects Barca to be tested at Gladbach

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Monchengladbach (Germany) (AFP) Luis Enrique has warned Barcelona to take nothing for granted when the Spanish giants, minus injured Lionel Messi, face Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday in the Champions League.

"Above everything else, Gladbach inspire awe at home. They aren't just dangerous with the ball, they also attack early and high up the pitch," said Barca's coach in Tuesday's press conference.

Kattner challenges FIFA sacking – source tells AFP

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Zurich (AFP) FIFA's disgraced former secretary general Markus Kattner has begun legal action to challenge his "unjustified" sacking, a source close to the German told AFP on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old, who was also FIFA's financial chief, was fired with immediate effect on May 23 after the discovery of a secret bonus scheme that paid out millions of dollars over a period of years.

We’ve moved on from Higuain departure – Napoli’s Jorginho

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Naples (Italy) (AFP) Napoli midfielder Jorginho insists his team have moved on from Gonzalo Higuain's shock departure to Juventus as they prepare to face Portuguese giants Benfica in the Champions League.

Napoli, runners-up to Juventus in Serie A last season, host Benfica at the San Paolo in Group B on Wednesday looking to continue their bright start to this season's competition.

Schedule of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup games on US TV and streaming

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The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup kicks off in Jordan featuring many of the best women's teams from around the world including USA, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Brazil.

Here's the TV/streaming schedule for viewers in the United States.

All times Eastern USA

Friday, September 30

Venezuela vs.

Manager Pearson suspended by Derby

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London (AFP) Nigel Pearson has been suspended as manager of Derby County, the English second-tier club announced on Tuesday, without providing an explanation.

The move came following a meeting between Pearson and club chairman Mel Morris, with Derby releasing a statement a matter of hours before their Championship game at Cardiff City.

La Liga eyes airwaves battle for European supremacy

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) La Liga may be the dominant championship on the field but now the Spanish top flight is aiming to wrest off-field supremacy from the English Premier League in the battle for TV revenue.

Adolfo Bara, managing director of Sales and Marketing of La Liga, said a new three year television deal for the first time a centralised one and not separate club agreements and vastly-improved production will aid the process.

FIFA boss undeterred by Asian congress snub

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Panaji (India) (AFP) FIFA president Gianni Infantino played down an embarrassing rebuke by Asia's football body on Tuesday after it scrapped elections to the world body's new council in protest at the barring of a candidate.

The FIFA boss watched as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegates voted 42-1 against adopting the agenda for their extraordinary congress in Goa, halting the meeting after just 20 minutes.

Asian congress scrapped after 20 minutes in FIFA protest

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Panaji (India) (AFP) An Asian football congress was scrapped after just 20 minutes on Tuesday as members overwhelmingly rejected its agenda in protest at FIFA barring a candidate from elections to its powerful new council.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegates flew from all over the region to a luxury hotel in Goa, India to elect three new members to the FIFA Council, only for the meeting to be declared closed when it had barely got underway.

Qatar to house 2,000 fans in Bedouin-style tents

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Doha (AFP) Qatar unveiled plans on Tuesday for a "fan village" to house up to 2,000 football supporters in Bedouin-style tents during the 2022 World Cup.

Organisers said the village would be built in the south of the country and could eventually be one of five sites across Qatar offering tented accommodation.

‘Slavery’ practice that threatens England boss

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London (AFP) The issue of third-party ownership (TPO) of top footballers hit the headlines on Tuesday after England manager Sam Allardyce was apparently caught explaining how to dodge the rules imposed by his employer, the Football Association (FA).

The practice is shrouded by complicated contracts and secrecy, but has been blamed for some of the ills afflicting the modern game, leading top officials to brand it "slavery" and FIFA to outlaw it completely last year.

No fear for Gladbach against Messi-less Barca

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Monchengladbach (Germany) (AFP) Borussia Monchengladbach coach Andre Schubert says his side have nothing to fear against a Barcelona team shorn of the injured Lionel Messi for Wednesday's Champions League clash.

Barcelona opened their assault on Europe a fortnight ago with a 7-0 drubbing of Celtic at the Camp Nou while the Germans suffered a 4-0 defeat at Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Bayern out to settle Spanish score in Madrid

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Berlin (AFP) After three consecutive semi-final defeats against Spanish clubs in the Champions League, Bayern Munich head to Atletico Madrid for Wednesday's group match with a point to prove.

"We want to show that we can do better than in the last few semi-finals. We certainly have a score to settle there," said Bayern forward Thomas Mueller before the team jetted off to Madrid.

Allardyce fights to save England job

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce is set for crisis talks with his Football Association employers on Tuesday as the England manager fights to save his job after being caught in a newspaper sting.

Allardyce gave advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA's decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson while being secretly filmed by Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.

2018 World Cup dream alive, says new Qatar coach

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Doha (AFP) Jorge Fossati was officially unveiled as Qatar's new coach on Tuesday and insisted that the 2022 host country's "big dream" of reaching the 2018 World Cup finals was still possible.

Ambitious Qatar have never qualified for a World Cup before and are aiming to do so before staging the event in 2022, but they face an uphill battle.

Allardyce fights to save England manager job

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce is set for crisis talks with his Football Association employers on Tuesday as the England manager fights to save his job after being caught in a newspaper sting.

Allardyce gave advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA's decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson while being secretly filmed by Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.

Walcott revival gives Arsenal a Euro boost

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London (AFP) Out of favour with Arsenal and exiled by England, Theo Walcott reached a crossroads at the end of last season and his emphatic response looks to have saved a career in danger of imploding.

Walcott started only one of Arsenal's final 14 matches last term and lost his place in Roy Hodgson's England squad at the end of a miserable campaign that appeared to shatter the winger's dreams of ever cementing himself as a key figure for club or country.

Diversity Award means so much to India: CEO Abhijeet Barse

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) 'Slum Soccer' winning the inaugural FIFA Diversity award will mean the world to India, better known for its cricket than football, the CEO Abhijeet Barse told AFP on Monday.

'Slum Soccer' saw off two other short-listed rivals The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (ILGBTFA) and British anti-discrimination pressure group 'Kick It Out' to take the award.

S. Korea football coach Stielike warns Spurs star Son over attitude

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Seoul (AFP) South Korea coach Uli Stielike has slammed the attitude of Son Heung-Min, despite the attacker earning rave reviews for his match-winning performances for Tottenham in the English Premier League (EPL).

Stielike rebuked the 24-year-old Son, who has scored four goals in his last two league games as Tottenham rose to second in the English Premier League table, for his "problematic" behaviour.

Asian congress scrapped after FIFA protest vote

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Panaji (India) (AFP) An Asian football congress was scrapped after just 20 minutes on Tuesday as members rejected its agenda in protest at FIFA barring a Qatari official from elections to its powerful new council.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegates flew from all over the region to a luxury hotel in Goa, India to elect three new members to the FIFA Council, only for the extraordinary congress to be declared closed after just 20 minutes.

Allardyce fights to save England job after newspaper sting

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce is set for crisis talks with the Football Association on Tuesday as the England manager fights to save his job after being caught in a newspaper sting.

Allardyce gave advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules, criticised the FA's decision to rebuild Wembley and mocked his England predecessor Roy Hodgson while being secretly filmed by Daily Telegraph reporters posing as Far East businessmen.

Toure dismayed by FIFA racism task force axe

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London (AFP) Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure on Tuesday expressed deep disappointment over FIFA's decision to disband its anti-racism task force, saying it "makes no sense".

The FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination, founded in 2013, was discontinued on Sunday, with the world governing body explaining it had achieved its stated objectives.

Big mouth, big bother for England’s Big Sam

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London (AFP) Sam Allardyce's straight-talking style helped land him the England manager's job, but just 67 days into the role it has left him in an almighty spot of bother.

Allardyce, known as "Big Sam", was secretly filmed by The Daily Telegraph giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules and mocking the speech impediment of predecessor Roy Hodgson.

Asian boss says Qatar too soon for 40-team World Cup

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Panaji (India) (AFP) Asia's football chief on Tuesday said he was against expanding the World Cup from 32 to 40 teams when Qatar hosts the tournament in 2022, adding that any growth should be put on hold for a decade.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has discussed increasing the number of teams but Asian Football Confederation (AFC) boss Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa said Qatar was too soon to shift to 40.

Bayern defends underfire Franck Ribery

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Berlin (AFP) On the eve of Wednesday's Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has defended Franck Ribery after the latest in a string of off-the-ball incidents.

Atletico host Bayern at the Vicente Calderon with Diego Simeone's men having knocked the Bavarian giants out of last year's Champions League semi-finals.

Celtic’s Rodgers out to topple idol Guardiola

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London (AFP) In Celtic's Champions League clash with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City on Wednesday, Brendan Rodgers will pit his wits against a man who has had a defining influence on his career.

Whether with Swansea City, Liverpool or Celtic, Rodgers has sought to emulate the kind of passing football with which Guardiola took first Barcelona and then Bayern Munich to the summits of the game.

Where to find Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid, you've come to the right place.

Two of the most exciting, attacking teams in world soccer clash on Wednesday in matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League. Both teams are very familiar with each other, having played several times before in the Champions League.

England manager Allardyce exposed in newspaper sting

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London (AFP) England manager Sam Allardyce has been secretly filmed giving advice on how to circumnavigate transfer rules and mocking his predecessor Roy Hodgson's voice, the Daily Telegraph reported on Monday.

Allardyce, 61, was filmed telling what he thought was a group of Far East investors it was possible to "get around" Football Association regulations preventing third parties from owning players.

Hendrick breaks Burnley duck as Watford beaten

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Burnley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Record-signing Jeff Hendrick scored his first goal for Burnley as they beat Watford 2-0 in the Premier League at Turf Moor on Monday.

Irish midfielder Hendrick signed from second-tier Derby County last month for a reported 10 million pounds ($13.1 million, 11.

Champions League game schedule for US TV and streaming this week

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It's another busy week of UEFA Champions League matches. And for soccer fans in the United States, the good news is that many of the matches are on ESPN3. Plus, there are amateur golf games knocking the Champions League off FOX Sports 1 this week.

For matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League, the matches involving the two biggest teams in Spain are featured on FOX Sports 1 (Dortmund vs.

PSG’s Aurier sentenced over police assault

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was sentenced to two months in jail by a court in Paris on Monday for assaulting a police officer.

But the 23-year-old will not serve any time in prison as he is appealing his sentence which was less than one year.

The Ivory Coast international was later included in PSG coach Unai Emery's squad for Wednesday's Champions League tie at Ludogorets in Bulgaria.

Souness urges Rangers to get Barton back on board

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London (AFP) Former Rangers manager Graeme Souness wants the Scottish giants to patch up their differences with Joey Barton.

Barton has been on the sidelines following a heated row with manager Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday after their 5-1 defeat by Celtic in the Glasgow derby.

Wide-eyed Leicester face Champions League home bow

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four months on from their astonishing 5,000-1 Premier League triumph, the stardust returns to Leicester City's King Power Stadium in Tuesday's first ever Champions League home game against Porto.

Leicester have made a faltering start to their title defence and after Saturday's 4-1 loss at Manchester United, they have now lost as many league games three as in the entirety of last season.

Tottenham looks for Moscow Champions League win despite injuries

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Moscow (AFP) Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he hoped his side could overcome an avalanche of injuries to claim a first Champions League win this season against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

The Argentinian coach is already without England striker Harry Kane and will now also see Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko sit out the clash in Russia.

Zidane brushes off Ronaldo snub

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has brushed off Cristiano Ronaldo's sideline snub at the weekend and dismissed his team's minor dip in form ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

The Real coach replaced Ronaldo, a three-time World Player of the Year, in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Las Palmas and the Portuguese superstar could not look him in the eye when he came off.

Tuchel relishing Dortmund’s Real showdown

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Thomas Tuchel is relishing the prospect of Borussia Dortmund's showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League group stage clash.

Dortmund have never lost at home to Real, who have won just four times in 29 away games against German clubs.

Sevilla’s Sampaoli counts on Nasri talent for European run

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Manchester City loanee Samir Nasri has the talent to help his side to the latter stages of the Champions League ahead of Tuesday's clash against Lyon.

The Spanish side have won the Europa League for the past three seasons, but have struggled to establish themselves amongst Europe's elite in the Champions League.

CSKA play down fan fears at Tottenham clash

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Moscow (AFP) CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky insisted there would be no repeat of the Euro 2016 fan violence when the Russian champions host Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.

CSKA take on the Londoners in Moscow on Tuesday in the first visit by an English side to the country since fans from the two countries clashed at the summer tournament in France.

Sampaoli counts on Nasri talent for Champions League run

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Seville (Spain) (AFP) Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli believes Manchester City loanee Samir Nasri has the talent to help his side to the latter stages of the Champions League ahead of Tuesday's clash against Lyon.

The Spanish side have won the Europa League for the past three seasons, but have struggled to establish themselves amongst Europe's elite in the Champions League.

Why I’m loving the Roku Streaming Stick for soccer coverage

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This past summer, I finally bought a Roku. Now that I have one, I'm not sure why I waited so long to take the plunge. After all, it's only $42. Plus, it's become so ubiquitous in my family, that it's now the go-to device for most members of my family over the Xbox, Chromecast, Tivo and, most importantly, the cable remote.

FIFA slammed over disbandment of racism task force

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) FIFA's decision to disband a racism task force came under fire Monday despite reassurances offered by their new secretary-general Fatma Samoura.

The 54-year-old Senegalese the first woman and non-European to serve on the FIFA executive said the world body could live with the perception held by many that it was too soon to end the task force's work.

New Hamburg football boss vows to ‘free players’ minds’

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Berlin (AFP) New Hamburg coach Markus Gisdol said he will try to take the pressure off his struggling players, during his official presentation on Monday.

The 47-year-old ex-Hoffenheim coach has replaced Bruno Labbadia, who was sacked on Sunday in the wake of Hamburg's 1-0 defeat at home to German league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, their fourth loss in a row.

‘Little pea’ Chicharito is Leverkusen’s big deal

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Berlin (AFP) His nickname 'Chicharito' means 'little pea', but ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is proving to be a big deal for Bayer Leverkusen ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match at Monaco.

The 28-year-old netted a hat-trick his second in Germany's top flight in helping Leverkusen come from 2-1 down to claim a 3-2 win at Mainz on Saturday.

Gabon president insists Africa Cup of Nations is on course

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Libreville (AFP) Gabon president Ali Bongo has insisted that the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) will go ahead in his crisis-ridden country.

The CAN is due to take place from January 14 to February 5 next year but was thrown into doubt after violence broke out following Bongo's controversial re-election in August.

Ranieri coy over Schmeichel’s Porto chances

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London (AFP) Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri gave little away when asked if goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel would be fit to face Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Schmeichel, a key member of the Leicester side that won the Premier League title last season, has been sidelined with a groin injury.

PSG defender Serge Aurier sentenced to jail for police assault

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was sentenced to two months in jail on Monday for assaulting a police officer following an incident outside a Paris nightclub in May.

The court heard that the troubled Ivory Coast international refused to cooperate when asked to leave his tinted-glass Porsche Cayenne car which police said was incorrectly parked outside the club in the early hours in an upmarket district of the French capital.

FIFA racism task force achieved its goal: Samoura

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Nothing sinister should be read into the disbanding of the FIFA task force on racism as it had simply achieved its goals, FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura said on Monday.

The 54-year-old Senegalese recruited to some surprise from the United Nations in May and the first woman and non-European to serve on the FIFA executive added that FIFA could live with the perception by many that it was too soon to end the task force's work.

Israel risks FIFA offside with small-time settlement clubs

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Ariel (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) At an average match, Ariel City attract fewer than 100 spectators at home in a West Bank settlement yet they have been called one of Israel's "most important" football clubs.

That's because they, along with five other Israeli clubs, play their matches in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, considered occupied land by the international community.

Bilic fumes at West Ham flops

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London (AFP) Slaven Bilic has warned his West Ham flops they won't be allowed to live off past achievements after Southampton condemned them to a fourth successive Premier League defeat.

Bilic's side were lauded after finishing seventh last season but just months later they are languishing in the relegation zone following a miserable 3-0 home defeat on Sunday.

Madrid face Dortmund Champions League rematch, Leicester host Porto

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Paris (AFP) AFP Sports looks ahead to Tuesday's Champions League action as last year's winners Real Madrid go to Borussia Dortmund and Premier League champions Leicester City host Porto looking to claim a second win in as many games (all kick-offs 1845 GMT):

Group E

At Monaco

Monaco (FRA) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER)

Former runners-up Monaco will be looking to build on their impressive opening win over Tottenham Hotspur when they welcome Bayer Leverkusen to the Stade Louis II.

Totti still magic as Roma icon turns 40

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Milan (AFP) As hard as he tries, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is unlikely to convince fans this week that Francesco Totti is just another player for the Serie A giants.

On Tuesday Totti turns 40 and the one-club man who is in his 25th and likely last season with the 'Giallorossi' (Yellow and Reds) is still, when he gets the chance, producing the magic.

Premier League gameweek 6 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Kris Heneage and Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss the sixth gameweek of the Premier League including Arsenal's surprise win against Chelsea, Liverpool continuing their good form, as well as Manchester United's emphatic win and much much more.

Leicester City’s Slimani back to torment Porto

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Leicester City may be unfamiliar Champions League opponents for Porto, who visit the King Power Stadium on Tuesday, but Islam Slimani is a player they know all too well.

During his three seasons with Sporting Lisbon, the Algeria striker scored six goals against Porto in six appearances, earning him the nickname 'The Dragon Slayer' from the Lisbon club's fans.

Seoul’s goals could stall Motors’ AFC title bid

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Seoul (AFP) Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors' bid for a second AFC Champions League title faces a major threat this week when they come up against free-scoring domestic rivals FC Seoul and their record-seeking striker, Adriano.

The Motors tore apart Sven-Goran Eriksson's Shanghai SIPG 5-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final as they purred towards a second Asian title after lifting the trophy in 2006.

FIFA bans Qatari official from Asian vote

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Panaji (India) (AFP) World football body FIFA has banned a senior Qatari official from running in elections for a seat on its new-look council over an investigation.

Scandal-plagued FIFA's ethics committee last month recommended a two-and-a-half-year ban from the game for Saoud Al-Mohannadi, vice-president of the Qatar Football Association, for refusing to cooperate with an inquiry.

Shandong final-whistle fracas mars celebrations

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Shanghai (AFP) Italy striker Graziano Pelle's Shandong Luneng were involved in a post-match fracas Sunday as security guards tried to prevent them celebrating victory with their fans.

The rumpus came at the end of Shandong Luneng's 2-1 victory against Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League at Beijing's Workers' Stadium.

Five things we learned in the Premier League this weekend

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London (AFP) Premier League leaders Manchester City maintained their perfect start under Pep Guardiola as Manchester United returned to winning ways against champions Leicester City.

Here are five things we learnt this weekend.

No Rooney, no problem for Man United

The Manchester United team sheet for Saturday's home game with Leicester City caused a stir after manager Jose Mourinho elected to drop captain Wayne Rooney, who has been struggling for form.

PSG defender sentenced to jail for police assault

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was sentenced to two months in jail on Monday for assaulting a police officer following an incident outside a Paris night club in May.

The court also ordered the Ivory Coast international to pay 600 euros ($674) in damages and interest as well as 1,500 euros in court costs.

Sparta sack coach ahead of Inter tie

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Prague (AFP) Czech giants Sparta Prague are in turmoil just three days ahead of their Europa League clash with Inter Milan after revealing on Monday they have fired coach Zdenek Scasny.

The 59-year-old Scasny, who led Sparta to the Europa League quarter-finals last season, was ditched following a series of poor results, culminating with Sunday's 2-0 home loss to arch-rivals Slavia Prague.

Late goal takes Bejaia to CAF Cup final

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Johannesburg (AFP) Faouzi Rahal scored in the final minute to snatch a 1-1 draw for Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria at FUS Rabat of Morocco on Monday and secure a CAF Confederation Cup final place.

First-time African competitors Bejaia won the semi-final on away goals after the first leg finished 0-0 last weekend.

Disgruntled Ronaldo eyes more records at Dortmund

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Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) Disgruntled Cristiano Ronaldo could make more Champions League history on Tuesday as his Real Madrid side look to end their losing streak at high-flying Borussia Dortmund.

A hat-trick for Ronaldo in Dortmund, who was left fuming after being substituted on Saturday, would see him become the first player to score a century of European goals.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 29 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 29 of the 2016 MLS season.

1. Seattle Throws Western Conference Playoff Race Wide Open

In the penultimate game of the 2015 MLS regular season, the Portland Timbers, playoff hopes hanging in the balance, traveled to the StubHub Center to face a heavily favored LA Galaxy team.

Galaxy denied first crack at making playoffs

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Los Angeles (AFP) The Los Angeles Galaxy were denied a chance to qualify for the Major League Soccer post-season on their first attempt Sunday, losing 4-2 to the Seattle Sounders.

Jordan Morris scored back-to-back goals in the second half to keep the Sounders' playoff hopes alive and spoil the festive atmosphere for the Galaxy and their fans at StubHub Center stadium in south central Los Angele.

Five things we learnt in Serie A

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Milan (AFP) The Juventus attack is a work in progress, Marek Hamsik is on the Maradona trail for Napoli, it's Totti time at inconsistent Roma and Gianluigi Donnarumma is arguably AC Milan's biggest asset.

Here are five things we learnt in Serie A this weekend:

Juve front line a work in progress

Days before Juventus travel to Champions League opponents Dinamo Zagreb, Massimiliano Allegri is still experimenting with his front line.

FIFA condoning football on ‘stolen’ West Bank land: HRW

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Jerusalem (AFP) FIFA has been condoning football matches played on "stolen" land in the occupied West Bank, Human Rights Watch saidMonday, calling for Israeli clubs based in settlements to be forced to relocate.

Six clubs in the Israeli football league play in West Bank Jewish settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, the report said.

Five things we learnt from the Bundesliga

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich remain the only team in Germany's top flight with a perfect record, Borussia Dortmund keep on scoring and Hamburg sacked Bruno Labbadia for the second time.

Here are five things we learnt from the fifth round of matches in the Bundesliga:

Ancelotti's record start

Bayern's 1-0 win at Hamburg means Carlo Ancelotti has won all eight of his first matches as head coach, a new club record.

Hart spoils Totti party, Lazio join scudetto chase

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart upset the upcoming birthday celebrations of Francesco Totti in a 3-1 win for Torino over Roma as rivals Lazio brazenly joined the scudetto race Sunday.

Ousted from Manchester City by Pep Guardiola last month, Hart joined unfashionable Serie A side Torino in a bid to maintain his status as England's number one shot-stopper.

Hamburg appoint Gisdol to succeed sacked Labbadia

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Berlin (AFP) German Bundesliga strugglers Hamburg on Sunday appointed Markus Gisdol as their new coach after earlier sacking Bruno Labbadia, for the second time.

The former European Cup winners released a statement to say the 47-year-old Gisdol had agreed a contract through to the end of the season.

No home comforts for West Ham as Saints stroll

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London (AFP) Southampton condemned West Ham to another miserable experience at their new London Stadium as Charlie Austin and Dusan Tadic inspired the visitors' 3-0 victory on Sunday.

West Ham's move from Upton Park to the former Olympic Stadium just across east London was supposed to herald the start of a successful new era.

Record-signing Burke nets for unbeaten Leipzig

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Berlin (AFP) Scottish teenager Oliver Burke scored his first Bundesliga goal on Sunday as new-boys RB Leipzig drew 1-1 at Cologne to remain unbeaten in Germany's top flight.

Leipzig are backed by Austrian energy drinks giants Red Bull and are unpopular with fans of Germany's traditional clubs due to the commercialism they represent.

Atletico injuries overshadow Griezmann winner

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Madrid (AFP) Antoine Griezmann was Atletico Madrid's hero once more with the winner as last season's Champions League finalists moved third in La Liga with a 1-0 win over 10-man Deportivo la Coruna.

However, the hosts' victory was overshadowed by an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered by midfielder Augusto Fernandez before half-time that will keep him out for much of the remainder of the season.

No home comforts for West Ham as Southampton stroll

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London (AFP) Southampton condemned West Ham to another miserable experience at their new London Stadium as Charlie Austin and Dusan Tadic inspired the visitors' 3-0 victory on Sunday.

West Ham's move from Upton Park to the former Olympic Stadium just across east London was supposed to herald the start of a successful new era.

No Balotelli, but Nice win in Ligue 1 again

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Paris (AFP) Nice may have been without Mario Balotelli but they ground out a 1-0 win at Nancy on Sunday to go back to the top of the Ligue 1 table.

With Balotelli, scorer of four goals in his first two appearances in French football, left behind on the Cote d'Azur due to an adductor problem, his fellow striker Alassane Plea scored the only goal of the game at the Stade Marcel-Picot.

Griezmann rescues Atletico to down 10-man Deportivo

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Madrid (AFP) Antoine Griezmann was Atletico Madrid's hero once more with the winner as last season's Champions League finalists moved third in La Liga with a 1-0 win over 10-man Deportivo la Coruna.

Moroccan winger Faycal Fajr undid a fine opening 45 minutes for the visitors when he picked up two quickfire yellow cards just before the break.

Asamoah, Rugani add to Juventus injury woes

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Milan (AFP) Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and Italian defender Daniele Rugani were added to the Juventus casualty list on Sunday after suffering knee injuries in a 1-0 win at Palermo.

Asamoah and Rugani are expected to be ruled out "for 45 days", according to a short statement by the Italian champions and league leaders following tests at the J Medical centre Sunday.

Inter coach De Boer blasts heedless Kondogbia

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan's Geoffrey Kondogbia paid the price for blanking coach Frank De Boer's instructions with an early exit as Bologna held the misfiring Nerazzurri to a 1-1 draw Sunday.

French midfielder Kondogbia was kept out of Inter's starting line-up on several occasions last season by former coach Roberto Mancini as he struggled to adapt to the game in Italy.

Torino’s Hart spoils Totti party, Lazio join scudetto chase

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart upset the upcoming birthday celebrations of Francesco Totti in a 3-1 win for Torino over Roma as rivals Lazio brazenly joined the scudetto race Sunday.

Ousted from Manchester City by Pep Guardiola last month, Hart joined unfashionable Serie A side Torino in a bid to maintain his status as England's number one shot-stopper.

Schalke suffer worst ever Bundesliga start

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke 04 have made the worst start to a Bundesliga season in the club's history with Sunday's 2-1 loss at Hoffenheim their fifth straight league defeat.

The latest set-back piles the pressure on Schalke's new coach Markus Weinzierl.

His side are the only club to still have no points in Germany's top flight.

FIFA 17’s ‘The Journey’ is an adventure worth taking

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FIFA video game fans, your wait is almost over. On September 27, gamers will be able to pick up FIFA 17and begin their mini game featuring The Journey with Alex Hunter. While this mode was hyped a lot, gamers really want to know if it will be worth it. And, so far, my answer is mostly yes.

About the new graphics engine

Before I get into The Journey, let's highlight some of the overall visual improvements of the game.

Schalke slump to fifth straight League defeat

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke remain bottom of the German Bundesliga following a fifth straight Bundesliga defeat with Sunday's 2-1 loss at Hoffenheim piling the pressure on coach Markus Weinzierl.

Werder Bremen's dramatic 2-1 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday, with both of their goals coming in the last five minutes, had seen Schalke take Bremen's place at the bottom of the table in Germany's top flight.

Hart reaps Mihajlovic praise after rousing Roma win

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Milan (AFP) Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic heaped praise on Joe Hart after a sterling performance by the England goalkeeper in a 3-1 win over Roma in Turin on Sunday.

Ousted from Manchester City by Pep Guardiola last month, Hart joined the unfashionable Serie A side in a bid to maintain his status as England's number one shot-stopper.

Hart on hand to spoil Totti celebrations

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart answered his critics with a standout performance as Torino dampened Francesco Totti's upcoming birthday celebrations with a 3-1 win over Roma on Sunday.

Roma travelled to Turin looking to close a five-point gap to leaders Juventus after the champions scraped a 1-0 win at Palermo on Saturday.

Totti reaches 250-goal mark in Serie A

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Milan (AFP) Roma forward Francesco Totti, who will turn 40 next week, reached another career landmark against England 'keeper Joe Hart on Sunday when he hit his 250th career goal in Serie A.

Totti, who will celebrate his birthday on Tuesday, came off the bench to help reduce arrears for the visitors when he beat Torino 'keeper Hart from the spot with a 55th minute penalty.

Ronaldo has to live with being subbed – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted Cristiano Ronaldo has to learn to live with being substituted after sulking off the field visibly frustrated in the European champions' 2-2 draw at Las Palmas.

Zidane replaced the three-time World Player of the Year with Madrid leading 2-1 18 minutes from time, but an unhappy Ronaldo watched from the bench as Sergio Araujo equalised to ensure Real dropped points for the second time in four days.

Guardiola wants Aguero to get even better

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has vowed to make Sergio Aguero an even better player.

The Argentine striker scored two goals on his return to City colours as the visitors made it 10 straight wins in league and cup football this season with a 3-1 victory away to Swansea on Saturday.

Klopp sidesteps Sakho Liverpool storm after Hull win

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Liverpool (AFP) Jurgen Klopp would not allow controversial comments from defender Mamadou Sakho to take the gloss off a "brilliant" first-half performance from his Liverpool side as they beat Hull City 5-1 at Anfield.

Sakho said in a social media posting on Saturday that suggestions that he was not fit to play were a "lie".

Celtic confidence high ahead of City clash

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers says his side's confidence is high ahead of their Champions League clash against Manchester City following their thrashing of Kilmarnock.

The Hoops warmed up for Wednesday's Group C match with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Killie in Glasgow's East End to maintain their unbeaten start to the domestic season.

MLS trio join the postseason party

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Los Angeles (AFP) Toronto FC, New York Red Bulls and New York City FC all punched their tickets to the postseason Saturday as the Major League Soccer playoff field begins to take shape.

The three clubs join the Western Conference-leading FC Dallas, who became the first MLS team to secure a playoff spot last weekend.

Hamburg sack coach Bruno Labbadia

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Berlin (AFP) Bruno Labbadia became the second German league coach to be sacked this season after Hamburg announced on Sunday he had been fired in the wake of his team's fourth straight defeat.

Labbadia returned for his second stint with Hamburg in April 2015, but was shown the door for the second time after his team's 1-0 loss at home to defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Mourinho offers hope to dropped Rooney

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney remains a key figure at Manchester United despite dropping his captain for the 4-1 thrashing of Leicester.

Mourinho left United and England captain Rooney on the substitutes' bench at Old Trafford on Saturday and was rewarded with a ruthless display against the Premier League champions.

Wenger hungry for more after ending Chelsea hex

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was hungrier than ever for success after his side marked the 20th anniversary of his appointment by stylishly defeating Chelsea 3-0.

First-half goals from Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday swept Arsenal to a first league victory over their London rivals in 10 encounters.

Sissoko injury fear for Spurs ahead of Moscow trip

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Moussa Sissoko has added to the injury worries facing Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie at CSKA Moscow.

Sissoko suffered concussion during Tottenham's 2-1 success at Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday and appears unlikely to make the trip to Russia.

Zamalek survive brilliant Wydad comeback

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Johannesburg (AFP) Zamalek of Egypt suffered a 5-2 thrashing at Wydad Casablanca of Morocco Saturday, but still qualified to meet Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the CAF Champions League final.

The five-time African champions won the first leg of the semi-final 4-0 in Alexandria last weekend and squeezed through 6-5 on aggregate.

Jittery Juve focus on Zagreb as Napoli await Benfica

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Milan (AFP) Massimiliano Allegri insists focus is fully on claiming the first points of their Champions League campaign after a cagey 1-0 win at Palermo on Saturday maintained the early-season doubts hanging over Juventus.

The Italian champions travel to Dinamno Zagreb on Tuesday looking for the win that would get their Group H campaign up and running two weeks after a scoreless draw in Turin against Sevilla.

Hamsik hits century as Napoli outclass Chievo

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Milan (AFP) Marek Hamsik celebrated hitting his 100th goal for Napoli in a 2-0 win over Chievo that will instill confidence ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash at home to Benfica.

Yet Slovakian international Hamsik, who is now only 15 short of equalling the all-time scorers' record at the club, held by former icon Diego Maradona, said the focus is now on Europe.

Unhappy Ronaldo subbed as Madrid held by Las Palmas

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Madrid (AFP) A substituted Cristiano Ronaldo cut a disconsolate figure as Real Madrid conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at Las Palmas on Saturday.

Earlier, Barcelona shrugged off the absence of the injured Lionel Messi to move to within a point of Madrid at the top of the table as Luis Suarez and Neymar were on target in a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon.

Krasnodar hold champions CSKA in Moscow

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Moscow (AFP) Russian champions CSKA Moscow warmed up for their Champions League clash with Tottenham Hotspur by drawing 1-1 at home to Krasnodar on Saturday.

The result left the Red Army side in second place in the Russian Premier League, one point behind leaders Spartak, who take on Ufa on Sunday.

Monaco grind out win to go top

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Paris (AFP) With Radamel Falcao out injured, Monaco came from behind to claim a scrappy 2-1 win over Angers at the Stade Louis II on Saturday and move top of the Ligue 1 table.

Falcao was absent after being hospitalised with a blow to the head in the principality club's 4-0 trouncing at local rivals Nice during the week.

Spalletti set to gatecrash Totti party

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Milan (AFP) Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is all set to ruin the birthday celebrations of club icon Francesco Totti, by showing up at his party.

Totti, in his 25th and likely last season with the club he made his debut for in 1993, will celebrate his 40th birthday on Tuesday.

The Roma veteran has been used sparingly by Spalletti over the last two seasons, but continues to make an impact for the Giallorossi, a number of assists recently adding to his long list of achievements.

Bayern’s Hummels faces anxious Atletico wait

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Berlin (AFP) Mats Hummels is facing an anxious wait to see whether he is fit to face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday after limping out of Bayern Munich's 1-0 win at Hamburg.

Atletico host Bayern at Madrid's Vicente Calderon Stadium with both sides having won their opening Group D matches in the Champions League.

Wenger hails ‘nearly perfect’ Arsenal

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London (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his team had come close to perfection after watching them mark his 20th anniversary with a 3-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil scored in the first 40 minutes as Arsenal claimed their biggest win over Chelsea since April 1997.

Rondon marks Pulis’s 1,000th match with late leveller

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Salomon Rondon grabbed a last-gasp equaliser as West Bromwich Albion marked Tony Pulis's 1,000th game as a manager with a 1-1 draw at Stoke City on Saturday.

Baggies boss Pulis was on the brink of a frustrating defeat against his former club in his milestone match after Joe Allen gave Stoke the lead in the second half.

Qatar appoint Fossati in bid to revive World Cup hopes

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Doha (AFP) Qatar confirmed on Saturday that Jorge Fossati is the new national team coach, tasked with trying to revive the country's fading hopes of makingitsfirst ever World Cup finals in Russia in 2018.

The appointment was confirmed in a message posted on Twitter by the Qatar Football Association, which read simply: "Mr Jorge Fossati is back officially to be the head coach of our national team.

Arsenal thrash Chelsea as United win without Rooney

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London (AFP) Arsenal overpowered London rivals Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to mark Arsene Wenger's 20th anniversary as Gunners boss in style.

Earlier, Manchester United thrashed defending Premier League champions Leicester City 4-1 to vindicate manager Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Wayne Rooney while Manchester City maintained their perfect start with a 3-1 win at Swansea City.

Happy 20th anniversary for Wenger as Arsenal outclass Chelsea

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London (AFP) Arsenal gave manager Arsene Wenger a 20th anniversary to remember as Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil scored in a slick 3-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.

This week marked 20 years since Wenger's appointment and whereas Chelsea had spoilt his 1,000th game at the Arsenal helm with a 6-0 win in March 2014, this milestone was memorable for the right reasons.

Juve warm up for Dinamo with cagey win at Palermo

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Milan (AFP) Dani Alves's deflected strike kept Juventus top of Serie A as they warmed up for a Champions League clash at Dinamo Zagreb with a cagey 1-0 win at Palermo on Saturday.

Juventus travelled to Sicily looking to protect a one-point lead on Napoli but with one eye on claiming a win in Croatia on Tuesday after a scoreless draw at home to Sevilla in their Group H opener.

Dembele hits double in Celtic cruise

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Glasgow (AFP) Moussa Dembele grabbed a double as Celtic warmed up for their Champions League tie against Manchester City with a 6-1 thrashing of Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Souleymane Coulibaly silenced Celtic Park with a sensational 35-yard strike to give Kilmarnock the lead against the run of play just after the half-hour mark.

Key arrest in Russian hooliganism probe

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Moscow (AFP) Russian special police on Saturday publicly detained the far-right football fan leader implicated in this summer's Euro 2016 violence in France.

Moscow police said its criminal investigation department hauled in the head of Russia's national supporters association Alexander Shprygin for questioning and searched his home and office.

Norwich hit top spot as Huddersfield slip

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London (AFP) Norwich swept to the top of the Championship with a 3-1 victory over Burton while previous leaders Huddersfield crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Reading on Saturday.

Alex Neil's side are bidding for a quick return to the Premier League following last season's relegation and they have made a fine start after recording a sixth win from nine league matches.

Tottenham’s Son sinks Middlesbrough with double

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Son Heung-Min surely erased all doubts about his Tottenham future as his double inspired a 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday.

South Korean winger Son was reported to be unsettled after starting only 13 league gamesfor Tottenham last season, but his two goals in their latest success indicated the qualities that prompted them to sign him from Bayer Leverkusen 13 months ago.

Benteke seals Palace comeback at Sunderland

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Christian Benteke's stoppage time header earned Crystal Palace a stirring 3-2 comeback win at hapless Sunderland on Saturday.

The Black Cats appeared set for their first win of the Premier League season after a double from Jermain Defoe.

But goals inside the last half an hour from Joe Ledley and James McArthur put Palace back level before Benteke popped up to steal the show and earn Palace a third successive league success.

Aguero double keeps Man City perfect under Guardiola

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City made it 10 wins in as many games this season with a 3-1 victory away to Swansea in the Premier League on Saturday.

Aguero marked his return to action with two well-taken goals for Pep Guardiola's league leaders after serving a three-game ban for throwing an elbow in last month's victory over West Ham.

Weakened Lyon slump to defeat at Lorient

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Paris (AFP) Lyon missed the chance to move level on points with stumbling champions Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on Saturday after losing 1-0 at struggling Lorient.

Jimmy Cabot scored the only goal of the game early in the second half in Brittany as Lyon lost for the third time in the league already this season.

Suarez, Neymar fire Messi-less Barca top of La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi to move to the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez and Neymar were on target in a 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the opening half-hour, but were hit by a two-goal Barca burst in three minutes as Suarez rounded Ivan Cuellar to slot home the opener before Rafinha headed home a second.

Coutinho shines as five-star Liverpool rout Hull

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Liverpool (AFP) Jurgen Klopp disproved his own words of warning as Liverpool crushed Hull City 5-1 at Anfield on Saturday to climb into the top four of the Premier League.

Klopp had written in his programme notes of the uniquely competitive nature of the Premier League, pointing out that there are no easy games in England's top flight.

Hummels limps off, Bayern leave it late in Hamburg

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Berlin (AFP) Joshua Kimmich's late winner preserved Bayern Munich's 100 percent Bundesliga record in Saturday's 1-0 win at Hamburg, but the leaders saw Mats Hummels limp off with a knee injury.

With Bayern facing Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League on Wednesday, Germany international Kimmich converted a superb Franck Ribery cross in the 88th minute.

Stanislas ends Everton’s unbeaten start

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Junior Stanislas proved Everton's bogeyman for the second season running as his stunning goal earned Bournemouth a 1-0 Premier League win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The former West Ham United winger had netted a 98th-minute goal to earn Bournemouth a 3-3 draw in this fixture last season and he proved the difference again with a fine long-range strike in the first half.

United win without Rooney as City maintain perfect start

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London (AFP) Manchester United thrashed defending Premier League champions Leicester City 4-1 as they vindicated manager Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Wayne Rooney while Manchester City maintained their perfect start with a 3-1 win away to Swansea on Saturday.

United scored four goals, three from set-pieces, as Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba with his first goal since his return from Juventus, all found the back of the net between the 22nd and 42nd minutes at Old Trafford.

No Leicester regrets says AC Milan’s Niang

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Milan (AFP) AC Milan's M'Baye Niang says he has no regrets about not moving to Leicester, but says he is sure to fulfil his dream of playing in England's Premier League one day.

After two loan spells at Montpellier and Genoa Niang is now a regular starter for the Italian giants and endeared himself further to Rossoneri fans when he hit the third goal in a 3-0 derby defeat of city rivals Inter last January.

Mourinho stands by axed Rooney as Man Utd rout Leicester

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho insists Wayne Rooney can still be a key figure for Manchester United despite dropping the England striker for Saturday's 4-1 win against Leicester.

Mourinho left Rooney on the bench after a series of underwhelming performances from the United captain and he wasn't missed as the Premier League champions were crushed at Old Trafford.

Bayern’s Hummels limps off ahead of Atletico clash

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich suffered an injury scare ahead of their midweek Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid when Germany defender Mats Hummels picked up a knee injury against Hamburg on Saturday.

Hummels was hurt in the first half of Saturday's Bundesliga encounter after landing awkwardly on his right knee having challenged for the ball with Hamburg's US international striker Bobby Wood.

Man Utd thrash Leicester 4-1 without Rooney

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United dismantled Premier League champions Leicester in a ruthless 20-minute burst as Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Wayne Rooney was rewarded with a 4-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Leicester imploded defensively as United racked up four goals between the 22nd and 42nd minutes.

Mutko re-elected Russian football chief

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Moscow (AFP) Sports minister Vitaly Mutko was on Saturday re-elected for a four-year term as president of Russia's Football Union (RFU) at a special executive board meeting in Moscow.

The 57-year-old Mutko received 266 votes. His only opponent, former Russia and CSKA Moscow coach Valery Gazzaev, got 142.

London Stadium security under scrutiny as Saints visit

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London (AFP) West Ham's attempts to solve the crowd control problems that have ruined the club's move to the London Stadium will be closely scrutinised when Southampton visit on Sunday.

The Hammers' switch from Upton Park to the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford has been beset by issues with fan safety and a series of ugly brawls broke out during the recent defeat by Watford.

Kalaba a potential match-winner for Mazembe

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Johannesburg (AFP) Rainford Kalaba is a potential match-winner when TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo confront Etoile Sahel of Tunisia on Sunday for a CAF Confederation Cup final place.

African giants Mazembe and Etoile, winners of the two major CAF club competitions last year, are level at 1-1 on aggregate going into the second leg of the semi-final.

Mourinho feels heat against Leicester as Wenger marks anniversary

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho has vowed to silence the critics when Manchester United host champions Leicester, while his old rival Arsene Wenger hopes to celebrate a memorable milestone with a rare success against Chelsea on Saturday.

Mourinho finds himself under fire less than two months into his United reign after three successive defeats and an unconvincing League Cup win at third tier Northampton.

Where to find Arsenal vs. Chelsea on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Arsenal vs. Chelsea, you've come to the right place.

The London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea will give an opportunity for one team to take the bragging rights as the best team in London. Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from some disappointing league form as well as a poor first half against Leicester in the League Cup, while Arsenal will be hoping to push on after a couple of good wins in the Premier League.

Rooney on bench for Man Utd against Leicester

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been dropped to the bench for the visit of Premier League champions Leicester to Old Trafford on Saturday.

The 30-year-old's place in the starting line-up has been widely debated with United manager Jose Mourinho saying his place was not set in stone.

Paul Pogba scores first goal for Man Utd

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Paul Pogba finally ended his wait for a first goal for Manchester United since his world record transfer in Saturday's clash against Leicester.

Pogba had gone five games without scoring following his £89 million ($115 million, 102 million euros) arrival from Juventus and had to endure criticism of some below-par performances.

Rooney’s place not sacrosanct, says Mourinho

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London (AFP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney's place in the starting line-up is not a cast iron certainty, said club manager Jose Mourinho on Friday.

The 31-year-old England skipper who on Thursday had said he didn't pay any attention to outside criticism of his form has failed to sparkle and was anonymous in the two Premier League defeats United suffered last week.

Ten-man PSG stunned at Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier was sent off against his old club as Paris Saint-Germain slumped to a 2-0 defeat away at Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Aurier was shown a second yellow card for conceding a penalty that Yann Bodiger converted early in the second half to put Toulouse in front at Le Stadium.

Qatar fire coach with 2018 hopes in balance

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Doha (AFP) Ambitious World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar have sacked coach Jose Daniel Carreno just a fortnight ahead of a crucial 2018 qualifier in South Korea and after successive defeats.

He was dismissed following recent back-to-back defeats against Iran and Uzbekistan which left Qatar's hopes of making the World Cup in Russia in two years' time in serious trouble.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 5

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Arsenal, last season's second place finishers, host Chelsea this Saturday, September 24, at 12:30 p.m. ET in a London Derby, highlighting NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this weekend. The Gunners come off a 4-1 victory against Hull City, highlighted by two goals from Alexis Sanchez. Chelsea look to rebound from a 2-1 loss to Liverpool on Friday, which snapped their four-match unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

Rampant Dortmund win again

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Berlin (AFP) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored for the fifth time in five Bundesliga games this season as Borussia Dortmund beat Freiburg 3-1 on Friday to move level on points with league leaders Bayern Munich.

Aubameyang tapped in after fine work by livewire Ousmane Dembele to give Thomas Tuchel's side the lead on the stroke of half-time at the Signal Iduna Park.

Mourinho feels heat as Wenger marks anniversary

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London (AFP) Jose Mourinho has vowed to silence the critics when Manchester United face champions Leicester, while his old rival Arsene Wenger hopes to celebrate a memorable milestone with a rare success against Chelsea on Saturday.

Mourinho finds himself under fire less than two months into his United reign after three successive defeats and an unconvincing League Cup win at third tier Northampton.

David Villa appears at GO90 event to promote soccer streaming service

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[David Villa, Captain of the New York City FC, watches the FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid match via the go90 app Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, in New York. (Adam Hunger/AP Images for go90)]

If you're a professional soccer player and you're on the road most of the time, how do you watch your favorite soccer teams and leagues?

Guardiola thinks he’s ‘God’, snipes Toure’s agent

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London (AFP) Four-time African Player of the Year Yaya Toure's chances of ever playing for Manchester City again diminished further Friday after his fiery agent launched another withering attack on club manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola had said earlier this week Toure would not play for the club until his agent Dimitri Seluk apologised for accusing the Spaniard of 'humiliating' the 33-year-old Ivorian midfielder after omitting him from the Champions League squad.

Gray gets four game ban for ‘homophobic’ tweets

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London (AFP) Burnley striker Andre Gray will serve a four match suspension after being found guilty of misconduct for homophobic comments he posted on Twitter in 2012, England's Football Association announced on Friday.

The 25-year-old published the tweets when he was a non-league player in 2012, but they resurfaced on social media after he scored in Burnley's 2-0 home win over Liverpool in the Premier League last month.

Dutch great Van Basten appointed to FIFA role

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Paris (AFP) Former Netherlands striker Marco van Basten has been named as FIFA's new Chief Officer for Technical Development, world football's governing body announced on Friday.

FIFA said the 51-year-old's new role will see him take charge of "all technical areas ranging from football technology innovation to refereeing".

O’Neill allays Irish concerns and signs new contract

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Dublin (AFP) Martin O'Neill ended months of speculation on Friday revealing he and assistant Roy Keane had signed extensions to their contracts with the Republic of Ireland.

The 64-year-old Northern Irishman who has been at the helm since 2013 had agreed to the deal back in June but it had remained unsigned even as the Irish began their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Serbia last month.

Barca have resources to combat missing Messi – Luis Enrique

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insists his star-studded squad can cope without Lionel Messi for the next three weeks, but claimed the Argentine's absence is "terrible" for football.

Messi will miss Barca's trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo in the next week due to a groin strain.

Mourinho says his United criticism cut above ‘Einsteins’ attack

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted Friday he was unhurt by attacks on his players from football "Einsteins", adding it was a very different matter when he publicly criticised his team.

Mourinho's approach was called into question by various sections of the media during a run of three successive defeats that ended with United's EFL Cup victory over third-tier side Northampton Town in midweek.

Barca will miss injured Messi – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists it is obvious rivals Barcelona will miss the injured Lionel Messi during a three-week layoff, but has injury concerns of his own ahead of Saturday's trip to Las Palmas.

The five-time World Player of the Year is set to be sidelined for Barca's trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo in the next week due to a groin strain.

Spanish court reopens Neymar fraud case

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Madrid (AFP) A fraud case against Brazilian superstar Neymar and his father in relation to the player's 2013 transfer to Barcelona was reopened on Friday following a successful appeal by Spanish prosecutors, a court filing showed.

In July a judge ruled that irregularities in the high-profile transfer were detected, but said it was an issue for a civil court, not a criminal court to settle.

Spain reopens Neymar fraud case

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Madrid (AFP) A fraud case against Brazilian superstar Neymar and his father in relation to the player's 2013 transfer to Barcelona was re-opened on Friday following a successful appeal by Spanish prosecutors, a court filing showed.

In July a judge ruled that irregularities in the high-profile transfer were detected, but said it was an issue for a civil court, not a criminal court to settle.

Spain reopens Neymar fraud case – court filing

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Madrid (AFP) A fraud case against Brazilian superstar Neymar and his father in relation to the player's 2013 transfer to Barcelona was re-opened on Friday following a successful appeal by Spanish prosecutors, a court filing showed.

In July a judge ruled that irregularities in the high-profile transfer were detected, but said it was an issue for a civil court, not a criminal court to settle.

Savage Bayern line up fresh prey

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Berlin (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti's all-conquering German league leaders Bayern Munich face a Hamburg side in turmoil on Saturday with coach Bruno Labbadia under the threat of the axe after three straight defeats.

Hamburg's 1-0 defeat at Freiburg on Tuesday followed their humiliating 4-0 drubbing at home to RB Leipzig last Saturday.

Klopp urges patience as Liverpool thrive

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Liverpool (AFP) Liverpool are building momentum after three successive wins in league and cup but manager Jurgen Klopp is pleading for patience when his team face Hull City at Anfield on Saturday.

Klopp's men have swatted aside high-quality opponents in Arsenal, champions Leicester City and Chelsea this season with a brand of exciting, fast football.

Tottenham can challenge on multiple fronts: defender Kyle Walker

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Kyle Walker has underlined the growing confidence at White Hart Lane by insisting Tottenham are targeting a clean sweep of honours this season.

Mauricio Pochettino's side travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday sitting third in the Premier League table and in buoyant mood after thrashing Gillingham 5-0 in the League Cup in midweek.

Wenger out to mark milestone in Chelsea clash

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger celebrates his 20th anniversary as Arsenal manager this weekend against opponents who have caused him more anguish than almost any other team.

The Frenchman has won only five of his last 31 meetings against Chelsea and had his last major milestone his 1,000th match as Arsenal manager spoilt by a 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge.

Allegri tells jittery Juve to ‘take command’

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Milan (AFP) Juventus must "take command" of their opponents, thundered coach Massimiliano Allegri, as they look to warm up for a vital Champions League clash with a win at Palermo on Saturday.

Juve pounced on Napoli's shock scoreless draw at Genoa on Wednesday to go top of Serie A with a one-point lead on the southerners thanks to a 4-0 rout of Cagliari.

Rangers brace themselves for tinderbox clash

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Glasgow (AFP) This weekend will see the return of one of Scottish football's nastiest fixtures and no one is looking forward to it more than the Rangers players, manager Mark Warburton says.

Sparks are sure to fly at Pittodrie on Sunday as the Glasgow giants make their way north to take on Aberdeen in a match that, outside of the Old Firm clash, is one of the most fiercely contested in the Scottish Premiership.

Wenger anniversary at Arsenal underlines slipping standards

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger memorably announced his arrival as a revolutionary force in England by banning his players from eating sweets, but the Arsenal manager's reign has turned increasingly sour as he marks the 20th anniversary of his appointment.

Arguably the most significant agent of change in the Premier League era, the 66-year-old's achievements in revitalising both Arsenal and English football will rightly be celebrated in this milestone week for the urbane Frenchman.

Zamalek seem safe, Sundowns, ZESCO battle on

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Johannesburg (AFP) Only a catastrophic collapse can prevent Zamalek of Egypt reaching the CAF Champions League final this weekend, but ZESCO United of Zambia hold a precarious lead in the other semi-final.

Five-time title-holders Zamalek have a 4-0 lead over one-time winners Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and no club has overcome such a large first-leg deficit in the penultimate phase.

Nigeria omit bereaved Ighalo, teammate Success in

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Abuja (AFP) Watford striker Odion Ighalo has been excused from Nigeria's World Cup qualifier in Zambia to attend his father's funeral, but club team-mate Isaac Success has been handed a first call-up.

Ighalo will bury his late father in Nigeria on October 8, a day before the away clash in Ndola.

Defender Kyle Walker latest to sign new Spurs contract

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London (AFP) England international defender Kyle Walker has become the latest Tottenham star to sign a new contract with the Premier League high-flyers, the club said on Friday.

The 26-year-old right-back put pen to paper on a new five-year deal to join Christian Eriksen, Harry Winks, Tom Carroll, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Dele Alli in extending his stay at White Hart Lane.

China firm hit by new forgery claims in AC Milan deal

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Shanghai (AFP) The Chinese consortium that agreed to buy AC Milan in a multi-million dollar deal this summer has been hit with new forgery claims, local media said Friday.

In August, Silvio Berlusconi agreed to sell more than 99 percent of AC Milan to a little-known Chinese consortium named Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing.

Messi set on coming back even stronger

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Madrid (AFP) Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi insists he will bounceback "even stronger" from a groin injury that is set to keep him sidelined for three weeks.

Messi limped off after an hour of Barca's 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and is expected to miss Barca's next three games at Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo.

Wenger plays down Mourinho ‘face break’ threat

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger said Friday that he preferred to avoid a "destructive mode" as he played down claims that adversary Jose Mourinho had once wanted to "break his face".

The Arsenal manager said he was concentrating solely on the Gunners' Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday and did not want to linger on the controversial quote, contained in a new biography of Manchester United boss Mourinho being serialised in the Daily Mail newspaper.

Arsenal vs. Chelsea predicted lineups and preview

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It's remarkable how perceptions can rapidly alter in the Premier League.

The narrative surrounding Arsenal, ridiculed again for much of the summer and lambasted after an opening day defeat to Liverpool, suggested they were set for a season of struggles. Chelsea, meanwhile, inspired by their enigmatic boss Antonio Conte, looked rejuvenated in the early stages of 2016-17.

Wenger shouldn’t be judged on results alone, says Chelsea’s Conte

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Cobham (United Kingdom) (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned Arsenal it would be a huge mistake to part ways with Arsene Wenger if he doesn't deliver a major trophy this season.

Wenger has marked the 20th anniversary of his arrival at Arsenal this week ahead of Saturday's clash with Chelsea, but the Gunners boss has found himself under increasingly heavy fire from fans unhappy with his failure to win the Premier League since 2004.

Kevin De Bruyne’s clear thinking key to Manchester City’s early swagger

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Given how relentless and complex the coverage of soccer has become, sometimes a player can stand out by carrying out basic duties with unbending conviction.

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, the shining star of the Premier League season so far, is a footballer who does the simple things supremely.

Rooney dismisses outside criticism

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Underfire Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney said on Thursday he shuts his ears to criticism of his performances coming from outside the club.

The 30-year-old England skipper who came in for particular criticism after United lost three successive games last week told MUTV he is used to having his form scrutinised and he will just get on and work hard.

Falcao out of hospital after ‘rugby tackle’

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Monaco (AFP) Striker Radamel Falcao left hospital on Thursday after staying overnight for a head injury caused by what his Monaco coach branded a "rugby tackle" in the 4-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Nice.

Falcao took a heavy knock to the head when he was caught in a sandwich between goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale and defender Paul Baysse on Wednesday.

MLS breaks 1 million viewers for second time this season; Soccer TV ratings roundup

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For the second time this season, a Major League Soccer broadcast has averaged more than one million viewers. This past weekend, the over-the-air FOX broadcast network aired two matches on the big FOX network with only one viewable in each market depending on FOX's NFL coverage for the day. Most of the country saw Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls at 5pm ET, while the remainder saw Sporting Kansas City take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at 2pm ET.

Casemiro out for one month with broken leg

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid's Brazilian international midfielder Casemiro could miss up to a month after suffering a leg fracture, the European champions said on Thursday.

The 24-year-old was forced off 20 minutes into Sunday's 2-0 win over Espanyol following a strong challenge.

He has suffered a fracture of the fibula in his left leg, Madrid said in a statement.

Argentina boss blasts Barca over Messi injury

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza launched a stinging attack on Barcelona on Thursday after losing star forward Lionel Messi for vital World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay next month.

Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain suffered in Barca's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.

Ben Arfa remains out in PSG cold

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Paris (AFP) Marquee signing Hatem Ben Arfa's future at Paris Saint-Germain looks increasingly precarious after coach Unai Emery left him out of the match-day squad for the fourth time in a row.

France international Ben Arfa lit up Ligue 1 with Nice last season after his career stalled during a five-year spell in England.

French governing bodies target China market

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Paris (AFP) The French Football Federation (FFF) and French Football League (LFP) will open an office in Beijing from next year, they said on Thursday.

The move is aimed at promoting French football in China, where the game is now hugely popular, particularly the English Premier League.

The two French governing bodies described the "development and cooperation office" as an opportunity to "export French know-how and to develop the French football market in China and internationally".

Meet John Dykes, the host of Goal Rush and star of Premier League Productions

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If you could pick one man who is the best example of how globalized soccer has become, it would be John Dykes.

Don't know his name? That's okay because most soccer fans in his own country of England don't either. But if you live in the United States, you'll know him as the voice of Goal Rush, the new but popular RedZone-like broadcast that airs on NBC Sports App on Saturdays from 10am to Noon ET.

No Scottish clubs or B teams in English Football League

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London (AFP) There will be no "clubs from non-English leagues" or Premier League B teams in a new-look English Football League, the governing body for England's three divisions below the Premier League said Thursday.

It has long been suggested that Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers could join a revamped English league but the EFL's announcement put paid to those hopes.

Turkey arrests ex Galatasaray star in coup probe

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Istanbul (AFP) Turkish authorities on Thursday placed under arrest a former prominent footballer from the Istanbul giants Galatasaray on charges of links to the group blamed for the July 15 failed coup.

Ismail Demiriz, who played for Galatasaray from 1984-1993 as well as 27 times for the Turkish national side, was detained in the Istanbul district of Bakirkoy, the Dogan news agency reported.

Hospitalised Falcao ‘rugby-tackled’ says coach

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Monaco (AFP) Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim was left scandalised that a 'rugby tackle' that hospitalised striker Radamel Falcao with head and chest injuries went unpunished in their midweek 4-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Nice.

Falcao took a heavy knock to the head when he was caught in a sandwich between goalkeeper Yoann Cardinale and defender Paul Baysse.

Pulis says adaptability key as 1,000th game looms

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London (AFP) Tony Pulis will celebrate his 1,000th game as a manager when he takes West Bromwich Albion to former club Stoke City on Saturday.

The 58-year-old said on Thursday that "moving with the times" has been the key to his longevity in a career spanning two decades, during which the "film star footballer" has emerged.

Istanbul lifts ban on away fans at football derbies

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Istanbul (AFP) The authorities in Istanbul on Thursday lifted a five-year old ban on away fans attending football derby matches in the Turkish metropolis, state media said.

The ban had prevented fans of the three Istanbul giant sides Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray attending away games at their opponents' stadiums in the city.

Rome mayor embraces Euro 2020, day after Olympic snub

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Rome (AFP) Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi says the Italian capital will embrace holding 2020 European Championship matches, a day after she slammed the brakes on a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games.

"Hosting such an important international sports event in Rome is an honour," Raggi said at a presentation of the official Euro 2020 logo in Rome on Thursday.

Barton eager for Rangers return

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London (AFP) Joey Barton insisted Thursday he cannot wait to get back playing for Rangers following his three-week ban by the Glasgow giants.

The outspoken midfielder was sidelined by Rangers following a heated row with manager Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday after their 5-1 defeat by Celtic in the Glasgow derby.

Klopp still considering keeper options

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has still to decide whether recent signing Loris Karius or Simon Mignolet will be between the posts for their match at home to Hull City on Saturday.

Karius, who joined for £4.7 million ($6.1 million dollars, 5.4 million euros) played in pre-season but then broke his hand and missed the start of the new Premier League season.

Danny Rose latest Spurs player to sign new deal

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London (AFP) Danny Rose has signed a new five-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur, the English Premier League club announced Thursday.

The 26-year-old left-back, who has signed a deal that is set to keep him at the north London club until 2021, moved to White Hart Lane from Leeds nine years ago and has since scored seven goals in 93 league appearances.

Five keys to Valencia’s demise

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Madrid (AFP) La Liga giants Valencia are searching for theirninth permanent coach in the past four years following the sacking of former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran.

The six-time Spanish champions are enduring their worst start to a league season for 17 years as four straight defeats to start to the campaign leaves them rooted to the foot of the table.

Forlan urges patience for Pogba, Man Utd

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Mumbai (AFP) Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan said it's only a matter of time before underperforming midfielder PaulPogba starts justifying his world-record price tag for Jose Mourinho's lacklustre side.

Forlan,now playing for India's Mumbai City FC, endured a torrid start to his Red Devils career but went on to become a fan favourite and believes that Frenchman Pogba will too.

Moneybags China could learn from South Korea

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Seoul (AFP) Chinese clubs have splashed out hundreds of millions of dollars in the quest for football glory but they could learn a few lessons from South Korea, which remains an Asian powerhouse at club and international level.

Recent evidence suggests that despite China's headline-grabbing outlay on players and coaches, often for exorbitant sums, South Korean football is on top.

Messi out for three weeks as Barcelona draw Atletico

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain, dealing a huge blow to his club and country.

"To lose Lionel Messi means football loses and we lose," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Mourinho slams football ‘Einsteins’

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hit back at the "football Einsteins" who have criticised him during the club's recent run of three straight defeats.

United stopped the rot with a 3-1 win over third-tier Northampton Town in the third round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday after losing to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford in the past week.

Turkey detains ex Galatasaray football star in coup probe

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Istanbul (AFP) Turkish police on Thursday detained a former prominent footballer from the Istanbul giants Galatasaray on suspicion of links to the group blamed for the July 15 failed coup.

Ismail Demiriz, who played for Galatasaray from 1984-1993 as well as 27 times for the Turkish national side, was detained in the Istanbul district of Bakirkoy, the Dogan news agency reported.

‘Ruthless’ Pep Guardiola whips Manchester City into shape

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London (AFP) With dead-eyed efficiency, Pep Guardiola has hit the ground running as Manchester City manager, ruthlessly clearing his squad of unwanted players and transforming the team into a winning machine.

Joe Hart and Yaya Toure are among the former stalwarts to have been cast aside as the uncompromising Guardiola has instilled his philosophy of quick, passing football at the Etihad Stadium.

Messi out for three weeks as Atletico hold Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi will miss the next three weeks after suffering the recurrence of a groin injury as Atletico Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic headed Barca into the lead just before half-time, but Angel Correa slotted home on the hour mark just seconds after Messi limped off to hand Atletico a deserved point.

Messi out for three weeks with groin injury – club

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain, dealing a huge blow to his club and country.

"Leo Messi has a groin strain in his right leg and he will be out for around three weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Messi injured as Atletico hold Barcelona

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi was forced off with the apparent recurrence of a groin injury as Atletico Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic headed Barca into the lead just before half-time, but Angel Correa slotted home on the hour mark just seconds after Messi limped off to hand Atletico a deserved point.

Man Utd, Man City set up League Cup showdown

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and his Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola were dealt an English Football League Cup rendezvous after both teams came through their third-round ties on Wednesday.

United won 3-1 at third-tier Northampton Town to ease some of the pressure building on Mourinho following three consecutive defeats, while holders City prevailed 2-1 at Swansea City.

Mourinho, Guardiola to face off in League Cup

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was handed a speedy reunion with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola in Wednesday's English League Cup fourth-round draw.

Guardiola's City won 2-1 when he reprised his rivalry with Mourinho earlier this month and they will meet again at Old Trafford in late October when a place in the League Cup quarter-finals will be at stake.

Injured Messi forced out of Atletico clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi appeared to suffer the recurrence of a groin strain as he limped off early in the second-half of Barcelona's crunch La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The five-time World Player of the Year missed Argentina's World Cup qualifier with Venezuela earlier this month due to the problem and only started Barca's shock 2-1 defeat to Alaves 10 days ago on the bench as coach Luis Enrique bedded him back into action gently.

Higuain back as Juve reclaim top spot from Napoli

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Milan (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain returned to scoring ways as champions Juventus regained top spot from misfiring Napoli thanks to a 4-0 rout of outclassed Genoa in Turin on Wednesday.

Higuain, signed from Napoli for an Italian record 90m euros, had failed to find the net in Juve's past two outings a scoreless draw with Sevilla in the Champions League and a 1-0 defeat to Inter Milan on Sunday.

First victory for Chiefs, Pirates held

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Johannesburg (AFP) Kaizer Chiefs won for the first time this season on Wednesday and Orlando Pirates surrendered a perfect record on matchday 3 of the South African Premiership.

A harshly awarded second-half penalty was driven into the corner of the net on 65 minutes by George Lebese to give Chiefs a 1-0 win at promoted Highlands Park.

Relief for Mourinho as Man Utd beat Northampton

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London (AFP) Manchester United prevailed 3-1 at third-tier Northampton Town in the English Football League Cup on Wednesday to ease some of the pressure beginning to build on manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho had seen United lose their three previous games, but goals from Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and substitute Marcus Rashford at Sixfields took his side into the fourth round.

Falcao to spend night in hospital after head clash

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Nice (France) (AFP) Colombia international forward Radamel Falcao will spend the night in hospital after suffering a knock to the head in a Ligue 1 match on Wednesday.

The Monaco striker was caught in a sandwich between goalkeeper Yoann Cardinale and defender Paul Baysse just before half-time in the 4-0 defeat at Nice.

Perfect Bayern reclaim top spot in Germany

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Berlin (AFP) Leaders Bayern Munich are now the only team in Germany's top flight still with a perfect 100% record following Wednesday's 3-0 Bundesliga win at home to Hertha Berlin.

Midfield stars Franck Ribery, Thiago Alcantara and Arjen Robben netted at the Allianz Arena in a workmanlike display from Carlo Ancelotti's side to make it four wins from four league games and six from six in all competitions.

Villarreal draw ends Real’s winning run

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid's record-equalling 16-game La Liga win streak came to an end as Villarreal held out for a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The European champions were looking to surpass the Liga mark of 16 wins first set by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in 2010/11, but were made to pay for a sluggish first-half display.

Balotelli brace helps send Nice top of Ligue 1

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Paris (AFP) Controversial star Mario Balotelli continued his fine start to life on the French Riviera by helping fire Nice to the top of Ligue 1 on Wednesday.

The Italy international scored his second brace in as many league appearances for Nice in a 4-0 thumping of local rivals Monaco to leap-frog champions Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table.

Spanish league chief Tebas stands for re-election

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Madrid (AFP) President of La Liga Javier Tebas announced he will stand for re-election as he resigned from his role to kickstart the process for new elections on Wednesday.

"I have formally presented my resignation as president of La Liga," Tebas posted on his official Twitter account.

"A new electoral process is opened in which I will return to request the confidence of the clubs.

Verdi hits stunner as Bologna sink Samp

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Milan (AFP) Ten-man Sampdoria's early season woes continued with a 2-0 defeat at Bologna on Wednesday where Simone Verdi hit a stunning first-half volley for the hosts.

Sampdoria made a bright start to life under new coach Marco Giampaolo by winning their opening two games of the Serie A season.

English FA working towards tournament bid

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London (AFP) England's Football Association hopes its role in staging Euro 2020 will provide a platform for the country to host a full tournament again, new chairman Greg Clarke said on Wednesday.

England will host the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020, which is being staged across 13 European nations to mark the competition's 60th anniversary.

FOX Sports’ head of soccer confirms what we feared: The network is clueless about soccer

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In a revealing interview with Alexi Lalas on The Mutant Gene Podcast this week, FOX Sports Executive Producer Jonty Whitehead —the person in charge of FOX's soccer production —highlighted everything that's wrong with FOX's soccer coverage including his own assertion that Americans are "not versed in the game as I or people in the UK are.

How to watch Southampton vs. Crystal Palace on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Southampton vs. Crystal Palace, you've come to the right place.

Southampton and Crystal Palace battle it out at St Mary's Stadium on Wednesday in the Third Round of the League Cup (now known as the EFL Cup, which was previously the Capital One Cup).

How to watch Spurs vs. Gillingham on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Spurs vs. Gillingham, you've come to the right place.

The Third Round League Cup tie between Tottenham and Gillingham is good timing for Mauricio Pochettino's men. On the heels of an injury to Harry Kane, it provides Spurs with a perfect opportunity to give striker Vincent Janssen some valuable playing time as well as a pivotal role up front against a weaker opposition.

Barcelona the benchmark for Atletico, says Simeone

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Madrid (AFP) Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone believes Barcelona remain the benchmark, ahead of Wednesday's first blockbuster clash of the La Liga season between his Champions League finalists and the Spanish champions.

Simeone's men dumped Barca out of the Champions League for the second time in three years last season, but the Argentine has yet to taste victory against the Catalans in La Liga during his five-year reign.

How to watch Swansea vs. Manchester City on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Swansea vs. Manchester City, you've come to the right place.

High flying Manchester City travel to Wales on Wednesday to battle Swansea in the League Cup Third Round (aka EFL Cup, previously known as the Capital One Cup). The match might give Vincent Kompany his chance to play in his first match of the season after returning from injury, while Swansea defender Neil Taylor will get playing time for the South Wales team.

Protests put Asian refs on the spot

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Seoul (AFP) A rash of complaints about controversial decisions has put Asia's football referees on the spot despite strenuous efforts to raise standards.

Japan and Thailand both lodged official protests after key decisions went against them in this month's World Cup qualifiers, while standards are mixed at club level.

Antalyaspor drop Eto’o in racism row

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Istanbul (AFP) Turkish top flight club Antalyaspor said on Wednesday that their star striker Samuel Eto'o would be left out of the squad until further notice in a bitter row over comments on social media.

Former Cameroon international Eto'o, who in a glittering career has turned out for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea, had written on his Instagram account he was not being given respect for his achievements as he is black.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Villarreal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Villarreal, you've come to the right place.

Off the back of a 2-0 victory against Espanyol, Real Madrid faces Villarreal on Wednesday in La Liga. The game will be televised and streamed live across the United States in a match where Los Blancos will be focused on extending their lead at the top of the table in Spain.

Forgery claims hit AC Milan takeover bid

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Milan (AFP) A Chinese consortium looking to purchase AC Milan has been accused of providing false documents during its initial negotiations with the Serie A giants, according to reports Wednesday.

Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co, led by businessman Li Yonghong, has already paid 100m euros to Fininvest, the holding company of AC Milan owner and president Silvio Berlusconi, who is expected to sign off on the 740m euro deal by the end of the year.

Germans think Beckenbauer should ditch ‘Kaiser’ nickname

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Berlin (AFP) A majority of Germans believe football legend Franz Beckenbauer no longer deserves the nickname 'Kaiser Franz', given the latest revelations concerning his role in organising the scandal-hit 2006 World Cup.

According to a poll published Wednesday on the website of German magazine Stern, 55 percent of those surveyed believe the nickname 'Kaiser' is no longer justified.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid, you've come to the right place.

After a 7-0 victory against Celtic and a 5-1 win against Leganes, the goals are pouring in for Barcelona. However, that flood may stop as they take on their arch-rivals Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in a match between two of the three toughest teams in Spain.

How to watch Northampton vs. Man United on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Northampton vs. Manchester United, you've come to the right place.

The pressure is on Jose Mourinho and Manchester United to come through this match with a win after the Red Devils have lost their last three matches in a row. The spectacle of a possible upset defeat at the hands of Northampton Town will put even more pressure on United, so nothing less than a convincing win will be needed.

Derby win lifts Sevilla up to second

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Madrid (AFP) Argentine international Gabriel Mercado bundled home the winner as Sevilla moved up to second in La Liga with a 1-0 win over fierce local rivals Real Betis on Tuesday.

Mercado's first goal for the club from on-loan Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri's free-kick continued the Europa League holders' four-year unbeaten run in the Seville derby in La Liga.

Fabregas downs Leicester, Everton crash out

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London (AFP) Cesc Fabregas made an emphatic point to Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as his double sealed a 4-2 win at Leicester, while Everton and Bournemouth suffered shock third-round exits from the English Football League Cup on Tuesday.

Fabregas has been limited to three substitute appearances in the Premier League since Conte took charge over the summer, but the Spain midfielder proved he can still be a game-changer with an influential display capped by the decisive two goals in extra-time.

Bacca and Niang send Milan up to third

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Milan (AFP) Carlos Bacca scored for the second game in a row and M'Baye Niang netted from the penalty spot in a disjointed performance as AC Milan beat Lazio 2-0 at the San Siro on Tuesday.

Bacca struck eight minutes before half-time having notched the late match-winner in Friday night's 1-0 success at Sampdoria.

Clinical PSG go top in France

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off their indifferent start to the season to usurp Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 with a routine 3-0 victory over toothless Dijon on Tuesday.

A 3-1 early season loss at Monaco had seen new boss Unai Emery's honeymoon period cut short as PSG then conceded a late equaliser at home to Saint Etienne in their next match.

Dortmund rout Wolfsburg to go top in Germany

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Berlin (AFP) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice on Tuesday as Borussia Dortmund romped to another big win with a 5-1 victory at VfL Wolfsburg to temporarily top the German league table.

Having hammered both Legia Warsaw and Darmstadt 6-0 in their previous matches, Thomas Tuchel's Dortmund handed out another drubbing with Gonzalo Castro setting up two of their goals.

Iceland out of FIFA 17 game over money row

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Reykjavik (AFP) Iceland will not feature in the latest FIFA video game due to a financial row between the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists and American game manufacturers Electronic Arts (EA).

The Icelandic Football Association (KSI) has accused EA of showing them a lack of respect in their monetary offer to the European minnows.

Toure won’t play until he says sorry – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Yaya Toure will not play again for Manchester City until the player's camp apologises for comments made by his agent, manager Pep Guardiola vowed on Tuesday.

Dimitri Seluk accused the City manager of "humiliating" Toure, 33, by leaving him out of the club's Champions League squad at the start of this month.

Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid predicted lineups and preview

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Since Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid side established themselves as a major force in world football, matches against the capital club and Barcelona have always been absorbing.

It's the European game's equivalent of the unstoppable force against the immovable object. The Catalans, with arguably the finest attack ever assembled in domestic football, up against one of the most aggressive and intelligent defensive setups put together.

Barca’s Umtiti out of Atletico clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti will miss the Spanish champions' vital La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday due to a knee ligament strain.

"Umtiti suffered a lateral collateral ligamentstrain in his left knee during training this morning," Barca said in a statement on Tuesday.

Yaya Toure won’t play until he says sorry – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Yaya Toure will not play again for Manchester City until the player's camp apologises for comments made by his agent, manager Pep Guardiola vowed on Tuesday.

Dimitri Seluk accused the City manager of "humiliating" Toure, 33, by leaving him out of the club's Champions League squad at the start of this month.

Luis Enrique defends showboating Neymar

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insists Neymar's skills should be enjoyed rather than criticised after the Brazilian's penchant for showboating once again came under the spotlight.

Former Barca and Real Madrid midfielder Michael Laudrup controversially slammed Neymar for displaying his full range of tricks towards the end of Barca's 5-1 thrashing of newly promoted Leganes on Saturday.

Christian Pulisic could help Bundesliga ratings skyrocket on US TV

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For years, American soccer fans have desired that one breakout star thrust the sport into the mainstream whileplaying fora major European club. Every player that has been described as the "next big thing" by fans of US Soccer has tended to fall short of the lofty expectations placed on him. Most have been perfectly good professionals, capable of playing for mid level European clubs or excelling in Major League Soccer.

How Spurs will cope without the injured Harry Kane for the next 2 months

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Last season, Tottenham Hotspur had pretty much the best injury luck they could have hoped for. They lost very few players for extended periods with injury, the most long-term being Jan Vertonghen's absence in early 2016 and he was replaced by an incredibly able Kevin Wimmer. Most of the concern for Spurs swirled around what would happen if Harry Kane was injured and missed some extended time, but thankfully for Mauricio Pochettino and company, they never had to find out.

African legend Yaya Toure retires from international football

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder capped 113 times said it had been an incredibly difficult decision.

"Writing this note was probably 'the most difficult match of my life'," wrote Toure.

Rodriguez hit with five-match ban after horror foul

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Berlin (AFP) Mainz midfielder Jose Rodriguez was on Tuesday hit with a five-match ban and fined 10,000 euros ($11,171) for his horror tackle which left his opponent with a gash to the bone.

Rodriguez was sent off, just eight minutes into his Mainz debut having come off the bench, after his tackle on Augsburg's Dominik Kohr, who needed surgery after receiving a 14cm-long gash which exposed the bone, damaging muscles and tendons.

African legend Toure retires from international football

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder capped 113 times said it had been an incredibly difficult decision.

"Writing this note was probably 'the most difficult match of my life'," wrote Toure.

Spurs boss Pochettino admits no timeframe on Kane absence

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Tuesday that striker Harry Kane has damaged his ankle ligaments, but did not say how long he is expected to be sidelined.

"He got a ligament ankle problem and we need to assess every day and see," Pochettino told a press conference at the Tottenham training ground.

Yaya Toure announces international retirement

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure of the Ivory Coast announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder capped 113 times said it had been an incredibly difficult decision.

"Writing this note was probably 'the most difficult match of my life'," wrote Toure.

Stats reveal Paul Pogba struggling at Manchester United

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Although it is obviously very early in Paul Pogba's second stint as a Manchester United player, the French superstar has found it difficult to hit the ground running at Old Trafford. The Red Devils notoriously paid Italian giants Juventus £89 million to get their former player back in their squad, a world-record transfer fee.

Rooney at risk as Mourinho’s Man Utd toil

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is under pressure to drop Wayne Rooney, with the captain's clanking performances emblematic of the team's struggles.

United have lost their last three matches and there is clamour among supporters and journalists for Rooney to be removed from the starting XI.

Venezuelan football team robbed at gunpoint

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Caracas (AFP) Robbers hijacked the bus of a Venezuelan first-division football team and held the squad for more than two terrifying hours at gunpoint, even taking their clothes and footwear, the club said Monday.

Trujillanos suffered a 2-1 defeat at Monagas on Sunday and afterwards six gunmen with high-caliber weapons forced their bus to stop around dawn on a stretch of highway in the northeastern state of Anzoategui.

Buffon sounds alarm as Juve stutter

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Milan (AFP) The Juventus defence is leaking, goals have dried up and captain Gianluigi Buffon has rung the alarm after the Serie A champions were exposed during a 2-1 'Derby d'Italia' defeat to Inter Milan.

Juventus host Cagliari on Wednesday, and goalkeeper Buffon wants tightening up at the back.

Fernando Torres relishing Barcelona showdown

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Madrid (AFP) Fernando Torres believes Atletico Madrid travel to Barcelona on Wednesday at just the right time after emphatically bouncing back with three wins over the past week.

The showdown is the first major clash of the La Liga season, but despite their free-scoring form, both sides face the prospect of being cut adrift from league leaders Real Madrid even at this early stage.

How to watch Derby vs. Liverpool on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Derby vs. Liverpool, you've come to the right place.

With Liverpool undefeated in the league in the last three games, the Reds will be hoping to follow up their impressive away victory with another win. At the same time, Derby County are fifth from bottom in the Championship, so an upset for the Rams against Liverpool would be a great way to lift the club's early season.

Australia call up young guns for Saudi, Japan games

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Sydney (AFP) Austrian-based midfielder James Jeggo could earn his first cap for the Socceroos after being named on Tuesday in Australia's squad for World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan next month.

Coach Ange Postecoglou has made three changes to the squad, calling up the uncapped Jeggo and Netherlands-basedCraig Goodwin, while defender Bailey Wright returns after missing the first two qualifiers through injury.

How to watch Everton vs. Norwich on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Everton vs. Norwich, you've come to the right place.

Both Everton and Norwich are in second place in their respective leagues (the Premier League and Championship), so the clash between the Toffees and Canaries should be a competitive League Cup fixture in the competition now known as the EFL Cup.

Fiji sack Aussie Farina after Rio flop – reports

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Suva (Fiji) (AFP) Fiji have sacked former Socceroos boss Frank Farina as their football coach following the island nation's poor showing at the Rio Olympics, reports said on Tuesday.

Fiji conceded 23 goals in three games at the tournament in Brazil, including a 10-0 thrashing by eventual silver-medallists Germany, and managed to score only once.

Sunderland’s Van Aanholt withdrawn over heart tests

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London (AFP) Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt was withdrawn from the team to face Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday due to the results of cardiology tests, manager David Moyes revealed on Tuesday.

Van Aanholt, 26, was named in Sunderland's starting XI, only to be replaced by Jason Denayer, with television cameras catching the moment Denayer told a surprised Van Aanholt he would not be playing.

Barton probed over betting breach – reports

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Glasgow (AFP) Embattled Rangers midfielder Joey Barton is under investigation after allegedly breaking betting rules, British media outlets reported on Tuesday.

The Press Association and several newspapers said the Scottish Football Association (SFA) was looking into claims Barton bet on Celtic to lose heavily prior to their 7-0 Champions League defeat at Barcelona last week.

Platini could receive UEFA compensation despite ban

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Berlin (AFP) Former UEFA president Michel Platini could receive a cash compensation from European football's governing body, even though he is serving a four-year suspension for corruption.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Tuesday claims Platini could yet receive a pay-out as part of a severance and retirement package.

How to watch Leicester vs. Chelsea on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Leicester vs. Chelsea, you've come to the right place.

Two of the best teams in the Premier League battle today in the Third Round of the League Cup (now known as the EFL Cup, previously known as the Capital One Cup). Only one team will advance to the Fourth Round tonight from Stamford Bridge (there'll be penalties if the game is still tied after extra time).

Simeone eyes long-awaited Barca win against ‘the best’

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Madrid (AFP) Diego Simeone has one of the few feats to elude his hugely successful spell in charge of Atletico Madrid in his sights on Wednesday by claiming a first win in nine attempts at Barcelona's Camp Nou.

Simeone's biggest achievement as Atletico boss came in winning La Liga at Camp Nou with a 1-1 draw in 2014, but despite also dumping Barca out of the Champions League in two of the last three seasons, the Argentine has yet to taste victory in the Catalan capital.

How to watch Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Nottingham Forest vs. Arsenal, you've come to the right place.

Forest will be playing Arsenal in the Third Round of the League Cup (now known as the EFL Cup, previously known as the Capital One Cup). After Arsenal's impressive victory against Hull City, the Gunners will be hoping to book a place in the Fourth Round with a win against Championship side Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Leicester City’s Ranieri urges respect for returning Kante

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London (AFP) Manager Claudio Ranieri wants Leicester City fans to give N'Golo Kante a warm reception when he makes his first return to the Foxes on Tuesday with Chelsea in the EFL Cup.

France midfielder Kante was a key figure as Leicester produced a stunning upset to win the Premier League title last season before making a big-money move to Stamford Bridge over the summer.

Napoli tie Koulibaly to five-year deal

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Milan (AFP) Highly rated Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly signed a five-year contract extension on Monday that ties him to the Serie A club until 2021, president Aurelio De Laurentiis said.

English giants Chelsea were among the clubs trying to lure the powerful and versatile centre-back away from the San Paolo this summer, with reports claiming Napoli had rejected a 50-million-euro Blues offer for the French-born Senegalese international.

US tycoon step nearer Marseille takeover

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Paris (AFP) American tycoon Frank McCourt held "constructive" informal talks with the French league's financial watchdog (DNCG) on Monday in the latest step towards completing his purchase of Marseille.

The former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers his time there was deeply controversial was upbeat after the meeting in Paris, which came less than 24 hours after he watched his future employees eke out a drab 0-0 draw with Lyon at the Stade Velodrome.

Ben Arfa again stranded on PSG sidelines

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Paris (AFP) Hatem Ben Arfa's future at Paris Saint-Germain looks increasingly bleak after the France international winger was again left out of the squad by coach Unai Emery for Ligue 1 action on Tuesday.

Champions PSG take on newly promoted Dijon at the Parc des Princes lying three points shy of early Ligue 1 pacesetters Monaco, who host second-placed Nice on Wednesday.

New Schalke coach under fire after worst start

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Berlin (AFP) Schalke's Markus Weinzierl is under growing pressure ahead of Wednesday's Bundesliga clash at home to Cologne after becoming the first Royal Blues coach to lose his opening three league games.

With his side second-from-bottom in the table, Schalke host Cologne in Gelsenkirchen desperate for points following defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin, who beat them 2-0 on Sunday.

Dortmund juggernaut to tackle goal-shy Wolfsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Free-scoring Borussia Dortmund head to Wolfsburg for Tuesday's Bundesliga clash looking to continue an impressive scoring streak that has seen them bag 12 goals in two matches.

In contrast, Germany striker Mario Gomez is desperate to break his Wolves' duck after failing to score in his first two appearances for the club.

Lloris backs Spurs to come through Kane absence

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London (AFP) Hugo Lloris believes Tottenham Hotspur have the strength in depth to overcome the absence of Harry Kane if their star striker has a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

England international Kane twisted his ankle after scoring in the 1-0 Premier League win over Sunderland on Sunday and had to be taken off on a stretcher towards the end of the match.

Review of FIFA 17 Demo: Rating the gameplay, graphics and The Journey

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On September 27 in North America (and September 29 for the rest of the world), we will get to see one of the biggest FIFA editions ever, so many gamers no doubt are wondering how it stacks up. If you are eager to get a taste of The Journey, Alex Hunter's story in FIFA 17, download the demo now. More on that in a moment, let's talk about the overall game first.

beIN SPORTS Connect becomes vital streaming service for soccer fans in USA

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Gone are the days when beIN SPORTS Connect was a streaming service that could be ignored. As beIN SPORTS has not only added more TV rights but has also increased the number of games it broadcasts, the amount of soccer games that are streamed live on beIN SPORTS Connect is at a record high.

If you haven't been paying attention to beIN SPORTS Connect, let me catch you up on the service.

Guardiola on guard as City eye League Cup defence

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London (AFP) Manchester City launch their League Cup defence at Swansea City this week with manager Pep Guardiola desperate to keep a lid on expectations after their supreme start to the season.

City have won their eight games in all competitions a club record and preserved their two-point advantage at the Premier League summit with a razor-sharp 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Thomas Mueller eyes return for Bayern’s Hertha showdown

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Berlin (AFP) Germany forward Thomas Mueller hopes to return to Bayern Munich's line-up for Wednesday's top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash against high-flying Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.

Hertha and Bayern are the only two teams in Germany's top flight to preserve their 100 percent records after the first three league games of the season.

Scottish giants Rangers suspend Joey Barton for three weeks

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London (AFP) Joey Barton's future with Rangers was thrown into doubt after the Scottish giants suspended him for three weeks on Monday following a training-ground bust-up.

Barton, who was told to stay away from the Glasgow club for most of last week, met at Rangers' Ibrox ground with manager Mark Warburton and board members.

League Cup games on US TV and streaming this week

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The Third Round of the League Cup, aka EFL Cup (formerly known as the Capital One Cup), takes place Tuesday and Wednesday this week (September 20-21).

Thirty two teams remain and the most anticipated match takes place on Tuesday as last season's Premier League Champions Leicester City host Chelsea.

Spurs feel pace as Pochettino sweats on Kane

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London (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino admitted Tottenham may already be feeling the pace after being left to sweat on an injury to England striker Harry Kane who was carried off after scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory at home to Sunderland.

Kane scored his second goal in as many league games but he was taken off on a stretcher late on after a tackle by Papy Djilobodji, with an initial diagnosis of a twisted ankle.

Mourinho ready to go to work after Watford woe

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho says Manchester United's humiliation at Watford underlines how much work needs to be done to transform his spluttering side into title contenders.

Mourinho's men crashed to their third successive defeat on Sunday as Watford's shock 3-1 victory condemned United and their manager to an historically bad day.

Premier League gameweek 5 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Kris Heneage and Morgan Green to discuss the fifth gameweek of the Premier League including Manchester City's impressive form, Man United stumbling against Watford and much much more.

Hertha challenge Bayern’s iron-grip

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Berlin (AFP) High-flying Hertha Berlin will attempt to loosen Bayern Munich's iron-grip in the Bundesliga on Wednesday in the German league's top-of-the-table clash.

Hertha's 2-0 win at home to Schalke on Sunday means Berlin and Bayern, the only German clubs who still have 100 percent records with three wins from three, will square off at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Guardiola on guard as City begin cup defence

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London (AFP) Manchester City launch their League Cup defence at Swansea City this week with manager Pep Guardiola desperate to keep a lid on expectations after their supreme start to the season.

City have won their eight games in all competitions a club record and preserved their two-point advantage at the Premier League summit with a razor-sharp 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Pellegrini threatens Hebei shake-up

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Shanghai (AFP) Ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini threatened a shake-up at big-spending Hebei China Fortune after two defeats in his first two games in charge.

The Chilean cut a frustrated figure as Hebei lost 3-2 away to Yanbian Fude on Saturday, a week after slumping 3-0 to Chinese Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.

Alli extends Tottenham stay until 2022

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has signed a new six-year contract that is set to see him stay with the north London side until 2022, the English Premiership club announced Monday

England international Alli joined Spurs from lower league side MK Dons in February 2015 and the 20-year-old has since scored 11 goals and managed nine assists in his 38 Premier League appearances for the White Hart Lane team.

Mainz’s Rodriguez apologises for horror foul

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Berlin (AFP) Mainz midfielder Jose Rodriguez has apologised for his horror foul, which cut Augsburg's Dominik Kohr leg to the bone and earned him a fine from his German league club.

"I am really sorry that Dominik was hurt and I have already personally apologised to him," Rodriguez wrote on Mainz's Facebook page.

Former football star Paul Gascoigne fined for racism offence

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Dudley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1,000 ($1,305, 1,168 euros) and ordered to pay pay £1,000 in compensation by a court on Monday for making a racist comment to a black security guard at his 'An Evening With Gazza show' last year.

Gascoigne, 49 pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at Dudley Magistrates Court on Monday following a 'joke' he made during his one-man show in the nearby English West Midlands town of Wolverhampton on November 30 last year.

Paul Gascoigne fined for racism offence

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Dudley (United Kingdom) (AFP) Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been fined £1,000 ($1,305, 1,168 euros) and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation by a court on Monday for making a racist comment to a black security guard at his 'An Evening With Gazza show' last year.

Dudley Magistrates Court was told Gascoigne, 49, had humiliated Errol Rowe, who had been given the job of protecting him during his performance in the nearby English West Midlands town of Wolverhampton on November 30 last year, by asking him: "Can you smile please, because I can't see you?

Montella confident over Donnarumma deal

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Milan (AFP) Coach Vincenzo Montella said he is confident teenaged goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma will pledge his future to AC Milan amid his agent's claims he should be "in a bigger shop window".

Milan host Lazio Tuesday for the first of three games in 10 days that could test their resolve to battle for a place in Europe this season, and preparations have been disrupted by uncertainty surrounding Donnarumma.

Big guns misfire as Marseille draw with Lyon

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Montpellier (France) (AFP) Struggling giants Marseille failed to get a shot on target in a tense 0-0 draw with Lyon, whose team bus was stoned ahead of the bitter Ligue 1 clash on Sunday.

Potential new Marseille owner, American tycoon Frank McCourt was at the Velodrome alongside club president Margarita Louis-Dreyfus where the under financed side failed to impress.

Get feet on the ground Juve, orders Allegri

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Milan (AFP) Coach Massimiliano Allegri ordered Juventus to get their feet on the ground after a chastening 2-1 'Derby d'Italia' defeat to Inter Milan came hot on the heels of a stale Champions League draw with Sevilla.

Juventus travelled to the San Siro looking to make amends after a goalless stalemate against the Europa League champions in Turin on Wednesday.

Ronaldo-less Real Madrid net record 16th straight win

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to record a club record 16th consecutive league win 2-0 at Espanyol to stay top of La Liga on Sunday.

James Rodriguez made the most of a rare start to open the scoring in first-half stoppage time before Karim Benzema sealed all three points 20 minutes from time.

Veteran Ignashevich heads winner for champions CSKA

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Moscow (AFP) Veteran full-back Sergei Ignashevich shrugged off his 37 years to head the winning goal as reigning Russian champions CSKA Moscowbeat rock-bottom Samara 2-1on Sunday.

Midfielder Alexander Golovin was also on target as CSKA ground out a win which left them in second place in the table, two points behind leaders Spartak.

Seven up as Icardi continues to haunt Buffon

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Milan (AFP) Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi continued his impressive form against Gianluigi Buffon by firing his seventh goal past the Juventus keeper from their past eight meetings on Sunday.

Icardi is considered Buffon's 'bogey man' striker having found the veteran's net six times leading up to Sunday's 'Derby d'Italia' three times for former club Sampdoria and three times for Inter.

Football: Perisic winner stuns Juve, boosts De Boer

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Milan (AFP) A second-half winner by Ivan Perisic boosted Frank De Boer's survival prospects as Inter Milan fought to a deserved 2-1 'Derby d'Italia' win over Juventus in Serie A on Sunday.

De Boer, who succeeded Roberto Mancini at Inter two weeks before the start of the season, was rumoured to be facing the sack after a midweek defeat to Hapoel Beer Sheva followed a run of poor results in the league.

Austin on target as Puel breaks Premier League duck

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Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) Charlie Austin came off the bench to give Southampton their first Premier League win of the season by scoring in a 1-0 win over Swansea at St Mary's on Sunday.

It was the south coast club's first Premier League success under manager Claude Puel and their second victory in a week under the Frenchman after the team's Europa League win over Sparta Prague.

‘McCourt the man we’ve been waiting for’, says Boli

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Marseille (AFP) Frank McCourt, the future owner of French Ligue 1 giants Marseille, was described as "the man we've been waiting for" by the club's sporting director Basile Boli on Sunday.

"He's going to spark something and so much the better for us," said the former player after meeting McCourt in Marseille on Sunday.

Lyon bus stoned outside Marseille stadium

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Marseille (AFP) Lyon's team bus was stoned as the players arrived at the Velodrome stadium for their traditionally high tension clash with Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

"The Lyon players' bus was stoned and a window broken, but there were no injuries," a police spokesman told AFP.

In the same fixture last season, the game was stopped several times because so many objects had been thrown onto the pitch.

Perisic winner stuns Juve, boosts De Boer

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Milan (AFP) A second-half winner by Ivan Perisic boosted Frank De Boer's survival prospects as Inter Milan fought to a deserved 2-1 'Derby d'Italia' win over Juventus in Serie A on Sunday.

De Boer, who succeeded Roberto Mancini at Inter two weeks before the start of the season, was rumoured to be facing the sack after a midweek defeat to Hapoel Beer Sheva followed a run of poor results in the league.

High-flying Hertha down Schalke to match Bayern

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Berlin (AFP) Hertha Berlin maintained their 100 percent Bundesliga record with a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 to set up a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday against Bayern Munich.

Hertha's victory on Sunday means they are only second in the German league table on goal difference behind Bayern with the only teams boasting a perfect three wins from three in Germany's top flight poised to meet at Munich's Allianz Arena in midweek.

Pain for Kane as Spurs sink Sunderland

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London (AFP) Harry Kane found the net for the second time in two Premier League games as Tottenham Hotspur beat Sunderland 1-0 on Sunday, but was stretchered off late on.

The England striker scored at White Hart Lane for the first time since March to lift his team to third and keep the visitors second-bottom in the table.

Watford add to Mourinho woe, Spurs go third

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London (AFP) Misfiring Manchester United crashed to a third consecutive defeat on Sunday as manager Jose Mourinho saw his side deservedly beaten 3-1 at Watford in the Premier League.

It is the first time Mourinho has lost three straight games within the same season since he was at Porto in 2002 and it left United six points behind early pace-setters Manchester City.

Celtic denied by Fisher late show

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Glasgow (AFP) Inverness Caledonian Thistle substitute Alex Fisher struck an 89th-minute winner to deny Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic victory in a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Brendan Rodgers's Celtic, chasing a sixth successive title, were looking to bounce back from their humbling 7-0 demolition by Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Pochettino concerned by Kane injury

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London (AFP) Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane will undergo tests on Monday after injuring his right ankle during his side's 1-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday, manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

Kane had to be stretchered off after badly turning his ankle in a sliding challenge on Papy Djilobodji, having earlier scored the game's only goal in the 59th minute.

Super-sub Muto seals Mainz win at Augsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Japan striker Yoshinori Muto on Sunday again came off the bench to score his second goal in just three Bundesliga games in Mainz's 3-1 away win at Augsburg.

Muto came on with 66 minutes gone for Colombia striker Jhon Cordoba, who had scored Mainz's early opener, and stabbed the ball over the line nine minutes from time after some good play by Yunus Malli.

Nice second after Montpellier point

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Montpellier (France) (AFP) Newly-recruited playmaker Younes Belhanda grabbed a point for Nice in a 1-1 draw at Montpellier with a determined late strike on Sunday meaning his side climb above champions Paris Saint Germain into second place in Ligue 1.

Having come fourth last season, Nice lost their coach Claude Puel to Southampton while Hatem Ben Arfa moved on to PSG.

Townsend and Palace deepen Stoke gloom

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London (AFP) Andros Townsend scored one goal and made another as Crystal Palace inflicted a crushing 4-1 defeat upon winless Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday.

Townsend set up the opening goal for James Tomkins at Selhurst Park and completed the scoring with his first Palace goal after Scott Dann and James McArthur had also got on the score-sheet.

Watford add to Mourinho woe as Palace soar

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London (AFP) Misfiring Manchester United crashed to a third consecutive defeat on Sunday as manager Jose Mourinho saw his side deservedly beaten 3-1 at Watford in the Premier League.

Marcus Rashford cancelled out Etienne Capoue's opener for Watford, but a late goal by Juan Camilo Zuniga and a stoppage-time Troy Deeney penalty gave Walter Mazzarri's side the three points.

Bayern lose winger Costa with hamstring injury

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich's Brazil winger Douglas Costa was on Sunday ruled out for the foreseeable future with a hamstring injury, 10 days before their Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid.

Costa suffered the injury in the second-half of Bayern's 3-1 comeback win at home to Ingolstadt in the Bundesliga on Saturday, which preserved their 100 percent record after three league games under new coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Man Utd struggling with lack of confidence says Mourinho

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United's lack of confidence has contributed to their dismal three-match losing streak.

Mourinho's side slumped to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat at Watford on Sunday to cap a miserable week that also included losses against Manchester City and Feyenoord.

More woe for Mourinho as Watford stun United

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Watford piled on the misery for Jose Mourinho as Manchester United crashed to a third successive defeat in an embarrassing 3-1 loss at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Mourinho's side were rocked by Etienne Capoue's first half opener and, although Marcus Rashford equalised after the break, United capitulated in the closing stages.

Seamus Coleman relishing Everton life under Koeman

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London (AFP) Seamus Coleman said the "hard work" demanded by new Everton manager Ronald Koeman is behind the club's best start to the season in 38 years.

The Toffees came from behind to beat Middlesbrough 3-1 on Saturday as they extended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season to five games.

More woe for Mourinho as Watford stun Man Utd

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London (AFP) Watford piled on the misery for Jose Mourinho as Manchester United crashed to a third successive defeat in an embarrassing 3-1 loss at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Mourinho's side were rocked by Etienne Capoue's first half opener and, although Marcus Rashford equalised after the break, United capitulated in the closing stages.

Ancelotti happy to win ugly after record start

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Berlin (AFP) Carlo Ancelotti was happy for illness-hit Bayern Munich to win ugly in a 3-1 comeback against Ingolstadt as the Bundesliga giants finally conceded a goal this season.

Ancelotti replaced Pep Guardiola as Bayern's head coach at the start of the season and the Bavarians scored 20 goals without reply in winning their first five competitive games.

Ranieri impressed by Slimani and Mahrez double act

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Claudio Ranieri believes Algerian duo Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez can form a deadly double act for Leicester after the Algerian duo inspired a 3-0 win over Burnley.

Slimani scored twice on his Premier League debut for the champions on Saturday, while fellow Algeria international Mahrez displayed the form that saw him voted player of the year last season.

Where to find Watford vs. Man United on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Watford vs. Man United, you've come to the right place.

After losing the Manchester derby and then the Europa League game against Feyenoord, you can expect Manchester United to come out strong against Watford at Vicarage Road. It's an early kickoff because Man United plays another midweek game in a few days (in the League Cup), so expect United to come out firing on all cylinders.

Lampard limps off as City draw 2-2 with FC Dallas

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New York (AFP) Former Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard limped out of New York City FC's 2-2 MLS draw with FC Dallas with an apparent left calf injury.

With the playoffs four weeks away it could be a serious blow for City and Lampard, who missed the first 12 matches of the season with an injury to the same leg but has become an increasingly influential force for a club challenging Toronto FC for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Werder Bremen sack coach

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Berlin (AFP) Werder Bremen sacked coach Viktor Skripnik on Sunday after the club's third Bundesliga defeat in a row marked their worst ever start to a season.

Werder were thrashed 4-1 by Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday and are bottom of the table with zero points and 12 goals conceded after just three league games.

Werder Bremen sack coach Skripnik

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Berlin (AFP) Werder Bremen's Viktor Skripnik on Sunday became the first Bundesliga coach sacked this season after a fourth straight defeat marked the club's worst ever start.

After nearly two years in charge, mostly battling to avoid relegation, the 46-year-old was axed in the wake of Saturday's 4-1 German league defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach when Bremen leaked three goals in the opening 21 minutes.

Where to find Espanyol vs. Real Madrid on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Espanyol vs. Real Madrid, you've come to the right place.

Real Madrid has an opportunity to return to the top of the table in La Liga on Sunday with a match against Espanyol, the second team from the city of Barcelona. With Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo both injury doubts, it could be an opportunity to test the depth of Los Blancos to see how strong they are in this season's La Liga title race.

Wenger hails resilient Arsenal after ‘shock’

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) A proud Arsene Wengerpraisedhis Arsenal side's response to their "shock" start to the season after they climbed into the Premier League's top three with a 4-1 rout at Hull.

The Londoners recorded three consecutive league wins for the first time since December as Alexis Sanchez scored twice and Theo Walcott and Granit Xhaka also netted at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.

Guardiola composed about flying start

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola is refusing to get carried away by Manchester City's outstanding start to the season and insists maintaining it will not be easy.

City's 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth took them five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a seventh successive victory in all competitions making it the club's best ever start to a season.

FIFA appoints PwC as new auditors

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Geneva (AFP) FIFA said Saturday that it had appointed accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct its audits, after KPMG ended their decade-long association with the scandal-hit world football governing body in June.

"The Bureau of the FIFA Council has appointed PwC Switzerland as the new statutory auditors of FIFA," it said in a statement.

De Bruyne second only to Messi – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Kevin De Bruyne is second only to Lionel Messi, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Saturday after the Belgian inspired his team to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

Bruyne put the Premier League leaders ahead with a clever 15th-minute free-kick beneath the defensive wall and also played a part in goals for Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan.

Barry marks milestone in Everton comeback win

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Liverpool (AFP) Gareth Barry crowned his 600th Premier League appearance with an equalising goal as Everton came from behind to beat Middlesbrough 3-1 on Saturday and retain second place.

A contested own goal by Everton goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg put Boro in front at Goodison Park, but Barry equalised almost immediately for Ronald Koeman's team.

Man City power on, Slimani lifts Leicester

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London (AFP) Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho shone as Manchester City crushed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday to preserve their lead at the Premier League summit.

League debutant Ilkay Gundogan also found the net for Pep Guardiola's City, who have made their best ever start to a season with eight consecutive wins in all competitions.

Wolves burst Newcastle bubble, Huddersfield extend lead

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London (AFP) Wolves brought Newcastle back down to earth with a surprise 2-0 victory, while Huddersfield consolidated their position at top of the Championship with a 2-1 win over QPR on Saturday.

Rafael Benitez's side had climbed to second place after five successive victories capped by a 6-0 thrashing of QPR in midweek.

Falcao header fires Monaco top

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Paris (AFP) A towering Radamel Falcao header helped send Monaco top in France on Saturday as a 3-0 home win over Rennes saw them leapfrog Paris Saint Germain.

The win means Leonardo Jardim's Monaco have 13 points from five games ahead of PSG on ten, while Nice can join Monaco at the top with a win at Montpellier Sunday.

Rangers slump continues with Ross draw

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Glasgow (AFP) A Rangers side without outcast Joey Barton failed to bounce back from their 5-1 humbling by bitter rivals Celtic last weekend as they could only draw 0-0 in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

Rangers' English manager Mark Warburton can expect little sympathy from the Scottish press who he had labelled as negative after the criticism he and the team got following the drubbing by Celtic after a woeful performance at home to Ross County.

Sanchez inspires Arsenal rout of 10-man Hull

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Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal secured three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time in nine months with a 4-1victory at Hull City on Saturday.

Sanchez could even afford to miss a first-half penalty at the KCom Stadium where Hull were reduced to 10 men asthe Gunnerscontinued their recovery following a slow start to the season which saw them takeonly a point from their first two games.

Slimani slots in as Leicester down Burnley

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Record signing Islam Slimani enjoyed a dream Premier League debut for Leicester City as the champions defeated Burnley 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

The 28 million pounds ($36.4 million, 32.6 million euros) signing from Sporting Lisbon scored headers either side of half-time before Ben Mee's own goal completed a comprehensive win.

Pep and City set club record with Bournemouth rout

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City continued their perfect start under Pep Guardiola as a ruthless 4-0 victory over Bournemouth gave them an eighth successive win and a piece of club history.

Their latest success, secured by goals from Kevin de Bruyne, Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan, ensured a best ever start to a season for City, eclipsing the seven straight wins they enjoyed to kick off the 1897/1898 campaign.

Man City pull clear, Slimani lifts Leicester

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London (AFP) Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho shone as Manchester City crushed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday to provisionally go five points clear in the Premier League.

League debutant Ilkay Gundogan also found the net for Pep Guardiola's City, who have made their best ever start to a season with eight consecutive wins in all competitions.

Illness-hit Bayern roar back to floor Ingolstadt

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Berlin (AFP) Illness-hit Bayern Munich conceded their first goal of the season before roaring back with a 3-1 win at home to Ingolstadt to stay top of the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Having scored 20 goals without reply winning all of their first five competitive games, including Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League drubbing of Rostov, Bayern leaked their first goal of the season with just eight minutes gone at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Albion down Hammers to mark Chinese takeover

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West Bromwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) West Bromwich Albion welcomed their new Chinese owners and eased the pressure on boss Tony Pulis with a 4-2 win against struggling West Ham on Saturday.

Yunyi Guokai Sports Development Limited, led by Chinese entrepreneur Guochuan Lai, completed their protracted takeover of the Premier League club on Thursday and their reign got off to a memorable start.

Messi double leads five-star Barca past Leganes

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Madrid (AFP) Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were all on target as Barcelona got back to winning ways in La Liga with a 5-1 thrashing at newly promoted Leganes on Saturday.

Barca suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat to Alaves last weekend, but despite a bright start from the hosts there was to be no repeat of that upset once Suarez teed up Messi to open the scoring after 15 minutes.

Pochettino sure Kane will shake off Euro blues

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London (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino admits Harry Kane is feeling the strain of a testing summer but is convinced the striker will rediscover his scintillating form of last season.

The 23-year-old England international and his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates will attempt to bounce back from the disappointment of Wednesday's defeat at Wembley to Monaco in the Champions League when struggling Sunderland visit White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Klopp shies away from Liverpool title talk

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London (AFP) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to countenance the suggestion his side might be Premier League title contenders following their impressive 2-1 victory at Chelsea.

Dejan Lovren's close-range volley and Jordan Henderson's sublime 25-yard curler earned Liverpool victory at Stamford Bridge on Friday, with Diego Costa replying for the home side.

Where to find Leganes vs. Barcelona on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Alaves, you've come to the right place.

After Barcelona's impressive 7-0 win against Celtic in the Champions League, Barca are back with an away match against La Liga new boys Leganes. In a match where we should see Messi, Suarez and Neymar, can Barcelona bounce back after their league defeat to Alaves?

Inter Milan vs. Juventus predicted lineups and preview

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Although it's tough to better the raw passion of a city derby, tussles between rivals from separate regions can occasionally be just as encapsulating. Matches between Inter Milan and Juventus capture the emotion that can be stirred from these clashes perfectly.

Known as the Derby d'Italia, down the years these games have historically carried enormous significance in competition for major honors in the country.

Mourinho tells Pogba to forget price tag

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London (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has urged midfielder Paul Pogba to forget his world-record price tag and concentrate on producing the goods for the team.

United broke the world transfer record to bring Pogba, 23, back to the club from Juventus last month in a deal worth an initial 89 million pounds ($115.

Ronaldo, Bale miss Madrid trip to Espanyol

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid will have to cope without Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the quest for a club-record 16th straight La Liga win after coach Zinedine Zidane said both will miss Sunday's trip to Espanyol.

Bale was forced off early by a hip knock as Real came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1 on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Mourinho expects United revival at Watford

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Watford (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United will get back on track at Watford in the Premier League on Sunday after successive defeats ruined a promising start to his reign.

United won the Community Shield and reeled off three consecutive Premier League wins to raise hopes Mourinho's influence had quickly revitalised a team that stumbled to a fifth-place finish under Louis van Gaal last season.

Bacca wins ‘Battle of Colombians’ as Milan sink Samp

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Milan (AFP) AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca came off the bench to win the 'Battle of the Colombians' with a late strike in a 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Friday.

Bacca started on the bench amid reports of a midweek spat with Rossoneri coach Vincenzo Montella.

But amid the ever-present danger of a Sampdoria goal from friend and compatriot Luis Muriel, Montella introduced the Colombian on the hour and Bacca didn't disappoint.

Cavani hits quadruple in PSG romp

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Paris (AFP) Edinson Cavani shrugged off his Champions League woes to score four goals in the first half as Paris Saint-Germain romped to a one-sided 6-0 win at Caen in Ligue 1 on Friday.

The Uruguayan, charged with filling Zlatan Ibrahimovic's sizeable boots this season, was criticised for missing several gilt-edged chances in PSG's 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday, despite scoring the opener against the Premier League club inside 42 seconds.

Shikabala wonder goal helps Zamalek crush Wydad

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Johannesburg (AFP) A wonder goal by Shikabala set up Zamalek of Egypt to thrash Wydad Casablanca of Morocco 4-0 in Alexandria Friday and virtually seal a CAF Champions League final place.

The bearded midfielder ran 56 metres before unleashing a shot from outside the box which flew into the bottom corner of the net at the 85,000-seat Borg El Arab Stadium.

Henderson humdinger sinks Conte’s Chelsea

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London (AFP) Jordan Henderson scored a stunning winning goal as Liverpool ended Antonio Conte's unbeaten record as Chelsea manager with an impressive 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Friday.

In a dominant first-half display, Liverpool took the lead through Dejan Lovren before England midfielder Henderson curled home a superb effort from distance in the 36th minute.

PSG’s Verratti has Champions League red card rescinded

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain have successfully appealed against the red card picked up by Italian midfielder Marco Verratti towards the end of Tuesday's Champions League draw with Arsenal, the French champions confirmed.

Verratti was shown a second yellow card along with Arsenal's Olivier Giroud after the pair clashed off the ball in injury time in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes in Group A.

Ceferin’s UEFA win message for change – Infantino

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Zurich (AFP) The election of Aleksander Ceferin to succeed the disgraced Michel Platini at the head of UEFA was a clear message from within of a desire for change, FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino said Friday.

Ceferin is an accomplished lawyer with little record in football before he became head of the Slovenian federation in 2011.

Aguero close to new Man City deal – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Striker Sergio Aguero is close to agreeing a contract extension with Manchester City, manager Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday.

City are due to announce that the Argentina international has agreed a one-year extension to his current deal, which will commit him to the club until 2020.

5 Premier League players that are the surprises of the season so far

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The big Premier League clubs get all of the attention. Between what matches are televised on important channels, and the players included in the PFA Team of the Year, the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, & Liverpool usually dominate the limelight. Nevertheless, there are players from other teams in England's top tier that should receive high praise.

Xhaka’s time will come at Arsenal, says Wenger

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London (AFP) New Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka will be given opportunities to nail down a first-team place after dropping out of the starting XI, manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

Wenger spent 35 million pounds ($46 million, 41 million euros) to prise Xhaka from Borussia Moenchengladbach during the close season, making him one of Arsenal's biggest ever signings.

New UEFA head says Champions League mustn’t become exclusive club

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Brdo castle (Kranj) (Slovenia) (AFP) Newly appointed UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned Friday the Champions League should not become an exclusive club for the wealthiest, saying one of his priorities would be to examine the current system.

"The Champions League cannot continue in this direction because that would lead us towards an exclusive club," Ceferin told journalists at his first news conference in Slovenia after becoming the president of the most powerful football confederation on Wednesday.

Pulis happy with West Brom’s Chinese takeover

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London (AFP) West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis does not expect much to change at the club following its acquisition by a Chinese investment group, he said on Friday.

Yunyi Guokai Sports Development Limited, led by Chinese entrepreneur Guochuan Lai, formally completed its takeover of the Premier League club on Thursday.

Watch Fantasy Premier League show with James Richardson on NBC Sports

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If you haven't had a chance to watch the Fantasy Premier League show on NBC Sports, now's the time.

Last week, we announced that NBC Sports were adding 4 new shows to their app and online. Goal Rush has already been a hit among many soccer fans, but the one program that has flown under the radar so far is Fantasy Premier League, which is hosted by James Richardson from The Guardian's Football Weekly podcast fame.

New UEFA president says Champions League mustn’t become elite

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Brdo castle (Kranj) (Slovenia) (AFP) Newly appointed UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned Friday the Champions League should not become an exclusive club for the wealthiest, saying one of his priorities would be to examine the current system.

"The Champions League cannot continue in this direction because that would lead us towards an exclusive club," Ceferin told journalists at his first news conference in Slovenia after becoming the president of the most powerful football confederation on Wednesday.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 5

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Unbeaten Chelsea host Liverpool this Friday, September 16, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, kicking off NBC Sports Group's Premier League coverage this weekend. A bicycle kick from Chelsea's Diego Costa in the final 10 minutes of their match against Swansea City last weekend leveled them 2-2 with the Swans to remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

Diego Simeone shortens Atletico Madrid coaching contract

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Madrid (AFP) Highly rated coach Diego Simeone said Friday he has shortened his contract with Atletico Madrid by two years until June 2018, a move likely to stir fresh speculation about his future.

The 46-year-oldArgentine, who took Atletico to the Spanish league title in 2014 and the Champions League final last season, has been linked to many of Europe's top clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Inter Milan.

Joe Hart says no hard feelings over City dumping

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Torino and England goalkeeper Joe Hart said Friday he has no hard feelings towards Pep Guardiola despite being unceremoniously forced out at Manchester City and replaced by Claudio Bravo from Barcelona.

Hart, who joined City as a teenager in 2006, signed for the unfashionable Serie A club on a season-long loan deal designed to make sure he is "playing regular football again".

Man City look to press home early advantage

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London (AFP) The Premier League season is only four games old, but ahead of Saturday's home game with Bournemouth, Pep Guardiola's Manchester City already appear the team to beat.

Last weekend's impressive 2-1 derby win at Manchester United left City with the only 100 percent record in the division and they followed it up with a classy 4-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Burnley matter more than Brugge to Leicester

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Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Another momentous week in the extraordinary recent history of Leicester City ends on Saturday with the prospect of a seemingly mundane Premier League game.

Yet the English champions insist their return to domestic action at home to Burnley is more important than their debut in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Inter face Juve acid test in ‘Derby d’Italia’

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Milan (AFP) Mauro Icardi's dream of "winning trophies" with Inter Milan has been dealt a Europa League blow and now faces a Serie A acid test in Sunday's visit of champions Juventus for the "Derby d'Italia".

The Argentine striker has hit the net six times against the Old Lady of Turin, including three times with his former club Sampdoria.

Gundogan set to embellish relentless Manchester City

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City summer signing Ilkay Gundogan is in line for his first taste of Premier League football as his rampant side seek to maintain their perfect start on Saturday at home to Bournemouth.

Under new manager Pep Guardiola City have won all seven of their Premier League and cup games to date in the current campaign, by an overwhelming aggregate score of 21-4.

Liga newcomers Leganes plot fresh Barca upset

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Madrid (AFP) Madrid minnows Leganes get their reward for an unlikely promotion to La Liga when the might of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar grace the 11,000-capacity Estadio Butarque on Saturday.

Leganes have made a fine start to their first season in the Spanish top-flight, winning at Celta Vigo on the opening weekend and holding Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw at the Butarque.

Bundesliga champions Bayern train sights on Bavarian derby

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Berlin (AFP) Bayern Munich turn their focus from their five-star Champions League opener to domestic duty and their bid to keep their perfect start to the season in a derby home to Ingolstadt on Saturday.

The reigning Bundesliga champions hammered Russian side Rostov 5-0 in Munich in their Group D opener to continue Carlo Ancelotti's impressive start to life in Germany with five wins from five matches, 20 goals scored and none conceded.

African giants Etoile, Mazembe in cup showdown

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Johannesburg (AFP) An African club football classic is on the cards this weekend when Etoile Sahel of Tunisia host TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a CAF Confederation Cup semi-final.

Etoile and Mazembe have won nine CAF titles each, an achievement bettered only by the 19 successes of Al Ahly of Egypt.

Where to find Chelsea vs. Liverpool on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Chelsea vs. Liverpool, you've come to the right place.

In the second Friday match of the season, it doesn't get much bigger than Chelsea against Liverpool live from Stamford Bridge in London. With Liverpool purring after their impressive victory against Leicester, and Chelsea ready to bounce back after their come-from-behind draw against Swansea, this promises to be an exciting match especially considering Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte will be on the touchline.

Palace defender Souare faces six months out after car crash

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London (AFP) Crystal Palace's Senegalese full-back Pape Souare could be sidelined for up to six months after breaking his thighbone in a serious car crash, manager Alan Pardew said on Friday.

"It was a terrible accident and we have a huge debt to the air ambulance and the terrific surgeons he's had," Pardew told a press conference.

Ballon d’Or deal between France Football and FIFA ends

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Paris (AFP) The Ballon d'Or deal between France Football and FIFA has ended, the French publication and football's governing body announced on Friday.

The coveted award will from now on return to its original home after France Football's agreement with FIFA finished.

The next recipient will be determined by a vote of journalists players (national team captains) and managers will no longer have a say.

Touchline tussle beckons as Chelsea host Liverpool

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London (AFP) The touchline action could be as explosive as what happens on the pitch at Stamford Bridge on Friday when Jurgen Klopp takes his Liverpool side to tackle Antonio Conte's Chelsea.

Both managers are renowned for the remarkable intensity of their touchline anticsand the fourth official is likely to have a job on his hands maintaining order in the two technical areas.

Wenger wants Hull of an effort from Gunners

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger will expect his Arsenal side to offer more convincing signs of their ability to compete for the Premier League title when they visit Hull City on Saturday after a testing week in Europe.

A 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain ensured the Gunners avoided defeat in their opening Champions League outing although the point came at the expense of a red card for Olivier Giroud.

Banished Barton says sorry after Rangers row

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Glasgow (AFP) Colourful Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has apologised unreservedly after being banished from the Scottish Premiership club's training ground for what he called "inappropriate" comments.

Barton's future with the Glasgow giants was thrown into doubt after he was sent home on Tuesday following a reported row with team-mate Andy Halliday.

United beaten but Saints enjoy Europa League win

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Paris (AFP) Manchester United went down to defeat in their opening Europa League group game on Thursday, while Premier League rivals Southampton won and Irish champions Dundalk claimed an impressive draw in the Netherlands.

AFP Sports picks out the best of the action on matchday one:

Feyenoord sink United

Jose Mourinho's reluctant return to the Europa League ended in embarrassment as Tonny Vilhena fired Feyenoord to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in their Group A opener in Rotterdam.

Mourinho rocked on Europa return as Feyenoord down United

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Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP) Jose Mourinho's reluctant return to the Europa League ended in embarrassment as Tonny Vilhena fired Feyenoord to a 1-0 win over Manchester United in their Group A opener on Thursday.

For a man with a keen eye for his position in the football hierarchy, competing in the Europa League for the first time in 13 years was an unappetising prospect for Mourinho and his players seemed equally uninspired as a much-changed United line-up succumbed to Vilhena's late strike at De Kuip.

Keane warns Celtic after ‘unacceptable’ Barca defeat

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London (AFP) Former player Roy Keane has insisted Celtic need to do a "lot better" in Europe following their 7-0 loss away to Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers tried to insist the defeat at the Camp Nou was not an embarrassment. But as far as one-time Celtic midfielder Keane was concerned, Rodgers' words were concerning.

Rangers’ English boss unhappy with ‘negative’ Scots media

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London (AFP) Rangers manager Mark Warburton has hit out at the "negative" reaction to his side's 5-1 defeat by arch Glasgow rivals Celtic last weekend.

The first Old Firm League meeting between the clubs for four years, following Rangers' return to the top flight after working their way back up following a demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish professional football for entering administration, was a lopsided affair.

Sling TV adds ESPN3 as separate channel to bolster soccer coverage

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Sling TV announced this week that it has added ESPN3 as a new channel to its long list of streaming networks.

Previously, ESPN3 was available to Sling TV customers but they had to log in to ESPN3 separately using the subscriber's Sling TV username and password. But now with the addition of ESPN3 as a completely separate channel that's built in to the list of Sling Orange channels available, it's easier than ever to access all of the ESPN3 soccer matches on Sling TV.

Deep run in Champions League would be ideal parting gift from Arsene Wenger

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You can tell a lot about a manager's body language. In the case of Arsene Wenger, he seemed to be beaming inside after his team came back from a goal down to Paris Saint-Germain to draw 1-1 in the opening game of the UEFA Champions League Group Stage on Tuesday night.

It was an important result given that any points claimed away in Europe are gold.

Chelsea’s Conte confirms David Luiz set to face Liverpool

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London (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed David Luiz will make his second debut for the club against Liverpool in the Premier League on Friday.

Luiz, who returned to the west London club from Paris Saint-Germain in a surprise £32 million ($42.7 million, 38 million euros) move on transfer deadline day, will replace injured Blues captain John Terry at Stamford Bridge.

Viewing numbers for soccer games on US TV for week of Sept. 9-11, 2016

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The Scottish Premiership made its FOX Sports 1 debut on Saturday morning averaging only 23,000 viewers for the first Old Firm clash in league play since 2012. In recent years, the Scottish Premiership has been relegated to FOX Soccer Plus and the streaming platform FOX Soccer 2GO. With these kind of numbers, we can see why.

Pochettino fumes at passionless Spurs

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London (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino accused his Tottenham flops of lacking passion after Monaco ruined their record-breaking night at Wembley with a 2-1 win in the Champions League.

Pochettino was hoping his side would mark their return to the Champions League after a five-year absence with a dominant display in front of an English club record attendance of 85,011.

Angry Allegri calls for calm after Juve stalemate

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Milan (AFP) Coach Massimiliano Allegri launched an explosive outburst to serve a reminder that a star-studded Juventus could struggle to end their 20-year wait to win the Champions League this season.

The Italian champions dominated their Group H opener at home to stubborn Sevilla on Wednesday, but were held to a scoreless draw by the Europa League champions which means the pressure is now on ahead of the trip to Dinamo Zagreb in a fortnight.

Sporting salvation a warning for Real – Ronaldo

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo warned Real Madrid will be punished if they don't improve on their performance in an edgy 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon to start their Champions League defence.

Alvaro Morata headed home the winner four minutes into stoppage time at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday after an 89th minute Ronaldo free-kick had cancelled out Bruno Cesar's opener for Sporting.

Ranieri preaches calm after dream European start

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Bruges (Belgium) (AFP) While their fans celebrated a perfect Champions League debut, Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri called for nobody to get carried away after Wednesday's 3-0 romp away to Club Brugge in Belgium.

The Premier League champions might have gone behind inside three minutes at the Jan Breydelstadion, but instead Jose Izquierdo missed a glit-edged opportunity for Club Brugge and Marc Albrighton opened the scoring at the other end moments later.

Touchline tussle beckons for Klopp and Conte

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London (AFP) The touchline action could be as explosive as what happens on the pitch at Stamford Bridge on Friday when Jurgen Klopp takes his Liverpool side to tackle Antonio Conte's Chelsea.

Both managers are renowned for the remarkable intensity of their touchline anticsand the fourth official is likely to have a job on his hands maintaining order in the two technical areas.

Magath says Shandong ‘defended Chinese honor’

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Beijing (AFP) Felix Magath said Shandong Luneng "defended the honour of Chinese football" in their battling defeat to FC Seoul, which ended Chinese interest in the AFC Champions League.

Shandong, 3-1 down after the quarter-final's first leg, dominated the return game in Jinan, which they drew 1-1 on Wednesday to exit with their pride intact.

Guardiola urges Manchester City fans to embrace Champions League

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola warned supporters the club cannot achieve success in the Champions League unless they start fully embracing the competition.

Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as City opened their Group C campaign with a classy 4-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday in a game that had been postponed on Tuesday due to heavy rain.

Where to find Feyenoord vs. Man United on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Feyenoord vs. Man United, you've come to the right place.

After Manchester United's disappointing defeat in the derby against City last Saturday, Jose Mourinho is determined that his United side will need to be very focused to get all three points in its opening game in the Europa League.

High hopes and doubts for UEFA’s little known new leader

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Athens (AFP) Aleksander Ceferin went into his first day in charge of European football on Thursday facing big decisions, high hopes and some doubts over how a little-known official from Slovenia could become president of the most powerfulfootball confederation.

"It's too much right now, it's crazy," Ceferin said after presiding over his first UEFA executive meeting on Thursday.

Kiev to host 2018 Champions League final despite rebel war

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Athens (AFP) The 2018 Champions League final will be held in Kiev despite Ukraine's conflict with Russian-backed separatist rebels, UEFA's executive committee decided Thursday, officials said.

The final will be held only a few weeks before rival Russia stages the World Cup.

Ukraine, which was co-host of the 2012 Euros with Poland, submitted its official bid to stage the final at the 70,000-seat Olympic stadium earlier this year.

Europa League games on US TV and streaming this Thursday

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Thursday's Europa League action features 24 matches played across the continent. Matchday 1 includes some well-known teams in action such as Manchester United, Roma, Inter Milan, Schalke, Villarreal, Southampton and Ajax.

For viewers in the United States, the good news is that there isn't amateur golf on FS1 to push soccer out of the way (as it was on Wednesday for the Champions League).

Football: Higuain, Khedira fire blanks as Sevilla hold Juve

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Milan (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain and Sami Khedira fired blanks as Sevilla held dominant but wasteful Juventus to a scoreless draw in their Champions League opener in Turin on Wednesday.

Juventus welcomed the Europa League champions looking to stretch their 17-match unbeaten run at home in Europe with a win that would get the tournament co-favourites off the mark.

Football: Mahrez leads Leicester to win on Champions League bow

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Bruges (Belgium) (AFP) Riyad Mahrez scored in each half as Leicester City enjoyed a dream debut in the Champions League on Wednesday, cruising to a 3-0 win over Club Brugge in Belgium.

Voted England's player of the year for his role in Leicester's remarkable Premier League title triumph last season, it was appropriate that the Algerian winger should be so central to their victory in this Group G clash.

Ronaldo, Morata rescue Real from Sporting upset

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata struck in the closing minutes to seal a stunning Real Madrid comeback to beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1 to start their Champions League defence on Wednesday.

Madrid looked to be heading for their first home defeat in the competition for five years after Bruno Cesar's low effort three minutes into the second-half handed Sporting a thorughly merited lead.

Higuain, Khedira fire blanks as Sevilla hold Juve

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Milan (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira fired blanks as Sevilla held dominant but wasteful Juventus to a scoreless draw in their Champions League opener in Turin on Wednesday.

Juventus welcomed the Europa League champions looking to stretch their 17-match unbeaten run at home in Europe with a win that would get the tournament co-favourites off the mark.

Aguero triple gives Man City belated lift-off

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-0 in their rearranged Champions League opener at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

The game had been carried over from Tuesday due to a thunderstorm and Aguero made up for lost time with his second treble of the campaign after his hat-trick against Steaua Bucharest in the play-off round.

Mahrez leads Leicester to win on Champions League bow

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Bruges (Belgium) (AFP) Riyad Mahrez scored in each half as Leicester City enjoyed a dream debut in the Champions League on Wednesday, cruising to a 3-0 win over Club Brugge in Belgium.

Voted England's player of the year for his role in Leicester's remarkable Premier League title triumph last season, it was appropriate that the Algerian winger should be so central to their victory in this Group G clash.

Monaco shock Spurs in front of record crowd

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London (AFP) Monaco ruined Tottenham's record-breaking night-out at Wembley as the French side earned a 2-1 win in their Champions League Group E opener on Wednesday.

Tottenham are back in the Champions League forthefirst time in five years and, with the capacity at their White Hart Lane stadium reduced due to redevelopment, they opted to play their European matches at Wembley this season.

Spurs set English attendance record

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London (AFP) Tottenham smashed the record for the highest attendance for an English club on Wednesday as 85,011 fans packed into Wembley for their Champions League clash against Monaco.

With Tottenham's White Hart Lane stadium capacity reduced while work continues on the redevelopment of their historic home, the north London club have opted to play their European matches at Wembley this season.

CONMEBOL urges new era free of corruption

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Lima (AFP) South America's football chief called for a new era free of corruption Wednesday as the region's scandal-plagued governing body CONMEBOL passed a package of reforms designed to root out graft.

Alejandro Dominguez told delegates at the CONMEBOL congress that the organization had the opportunity to turn the page on decades of sleaze that saw generations of officials pocket millions of dollars in bribes.

Sky ‘suspend’ Di Canio over Mussolini tattoo

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Rome (AFP) Paolo Di Canio was removed on Wednesday from his role as a Sky Italia presenter after one of his tattoos alluding to Benito Mussolini stirred up a flurry of protest on social media.

The maverick Italian former Sunderland manager fronted Sky Italia's coverage of the English Premier League on Sunday wearing a short-sleeved shirt revealing the controversial body art "DUX" written on his arm in capital letters.

Gladbach say ‘sorry’ to absent fans’ bosses

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Borussia Moenchengladbach handed out tongue-in-cheek letters of apology to the bosses of the supporters who attended Wednesday's rearranged Champions League game at Manchester City.

The Group C match was postponed on Tuesday due to thunderous downpours at the Etihad Stadium and rescheduled for the following evening.

FOX Soccer 2GO 7-day free trial returns in time for Champions League

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FOX Sports has brought its 7-day free trial to FOX Soccer 2GO back in time for the latest action in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

With the free trial, you can watch as much live and on-demand soccer as you want during the 7-days including today's matches between Manchester City vs.

Key defender Lamine Kone commits to Sunderland

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London (AFP) Highly rated Ivory Coast international defender Lamine Kone gave struggling Premier League side Sunderland a welcome boost on Wednesday by signing a new five-year contract.

The 27-year-old who only joined the club in January for £6 million (7m euros, $7.9m) agreed to the deal just weeks after he pushed for a £14 million move to rivals Everton on transfer deadline day.

Man City, Gladbach to meet on Wednesday after washout

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach will play their opening Champions League group game on Wednesday after Tuesday's match was postponed due to heavy rain at City's Etihad Stadium.

The two clubs announced that the game would take place at 7:45 pm local time (1845 GMT).

Tottenham’s Champions League match bumped to FOX Soccer Plus

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For viewers in the United States, Tottenham's opening match in the UEFA Champions League scheduled for today has been moved at the last minute from FOX Sports Net to FOX Soccer Plus.

The reason for the change is two-fold. First, yesterday's postponed match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach has been rescheduled for 2:45pm ET today.

Magath’s Shandong crash out of AFC Champions League

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Jinan (China) (AFP) FC Seoul sent Felix Magath's Shandong Luneng crashing out of the AFC Champions League and ended Chinese interest in the competition as they powered into the semi-finals on Wednesday.

Substitute Yun Ju-Tae provided the coup de grace on 83 minutes, sealing a 1-1 draw in the second leg after Walter Montillo's opener on 59 minutes had raised hopes among Shandong's home fans.

Wayne Rooney omitted from Man Utd squad for Feyenoord trip

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will be rested along with several other stars for the club's Europa League group match with Dutch side Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Thursday.

The 30-year-old England skipper has been omitted by Jose Mourinho from the squad along with fellow first team regulars, defensive duo Luke Shaw and Ecuadoran Antonio Valencia.

Liverpool’s Lovren set for return, Can back training

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Liverpool (AFP) Croatian international Dejan Lovren is set to reclaim his place in the Liverpool starting line-up for Friday's Premier League clash with Chelsea after being give a clean bill of health by manager Jurgen Klopp.

The 27-year-old central defender suffering a head injury in training which obliged him to miss the 4-1 trouncing of champions Leicester last Saturday.

Beckenbauer rejects claims he was ‘paid millions’ as World Cup chair

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Berlin (AFP) Lawyers for football legend Franz Beckenbauer on Wednesday rejected claims he was paid millions as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee and sought to hide the sum from tax authorities.

News website Spiegel Online had reported that Beckenbauer drew a fee of more than five million euros ($5.

Europe a steep learning curve for hammered Celtic – Rodgers

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Barcelona (AFP) Brendan Rodgers admitted Celtic have a lot to learn after a 7-0 humbling at the hands of Barcelona on their first match back in the Champions League after a three-year absence.

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick, Luis Suarez twice and Neymar added a fine free-kick to his four assists as Barca's stellar 'MSN' frontline enjoyed their reunion on their first start together for four months.

Wenger hails ‘world-class’ Ospina after PSG draw

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Paris (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described David Ospina as "world-class" after the Colombian goalkeeper justified his selection in Tuesday's Champions League draw with Paris Saint-Germain with several decisive saves.

Ospina was beaten by Edinson Cavani's header inside the opening minute at the Parc des Princes but foiled the French champions on several other occasions as Alexis Sanchez's late leveller ensured a 1-1 draw in the Group A opener.

Mourinho demands Europa reaction after derby defeat

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Paris (AFP) Fresh from giving his players a rollicking Jose Mourinho's focus turns from Manchester United's derby defeat to European action with a tricky Europa League opener at in-form Feyenoord on Thursday.

It will be the Portuguese manager's first game in the second-tier European competition since winning its predecessor the UEFA Cup with Porto in 2003 and he says he is taking it seriously.

Platini tells UEFA ‘my conscience is clear’

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Athens (AFP) Disgraced football leader Michel Platini said in a farewell speech to UEFA on Wednesday that he felt no guilt over a $2 million payment from FIFA that has seen him suspended for four years.

"Just simply know that my conscience is clear, that I am certain that I committed not the slightest fault and that I am continuing to fight legally," the 62-year-old French football legend told a congress in Athens as it met to elect his successor.

Ceferin comes from nowhere to land UEFA top job

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Ljubljana (AFP) New UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin has been a high profile lawyer in his native Slovenia but had no record in football until he took over his country's football federation in 2011.

The 48-year-old father of three has often appeared on Slovenian television speaking for high-profile defendants represented by his family law firm, never losing his temper and always keeping the image of someone who has the situation under control.

Ceferin comes from nowhere to land UEFA presidency

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Ljubljana (AFP) New UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin has been a high profile lawyer in his native Slovenia but had no record in football until he took over his country's football federation in 2011.

The 48-year-old father of three has often appeared on Slovenian television speaking for high-profile defendants represented by his family law firm, never losing his temper and always keeping the image of someone who has the situation under control.

UEFA elects surprise candidate Ceferin as new leader

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Athens (AFP) UEFA on Wednesday overwhelmingly elected Slovenian lawyer Aleksander Ceferin, almost unknown three months ago, as its new president to lead the world's most powerful football confederation into a new era after Michel Platini was forced to resign.

Ceferin, 48, beat Dutch football association chief Michael van Praag by 42 votes to 13 in the first round of voting after promising "bold" moves and an end to "intrigues" as the 55-member European body faces challenges over its flagship Champions League.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon, you've come to the right place.

Cristiano Ronaldo faces his old club in today's featured UEFA Champions League match. Because FOX Sports in the USA has decided to feature golf on FS1, that means that Real Madrid will be on FOX Sports 2 —which not everyone gets (or if you do, it's often in SD).

Beckenbauer ‘paid millions’ as chair of WC2006 committee

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Berlin (AFP) Franz Beckenbauer, who said he worked for free as chairman of Germany's World Cup organising committee, actually drew a fee of more than five million euros, news website Spiegel Online reported Wednesday.

The German football legend also sought to hide the sum from tax authorities, the magazine said, in the latest embarrassment for Beckenbauer, who is being investigated by Swiss authorities in relation to corruption allegations over the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

JP Dellacamera and Shep Messing launch soccer podcast on One World Sports

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Soccer commentators JP Dellacamera and Shep Messing have teamed up to launch a brand-new soccer podcast on One World Sports entitled JP & Shep Soccer's Pod Couple.

Released every Tuesday, the weekly 40-minute podcast features Dellacamera and Messing in familiar roles. Both men have worked together on many games from the commentary booth.

Ceferin favourite in UEFA presidential race

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Athens (AFP) UEFA on Wednesday elects a new president after the banning of Michel Platini with Slovenian football leader Aleksander Ceferin the favourite to take on the task of easing tensions with Europe's leading clubs.

The Slovenian Football Federation chief is in contention with Dutch rival Michael van Praag to complete the five-year term of Platini who is serving a four year suspension from all football activities imposed by FIFA over ethics breaches.

beIN SPORTS Canada goes live on fuboTV featuring Champions League and more

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beIN SPORTS' Canadian feed has now gone live in Canada, where soccer fans can watch matches from the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue Un and the English Championship.

With fuboTV, Canadian soccer fans can access beIN SPORTS Canada, beIN SPORTS en Español, Benfica TV, fuboTV Network and Football Report TV.

Barca’s MSN sinks Celtic, deluge washes out City

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Paris (AFP) Barcelona's lethal MSN Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar dissected Celtic 7-0 while a deluge washed out Pep Guardiola's eagerly awaited first Champions League game in charge of Manchester City on Tuesday.

There was no rain but there was a flood of goals at the Camp Nou, where a sparkling Messi hat-trick with four assists and a goal from Neymar, Andres Iniesta and a Suarez brace humiliated Celtic.

Rampant Bayern fire Champions League warning

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Munich (Germany) (AFP) Joshua Kimmich grabbed a second-half double and birthday boy Thomas Mueller was on target as Bayern Munich hammered the Russian side Rostov 5-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

It was an ominous warning of intent from the Germans in their Group D opener, after prolific Robert Lewandowski scored midway through the first-half from the penalty spot before Mueller doubled the lead in the second minute of first-half injury time.

Man City, Gladbach to meet on Wednesday

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach will play their opening Champions League group game on Wednesday after Tuesday's match was postponed due to heavy rain at City's Etihad Stadium.

"CONFIRMED: #MCFCBMG has been rearranged for 20:45 CEST (1845 GMT) tomorrow (Wednesday) night," Gladbach announced on their official Twitter account.

Messi hat-trick as Barca hit Celtic for seven

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick and Neymar grabbed four assists as Barcelona launched their Champions League campaign in style with a 7-0 thrashing of Celtic on Tuesday.

Messi and Neymar were reunited with Luis Suarez from the start for the first time this season and took no time in getting reacquainted as all three were on the scoresheet.

Sanchez rescues draw for Arsenal in Paris

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Paris (AFP) Alexis Sanchez struck with 12 minutes left as Arsenal came from behind to earn an unlikely 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

PSG had led virtually from kick-off, an Edinson Cavani header opening the scoring as the clock ticked onto 42 seconds at the Parc des Princes.

Barca face more UEFA action over Catalan flags

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Barcelona (AFP) Spanish champions Barcelona face further sanctions from UEFA after thousands of separatist Catalan flags were flown at their Champions League opener against Celtic on Tuesday.

The Champions League anthem was drowned out by a chorus of boos and chants in favour of Catalan independence, whilst a large banner read: "Welcome to Catalonia.

Ranieri targets more Leicester magic in Champions League

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Bruges (Belgium) (AFP) After their fairytale Premier League title triumph last season, Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City make their long awaited first step into the Champions League at Club Brugge in Belgium on Wednesday.

The Foxes were handed what looks like a kind draw in Group G with Porto and FC Copenhagen making up the section.

Focus on Sevilla, not Champions League title – Allegri

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has warned their Champions League ambitions will count for nothing on Wednesday if the Turin giants don't successfully defend their impressive home record in Europe against Sevilla.

Juventus have been tipped for success in this season's competition after notably adding Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Dani Alves to a side that were beaten finalists in 2015.

Man City v Borussia Moenchengladbach postponed

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The Champions League group game between Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday was postponed due to heavy rain at City's Etihad Stadium.

"Tonight's #UCL match between #mcfc and @borussia_en has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions," City said in a statement on their Twitter feed.

Barca’s ‘MSN’ reunited for Celtic clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona boss Luis Enrique named star trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar together in his starting line-up for the first time in four months for Celtic's visit to the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Neymar missed Barca's start to the campaign due to his duties in winning Olympic gold with Brazil, whilst Messi and Suarez were benched for Barca's shock 2-1 defeat to Alaves on Saturday after their exertions in South American World Cup qualifying.

Man City-Gladbach Champions League game postponed

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The Champions League group game between Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday was postponed due to heavy rain at City's Etihad Stadium.

"Tonight's #UCL match between #mcfc and @borussia_en has been postponed due to adverse weather conditions," City said in a statement on their Twitter feed.

Sampaoli wants ‘desire, passion’ from Sevilla

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli wants "desire and passion" from his players as the Europa League champions look to kickstart their Champions League campaign by ending Juventus' impressive home record in Europe Wednesday.

"We have to go out and play with a lot of desire and passion because we're facing a team that has the potential to win the competition," Sampaoli told media at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday.

Krasnodar coach Kononov quits

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Moscow (AFP) Oleg Kononov has resigned after three years as head coach of Russian Premier League outfit Krasnodar, the club said on Tuesday.

"FC Krasnodar expresses its special gratitude and appreciation to Kononov for his work with the club," said a statement on the club's official website, failing to give a reason for his resignation.

CONMEBOL to reform after graft scandals

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Lima (AFP) The South American Football Confederation will meet Wednesday to adopt reforms it says will increase transparency after the FIFA corruption scandal, in which it played a starring role.

CONMEBOL is due to approve a series of new statutes drafted after its past three presidents were all arrested in a US-led probe into massive corruption at world football's governing body.

Chelsea’s Terry ruled out for 10 days

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London (AFP) Chelsea captain John Terry will be sidelined for 10 days after suffering an ankle ligament injury against Swansea on Sunday.

Terry strained ligaments in his left ankle during the 2-2 Premier League draw and left the Liberty Stadium on crutches.

The 35-year-old will miss Chelsea's Premier League clash against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Friday as well as next week's League Cup trip to Leicester.

No Wembley excuses for Spurs in Champions League says Pochettino

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London (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham won't be allowed to use their temporary move to Wembley as an excuse for failure in their Champions League opener against Monaco on Wednesday.

Pochettino's side return to the Champions League for the first time in five years in unfamiliar surroundings after deciding to stage their European matches at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane.

Sporting reunion starts Ronaldo’s rush to 100

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo says facing Sporting Lisbon is a privilege, but in his quest to reach 100 Champions League goals he won't go easy on the club that formed him.

Ronaldo is just seven goals shy of a Champions League century having top-scored in the competition for the past four seasons as Madrid begin their defence of the Champions League at home to Sporting on Wednesday.

Suarez best in the world says Rodgers as Celtic face Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers labelled Barcelona's Luis Suarez as the best striker in the world ahead of the Scottish champions' daunting task of stopping Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

Rodgers worked with Suarez for two years at Liverpool as the Uruguayan's 31 goals nearly carried the English side to their first Premier League title in for 24 years in 2014.

Five reasons Real Madrid can win the Champions League

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Madrid (AFP) Ahead of the start of their 2016-17 Champions League campaign against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday, AFP Sports takes a look at five reasons defending champions Real Madrid can conquer Europe for the 12th time:

It is "their" competition

Understandably given Madrid are by a distance the most successful team in the history of the competition, no club associates themselves more with the history of the Champions League.

Where to find Celtic vs. Barcelona on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Celtic vs. Barcelona, you've come to the right place.

Celtic and Barcelona kick off matchday 1 in the UEFA Champions League, live from Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland. With Celtic riding high after defeating Rangers in the Old Firm derby on Saturday on the same day that Barcelona suffered a shock defeat to Alaves in La Liga, this will be a case of Barcelona wanting to bounce back to keep the critics off Luis Enrique's back.

Kane backs Tottenham in Champions League opener against Monaco

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London (AFP) Harry Kane is confident Tottenham's England stars will ensure Wembley becomes a successful second home in their Champions League opener against Monaco on Wednesday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side return to the Champions League for the first time in five years in unfamiliar surroundings after deciding to stage their European matches at Wembley rather than White Hart Lane.

Real Madrid begin Champions League defence, Leicester make bow

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Paris (AFP) AFP Sports looks ahead to Wednesday's Champions League action as Real Madrid begin their defence of the trophy and Leicester City make their debut in the competition (all kick-offs 1945 GMT):

Group E

At Leverkusen, Germany

Bayer Leverkusen (GER) v CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Third in the Bundesliga last season, Leverkusen go into the group phase for a fourth consecutive year.

Dier signs new Spurs contract

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London (AFP) Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier signed a new five-year contract with the Premier League club on Tuesday.

Dier has established himself as a key figure in Mauricio Pochettino's side since joining from Sporting Lisbon two years ago and also become a regular in the England team.

Following a season of playing in defence, Pochettino transformed Dier into a defensive midfielder and he has thrived in the role.

Where to find Paris Saint-Germain vs. Arsenal on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Paris Saint-Germain vs. Arsenal, you've come to the right place.

With Arsene Wenger revealing this week that PSG has approached the manager several times to convince him to take charge at the Parisian club, there's no doubt that the ties between PSG and Arsenal are close.

Ex-Caen coach handed three-year jail term in tax trial

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Caen (France) (AFP) A French court handed former Caen coach Franck Dumas a three-year jail sentence for tax fraud on Tuesday, but the former Monaco, Marseille and Newcastle player was neither present in court nor represented by a lawyer.

The court heard Dumas described by tax inspectors as a high roller who made large cash withdrawals on spending sprees and frequented casinos.

Wenger eyes European improvement as Arsenal face PSG

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Paris (AFP) Arsene Wenger is looking for Arsenal to show greater consistency in the Champions League, starting with a positive result when they begin their campaign at Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

A year ago the Gunners lost their opening two group games before scraping through to the last 16 behind Bayern Munich, only to fall at that stage for the sixth year running.

Lineker backs Premier League to end Spain’s European dominance

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London (AFP) The leading English clubs can become "the Barcelonas and Real Madrids of tomorrow" according to BT Sport presenter Gary Lineker.

The former England and Barcelona striker believes that the financial power of the Premier League will persuade the next generation of the world's leading players to follow top coaches such as Pep Guardiola to England.

Everton’s sublime Lukaku ends goal drought in style

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku's longest goal drought in English football came to an end in dramatic fashion on Monday as a hat-trick saw Everton defeat Sunderland 3-0 in their Premier League clash.

The 23-year-old who hadn't scored for his club in 13 matches dating back to March scored all three in 11 minutes of the second-half to lift his side into third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

Suarez best in the world for former boss Rodgers

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Barcelona (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers labelled Barcelona's Luis Suarez as the best striker in the world ahead of the Scottish champions' daunting task of stopping Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

Rodgers worked with Suarez for two years at Liverpool as the Uruguayan's 31 goals nearly carried the English side to their first Premier League title in for 24 years in 2014.

Sublime Lukaku ends goal drought in style

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Belgian international striker Romelu Lukaku's longest goal drought in English football came to an end in dramatic fashion on Monday as a hat-trick saw Everton defeat Sunderland 3-0 in their Premier League clash.

The 23-year-old who hadn't scored for his club in 13 matches dating back to March scored all three in the second-half to lift his side into third in the Premier League, two points behind leaders Manchester City.

Guardiola challenges Man City ahead of Gladbach opener

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola warned on Monday that his players have not yet met his expectations ahead of their opening Champions League group game at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

City have won all six of their matches in all competitions this season and moved clear at the top of the Premier League with a slick 2-1 derby win at Manchester United on Saturday.

Fans salute young Sunderland cancer sufferer

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Sunderland (United Kingdom) (AFP) Five-year-old match mascot Bradley Lowery, who is battling cancer, had his name chanted and received a minute's applause in the fifth minute of the Premier League game between Sunderland and Everton on Monday.

The youngster is presently undergoing chemotherapy after his cancer returned and his parents have launched an appeal to raise the £700,000 ($933,000) required for him to have antibody therapy treatment in the United States.

Loyalty to Arsenal is why I turned down PSG: Wenger

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Paris (AFP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that he has turned down several approaches from Paris Saint-Germain down the years out of loyalty to the London club.

Wenger will this month celebrate 20 years at the helm of Arsenal, although if PSG had their way he could have been in the home dugout at the Parc des Princes when the teams meet in their Champions League opener on Tuesday night.

Burkina Faso player dies during French Cup tie

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Ajaccio (France) (AFP) Former Burkina Faso international Ben Idrissa Derme suffered a massive heart attack and died during a French third round Cup tie in Corsica at the weekend.

The 34-year-old central defender dropped to the floor just after the second half had kicked off and despite the swift arrival of medical services, they were unable to revive him during several minutes of on-field efforts.

Champions League games on US TV and streaming this week

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All 16 matches in the UEFA Champions League will be televised live to soccer fans in the United States. Several of the matches promise glamorous matches featuring Celtic against Barcelona, Real Madrid vs. Sporting Lisbon, PSG versus Arsenal and Spurs against Monaco. But no matter which matches you're most interested in watching, we have all of the details for you below so you know where, when and how to make sure you don't miss a minute of the action.

FIFA green light for Platini to attend key UEFA meeting

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Paris (AFP) World football's governing body FIFA has given the green light for disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini to address Wednesday's UEFA Congress in Athens, triggering anger in Germany.

A source close to Platini, currently serving a four-year ban,said last week he would attend the meeting of European football's governing body, when the UEFA executive committee will vote on his successor.

Manchester United earn more than £500 mn in a year

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London (AFP) Manchester United became the first British football club to earn more than half a billion pounds in a single year after announcing Monday total revenue of £515.3 million ($683.5 million, 608.9 million euros) for the year ending June 30, 2016.

The Premier League giants also declared a record operating profit of £68.

Manchester United write off £6.7m Schweinsteiger

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London (AFP) Manchester United have written off Bastian Schweinsteiger as an "exceptional" multi-million item in their latest published accounts, even though the Germany international has been sidelined by manager Jose Mourinho.

The 32-year-old joined United from Bayern Munich before the start of last season when former manager Louis van Gaal was still in charge at Old Trafford.

Verratti tells Balotelli to get serious

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has challenged troubled Ligue 1 new boy Mario Balotelli to concentrate on his football all week long and not just on matchdays.

The former AC Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool striker scored twice on his debut for French outfit Nice on Sunday, where he is trying to resurrect his floundering career.

Luis Enrique seeks swift Barca bounceback

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique expects the Spanish champions to suffer no after-effects from their shock La Liga defeat to Alaves when Celtic make their Champions League return at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Enrique was in the firing line after leaving Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench among seven changes as Barca's 100 percent start to the campaign was ended in stunning fashion by Alaves' first La Liga win in a decade with a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 27 of the 2016 season

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Here are the ten things we learned from Week 27 of the 2016 MLS season.

1. Landon Donovan Returns

Landon's back. Back again.

Two days after re-signing with the LA Galaxy for the remainder of the 2016 season, Landon Donovan made his second debut for his hometown club in the 83rd minute of LA's 4-2 win over Orlando City in front of a sold-out crowd at the StubHub Center on Sunday night.

Five reasons Barcelona can win the Champions League

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Barcelona (AFP) Ahead of the start of their 2016-17 Champions League campaign against Celtic on Tuesday, AFP Sports takes a look at five reasons Barcelona can conquer Europe for the sixth time:

1. The 'MSN'

Blessed with three South American maestros in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona possess the most potent attack in world football in the 'MSN'.

Usual suspects primed for 2016-2017 Champions League glory

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Paris (AFP) Europe's heavyweights launch their perennial pursuit of Champions League glory this week as Real Madrid seek to defend their title from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, while Pep Guardiola aims to transform Manchester City into a continental giant.

Cristiano Ronaldo's winning penalty clinched a record 11th European Cup for Real a season ago, but no team has successfully retained their crown since the competition was rebranded as the Champions League in 1992.

Guardiola, Ancelotti begin European quest with new clubs

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Paris (AFP) AFP Sports looks ahead to Tuesday's opening round of group matches in the Champions League as Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City kick off their respective European campaigns (all kick-offs 1945 GMT):

Group A

At Paris

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) v Arsenal (ENG)

Under-pressure PSG coach Unai Emery makes his Champions League bow with his new charges after leading Sevilla to three consecutive Europa League titles.

Five reasons Man City can win Champions League

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola takes charge of his first Champions League group game as Manchester City manager on Tuesday when Borussia Moenchengladbach visit the Etihad Stadium in Group C.

Here are five reasons why City could win the Champions League this season.

1.

PSG’s Emery with all to prove in Champions League

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Paris (AFP) Unai Emery arrived in France with a reputation as one of Europe's brightest coaching talents, but he admits that he has moved out of his "comfort zone" by taking the Paris Saint-Germain job.

The 44-year-old Spaniard leads the French giants into their Champions League opener against Arsenal at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday knowing the outcome could prove crucial in determining who wins Group A.

UEFA election clouded by Champions League rival

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Paris (AFP) UEFA, the richest and most powerful continental football confederation, elects a new president this week as it confronts a growing challenge to its cash-cow Champions League.

The 55-member European confederation must choose between Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin, 48, and veteran Dutch administrator Michael van Praag, 68, to finish the term of the tainted Michel Platini at a special congress in Athens on Wednesday after an increasingly tense campaign.

Galaxy beat Orlando City in Donovan’s MLS return

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Los Angeles (AFP) Giovani dos Santos scored twice as the Los Angeles Galaxy beat Orlando City 4-2 in a match that marked the return to the MLS of Landon Donovan.

Donovan, the league's all-time leading scorer, didn't enter the contest at Los Angeles' StubHub Center stadium until the 83rd minute and he did not attempt a shot on goal.

Al Nasr forfeit Asian game over striker’s false passport

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Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Al Nasr were ordered to forfeit their AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg 3-0 on Monday after Brazilian-born striker Wanderley was found to be playing under a false Indonesian passport.

Wanderley scored Al Nasr's opener in their 3-0 win over Qatar's El Jaish, but the Asian Football Confederation named him as an ineligible player and effectively reversed the result ahead of this week's second leg.

Crystal Palace defender Souare hospitalised after car crash

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London (AFP) Crystal Palace's Pape Souare was taken to hospital on Sunday following a car accident, the Premier League club announced Monday.

The 26-year-old Senegal defender sustained thigh and jaw injuries during the crash and will remain in hospital to receive treatment, the south London side said.

Premier League gameweek 4 review; World Soccer Talk Podcast

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Welcome to the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, the longest running soccer podcast on the planet (since 2006).

In this episode, host Nipun Chopra is joined by Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss the fourth gameweek of the Premier League. Topics include the Manchester derby, Arsenal's comeback win against Southampton, Liverpool and Tottenham's impressive victories as well as Chelsea fighting back to draw Swansea in South Wales, and much more.

Manchester Utd earn more than £500 mn in a year

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London (AFP) Manchester United became the first British football club to earn more than half a billion pounds in a single year after announcing Monday total revenue of £515.3 million ($683.5 million, 608.9 million euros) for the year ending June 30, 2016.

The Premier League giants also declared a record operating profit of £68.

Manchester United earn more than £500m in a year

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London (AFP) Manchester United became the first British football club to earn more than half a billion pounds in a single year after announcing Monday total revenue of £515.3 million ($683.5 million, 608.9 million euros) for the year ending June 30, 2016.

The Premier League giants also declared a record operating profit of £68.

Conte applauds restraint of saviour Costa

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Antonio Conte launched an impassioned defence of brilliant but controversial forward Diego Costa after the Italian dropped his first points in English football as Chelsea were held 2-2 at Swansea City.

The Spanish international scored his team's two goals on Sunday, was booked and was also on the receiving end of rough treatment from Swansea defenders Jordi Amat and Federico Fernandez, both of whom were cautioned for fouls on Costa.

Five things we learned in Serie A

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Milan (AFP) Juve are still unstoppable, Gonzalo Higuain is still deadly when he's overweight and there's still no stopping Roma icon Francesco Totti.

Here's five things we learned in Serie A this weekend:

Juventus set out scudetto stall

This time last year Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri was nervously biting his fingernails on the touchlines as the Italian giants responded to a Champions League defeat to Barcelona in May 2015 by contriving to completely destroy their start to the Serie A season.

Balotelli instant hit as Nice down Marseille

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Paris (AFP) Former Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli struck twice on his Nice debut to help his new side defeat Mediterranean rivals Marseille 3-2 in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Balotelli, signed on a free transfer after being allowed to leave Anfield, converted a seventh-minute penalty to open the scoring at the Allianz Riviera and struck again to level 12 minutes from time.

Totti saves Roma as Torino’s England ‘keeper suffers debut heart-break

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Milan (AFP) Francesco Totti came off the bench to hit a late winner from the spot as Roma moved to within two points of leaders Juventus after a rain-interrupted 3-2 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

"That was the first time I've ever felt afraid of taking a penalty," the 39-year-old veteran, who is in his 24th and final season at the club, told Sky Sport minutes after being mobbed by teammates under the stadium's popular Curva Sud end.

Five things we learned from La Liga

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona's perfect start to the season came crumbling down with a shock defeat to Alaves, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann were back among the goals for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Here are five things we learned from week three in La Liga:

Barca still 'MSN' dependent

Barcelona's movement in the transfer market had been widely hailed as the best of any Spanish side this summer as they added depth and youth to a squad that had won back-to-back La Liga and Copa del Rey doubles.

Mainz blow three-goal lead in Hoffenheim draw

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Berlin (AFP) Mainz threw away a three-goal lead in a thrilling 4-4 home draw against Hoffenheim as Werder Bremen lost 2-1 to Augsburg to stay bottom of the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Mainz, who meet French side Saint-Etienne in Europa League action Thursday, looked on course for a rout with a Pablo De Blasis double on 3 and 23 minutes followed by another from Jhon Cordoba on 27.

Costa brace rescues ragged Chelsea at Swansea

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) Diego Costa scored twice, including an 81st-minute equaliser, as Antonio Conte maintained his unbeaten start to life as Chelsea manager in a 2-2 draw at Swansea City on Sunday.

The irrepressible Costa levelled with a deflected but spectacular overhead bicycle kick after Branislav Ivanovic's shot had been sent spinning in his direction.

Totti saves Roma as England ‘keeper suffers debut heart-break in Serie A

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Milan (AFP) Francesco Totti came off the bench to hit a late winner from the spot as Roma moved to within two points of Juventus after a rain-interrupted 3-2 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

"That was the first time I've ever felt afraid of taking a penalty," the 39-year-old veteran, who is in his 24th and final season at the club, told Sky Sport minutes after being mobbed by teammates under the stadium's popular Curva Sud end.

Hart concedes twice on Torino debut

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Milan (AFP) England goalkeeper Joe Hart conceded twice on his Torino debut as Atalanta secured a 2-1 win in Bergamo amid a dramatic afternoon of Serie A action on Sunday.

Hart, deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, completed his move to unfashionable Torino on a season-long loan deal two weeks ago.

Rashford will be Man Utd star – Ibrahimovic

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London (AFP) Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has predicted that his teenage team-mate Marcus Rashford will one day "take over everything", in comments broadcast on Sunday.

Rashford, 18, made a stunning breakthrough last season, scoring eight goals in his first 18 United appearances and earning a berth in England's Euro 2016 squad.

Where to find LA Galaxy vs. Orlando in Landon Donovan’s return on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch LA Galaxy vs. Orlando, you've come to the right place.

Landon Donovan's shock return to professional soccer could see the best American soccer player in history gracing the pitch for Sunday's game between LA Galaxy and Orlando City SC. Both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes provide comprehensive on-site coverage live from StubHub Center beginning at 7:00 PM ET.

Spurs boss Pochettino revels in Stoke rout

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham have shaken off the hangover of last season's meltdown in the Premier League title race as they prepare to challenge on multiple fronts.

Pochettino's side host Monaco in their opening Champions League fixture on Wednesday in the second of seven games in 22 games.

Wenger buoyant for PSG clash after Saints win

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London (AFP) It was deep into injury time and Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side were facing the ignominy of being booed from their Emirates pitch for the second time in this nascent Premier League season.

And then up popped Santi Cazorla to score a controversial spot-kick in the fourth minute of added-on time after referee Bobby Madley judged Jose Fonte to have pulled down Olivier Giroud a decision that left Southampton boss Claude Puel fuming.

Dembele scores hat-trick as Celtic rout Rangers

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic striker Moussa Dembele described his Old Firm debut hat-trick as a dream come true as he helped the Hoops hammer rivals Rangers 5-1 at Parkhead on Saturday.

The 20-year-old became the first player to score a hat-trick in the fixture since Ally McCoist's treble in the 1984 League Cup final and the first Celtic player to achieve the feat in an Old Firm league match in 50 years.

Ruthless Liverpool crush spluttering Leicester at new-look Anfield

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Liverpool (AFP) Manager Jurgen Klopp urged Liverpool supporters not to sing his name after an impressive 4-1 victory over defending Premier League champions Leicester marked the opening of a new-look Anfield in impressive fashion.

The extrovert German was seen remonstrating with home fans at one point in the second half of Saturday's match as they chanted his name in appreciation of a memorable inauguration of a new main stand which has raised the capacity at Anfield to 55,000.

Where to find Swansea vs. Chelsea on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Swansea vs. Chelsea, you've come to the right place.

After three matches, Chelsea are undefeated with nine points, and will be looking to make it four out of four when they face Swansea City in South Wales. It'll be an opportunity to see David Luiz's return to Chelsea in his first match back for the Blues.

Luis Enrique takes blame for shock Barcelona loss

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Barcelona (AFP) Barca boss Luis Enrique admitted he must take responsibility for the Spanish champions' shock home defeat to newly promoted Alaves after starting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

Enrique made seven changes on Saturday after many of his squad returned to club duty after taking part in World Cup qualifiers around the world in the past week, whilst Messi was also struggling with a minor groin injury.

Mourinho points finger after Man Utd derby loss

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho singled out some of his players for stinging criticism following their 2-1 loss to derby rivals Manchester City.

The United manager hauled off Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard at half-time and said it was only because he did not want to "destroy them" that he did not substitute them earlier.

Barca stunned by Alaves, Ronaldo nets on return

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Madrid (AFP) Newly promoted Alaves stunned Spanish champions Barcelona by winning 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday as boss Luis Enrique paid a heavy price for starting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

Barca now trail Real Madrid by three points at the top of the table after Cristiano Ronaldo took just five minutes to score on his return from a two-month injury layoff in a 5-2 rout of Osasuna at the Bernabeu.

Lyon suffer first home loss, Monaco stroll

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Paris (AFP) Ten-man Lyon crashed to a "nightmarish" first home defeat at Parc OL as Bordeaux came from behind to claim a 3-1 victory, while Monaco are the early season pacesetters after crushing Lille 4-1.

Aldo Kalulu marked his first appearance of the season for Lyon with the opening goal inside two minutes, but Brazilian teenager Malcom replied for Bordeaux on the half hour.

Rosicky gets emotional Sparta Prague welcome

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Prague (AFP) Tomas Rosicky on Saturday played his first game since leaving Arsenal in the summer and since stumbling off the pitch in the Czech Republic's draw with Croatia at Euro 2016.

The 35-year-old midfielder last month signed up with Sparta Prague, the team where he had grown up.

On Saturday he came onto the pitch in the 72nd minute as Sparta drew with Mlada Boleslav 2-2 in his first game in the Czech top flight since December 2000.

Internet’s most wanted Ronaldo bites back at Xavi

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez by mocking the Spaniard's inability to the win the Ballon d'Or and claiming he is the most in-demand player on the planet.

Xavi, who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, told Spanish radio station La SER earlier this week that despite his achievements Ronaldo couldn't come close to matching those of Xavi's former Barca teammate Lionel Messi.

Higuain hits double for rampant Juve

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Milan (AFP) Gonzalo Higuain hit a first-half brace including a spectacular volley as Juventus warmed up for their Champions League opener against Sevilla with a comprehensive 3-1 win over Sassuolo.

Sassuolo travelled to Turin hoping to build some confidence of their own ahead of their maiden campaign in the Europa League next week.

Ruthless Reds crush spluttering Leicester

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Liverpool (AFP) Liverpool turned on the style to mark the opening of the new-look Anfield with an imperious 4-1 rout of Premier League champions Leicester on Saturday.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane put Jurgen Klopp's side two goals ahead as they played at home for the first time this season and for the first time since expanding Anfield's capacity by 8,500 to 54,000.

RB Leipzig shock Dortmund, Pohjanpalo stars for Bayer

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Berlin (AFP) RB Leipzig stunned Bundesliga title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on Saturday to claim the club's first win in the German top flight, while Joel Pohjanpalo scored a stunning hat-trick in Bayer Leverkusen's 3-1 defeat of Hamburg.

Guinea international Naby Keita struck a minute from time as Leipzig, founded just seven years ago, toppled Thomas Tuchel's Dortmund in their first Bundesliga home game.

Guardiola wins grudge match, Liverpool rout Leicester

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London (AFP) Pep Guardiola rocked old foe Jose Mourinho as Premier League leaders Manchester City extended their perfect start with a 2-1 win at Manchester United, while Liverpool crushed champions Leicester 4-1 on Saturday.

City manager Guardiola inflicted the first defeat of Mourinho's United reign and collected his eighth win in 17 encounters with his nemesis in a pulsating encounter at Old Trafford.

Messi, Suarez on bench as Barca ring changes

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona boss Luis Enrique left Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench for the visit of Alaves on Saturday as he made seven changes, but Neymar starts for the first time this season.

Messi had been an injury doubt due to a groin injury aggravated in Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay last week.

Lyon lose at new home for first time

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Paris (AFP) Ten-man Lyon crashed to a first home defeat at Parc OL as Bordeaux provisionally moved top of Ligue 1 on Saturday by coming from behind to claim a 3-1 victory.

Aldo Kalulu marked his first appearance of the season for Lyon with the opening goal inside two minutes, but Brazilian teenager Malcom replied for Bordeaux on the half hour.

Wilshere off to winning Bournemouth start

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Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) Jack Wilshere made a winning start to life at Bournemouth as he came off the bench in a 1-0 success against West Brom to give the Cherries their first victory of the season on Saturday.

England midfielder Wilshere, who joined the south coast club in a dramatic deadline-day loan move for the season, came on after 63 minutes with the match still goalless.

Cazorla’s contested penalty sinks Saints

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London (AFP) Santi's Cazorla's controversial stoppage-time penalty gave Arsenal their first home win of the season as they saw off Southampton 2-1 in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

It was a bitter pill for the visitors to swallow, with Southampton still seeking their first win under new manager Claude Puel.

FIFA get 2018 World Cup stadium ‘guarantees’

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Saint Petersburg (AFP) FIFA have received "guarantees" from Russia that the stadium which will host the 2018 World Cup semi-final will be ready by the end of this year, world football's governing body said Saturday.

Construction of the new 68,000-seater stadium in Saint Petersburg one of the most expensive in the world had been stalled since mid-July because of a dispute between the former project manager and local authorities.

Benteke, Zaha steer Palace to win at Boro

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Middlesbrough (United Kingdom) (AFP) Recalled Wilfried Zaha delivered Crystal Palace their first victory of the new Premier League season with an assist and the winning goal in Saturday's 2-1 defeat of Middlesbrough.

Christian Benteke opened his Palace account in the 16th minute at the Riverside Stadium from a Zaha cross, but the Eagles' lead didn't last long as Dani Ayala headed Boro level shortly before the break.

Guardiola wins grudge match, Arsenal leave it late

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London (AFP) Pep Guardiola rocked old foe Jose Mourinho as Premier League leaders Manchester City extended their perfect start with a 2-1 win over Manchester United, while Arsenal snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory against Southampton on Saturday.

City manager Guardiola inflicted the first defeat of Mourinho's United reign and collected his eighth win in 17 encounters with his nemesis in a pulsating encounter at Old Trafford.

Kane opens account as Spurs smash Stoke

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) Harry Kane grabbed his first goal of the season and South Korea's Son Heung-Min scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur romped to an emphatic 4-0 win away at Stoke City on Saturday.

Dele Alli was also on target as the north London club finally kick-started their Premier League title challenge.

Ronaldo nets five minutes into Real return

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Madrid (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo took just five minutes to score on his return from a three-month injury layoff as Real Madrid continued their 100 percent start to the season with a 5-2 rout of Osasuna on Saturday.

Antoine Griezmann kick-started Atletico Madrid's La Liga campaign with two goals and an assist as a 4-0 hammering of Celta Vigo gave them a much-needed first win of the season.

Super-sub Pohjanpalo nets treble in Leverkusen win

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Berlin (AFP) Substitute Joel Pohjanpalo scored a stunning second-half hat-trick as Bayer Leverkusen roared back to beat Hamburg 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Borussia Moenchengladbach slumped to defeat at promoted Freiburg.

US international Bobby Wood gave Hamburg the lead just before the hour at the BayArena, but the introduction of Finland striker Pohjanpalo on 72 minutes swung the game dramatically in the home side's favour.

Hammers stung by Hornets comeback

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London (AFP) Jose Holebas sealed a superb comeback by Watford on Saturday as they came from 2-0 down to beat West Ham 4-2 and secure their first win of the Premier League campaign.

The Hammers who may wish they hadn't left Upton Park for London Stadium as prior to this they had won 11 of their last 13 home league games against Watford had looked in control after Michail Antonio scored with two headers.

‘Rome not built in a day’ says embattled Inter boss De Boer

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Milan (AFP) Embattled Inter Milan coach Frank De Boer has called for patience amid a frustrating start to the campaign that has already dented hopes of contending the Serie A title.

Inter kickstart their Europa League campaign against Hapoel Beer-Sheva on Thursday but first face a tricky trip to league newcomers Pescara Sunday, a week before hosting Serie A champions Juventus.

Guardiola defends ‘keeper Bravo after derby jitters

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola spoke out in defence of Claudio Bravo after his new goalkeeper's error-strewn debut in Saturday's 2-1 win at Manchester United.

First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho gave City victory, but a blunder by Bravo, who spilled a high ball, allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to reduce the arrears.

De Bruyne shines in Manchester derby spotlight

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) The pre-match build-up was dominated by talk of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Claudio Bravo, but Kevin De Bruyne stole the show in Saturday's Manchester derby.

The Belgian midfielder scored a coolly taken opening goal and had a big hand in Kelechi Iheanacho's second as City won 2-1 at Old Trafford to prolong their perfect start to the Premier League season.

Griezmann leads Atletico Liga lift-off

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Madrid (AFP) Antoine Griezmann kickstarted Atletico Madrid's La Liga campaign with two goals and an assist as a 4-0 rout at Celta Vigo gave them a much-needed boost on Saturday.

It was their first win of the current La Liga season after being held by promoted Alaves and Leganes in their opening two league games.

Where to find Man United vs. Man City on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Man United vs. Man City, you've come to the right place.

Now that the international break is over, the Premier League returns in the first Manchester derby between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. The pride of Manchester is on the line with expectations that new City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo may start for the Citizens.

Matic praises Chelsea’s new enforcer Kante

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Swansea (United Kingdom) (AFP) New Chelsea enforcer N'Golo Kante is so good that he is even better than Stamford Bridge legend Claude Makelele, fellow midfielder Nemanja Matic has declared.

Attention ahead of Sunday's trip to Swansea City has focused on David Luiz, the Brazil centre-back who will make his second debut for Chelsea following his return from Paris Saint Germain on the final day of the transfer window.

Where to find Real Madrid vs. Osasuna on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Real Madrid vs. Osasuna, you've come to the right place.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to return to Real Madrid action on Saturday after being out injured. A win for Real Madrid, and Los Blancos will return to the top of the table in Spain. For soccer fans in the United States, the match will be shown live on US TV and streaming.

Manchester braces as United and City collide

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester becomes the centre of the football universe on Saturday when Jose Mourinho's United tackle Pep Guardiola's City in a feverishly anticipated local derby at Old Trafford.

The resumption of hostilities between two of the most celebrated coaches in the game tops the bill, with mega-money signings Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, John Stones and Claudio Bravo providing an all-star supporting cast.

Mkhitaryan, Lingard start Manchester derby for United

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho unexpectedly brought Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard into his starting XI for Saturday's hotly anticipated derby against Manchester City.

Armenian playmaker Mkhitaryan, a 26 million pounds ($34.5 million, 30.7 million euros) signing from Borussia Dortmund, made his first start of the season in place of Anthony Martial.

FOX Sports unveils new studio set for Bundesliga coverage

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FOX Sports has unveiled a brand-new set for its coverage of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season.

The new set premiered on Friday's coverage of Schalke vs. Bayern Munich. With Ian Joy, Eric Wynalda and Jovan Kirovski as talent, they were seated in a cozy set that's more appealing to the eye.

FOX's Bundesliga set is designed as a German pub complete with German beer posters on the wall as well as German beer steins and a German flag.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Alaves on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Alaves, you've come to the right place.

Lionel Messi is fit enough to play against Alaves in Saturday's La Liga game, but Barcelona manager Luis Enrique may decide to rest him to ensure he's ready for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Celtic.

Portugal back Ceferin for UEFA presidency

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Lisbon (AFP) The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) on Saturday gave public backing to Slovenia's Aleksander Ceferin to become the new UEFA president.

After the withdrawal of Spaniard Angel Maria Villar, Ceferin, a 48-year-old lawyer and head of the Slovenian football federation since 2011, will go up against Dutchman Michael van Praag, in the UEFA election on September 14 in Athens.

First blood to Guardiola as City win Manchester derby

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola enjoyed victory over his old nemesis Jose Mourinho as his Manchester City side won 2-1 at Manchester United in Saturday's eagerly anticipated derby at Old Trafford.

First-half goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho put City in control and despite new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo's gaffe allowing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to hit back for United, City held firm.

Dembele bags hat-trick as Celtic rout Rangers in Old Firm derby

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Glasgow (AFP) Moussa Dembele grabbed a hat-trick on his debut as Celtic thrashed 10-man Rangers 5-1 at Parkhead in the first Old Firm derby in four years.

The French striker, only playing due to an injury to top scorer Leigh Griffiths, became the first player to score a hat-trick in the fixture since Ally McCoist's treble in the 1983 League Cup final.

Where to find Celtic vs. Rangers on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Celtic vs. Rangers, you've come to the right place.

In the first Old Firm derby in the league for four years, Rangers has the opportunity to climb above Celtic and move into first place in the Scottish Premiership. One of the most famous derbies in all of world football will kick off live from Celtic Park at 7am ET to viewers in the United States.

Pep and Jose attempt to douse derby flames

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) United manager Jose Mourinho and his City adversary Pep Guardiola sought to deflect attention from their sulphurous personal rivalry on the eve of Saturday's mouthwatering Manchester derby.

Friends who became foes, the two men represent opposite ends of football's ideological spectrum andcame to be seen as sworn enemies during their time in Spain.

Red-hot Lewandowski fires Bayern past Schalke

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Berlin (AFP) Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich struck late goals in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win at Schalke in the Bundesliga on Friday as teenage Portugal star Renato Sanches made his debut for the Bavarian giants.

Dutch forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar rattled the crossbar for Schalke early in the second half as the hosts frustrated the reigning champions for much of the evening in Gelsenkirchen.

NASL game beats college football debut on beIN SPORTS

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Last Saturday's game between Minnesota United and Rayo OKC on beIN SPORTS en Español drew 21,000 viewers, the most for an NASL match since the league's debut on beIN SPORTS in April, 2016.

The NASL also beat out the Conference USA collegefootball game on the beIN SPORTS' English-language channel, which attracted only 13,000 viewers.

PSG suffer late heartbreak in home draw

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Paris (AFP) Paris Saint-Germain conceded an injury-time equaliser as they warmed up for their Champions League clash next week against Arsenal with a disappointing 1-1 home with Saint-Etienne on Friday.

The big-spending Parisians looked set to top Ligue 1 thanks to a fortuitous second-half Lucas penalty, but Robert Beric popped up in the second minute of added-on time to somehow eke out an unlikely point for the visitors.

Viewing numbers for soccer games on US TV for week of Sept. 1-6, 2016

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The vast majority of soccer leagues around the world took a break during the past 10 days, so international games were the focus. We've researched the World Cup qualifiers and international friendlies to bring you the TV viewing audiences for games that aired in the United States.

The highest viewership figures of the international break unsurprisingly go to Mexico's two World Cup Qualifiers with the first earning nearly 1.

Barca’s ter Stegen to miss Celtic clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen looks set to be sidelined for the Spanish champions' next three matches, including the Champions League clash next week with Celtic, after suffering a hamstring injury on Friday.

Spanish media sources reported the German international picked up the problem in training, but is hopeful of being fit in time for Barca's crucial La Liga showdown with Atletico Madrid on September 21.

EPL commentator assignments on NBC Sports, Gameweek 4

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Live Premier League match coverage continues this week with a blockbuster Manchester Derby, as unbeaten clubs Manchester United and Manchester City face off this Saturday, September 10, at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and TELEMUNDO. For the second time in league history, both Manchester City and Manchester United have won their first three league games in the same season, the first being the 2011-12 season, when Manchester City won the Premier League title and Manchester United finished second (on a goal difference tiebreaker).

Rodgers tries to keep Old Firm clash in perspective

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Glasgow (AFP) Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to maintain a sense of proportion ahead Saturday's Old Firm match against arch Glasgow rivals Rangers, saying the Hoops are always under pressure to win no matter their opponents.

This weekend's match will be the first league clash between the two clubs in four years following Rangers' return to the top flight of Scottish football after working their way back up the divisions after financial problems saw them demoted to the bottom tier.

Blatter hit with FIFA bribery probe

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Zurich (AFP) Banned former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his chief lieutenants were under fresh investigation Friday over alleged illicit salaries and bonuses totalling $80 million (71mn euros), FIFA's ethics committee said.

Football's scandal-plagued ruling body said in June that Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner had skimmed off the eight-figure sum in "a coordinated effort" to "enrich themselves" between 2011 and 2015.

Disgraced ex-CONCACAF president Webb banned for life

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Zurich (AFP) Former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been banned from all football-related activities for life by the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA's Ethics Committee, world football's governing body confirmed on Friday.

Webb was found guilty of charges including conflicts of interest and bribery and corruption.

Manchester City boss Guardiola happy to share drink with Mourinho

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Pep Guardiola played down his bitter feud with Jose Mourinho on Friday and insisted he will accept a post-match drink from his opposite number if he is offered one.

Guardiola's City visit Mourinho's United on Saturday in the first Manchester derby since the high-profile pair took charge of their respective clubs in the close season.

Wenger adamant Wilshere has Arsenal future

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London (AFP) Arsene Wenger has insisted that "world-class" Jack Wilshere has a future with Arsenal despite agreeing to the England midfielder's season-long loan move to Premier League rivals Bournemouth.

The 24-year-old Wilshere had been plagued by ankle problems during recent seasons and his last full game for Arsenal was nearly two years ago a 2-1 League Cup defeat by Southampton on September 23, 2014.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says transfer ban ‘absurd’

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Madrid (AFP) Coach Zinedine Zidane has slammed as "absurd" a one-year transfer ban imposed on Real Madrid by FIFA for irregularities in the signing of foreign players under 18.

The Frenchman's own children are among those part of the case against the European champions.

FIFA dismissed Real and local rivals Atletico Madrid's appeals against a two-transfer-window ban on Thursday, meaning they will not be able to register any new players until January 2018 unless further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport are successful.

Chelsea’s Luiz can rank among world’s best defenders. says Conte

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Cobham (United Kingdom) (AFP) Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has hit back at criticism of his surprise move for David Luiz by claiming the Brazilian can become one of the world's best defenders.

Conte has brought Luiz back to Stamford Bridge two years after he was sold to Paris Saint Germain in a world record £50 million ($66 million, 59 million euros) deal for a defender.

Mourinho dismisses Guardiola Manchester derby focus

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho played down the focus on his rivalry with Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola on Friday and said Saturday's derby would be decided by the players.

This weekend's encounter has been billed as a grudge match between Mourinho and Guardiola, who had several stormy encounters during their time in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

Man Utd’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic eager to add to derby collection

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London (AFP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic is looking forward to adding to his list of major European club derbies when he appears for Manchester United against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Much of the build-up has centred on the intensive rivalry between United manager Jose Mourinho and City counterpart Pep Guardiola.

Sepp Blatter faces new FIFA probe

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Zurich (AFP) Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his former chief lieutenants were under investigation Friday over illicit bonuses totalling $80 million (71mn euros), FIFA's ethics committee said.

Football's ruling body claimed in June that Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner had skimmed off the eight-figure sum in salaries and bonuses in "a coordinated effort" to "enrich themselves" between 2011-2015.

Scottish giants primed to renew hostilities

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Glasgow (AFP) No one is more excited than Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers when after a four-year hiatus the Old Firm derby returns on Saturday with his side hosting fierce foes Rangers.

It will be the first time since 2012, when Celtic ran out 3-0 winners at Parkhead, that the two Glasgow giants have met in the league following Rangers' financial meltdown and subsequent liquidation.

Wenger hopes Arsenal play catch-up in title race

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London (AFP) Arsenal's meeting with Southampton on Saturday marks the start of important run of six games in 18 days as Arsene Wenger's side play catch-up in the Premier League.

The new league campaign is only three games old but Arsenal already lie five points behind Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, who have all made perfect starts to the campaign.

Klopp seeks display fit for expanded Anfield as Leicester visit

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Liverpool (AFP) Jurgen Klopp wants his Liverpool players to use the unveiling of Anfield's giant new Main Stand as the platform for a sustained assault on the Premier League.

Saturday's visit of champions Leicester City will see Liverpool officially open the redeveloped stand, which increases the capacity of their ground by 8,500 to over 54,000.

Barca trio reunited, Ronaldo returns for Real

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona's fearsome front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar could join forces for the first time in four months against Alaves, while Cristiano Ronaldo will make his Real Madrdid return on Saturday.

Neymar has missed Barca's 100 percent start to the season due to his efforts in leading Brazil to Olympic gold on home soil, but returned to Spain for the first time since May after more international duty in World Cup qualifying this week and is expected to start at the Camp Nou.

Mexico vs. Honduras averaged 3 million viewers on Univision Deportes

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Univision Deportes decided to take a shot at NBC's coverage of the English Premier League today when their press release announced 3 million average viewers for Mexico and Honduras and proclaimed it "performed better than all English Premier League matches in NBC's history."

Yes, Univision Deportes, Mexico —an entire country —has more viewers than any Premier League club game on US television.

England’s Joe Hart set for Torino debut in Italian Serie A

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Milan (AFP) England's Joe Hart is expected to make his Torino debut at Atalanta on Sunday as city rivals Juventus warm up for their Champions League opener against Sevilla by hosting Sassuolo.

Hart, deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, completed his move to unfashionable Torino on a season-long loan deal last week.

Mourinho and Guardiola barbs down the years

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London (AFP) Once upon a time, when their paths crossed at Barcelona, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola got on quite well. But all that changed as they went on to become two of the most successful coaches in world football.

Ahead of the mouthwatering Manchester derby at the weekend, AFP Sports looks at a selection of the bitter remarks they have aimed at each other down the years.

United and City make Manchester power play

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Featuring the rekindling of Pep Guardiola's rivalry with Jose Mourinho, an all-star supporting cast and a host of tantalising sub-plots, Saturday's Manchester derby could be the most feverishly anticipated ever.

The two clubs have competed on an even footing since around 2010, two years after Manchester City's acquisition by the Abu Dhabi United Group,but they have never hogged the limelight quite so selfishly.

Far from Manchester, Pellegrini enters China’s dragons’ den

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Shanghai (AFP) Ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is one man who will not be watching Saturday's Manchester derby as he takes his bow with Hebei China Fortune in the ultra-volatile Chinese Super League.

At the same time as his successor, Pep Guardiola, is locking horns with Manchester United's Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, Pellegrini will be pitchside 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) away as Hebei host Guangzhou Evergrande in northern China.

Qatar to stage Italian SuperCup

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Milan (AFP) The Italian SuperCup final between league champions Juventus and beaten Cup finalists AC Milan will be held in Qatar for the second time this December, Serie A officials announced on Friday.

Napoli beat Juventus on penalties at Doha's Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in 2014 and an agreement has been signed between both parties that will see the SuperCup played on foreign soil for the ninth time.

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