yesterday afternoon

English Premier League

Top 10 conclusions: Premier League weekend, 24-25 August

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1. Manchester United old boy Fraizer Campbell has struck the first blow in the title race with his two goals for Cardiff against Manchester City. 2. Roberto Mancini might have allowed himself a smugger-than-usual smile yesterday afternoon. 3. Tottenham are the Premier League's new penalty kings. They didn't get a single spot-kick last season, but [.

Starlet closing in on Gunners return

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that midfielder Jack Wilshere is ready to return to playing within the next month or so.

Wilshere, 20, has not been in action since suffering a pre-season injury last year and his absence leaves a void in the Gunners' midfield, particularly after the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona earlier this summer.

Lukas Podolski salutes the Gooners

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Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has hailed the vocal support he received from the club's supporters throughout yesterday afternoon's 4-0 friendly win away to former club FC Cologne.

Podolski scored twice in his first appearance as a Gunner and although his former team did not offer him a warm welcome, the visiting fans loudly cheered on the German international.

Wenger talks up new attacking ‘dimension’

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Arsene Wenger has revealed his excitement at adding France international striker Olivier Giroud to his Arsenal (no pun intended), explaining that the acquisition adds an additional dimension to his side's attack.

Given that the Gunners recently also signed German star Lukas Podolski, all eyes are now on Wenger to see if he can convince prolific skipper Robin van Persie to commit long-term and form a threatening trio up front.

Eden Hazard transfer to Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United or Man City

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It appears that Eden Hazard is the hottest prospect in football right now. And as the Premier League season swung superbly shut yesterday afternoon there will be plenty of teams planning ahead for the next season. New signings will be on the agenda for chairmans and managers throughout the leagues, and at the top of the wishlist for the top clubs across Europe there will surely be one common name: Eden Hazard, of French club Lille.

Why I'm Not Going to the Schalke Game

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Yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine texted me, saying he had tickets to tomorrow night's clash between the Union and German Bundesliga team FC Schalke 04. I considered for a minute before turning him down, and the only reason I took as long as I did to mull it over was because I hadn't seen this friend in a while, not because I had any interest whatsoever in the game.

Videos

Video: Lionel Messi signs his new Barcelona contract

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Lionel Messi has put pen-to-paper on a deal that will keep him at Barcelona until June 2018. It was well known that the new contract was in the pipeline, but the Argentine star officially signed the paperwork in front of the cameras yesterday afternoon. He told Barca's website: "I said it before in Europe [.

Mark Bright Attempts To Pronounce ‘Copa Libertadores’, Makes Complete Mucking Fess Of It (Video)

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By Chris Wright

The guy's an asthmatic turnip...

Bah. The man actively ruins games with his skittish mumbling and lamentably bad judgement. With Lee Dixon jumping ship for ITV yesterday afternoon, just who exactly do the BBC have left in their punditry stable worth listening to?

Scottish football

‘I’d Do Anything For Stan’ – Neil Lennon Promises To Donate Bone Marrow To Stiliyan Petrov If Possible

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By Chris Wright

Neil and Stan, back in happier(?) times...

See? He's not all bad. Without hesitation, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has promised to donate bone marrow to cancer-stricken former teammate Stiliyan Petrov if tests show that he's a suitable donor after doctor's failed to find a 'match' from within Petrov's immediate family.

Rangers Voted Into 2012/13 Scottish Division Three, Boast 46,000 Higher Average Attendance Than New Opponents

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By Chris Wright

At Hampden Park yesterday afternoon, 25 of the 30 Scottish Football League clubs voted that Rangers Newco (the new club stitched together like the Six Million Dollar Man from the few remaining assets of the old, now liquidated club) would be allowed to compete in Division Three in 2012/13.

Rangers Voted Into 2012/13 Scottish Division Three, Boast 46,000 Higher Average Attendance Than New Opponents

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By Chris Wright

At Hampden Park yesterday afternoon, 25 of the 30 Scottish Football League clubs voted that Rangers Newco (the new club stitched together like the Six Million Dollar Man from the few remaining assets of the old, now liquidated club) would be allowed to compete in Division Three in 2012/13.

Rangers: It Was The Daily Record Wot Won It

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We have it in England too, of course. If the Daily Express newspaper doesn't lead with a "news" item on Princess Diana, Madeleine McCann, freak weather or an EU "scandal", something is seriously wrong. But the Daily Record newspaper's near-obsession with the ‘Blue Knights' consortium, which exited stage left for the very last time honest yesterday afternoon, has been a worthy rival in this area of tabloid sensationalism.

Manchester United

The Problem Real Madrid Has With Ronaldo’s Wage Demands

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Jorge Mendes has confirmed his lack of surprise for and total support of Cristiano Ronaldo's statements claiming he was sad at Real Madrid.

Mendes, who is also Jose Mourinho's agent, was reported in some sections of the press to have been caught off guard by his client's words, but through a statement released yesterday afternoon via his company's website, the agent has responded.

‘He Is Not Worthy Of Our City Or Shirt’ – Fiorentina Left Seething Over Dimitar Berbatov U-Turn

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By Chris Wright

It seemed to all and sundry that Dimitar Berbatov was on the cusp of joining Fiorentina yesterday afternoon, with a three-year contract waiting for him on the boardroom table at the Artemio Franchi as he flew in from Manchester.

However, it would appear that Berba had a sudden change of heart after touching down in Italy somewhere, 'disappearing' from the airport despite Fiorentina having paid for his flight with rumours abound that his agent had begun talks with both Juventus and Fulham while they were in transit.

Three points! Just about…

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Utd got their points campaign off-and-stumbling at Home against Fulham yesterday afternoon. While the three points were taken, there were two very different aspects to the victory which, while boasting an array of attacking talent, also featured a defence as nervous as a man who's just given the extremely valuable family teaset to Rob Green.

League Two Play-Off Final: Cheltenham 0-2 Crewe – Nick Powell Scores Belter As Railwaymen Triumph At Wembley (Photos & Highlights)

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By Chris Wright

The half-time reenactment of the fireplace scene from 'Women In Love' went down a treat

Bathed in withering sun, Crewe beat Cheltenham in the League Two Play-Off Final at Wembley yesterday afternoon to snag themselves a berth in League One next season, with the latest wunderkind to roll off the Railwaymen's production line, 18-year old Nick Powell, opening proceedings with an absolute belter of a goal darting away from two defenders with his first touch and then lashing a shot across the Cheltenham goal.

Newcastle United

Newcastle Can Lose Top Players – Nobody Coming In

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Alan Pardew held his news conference yesterday afternoon for tonight's second leg qualifying tie with Greek side Atromitos, but he was peppered with questions on the transfer front, and the Newcastle manager did his best to answer the questions. Yohan Cabaye clubs interested in French International Asked if he was worried about still losing [.

Vurnon Anita The First Of Three New Players On Tyneside?

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There is growing concern among Newcastle fans that the club will not sign enough new players in the summer to sufficiently fortify the squad, but it seems Newcastle are very near to announcing the first singing of one of their top targets today, as Vurnon Anita arrived on Tyneside yesterday afternoon, and he will undergo [.

Adam Campbell Like A Young Michael Owen

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Adam Campbell has been interviewed on nufcTV after his super performance over just nine minutes,  at the end of the 4-1 defeat at Cardiff City yesterday afternoon, and Alan Pardew has already said that Adam's performance was the best thing about the game yesterday. Adam Campbell looked great yesterday And we remember watching a young 17 year-old Liverpool player, who [.

International football

The 2012 Olympic Games: France & Japan Light Up Wembley

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There has been quite a lot written over the last few days on the subject of the Olympic Games and its various interactions with association football. A lot of this in particular the hand- wringing chip wrapper fodder about how the behaviour of competitors over last couple of weeks has somehow 'shamed' our national game but there is perhaps a grain of a point to be made about the different feeling that Olympic football has had about it in comparison with the standard, bread and butter that we usually imbibe to the point of intoxication.

New Century, Old Tensions: Russian & Polish Supporters Clash In Warsaw

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For those amongst us of a certain age, the scenes from the streets of Warsaw yesterday afternoon and evening had a wearyingly familiar look to them streets of mostly young men, mostly wearing terrible clothes, trading kicks and punches on the street of a European city whilst others, including, of course, a media that had over the last few days given every impression of really looking forward to this moment, looked on.

Injuries & Discord: Business As Usual For England

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Early on Saturday evening, Roy Hodgsons plucky bunch of underdogs ground out their second single goal warm-up win, this time against Belgium. A win is a win, and anybody taking so much as a cursory look at Hodgsons options ahead of this summers European Championships will already fully aware that anything more than abject humiliation may well be worthy of the sort of flag waving seen on the banks of the River Thames yesterday afternoon and that, as such, grinding down Norwegians and Belgians to something approaching a cross between a reasonably well-organised scout parade and a football match should be regarded as an achievement of sorts.

England (Sans Ashley Young) Train At London Colney Ahead Of Big, Bad Belgium Friendly (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

With Ashley Young consigned to the gym after picking up a bit of ouchie against Norway at the weekend, the rest of the England squad (who welcomed the four Chelsea players given extra post-Champions League final leave back into the fold; Lampard, Cole, Terry and Cahill) trained at London Colney late yesterday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's pre-Euro 2012 friendly against the big bad Belgians at Wembley, i.

England (Sans Ashley Young) Train At London Colney Ahead Of Big, Bad Belgium Friendly (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

With Ashley Young consigned to the gym after picking up a bit of ouchie against Norway at the weekend, the rest of the England squad (who welcomed the four Chelsea players given extra post-Champions League final leave back into the fold; Lampard, Cole, Terry and Cahill) trained at London Colney late yesterday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's pre-Euro 2012 friendly against the big bad Belgians at Wembley, i.

Chelsea

Chelsea Arrive In Seattle, Rio Opens His Big Mouth Again; And More EPL News Headlines

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After a 10-hour flight from England, Chelsea arrived in Seattle yesterday afternoon. As you can see, Chelsea supporter @SeattleBluesCIA stood outside the hotel where the 25-man Chelsea squad was dropped off, and took several pictures with the team,...

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Chelsea Train In The Rain Ahead Of Champions League Final (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Here's a few snapperoos from Chelsea's pre-Champions League Final training session (we strongly urge you to have a gander at the facial expressions in the seventh and eighth photos) at Cobham yesterday afternoon it was a little on the 'damp' side, in fact it absolutely slatted it down.

reuters

Noticias: Berlusconi Says Ibrahimovic Will Go To PSG – Will He Break His Champions League Curse?

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According to AC Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva have both been sold to French outfit Paris St Germain. "Yes, I sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to PSG," Berlusconi in statements attributed to La Gazetta dello Sport.

Euro 2012: Netherlands Official Team Portraits with Van Persie, Sneijder, Afellay, Robben and Van der Vaart Hopes For Start

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The Dutch squad took their Official Team Portraits at their training ground in Hoenderloo yesterday afternoon, as part of UEFA's pre-tournament procedures. Despite the slight rain, Wesley Sneijder, Ibrahim Afellay, Arjen Robben, van Bommel and co' all lined up in a row to have their photo taken.

lukas podolski

EURO 2012: Michael Schumacher Visits Lukas Podolski At Germany’s Training Camp, Low Pushes Mesut Ozil & Sami Khedira

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Germany has traditionally produced some of the best Formula 1 drivers and automotive products in the world, so it was no surprise that Michael Schumacher paid a visit to the Die Mannschaft's training camp in Nice, southeastern France, yesterday afternoon.

FC Köln Relegated From Bundesliga, Fans Proceed To Set Stadium On Fire (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Weird scenes inside the goldmine RheinEnergieStadion, where the Cologne fans didn't take their relegation down to the 2.Bundesliga yesterday afternoon particularly gracefully throwing smoke bombs, lighting fires and charging the pitch after their side's 1-4 defeat to Bayern Munich.

The Rest

Liverpool delete crass 9/11 tweet

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Liverpool have deleted a September 11 tribute tweet showing two Liver birds emerging from the smoking Twin Towers. As we reported yesterday, the club's official American Twitter account, @LFCUSA, posted the image, which was accompanied by the slogan: "You'll Never Walk Alone America." The message was retweeted by the club's official account, @LFC.

Lightning Prohibits Tuesday Field Training Session

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Lightning storms rolled through Miami yesterday afternoon, forcing the U.S. team of the field and into the basketball gym for Tuesday afternoon's training session. The team went inside at first to warm up hoping the storms would pass, and while the sky looked forgiving enough the occasional lightning bolt within the danger range meant that the group did all their fitness work indoors.

Hudd available – if needed

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It always seemed likely that the red card issued to Tom Huddlestone on Saturday would be rescinded and the news was duly confirmed yesterday afternoon.

Tom was sent off in the dying stages of the game against Norwich after a tackle on Jonny Howson and immediately after the match, Andre Villas-Boas hinted that the dismissal would be contested.

Are Truro City Bringing Us The First Relegation Of The New Season?

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A crowd of 329 people turned out at Treyew Road yesterday afternoon to see Truro City beat Boreham Wood by two goals to nil in the Blue Square Bet South, but it seems unlikely that events on the pitch made for too much of the discussion amongst the clubs supporters. As has seemed to frequently been the case over the last year or so, goings-on in the boardroom have been hogging the headlines at this particular club, with Fridays announcement that it is to enter into administration throwing the future of Cornwalls most successful non-league club into doubt.

Dembele ready to start?

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Yesterday afternoon saw confirmation of the £15m signing of Moussa Dembele and the Belgian international could go straight into the side for Saturday's visit of Norwich City. The 25 year old spoke to the press after the deal went through and expressed his delight at joining the club.

"I'm happy to join Spurs.

Luka Modric Unveiled At Real Madrid, Has Bernabeu Kick-About With Three-Year Old Son (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

"Hiya!"

Real Madrid officially unveiled Luka Modric yesterday afternoon with his wife, Vanja and his wee sprog in tow in fact Luka's lad even had a quick kick-about with his old man in front of the cameras.

Yep, the kid's just three-friggin'-years old and he's already spent more time on the pitch than you're ever going to don't you just DESPISE him?

Thoughts on Les Alexander's Reported Interest in Buying the Houston Dynamo

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Yesterday afternoon, Mark Berman over at Fox 26 here in Houston reported that Leslie Alexander, owner of the Houston Rockets, was in negotiations to purchase the Houston Dynamo. Not surprisingly, the reaction of Dynamo fans on Twitter was not very positive, in my opinion, the concerns of these fans are misplaced.

Portland Timbers Man of the Match: At Least It Wasn't Another Loss Edition

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Yesterday afternoon the Timbers managed to not lose for the first time in six games as they tied FC Dallas 1-1. After looking outclassed at times in the first half, the Timbers gave up a goal early on after half-time but struggled back and, thanks to a red card to Dallas's Zack Loyd and some persistence from captain Jack Jewsbury in keeping pressure on the shorthanded Dallas back-line, the team managed to pull even.

The US and Mexico Appear On Different Pages Now

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Neymar and Brazil struggled to get by a tough Mexico defense. (PRESSWIRE)

If you follow my tweets you probably realized something yesterday afternoon, I was at Cowboys Stadium to see Mexico take on Brazil. A massive pro-Mexico crowd was on hand (the largest soccer crowd in the Texas history) to see El Tri down Brazil 2-0 thanks to two first half goals by Giovanni dos Santos and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.

AC Milan Bid Teary Farewell To Gattuso, Inzaghi, Nesta, Zambrotta, van Bommel and Seedorf

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There were a lot of tears at the San Siro yesterday afternoon, as Milan officially bid farewell to six of their players Gennaro Gattuso, Pippo Inzaghi, Marc van Bommel, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta and Alessandro Nesta.