ESPN

Premier League: What is still at stake in the 2017-18 season?

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 01:22:00 PDT

ESPN's Mark Ogden and Jonathan Smith discuss whether Pep Guardiola can break even more league records after Manchester City won the Premier League. Manchester City have wrapped up the Premier League title with a month to spare, courtesy of Manchester United's shock home defeat to basement boys West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. It's the first thing to be decided this season, but there's still lots to play for in the remaining weeks. Here, we take a look at the outstanding issues. Champions League places Who qualifies: Positions 1-4 (group stage) Who's in already: Manchester City Who's still in contention: Manchester United (71), Liverpool...

Douglas Costa's hat trick of assists leads Player Power Rankings

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:58:00 PDT

Man City, PSG and PSV clinching league titles, Barcelona breaking records and much more feature in this week's In Case You Missed It. Catch all the action from Serie A's top teams as Juventus increased their lead to six points over Napoli. ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. Douglas Costa's treble of assists is enough to top this week's edition. 1. Douglas Costa | Juventus Why he's here: Costa entered a scoreless match in the 43rd minute. Two minutes later, he assisted on Mario Mandzukic's opener. When the 90 minutes were up on Sunday, Juve had beaten Sampdoria 3-0, and the Brazilian had provided the assists for all three markers. 2. Vincent Kompany | Manchester City Why he's here: Kompany...

Roberto Baggio's skied penalty, Graham Poll's three-card trick in top World Cup bloopers

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 01:00:00 PDT

FIFA president Gianni Infantino tells Gab Marcotti about his hopes that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups change negative perceptions of Russia and Qatar. ESPN's Alison Bender takes you behind the scenes where the likes of Neymar, Ronaldo and Eden Hazard were on hand to reveal Nike's World Cup kits. This article has been edited and originally appeared on ESPN FC on May 30, 2014. The World Cup is home to the finest football has to offer, with the elite players on the planet playing on the very biggest stage. Sometimes, though, things go a little wrong. Here are 10 of those moments. 10. Green lets it slip It's almost eight years since the 2010 World Cup but Rob Green is haunted by England's first group game against the United States, in which he allowed Clint Dempsey's speculative effort to squirt...

When can Man City be crowned Premier League champions?

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 01:28:00 PDT

Man City are 16 points clear of nearest challengers Manchester United. When can they win the title?  How many points do Man City need? Three points, or just one win. When can Man City guarantee being champions themselves? Victory at home to Swansea on April 22 means they will be crowned champions. Manchester City celebrate Bernardo Silva's winner against Chelsea. But when is the earliest Man City can be champions? City can actually be champions on Sunday, April 15, should Manchester United lose at home to West Brom. Anything else? United actually play twice...

Power Rankings: Bayern stay top, other UCL semifinalists rise, Barca fall

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 02:00:00 PDT

The FC guys talk Bayern Munich's underwhelming performances of late and identify who the favourite of the four remaining teams is in the Champions League. Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller say there are no favourites in UEFA Champions League semifinals. Bayern's Jupp Heynckes is satisfied with a goalless draw versus Sevilla which put the German champions into the Champions League semis. The Champions League's final four dominate the top of Shaka's latest Top 10. Meanwhile, three champions-elect have tumbled. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: None. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV! Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

Pogba's brace in United's Manchester derby comeback tops Power Rankings

Mon, 9 Apr 2018 09:25:00 PDT

This week's In Case You Missed It features Paul Pogba putting Manchester City's title celebrations on hold, another Lionel Messi masterclass and more. Shaka Hislop says Manchester United would still be in the title race if Jose Mourinho always took the reins off Paul Pogba like he did in the second half against Man City. ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. Paul Pogba's role in United's Manchester derby comeback tops our list. 1. Paul Pogba | Manchester United Why he's here: Pogba scored a pair of goals two minutes apart to erase Manchester City's 2-0 half-time lead and set United on their way to a 3-2 comeback win in the derby. 2. Lionel Messi | Barcelona Why he's here: Messi's hat trick in Barca's 3-1 win over Leganes extended the club's La Liga unbeaten run to beyond a...

United States stun England, Brazil's Maracanazo woe in World Cup's biggest upsets

Mon, 9 Apr 2018 01:00:00 PDT

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer. This article has been edited and originally appeared on ESPN FC on May 30, 2014. Sports fans love an underdog story and the World Cup has provided a number of them down the years. Here are 10 of the most memorable World Cup upsets to have caught the football-loving public's imagination. 10. Italy vs. Germany, 2006 While the eventual champions and three-time winners beating anyone might not seem to be the most galloping shock, the defeat of hosts Germany in 2006 was quite an upset, because it seemed...

Tale of the tape: Is Liga MX better than Major League Soccer or vice versa?

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 02:53:00 PDT

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez are joined by MLSSoccer.com's Calen Carr to talk all things Juan Carlos Osorio, including how his coaching style and tactics have impacted El Tri. Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on ESPN Mexico. This season's meetings between Liga Bancomer MX and MLS in the CONCACAF Champions League have sparked a debate over which league is better. In Mexico, soccer has been the national pastime for over 100 years. However, its evolution when it comes to professional play has been slow but steady while in the States, since the mid-1990s, MLS has laid the foundation for a development process that's resulted in a solid sporting organization....

Power Rankings: Bayern leapfrog Barca; Liverpool, Madrid climb

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 01:55:00 PDT

After they were forced to come from behind against Sevilla, the FC crew debate whether or not Bayern Munich have what it takes to lift the UCL trophy this season. Thiago netted the winner for Bayern as their two away goals against Sevilla give them the advantage heading back to Munich. Thiago netted the winner for Bayern as their two away goals against Sevilla give them the advantage heading back to Munich. The German champions flexed their muscles and are rewarded with top spot. Meanwhile, the Champions League holders are on the rise. (function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src='https://embed.playbuzz.com/sdk.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,'script','playbuzz-sdk')); Dropping out: Roma, Napoli. Agree? Disagree? Let us know, and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV! Shaka Hislop played for over 10 years in the Premier League and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. Watch him on ESPN FC TV!

Champions League history is important ... just ask Manchester City

Tue, 3 Apr 2018 03:15:00 PDT

The ESPN FC guys look ahead to the Champions League quarterfinal first leg between Liverpool and Manchester City. As much as Pep Guardiola would like to clinch the Premier League title against Manchester United, his main priority is Man City's UCL quarterfinal clash against Liverpool. History. You can't buy it, but what is it actually worth anyway? There will be two answers to that question at Anfield on Wednesday when Liverpool face Manchester City in the first leg of their all-Premier League Champions League quarterfinal. Put it to a Liverpudlian and it would be akin to asking a poet to reel off his favourite poem. There will be recollections of the heroics of former greats -- Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard -- tales of glory in Rome, London, Paris and Istanbul,...

Dele Alli helps Spurs sink Chelsea to top Player Power Rankings

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 08:55:00 PDT

Barcelona late theatrics, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's jaw-dropping MLS debut, Man City's latest dominance and more feature in this week's In Case You Missed It. Christian Eriksen's wonder-strike pulled Tottenham level and Dele Alli's second half brace gave Spurs their first win at Stamford Bridge in 28 years. ESPN FC's global editorial desks nominate their top weekend performers. Dele Alli's two-goal performance against Chelsea tops this edition's list. 1. Dele Alli | Tottenham Why he's here: The 21-year-old reminded the Premier League of his class as his double led Tottenham to a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday -- their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990. 2. David Silva | Manchester City Why he's here: City's creator in chief once again, supplying a pair of assists as the runaway Premier...

Manchester City can forget the derby vs. United, it's all about Champions League

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 12:52:00 PDT

As much as Pep Guardiola would like to clinch the Premier League title against Manchester United, his main priority is Man City's UCL quarterfinal clash against Liverpool. The ESPN FC guys look ahead to the Champions League quarterfinal first leg between Liverpool and Manchester City. It is the 176th Manchester derby on Saturday, but for Pep Guardiola it is the least important City vs. United clash of them all. However, ask a City supporter and they would tell you that the game is up there with the self-styled "biggest-ever derby" -- when Vincent Kompany's headed goal sealed a 1-0 victory in April 2012 and put City in pole position to win their first league title in 44 years less than two weeks later. Another victory for City this weekend against their local rivals would confirm...

Hand of God, Hurst's goal and Battle of Santiago: World Cup's biggest controversies

Sun, 1 Apr 2018 11:59:00 PDT

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer. This article has been edited and originally appeared on ESPN FC on May 30, 2014. The World Cup comes along every four years, and with it comes an eclectic mix of controversies that cross between sport, politics and the absurd. The world's biggest football event has seen many moments of controversy over the years. Here, Top Tenner brings you some of the most memorable. 10. Graham Poll books Josip Simunic three times, 2006 The 2006 World Cup didn't go according to plan for referee Poll. After he made...

David Silva, Man City reach new heights; chaos envelops West Ham

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 01:07:00 PDT

The Exploding Heads recap an eventful March which included West Ham and Arsenal's struggles, Neymar's social media tribute and more. The FC crew discuss David Silva's starring performance against Stoke, arguing his consistency in Manchester City's midfield is unmatched. The ESPN FC guys debate whether Mohamed Salah's current season for Liverpool has been better than Luis Suarez's in 2013/14. The ESPN crew count down Paul Mariner's best ten goals from March's international friendlies. Yeah, yeah, we know that March hasn't ended. But ahead of a weekend that could make enough headlines to last a month, we decided to get our review in early! Who won the month? Manchester City (or, specifically, the mere prospect of playing them) The quadruple -- and domestic treble -- is now gone, but the response in March was to restore all order. Arsenal were swept aside 3-0 for the second time in the space of four days, while Stoke were disposed of with minimal fuss. In between, there was...

World Cup 2018: Only five real favourites to win in Russia

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 07:21:00 PDT

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more. ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United. The FC panel answer your tweets on why Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't have the same pressure to win the World Cup as Lionel Messi, the 'Bayern problem' in the Bundesliga and more. The World Cup is less than three months away. If that does not quicken the pulse, you're probably better off with a good book. For the rest of us, the guessing games and predictions start here. Late injuries to key players could still upset calculations, but for this observer, there are only five teams with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy. Top of that list would be defending champions Germany, who have a squad stacked with top players and a coach in Joachim Low with course and distance...

Opinion: World Cup 2018 and the ugly side of the beautiful game

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 05:27:00 PDT

Ian Darke hosts a special round table of ESPN FC experts who assess Russia's chances of capitalising on a favourable World Cup draw. Editor's Note: With Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup, this is an op-ed on his native country from former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, chairman of the NY-based Human Rights Foundation and the author of 'Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped'. Sport can provoke human passion like nothing else, perhaps aside from true love. Every loss, every victory, can provoke heartbreak or exultation -- and that's only the fans. Sports fandom also has an...

After World Cup failure, what now for Italy, U.S., Chile and Netherlands?

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 01:49:00 PDT

Brad Guzan joins Taylor Twellman in the ESPN FC Heineken Boot Room bus to talk all angles of the USMNT's World Cup qualifying debacle. With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer. Several powerhouses won't be present when the World Cup begins. How are Italy, the U.S., Chile and Netherlands dealing with their failure to qualify and what happens next? What is the biggest issue facing the national team? Italy:  The choice of manager to replace Giampiero Ventura. Unable to elect a new president, the FIGC is under the emergency supervision of CONI, Italy's Olympic Committee. Alessandro Costacurta has the job of picking the new coach -- and setting the agenda of reform --...

Manchester United's Anthony Martial and France's thriving football factory

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 05:33:00 PDT

With Jose Mourinho planning a summer overhaul at Old Trafford, Craig Burley examines the futures of 10 Manchester United players. PARIS -- Four grey Renault 13-seater vans stand parked outside the tiny main stand at Les Ulis, a semi-professional team with a thriving youth set-up 24km southwest of Paris. "Thank Manchester United for them," Tshimen Buhanga, Patrice Evra's best friend and the coach of Les Ulis' under-13 teams, told me. "Anthony Martial started here and we received some money when Anthony moved from Monaco to Manchester." So that's where some of the £50 million went -- it certainly wasn't down the drain,...

Germany and Spain move away from false nines as World Cup draws near

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:23:00 PDT

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer. The FC crew debate the necessity of the March international break, weighing the positives for national team coaches ahead of the World Cup against the risks it poses for club teams. Germany and Spain meet on Friday in a friendly. Ahead of the game, we asked Raphael Honigstein and Sid Lowe to discuss the state of the two teams, with fewer than three months until the World Cup kicks off. Raf gets the debate going: Mein lieber Sid, You'll be pleased to find that Bundestrainer Joachim Low has shown himself a huge Radiohead fan: There are No Surprises in the 26-strong squad he has picked for the Spain and Brazil friendlies. The underlying message of this conservative approach...

Legends games increasingly key for Europe's elite to keep fans on board

Wed, 21 Mar 2018 01:21:00 PDT

Man United vs. Real Madrid will always attract attention, no matter who is playing. Anfield will be full on Saturday, even though virtually every member of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool squad will be away, somewhere in the world, on international duty. As most supporters will attest, the international break is no substitute for club football, especially when only friendlies are being staged ahead of the World Cup. But the game's elite clubs have now found a way to ease their fans' withdrawal symptoms, at the same time as raising funds for charity and, more strategically, keeping their...


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