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A-League opening weekend dominated by VAR controversies

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 04:20:00 PDT

Rob Brooks breaks down all the highs and lows from week one of the 2018-19 A-League season in our Weekend Review. Talking point of the weekend The opening round of a highly anticipated A-League season, sadly, belonged to the Video Assistant Referee. The much-maligned VAR system was used extensively across the competition and, rather than result in better decisions being made, it only served to make fans furious. The first real cry of outrage came when Melbourne City were awarded a penalty for an...

Transfer Talk: Manchester City join chase for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 03:59:00 PDT

Man City made light work of Burnley at the Etihad easing to a 5-0 rout to stay top of the Premier League. Dan Thomas and Steve Nicol recap Saturday's Premier League action, including Jose Mourinho's touchline scuffle and Man City's 5-0 thrashing of Burnley. The guys respond to your tweets about the Bundesliga's relevance, Chelsea's title bid, Jose Mourinho's job, UCL fixtures and Liverpool's injuries. The transfer window for all of Europe's big five leagues is closed, but that doesn't stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January. TOP STORY: Ake OK for Guardiola and City Transfers Revealed: How FIFA wants to fix transfers ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti obtained a FIFA report revealing the biggest overhaul to the transfer system in decades. Are they finally serious about cleaning up football? How a transfer works With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football, Damien Comolli, we show you how a transfer works through Iain Macintosh's tale of fictional rising star Dave Thumper. FC Exclusives - Everton check on Liverpool's Origi - Loftus-Cheek won't be sold - Ramsey open to top six move - PSG want Wenger on transfers - Real Madrid monitoring Sterling Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is receiving plaudits aplenty for his displays and, according to a Mirror report, Manchester City are the latest club chasing his signature. Tottenham have also been linked with Ake in recent weeks, while it has been reported that Chelsea could have first...

Philadelphia Eagles do soccer-centric celebration after scoring touchdown

Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:28:00 PDT

Let's be fair, the "foot" is often missing in the gridiron football played every Sunday during the National Football League season in the United States. But Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver Alshon Jeffery turned that reality on its head a little after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Eagles' offensive linemen formed a wall and Jeffery set the American football on the ground and sailed a free kick up and over his teammates. #Eagles with the free kick celebration after the Alshon TD#FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/023AszEKkt— Armchair Bird Gang (@ArmchairEagles) October 21, 2018 We'll give the guys points for creativity...

AFF Cup's importance to world football is growing with each edition

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:54:00 PDT

It is entirely possible that both legs of the final of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup in December will be the biggest game in the world that week in terms of attendance. There's likely to be 90,000 fans packed into the stadium in Jakarta, and something similar in Kuala Lumpur. When Vietnam won it in 2008, the entire country partied into the night and beyond. Make no mistake about it -- Southeast Asia's biennial tournament means a great deal. South, West and East Asia all have their own regional competitions...

Cristiano Ronaldo 7/10 as Juventus drop points for first time this season

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 05:44:00 PDT

Cristiano Ronaldo gave Juventus an early lead at home against Genoa, but the Grifoni persisted and earned a shock draw in Turin. ESPN FC's Dan Thomas and Steve Nicol look ahead to Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus' Champions match against Manchester United. Italian Serie A: Cristiano Ronaldo (18') Juventus 1-0 Genoa Italian Serie A: Cristiano Ronaldo (14') Juventus 0-0 Genoa For the first time this season, Juventus dropped points and were only capable of a 1-1 draw against Genoa, a side with a new coach and an improved sense of tactical balance. Considering the talent within the Old Lady's squad, Genoa should have been comprehensively defeated but instead, Juventus underestimated the opponent. While the home side opened the scoring and showed of their superiority on the first half, their levels of concentration dropped in the second and Ivan Juric's side exploited the...

Luis Suarez back near his best, Marc-Andre ter Stegen stars in win over Sevilla

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 02:19:00 PDT

Barcelona took care of Sevilla at the Camp Nou, but victory came at a price as star-man Lionel Messi was subbed off in the 15th minute with an apparent arm injury. Barcelona moved back to the top of La Liga with a 4-2 win Saturday against Sevilla but they were left with concerns over an injury to Lionel Messi. Messi set up Philippe Coutinho for the opener and scored the second himself before being forced off with an arm injury after 26 minutes. Luis Suarez added Barca's third from the penalty spot in the second half after a remarkable double save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the other end. Sevilla pulled one back through Pablo Sarabia, with Ivan Rakitic...

Mohamed Salah ends goal drought, Adam Lallana returns as Liverpool edge Huddersfield

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:58:00 PDT

Mohamed Salah's neat finish in the first-half proved decisive as Liverpool stumbled past a valiant Huddersfield. HUDDERSFIELD, England -- Mohamed Salah ended a four-game run without a goal as he scored the winning goal in Liverpool's tense 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday evening. Salah's 24th-minute goal handed a disjointed Liverpool the vital three points to keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Positives Salah was back to doing what he does best. It was a clinical finish from the Egyptian as he ended a spell of seven away games in all competitions without a goal....

Erik Lamela rewards Tottenham's patience, shows his worth vs. West Ham

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:54:00 PDT

Mauricio Pochettino hopes Tottenham can strengthen their squad in the next transfer window. Tottenham battled their way to a fourth consecutive Premier League win thanks to a first-half Erik Lamela header at the London Stadium. Tottenham battled their way to a fourth consecutive Premier League win thanks to a first-half Erik Lamela header at the London Stadium. In December 2017, Mauricio Pochettino offered an indication of how highly he rates Erik Lamela. At points in the 12 months before that, Tottenham fans might have wondered whether they would ever see the Argentine attacker again. His spell out with an initially innocuous-seeming hip injury stretched on and on, public updates on his condition were vague, and (ultimately false) rumours spread that there might be other explanations for his absence. Eventually in November he returned, and a month later...

Atletico Madrid net draw thanks to Filipe Luis' 7/10 and Jan Oblak's 9/10

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:46:00 PDT

Filipe Luis celebrates his goal for Atletico. Atletico Madrid seemed to be heading top of La Liga when Filipe Luis headed them ahead early in the second half, but ended up happy with the point as Villarreal equalised through Mario Gaspar and then missed a string of chances to take the victory. Positives Atletico had lost on their last three visits to Villarreal, so avoiding defeat at their bogey ground can be seen as a positive. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak also again showed why he is one of the world's best. Negatives Diego Simeone's side were easily...

Paris Saint-Germain on a roll but form of 4/10 Edinson Cavani is cause for concern

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:11:00 PDT

Paris Saint-Germain secured their second successive five-goal win at the Parc des Princes, this time against SC Amiens. Paris Saint-Germain are one match away from equalling Tottenham Hotspur's record of 11 consecutive wins at the start of a season (in the top five European leagues) after beating Amiens 5-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday. Marquinhos, Adrien Rabiot, Julian Draxler, Kylian Mbappe and Moussa Diaby all scored at Parc des Princes, while Angel Di Maria provided two assists for Thomas Tuchel's under-strength side. Positives Despite the absence of Neymar and Thiago Silva, PSG still managed to win convincingly and...

Jose Mourinho again takes centre stage despite thrilling Man United-Chelsea draw

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 11:03:00 PDT

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks about his side's 2-2 draw against Chelsea and the sideline scuffle in stoppage time. There was an ugly end at Stamford Bridge after Jose Mourinho was taunted by Chelsea's second assistant coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's late equaliser. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th minute equaliser. Steve Nicol believes Jose Mourinho was well within his rights to react the way he did after he was taunted by Chelsea assistant coach Mauro Ianni. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th minute equaliser. LONDON -- Jose Mourinho is a lightning rod, for good or bad. Even when it isn't his fault, the story usually ends up with the Manchester United manager being front and centre, and he can thank Marco Ianni for that after Saturday's dramatic and chaotic 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Marco who? Good question, and one that Mourinho would probably have uttered before this game. But he knows who Ianni is now after the Italian goaded the former Chelsea manager with an over-exuberant...

Real Madrid axe swinging over Julen Lopetegui as crisis deepens with Levante defeat

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 10:24:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner and Ross Dyer look at how Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui can turn things around after a fifth-straight game without a win. ESPN FC's Craig Burley has his say as to who should become Real Madrid's next Galactico signings. Are Real Madrid preparing to swap managers? Gab Marcotti and Sid Lowe weigh in on the reports linking Antonio Conte to the Bernabeu. MADRID -- After the embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Levante at the Bernabeu, the final whistle was followed immediately by prolonged whistles from those angry supporters still left inside the half-empty stadium and traditional white handkerchief protest calling for the sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui. Lopetegui has lost five games in all competitions since taking over this summer -- including the past three in a row -- and has presided over the club's second-worst goal drought of 481 minutes, broken...

David Silva, Sergio Aguero take centre stage as Man City run riot vs. Burnley

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 09:31:00 PDT

Man City made light work of Burnley at the Etihad easing to a 5-0 rout to stay top of the Premier League. Manchester City continued their impressive start to the season with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Burnley to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League. Sergio Aguero settled the nerves with a first-half strike before goals from Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane as City cut loose in the second-half performance. Positives City were again completely dominant, controlling the possession as they wanted and creating chances with ease. But it may be more pleasing that...

Robert Lewandowski earns 9/10 for brace as Bayern Munich break winless streak

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 09:28:00 PDT

Raf Honigstein breaks down how Bayern Munich's press conference to confront media criticism turned into a disaster for the club. Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac insisted he will not change his approach despite the German giants' recent poor run of form. Craig Burley explains why Bayern Munich have to accept the media criticism they are facing at the moment whether they like it or not. Bayern Munich's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness slam the German media for their reporting of Bayern's downturn in form. Ten-man Bayern Munich bounced back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-1 victory at Wolfsburg. Positives After the embarrassing news conference by club president Uli Hoeness, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic on Friday, attention thankfully turned back to the beautiful game. Following four games without a win and two straight league defeats without scoring -- a genuine crisis in Bayern terms, the champions returned to winning ways against the toothless Wolves. Bayern...

Tottenham rely on Hugo Lloris' 9/10 and Moussa Sissoko's 8/10 in West Ham win

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 09:14:00 PDT

Tottenham battled their way to a fourth consecutive Premier League win thanks to a first-half Erik Lamela header at the London Stadium. Tottenham capitalised on the draw between Chelsea and Manchester United as they triumphed 1-0 away against London rivals West Ham, moving level with Maurizio Sarri's unbeaten Blues on points. Erik Lamela headed home from Moussa Sissoko's cross at the end of the first half and Spurs saw out the game with their third successive Premier League clean sheet. The north Londoners remain just two points off the top of the table, with their next top-flight fixture coming at home against leaders Manchester...

Ross Barkley makes game-changing impact as Chelsea save a point

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 08:30:00 PDT

English Premier League: Ross Barkley (90 + 6') Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United ESPN FC's Paul Mariner understands the emotions late on at Stamford Bridge, but feels Man United should've kept their foot on the pedal in the late stages. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser. Ross Barkley's last-gasp equaliser salvaged a point for Chelsea in a pulsating 2-2 draw vs. Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. Maurizio Sarri's side controlled the first half, playing with swagger and poise and taking the lead through Antonio Rudiger's header. However, in a game littered with cynical fouls and yellow cards, United raised themselves and Anthony Martial twice capitalised on poor defending. The visitors looked set for three points until Barkley drove home a loose ball in the sixth...

Chelsea show fighting spirit to grab dramatic draw vs. Jose Mourinho's Man United

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 06:50:00 PDT

Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser. There was an ugly end at Stamford Bridge after Jose Mourinho was taunted by Chelsea's second assistant coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's late equaliser. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaks about his side's 2-2 draw against Chelsea and the sideline scuffle in stoppage time. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th minute equaliser. Steve Nicol believes Jose Mourinho was well within his rights to react the way he did after he was taunted by Chelsea assistant coach Mauro Ianni. Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th minute equaliser. LONDON -- Three thoughts on the dramatic 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. 1. Barkley snatches draw in thriller at the Bridge Ross Barkley struck a 96th-minute equaliser for Chelsea against Manchester United to spark a chaotic ending to this 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. United had looked set to claim their first Premier League win at Chelsea since 2012 after Anthony Martial struck twice in the second half following Antonio Rudiger's 21st-minute opener. But Barkley's...

Manchester United comeback led by Juan Mata and Anthony Martial 8/10 vs. Chelsea

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 06:37:00 PDT

Jose Mourinho was involved in an unsavoury clash with Chelsea coach Marco Ianni following Ross Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser. Manchester United were seconds away from their first win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since 2012 but in the end were forced to settle for a point. Jose Mourinho's team dominated the second half but a lapse in concentration at the end cost two points -- and prompted a melee on the touchline after the United manager took exception to the Chelsea celebrations. The manner of the late goal -- a hopeful ball into the penalty area with time running out -- will upset Mourinho, but the result is at least...

Real Madrid defence suffer as Raphael Varane 3/10, Sergio Ramos 4/10 stand out

Sat, 20 Oct 2018 06:28:00 PDT

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner and Ross Dyer look at how Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui can turn things around after a fifth-straight game without a win. ESPN FC's Craig Burley has his say as to who should become Real Madrid's next Galactico signings. Are Real Madrid preparing to swap managers? Gab Marcotti and Sid Lowe weigh in on the reports linking Antonio Conte to the Bernabeu. Another embarrassment for Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui as his team went 2-0 down and made the second longest run without a goal (481 minutes) in their entire 116 year existence before Marcelo's late consolation. Madrid could claim some bad luck: two VAR decisions went against them, they hit the woodwork three times and had a late possible equaliser ruled out for offside. But this was a shambles of a performance, and president Florentino Perez could pull the trigger on Lopetegui even before...

Joe Hart has Man City training pitch named in his honour

Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:02:00 PDT

As of Friday, the goalkeeper training pitch at the Manchester City Football Academy will be known as the "Joe Hart pitch". And just as the club did for Yaya Toure, City will mark the occasion by also unveiling a special custom mosaic of Hart on a plinth next to the pitch.  We have dedicated a goalkeeper training pitch at the CFA to Club legend Joe Hart in recognition of his 12-year association with the Club =™ #mancity pic.twitter.com/VqxKOpmBfy— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 19, 2018 What is more, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak will join the 31-year-old and his family after City's game against Hart's Burnley on Saturday to present him with a replica of the mosaic and a lifetime season ticket. Hart represented...

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