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2 hours ago

Positives to take from expansive Stoke's loss to Southampton

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes reacts to his team's 1-0 loss to red-hot Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.

Football fans the world over will be familiar with the following post-match reactions following a defeat: disappointment, anger and an inability to enjoy anything for an unspecified period -- usually the remainder of that day, if not beyond.

Sometimes, though, that trend is overcome by a positive reaction -- and that's exactly what should happen following Stoke's 3-2 loss to Southampton on Wednesday. The Saints are without doubt the best side Stoke have seen this term; their movement and intelligence...

3 hours ago

Leighton Baines' astounding offensive exploits have been overlooked

Roberto Martinez hails Everton's patience and composure in their 3-1 defeat of Burnley.

When it comes to streaks in football very few tend to be overlooked nowadays, be it from a team or individual's perspective.

The two that perhaps stand out in the Premier League right now involve goal-scoring exploits. West Ham's Diafra Sakho has scored in each of his six league starts this season while Aston Villa, as a collective, have failed to score in five. Elsewhere in Europe see Cristiano Ronaldo, who now scores in every game that he plays.

It's goal-scoring, or a lack thereof in the case...

4 hours ago

Manchester City under pressure against Manchester United

ESPN FC's Craig Burley questions Manchester City's recent form following their latest slip-up in a 2-0 loss to Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup.

How quickly things can change. Ten days ago, Manchester United were the listing ship heading for stormy waters. Having required a late Daley Blind goal to salvage a point against West Bromwich Albion, what possible hope did they have against Chelsea and then Manchester City?

City had just annihilated Tottenham and, while they suffered the indignity of allowing a two-goal lead to slip in Russia that ended in a 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, they had West Ham and Newcastle as...

 By Peter Thorne
4 hours ago

Sam Allardyce's high-flying West Ham prepare for battle at Stoke

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce praised his team's all-around performance in their victory against Manchester City.

Despite the initial doom and gloom surrounding Diafra Sakho's shoulder injury, it's likely the Senegal striker will be fit for West Ham's trip to Stoke this weekend -- although whether Sam Allardyce will risk the free-scoring forward is another matter.

Conflicting stories about the player have been circulating all week, but it has been confirmed that the injury suffered in the game against Manchester City last week is only soreness and bruising and not the dislocated shoulder originally feared....

 By David Usher
4 hours ago

Liverpool must not underestimate resurgent Newcastle

Mario Balotelli scored for the first time in eight matches against Swansea in the Capital One Cup, but is that enough to get him firing again?

Liverpool travel to the north-east on Saturday for a lunchtime fixture that all of a sudden looks an awful lot tougher than it did a week ago. Newcastle United were in the bottom three and facing a tough trip to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday. They fell behind early, which will have surprised nobody, but came back to win 2-1, which will have surprised everybody, perhaps even themselves.

Three days later they followed it up with an even bigger upset, dumping holders Manchester City out...

 By Chris Wright
7 hours ago

Manchester United fan carves Louis van Gaal, Manuel Pellegrini pumpkins

With both Halloween and, more importantly, the first Manchester derby of the season now within spitting distance, a football fan from Lancashire has successfully spliced the two together like some kind of ungodly lab experiment gone awry.

Simon McMinnis, who comes down firmly on the United side of the Manc divide, has spent the majority of his week so far creating jack-o'-lantern effigies of the two managers going head-to-head at the Etihad on Sunday using two enormous 15kg pumpkins he purchased...