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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
about an hour ago

Liverpool's current crisis could be costly for Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers rues the lack of confidence in his side following their 3-1 drubbing by Crystal Palace.

LONDON -- Crystal Palace in May signaled the death of a dream. This time, Liverpool's reality check was perhaps more brutal. Back then, the Reds and Brendan Rodgers could celebrate exceeding expectations, but this result demonstrated this will be a season on a rather different edge.

Three straight Premier League losses in a row, four in total; results that can only point to a mounting crisis, and the performances during those matches spell out a yet bleaker picture.

"If anything I'm disappointed...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
2 hours ago

#FCtalkingpoints: LFC Klopp swap, Rooney, Messi, MLS best and Moyes

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has praised star forward Lionel Messi after the 27-year-old became La Liga's record goalscorer with 253 goals during their 5-1 win at home to Sevilla.

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five white-hot topics on the ESPN FC radar following the weekend.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

Another weekend, another record-setting performance for Lionel Messi. Okay, the master doesn't do it every time he plays, but in Barcelona's 5-1 win vs. Sevilla, Messi broke Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goals record of 251 with panache: He netted a hat trick to put his total at 253.

Where is Messi in his overall career arc?

Last...

 By Simon Curtis
5 hours ago

Manchester City show glimmers of improvement in crucial Swansea win

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed his team's resilient performance in a 2-1 comeback win over Swansea City.

In the bad old days Manchester City fans, amongst the most downtrodden specimens to follow this wonderful sport of ours, would manage to see positive trends in any number of tiny changes to their City-supporting existence. Watching the team's struggles every weekend, their eyes became skilled at picking out the slightest sign of an improvement, however small it might have been.

The merest thing could get the spirits soaring: a corner that finally fell on a City attacker's head, or perhaps a goal...

 By Mike Whalley
5 hours ago

Roberto Martinez says Ross Barkley is not a diver

Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes their 2-1 win over West Ham was the most satisfying win of the season thus far.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists that Ross Barkley is not a diver, despite recent criticism from former England striker Alan Shearer.

Barkley was awarded a free-kick during Saturday's 2-1 Premier League victory over West Ham, but television replays showed that opposing midfielder Kevin Nolan had not touched him.

EvertonEverton
West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
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Shearer, now a television pundit, later accused the midfielder of diving. But Martinez defended Barkley, saying that the 20-year-old England international had probably "expected...

5 hours ago

Arsenal's lack of confidence proves fatal in Man United defeat

ESPN FC's Craig Burley wasn't impressed by either Arsenal or Manchester United in Saturday's feature match.

With confidence low after a 2-1 defeat to Swansea before the international break, the last thing Arsenal needed was to have that shattered further as they head into the busiest period of the season.

Yet that was exactly what happened on Saturday against Man United. If they had gained some belief from a first half in which they should have been ahead, all the work was undone by the own goal for United's first and the fact that the Gunners looked shaken to pieces by falling behind.

ArsenalArsenal
Manchester UnitedManchester United
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Their response...