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Blog - ESPN FC United

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

David Moyes' dismal run as Man United manager resulted in positive changes

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol questions if Chris Smalling is the long-term answer for Manchester United's back line after the club announced the defender's new contract through 2019.

"Stuck with Moyes, stuck with Moyes, Man United, playing football the negative way," jeered a gleeful Goodison Park crowd on April 20, 2014, as Everton beat Manchester United 2-0. Roberto Martinez, David Moyes' bright, shiny replacement, had engineered his predecessor's downfall in alluring style.

That terrace anthem was erroneous; the following afternoon saw senior United sources suggest that Moyes was soon for the sack, though the deed was not done until the following day.

In the interim, Moyes...

Pep Guardiola has the edge on Barcelona; Madrid to see off Juventus

Tune in to ESPNFC.com all day for more news and analysis on the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

The Champions League draw sees the return of Pep Guardiola to Barcelona, and a likely return of Real Madrid to the final? Given that one Spanish paper declared that Juventus were the team all the other three wanted to face and are notionally the weakest of all the semifinalists, it's difficult not to feel that the meeting of Bayern Munich and Barcelona represents a final before the final.

It certainly promises to be a match as rich in quality as it will be in storylines. The gaps between Real and...

 By James Dall

Wenger again failing to beat Mourinho would be damaging for Arsenal

Will Chelsea deploy Petr Cech on the halfway circle? Will Theo Walcott recover from his ingrown arm in time for Sunday? Find out as the How Will They Line Up boys discuss the London Derby!
Former Arsenal forward Paul Mariner gives his take on how fans should receive former Gunner Cesc Fabregas when Chelsea face off against Arsenal on Sunday.
With the title race all but wrapped up, former Arsenal striker Paul Mariner talks the mindset of the Gunners as they look to best their nemesis Chelsea.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho explains the promises Cesc Fabregas and the club made to each other when the midfielder signed for the Blues in June 2014 from Barcelona.

Premier League Spotlight previews the weekend's top-flight fixtures, highlighting the key points to keep an eye on as the action unfolds.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday
Southampton vs. Tottenham
Burnley vs. Leicester
Crystal Palace vs. Hull
Newcastle vs. Swansea
QPR vs. West Ham
Stoke vs. Sunderland
West Brom vs. Liverpool
Man City vs. Aston Villa

Sunday
Everton vs. Man Utd
Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Battle of the Weekend: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Maybe the true success of Arsenal's season hinges on them beating Chelsea this weekend. Arsene Wenger has never defeated a Jose Mourinho team and this must sting something terrible. Having been denied the undignified chance to offer Mourinho a victorious handshake before the full-time whistle on 12 previous attempts,...

Panathinaikos vs. Olympiakos lives up to its tag as the 'eternal enemies' derby

Police clash with Panathinaikos fans at the 'Leoforos' stadium before the two teams can even emerge for kickoff.

The next in our ESPN FC derbies series involves the two biggest teams in Greek football. Olympiakos recently clinched their fifth straight Greek Super League title, the 42nd in club history. Michael Yokhin went to see them play Panathinaikos in February, the latest chapter in their contentious rivalry.

Everyone in Greece told me I was crazy. Why would I go to the Athens derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos? It will be a dangerous adventure, everyone said.

As I approached the old Apostolos...

Champions League semifinalists lead the way in the Power Rankings

The ESPN FC crew discuss the latest power rankings which see PSG and Manchester United dropped, while FC Porto remain in the rankings despite their 6-1 second-leg loss to Bayern Munich.
The ESPN FC panel pick their favourites to win the Champions League.
The ESPN FC crew discuss their dream Champions League semifinal matchups ahead of Friday's draw.

The final four in the Champions League occupy the top four spots in the latest Power Rankings.

1. Barcelona (no change)

A pair of 2-0 wins kept Barcelona on track in La Liga and the Champions League. Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal for the club as Valencia were beaten before Andres Iniesta and Neymar inspired a semifinal place-clinching triumph over Paris Saint-Germain.

2. Bayern Munich (+3)

Pep Guardiola's men climb two places after an eye-catching win vs. Porto, which turned Champions League...

Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller: When the ordinary is extraordinary

Two goals from Robert Lewandowski led the way for Bayern Munich in their 6-1 demolition of FC Porto, sending Pep Guardiola's side to the Champions League semifinals.
Bayern's Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, and Philip Lahm, along with Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, were ecstatic after the club's 6-1 win over Porto.

In some ways, it reflected the big red contradiction that is Bayern Munich. Corporate super-club with 20-plus years of mega-profits on the one hand. Community trust where the cheapest season ticket won't run you much more than 150 bucks on the other hand.

Watching Thomas Muller after the final whistle of the 6-1 Champions League victory over Porto on Tuesday was a reminder that top-end football isn't entirely about sanitized supporters with plastic flags in antiseptic stadiums, fanboys milked by...