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Blog - ESPN FC United

Team of the Weekend, Dec. 20-21

Premier League
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Premier League Team of the Weekend, Dec. 20-21

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says he was never worried his side would not claim a win over Crystal Palace, despite being held at the break.

After each round of Premier League fixtures, ESPN FC brings you its Team of the Weekend. Our panel of experts carefully select 11 star performers along with a manager.

Do you agree or disagree? You can have your say on those picked or overlooked in the comments section at the foot of the article or on Twitter using the hashtag #TOTW. Plus, tune in to Monday's "ESPN FC" (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) for more reaction.

totw
ESPN FC's Team of the Weekend

Goalkeeper: Here we go again. There are a hat trick of candidates to don the gloves...

 By Sam Kelly

San Lorenzo have plenty to be proud of despite Real Madrid defeat

San Lorenzo head coach Edgardo Bauza believes Real Madrid will continue to break records after Los Blancos' 2-0 victory in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

The suspicion that San Lorenzo's setup in their Club World Cup semifinal vs. New Zealand side Auckland City was practice for the final itself turned out, largely, to be correct.

Of course, the now traditional final mismatch meant that sitting back and playing for the counterattack was a more sensible way of going about the showpiece than it had been in the semi. While they never looked likely to cause an upset against Real Madrid, the champions of South America will at least return to Buenos Aires...

Borussia Dortmund's fall from grace

Jurgen Klopp said Borussia Dortmund will not give up, despite what he called a 'catastrophic' first half of the Bundesliga season.

The situation faced by Borussia Dortmund at the end of 2014 is dicey, to say the least. 

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The 2013 Champions League finalists have suffered an almighty fall from grace and will spend their winter break inside the Bundesliga's relegation zone, but they have reacted as Dortmund react: Jurgen Klopp is set to remain in charge despite the heavy storm clouds hovering over the Westfalenstadion. 

A little over four years ago, following Dortmund's irresistible rise from their near-bankruptcy...

 By John Duerden

Cahill, Honda and Son Heung-min all make the top 10 Asian stars of 2014

Ki Sung-Yueng was the unwitting match-winner as Swansea returned to winning ways at the expense of a Hull side who look set for a long, hard relegation battle.
Son Heung-min had a memorable 2014, but where did he rank in the top 10?

It has certainly been an up-and-down year for Asian football and ESPN FC has a go at choosing the 10 best performers of 2014.

10. Boualem Khoukhi (Al Arabi and Qatar)

The Algerian-born star scored six goals to help the men in maroon lift the West Asian Football Federation Championship in January. Ten months later, the 24-year-old scored the winning goal in the final of the Gulf Cup to beat Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

9. Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls and Australia)

It is a little worrying the former...

Fairytale for Kolkata as Mohammed Rafique wins the Indian Super League

Atletico de Kolkata created history on Saturday by becoming the first winners of the Indian Super League, courtesy of their 1-0 win over Kerala Blasters.

Atletico de Kolkata defeated Kerala Blasters 1-0 with a goal deep into injury time to be crowned the inaugural champions of the Indian Super League. A capacity crowd of 60,000 in Mumbai's D.Y. Patil Stadium witnessed a tight affair which was won with a near post header by substitute Mohammed Rafique.

Here's three points from the match ...

Super sub Rafique wins the day

One of the big talking points going into the final was who would take the place of the injured talisman Fikru Teferra Lemessa, who...

For different reasons, Liverpool and Arsenal aren't meeting expectations

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth gives his betting odds for Arsenal and Liverpool, where he explains the best option would be to side with the Gunners.
Raheem Sterling, left, is managing the Prem pressure fairly well, Alexis Sanchez is thriving. Both players' teams, though, are not living up to expectations.

While Arsene Wenger was at least occasionally joking in his Friday news conference, Brendan Rodgers seemed genuinely abrasive. Gone was the charm so often associated with the Liverpool manager, so too the long descriptive lines about his team's style of play.

Rodgers was abrupt, to the point and occasionally on the attack. He was also defensive of some of his players, particularly Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli.

In other words, Rodgers was everything off the pitch that his team need to...