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Talking football with Xabi Alonso

Bundesliga 6 days ago
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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
2 hours ago

Participating is the focus for English clubs in the Champions League

Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League saw Messi shatter the goal record, Aguero save City and Zlatan's triumphant return.

Three wins and a draw: a much better week for English clubs in the Champions League than of late. Chelsea soared at Schalke, Manchester City were saved by the genius of Sergio Aguero, Arsenal tamed a tormentor in Borussia Dortmund, leaving only Liverpool to concede a late equaliser to Ludogorets.

"I was disappointed in the goal at the end but it's irrelevant," said Brendan Rodgers. A draw did not change Liverpool's task for their final match -- beating Basel was required, anyway.

Two through (Chelsea...

6 hours ago

Real Madrid remain first as Chelsea close and Atletico lead new entries

Matchday 5 saw the Champions League's biggest stars, including Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero and Ibrahmovic, inspire their clubs.

The European champions stay at the top but the side led by their former coach are closing in on them in the latest edition of Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings.

1. Real Madrid (no change)

After a routine win at Eibar, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to take his league tally to a staggering 20 goals in 11 games, Madrid were indebted to the Portuguese for yet another goal -- his 72nd in the Champions League -- to beat Basel as they made it five group wins out of five.

2. Chelsea (+1)

Invincible?...

1 day ago

Paul Pogba is showcasing Ballon d'Or potential at Juventus

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed the performance of Paul Pogba in Juventus' 3-0 victory over Lazio.

Miroslav Klose was taken aback.

Lazio's World Cup-winning striker left the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night awestruck. He had been greatly impressed by one of his club's opponents, the Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba is the only representative from Serie A to find his name on the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, and Klose appreciated why the France international figured on the ballot papers. After playing with seven of the other 23 contenders either for Germany and/or Bayern Munich,...

1 day ago

Double winning Molde even better without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Tor Ole Skullerud has taken Molde onto new heights.

They said that replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was an impossible task. The legendary striker turned into a legendary coach at the team of his youth, as he took Norwegian side Molde FK to two league titles in 2011 and 2012. For a club that had won precisely none in their previous 100 years of existence, that was an achievement of phenomenal proportions.

Locally, Solskjaer was compared to his mentor at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, and when he left for a chance to manage in the Premier League...

 By James Young
1 day ago

Champions Cruzeiro are a shining light in Brazil's bleak football year

Cruzeiro players celebrate after clinching the Brazilian league title on Sunday.

"Don't expect to walk into a bar in Belo Horizonte and hear Cruzeiro fans chanting the name of [Ricardo Goulart], the star of this year's Brazilian championship. And it will be hard to find kids shouting his name when they dribble round their opponents in schoolyard kickabouts," began a story on a major Brazilian football site after Belo Horizonte club Cruzeiro had clinched the Brazilian league title for the second consecutive year on Sunday, beating Goias in front of 57,000 people at a rain lashed...

2 days ago

Time for Brendan Rodgers to take drastic action at Liverpool

ESPN FC's Craig Burley thinks Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers has been found out and believes he is close to being forced out of Anfield.

Liverpool must have returned to Selhurst Park thinking that whatever happened, at least it couldn't be worse than the last time they were there. Wrong. It was worse.

That extraordinary 3-3 draw vs. Crystal Palace in May will be remembered for decades to come. It was a spectacular humiliation, a dramatic three-goal collapse from the league's most exciting team against a mid-table side with nothing for which to play. And yet its place in history, like Denis Law's backheel to "relegate" Manchester United,...