They are a small, newly promoted team who were expected to struggle in a relegation battle with a bunch of ageing has-beens in their squad. They controversially sacked not one but two coaches by December. Their general manager abandoned the club as well. They very nearly sold their only promising young player during the winter break. Their best known player was underperforming and was close to having his contract terminated. Their top scorer is a fervent and vocal fan of their rivals' president....
Blog - ESPN FC United
There were barely five minutes gone when Carles Rexach received the ball. He cut inside and all but teased Egon Kohnen by swiftly moving past him when the German made a stab at the ball.
While Rexach was bearing down on the box, Tente Sanchez made a run down the right wing, outpacing his marker Hubert Schmitz. Rexach waited until he had drawn sweeper Gerd Zewe out of position, then he played the ball into his teammate's path.
Sanchez controlled the ball with his first touch and -- hardly breaking...
The wonder, and real key to the Champions League semifinal between Barcelona and Bayern Munich, is whether Pep Guardiola has by now found what he describes as the "flash of inspiration ... the moment that makes sense of my profession."
Because, by the time the Bayern coach returns to the luscious lights and 99,000 welcoming fans of the Camp Nou on Wednesday, Guardiola will hope to disappoint those same fans by drawing on what he has deduced from hours spent alone in a darkened room.
It is his preparation...
Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions on the ESPN FC radar.
Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.
Despite being called "boring," "not great," and unattractive this week, Chelsea beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to secure the 2014-15 Premier League trophy. It's the eighth league title Mourinho has won during his managerial career.
Who will be crowned Premier League champions next season?
Though Chelsea have wrapped up the top spot, things got interesting over...
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.
CHELSEA CLINCH PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE
- Cox: Chelsea were solid but not spectacular
- Marcotti: How Mourinho shaped Chelsea's title triumph
- Chelsea set date for Premier League title parade
- Mourinho glad Chelsea's title wasn't won in 'easier' league
- Delaney: Hero Hazard helps Chelsea clinch Premier League
- Captain John Terry revels in Chelsea's Premier League glory
- Burley: Chelsea far better than Arsenal, Man United, City
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 further reaction.
Goalkeeper: Manchester United were wretched against West Brom but can still count...
At the 2010 World Cup, New Zealand were determined, doughty and difficult to beat. The All Whites drew all three games against Slovakia, Paraguay and Italy to finish above the defending champions. It was a fine achievement.
For Russia 2018 however, head coach Anthony Hudson wants a little more. Not just to qualify but to play a brand of attacking, ambitious and aggressive football against the top teams on the planet.
Since taking the job in August last year, the Englishman, just 34, has started...