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Blog - ESPN FC United

Hartlepool United's fight to avoid ruin at the very bottom of English football

Much maligned since joining the club in January 2014, Marlon Harewood came to Hartlepool's aid on Tuesday.

While the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United tussle for Champions League revenue, others are fighting for something far more important. Relegation from the Football League isn't just a humiliation; it can put a club's very existence in jeopardy. Iain Macintosh traveled to Hartlepool for their crucial April 14 clash with Accrington Stanley to witness life at the sharp end of League Two.

HARTLEPOOL, England -- The Hartlepool fans cheer when they see his number come up. It is the only thing they've...

The Champions League is still football's most elusive prize

The ESPN FC team discuss the second legs of the Champions League quarterfinals. Shaka Hislop expects a classic defensive match from Juventus and a controlled match from Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti says Bayern Munich are slight favourites to win the Champions League due to their easy draw against Porto.

It had been mentioned as a source of motivation for Barcelona, but Hristo Stoichkov typically reframed it as a mere insult to Real Madrid. The former Bulgaria striker -- who played at the Camp Nou from 1990 through 1995 and again between 1996 and 1998 -- had been asked how the Bernabeu club enjoyed such a superior historical record in the Champions League, and whether Barcelona players were actually conscious of rectifying that.

"Bah," Stoichkov dismissed. "Most of their European Cups are in black...

Chelsea defend deep to beat Man Utd; Mourinho's Van Gaal blueprint

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho still does not feel the Premier League title race is over, following their 1-0 win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had only 29 percent of possession, their lowest figure since such statistics were first collated in 2006, and yet still beat Manchester United 1-0 on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho said he would have been happy for United to have 99 percent of the ball; Chelsea planned to play without it and executed their plan well. It was based on defending deep and in numbers, with the concentration and organisation to prevent United from breaking them down.

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United striker Radamel Falcao had more touches than...

Eden Hazard pushes Chelsea nearer to title, Sherwood joy at Villa

Missed any Premier League action this weekend? Anthony Richardson sums it up in 90 seconds (plus stoppages).
Former Chelsea man Craig Burley breaks down how Jose Mourinho was content to sit back and let United play while still picking up all three points.

While Eden Hazard, Tim Sherwood and Nigel Pearson are delivering for maximum points for their respective sides at the most crucial point of the season, things are beginning to get ugly on Merseyside and Tyneside.

Heroes

Even the Aston Villa fans were uncertain about Tim Sherwood when he first arrived. Yes, he said some reassuring things about "fight" and about "passion," but this was a man with just six months of experience and who has been a bit of a figure of fun. Well, who's laughing now?...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Premier League Golden Boot, FA Cup final, Radamel Falcao, U.S.-Mexico

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth breaks down Manchester City's comprehensive 2-0 victory over West Ham to put them within one point of Manchester United for third place.

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.

The Premier League Golden Boot is up for grabs and both Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero adding to their tally today to lead the top-scorers table at 20 goals each.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

Arsenal were expected to advance vs. Reading in the FA Cup semifinals. They did, 2-1. Liverpool were also a favourite, but things ended badly...

Aston Villa's FA Cup dream becoming reality as they book place in the final

Fabian Delph and Aston Villa came from behind to book their place in the FA Cup final with a 2-1 win over Liverpool.

Iain Macintosh goes to Wembley to take in Aston Villa vs. Liverpool as the Wembley Dreams series nears its conclusion as the final two sides are now set.

"Where is it? Where is it?" asked the little boy in the Aston Villa shirt, his nose pressed against the window of the train carriage.

"It's over there!" his dad exclaimed, nudging him in the ribs and pointing to the other side of the train. In a fraction of a second, the little boy is across the carriage, his hands thumping against the glass,...