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Jose Mourinho's relief at first Man Utd trophy, Real's comeback win, more

The FC boys praise Zlatan's showing in the EFL Cup and debate whether this is crucial for Man United going forward.
Mourinho's first title at Man United should ease any pressure on him as well as prove he's the man to lead them forward.

Jose Mourinho became the first Manchester United coach in history to win a major trophy in his first season in charge. (I found it hard to believe too, until I remembered that United haven't had that many managers in their history.) And Zlatan Ibrahimovic pointed out that he's now won 32 trophies in his career: he may be counting Super Cups, Community Shields and the two Serie A titles that were revoked, but he's not wrong.

The emphasis on winning and silverware was clear in the postgame comments...

Leicester mishandle Claudio Ranieri sacking but had reasons for doing it

Gab Marcotti, Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol share their differing points of view on Claudio Ranieri's sacking.

If this were an ordinary sacking, you could cover it from the familiar vantage points. Did Claudio Ranieri deserve to get the boot? Who will replace him? Can Leicester City stay up? Did the owners handle it properly?

We've had some of it so far. Just ask Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal: as so often happens, Ranieri's mistakes were readily aired by those glad to see him gone. In this case, he apparently "confused" and "angered" players with inexplicable "tactical changes" -- you would have thought...

Man City vs. Monaco was flawed but perfect entertainment for the neutral

Alejandro Moreno breaks down the defensive errors from Manchester City that lead to all three of Monaco's goals.

The legendary Italian journalist Gianni Brera famously said, "The perfect game ends 0-0." That's because when teams do everything right and don't make mistakes, they cancel each other out.

Brera was obviously a product of his time and culture (1950s and '60s Italian football), but I couldn't help but think about him after Tuesday night's 5-3 clash between Manchester City and Monaco, particularly listening to my colleagues in the ESPN FC studio dissect the game. They all agreed it was exciting,...

Bayern's controversial late goal, Barca fans OK to boo, Lincoln's cup magic

The FC crew break down Barcelona's dismal showing against Leganes, and discuss their fans booing the team and Luis Enrique.
Bayern's dramatic late winner in Berlin exposed the folly of arguing about added time.

In England, they used to call it "Fergie Time." In Germany, Hertha boss Pal Dardai called it the "Bayern bonus" after the Bavarians equalized 59 seconds past the allotted 5 minutes of time added on decreed by referee Patrick Ittrich.

Prior to that, a decidedly humdrum Bayern had gone a goal down after Vedad Ibisevic put the Berliners ahead following a rather dubious free kick. Carlo Ancelotti's crew played as if they were hung over from pounding Arsenal 5-1 in midweek, looking sluggish and devoid...

Does Barcelona's heavy defeat at Paris Saint-Germain spell the end of an era?

Barcelona have had their most inconsistent season thus far, and the FC crew debate if their dominance is coming to a close.

On Tuesday night, following their 4-0 Parc des Princes hammering at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, my colleague Michael Yokhin tweeted: "This is Barcelona's most important and resounding defeat since Milan in 1994." He was referring to the 1993-94 Champions League final, when Johan Cruyff's heavily favored "Dream Team" fell at the hands of Fabio Capello's depleted Milan side.

For those who don't remember, here's a bit of context.

Cruyff's Barca had won four straight La Liga titles and the...

Futures of Unai Emery and Luis Enrique in focus as PSG face Barcelona

Gab Marcotti says Paris Saint-Germain have the ability to rise to the occasion against Barcelona in the Champions League.
Julien Laurens previews PSG and Barcelona's UCL Round of 16 match, and the difficult situation the Parisians are facing.
The FC crew have their say about which sides will survive the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

Mid-February is probably a bit early for it, but the Champions League round-of-16 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona has a definite Thunderdome feel. Two men enter -- PSG boss Unai Emery and Barca's Luis Enrique -- and one leaves, whether now or at the end of the season.

Never mind that Emery has been in the job for less than nine months or that Luis Enrique has won eight of the 10 competitions he has entered in just over two-and-a-half years. Both men know they are swimming around...