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Gignac stars in Liguilla quarterfinals


De Bruyne leads the way, as Vardy stars

Fantasy Focus

Ranieri outsmarts LVG's uninspired Utd

Tactics Board

Portland Timbers' adaptability and mentality have taken them to MLS Cup

Catch all the post-game reaction and analysis as Portland Timbers defeated FC Dallas to reach the MLS Cup final.

FRISCO, Texas -- Adapt or perish. Author H.G. Wells called those two options "nature's inexorable imperative."

For Portland Timbers manager Caleb Porter, it's an apt description for his approach throughout the past few months, including his side's 5-3 aggregate triumph over FC Dallas in the Western Conference finals. Now, Portland will contest Sunday's MLS Cup final against Columbus Crew SC.

It's incredible to think that just two months ago, Portland was a candidate to miss the playoffs entirely....

 By Chris Wright

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger loses out in eternal zip battle once again

As well as his interminable struggle against his players' injury woes, there is another, altogether more dramatic battle that Arsene Wenger seems perennially doomed to lose.

We are of course referring to the Arsenal manager's ongoing tussle against his very own coat zipper -- an old foe that has bested the Frenchman on more occasions than we care to remember.


Andre-Pierre Gignac the star in the Mexican Liguilla quarterfinals

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored an acrobatic goal for Tigres against Chiapas.

The highlight of the Liguilla has easily been Andre-Pierre Gignac. The former Marseille striker has seamlessly transitioned into the Liga MX and is justifiably the standout player of the playoffs. With or without a title this season, Gignac's two recent goals have cemented the 29-year-old as the top newcomer of the Apertura.

With Gignac leading this week's list, let's check out some of the best individual performances from the Liguilla quarterfinals:

1. Andre-Pierre Gignac, FW, Tigres

Two golazos...

 By Chris Wright

Crystal Palace's fancy dress Christmas party looked like fun

With a jam-packed Premier League Christmas schedule on the horizon, Crystal Palace decided to get their annual team party out of the way in good time to prepare for the notoriously hectic festive period.

The club decided to run with a fancy dress theme which, if Wilfried Zaha's group photo is anything to go by, the Palace players embraced wholeheartedly.

�� #Cpfc ❤️��

A photo posted by Official Wilfried Zaha (@longlivezaha) on

Jamie Vardy stars, but Kevin De Bruyne leads the way for Man City

Former England striker Paul Mariner salutes present England forward Jamie Vardy on breaking the Prem goalscoring record.

Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) has to have Gameweek 14 top billing following his 11th consecutive goal scoring match. The record breaker has either scored or assisted in every single fixture this season bar the 2-1 win at West Ham. But his seven-point haul this week was a modest return compared to many in an ESPN Premier Fantasy weekend awash with big scorers.


Fifteen was the magic number for the week, with no fewer than five players hitting that high score.

Into the midfield top 10 went...

Ranieri's defensive nous outsmarts Van Gaal's uninspired Man United

Jamie Vardy broke Ruud van Nistelrooy's league goal record as Leicester drew 1-1 with Manchester United.
Jamie Vardy broke Van Nistelrooy's league goal record as Leicester drew 1-1 with Manchester United.
Former England striker Paul Mariner salutes present England forward Jamie Vardy on breaking the Prem goalscoring record.

Louis van Gaal rued Manchester United's inability to turn dominance into victory after the 1-1 draw at Leicester City on Saturday, but if that verdict was based on possession statistics, the Dutchman's script could just as well have been written in advance.

This was always going to be a clash of contrasting styles and the only surprise about Leicester's opener was that it came so unsurprisingly. With Jamie Vardy finishing off a counter-attack to score in his 11th consecutive league game -- breaking...