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Wenger faces defensive dilemma


Can Bayer cope without Chicharito?

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

What's trending: Liverpool knocked out by West Ham, ticket price row goes on

The ESPN FC team answer your tweets on Christian Benteke's lack of goals, Liverpool's ownership and more.

Here are the top stories from Wednesday:

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp said the door had been "wide open" for Liverpool and hailed his young players' bravery after they exited the FA Cup as Angelo Ogbonna's 121st-minute goal sent West Ham through 2-1 victors.

- When the dust settles on the result, Jurgen Klopp will see plenty to be positive about after his much-changed lineup performed very well against West Ham's strongest side, writes David Usher.

- Liverpool owner Fenway Sports...

Revs DP Xavier Kouassi undergoes ACL surgery

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps wasn't initially concerned when he heard that new signing Xavier Kouassi had been carted off the field with an injury during a Swiss Super League match on Sunday. But it wasn't long before he learned the severity of the situation.

Even though Kouassi, who was signed to a pre-contract designated player deal last month, spoke to Heaps after the match to assure him that the injury wasn't a major one, Monday brought the sobering news that the 26-year-old...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid's poor player decisions raise Castilla questions

Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema have become two of Europe's most prolific strikers this season.

Real Madrid's signing of Lucas Silva in January 2015 was heralded as something of a coup. The defensive midfielder had recently been named the best in his position in the Brazilian top flight as Cruzeiro claimed the 2014 Brasileiro title and the 21-year-old apparently had the world at his feet.

Silva was drafted into the side quickly enough, playing 16 minutes against Deportivo before being handed a full 90 in the Champions League last-16 first leg against Schalke, a 2-0 away victory. The return...

 By Colin Udoh

Sunday Oliseh outburst has put him in a tough spot as Nigeria manager

Nigeria head coach Sunday Oliseh had every reason to smile following his team's 4-1 thrashing of Niger.
Sunday Oliseh is settling nicely as Nigeria manager but his recent tirade on YouTube could harm his position.

When Sunday Oliseh began his tenure as Nigeria coach, one of the things that the local media celebrated was his social media savvy. Oliseh is the only one of his contemporaries who is actively present on at Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

One of the reasons his use of social media offered cause for celebration was the way it would put the national coach front and centre for a younger, tech savvy demographic. However, the big elephant in the room was the lingering danger of potential disaster --...

 By Rory Smith

Arsenal vs. Leicester a painful reunion for Arsene Wenger with Claudio Ranieri

ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes that February will be a crucial month for Arsenal's title hopes.

Arsene Wenger and Claudio Ranieri have always been fond of each other. To call them close might be pushing it, but they share more than basic professional respect: there is genuine affection there, too. The Italian was a regular visitor to Highbury while he was Chelsea manager, travelling incognito to and from games on the tube; the pair remained in touch even after his time at Stamford Bridge had drawn to a close.

At the heart of their friendship, though, is what Wenger refers to as "a scar...

Sumeet Paul blog profile  By Sumeet Paul

AC Milan's young Italian duo building a foundation for success

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and defender Alessio Romagnoli have helped spearhead Milan's Serie A renaissance.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and defender Alessio Romagnoli have helped spearhead Milan's Serie A renaissance.

During AC Milan's struggles in recent years, club President Silvio Berlusconi continuously promised supporters that a clear strategy was in place. It was essentially to build the squad around a core of young homegrown players that would eventually usher in a new era of success.

After seemingly neglecting that vision for some time, coupled with several failures in the transfer market, that idea is now firmly taking shape at the San Siro.

A closer look at the Rossoneri's squad shows that half...