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about an hour ago

Diego Simeone and the Atletico Madrid train roll on in Champions League

Mario Mandzukic's hat-trick propels his Atletico side past Olympiakos to earn their way into the next round of Champions League.

MADRID, Spain -- If familiarity breeds contempt, then nobody told Atletico Madrid. The Estadio Vicente Calderon saw it all and then some last season, and it bounced and boiled again as their side tore apart Olympiakos to secure safe passage to the last 16 of the Champions League, the competition which they came within a heartbeat of winning last May in Lisbon.

While performances since the start of the season have shown the spirit instilled by Diego Simeone is alive and well in a considerably tweaked...

 By David Mooney
3 hours ago

Surprise top of the table clash as City prepare to face bogey-team Saints

ESPN FC's Craig Burley analyses what Sergio Aguero means to Manchester City and Steve Nicol gives his take on the helping hand City had in the Champions League.

As the mass exodus from the Southampton dressing room took place over the summer, there will have been half an eye from Manchester City fans on two things. The first was that some of those departing had been linked with a move to the Blues, but the second was that their side might not struggle on the south coast as they have done recently if the Saints' first team all went marching off.

Somehow, Southampton lost some top class players, a manager and a chairman -- and appear to have come out stronger...

5 hours ago

Mandzukic puts on an exhibition as Atletico Madrid march into the last 16

Atletico Madrid's Mario Mandzukic scored a hat trick against Olympiakos to seal his side's qualification to the knockout stages.

Atletico Madrid sealed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League thanks to the 4-0 hammering of Olympiakos on Wednesday night, making it 21 wins in their last 23 European games at the Vicente Calderon in the process.

From the off it was plain sailing for the Spanish champions, who on another evening might have had more. Juanfran was rampant down the right-hand side, while Mario Mandzukic gave a master class in how to play the role of penalty box striker.

Atletico MadridAtletico Madrid
OlympiakosOlympiakos
4
0
FT
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It took only nine minutes for Los...

 By Nick Miller
6 hours ago

Record-breaking Messi spearheads Champions League Team of the Week

Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League saw Messi shatter the goal record, Aguero save City and Zlatan's triumphant return.

With the Champions League group stage matchday five now in the bag, we take a look at the players who lit up Europe on Tuesday and Wednesday night:

ESPN FC's Fantasy Team of the Week.
ESPN FC's Team of the Week

Goalkeeper: This wasn't a week of classic goalkeeping performances. Joe Hart was erratic for Manchester City and let in a tame free-kick from Xabi Alonso, Manuel Neuer conceded three for Bayern Munich, while Simon Mignolet had another game to forget -- at this rate he'll have blocked out half his career. There were a couple of useful showings though,...

7 hours ago

Arsenal's win vs. Dortmund a step forward, but bigger strides needed

Yaya Sanogo scored an early goal and Alexis Sanchez added another in the second half as the Gunners cruised to a 2-nil win over Borussia Dortmund.

After a difficult past few weeks, there was finally a moment of levity for Arsene Wenger to go with what was a genuinely uplifting performance in a 2-0 Emirates win versus Borussia Dortmund.

The Arsenal manager was asked, now that second-round qualification is secured, how his team could go about improving their poor knock-out record in the competition. Wenger smiled.

"First, send a different guy to the draw. If you look at our last five or six," said the Gunners' manager.

The Arsenal manager...

 By Mina Rzouki
9 hours ago

Anxiety eases as Juventus' European road woes come to an end

Fernando Llorente helps Juventus get past Malmo as they look to advance to the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.

At long last, Juventus managed an away win in Europe, defeating Malmo 2-0 to increase their chances of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.

The Bianconeri certainly don't like making things easy for themselves. Despite the beauty of their domestic game in which they rotate the ball with exceptional elegance, creating an abundance of opportunities on goal, in Europe, Juventus fans are regularly subjected to terrible performances. Ungraceful, erroneous and imprecise, it belies belief...