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Reds offensive woes continue

Liverpool Ratings about an hour ago
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Sunderland heading down?

Sunderland 3 hours ago
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about an hour ago

Player Ratings: Barca defence a shambles & Messi off-colour in Clasico

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

Barcelona were deservedly defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu after Carlo Ancelotti's men stormed back from Neymar's early opener to prevail thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema. In doing so, they wrecked Luis Suarez's long-awaited debut, although the former Liverpool man did offer glimpses of what's to come in a Barcelona shirt. At the back, though, the visitors were fraught with problems.

El Clasico: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

- Clasico: How the world reacted
- Three Points: Unlikely heroes
- Player Ratings: Barcelona
- Player Ratings: Real Madrid
- Ancelotti: We wanted it more
- Enrique: I don't regret starting Luis

The hosts used their undeniable firepower up front to overcome the initial setback...

 By Steven Kelly
about an hour ago

Player ratings: Liverpool's frustrating offensive woes continue vs. Hull

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers defended Mario Balotelli's performance following the Reds goalless draw against Hull City.

The long-awaited clean sheet proved something of an anticlimax to the Reds after a frustrating rear-guard action by Hull City also kept the home side's sporadic attacking efforts at bay.

The whole team was initially hampered by a selection that seemed to be the original choice for the visit of the European champions, not Steve Bruce's latest bunch of niggardly grafters. Brendan Rodgers is starting to look like the financially restricted novice of 2012 rather than the title-chasing attacking giant...

 By Rob Train
2 hours ago

Player Ratings: Benzema the hero as Madrid crush Barcelona

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

Real Madrid put on a performance to match any seen in the history of the Clasico at the Bernabeu on Saturday. The home side went behind to Neymar's early goal but rebounded to carve out a 3-1 win that should have been even more emphatic.

Tactically, Carlo Ancelotti outdid his Barcelona counterpart Luis Enrique by deploying two wide men in Isco and James Rodriguez, who had the desired effect of pulling Barca's back line out of shape. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos bossed the midfield contest -- Enrique...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes
2 hours ago

Aston Villa braced for change against QPR

Colombian Carlos Sanchez has made just one start on the season for Aston Villa.
Colombian Carlos Sanchez has made just one start on the season for Aston Villa.

A run of four successive league defeats can seriously alter the thinking of a Premier League manager, so it was hardly a surprise to hear Paul Lambert discussing the status of some of his 'fringe' players this week.

Lambert has spoken about Carlos Sanchez, Jores Okore, Joe Cole and Jack Grealish in the past few days -- primarily because the Villa boss is being asked about the immediate future of a quartet of players who have mainly operated around the edges of the first team this season. The...

 By Peter Thorne
3 hours ago

Some West Ham fans are dreaming of the Champions League ...

ESPN FC's Craig Burley breaks down West Ham's 2-1 victory over Manchester City, the Hammers' first win against City since 2009.

West Ham consolidated fourth place in the Premier League with a superb performance against champions Manchester City, built on a powerhouse display by man of the match Alex Song and an encouraging reminder to England manager Roy Hodgson by the excellent Mark Noble.

Backed by an ecstatic home crowd, the Hammers went two goals ahead, fought off an immediate response from City and clung on to deservedly claim all three points in a pulsating game. In a week when Sir Alex Ferguson questioned what the...

3 hours ago

Three Points: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein reports from Madrid on Real's 3-1 victory over Barcelona in this season's first El Clasico.

Three quick thoughts as Real Madrid shrugged off an early goal from Neymar to defeat Barcelona 3-1 and move within one point of the La Liga leaders.

El Clasico: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

- Clasico: How the world reacted
- Three Points: Unlikely heroes
- Player Ratings: Barcelona
- Player Ratings: Real Madrid
- Ancelotti: We wanted it more
- Enrique: I don't regret starting Luis

1. Pepe and Benzema the heroes

The Clasico kicked off with about 1.3 billion euros of talent on show, and both teams chock-full of global superstars. But it was two less-sung -- and often much-criticised -- figures who proved most pivotal in Madrid's come-from-behind victory.

Karim Benzema's goal, his side's third, really killed the game. The Frenchman...