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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin
about an hour ago

Excuses aplenty for Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger

ESPN FC's Craig Burley wasn't impressed by either Arsenal or Manchester United in Saturday's feature match.

A common complaint about Arsene Wenger is that he makes too many excuses. This time, Wenger admitted that the fault lay within his own team's inability to convert territorial dominance into goals. As Arsenal suffered once more at the hands of Manchester United on Saturday, he might have recognised that United won with far more excuses in hand.

"It's a game that we dominated for 80 percent of the time," suggested Wenger. "We have not had many games against Man United like today but we were not efficient...

 By Sid Lowe
about an hour ago

Telmo Zarra was La Liga's undisputed goal king -- until now

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Lionel Messi breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record with a hat-trick against Sevilla.

The station master at Asua station in the province of Vizcaya, northern Spain, was handing out tickets when he heard the fireworks go off. He looked up from his desk and asked, "What was that?" Was there some kind of local fiesta going on? No, he was told, Spain had just scored against England at the World Cup, thousands of miles away in Brazil. And the man who scored the goal was his son. "Ah, Telmo," the station master said and carried on what he was doing. Or so it goes. It was July 2, 1950.

On...

2 hours ago

Redknapp lacks a winning plan for QPR

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp did not think his side created enough chances against Newcastle United.

Fortune favours the brave.

And against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, QPR probably did not get their fair share of fortune for the courage they showed with only one point from those three matches. Because it takes great courage to defend against big sides, to dare to concede possession and maintain your tactical discipline and focus for 90 minutes.

But in the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle -- a team undoubtedly enjoying an upturn in form but still short of defensive qualities -- Rangers...

 By Lee Roden
2 hours ago

La Liga record-breaking Lionel Messi is a one-off

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Lionel Messi breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record with a hat-trick against Sevilla.

The fact that we are still celebrating Lionel Messi is a testament to his brilliance. With Cristiano Ronaldo playing like someone entered a cheat code into his PlayStation, Neymar producing the kind of early-season form that tempts comparisons to Ronaldinho and Luis Suarez arriving on the scene to disrupt the party, there is enough going on in Spain without referring to the Argentine. Yet here we are, eulogising the little man once more. He refuses to go away.

Of course he broke La Liga's career...

2 hours ago

Player Ratings: Magical Messi nets a hat trick to break La Liga record

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Lionel Messi breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record with a hat-trick against Sevilla.
Majestic Lionel Messi scored three times in Barcelona's 5-1 win over Sevilla to become La Liga's leading scorer of all time.

Barcelona needed to put on a big show for their fans after recent disappointments, and they managed just that in a 5-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday in which Lionel Messi hit a stunning hat trick to beat Telmo Zarra's career record of La Liga goals.

The Argentine forgot any media speculation that he might not be happy at Camp Nou and now has 253 goals at the age of just 27 to make him the top all-time scorer in Spain and in the Champions League.

Coach Luis Enrique made six changes to the side that...

 By Rob Train
2 hours ago

Player Ratings: Kroos sets table for Real romp in Eibar

Real Madrid were rarely threatened in their first ever league visit to Eibar's quaint Ipurua Stadium.
Real Madrid were rarely threatened in their first ever league visit to Eibar's quaint Ipurua Stadium.

Eibar had waited 74 years for the chance to host Real Madrid and while the eventual 4-0 outcome was rarely in doubt, the side with the smallest budget in La Liga -- roughly equivalent to a year's wages for Cristiano Ronaldo -- once again proved that they have sufficient mettle to expect a second season in the top flight.

EibarEibar
Real MadridReal Madrid
0
4
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Going toe-to-toe with Real Madrid was admirable, and true to the ethos that Gaizka Garitano has instilled at Eibar. But the gulf in class proved too much for the home side,...