Previous
Getafe
Valencia
0
3
FT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Ipswich Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Estoril
2
2
FT
Game Details
Real Madrid
Elche
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Celta Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
SC Paderborn 07
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
TSG Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Werder Bremen
Schalke 04
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Empoli
AC Milan
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade de Reims
Marseille
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Stade Rennes
Toulouse
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Southampton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Cardiff City
AFC Bournemouth
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Derby County
Reading
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Leyton Orient
Sheffield United
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Middlesbrough
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Milton Keynes Dons
Bradford City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Shrewsbury Town
Norwich City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sunderland
Stoke City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Swansea City
Everton
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Fulham
Doncaster Rovers
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Newport County
Swindon Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Aberdeen
Livingston
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Falkirk
Rangers
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Kilmarnock
St Johnstone
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Partick Thistle
St Mirren
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ross County
Hibernian
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Clyde
Montrose
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Brescia
Lanciano
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cittadella
Pro Vercelli
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Crotone
Catania
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Frosinone
US Avellino
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Livorno
Varese
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Modena
Perugia
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ternana
Bologna
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trapani
Virtus Entella
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
US Pescara
Latina
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vicenza
Bari
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Ingolstadt 04
FC Erzgebirge Aue
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SpVgg Greuther Furth
VfR Aalen
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
St Pauli
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
SV Sandhausen
TSV 1860 Munich
3:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AC Ajaccio
Le Havre AC
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Angers
AJ Auxerre
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Arles
Stade Laval
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Tours
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Dijon FCO
Créteil
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Nimes
Chateauroux
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Orléans
Ajaccio GFCO
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Sochaux
Brest
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Troyes
Niort
6:55 PM GMT
Game Details
Capelle
FC Volendam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rijnsburgse Boys
Sparta Rotterdam
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Scheveningen
Lisse
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VVSB
Vitesse Arnhem
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Spakenburg
NAC Breda
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Achilles '29
Twente Enschede
Postp
Game Details
Ajax Amateurs
NEC Nijmegen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Almere City
ADO Den Haag
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Deltasport
Willem II Tilburg
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Exelsior Maassluis
FC Emmen
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flevo Boys
DOS '37
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
HHC Hardenberg
RKC Waalwijk
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Kozakken Boys
Sportlust '46
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
ONS Sneek
Dordrecht '90
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
FC Utrecht
Postp
Game Details
VVV Venlo
FC Eindhoven
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
Heerenveen
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Sporting Kansas City
Real Estelí
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Portland Timbers
Alpha United
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
César Vallejo
Universitario de Sucre
10:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Cerro Porteño
Independiente del Valle
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Argentinos Juniors
11:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Mérida
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
At. San Luis
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Lobos BUAP
Oaxaca
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Dorados de Sinaloa
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Monterrey
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
U.A.N.L
Queretaro
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
UNAM
Toluca
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Veracruz
Chiapas
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
ABC
Goianiense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Boa MG
Luverdense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Bragantino
Icasa
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
América Mineiro
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Paraná Clube
Avaí
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Vila Nova-GO
AA Ponte Preta
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
América RN
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa de Desportos
Náutico
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Sampaio Correa-MA
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Santa Cruz FC
Oeste
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Vantforet Kofu
Vissel Kobe
9:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cerezo Osaka
Nagoya Grampus Eight
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Kashiwa Reysol
Sagan Tosu
10:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Rangers de Talca
Palestino
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universidad de Concepción
Colo Colo
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Canales: Liga MX Best XI

Liga MX 10 hours ago
Read

Roma spoil Zdenek Zeman's homecoming

Roma 9 hours ago
Read
Aug 15, 2012

United seize the moment

It has been a 16-year rivalry, a sporting lifetime of enmity that turned into an unlikely entente cordiale, but the most telling victory of all has occurred off the field. By agreeing to sign Robin van Persie from Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson has inflicted one of Arsene Wenger's most humiliating defeats. In its own way, it is as damaging as the 8-2 thrashing at Old Trafford last August.

Van Persie played that day, missing a penalty but scoring a goal in a game that seemed to crystallise the identities of the two clubs: Arsenal had promise, but United performed. Perhaps it made the Dutchman's decision clearer. As his contract ticked down, he eventually announced he would not sign another. But while his parting gift came in the form of an astonishing eight months of sustained success in the penalty box, his 30 goals propelling Arsenal back into the Champions League, his departure will distress them.

They have served as a feeder club for Barcelona and Manchester City before, but the ideology of the purists and the affluence of the super-rich served as an explanation. This is different. This is United. This is proof that Ferguson's intense competitive nature has translated into the transfer market. It is also a unique deal.

He failed in a long pursuit of Patrick Vieira a decade ago. None of the Arsenal greats, of either the George Graham or the Wenger eras, headed for Old Trafford. Meanwhile, the only man to make the opposite journey during the Franco-Scottish war was Mikael Silvestre, and that was something of a hospital pass from Ferguson to Wenger. The Frenchman proved to be perhaps Arsenal's worst defender of recent times. The Dutchman is certainly their best player of late, their finest forward since Thierry Henry.

In terms of money, Van Persie is United's largest signing since the club record buy of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008. Rio Ferdinand, Juan Sebastian Veron and Wayne Rooney cost too. Forwards, as Ferguson illustrated with the catalytic purchase of Eric Cantona, are likelier to determine the destination of trophies. And while Rooney has done that, he, like the still more influential Cristiano Ronaldo, was a teenager, bought for his potential rather than his pedigree. United life was a learning process for both.

By signing the most coveted player in English football, perhaps the closest comparison is the 1993 arrival of Roy Keane. Even then, however, the Irishman came from relegated Nottingham Forest, not a title rival. So Van Persie stands alone.

At 29, he is a rare example of immediacy in United's transfer policy. Ferguson has adopted a futuristic attitude, tying one hand behind his own back with a reluctance to buy players aged 27 or over since the £30.75 million arrival of Berbatov. Now, finally, he has not paid for potential but for a proven, world-class player. Like the Bulgarian before him, Van Persie will have little resale value after three or four years. He is brought in to be prolific, not to make a profit.

He is about the here and now, about wresting the title back from City's grasp and restoring United to the position of pre-eminence that Ferguson prefers. He also has the attributes to be a quintessential United player, the blend of the aesthetic and the arithmetic, the style and the statistics. The classiest volleyer of a ball in England and the possessor of an outstanding left foot, he has an angular, educated excellence. But football is also a numbers game and Van Persie's figures were fantastic last season: 37 goals last season, 30 of them in the Premier League, where he chipped in with nine assists.

Between them, he and Wayne Rooney scored 72 club goals in 2011-12. Do that together in 2012-13 and United could be formidable. They have the promise of a fluid forward partnership, perhaps with the Englishman starting behind the newcomer, but each able to drop off and create. Pity the poor defenders that encounter them, not to mention the able attackers sidelined by them. Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez begin to take on the appearance of deluxe substitutes; Berbatov could look still glummer and paler sat in the stands, unless he is slung out of the Old Trafford exit.

After failing in his bid to buy Lucas Moura and Eden Hazard, Ferguson has changed the narrative of his summer - indeed of everyone's. But, as Arsenal had resigned themselves to their captain's departure, it is a deal that says more about United. The Scot will be able to argue that the owners do not hamper his ability to spend. Roberto Mancini is likely to bemoan City's inability to bring in blue-chip players.

That long appeared to be United's lot as they were outbid - or opted not to bid - as City and Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona were the eager buyers. Van Persie's arrival marks a seismic shift in their approach and, before a ball has been kicked, a turning point in the title race. Having announced his decision to leave Arsenal on American Independence Day, United's bid was accepted on Indian Independence Day. From Miami to Mumbai, from New York to New Delhi, both were big news. Essentially, though, it is about the red halves of North London and Manchester and about two veteran managers - one turned Van Persie into the most feared forward in the country and one who then signed him. He is Ferguson's greatest transfer-market coup for a long, long time.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.