Apoel Nicosia
Real Madrid
7:45 PM UTC
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Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham Hotspur
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Manchester City
Feyenoord Rotterdam
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Shakhtar Donetsk
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Sevilla FC
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Spartak Moscow
NK Maribor
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AS Monaco
RB Leipzig
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Aston Villa
7:45 PM UTC
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Columbus Crew SC
Toronto FC
ESPN3 1:00 AM UTC Nov 22, 2017
Leg 1
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Houston Dynamo
Seattle Sounders FC
3:00 AM UTC Nov 22, 2017
Leg 1
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Transfer Rater: De Bruyne to Real Madrid


Delicious Messi made of chocolate

This was the week when two TV pundits were unwittingly caught slating Theo Walcott, a Serbia fan set off on a 10,000-mile trek to the World Cup, Lionel Messi was honoured in chocolate and America legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco donned the shirt of his arch-rivals.

Delicious Messi made of chocolate

It's been a strange and hugely successful week for a certain Lionel Messi. It began with a life-sized chocolate statue being unveiled in his honour during the Easter celebrations in Catalonia and ended by being compared to a "Playstation player" by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Wenger described the little Argentinean as making "the impossible possible" after witnessing Messi smash all four goals past his hapless Gunners in a 4-1 win at the Camp Nou, a performance that won universal praise from everybody in the entire world with a mouth, a pen or a computer.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona, to whom Messi has so often been compared, added his plaudits to the pile, claiming that Messi wasn't just the best in the world, but so good but that he "is playing kick-about with Jesus".

Praise indeed. But does it beat a 115 kilo edible chocolate statue complete with Ballon d'Or? I think not.

Burnley player goes from sub to pub

It's difficult to resist the urge to head straight down the pub after being battered 6-1 on the football pitch and Burnley's Kevin McDonald was so disappointed with his team's performance against Manchester City this week that he didn't even wait until full-time.

The midfielder was substituted at half-time with his team 5-0 down and immediately left Turf Moor and headed to the local public house with his family to watch the second half on TV.

He was subsequently fined for "a breach of club discipline" for leaving the ground without permission and his actions also gave headline writers the excuse to embarrass Burnley further with many a "pub team" pun.

The 21-year-old Scot later admitted he had been "naive" and "disrespectful", with Burnley boss Brian Laws adding that his player had been "a bit of an idiot".

TV pundits caught slating Walcott

The swift collapse of Ron Atkinson's media career following his unsuitable utterances about Marcel Desailly back in April 2004 provides a cautionary tale for all pundits who might be thinking of saying something they shouldn't near a microphone.

But it seems this lesson has been forgotten in the Sky Sports studio where both presenter Richard Keys and ex-player Andy Gray were caught slagging off Arsenal's Theo Walcott when they thought their mics had been turned off.

Keys swore at the England starlet during the Gunners' 4-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona screaming: "Get up you stupid little boy." He then added: "You've been s***e, son, in your daft pink boots - absolute rubbish."

Gray was also heard laying into Walcott on a feed picked up on Dutch television. "That Walcott's s***e, isn't he?" Gray said.

Keep your ears peeled for gushing praise next time Arsenal are on TV.

Serbia fan sets off for World Cup on foot

Serbia fan Sasa Jovic laughed in the face of The Proclaimers and their ballad-based boast that they would walk (a mere) 500 miles and set off on a 10,000-mile trek to South Africa this week.

Draped in the flag of his country, Jovic set off on foot from Serbia with just a backpack and a world map in his bid to reach South Africa in time for the White Eagles' World Cup opener against Ghana in Pretoria on June 13.

"I've decided to take to take a road less travelled and I plan to get to South Africa on foot, while I will also hitch-hike and take public transport when possible," Jovic said. "I will travel via Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Botswana.

"I hope the national team will give me plenty to cheer about when I get there."

Blanco dons rash-inducing Guadalajara shirt

Controversial Mexico striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco proved he was man of his word this week when he donned a rash-inducing Chivas Guadalajara shirt after losing a bet that his team Club America would win their Clasico de Clasicos clash.

Blanco made over 330 appearances during a 15-year career at America and it is safe to say he would never want to be seen in the shirt of arch-rivals Guadalajara. It would be like Steven Gerrard parading around in a Manchester United strip.

"Game debts are debts of honour, I'm going to come out in a rash," the 37-year-old said as he put on Guadalajara's red and white stripes during his television programme The Cuauhtemoc Blanco Hour on Monday night.

Although Blanco did ensure he was fully clothed underneath so the shirt didn't touch his skin.

VT of the week

Some great footage this week of crocked Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney trying to have a sneaky pint in Old Trafford's executive box as his team lose against Chelsea.

He almost goes through with it until a quick look at the TV reveals he is being watched by millions of viewers. Thanks to our friends at 101greatgoals you can see Rooney getting caught trying to drink a pint here.

Best of the rest

• Rafa: 'We'll finish fourth' - the worst football predictions ever!

• America keeper Viera saves two penalties and scores one

• Gordon Brown likens UK economy to Wayne Rooney's ankle

• Carlos Vela couldn't face Barca because he forgot his passport


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