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England

50-50 Challenge: Scotland vs. England

50-50 Challenge
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

#FCtalkingpoints: LFC Klopp swap, Rooney, Messi, MLS best and Moyes

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has praised star forward Lionel Messi after the 27-year-old became La Liga's record goalscorer with 253 goals during their 5-1 win at home to Sevilla.

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five white-hot topics on the ESPN FC radar following the weekend.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

Another weekend, another record-setting performance for Lionel Messi. Okay, the master doesn't do it every time he plays, but in Barcelona's 5-1 win vs. Sevilla, Messi broke Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goals record of 251 with panache: He netted a hat trick to put his total at 253.

Where is Messi in his overall career arc?

Last...

 By Jim Daly

Why watching Clyne's England debut was so satisfying for Palace fans

Crystal Palace product Nathaniel Clyne made his full England debut against Slovenia during the week.

Following a team like Crystal Palace has always been something of a cult practice. Even the late, great DJ John Peel agreed. "Supporting Palace has a certain cult value -- like pretending that some Peruvian rock band is the best in the world," he once said.

And this week, Palace fans got another chance to feel like footballing hipsters when Nathaniel Clyne made his full England debut -- and shone big time. He's perhaps fortunate in that there hasn't been a solid England right-back for decades and...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Wayne Rooney's infectious enthusiasm inspires England against Scotland

The ESPN FC team discuss Tuesday's international friendlies, including Scotland's loss at home to England and what the United States need to do to get back on track.

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Louis van Gaal probably winced as he caught sight of Wayne Rooney's celebration of his second England goal against Scotland, but might have been heartened by the view of his Manchester United captain enjoying himself so freely.

Two goals and a cartwheel: Rooney gave the lie to the idea that it was the Scots who wanted revival of international football's oldest rivalry more. Parkhead was an environment in which he thrived, having outed himself Monday as a covert Celtic fan.

"It...

A week's worth of watching the international 'week of football'

The ESPN FC team discuss Tuesday's international friendlies, including Scotland's loss at home to England and what the United States need to do to get back on track.

With the novelty of the "Week of Football" wearing off, ESPN FC asked Iain Macintosh to watch as many games as he possibly could and tell us whether he still thought it was a good idea at the end. Here's what he made of it all. -- FC editors

Wednesday, Nov. 12

Turkey vs. Brazil

For some reason impossible to comprehend, British broadcasters have no interest in a relatively meaningless exhibition game between two foreign nations, but we are made of sturdy stuff at ESPN FC, and lights are cast upon...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Three Points: Scotland vs. England

Wayne Rooney scored a brace to guide the Three Lions to a 3-1 victory over Scotland at Celtic Park.

GLASGOW -- A trio of observations on England's 3-1 win vs. Scotland.

1. Rooney inspires "Auld Enemy"

It was a night of England's glory. Roy Hodgson's team revealed clear superiority over Scotland, who had no answer to the "Auld Enemy" and the ruthless finishing of their forwards.

Wayne Rooney scored his 45th and 46th international goals to move within three of Sir Bobby Charlton's England record and, in doing so, reminded of his continuing ability as a pure centre forward. 

His first came...

 By Nick Miller

Top Tenner: England vs. Scotland

England's Jimmy Greaves shoots past Scotland goalkeeper Francis Haffey at Wembley in 1961.

In preparation for Tuesday's friendly at Celtic Park, Nick Miller counts down the top 10 matches between Scotland and England:

10. Scotland 0-0 England, 1872

We shall start at the beginning. Actually, whether you go by official or unofficial history determines whether or not you think this was indeed the beginning. The very first game between two sides calling themselves "England" and "Scotland" came in 1870, after the secretary of the nascent English FA, C.W. Alcock, issued a challenge to all "Scotchmen"...