Thursday, November 30, 2017

World Cup 2018 Draw: How It Works

Soccer
World Cup 2018 Draw: How It Works
The draw placing teams into groups for next summer’s World Cup in Russia will be held Friday at the Kremlin.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ahead of World Cup, Fans Are Warned About Homophobia and Racism in Russia

Soccer
Ahead of World Cup, Fans Are Warned About Homophobia and Racism in Russia
An anti-discrimination organization that has partnered with FIFA to control fan behavior at the World Cup has issued warnings to gay and transgender fans and people of certain races.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A-League invites ridicule with Star Wars round promotion

Football | The Guardian
A-League invites ridicule with Star Wars round promotion

Fans mock commercial tie-up that chief executive David Gallop hails as way to ‘expand the football family’

In the midst of a governance crisis, Football Federation Australia has announced it has teamed up with Walt Disney for a Star Wars round, to kick off on 8 December. The round is timed to lead into the release of Star Wars: the Last Jedi in cinemas in Australia on 14 December.

According to the FFA, the round will include “character appearances, big screen content, themed activities and giveaways”. The unlikely bedfellows have also worked together to produce a co-branded video which draws on themes of light and dark, good and evil by interspersing footage from this football season with the new film.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

José Mourinho praises Romelu Lukaku despite flow of goals drying up

Football | The Guardian
José Mourinho praises Romelu Lukaku despite flow of goals drying up
• Manchester United manager says there is no pressure on the striker
• Forward has scored for United in only one of his last 10 matches

José Mourinho was at his most succinct. For the ninth time in 10 matches his £75m striker had failed to find the net. “He didn’t score,” the Manchester United manager said. “I don’t care.” The Portuguese can be a master of deception and diversionary tactics. Sometimes, however out of character it may appear, he is simply voicing an honest opinion.

Because when Romelu Lukaku was averaging a goal a game, Mourinho’s mantra was that it did not matter. When his biggest summer signing opened his league account against West Ham, his manager averred that there was “no pressure from me”. After Lukaku struck in the win over his former club Everton, Mourinho said: “He knows that for me there is no pressure for goalscoring.” When flood has given way to drought, United’s manager has displayed a consistency of argument.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Icardi at the double again in Cagliari as Inter go top

English // marca
Icardi at the double again in Cagliari as Inter go top
Icardi at the double again in Cagliari as Inter go top

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Big Six and … Burnley? A Success Story Confounds the Statisticians

Soccer
The Big Six and … Burnley? A Success Story Confounds the Statisticians
Almost a third of the way into the season, seventh-place Burnley has overcome all expectations — even its own.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Everton's misery compounded by home humiliation

English // marca
Everton's misery compounded by home humiliation
Everton's misery compounded by home humiliation

Thursday, November 23, 2017

At UEFA, Mounting Concern About A.C. Milan’s Murky Finances

Soccer
At UEFA, Mounting Concern About A.C. Milan’s Murky Finances
UEFA will decide early next month whether A.C. Milan, a seven-time European champion, has the financial resources to re-enter its continental championships should it play its way back in.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Benzema begins to justify Zidane's confidence

English // marca
Benzema begins to justify Zidane's confidence
Benzema begins to justify Zidane's confidence

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

At West Brom, Tony Pulis’s Game of Substance Goes Out of Style

Soccer
At West Brom, Tony Pulis’s Game of Substance Goes Out of Style
Pulis’s pragmatic approach led to adequate results for West Bromwich but also led to disaffected fans and, ultimately, his firing this weekend.

Monday, November 20, 2017

David Moyes pleads for unity at West Ham as fans turn on club hierarchy

Football | The Guardian
David Moyes pleads for unity at West Ham as fans turn on club hierarchy
• Chants of ‘sack the board’ heard as Moyes’ loses first game in charge to Watford
• Manager hits out at ‘players with big reputations’

David Moyes has appealed for unity among West Ham United supporters after watching his new team slump to a 2-0 defeat at Watford in his first match, leaving them marooned in the relegation zone.

A number of fans made their feelings known throughout the game, with Will Hughes’s opening goal in the 11th minute greeted with a chorus of “sack the board” as West Ham made a nightmare start under the Scot in his first appointment since leaving Sunderland early last summer. Andy Carroll was also singled out for criticism by a large section of away supporters when he was withdrawn in the second half soon after Richarlison had doubled Watford’s lead and Moyes, who replaced Slaven Bilic as manager during the international break, admitted they will have to get behind the team if West Ham are to rescue themselves from their second-worst start to a Premier League season. “I don’t know the history and all the reasons for it but I have to say we need them now,” the manager said.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Bloody nose for Sergio Ramos as Real and Atlético draw in Madrid derby

Football | The Guardian
Bloody nose for Sergio Ramos as Real and Atlético draw in Madrid derby

When the final whistle went at the end of the first ever Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético’s new home 12 miles across the city from their old one, there was no roar, but there was a little relief. A 0-0 draw suits neither side and was nothing to celebrate but at least it was not cruel, as some Atlético fans feel their history against Real has been. Instead, it was largely empty. It leaves both teams from the capital ten points behind Barcelona and showcased the reasons why that is the case. Isco apart, this was a game desperately lacking in creativity or control. Lacking goals too.

Related: Luis Suárez back on target as Barcelona pull away with win over Leganés

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Watford v West Ham United: match preview

Football | The Guardian
Watford v West Ham United: match preview

David Moyes takes charge of his 500th Premier League game and his first as West Ham United manager. Unfortunately he will be without the club’s top scorer, Javier Hernández, who was injured playing for Mexico. Despite Moyes’s emphasis on improved work ethic, Marco Silva will probably look to apply as much pressure on West Ham’s porous defence as possible to stop a run of three defeats. Graham Searles

Kick-off Sunday 4pm

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Ready for some club football? Enjoy these four huge derbies on Saturday

Football | The Guardian
Ready for some club football? Enjoy these four huge derbies on Saturday

The big leagues are returning in style with four big derbies: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal, Roma v Lazio, Basaksehir v Galatasaray and Atlético v Real Madrid

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The first North London derby of the season gets the ball rolling again in the Premier League this weekend as Arsenal aim to keep pace with Spurs after the clubs’ fortunes were well and truly reversed last season. While Mauricio Pochettino led Tottenham to their second successive top-three finish, Arsenal dropped out of the Champions League places for the first time under Arsène Wenger’s management.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Football transfer rumours: Marouane Fellaini to Arsenal?

Football | The Guardian
Football transfer rumours: Marouane Fellaini to Arsenal?

Today’s fluff is in discord and rhyme

Real Betis “believe they are close to pulling off a massive coup”, according to the Mirror. In these days of military takeovers of African quasi-dictatorships you might think that football gossipmongers might have temporarily scaled back on their use of the word “coup”, but no. Here it is in black and white, and being used to describe the future planning of a certain Jack Wilshere. The player, whose contract at Arsenal ends next summer, is apparently “open to moving to La Liga”, the only question being whether Betis “push for a cut-price deal in January”, “convince him to sign a pre-contract in January” or, in fact, fail to sign him altogether.

But who would replace Wilshere in Arsenal’s midfield/bench/stands should he leave? One improbable answer could be Marouane Fellaini, who “has rejected a new contract offer and is set to quit Manchester United on a free transfer at the end of the season”, according to the Express. They say that Internazionale, Besiktas and indeed Arsenal all want to add the Belgian’s sharp-elbowed skills to their ranks, but United will not consider selling the midfielder in January, preferring to keep him just as long as they can. The Mirror suggest this might be longer than first advertised, with the club “working on a compromise deal” and José Mourinho having “not given up hope of persuading him to stay at Old Trafford”, but then they also say he might end up in Valencia as part-payment for the 20-year-old midfield wonderkid Carlos Soler.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Denmark look to Russia as Irish soul-searching begins

English // marca
Denmark look to Russia as Irish soul-searching begins
Denmark look to Russia as Irish soul-searching begins

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Barcelona's rapid finishes a good sign for a successful season

English // marca
Barcelona's rapid finishes a good sign for a successful season
Barcelona's rapid finishes a good sign for a successful season

Monday, November 13, 2017

Croatia and Switzerland Clinch World Cup Berths

Soccer
Croatia and Switzerland Clinch World Cup Berths
Both teams earned scoreless draws in the second legs of their playoff series to earn spots in next summer’s tournament in Russia.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Disputed Penalty Kick Gives Switzerland a Win in World Cup Playoff

Soccer
Disputed Penalty Kick Gives Switzerland a Win in World Cup Playoff
Switzerland was awarded a penalty kick after a ball appeared to hit the shoulder of a Northern Irish player and converted it for a 1-0 victory.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Bale left devastated after new injury

English // marca
Bale left  devastated after new injury
Bale left devastated after new injury

Friday, November 10, 2017

Alex Morgan scores as USA women play to 1-1 draw with Canada in friendly

Football | The Guardian
Alex Morgan scores as USA women play to 1-1 draw with Canada in friendly
Morgan’s 31st-minute goal lifts USA to 1-1 draw at Vancouver’s BC PlaceAmericans improve to 47-3-7 against Canada with no losses in 16 yearsUSA will conclude 2017 schedule with rematch on Sunday in California

Alex Morgan scored and Alyssa Naeher had a late stop to help the US women’s national team to a 1-1 draw with Canada on Thursday night before a sold-out crowd of 28,017 at Vancouver’s BC Place.

The US had won six in a row since a 1-0 loss to Australia on July 27 and is 47-3-7 all-time against Canada.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

World Cup play-offs, final qualifiers and friendlies: 10 things to look out for

Football | The Guardian
World Cup play-offs, final qualifiers and friendlies: 10 things to look out for

Republic of Ireland walk disciplinary tightrope, Italians seek revenge, Morocco and Senegal look for final step and will Wilfried Zaha be Ivory Coast’s saviour?

Northern Ireland and Switzerland last met in a competitive fixture in 1964, when a home team featuring Pat Jennings, Terry Neill and George Best triumphed 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park. The current Northern Ireland side boast no players of such high quality, but the indomitable team spirit forged by the manager, Michael O’Neill, in recent years makes them an extremely tough nut to crack at the best of times, particularly when playing in Belfast. Fortress Windsor Park is once again the venue as Northern Ireland resume hostilities with the Swiss in the first leg of a far more significant qualifier on Thursday. For all their delight at being pitted against Switzerland, Northern Ireland fans will be aware their Swiss counterparts will also have been yodelling with delight at the draw. The Swiss boasted a 100% record in their qualifying group until being consigned to the play-offs on goal difference by defeat at the hands of Portugal in their final game. Neutralising the Swiss at home is vital for the Irish and O’Neill has said as much. “The most important thing is we don’t concede an away goal,” he said. One of the greatest players ever to play the game, Best never got to showcase his skills on football’s most exalted stage. A comparatively workmanlike group of players will never have a better chance to rub shoulders with international football’s global elite. BG

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lewandowski: Bayern must bring in new blood to stay on top

English // marca
Lewandowski: Bayern must bring in new blood to stay on top
Lewandowski: Bayern must bring in new blood to stay on top

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cristiano Ronaldo assures Real Madrid teammates that he'll win the Pichichi

English // marca
Cristiano Ronaldo assures Real Madrid teammates that he'll win the Pichichi
Cristiano Ronaldo assures Real Madrid teammates that he'll win the Pichichi

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pochettino: Beating Real Madrid puts Spurs among Europe’s best

Football | The Guardian
Pochettino: Beating Real Madrid puts Spurs among Europe’s best

• ‘To get to the next level Tottenham have to win things,’ says manager
• Real’s Zinedine Zidane says Spurs ‘superior in all aspects’

Mauricio Pochettino challenged his Tottenham Hotspur players to take the club to “the next level” and start winning trophies on the back of their victory against Real Madrid and a result that seals their qualification to the Champions League knockout stages with two matches to spare.

Related: Dele Alli double rocks Real Madrid for historic Tottenham victory

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Champions League roundup: Borussia Dortmund face early exit

Football | The Guardian
Champions League roundup: Borussia Dortmund face early exit
• 2013 finalists miss chances and draw 1-1 at home against Apoel Nicosia
• Important home wins for Sevilla and Porto

Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League were virtually extinguished when they could only draw 1-1 at home against the Cypriot side Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday.

Needing a win to put pressure on Tottenham and Real Madrid in Group H, Dortmund, beaten finalists in 2013, took the lead through Raphaël Guerreiro in the 29th minute after he had been set up by Shinji Kagawa’s through ball.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid: Champions League – live!

Football | The Guardian
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid: Champions League – live!
Minute-by-minute updates from the match at WembleyFollow Liverpool v Maribor | Follow Napoli v Manchester CityEmail jacob.steinberg@theguardian.com. Tweet @JacobSteinberg

9.10pm GMT

69 min: Prediction: Real Madrid v Manchester United in the last 16.

9.09pm GMT

68 min: Eriksen shoots over from 20 yards.

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Rybarikova outlasts top seed Mladenovic at WTA Elite Trophy

English // marca
Rybarikova outlasts top seed Mladenovic at WTA Elite Trophy
Rybarikova outlasts top seed Mladenovic at WTA Elite Trophy

José Mourinho: 'No drama' in Lukaku penalty decision – video

Football | The Guardian
José Mourinho: 'No drama' in Lukaku penalty decision – video

The Manchester United manager, José Mourinho, says he was just doing his job by instructing Daley Blind to take a penalty in the win over Benfica on Tuesday. Romelu Lukaku was quick to grab the ball when United were awarded the spot-kick in the 78th minute but Mourinho signalled he wanted someone else to take penalty. ‘The players respected my decision and that’s it. End of story,’ says Mourinho

Mourinho defends Lukaku penalty snub in Manchester United’s win over Benfica Continue reading...