Blogs

  • European Paper Review: Guardiola, Evra, cup finals - and King Iniesta

    Andy Mitten rounds up a busy domestic cup final weekend around Europe saw King Iniesta heralded in Spain, Pep Guardiola in Germany and Patrice Evra in Italy.

    ‘KingIniesta’ is the headline on the front of Monday’s Marca after Barcelona lifted Spain’s Copa del Rey on Sunday night to win the domestic double. Given Iniesta is not a Catalan and is hugely popular throughout Spain after scoring the goal which won the World Cup, it was as palatable a headline as a Madrid-based daily can make about a Barcelona player.

     “Barça win the double thanks to an exhibition from the Manchego,” it continued, that’s someone from Castille-La Mancha, the most Spanish part of Spain. ‘Futbol Club Iniesta,’ Marca renamed Barcelona after the player who has won a staggering

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  • Euro Bites: Copa del Rey special as Pique & Iniesta crash Banega’s farewell

    Andrew Gaffney on the winners and losers from turned out to be a fiery Spanish Cup Final

    Last night saw the curtain fall down on yet another domestic season in Spain. Barcelona won the battle after extra time to claim a double but were pushed all the way by a strong, determined Sevilla side who showed no signs of tiredness – despite playing midweek – until the final 15 minutes or so.  Luis Enrique stuck two fingers up at his critics, some of which wanted him gone after a home loss to Valencia, but he responded with a perfect six wins out of six – scoring 26 goals and conceding none.  Here are the winners and losers from an entertaining Copa del Rey final.

    THE WINNERS

    Pique

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  • Social Chatter: Did Danny Rose s**t himself? And England have no chance at Euro 2016

    James Matthews gets the latest reaction to England’s friendly win over Turkey and discovers an important question being asked of Danny Rose.

    England left plenty of question marks hanging over their heads after Sunday’s 2-1 friendly victory over Turkey.

    Are Roy Hodgson’s team good enough to win the Euros? Who will he pick for the first game at the finals? What is the best formation for England to play?

    Fans took to Twitter to give their opinions on those questions in the aftermath of what can only be described as an underwhelming victory at Wembley.

    But many had an even more serious question they wanted answering…did Danny Rose s**t himself?

    The reference was to Gary Lineker, who also allegedly soiled himself on the pitch during

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  • Premier League: Manchester United sack Louis Van Gaal

    Manchester United have sacked their manager Louis Van Gaal

    Manchester United have sacked their manager Louis Van Gaal

    The 64-year-old Dutchman guided Manchester United to the FA Cup on Saturday but looks to have paid the price for failing to have finished in the top four and missing out on the Champions League.

    They only scored 49 league goals, too, their lowest total since 1989-90.

    He leaves after completing two years of a three-year contract.

    Former Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter and Porto boss Jose Mourinho is expected to be named as United manager.

    Van Gaal took control of United after leading the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup

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  • MLS round-up: Red Bulls in seventh heaven against Villa & Pirlo, as Rapids grind it out

    Yahoo Sport's MLS expert Kristan Heneage rounds up the weekend action from the US - and Vieira sees his side hit for seven

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    Joe Bendik continues to prove his doubters wrong in the Sunshine state
    When Joe Bendik signed for Orlando City, there was no fanfare. A second choice goalkeeper in his final season with Toronto FC, the Canadian club declined his option in December, allowing Orlando to engineer a trade.

    What on the surface seemed a mediocre trade has quickly become a masterstroke by Adrian Heath, with Bendik consistently producing brilliant performances. Cyle Larin and Kaka may steal the headlines, as they did on Saturday against Montreal, but the duo were only able to be match-winners thanks to some strong

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  • Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Mourinho ‘to spend £200m and make Zlatan his Man Utd assistant’

    Boss of Goss Kevin Darling on the latest instalment of Jose Mourinho's transition from blue to red ...

    It will put a lot of people out of their misery when Manchester United finally announce they have appointed Jose Mourinho as their next manager, especially Louis van Gaal and Juan Mata, but in the meantime we all have to make do with speculation about what the Special One might do when he arrives at Old Trafford. And whatever he does, it seems highly likely it will involve Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    The Star says the Portuguese supercoach will be given £200m this summer to “turn United into Premier League title winners” - a strategy that worked so well when LVG tried it.

    The tabloid says free agent

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  • Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Lukaku to Chelsea, Mane to Arsenal, Gotze to Liverpool

    Yahoo Sport's 'Boss of Goss' Kevin Darling looks at Chelsea's latest loss making transfer scheme, Antonio Conte's latest target, which Arsenal midfielder Leicester are targeting, and Götze to Liverpool looks close.

    Chelsea’s loan model, where the Blues sign the most promising young players in the world and then send them on loan to increase their value, is by now famous within football. Here’s an example of how it works: Chelsea sign 18-year-old for £17m, send him on loan, he scores loads of goals, they sell him for £28m, he scores even more goals, they buy him back for £65m. Genius.

    That’s how it’s going to work with Romelu Lukaku anyway, according to the Mail on Sunday, which reports that Roman Abramovich is ready a sanction a transfer that would effectively see his club making a £37m loss on the big

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  • FA Cup Final review: Rooney’s best game for years at heart of United win

    Alex Netherton hails the Manchester United skipper after seeing the Reds come back from a goal down and a man down to beat Crystal Palace 2-1

    There was no refereeing conspiracy, only a bad referee

    For Crystal Palace fans, it would have been hugely tempting to look at Mark Clattenburg and assume that this was another case of a referee being intimidated by a big club and failing to act. Several times in the first half he failed to play advantage when Crystal Palace seemed to have the upper hand, but ultimately quelled the threat. Wayne Rooney slid in the penalty box and seemed like he’d committed a foul, but Clattenburg also didn’t give that. He could have sent Rooney off later, too, but favoured clemency. There were, and are, plenty

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  • Cricket: England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test day three: 5 things we learned

    England get the series up and running with a commanding innings and 88-run win over Sri Lanka. Here’s what Vitushan Ehantharajah learned from a one-sided day three…

    MAN OF THE DAY – JAMES ANDERSON

    Two years ago, Jimmy was crying at end of a gruelling Headingley showdown with Sri Lanka. This time, after just three days, he had a a smile on his face. “It’s nice to put that to bed,” says Anderson, as he reflected on his second innings five for 29, which gave him his second 10-wicket haul in Tests. Just as he did yesterday, he ensured the ball was full and gave it every chance to move through the air and of the pitch. While the result was a formality, England weren’t quite at their best with the ball this morning. Apart from Anderson, of course. With

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  • Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Manchester United ‘bid for Neymar and Pogba’, City 'want Alexis’

    Boss of Goss Kevin Darling predicts what Neymar will say to Old Trafford chiefs as Pep Guardiola prepares to plunder Premier League clubs foe their best players - apparently

    Now that the season is over and Barcelona have won the league, Neymar can get around to doing all those things he didn’t have time for while he was too busy banging in goals at Camp Nou. He can pay the electricity bill, bathe the dog, return those DVDs to Blockbuster Video and finally have a proper look at that £145m transfer offer he received from Manchester United.

    The Daily Express reports that the Brazilian superstar is currently “analysing” an offer to move to Old Trafford. We’re not sure how long this will take because we don’t know the level of Neymar’s analytical skills, but we’re

    Read More »from Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Manchester United ‘bid for Neymar and Pogba’, City 'want Alexis’