Latest News

The latest news as they roll-in from newspapers and online media

Bury AFC: 'We created this for people to fall back in love with football'

The Guardian Andy Hunter - 3 hours ago

Almost a year from Bury’s expulsion from the EFL, the phoenix club created during lockdown is ready to restore local pride It is almost 12 months since Bury were expelled from the Football League and the blows keep coming. On Friday, the Football Association confirmed the club’s application to join the National League had been rejected, a decision ratified by the FA council and based on factors including “financial resources, ownership and insolvency status”. There is no way back yet for the two-times FA Cup winners under the ownership of Steve Dale. It is 15 months since Gigg Lane last staged a competitive game, a 1-1 draw with Port Vale that doubled as a celebration for Ryan Lowe’s fine team winning promotion to League One. They never would make the step up as debts left by the previous owner, Stewart Day, precipitated the devastating crash of a 134-year-old football club. Continue reading...

Lionel Messi magic sinks Napoli and puts labouring Barcelona through

The Guardian Jonathan Liew - 13 hours ago

Progress for Barcelona, and yet the spectre of a first trophyless season since 2008 somehow seems to loom larger than ever. They made it past Napoli and into the Champions League quarter-finals, but with the sort of leaden, listless display that makes it almost impossible to envisage them holding aloft the trophy in Lisbon on 23 August. Almost. That they have even a puncher’s chance is due largely to the man who was again their salvation in this game. Any team with Lionel Messi pointing in the right direction can never quite be counted out, and here it was his unshakeable balance and insoluble will that brought him within three wins of the prize he craves more than any other. Continue reading...

Lewandowski leads Bayern Munich masterclass in hammering of Chelsea

The Guardian Jacob Steinberg at the Allianz Arena - 13 hours ago

Even Didier Drogba would have struggled to dig Chelsea out of this hole. There was no dramatic turnaround. There was no Petr Cech to perform heroics in goal, no Drogba to power a header past Manuel Neuer and no hope of Chelsea pulling off another miraculous comeback against Bayern Munich, who look a good bet to win the Champions League for the first time since 2013 after reaching the last eight with another ruthless display. In truth it always was fanciful to think that Chelsea, beaten 7-1 on aggregate, would be capable of burgling Bayern at the Allianz Arena again. The gulf in class was vast and, although Frank Lampard can be proud of finishing fourth in his first season as Chelsea’s manager, this was another painful reminder that his callow side remain a work in progress. Continue reading...

Bayern Munich v Chelsea: Champions League last 16, second leg – live!

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 13 hours ago

Live updates from the Allianz Arena, kick-off 8pm Bayern lead 3-0 from first leg at Stamford Bridge Lampard says he will not hold grudge if Willian joins Arsenal Feel free to email Rob your thoughts 9.50pm BST Peep peep! Bayern Munich will play Barcelona or Napoli in the quarter-final on Friday after another hugely impressive performance. Robert Lewandowski scored two and made two, and I pity the fools who have to face this lot in Portugal over the next fortnight. They are quite magnificent. 9.48pm BST 90 min Davies is going off injured, so Bayern are down to 10 men. It looks like a precaution rather than a cause of national despair in Canada. Continue reading...

Barcelona v Napoli: Champions League last 16, second leg – live!

The Guardian Barry Glendenning - 13 hours ago

Live updates from Nou Camp, kick-off 8pm BST Phil Foden stars to offer Manchester City glimpse of multiple futures Feel free to email Barry or tweet @bglendenning with your thoughts 9.49pm BST 86 min: Milik has a shot on the turn blocked by Lenglet just inside the Barcelona penalty area. 9.48pm BST 84 min: THere’s a break in play as Luis Suarez receives treatment for a bang on the back of the head. Manolas the culprit, there. Barcelona substitution: Antoine Griezmann off, Monchu on. Griezmann has had a very quiet evening. Continue reading...

Juventus appoint Andrea Pirlo manager following Maurizio Sarri's sacking

The Guardian PA Media - 15 hours ago

Former midfielder gets job only week after U23 appointment Sarri dismissed after club’s exit from Champions League Juventus have appointed their former midfielder Andrea Pirlo as manager following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian champions acted swiftly as Sarri paid the price for their Champions League exit to Lyon on Friday, with Pirlo replacing him on a two-year contract. Pirlo, who made 164 appearances for Juve between 2011 and 2015, was named as their under-23s manager only 10 days ago but the 41-year-old gets an immediate promotion. Continue reading...

MLS to resume season in home stadiums, some with fans in attendance

The Guardian Guardian sport and agencies - 17 hours ago

Major League Soccer to resume season after Florida tournament Fans will be permitted to attend matches as local officials allow Major League Soccer said Saturday it will resume its season once the MLS is Back tournament in Florida wraps up. Related: Nani double lifts Orlando City past Minnesota into MLS is Back final Continue reading...

Juventus sack Maurizio Sarri after Champions League exit to Lyon

The Guardian Fabrizio Romano - 21 hours ago

Former Chelsea manager leaves after one season in charge Club president convinced Cristiano Ronaldo will stay Juventus have sacked head coach Maurizio Sarri after they were eliminated from the Champions League by Lyon, the club have confirmed. Despite winning the Serie A title, the club’s ninth consecutive league championship, in his first season in charge at the Allianz Stadium, Sarri was dismissed having lost on away goals to Lyon on Friday night. Sarri has been the target of criticism since early on in his tenure and the European failure was the final straw for the club’s hierarchy. Continue reading...

France's Champions League hopes suddenly brighten after Lyon join PSG | Paul Doyle

The Guardian Paul Doyle - 22 hours ago

Only one French club has been European champions but after Lyon beat Juventus no country has more teams in the last eight If Euro 2020 had not been postponed, then as world champions France would have fancied their chances of embellishing the country’s roll of honour this summer. But when it transpired the only competitions to take place would be the Champions League and Europa League, hopes of French glory faded. Only once has a French club lifted one of Europe’s top two competitions and that victory was tainted, as Marseille’s 1993 Champions League triumph came in the year they were stripped of their domestic title for match-fixing. This year, by contrast, events in France were thought to have weakened their clubs’ chances on the continent, but suddenly their outlook has brightened after Lyon’s surprising elimination of Juventus on Friday. Continue reading...

Manchester City dominated Real Madrid but profligacy will concern Guardiola | Jonathan Wilson

The Guardian Jonathan Wilson - 23 hours ago

City were far superior but at 1-1 looked vulnerable. Their failure to take chances could stop them from winning the tournament For a while now, it has been apparent the goals-against column in the Premier League table did not mean what it appeared to when considering Manchester City. It shows 35 goals conceded, the second lowest total in the league, only two behind the champions, Liverpool. But that does not mean City have the second-best defence. Friday’s Champions League win over Real Madrid was highly impressive, an emphatic 2-1 defeat of the newly crowned Spanish champions that represented City’s finest European night at the Etihad of the Sheikh Mansour era, but it also highlighted that the fact they scored 17 more goals than anybody else in the Premier League this season does not mean City have the best attack. Continue reading...

'It’s a win-win situation': Robin van Persie rejoins Feyenoord as coach

The Guardian Guardian sport and agencies - 23 hours ago

Former Dutch international joins first club in unofficial capacity 37-year-old links up with manager Dick Advocaat once more Robin van Persie says he has joined Feyenoord’s staff to help their forwards with their finishing - although he is not sure what his exact title is - and to see whether coaching is something he might like to pursue. The former Manchester United and Arsenal striker finished his started and finished his career with Feyenoord, eventually retiring from playing in 2019, which this being his first coaching role. Continue reading...

Ellen Fokkema breaks Dutch age barrier to play football against men

The Guardian Louise Taylor - 1 day ago

‘I’ve played with these lads since I was five,’ says the pioneering 19-year-old from amateur side VV Foarut Ellen Fokkema is proud, and excited, to be the face of a controversial experiment that could see the advent of mixed-gender adult football in the Netherlands. Until this month, the KNVB had barred women over 18 from playing in senior men’s first teams, but the Dutch Football Association has now – on a one season-only trial basis – agreed that the 19-year-old can continue turning out for her local club. “It’s fantastic I can keep on playing in this team, I’ve played with these lads since I was five,” says the forward from VV Foarut, in the Frisian village of Menaam. Continue reading...

Why north-east is up in arms at collapse of Saudi Arabia bid to buy Newcastle | David Conn

The Guardian David Conn - 1 day ago

With such a united front of support for the takeover, however surprising, it is more useful to understand than condemn The eruption of protest in the north-east at the collapse of the Saudi Arabian bid to buy Newcastle United has come as a shock to those for whom the prospect of Saudi ownership provoked revulsion. As it turned out, the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test did not bar the Saudis owing to the principal reason for that international revulsion, the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. After that murder, the distinguished reporter on Middle East affairs Patrick Cockburn wrote in the Independent that however appalling that atrocity was, it was “by no means the worst act carried out by Saudi Arabia since 2015”. He did not have in mind the one issue that did ultimately become a deal‑breaker at Premier League HQ: the pirating of football TV rights by the Saudi platform BeoutQ from the Qatari company beIN. Continue reading...

Manchester City have potential to win Champions League, says Guardiola

The Guardian Andy Hunter - 1 day ago

Sterling and Jesus star in 4-2 aggregate win over Real Madrid ‘This shows we can do it but we have to see how we recover’ Pep Guardiola described Manchester City’s victory over Real Madrid as a major step for his team on the European stage and evidence they have the quality to win the Champions League. City secured their place in the quarter-finals in Lisbon, where they will play Lyon next Saturday, with a commanding display against the Spanish champions, although they were indebted to two dreadful mistakes from Raphaël Varane for their goals. Raheem Sterling, with his 100th goal for City, and Gabriel Jesus capitalised on the defender’s errors to guide Guardiola’s side into the last eight for the third successive season. Continue reading...

Lyon condemn Juventus to another exit despite Cristiano Ronaldo double

The Guardian Reuters - 1 day ago

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, including an unstoppable long-range goal, to give Juventus victory over Lyon in the Champions League on Friday but it was not enough as the French side reached the quarter-finals on away goals. After both sides converted contentious penalties in the first half, Ronaldo struck from out of the blue on the hour but Lyon clung on for a 2-2 aggregate draw that sent them to next week’s final eight tournament in Lisbon. They will meet Manchester City in a one-legged quarter-final. Continue reading...

Phil Foden stars to offer Manchester City glimpse of multiple futures

The Guardian Jonathan Liew - 1 day ago

Twenty-year-old excelled against Madrid and his talent is such he could play in any number of roles across midfield and attack Not long after Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in the summer of 2016, a few of the academy players were invited to train with the first team during pre-season. Afterwards, Guardiola was almost beside himself with excitement. “Did you see that kid in the centre of the field?” he asked his staff incredulously. He liked the look of Brahim Díaz. He liked the look of Jadon Sancho. But it had taken just one session for Guardiola to fall in love with Phil Foden. Still, the course of true love rarely runs in a straight line. And four years after Pep from Catalonia first clapped eyes on Phil from Stockport across a crowded rondo, here finally was the consummation. Not a dead rubber against Hoffenheim. Not a Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa. Not a casual league game against a half-bothered Liverpool. Continue reading...

Juventus 2-1 Lyon (agg: 2-2): Champions League last 16, second leg – as it happened

The Guardian Tumaini Carayol - 1 day ago

Lyon hold on reach the quarter-finals for the first time in a decade despite two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo 10.28pm BST That’s all from me tonight. Thanks very much for following and we will see what this young, resourceful Lyon team is capable of on neutral ground in a week. Good night. 10.11pm BST Lyon have often pulled it out of the bag in big games in recent years but still pretty astonished at that result. Yes they were 1-0 up from the first leg but remember the context: one competitive game in five months before tonight and rotten in Ligue 1 for most of the season Continue reading...

Jesus ensures stylish Manchester City sweep past blundering Real Madrid

The Guardian Jamie Jackson at the Etihad Stadium - 1 day ago

Manchester City were relentless in a dazzling performance of shock-and-awe attacking that pinned back Real Madrid from kick-off to final whistle. It gave Pep Guardiola’s team – and the club – their finest Champions League result and pits them against Lyon in the quarter-finals. Zinedine Zidane’s team were just not allowed to breathe and in Raphaël Varane had a hapless defender culpable for each City goal, while Eden Hazard was an A-list act reduced to a bit-part. Downing the record 13-times winners in this manner and handing their head coach a first knockout defeat in the competition after 12 victorious ties will surely send confidence soaring and convince City they can go on and claim the European Cup for the first time in their history. Continue reading...

Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid (agg: 4-2): Champions League last 16, second leg – as it happened

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 1 day ago

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus took advantage of unusual errors from Raphael Varane to put Manchester City into the quarter-finals 9.56pm BST City will play... Lyon in the quarter-final next Saturday. They have surprisingly beaten Juventus on away goals in Turin, despite the best efforts of Cristiano Ronaldo. And although Lyon took four points off City in the group stages last season, Pep Guardiola’s team will be huge favourites. 9.53pm BST Manchester City are into the quarter-finals of the Champions League after an occasionally tense but ultimately comfortable win over Real Madrid. Raphael Varane was at fault for both goals, scored by Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, and Karim Benzema’s equaliser on the night ultimately counted for nowt. City can pack their bags for Portugal knowing they are only three games from winning the Champions League. Continue reading...

Frank Lampard says he will not hold grudge if Willian joins Arsenal

The Guardian Jacob Steinberg - 1 day ago

Brazilian close to signing for London rivals on free transfer Manager urges Chelsea to pull off turnaround against Bayern Frank Lampard has urged Chelsea to pull off an incredible turnaround when they face Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League on Saturday and has said that he will not hold a grudge against Willian if he joins Arsenal on a free transfer. Willian appears to have played his last game for Chelsea after failing to recover from an achilles injury in time to make the trip to Bayern, who won the first leg 3-0, and is close to signing for their London rivals. While Lampard wanted the Brazilian to extend his seven-year stay in west London, the winger has failed to agree fresh terms with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy and is close to sealing a move to Arsenal on a three-year deal plus an additional one-year option. Continue reading...

Coach accuses president of Haiti FA of sexual abuses over many years

The Guardian Exclusive by Ed Aarons, Romain Molina and Alex Cizmic - 1 day ago

Former colleague goes public to accuse Yves Jean-Bart FHF president denied allegations of abuse published in May A former leading official at Haiti’s national football centre has accused the president of the country’s football association of sexually abusing young female players for many years and urged more of his alleged victims to speak out. Yves Jean-Bart, known as Dadou, was suspended for 90 days by Fifa in May after claims he had coerced several girls at the Centre Technique National in Croix-des-Bouquets into having sex with him. He has strenuously denied these claims, which were first made by alleged victims in a Guardian report in April, and did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the latest allegations. Continue reading...

Wolves must cut squad if they qualify for Europe after FFP breach

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 1 day ago

European squad to be trimmed by two in 2020-21 or 2021-22 Uefa also tells club to pay fine that could hit €600,000 Wolves will be forced to play with a depleted squad if they qualify for Europe next season, after being found in breach of financial fair play rules. Uefa announced on Friday that Wolves had failed to comply with a “break-even requirement” during the 2019-20 season, finding their losses had been greater than €30m (£27m) over the year. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Those innocent days when sales of toilet paper were stable

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 1 day ago

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! The best thing about lockdown was that it gave The Fiver a newfound respect for life. In particular, we started to appreciate the little things that we take for granted. Now, with each easing of the lockdown, we get to experience these joys anew. First it was inane chat at the barbers, then McDonald’s breakfasts, and now Big Cup is back! Continue reading...

Ajax keen to take Ryan Sessegnon on loan from Tottenham

The Guardian Jacob Steinberg - 1 day ago

José Mourinho deciding whether to let 20-year-old leave Fulham also interested but getting Oliver Skipp more likely Ajax are interested in signing Ryan Sessegnon on loan if Tottenham make the 20-year-old available. The Dutch champions are searching for attacking reinforcements and admire Sessegnon, who has found opportunities hard to come by since leaving Fulham for £25m last summer. He has made 12 appearances for Spurs and José Mourinho is considering whether the winger, who can also play at left-back, would benefit from regular football elsewhere. Continue reading...

Nicola Sturgeon takes aim at Aberdeen players after match called off

The Guardian Ewan Murray - 1 day ago

Game at St Johnstone off after players test positive for Covid Squad members visited bar in city centre last weekend A group of Aberdeen players have earned a stinging and unprecedented rebuke from Scotland’s first minister after the postponement of Saturday’s Premiership match at St Johnstone. Two players at the club have tested positive for Covid-19 and a further six are in isolation, having visited a busy bar in the city centre following defeat by Rangers on the opening day of the season last weekend. After a Thursday night statement insisting the St Johnstone fixture could go ahead, the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football league confirmed on Friday the game was off following further talks with the Scottish government. This marks a highly embarrassing episode for Scottish football, with its executives having pushed hard to resume competitive games and hoping to allow supporters back in the near future. Continue reading...

PFA moves to halt salary cap after League One and League Two vote

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 1 day ago

Clubs agree cap of £2.5m in League One and £1.5m in League Two EFL confident measure can take effect despite PFA opposition League One and League Two clubs have voted to implement a salary cap, and the English Football League is confident the measures can take immediate effect despite the Professional Footballers’ Association describing them as “unlawful and unenforceable”. The EFL believes its rules are binding between the league and clubs. The PFA said the caps must remain on hold until after arbitration and that it had served notice on the league, claiming the EFL had “ignored its legal obligation to consult with the PFA and the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee”. Continue reading...

It’s the Bandinis 2020! The complete review of Serie A's 2019-20 season

The Guardian Nicky Bandini - 1 day ago

It was two seasons in one with the usual winner after some interesting challenges and shocking headlines before the break Does it even make sense to consider the 2019-20 Serie A season as a single competition? For the purposes of the standings, sure, it was practical to combine results from before and after Italy’s coronavirus lockdown, allowing a champion to be crowned and the essential details of relegation and European qualification to be worked out. Reflecting on the football itself, though, it feels more realistic to acknowledge that there were two seasons, each with its own distinct narratives, either side of the enforced pause. The first was characterised by one of the most compelling title races Serie A has known in a decade or more. Continue reading...

Chelsea to open Women's Super League title defence at Manchester United

The Guardian Guardian sport - 2 days ago

Promoted Aston Villa at home to Manchester City Fixtures for first two weekends released Chelsea will begin their Women’s Super League title defence at Manchester United on the weekend of 5-6 September. Related: Women's transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Jorginho to Juventus? David Silva to Lazio?

The Guardian Luke McLaughlin - 2 days ago

Friday’s transfer fluff is (almost) a Jadon Sancho-free zone Speculation around the future of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is heating up like an August Friday morning in London, after his representative provided an absolute classic in the time-honoured tradition of attempted-transfer-stoking-agent-quotes. “Everyone knows there is a very strong rapport between \[Juventus manager Maurizio\] Sarri and Jorginho after five years working together, I’d be a hypocrite to deny that,” João Santos told The Telegraph. “But I also want to remind you that Jorginho has three years left on his Chelsea contract.” Related: Arsenal have passed on consequences wrought by a bloated sense of status | Nick Ames Continue reading...

Zinedine Zidane's back-to-basics approach gives Real Madrid hope against City | Jonathan Wilson

The Guardian Jonathan Wilson - 2 days ago

A traditional and unfashionable defence-first style has reaped rewards for the La Liga champions going into their belated Champions League reunion with Manchester City A long, long time ago Manchester City beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. It was a strange game, in that while it was widely regarded as having been a tactical triumph for Pep Guardiola, evidence he could temper his philosophy, there was also a lingering sense that Madrid were there for the taking and that City playing their usual game might have had the tie won there and then. Related: Champions League last 16: previews and predictions for the remaining ties Continue reading...

Who makes our Football League teams of the season for 2019-20?

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 2 days ago

We select an XI from the Championship and Leagues One and Two, plus a manager for each Goalkeeper: Marek Rodak (Fulham) Scott Parker acknowledged it was a brave call but the Slovakian, who joined the club at 16, has flourished since being made No 1 in October. Rodak, who previously excelled on loan at Rotherham, made a string of impressive saves en route to promotion, notably against Cardiff in the play-off semi-final. No first-choice goalkeeper finished with a better clean sheet ratio. Continue reading...

Nani double lifts Orlando City past Minnesota into MLS is Back final

The Guardian Associated Press - 2 days ago

Nani scores two first-half goals as Orlando City win 3-1 Orlando City advance to MLS is Back tournament final Nani scored a pair of first-half goals and Orlando City advanced to the MLS is Back tournament final with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota United on Thursday night. Orlando will play the Portland Timbers, who defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the other semifinal on Wednesday night, in the championship game on Tuesday. Continue reading...

Wolves set up Sevilla quarter-final after Raúl Jiménez penalty ousts Olympiakos

The Guardian Paul Doyle at Molineux - 2 days ago

Wolves’ Europa League odyssey will continue into next week’s quarter-finals thanks to a gruelling victory over the champions of Greece. Raúl Jiménez converted a penalty to give Nuno Espírito Santo’s side an early lead but Olympiakos made them suffer before the final whistle triggered joy and relief at Molineux. Wolves will face Sevilla in the last eight in Germany on Tuesday. At full-time Nuno gathered his players in a huddle in the centre-circle. “I told the boys: ‘OK, holidays must wait,’” revealed the manager. Continue reading...

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Olympiakos: Europe League last 16, second leg – live!

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 2 days ago

Updates from the 8pm BST kick-off at Molineux Live scoreboard: Thursday’s latest scores and results Pedro Martins: the slayer of Arsenal with sights set on Wolves And you can email Rob here with your thoughts 9.49pm BST 86 min A quiet couple of minutes, which is just what Wolves needed. 9.47pm BST 83 min Joao Moutinho, given far too much space 22 yards from goal, clips a shot over Allain that brushes the roof of the net. Continue reading...

Real Madrid omitted Gareth Bale 'as he preferred not to play' at Manchester City

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 2 days ago

‘He’s not injured. Nothing else,’ said Real coach Zinedine Zidane Manager added: ‘The rest remains between me and him’ Zinedine Zidane did not select Gareth Bale in Real Madrid’s squad for their Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on Friday as the Welshman “preferred not to play”. Yet it is understood that Bale made the decision as he believed he would not be selected for a game in which Real need to overturn a 2-1 deficit, and so did not wish to travel. Continue reading...

Arsenal have passed on consequences wrought by a bloated sense of status | Nick Ames

The Guardian Nick Ames - 2 days ago

Everyone knew an extended period playing behind closed doors would be damaging but 55 redundancies have no parallels among the club’s peers When Arsenal announced in April that the majority of their players and coaching staff had agreed to take wage cuts, a section of their statement shed telling light on the tone of the negotiations. “In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family,” it read. The squad believed they would be helping to protect other employees, most of whom enjoy nothing like footballers’ levels of financial security, from being plunged into a job market whose brutality seems likely to be unmatched in modern times. So it is no surprise that eyebrows have been raised, to put it mildly, among Mikel Arteta’s players at the news on Wednesday that 55 redundancies are proposed across the club. The players can argue they have done their bit off the pitch – and on it to a certain extent, through winning the FA Cup and reaching the Europa League – and are entitled to question what has changed. Continue reading...

Rangers' Europa League campaign comes to an end at Bayer Leverkusen

The Guardian PA Media - 2 days ago

There was no redemption for Rangers as their Europa League campaign was finally ended by a 1-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. Steven Gerrard’s team were made to wait five months for another shot at the German side but the damage done in their 3-1 first-leg defeat at Ibrox almost 150 days ago proved to be too much to recover. Continue reading...

Sheffield United fail with £12m bid for Bournemouth's Aaron Ramsdale

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 2 days ago

Relegated Bournemouth will not sell goalkeeper on the cheap Jason Tindall set to be confirmed as Eddie Howe’s successor Sheffield United have had a £12m bid to re-sign the goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale rejected by Bournemouth. Chris Wilder is a big admirer of Ramsdale and believes the 22-year-old could fill the void left by Dean Henderson, who has returned to Manchester United after a second season’s loan. Continue reading...

Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Rangers (agg 4-1): Europa League last 16, second leg – as it happened

The Guardian Barry Glendenning - 2 days ago

Moussa Diaby scored the only goal of the night as Rangers struggled to lay a glove on hosts who advanced to the last eight 8.16pm BST Steven Gerrard speaks: “We’re disappointed with the result,” says the Rangers manager. “I don’t think we found our level or our performance to give it a good go tonight. I think the best side won the game and the best side is going through over the course of the two legs. There’s a lot that we can improve on, a lot that we can work on. We’ve found a level tonight to strive for. Every day going back on the training pitch we need to improve individually and collectively. Hopefully one day we can get to that level. No complaints in terms of the outcome but disappointed with the result.” 7.59pm BST Connor Goldson speaks: “It was tough,” says the Rangers defender to BT Sport reporter Emma Dodds. “They’re a good side. Everything that we tried to do against a lot of the other teams in Europe this season, they found it quite easy to play around it. I don’t think we were aggressive enough, it was too easy for them. We had a little bit more of a go in the second half, but still ... I think their quality just showed in the end.” Continue reading...

Manchester United ready to listen to offers for Jesse Lingard

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 2 days ago

Lingard deemed surplus to requirements by Solskjær Alexis Sánchez gets payoff of about £7.5m as he joins Inter Manchester United will listen to offers for Jesse Lingard, the forward having become a fringe player since the emergence of Mason Greenwood and with Ole Gunnar Solskjær trying to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho. Although Solskjær is an admirer of Lingard, having coached him as a youth player at United, the 27-year-old is deemed surplus to requirements. Continue reading...

The Europa League is go - Football Weekly

The Guardian Produced by Iain Chambers, Presented by Max Rushden, with Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen, Mark Langdon and Nick Ames - 2 days ago

Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Mark Langdon, and Lars Sivertsen to discuss the Europa League action, preview the forthcoming Champions League clashes, and explore the potential for butter podcasts. Meanwhile Nick Ames joins us to discuss the redundancies announced at Arsenal. Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email. Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Mark Langdon, and Lars Sivertsen to discuss the Europa League action, preview the forthcoming Champions League clashes, and explore the potential for butter podcasts. Meanwhile Nick Ames joins us to discuss the redundancies announced at Arsenal. Continue reading...

'A real coup' – Everton Women sign France forward Valérie Gauvin

The Guardian Marcus Christenson - 2 days ago

24-year-old arrives from French side Montpellier Gauvin scored 14 goals in 16 league games in 2019-20 Everton Women have signed the France international forward Valérie Gauvin from Montpellier with the manager, Willie Kirk, hailing the arrival of the 24-year-old as a “real coup”. Gauvin, who has signed a three-year-deal with the Women’s Super League club, has spent the past six years with Montpellier and scored an impressive 14 goals in 16 league appearances during curtailed the 2019-20 season. Continue reading...

Guardiola can take chance to recreate past glories in Champions League | Jamie Jackson

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 2 days ago

The manager looked set to dominate after success with Barcelona but has struggled to match those achievements at Bayern Munich and now with Manchester City When Manchester City welcome Real Madrid on Friday they resume their quest to claim the Champions League title and make this a season for the ages. There is never an easy time to face the record 13-time European Cup winners yet in City’s 2-1 advantage, Sergio Ramos’s suspension and the absence of Gareth Bale, here is a gilded chance that Guardiola acknowledges must be taken to advance towards the prize that would make his 2019-20 vintage immortal. Continue reading...

EFL salary cap 'unlawful and unenforceable', says PFA before vote

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 2 days ago

Clubs to vote on its implementation on Friday Players’ union calls for period of arbitration this month The Professional Footballers’ Association has said attempts to impose a salary cap on EFL clubs may be “unlawful and unenforceable” a day before the measures are put to a vote. EFL clubs are set to decide on Friday whether to implement a salary cap, a move widely claimed as essential in helping the lower leagues reset their finances. Continue reading...

Liverpool have £10m offer for Norwich left-back Jamal Lewis rejected

The Guardian Andy Hunter - 2 days ago

Jürgen Klopp wants Lewis as cover for Andy Robertson New bid expected for player Norwich value at closer to £20m Norwich have rejected a £10m bid from Liverpool for their highly rated left-back Jamal Lewis. The Premier League champions want the Northern Ireland international as cover for Andy Robertson and submitted the offer, which includes a sell-on clause, on Thursday. Continue reading...

Richard Keogh in line to join MK Dons 10 months after sacking by Derby

The Guardian David Hytner - 2 days ago

Keogh suffered serious knee injury in car accident Defender hopes to be playing again in October MK Dons are set to beat Ipswich to the free agent signing of Richard Keogh. The 33-year-old centre-half has been without a club since his controversial sacking by Derby last October and he has had various offers, one from Ipswich where he played from the age of eight to 16. Keogh has been impressed by Milton Keynes and the plans of the manager, Russell Martin, and is ready to commit to them. Continue reading...

Manchester City to demand £30m deal for Eric García as Barcelona eye move

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 2 days ago

Defender shocks Guardiola by turning down new contract Manager believes City ready to win Champions League Manchester City will not sell Eric García for less than £20m plus £10m in add-ons, with Barcelona wanting to re-sign the 19-year-old, who has signalled his desire to leave after refusing a new deal. The centre-back is out of contract next summer yet City are intent they will not allow his sale other than for a package similar to the £24.5m fee before add-ons that took Ferran Torres from Valencia to the club this week. This is because the 20-year-old forward is similar in age and profile to García. Continue reading...

The Fiver I Longing for the days of local Herberts waving smut toys behind reporters

The Guardian Tom Davies - 2 days ago

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! Football itself has been relentlessly back! back! back! for a good while now, but only in the past week have we got down to the real stuff. Yes, the transfer window is wide open and ushering air into football’s fetid living room with cash, speculation and “ITK” social media disgrace accounts farming gullible clicks from you, the public. The absolute state of you, of us all. Continue reading...

Arsenal shed more scouts in break-up of their European network

The Guardian Exclusive by Nick Ames - 2 days ago

France, Belgium, Germany and Spain scouts among those going Players unhappy about redundancies across the club Arsenal’s overhaul of their scouting network has continued, with several more recruitment personnel told they will be made redundant. The club announced plans for 55 job losses on Wednesday, with the scouting department heavily hit. Francis Cagigao, the head of recruitment, was the highest-profile name to be released, and Pete Clark and Brian McDermott were also told their services were no longer required. Continue reading...

Premier League clubs reject chance to continue with five substitutions

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 2 days ago

Teams vote to revert to three changes from seven on bench VAR adjustment will mean more use of pitchside monitors Premier League sides will return to the old normal next season after it was confirmed they will no longer be allowed to make five substitutions during a match. A temporary measure introduced to help prevent injury during matches delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rule was renewed by Fifa for the duration of the 2020-21 season. Continue reading...

Farewell Iker Casillas, the saint who brought us saves, tears and clashes | Barry Glendenning

The Guardian Barry Glendenning - 2 days ago

Goalkeeper with a treasure trove of trophies from Real Madrid, Porto and Spain has retired but it will not be the end of his story Put it down to the luck of the Irish. Specifically, the bad luck. Pitted against Spain in the second round of the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea, with their best player, Roy Keane, walking his dog on a Cheshire golf course thousands of miles away, nobody gave Mick McCarthy’s side a prayer. Despite this, God appeared to be smiling on the boys in green, the sides level at one goal apiece at full-time and an uncharacteristically out-of-sorts Spain reduced to 10 men for the additional half-hour through injury. Ireland pressed and probed, smelling blood, with Robbie Keane, Damien Duff and Niall Quinn wreaking havoc up front. They failed to score, a visibly exhausted Spanish rearguard somehow keeping them at bay. A thoroughbred surrounded by donkeys that day, Iker Casillas had kept his team in the game with a series of fine saves including a penalty from Ian Harte and one particularly eye-catching block at the feet of Robbie Keane. Spot-kicks from Kevin Kilbane and David Connolly in the shootout didn’t take much stopping but he repelled them anyway and at just 21 years of age his canonisation was complete: “Saint Iker” was among us. “He isn’t human,” wrote one excitable Spanish columnist in AS. “The day he came to earth, light shone down upon his house like it did at the gate of Bethlehem when Jesus Christ arrived in the world. He’s immune to pain, mistakes and bad luck.” Continue reading...

Jérôme Boateng: 'I would not say no to the Premier League. I loved it there'

The Guardian - 2 days ago

Defender on how Bayern found their joy again, German’s young talent, facing Chelsea and why he could return to England one day “There were hard times,” Jérôme Boateng says as his mind drifts back to Bayern Munich’s wobbles at the start of the season. “It’s like being a child. As a child if I had no confidence, if you don’t get trust from your friends, then you lose the joy of the game. That’s what happens now, even when I’m older.” Boateng, one of the finest defenders of his generation, could feel the spark ebbing away. Bayern were on the slide under Niko Kovac, a coach struggling to connect with a champion squad, and time finally appeared to have caught up with the old guard. Thomas Müller and Manuel Neuer were under pressure and Boateng, aware that people were starting to view him as a fading force, wondered whether a change of scenery was required. Continue reading...

Champions League last 16: previews and predictions for the remaining ties

The Guardian Martin Laurence - 3 days ago

A look ahead to Manchester City v Real Madrid, Juventus v Lyon, Barcelona v Napoli and Bayern Munich v Chelsea By Martin Laurence for WhoScored The Champions League makes its long awaited return after almost five months this weekend, with eight teams hoping to reach the quarter-finals. Atalanta, Atlético Madrid, PSG and RB Leipzig have already secured their places in the mini tournament in Lisbon later this month but there are still four last-16 ties to complete, starting with games in Manchester and Turin on Friday night. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Philippe Coutinho to sign for Arsenal?

The Guardian Luke McLaughlin - 3 days ago

Today’s transfer tittle-tattle is at an advanced stage Having successfully tightened up Arsenal’s previously flimsy defence, Mikel Arteta is seeking to boost his attacking options for next season. The current question seems to be whether the Gunners will sign former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, Willian from Chelsea, or perhaps even both of the Brazilian internationals. Coutinho, on loan at Bayern Munich, has said he wants to return to the Premier League. Related: Casemiro: 'Even today I get a little nervous talking to Zidane' Continue reading...

Pedro Martins: the slayer of Arsenal who now has sights set on Wolves | Will Unwin

The Guardian Will Unwin - 3 days ago

Olympiakos coach takes on compatriot and former clubmate Nuno in the Europa League with the accent, as ever, on attack Pedro Martins and Nuno Espírito Santo were part of the Vitória de Guimarães side who finished fourth in the Primeira Divisão in 1995, one place behind Portugal’s traditional big three. More than a quarter of a century later the two are still challenging the status quo, this time in the Europa League. Five months after the first-leg draw in Athens, Martins takes his Olympiakos team to Molineux to face his old friend’s Wolves side. Both were given chances as coaches in their 30s in their homeland, allowing them to learn and fail on their way to their current roles, and Martins even replaced Nuno at Rio Ave six years ago. Continue reading...

Portland Timbers hold off Philadelphia Union to reach MLS is Back final

The Guardian Associated Press - 3 days ago

Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco lift Timbers into final Portland advance to face Minnesota United-Orlando City winner Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco each scored and the Portland Timbers earned a spot in the MLS is Back championship game with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night. The Timbers will face the winner of Thursday night’s game between Orlando City and Minnesota United in the title match on Tuesday. The tournament winner earns a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. Continue reading...

A-League on alert after fan at Newcastle game returns positive Covid test

The Guardian Guardian sport and agencies - 3 days ago

Fans at Sunday’s match told to monitor their health Man in his 20s at McDonald Jones Stadium tested positive A-League fans who were at Newcastle Jets’ game against Western United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday have been put on alert, after a second positive Covid-19 case was detected in the city. A man in his 20s, believed to be a close contact of the teenager who tested positive on Wednesday, attended the fixture, which the Jets won 1-0. Continue reading...

Premier League needs to update and bar human-rights abusers, says Amnesty

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 3 days ago

Pressure group outlines demand in letter to Richard Masters Move follows collapse of Saudi-led buyout of Newcastle The Premier League must change its rules to prevent human-rights abusers from taking control of clubs, Amnesty International has said. In a letter to the chief executive, Richard Masters, Amnesty has suggested changes to the owners’ and directors’ test that would disqualify prospective owners “on the grounds of contributing to human-rights violations”. Continue reading...

Champions League incentive will drive Wolves on against Olympiakos

The Guardian Paul Doyle - 3 days ago

Europa League last-16 tie poised at 1-1 after March first leg Wolves host the Greek champions at Molineux on Thursday All good things must come to an end, apparently. But Wolves’ season, which began nearly 13 months ago, is still going and their manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, wants it to continue for another couple of weeks even though that will blur the division between this season and the next one. Related: Fulham's Premier League return and footballing bookworms - Football Weekly Continue reading...

Casemiro: 'Even today I get a little nervous talking to Zidane'

The Guardian Sid Lowe - 3 days ago

Real Madrid’s indestructible defensive midfielder on how a lie helped him to the top, reading minds and facing Manchester City The day Carlinhos Casimiro went on trial at São Paulo, coaches gathered the hopefuls and asked what position they played. From the town of São José dos Campos 150km north-east, about 11 years old, he was one of maybe 300 kids of which 50 might make the cut – if they were lucky. He was also a striker, the most popular position, so when they were called he did what he had to do: he lied. A familiar cherubic smile creeps across his face and fills the screen as he remembers the moment almost two decades on. Fifty, 60, hands went up, maybe more, so his stayed down. Casemiro – the spelling changed years later when a shirt was printed wrong – didn’t much like those odds. Next, they asked who was a No 10, his other position. More hands went up. Again, his didn’t: it was still a lot of kids. When they asked for defensive midfielders, he remembers there being eight or nine. Seeing an opportunity, he raised his hand. “Me,” he said, “I am.” Continue reading...

Martial strikes late against Lask then United finally offload Alexis Sánchez

The Guardian Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford - 3 days ago

Manchester United stuttered while keeping Lask at arm’s length in a last-16 second leg that was the very definition of a non-event given their five-goal advantage from the first game. They will not care, though, as thoughts for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side turn to Monday’s quarter-final against Copenhagen, the Danish champions, in Cologne. That is a straight knockout tie, as will be the remainder of the Europa League competition United won three years ago in Stockholm. For the manager and his emerging sideit now represents a golden chance to claim their first trophy and that will be the focus when they arrive in Germany. Continue reading...

Manchester United v LASK: Europa League last 16, second leg – live!

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 3 days ago

All the latest from the 8pm BST kick-off at Old Trafford Solskjær needs more than Sancho to challenge for the big prizes Send Rob an email 9.49pm BST 90+1 min Mata put Martial through again, and this time his left-footed shot is kicked away by Schlager. Martial was flagged offside after the event, though I’m not sure it was the right decision. 9.48pm BST 90+1 min This has been a unique game of football, and not in a good way. Continue reading...

Manchester City complete £41m deal for 'leader' Nathan Aké from Bournemouth

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 3 days ago

Dutch central defender signs five-year deal with City Guardiola also targeting Alaba to strengthen defence Nathan Aké has become Manchester City’s second signing in two days, the centre-back joining from Bournemouth on a five-year deal for a fee of around £41m. The 25-year-old Dutch international follows Ferran Torres, who joined the club on Monday for £24.5m, as Pep Guardiola’s investment in the squad who relinquished the Premier League title continues. Continue reading...

Gareth Bale left out of Real Madrid squad for Manchester City game

The Guardian Reuters - 3 days ago

Forward has not played for Madrid since June James Rodríguez also not called up for Champions League Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid’s 24-man Champions League squad for Friday’s last-16 tie at Manchester City. Bale last played for Madrid in June when they beat Mallorca 2-0 and did not feature in their final seven league matches as they pipped Barcelona to the Spanish title while he watched from the bench. Continue reading...

The view from the pubs at Griffin Park as Brentford miss out on promotion

The Guardian Richard Foster - 3 days ago

Fans were hopeful, then despondent and finally defiant as their team lost to Fulham in the Championship play-off final By Richard Foster for the Guardian Sport Network It is the night of the Championship play-off final and there is a tangible sense of anticipation on the streets of Brentford, with one enterprising vendor even selling souvenir flags and scarves outside Griffin Park for a match that was taking place five miles away at an empty stadium. As their team prepares to face Fulham at Wembley, Brentford fans are congregating outside the pubs on the four corners of the stadium, making the most of the evening sunshine as they wait patiently to be allowed in. There is a buzz in the air and Will Sylvester, a 19-year-old Brentford fan who lives in sight of the ground, is feeling good. “I am pretty confident that this time we are going to do it,” he says. Will’s father Eamonn has been a regular “across the road” since his first match back in April 1976. “It was against Exeter City,” Eamonn recalls. “We thrashed them 5-1 and I thought, well, this is all rather easy.” Continue reading...

Crystal Palace want Brentford's Ollie Watkins and offer deal to Ryan Fraser

The Guardian Jacob Steinberg and Ed Aarons - 3 days ago

Aston Villa among other clubs keen on striker Watkins Fraser is a free agent after leaving Bournemouth in June Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign the Brentford striker Ollie Watkins and have offered a contract to Ryan Fraser, who is a free agent after leaving Bournemouth. Watkins could be allowed to leave Brentford after their defeat by Fulham in the Championship play-off final on Tuesday but the club would demand more than £20m. The 24-year-old striker ended the season with 26 goals in 50 games and is regarded as one of the best talents in the Championship. Continue reading...

Fulham can learn from their 2018 promotion which soon turned sour

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 3 days ago

Scott Parker will have a few days to unwind but the play-off winning manager is conscious the new campaign begins in five weeks and they do not want a repeat of last time The ball thudded into the net as David Raya, seemingly in slow motion, scrambled in vain to prevent Joe Bryan’s freakish free-kick from creeping inside his right goalpost but perhaps the most striking image of the Championship play-off final arrived after the final whistle, when an emotional Scott Parker was trying to put it all into words. Moments earlier, as tears pooled in his eyes, Parker buried his head in Aleksandar Mitrovic’s shoulder. He was elated but exhausted after a campaign that began with pre-season testing 409 days earlier culminated in the Fulham players bobbing up and down in a deserted Wembley, basking in the joy of promotion. Continue reading...

Fulham's Premier League return and footballing bookworms - Football Weekly

The Guardian Produced by Iain Chambers, Presented by Max Rushden, with Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Liew, Faye Carruthers and Archie Rhind-Tutt - 3 days ago

Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Faye Carruthers and Jonathan Liew to discuss Fulham’s return to the Premier League and we talk about VAR coughing and footballers who read books Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email. Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Faye Carruthers and Jonathan Liew to discuss Fulham’s return to the Premier League after an extra-time double from left-back Joe Bryan. Fulham fan Archie Rhind-Tutt reveals his broken voice after the hysterical celebrations, and we talk VAR coughing and footballers who read books. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Manchester United, Fred the Red and that slender five-goal advantage

The Guardian Rob Smyth - 3 days ago

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! In these troubling times, nothing compares to the healing power of a Big Vase dead rubber. Tonight, Manchester United will drink in the LASK-chance saloon, where the booze is free and it’s impossible to get barred. United won 5-0 at LASK in the first leg, back in those innocent times when Boris Johnson was still licking trolley handles to demonstrate there was nothing to worry about. Given how little is at stake, the second leg could make the Craggy Island All-Priests five-a-side Over-75s Indoor Challenge Football Match seem fast-paced by comparison. Continue reading...

Arsenal's head of recruitment to leave amid 55 planned redundancies

The Guardian Nick Ames and Jacob Steinberg - 3 days ago

Head of UK scouting and others in that department also going Arsenal say job losses will allow investment in the team Arsenal’s head of recruitment, Francis Cagigao, is among 55 staff members who will leave the club after a swathe of redundancies was announced. Cagigao has forged a formidable reputation during 24 years of service at Arsenal, for whom he also played as a youngster, but he has been told his services are no longer required and will leave when terms between the parties have been finalised. Continue reading...

Around the world with Zé Maria: from Brazil to Parma, Inter, Kenya and back

The Guardian Joshua Law - 4 days ago

Zé Maria has worked with Ancelotti, Adriano, Ronaldo, Romário, Mancini, Mourinho and more – and he has stories to tell By Joshua Law for Yellow & Green Football Zé Maria has some stories to tell. So many, in fact, that it takes three video calls over two days (and a lot of patience on his part) to even scratch the surface. Over the last 30 years, he has been from the bottom of world football to the top and back again, stopping on every step in between and at quite a few places around the edges. There are tales from his playing days: memories of Carlo Ancelotti, Fabio Cannavaro and Lilian Thuram at Parma; recollections of Roberto Mancini, Adriano and Luís Figo at Inter; stories of Mário Zagallo, Ronaldo and Romário Romario with Brazil. Then there are the times spent as a manager in Kenya, in a remote Romanian ski resort and the Albanian second tier. There are thoughts on the current state of football and on the barriers he faces as a black coach trying to take his career to the next level. Continue reading...

The Knowledge | Footballers who have had club shirts retired having played very few games

The Guardian Guardian sport - 4 days ago

Plus: the longest unbeaten home runs, most draws in a promotion season and Ken Dodd’s Glasgow Empire quip Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge\_GU “Birmingham took the unusual step of retiring Jude Bellingham’s No 22 shirt after the teenage prodigy secured a move to Borussia Dortmund. What other clubs have retired shirt numbers in honour of players? And, if there are others, are Bellingham’s 44 appearances a record low for the bestowing of this honour?” asks Derek Robertson. We covered Derek’s first question back in 2009, with Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Bobby Moore among the legends whose shirt numbers were retired. There have been plenty of examples of a shirt number being retired in honour of a younger player – most, sadly, in more sombre circumstances than Jude Bellingham’s. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Jamal Lewis and Aïssa Mandi to Liverpool?

The Guardian Daniel Harris - 4 days ago

Today’s fluff has Act III problems Homegoing, Sopranos, the Godfather – we all love a good saga. But there is no emotional thrill like that of a long, drawn-out transfer situation – will such and such a footballer play football for such and such a club, or for such and such other club? Over how many years will the fee be amortised? Which suit will look smuggest? We must be told! These are the central dramatic questions that matter! The feelgood story of this summer will obviously be nothing at all, because the world is in the process of destroying itself, but the story that thinks it’s the feelgood story of this summer is Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United. For a while it looked like it was just going to happen, mainly because it is just going to happen. But then we got to the end of Act II, at which point Fredo Woodward made Borussia Dortmund an offer they absolutely could refuse, so they refused it and then someone told everyone. No! All is lost! Just chill, to the next episode. Continue reading...

Scott Parker: Fulham won't make same mistakes after securing Premier League promotion – video

The Guardian - 4 days ago

Fulham manager Scott Parker says securing a return to the Premier League is his proudest moment, and vowed not to repeat the same mistakes that saw the club relegated after only one season in the top flight during the 2019-19 campaign. Joe Bryan’s second strike in the 105th minute confirmed the 2-1 win for Fulham over Brentford Fulham in Premier League after Joe Bryan sinks Brentford in extra timeContinue reading...

Restart football's innovations offer glimpse of game's TV-centred future

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 4 days ago

Like it or not virtual silence, five substitutes and drinks breaks all make for a richer viewing experience from the sofa “Stay big, bring him inside, bring him inside” … “Lean into him, go on” … “Right foot, right foot” … “Good lad”. That is a truncated summary of the instructions passed between Ray Lewington and Tyrick Mitchell during Crystal Palace’s final match of the season, a 1-1 draw with Tottenham. Mitchell is a graduate of the Palace academy and the Spurs match was his fourth senior appearance. Lewington has been coaching for 34 years. Part of his job is to pass his expertise on to players, to help them learn. Thanks to the particular conditions imposed on the restart of football, however, Lewington was able to coach in a new way; live, unrelenting, in Mitchell’s ear like a podcast that was impossible to switch off. Continue reading...

Joe Bryan seizes the moment to grab glory and crush Brentford spirit | Jonathan Liew

The Guardian Jonathan Liew - 4 days ago

The pragmatism of Scott Parker’s Fulham triumphed over the doomed idealism of Thomas Frank’s Brentford in a game that failed to live up to the billing And so, ultimately, it all came down to this. A full year of toil; 120 minutes of grim application, in many cases a lifetime of longing. A free-kick in a seemingly innocuous position on the left wing. A defence maintaining an audaciously high line, a goalkeeper anxiously patrolling the space behind it and a left-back who spied an irresistible opportunity to write himself into folklore. That, ultimately, was all it took to send Fulham back to the Premier League and leave Brentford in the Championship for another season. On one level, it felt unspeakably senseless for something this important to be settled by something this silly. But then again, here we all were, watching a terrible game at an empty Wembley Stadium in August, with fake crowd noise being piped over the airwaves and a socially-distanced national anthem at the start. Perhaps, on reflection, the ship had already sailed on that score. Continue reading...

Scott Parker warns against 'drastic changes' after Fulham's play-off win

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 4 days ago

Manager urges owners not to repeat costly mistakes of 2018-19 ‘Some clear errors were made last time’ Scott Parker has said Fulham must not repeat the same expensive mistakes after sealing an immediate return to the Premier League. Parker acknowledged the club made errors in the buildup to relegation last year and admitted they cannot afford to again make “drastic changes” to prepare for the top flight. Superb goals by Joe Bryan earned Fulham an extra-time victory over west London rivals Brentford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley to secure promotion. Continue reading...

Brentford 1-2 Fulham: Championship play-off final – live!

The Guardian Barry Glendenning - 4 days ago

Joe Bryan was the unlikely scorer of a match-winning brace as Fulham booked their return to the Premier League after a one-season absence 10.45pm BST A sad night for Brentford: They had a game against Stoke City to get promoted and lost. That was followed by a game against Barnsley to get promoted, which they lost. Then they had a game against Fulham to get promoted and lost that one too. They were nowhere near their best tonight and Fulham ran out worthy winners in the end. That’s nine times Brentford have contested the play-offs over the years and nine times they’ve failed to come through them. 10.36pm BST Joe Bryan - potty mouth: It’s worth noting that Joe Bryan dropped an F-bomb in his post-match interview and immediately apologised. Despite this, his interrogator went on to apologise after he’d apologised. It’s probably fair to say that any children who are still up at 10.35pm have probably heard that kind of language before. Continue reading...

Fulham in Premier League after Joe Bryan sinks Brentford in extra time

The Guardian Ben Fisher at Wembley - 4 days ago

Scott Parker hared down the touchline, his tie flinging every which way, as Fulham’s substitutes conga-ed down the stands to join the celebrations after Joe Bryan’s second goal sealed an immediate return to the Premier League. But in truth Bryan’s exquisitely taken first strike, approaching half-time in extra time, was the match-winner. In some ways it was audacious, in others incredible, but whatever it was, it was the goal that set them on their way. It came towards the end of a marathon, and sometimes excruciating, contest but after almost 105 minutes of action, Bryan’s invention pulled apart west-London neighbours separated by four miles of the Thames. It is a moment Bryan and Fulham will want to relive in the coming weeks but a goal David Raya, the Brentford goalkeeper, would rather never see again. Not that he can afford to wallow in it, with the new season only five weeks away. Continue reading...

Tottenham agree £15m fee for Southampton's Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

The Guardian Fabrizio Romano - 4 days ago

Denmark midfielder set to to join Spurs Walker-Peters heading to Southampton Tottenham have moved closer to completing the signing of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg from Southampton after agreeing to pay £15m for the Denmark international. Højbjerg, who has one year to run on his Southampton contract, was also the subject of a bid from Everton but it is understood that the former Bayern Munich midfielder has chosen to move to north London to play under José Mourinho. Højbjerg is now expected to agree personal terms and sign a contract with Spurs in the coming days. Continue reading...

Travel bans could force clubs to drop out of European competition, says Uefa

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 4 days ago

New rule applies to qualifying rounds next season Home team must inform Uefa of travel restrictions Coronavirus travel bans could force clubs to drop out of European competition, according to Uefa. With the final stages of the 2019-20 Europa League and Champions League set to be played out over the coming weeks, largely at neutral venues, the European governing body has been setting out protocols for what would happen in the event of a resurgence of Covid-19. Continue reading...

Ferran Torres completes move to Manchester City from Valencia

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 4 days ago

Exciting forward signs five-year deal at Etihad Bournemouth’s Nathan Aké also close to securing City transfer Ferran Torres has completed his €27m (£24.5m) move to Manchester City from Valencia after the forward met Txiki Begiristain, the Premier League club’s sporting director, in Barcelona on Tuesday. Leroy Sané’s departure for Bayern Munich caused Pep Guardiola to move for a replacement, with City negotiating a price €18m lower than Valencia’s initial valuation, though there are significant potential add-ons for a 20-year-old who had a year on his contract. Continue reading...

Real Madrid president pays tribute to Iker Casillas following retirement from football – video

The Guardian - 4 days ago

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has paid tribute to the club's former goalkeeper Iker Casillas, after the 39-year-old confirmed his retirement from football. Casillas, who finished his playing days at Porto, after suffering a heart attack in May 2019, won the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain during an illustrious international career. He also lifted five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times with Real, making 725 appearances for the club over 16 seasons between 1999 and 2015. Pérez thanks Casillas for 'contributing even more to the myth and the legend that is Real Madrid', adding that he is 'one of the great symbols' of the club. Real Madrid and Spain legend Iker Casillas announces his retirementContinue reading...

'I couldn’t refuse': England striker Jodie Taylor joins Lyon for rest of year

The Guardian PA Media and Guardian sport - 4 days ago

Taylor has been with OL Reign, Lyon’s sister club in the US Former Arsenal player eligible for Champions League England’s Jodie Taylor has joined Lyon until the end of 2020, the club have announced. The 34-year-old former Arsenal striker has been playing in the United States with OL Reign, who were recently taken over by Lyon’s parent company, OL Groupe. Continue reading...

Wigan lose appeal against 12-point deduction and drop into League One

The Guardian Paul MacInnes - 4 days ago

Penalty imposed after club went into administration Barnsley stay up despite winning third-fewest points Wigan Athletic will start next season in League One after an appeal against a points deduction that resulted in their relegation was dismissed. The EFL imposed a 12-point penalty after the club were placed into administration by their owner, Au Yeung, four weeks after he took control. Continue reading...

Solskjær needs more than Jadon Sancho to challenge for the big prizes | Jamie Jackson

The Guardian Jamie Jackson - 4 days ago

The Manchester United manager needs funds to buy defenders for his team to compete domestically and in Europe Jadon Sancho has 11 England caps. He was in the Bundesliga team of the season at 19. He makes in-game decisions as prescient as a teenage Wayne Rooney. He is a two-footed, goalscoring assist maker with a Harry Houdini array of tricks. Yet if Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s pursuit of the Borussia Dortmund forward is not backed by further transfers then Manchester United have only a distant hope of being contenders next season. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Separated by four-and-a-half miles or a three-day car journey

The Guardian Paul Doyle - 4 days ago

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! Bearing in mind all the excitement that West Ham and Crystal Palace have served up over the years, the Fiver was surprised to learn today that the Premier League is still accepting admissions from London. Thanks Nottingham Forest! Thanks Wales! Owing to victories over Cardiff and Swansea, and Forest’s devotion to the sitcom format, Fulham and Brentford will contest the Championship playoff final at Wembley. It’s in the calendar, there’s no avoiding it. Related: ‘It’s been a rocky road’: Parker believes promotion would heal Fulham wounds Continue reading...

Harrogate Town to groundshare with Doncaster while 3G pitch is removed

The Guardian PA Media - 4 days ago

Club need to replace playing surface for life in League Two Fans will have to travel 50 miles until October Harrogate Town, whose weekend win over Notts County saw them promoted to the Football League for the first time in their 106-year history, will begin next season at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.Town have begun work on upgrading their CNG Stadium to comply with EFL rules, ripping up their artificial 3G playing surface in preparation for a new grass pitch. But the work will not be completed until October and the new League Two programme is scheduled to start on 12 September. Related: Harrogate see off Notts County on ascension day for manager Weaver Continue reading...

Real Madrid and Spain legend Iker Casillas announces his retirement

The Guardian PA Media - 4 days ago

Player won two Euro titles and 2010 World Cup as Spain captain The 39-year-old won Champions League three times with Real The former Spain and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from football at the age of 39. Casillas, who finished his playing days at Porto, won the World Cup and two European Championships during an illustrious international career. He lifted five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times with Real, making 725 appearances for the Spanish giants over 16 seasons between 1999 and 2015. Continue reading...

Manchester United close to £90m deal with Dortmund after Sancho agrees terms

The Guardian Ed Aarons , Fabrizio Romano and Jamie Jackson - 4 days ago

England forward scored 17 goals with 16 assists last season Sancho to earn about £250,000 a week on five-year deal Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are close to agreeing a fee for Jadon Sancho, with the England forward having agreed personal terms on a five-year contract at Old Trafford. Both clubs are understood to be confident a deal to make Sancho the most expensive English player in history is nearing completion, with United expected to pay an initial £90m (€100m) over three annual instalments and a further £18m in performance-related add-ons. Dortmund would prefer to have the transfer completed by next week to help them bring in a replacement. Continue reading...

More than 70,000 Newcastle fans sign petition demanding takeover answers

The Guardian Louise Taylor - 4 days ago

Supporters want Premier League to explain handling Efforts continuing to revive takeover involving Saudis More than 70,000 Newcastle fans have signed a petition demanding the Premier League explain its handling of the apparently collapsed Saudi Arabian-led takeover attempt. The initiative has been backed by several former Newcastle players including the former England midfielder Rob Lee, who has urged supporters to sign it. Continue reading...

Leicester offer deal worth £45m to take Francisco Trincão from Barcelona

The Guardian Fabrizio Romano - 4 days ago

Leicester propose two-season loan then €50m transfer Trincão due to start Barça career after move from Braga Leicester are trying to sign Francisco Trincão from Barcelona and have offered to take the forward on loan for two seasons with an obligation to buy for £45m (€50m). The 20-year-old is one of Portugal’s most highly regarded young players and in January Barcelona secured a €31m deal with Braga under which Trincão would move to the Camp Nou this summer. Continue reading...

David Squires on … the Aubameyang Contract Renegotiation final!

The Guardian David Squires - 4 days ago

Our resident cartoonist on Arsenal’s Wembley win over Chelsea, featuring Emeli Sandé, Mesut Özil and a trebuchet Buy a copy of this cartoon in our print store Look through his Guardian cartoon archive Continue reading...

The football industry needs to wake up to the climate emergency

The Guardian Tim Walters - 5 days ago

The coronavirus pandemic has given us a chance to reimagine the congested calendar. We need to take it By Tim Walters for The Blizzard Last November Jürgen Klopp criticised the “crazy” demands made on top footballers, who can find themselves with only two weeks off a year from a job that is physically and mentally gruelling. He said football administrators should “think about the players and not about their wallet.” The Liverpool manager is right, of course, but there is a more pressing reason why the authorities need to curtail their expansionist tendencies: our planet cannot sustain it. As is the case for many of us, the people who run football are apparently in an ominous state of denial about the climate emergency. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that we need to transition to a decarbonised world rapidly, hitting global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 45% by 2030 and complete carbon neutrality by 2050. But not all carbon footprints are created equal in our unequal world and, since some are easier to reduce than others, those of us in disproportionately polluting countries will have to reduce our carbon footprints by 90% within a decade. Doing so will demand a radical transformation of every feature of society, including football. Continue reading...

Chris Richards' journey from Dallas to Munich: 'I knew I'd be balling at Bayern'

The Guardian Ryan Baldi - 5 days ago

The defender is one of a host of young players to have moved from the US to Germany. With comparisons to Jerome Boateng, he may be among the best The rules kept changing, and they had hardly made sense to begin with. It didn’t matter to Chris Richards, though; he kept finding ways to win. It was an FC Dallas youth-squad practice session in 2018, and the coaches had designed a small-sided team game which used a tennis ball and had bizarre restrictions around how and when it could be passed and scored – You have to bounce it once with your left hand, then pass with your right, that kind of thing. While most of his teammates were bemused, Richards, who would soon sign for European giant Bayern Munich, came alive. Continue reading...

Buzz around Leicester's Harvey Barnes shows benefit of loan system | Paul Doyle

The Guardian Paul Doyle - 5 days ago

The 22-year-old forward quickly developed into a destructive Premier League force and may be in demand this summer Now the transfer market is hotting up, we should talk about Harvey Barnes. You can bet some of the best clubs in Europe are doing exactly that, trying to brainstorm ways of persuading Leicester to sell an exceptional forward before his value soars beyond reach, if it has not already. There has been constant yakking about the attractiveness of James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Wilfried Ndidi to Champions League participants, but Barnes belongs in that conversation too. When Barnes is on his game, he is one of those thrilling players who show that being creative first means being destructive. He is not in the same class as the 24-year-old Adama Traoré but he is not far off and at 22 is ahead of where the Wolves man was at the same age in terms of impact on the Premier League. Both players can make even the sturdiest defenders looks like old gates flapping in a storm. They are rapid, powerful, skilful and audacious and there is every reason to believe Barnes is as committed to improving and as receptive to good coaching as Traoré is. It takes clever men to cause as much chaos as these two regularly do. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to go for £18m Reguilón over Chilwell?

The Guardian John Brewin - 5 days ago

Today’s talk comes with clearing skies and drying eyes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s heroics at Wembley have convinced Frank Lampard’s Chelsea that they need a defensive clear-out. Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Emerson Palmieri, Marcos Alonso are for the out, as is keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who cost so much he will have to be loaned out. N’Golo Kanté is also being considered for sale as Frank looks to sign Declan Rice from West Ham and Atlético’s José Giménez. Related: Manchester United in advanced talks with Dortmund over £90m Sancho Continue reading...

‘It’s been a rocky road’: Parker believes promotion would heal Fulham wounds

The Guardian Ben Fisher - 5 days ago

Manager says team and club was fragile after relegation Fulham can seal instant Premier League return in play-off final Scott Parker has said sealing an immediate Premier League return in Tuesday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley would help Fulham heal last season’s relegation that left his team fragile. Parker has galvanised a fractured dressing room after a summer rebuild that has elevated Fulham to within touching distance of promotion. They take on Brentford in a game that, according to Deloitte, could be worth more than £265m across five years if the winners avoid the drop next season. Continue reading...

Tottenham's Danny Rose tired of police stopping him to ask if car is stolen

The Guardian David Hytner - 5 days ago

England player opens up on experiences off the pitch ‘I just give up with hoping that things will change’ Danny Rose has said he is regularly stopped by police in his car and questioned in various scenarios that would not happen if he were a white man as he detailed his anger and exasperation at racism in the UK. The Doncaster-born Tottenham defender, who has spent the second half of the season on loan at Newcastle, has been racially abused on the field, most recently when playing for England in Montenegro in March 2019. He had suffered similarly on England under-21 duty in Serbia in October 2012 and in the wake of the incident in Montenegro said he could not wait to walk away from the game because he was so disgusted by the racism that blights it – and the authorities’ response to it. Continue reading...

Arsenal's FA Cup win and the Scottish Premiership's return – Football Weekly

The Guardian Produced by Iain Chambers, Presented by Max Rushden, with Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson, Philippe Auclair and Ewan Murray - 5 days ago

Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Philippe Auclair to discuss Arsenal’s FA Cup Final win over Chelsea, Eddie Howe’s departure from Bournemouth and a review of the opening weekend in Scotland with Ewan Murray Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email. Max Rushdenis joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Philippe Auclair to discuss Arsenal’s FA Cup Final win over Chelsea, Eddie Howe’s departure from Bournemouth, and a deluxe Fitba corner in the company of Ewan Murray. Continue reading...