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Arsenal have done nothing to disprove those who question their character

After Troy Deeney’s comments about Arsenal, Craig Burley says clubs know they can easily push the Gunners around. Jack Wilshere’s rebuttal of Troy Deeney’s withering character assassination of Arsenal was typically spiky, but it was clear from the tone of the response that the Watford player had landed a stinging blow with his gleefully and publicly expressed belief that Arsenal are missing a set of “cojones.” Speaking to the press ahead of Thursday’s Europa League meeting with Red Star Belgrade, Wilshere earnestly insisted that, “you can’t question our character.” Yet Deeney, enthusiastically, did, and he is far from the first to do so. The question of whether Arsenal lack the necessary inner strength to thrive at the very top level ha...

Is Abraham good enough for Chelsea? Maybe not, but when will they find out?

The guys respond to your tweets about Tammy Abraham, Milan’s loss to Inter and Manchester City’s dominant start. Tammy Abraham might have been Chelsea’s saviour — a young forward who could have galvanised a club searching for answers as hopes of retaining last season’s Premier League title fade. But he can’t be. Not this season, at least. Abraham, just older than Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, is on loan at Swansea City for the 2017-18 campaign, and the 20-year-old has scored four league goals in eight matches. His parent club Chelsea, meanwhile, are praying that a hamstring problem for Alvaro Mortata, one of only two main strikers in the team now Diego Costa has departed, will only be a short-term issue. As Chelsea sit nine points behind lea...

Carlo Ancelotti, Thomas Tuchel in the frame for Leicester City job

Alejandro Moreno weighs in on the future of Leicester City after Craig Shakespeare was sacked just four months into the job. Keeping on Craig Shakespeare beyond the end of last season was always high-risk, but given the now ex-Leicester boss did everything right over the summer makes his departure look pretty cutthroat. Shakespeare held on to Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy and landed better offseason signings than Claudio Ranieri did in 2016-2017, despite the latter having the carrot of Champions League football to dangle. Shakespeare had some tough early season fixtures to navigate and will rue not taking points against Arsenal (4-3) and Liverpool (3-2) — losses in which Leicester actually rekindled their title-winning quality and spirit. In all likelihood, Shakespeare’s replace...

Club America-Chivas showdown lacking typical fanfare

Leon looked set for a surprising draw with America, until Hernan Burbano’s last-gasp winner stole the three points. It’s been a strange build-up to Wednesday’s Clasico Nacional between Club America and Chivas in Estadio Azteca, shorn of the usual hype that accompanies the meeting of the Liga MX’s two biggest clubs. Chivas were greeted by fans at Mexico City airport on arrival in the capital on Tuesday, but only a handful followed the team to its hotel, whereas in recent editions of the Clasico Nacional there has been a carnival atmosphere on the eve of the match. Algunos valientes aficionados de @Chivas siguen afuera del hotel esperando a ver si algún jugador sale como había sido costumbre… pic.twitter.com/yAp1JZkVQV – SanCadillaReforma (@SanCaReforma) O...

Granit Xhaka should lose starting spot given woeful recent form for Arsenal

After Troy Deeney’s comments about Arsenal, Craig Burley says clubs know they can easily push the Gunners around. Last season, Granit Xhaka was the subject of some unfair criticism. A hefty price tag brought inflated expectations, while pundits and referees alike seemed to have the knives out for Arsenal’s signing of the Switzerland international. This season, any such criticism would be justified. After improving across the course of 2016-17, Xhaka has hit a run of disastrous form; as such, Arsene Wenger should look to reshuffle his midfield options and give the midfielder a necessary reality check. When he first arrived in England, Xhaka looked some way off the pace. That’s only to be expected as the Premier League is notoriously difficult for new arrivals. Xhaka also h...

Keylor Navas earns Real Madrid a point vs. Spurs with sparking performance

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw. Real Madrid and Spurs shared the spoils in an evenly contested game in the Bernabeu and neither side will lament missed opportunities in the 1-1 draw. The results were fair and made that much more palatable because of the stalemate between APOEL and Dortmund. A Raphael Varane own goal gave Tottenham the lead and Cristiano Ronaldo equalised from the spot in an open encounter with both keepers proving the stars of the show. Positives Spurs have allowed just 14 shots on target in eight Premier League games and Real managed more than half of that number here, even with Ronaldo’s post-rattling effort excluded. Against a lesser keeper than Hugo Lloris something would have hit the ...

High expectations for Paris Saint-Germain following flat performance

PSG boss Unai Emery expects a tough clash with an Anderlecht side that is rejuvenated by a new manager. Paris Saint-Germain are in Brussels to take on Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, and after an unflattering 2-1 win away at Dijon last Saturday, much better is expected at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Despite Anderlecht’s disappointing start domestically and in Europe this campaign, PSG coach Unai Emery is wary of the 34-time Belgian champions’ continental pedigree. “We have a lot of respect for every opponent, both in France and in Europe,” the Spaniard told journalists at his pre-match news conference. “Every team in the Champions League deserves to be here. “Historically, Anderlecht are a very big team in Belgium and also in Eur...

Tottenham show they belong in the Champions League with draw at Real

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw. The FC panel see Spurs’ draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu as a statement that they can compete in the Champions League. Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane talk the finer points of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Real Madrid. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris preserved a draw against Real Madrid with this amazing kick save against Karim Benzema. MADRID, Spain — There is usually plenty of swagger about the Santiago Bernabeu on Champions League nights, but it is not often projected by the visiting team. Yet Tottenham Hotspur were every bit as assured and confident as 12-time European champions Real Madrid during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw, a result that keeps Mauricio Pochett...

Toby Alderweireld, Spurs’ backline impress against holders Real Madrid

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw. Tottenham and Real Madrid drew 1-1, while there were wins for Manchester City and Liverpool. The FC panel see Spurs’ draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu as a statement that they can compete in the Champions League. Tottenham could probably have lost against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and still felt relatively confident of progressing in the Champions League. But they clearly had little intention of doing so and have instead continued their charge towards the knockout stages after a 1-1 draw away against the 12-time European champions. Serge Aurier had an eventful first half, delivering the cross that forced an own goal from Raphael Varane in the 28th minute before then co...

Tottenham, Harry Kane dazzle in deserved 1-1 draw at Real Madrid

Hugo Lloris and Keylor Navas each put on a show between the sticks as Real Madrid and Spurs battled to a draw. Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane talk the finer points of Tottenham’s 1-1 draw against Real Madrid. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris preserved a draw against Real Madrid with this amazing kick save against Karim Benzema. Three snap thoughts from a damp Bernabeu as it finishes Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham in Tuesday evening’s Champions League Group H clash. 1. Tottenham get deserved point at Bernabeu Champions League royalty Real Madrid were matched step-by-step by young pretenders Tottenham in Tuesday’s 1-1 Group H draw at the Bernabeu. Raphael Varane’s own goal under pressure from Harry Kane gave the Premier League side a shock lead midway through the first half, w...

Man City get off to flying start, hold on for dear life in 2-1 win over Napoli

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus got Manchester City off to a flying start as they held off a late surge from Napoli. John Stones and Kyle Walker talk after beating Napoli 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League. Manchester, ENGLAND — Three points from the Etihad on Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Napoli in the UEFA Champions League. 1. City ride out Napoli’s revival It began with Manchester City destroying an opponent in the manner that has become habitual in English football. Napoli, currently top of Serie A, scoring goals at a rate not seen for decades, were being put to the sword, and swiftly, behind strikes from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.  But then came a revival from Napoli that asked plenty of questions of City. By the end, they were clinging on, and had ridden ou...

Playoffs present the final chance for Houston Dynamo to end road woes

Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo secured spots in the playoffs following a scoreless draw. It’s a statistic that makes for uneasy reading for any Houston Dynamo fan: 1W-9L-7D. That is the Texan team’s road record for the 2017 MLS season. In just about any other year 10 points from 17 road matches would be enough to prevent a team from reaching the playoffs, but that’s not the case here. Thanks to a sparkling home 11-1-4 home record, the Dynamo have accrued enough points to lock up its first postseason berth since 2013 with a game to spare. But the elephant in the room isn’t going anywhere. That road record sticks out like a sore thumb and will surely be (or already is) the main talking point as the Dynamo head into the postseason, which will likely begin away...

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