Copa del Rey - Messi looks towards win the Copa del Rey

Barcelona heads into the Copa del Rey match against Leganes in a delicate situation after losing points in a loss against Valencia.

 The heavy defeat to Valencia and the doubts generated by the victories over Granada and Ibiza have set off alarm bells in Barcelona.

 The duel against Leganés in the Copa del Rey comes at a delicate time for Quique Setién and his charges, at a time when he needs to get back to their game and get a comfortable win. For that reason, as 'AS' reports, it is expected that the Cantabrian technician, after the fright of the previous round, puts out his strongest starting XI yet, with captain Lionel Messi leading the charge.

 The Argentinean star did not even make the squad against Ibiza, but is now expected to lead the Catalan team in the Round of 16. It would be the star's debut in this year's Copa del Rey competition and his first match since last season's final against Valencia, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.

 In addition to the '10&#…

Lingard will start for England against Nigeria

Lingard is competing for a place in Southgate's starting line-up at the World Cup and he has been handed an opportunity to impress at Wembley this weekend.

With only two friendlies before England kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia, Lingard is battling with Tottenham's Dele Alli and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling to fill the roles as support for star striker Harry Kane. Lingard had an inconsistent season with United, but Southgate is a fan of the 25-year-old.

England boss Southgate told a press conference on Friday that Lingard will face Nigeria, insisting he hadn't made up his mind who will feature when his team face Tunisia in the World Cup opener on June 18. "I don't see it as a straight contest between any individual, absolutely they could play together," Southgate said.

"All of our attacking players have different attributes or strengths. "Jesse is a fantastic player at recognising the space, working away from the ball, a grea…

Burnley hold Manchester City at Turf Moor

It was a physical encounter with the home side’s players being on the receiving end, in comparison to previous matches involving Man City, of some hefty challenges. Ashley Barnes, Sam Vokes, Nick Pope and Phil Bardsley all had to receive treatment in the first-half for various niggles but thankfully were all okay to continue.

Manchester City continued their theme of dominancewhich was visible against Cardiff and West Brom, seeing the vast majority of possession and chances in the first 45 minutes but unusually lacked the final product to take advantage. Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan couldn’t connect well with balls from Bernardo Silva as the 'Sky Blues' would go on to rue these missed chances. As Sean Dyche’s team has one of the best defences in the Premier League,  it appeared as if only a sensational goal would break the deadlock this time around. Pep Guardiola's side did not disappoint as Danilo's stunning strike in the 21st minutegave the visitors the lead.

Manchester city vs West brom 3-0

Kevin De Bruyne slammed James McClean for a crude attempted tackle in Wednesday's feisty clash between Manchester City and West Brom, saying the "ball wasn't in the neighbourhood".

City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, but much of the attention after the match was on West Brom's tackling. Substitute Brahim Diaz was on the end of a strong Matt Phillips challenge five minutes from time which left Pep Guardiola angry. Phillips only received a booking for his tackle, the same punishment dished out to McClean 22 minutes from time, when he made a callous attempt to bring De Bruyne down on the break with a studs-first lunge, but luckily for the Belgian, the contact was minimal. De Bruyne was not aware quite how ugly McClean's challenge was until seeing a replay after the game and he was not particularly impressed with the winger's conduct. "I didn't know the tackle was like that," De Bruyne told reporters.

 "I've just seen it [McClean&…

Liverpool vs West Brom - Preview and possible lineups

FA  Cup fourth round tie between Liverpool and West Brom at Anfield.


 Jurgen Klopp looks set to be without a trio of players for this one. Adam Lallan has suffered an injury setback, whilst Ragnar Klavan and James Milner also look set to miss out through illness and a dead leg respectively. Nathaniel Clyne is thought to be making good progress as he recovers form a back problem but he is still not training with the rest of the squad. Captain Jordan Henderson is back in training and could get the nod in this one, whilst Dejan Lovren is also back available. Simon Mignolet will be given the chance to stake his claim between the sticks.

West Brom: 

The 'Baggies' are thought to be suffering after a flu bug swept through their camp, with Ben Foster, Ahmed Hegazi, Gareth McAuley, Jay Rodriguez, Sam Field and James McClean are all struggling to be fit for the game, meaning the likes of Boaz Myhill, Oliver Burke and Hal Robson-Kanu. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp:

"We ha…

Manchester United ease into the FA Cup fifth round

Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera,Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku were United so seal their place in the draw for the FA Cup fifth round as they eased past Yeovil Town on Friday night.

The main talking point going into the game was a debut for Alexis Sanchez after he completed his move from Arsenal on Monday. The Chilean lined up on the left of an attacking three alongside Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata and fizzed around, looking busy if not at his incisive best on his United debut. Yeovil started the game well and had the first chance of the tie as Jordan Green burst through the United rearguard after being found by Sam Surridge out on the left but the former Fulham trainee’s low effort was blocked away by Sergio Romero. Green was involved again as Yeovil went close with 15 minutes gone. The winger was brought down by Matteo Darmian and from the ensuing free kick Omar Sowunmi should have done better, managing only to head straight at Romero after escaping the attentions of Luke Shaw…

Arsene Wenger : Sanchez not a mercenary for joining United

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Alexis Sanchez should not be considered a "mercenary" for opting to join Manchester United rather than renewing his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez made the move to Old Trafford on Monday, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan switching the other way in a swap deal. The Chilean is reported to be earning £350,000 a week at Old Trafford, vastly in excess of Arsenal's top-earning players, having entered the last six months of his Gunners contract without penning fresh terms. Wenger previously appeared to suggest Sanchez had moved for money, citing the forward's desire to secure "his last contract" and claiming he "cannot understand" why the 29-year-old wanted to leave Arsenal.

But the Frenchman appeared to row back on his comments when he spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of his side's EFL Cup semi-final second leg at home to Chelsea. "Of course the financial aspect is important but he could combine both [b…

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace - Preview and possible lineups

Premier League clash between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates.


Defenders Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal could make their first appearances of 2018 after shaking off injuries. German playmaker Mesut Ozil could return after a spell out with a knee problem, whilst youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles is expected to be fit despite suffering about of flu. Forward Alexis Sanchez will not be involved due to his imprending move to Manchester United.

Crystal Palace:

Defender Joel Ward is available once again after a month out with a groin problem, whilst midfielder Yohan Cabaye could feature after recoving from a knock. Ruben-Loftus Cheek is expected for an extended spell on the sidelines with an ankle problem, where he will be joined by Andros Townsend (also ankle), Mamadou Sakho (calf), Jordon Mutch, Jeffrey Schlupp, Jason Puncheon, Connor Wickham and Scott Dann (all knee).

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:

"I agree completely that 2018 until now has not been very positive, …

Burnley vs Man Utd - Preview and possible lineups

Premier League game between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor.


The hosts could have Scott Arfield back available following a hamstring strain, though veteran striker Jon Walters will be missing for up to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Defender Steven Ward (knee) and striker Chris Wood (leg) are on right in schedule with their recoveries but they will not feautre in this one, meaning that Charlie Taylor and Sam Vokes should start, despite the former nursing sore ribs. Long-term absentees Tom Heaton (shoulder) and Robbie Brady (knee) remain sidelined.

Manchester United  :

United have Ashley Young available once again after he completed a three-game ban, though Luke Shaw is expected to start at left-back. Daley Blind, Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will all miss out, whilst Playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not feature as he closes in on a move to Arsenal.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche:

"If you look, every single club, other than the top …

Fernandinho sign a new contract with Manchester City

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him with the Premier League leaders until June 2020.

The Brazil international has been a mainstay of Pep Guardiola's side as City have established a 12-point advantage in England's top flight this term. Former Barcelona boss Guardiola has labelled the 32-year-old as "one of the best three holding midfielders in the world" and insisted he would not have got into this City team during his playing days due to Fernandinho's quality.

With Pep in charge, I feel sure we can win significant silverware and, importantly, we will try to do it playing attractive, attacking football. As Yaya Toure moves towards an expected exit when his deal expires in June, City have been linked with moves for Shakhtar Donetsk's Fred and Nice's Jean Michael Seri to bolster an area of Guardiola's squad where Fernandinho reigns supreme.

"This is a club with a fantastic future and I want to …

Man City to bounce back warns Otamendi

Pep Guardiola's side saw their unbeaten start to the league season come to an end as Liverpool's 4-3 victory inflicted City's first top-flight loss in 30 matches dating back to April.

Manchester City had arrived on Merseyside with pundits predicting they would go through the entire season without defeat, but instead they were blown away by Liverpool, who raced into a 4-1 lead before conceding twice in the final moments. Otamendi was part of City's defensive meltdown as they failed to deal with Liverpool's pace and movement. But the Argentina centre-back is confident City, who hold a 12-point lead over second placed Manchester United, will put that behind them and get back on track when Newcastle visit Eastlands on Saturday.

"The season is going really well and we want to keep going in that way," Otamendi said. "We are very focused on every single game, and afterwards we try to recover in the best way we can and be focused for the next. "I thi…

Transfer update : Chelsea to make bid to sign Edin Dzeko from Roma

Chelsea want to sign Edin Dzeko and are willing to spend £44million to land the former Manchester City man and his Roma teammate Emerson Palmieri.

That is according to Calciomercato,who say Antonio Conte is mulling over a sensational double swoop for the pair. Dzeko spent four and a half years at the Etihad winning two Premier League titles and scoring 72 goals in 189 appearances for the club.

He has since netted 61 times in 116 games for Roma including 39 goals during the 2016-17 campaign.

Transfer update : Real Madrid stunned as top star claims he is joining Manchester United

Bale has been a long-time target for United but is believed to have turned down moves to Old Trafford twice before.

It had been thought, however, that Jose Mourinho was prepared to end his interest in the Wales star, due to the imminent arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Don Balon claims that the 29-year-old has told Real that he will be joining Sanchez at Old Trafford, although whether that will be in January or the summer is unclear at this stage.

 The former Tottenham attacker has struggled for injuries over the past 12 months and has been rumoured to be part of a dramatic shake-up of the playing and coaching staff at The Bernabeu. Real president Florentino Perez is said to be ready to wield the axe after a disastrous La Liga title defence, with boss Zinedine Zidane and some of the clubs highest profile stars, including top man Cristiano Ronaldo, set to be moved on.

 The report goes on to state that Bale has been in secret talks with United over the last few weeks and that th…

Luis Suarez back to his lethal best after hitting Barcelona nadir

Since the start of the season La Liga leaders Barcelona have been flying, but the same is not true for striker Luis Suarez. 

With three goals in his first 14 games, Suarez was in his worst form for the club, one of the few players in Ernesto Valverde’s side who was struggling as the Catalans established a firm lead in the title race. Barcelona were winning despite him, not because of him, as they often did in his first three seasons at Camp Nou. With 121 goals in his first 147 matches, helping his side to two league titles, a Champions League trophy and three King’s Cups, among other silverware, everything Suarez touched turn to gold, until this season.

Suarez scored in the routs of Espanyol and Girona, as well as netting an important equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 1-1 draw in October, but otherwise fired blanks. The 30-year-old failed to score in any of Barcelona’s six Champions League group games, missed easy chances and was bereft of confidence, despite Valverde consis…

Barcelona reject Lionel Messi salary claims

Barcelona have defended payments made to a charity run by Lionel Messi and insist they did not act as part of the player’s salary. 

The Catalan giants made the payments to Lionel Messi’s foundation between 2010 and 2013 with German media outlet Der Spiegel alleging they had seen club documents which may have acted as a salary. The report claimed that a 2016 audit saw the club pay the foundation and Messi’s father Jorge millions, while the player’s advisers gave the authorities €12m in unpaid taxes despite insisting they were not part of his salary.

“All of the money the club wired to Lionel Messi's foundation was for charitable purposes,” ESPN quote a Barcelona representative as saying. “The interpretations that (Der Spiegel), other media or other people can make about these donations does not change this position at all. There will be no further comment on the issue.”

ESPN clarify the €12m was given by the club to Messi as a loan which would not need to be repaid, while the aud…

Carlos Tevez dubs £650,000-a-week CSL spell 'a holiday'

Shenhua fans disappointed with Tevez's lucrative spell with the club are unlikely to be pleased with his latest remarks. 

Carlos Tevez has labelled his time in the Chinese Super League with Shanghai Shenhua as a "holiday". Forward Tevez secured a return to Boca Juniors for a third spell with the club this month, having left his boyhood club for China in December. The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker scored only four goals in 16 Chinese Super League appearances, receiving criticism for a supposed lack of effort. Reportedly earning $40million-a-year in his time in the CSL, Tevez was disappointed about his time in the far east, though he is able to see the funny side.

Asked about his spell in China by TyC Sports, Tevez joked: "I was on holiday for seven months in China. "It's fine for the Shanghai coach and president to criticise me, I didn't know what I was doing there." Addressing the end of his second stint with …

Transfer update : Theo Walcott join Everton

It’s looking more and more likely that his five minute spell at Bournemouth last weekend was Theo Walcott’s last appearance for the club. 

After emerging as the favorite to land Arsenal’s current longest-serving player over the last few days, Everton are apparently close to completing the signing, according to The Guardian.

The Mirror’s John Cross seems confident of the transfer as well. It’s hard to blame Walcott for wanting out - he’s made just six appearances in the Premier League this season, all as a substitute. As he enters the final stage of his career, a fresh start makes sense. This became especially apparent once it was clear he didn’t factor into Arsene Wenger’s plans recently, despite Arsenal’s desperate need for pace and width, as well as some brief returns to a more traditional 4-2-3-1 formation better suited for Walcott’s skill set.

With rumors buzzing of new signings up front, it’s easy for Walcott’s departure to beovershadowed.

Manchester United cruised to victory

Manchester United are in the mood, they are among the most clinical sides around.

A good performance from the visitors in the first period would have left new manager Paul Lambert pleased with what he witnessed from the stands, but it was not enough to get something out of Old Trafford. And Stoke had their chances. After Antonio Valencia put Manchester United ahead with a superb left-footed effort, the Potters reacted well and pushed up the pitch, but they lacked the edge the Red Devils seem to have in abundance when in the right mind-set.

Pogba was magical in midfield again and the Frenchman was instrumental in the build-up to United's first two goals. He spreaded the play out to the right flank for Valencia in the first goal, though the Ecuatorian still had plenty to do, cutting inside and swinging a delightful strikeinto the top far corner. Martial also benefitted from his compatriot's inspired performance, sweeping a spectacular right-footed finish into the top right co…

Transfer Update : C. Ronaldo wants summer United return

Cristiano Ronaldo has told his Real Madrid team-mates he wants to return to Manchester United in the summer. 

Spanish publication 'AS' reports that the Portuguese has made the decision to leave Real Madrid, with a return to Old Trafford now his priority. Ronaldo looks set to dominate the back pages once again this summer. The aforementioned source claims that the Real Madrid star feels deceived by the club's hierarchy after being promised a new deal that never came to fruition. It claims that Real president Florentino Perez promised the 32-year-old a new contract after 'Los Blancos' defeated Juventus in last season's Champions League final, but over six months on from that triumph, talks are still yet to take place.

 Ronaldo has taken matters into his own hands to try to force the issue in recent months, declaring his desire to retire at the Bernabeu whilst also pointing out that ultimately it is not his decision. "If it is possible I would like to retir…

Barcelona complete to extend unbeaten with 4 - 2

Luis Suarez helped Barcelona overcome a two-goal deficit to claim a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday night in their first league win at Anoeta since 2007.

The hosts raced out to a 2-0 lead through Willian Jose and Juanmi, but a late first-half goal from Paulinho swung the momentum in Barcelona's favour, and Suarez would complete the comeback with a pair of second-half strikes before Lionel Messi topped it off with a late free kick. With the victory Barcelona remain nine points up on second-place Atletico Madrid in the table, and a whopping 19 points in front of rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde made one change of note, as Andres Iniesta was rested and replaced in midfield by Andre Gomes.The Anoeta ghosts that routinely spook the Catalonians decided to make an early appearance, manifesting themselves in Willian Jose's 11th minute opener. Xabi Prieto curled in a cross from the right and Willian Jose, who scored the Real Sociedad goal in last season'…

Liverpool trash Manchester city without Philippe Coutinho

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain credited a second-half "rampage" from Liverpool with ending Manchester City's unbeaten run in the Premier League.

The former Arsenal midfielder set in motion a thrilling 4-3 win for Jurgen Klopp's men, who responded to Leroy Sane's equaliser five minutes before half-time by putting City to the sword after the break. Roberto Firmino caught out John Stones to get on the end of Oxlade-Chamberlain's throughball and dink a finish past Ederson, the first of three goals in a dizzying nine-minute spell, with Sadio Mane and the excellent Mohamed Salah also getting in on the act.

It meant a first loss in 23 Premier League outings for Pep Guardiola's side this term, whose heads cleared in the closing stages as substitute Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan set up a grandstand finish. "It's a nice statement for us. They've been brilliant all year, they’re a fantastic side," said Oxlade-Chamberlain, who felt Liverpool targeted…

Transfer update : PSG continue to dream of signing Kante

PSGlatest projects is to 'Frenchify' its staff and squad as much as possible.

Along with signing world-class players, such as Neymar, there must be a quota of French footballers, the best of the best, like Kylian Mbappe. In other words, Unai Emery's side want to be the backbone of 'Les Bleus' and to achieve this, they must sign the best.

 There is no midfielder better than Chelsea's N'Golo Kante. According to reports in 'L'Equipe', the French leaders will go with all their firepower to secure his signature next summer. An ambitious plan, but nothing new, with PSG having been linked with a move for the diminutive midfielder in the past. Kante emerged as one of the best midfielders in English football after winning a shock Premier League crown with Leceister City in 2016, before firmly cementing his place among the best by securing a second winner's medal, this time with his current employers, last year.

 The French player has so far made …

Oblak says No contract talks with Atletico

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak said he has not held talks with the club regarding a new contract. 

Regarded as one of the best keepers in the world, Slovenia international Oblak has been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool. The 25-year-old, who starred in Atletico's 1-0 LaLiga win over Eibar on Saturday, said he has not discussed a fresh deal. "I have a contract until 2021, but we have not talked about that yet," Oblak said.

"First you have to concentrate on the field. What happens, it will happen, but it does not depend on me." Oblak's exploits have helped Atletico up to second in LaLiga this season, six points behind leaders Barcelona after 19 games, while defending champions Real Madrid are 16 points off the pace in fourth position.

"You cannot discard anyone," Oblak continued. "Madrid are a great team. "I hope we get closer to Barca. We have to go game by game, not further, because in a day things c…

Transfer update : Alexis Sanchez can earn far more at Man United than Man City

Alexis Sanchez will earn up to £60,000-a-week more if he opts for Manchester United over rivals City, claims the Sun. 

Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of his former Barcelona charge, but is willing to go as high as a  £20 million fee and £290,000-a-week for his services.

Not only will United gazump their neighbours by some £10m, but they are also prepared to offer as much as £350,000-a-week to land the Arsenal star in January.

Pep Guardiola delighted by renaissance of attacking style

Guardiola is pleased to see the high-possession, high-pressing and high-intensity approach he espouses has found popularity elsewhere in the Premier League, complimenting both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on the way they play.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss saw his style questioned as he struggled to make an early impact at the Etihad Stadium, suffering the first trophyless season of his coaching career last term as City finished third in the table. The transformation this season has been remarkable, with City having dropped just four points in 22 league matches as they remain in contention for an unprecedented trophy quadruple. Having faced suggestions his style could not work in England, Guardiola is delighted to have proved his critics wrong, adding he loves to see other teams playing his way. "I like that, because more than a manager,

I'm a fan. When I have to choose, those are the type of teams I like to watch," he said. "Barcelona, I love …

Kane became Tottenham's all-time goalscorer against Everton

Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham beat Everton to one side at Wembley on Saturday, writing his name into the record books in the process. Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen got the other goals as Mauricio Pochettino's side ran out 4-0 winners.

Saturday’s evening kick off looked like an intriguing affair but it turned very one-sided very quickly at the national stadium. Spurs dominated possession from the outset and went close when Son Heung-Min flicked a header just wide following Christian Eriksen’s free kick from the left. Everton had a handful of openings themselves in the early knockings of the game, only to fade badly later on. Wayne Rooney fired wide after latching onto debutant Cenk Tosun’s flick-on, before the former England striker had a close range header correctly disallowed for offside. Harry Kane was a threat throughout and twice forced visiting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into saves before the hosts took the lead. Eriksen picked the perfect pass for Serge Auri…

Real Madrid loss 3 point against Villarreal

Real Madrid were once again left frustrated after failing to score despite ample chances in front of goal. The Spanish giants could also feel aggrieved as a disallowed goal and a strong penalty appeal didn't fall in their favour.  

Gareth Bale headed in a goal in the 18th minute of the game which was ruled offside by officials, much to the players' protests. Replays show that the call was a lot closer than originally thought, but that it looked like a correct decision nonetheless..  In addition, the Madrid club had a penalty shout for handball against Villarreal's Alvaro shot down by the referee who didn't believe it was intentional, with the defender having little time to react to a deflection off Bale. 

Despite these 'injustices', Zidane's players could have easily been two or three goals up if they had been more clinical. They had numerous chances in the first-half with most falling to star man Cristiano Roanldo who has also had a frustrating season ha…

Transfer update : Barcelona new signing Yerry Mina completes medical

The Colombian defender arrived from Brazilian club Palmerias earlier in the week after the two clubs agreed €11.8m (£10.4m) deal to sign Minaduring the winter transfer window.

The two clubs had a deal for the defender to move to the Catalan giants after the World Cup in the summer for €9m, but the La Liga outfit were keen to bring forward the deal owing to Javier Mascherano's imminent departure to join Chinese Super League club Hebei Fortune. Palmeiras were reluctant to allow the defender to leave earlier than scheduled but sanctioned the move after they were offered €3m more than the initially agreed upon price. According to Spanish publication Sport, the defender completed his medical on Friday, while also getting his first taste of the Barcelona training ground.

He has agreed a five-year deal with the current La Liga leaders worth a reported €18.5m (£16.4m, $22.3m). Mina will go straight into the first-team following his unveiling on Saturday and will compete for a place in th…

Neymar, with Real Madrid in their heads

Big decisions are looming at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu that will have ripple effects for the coming years, but none may be as important as the proposed acquisition of Neymar.

The five titles in 2017 had the world believing it was only the beginning of years of success, but for many, Real Madrid have now fallen into oblivion. While fans may have their sights set on who Real may acquire this winter window, the club have set them much further. The strategic decisions ahead will not only have to serve their purpose on the pitch, but also economically, a model the club has not changed since 2000. Signs from the team's play this year have been worrying to say the least, and it has become clear that a need for a mega star to reinvigorate the team is crucial.

That name is one that all of Real Madrid's supporters have had in mind, as well as the clubs leaders, and it happens to be none other than Neymar. While the club remain steadfast in their search for that level of differen…

Barcelona were unstoppable

Barcelona's quest for a fourth consecutive Copa del Rey title began with a finely poised round of 16 tie at Balaidos. 

The 1-1 result in the first legmeant there was all to play for at the Camp Nou, but a lightning start from the hosts, with Messi the architect, soon ended Celta's hopes. A favourable result at home meant Celta had their work cut out to cause an upset, but Lionel Messi had other plans. The Argentine looked lively from the off, eager to get involved and testing Sergio Alvarez with a low strike early on. The danger signs were there, and he made no mistake when given a second chance, sweeping a half volley into the bottom corner after picking up a pocket of space on the edge of the box.

Barcelona were ahead, and they doubled their lead just two minutes later. Jordi Alba provided the assist again and Messi finished with aplomb into the bottom corner. The Catalans were sublime to watch in a manner only they know how, a vintage Barca performance with Messi wreaking …

Chelsea appoint New Chief Executive

Today Chelsea Football Club announces the appointment of Guy Laurence as our new Chief Executive.

Guy will start his position with the reigning Premier League .  He will report directly to the club’s Board of Directors and take overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the club, including the continuing development of our commercial activities in the UK and around the world, focusing on increasing club revenues. Chairman Bruce Buck said: ‘

We look forward to Guy joining the club during an exciting period for Chelsea on and off the field. He will be working with the owner and the Board to increase our commercial revenues and maximise digital opportunities, identifying new ways to best serve our supporters here in the UK and further grow our international fan base.’ Guy has excellent pedigree in senior roles, most recently as President and CEO of Rogers Communications, one of Canada’s largest communications and media businesses.

He has also previously held several senior…

Man Utd and Sevilla go to war over ticket prices for Champions League

United and Sevilla are locked in a bitter ticket war over their forthcoming Champions League last-16 clash with the Spanish club saying they will report United to UEFA for not offering their fans enough seats. 

Sevilla claim that United have not followed UEFA’s ticket guidelines in allocating 5%  of the tickets to their supporters and had been given just under 3,000 tickets when they should have had 3,800. Sevilla are also upset their fans are being charged £89 but United say that is because the Spanish club declined to lower their own prices.  Sevilla are charging United fans between £89 and £133 pounds ($120 to $179) to watch the first leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 21, which the English club considered excessive. “Sevilla will subsidise the tickets of the fans who go to Manchester so they will not pay more than the €60 established  in the first place,” read a Sevilla statement.

“We will make UEFA aware that five percent of the stadium is not being made available (t…

Real Madrid vs Numancia 2-2 draw

A Lucas Vazquez brace helped send a very unconvincing Real Madrid to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals after a 2-2 draw in their Round of 16 second leg with second division side Numancia on Wednesday night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. 

The result gave Real a 5-2 win on aggregate after last week's 3-0 first-leg triumph in Soria.Lucas Vazquez's brace was offset by a pair of goals from Numancia striker Guillermo, who came off the bench in the 41st minute for the injured Higinio and bagged himself two goals for the visitors.The result will only increase the criticism that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been receiving in recent weeks. Outside of a 20-minute window at the start of the second-half, there was little to feel good about from the Real perspective and extended the side's winless streak to three.

Zidane fielded a reserve-heavy starting XI, with Dani Carvajal the only normal starter included after the right-back had been suspended for last Sunday leagu…