Spain and the Czech Republic advanced to the World Cup finals on Wednesday, while Switzerland, Australia, and Trinidad and Tobago also made it to next year's tournament. Already leading 5-1 from the home leg in Madrid, Spain tied 1-1 at Slovakia to advance 6-2 on aggregate.
Hernan Crespo and Arjen Robben scored in five second-half minutes on Saturday to give Chelsea a 2-0 win over second-place Charlton and open up a six-point lead in the Premier League. Tottenham had a chance to go third but were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa and had to hit back from going a goal down after four minutes.
England's World Cup qualifying bid was stalled by a stunning 1-0 loss to Northern Ireland on Wednesday, while Thierry Henry revived France's chances of making it to next year's tournament in Germany. It was the most embarrassing loss in Sven-Goran Eriksson's four-year reign as England coach.
Facing its 21st Champions League game in a little over a year, defending champions Liverpool look certain to reach the lucrative group stage of Europe's premier soccer competition on Tuesday. Then Rafa Benitez' players hope to celebrate on Friday by beating CSKA Moscow in the European Super Cup.
Wayne Rooney scored against his former Everton teammates as Manchester United launched their latest Premier League challenge with an impressive 2-0 victory at Goodison Park on Saturday. United began with three useful away points against an Everton side that finished fourth last term.
Champions of Europe, but only the second-best team in Liverpool. With their Champions League final triumph over AC Milan now history, Liverpool face the reality that they still have a long way to go to catch Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League race.
Down three goals at half-time, it looked like Liverpool's 21-year wait for a fifth European Cup success would never end. Amazingly, the end came just over an hour later. Liverpool scored three second-half goals in seven minutes to overcome the deficit and draw 3-3 with AC Milan before winning 3-2 on penalties.
Defending champions Arsenal slowed Chelsea's charge to their first league title for 50 years with a 0-0 tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Other results included Liverpool winning 2-1 at Portsmouth; Norwich beating Newcastle 2-1; Aston Villa and Charlton tied 0-0; and Blackburn edging Crystal Palace 1-0.
With Arsenal about to say farewell to their Premier League title, French striker Thierry Henry has a moody demeanour these days, even when he's stroking the ball into the net. Instead of waving his arms and grinning from ear to ear, Henry tends to jog quietly away, take the applause of the crowd and teammates and go to say thanks to the player who provided the pass.
Racist taunts aimed at the black players on England's soccer teams spoiled Spain's impressive 1-0 victory over David Beckham's team on Wednesday. While the Spaniards outplayed England for long periods at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, their fans taunted Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole whenever they had the ball.
Mikael Silvestre's two headers handed Manchester United their first win in five games on Monday and gave Rio Ferdinand a winning return in a 2-1 victory over Liverpool. A Premier League record crowd of 67 857 saw the French defender score his first two goals of the campaign.
Robert Sangster, Europe's most successful racehorse owner of the past 30 years, died at his home on Wednesday after a long fight against pancreatic cancer. He was 67. Sangster's horses won 27 European Classics. He also owned the 1984 Breeders Cup Mile winner, Royal Heroine, and 1980 Melbourne Cup winner Beldale Ball.