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/ 11 May 2008

United clinch title as Chelsea falter

Manchester United clinched their 17th English championship on Sunday by beating Wigan 2-0 in a nail-biting finale to the most thrilling Premier League title battle in years. Pushed to the wire by Chelsea, United claimed the 10th title of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign by two points after their rivals were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton in their final match.

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/ 2 May 2008

Ronaldo completes award double

Cristiano Ronaldo been voted footballer of the year by the English Football Writers’ Association, completing a double after receiving the same accolade from his professional peers last week. It is the second season in succession that the 23-year-old Portugal winger has received both of English football’s most prestigious individual awards.

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/ 1 May 2008

Chelsea’s Drogba sets up United showdown

Didier Drogba sent Chelsea to their first Champions League final and got revenge on Rafa Benitez as his double strike clinched a 3-2 win against Liverpool in Wednesday’s semifinal second leg. Drogba had given Chelsea the lead in the first half at Stamford Bridge before Fernando Torres sent the tie into extra-time.

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/ 30 April 2008

Benitez unrepentant over Drogba accusation

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez stoked up a row over Didier Drogba’s theatrics after refusing to retract his claims that the Chelsea striker is a diver. Benitez angered Chelsea boss Avram Grant by revealing he showed his defenders a video dossier of Drogba exaggerating fouls before last week’s Champions League semifinal first leg.

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/ 29 April 2008

Torres wants one more Champions League fairy tale

Fernando Torres has been living a dream in the Champions League this season but the Liverpool striker wants one more fairy tale in his side’s semifinal second leg against Chelsea on Wednesday. Torres has made a big impact in his first Champions League campaign and his goals have been instrumental in Liverpool’s march to the brink of a third final in four seasons.

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/ 23 April 2008

Grant eyes march on Moscow as Chelsea ride their luck

Avram Grant believes Chelsea are in pole position to reach their first Champions League final after his side escaped with a fortunate 1-1 draw in the semifinal first leg against Liverpool. All his team have to do is maintain their impressive record at Stamford Bridge, where they are unbeaten for over two years, in next Wednesday’s second leg to reach May’s Moscow showpiece.

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/ 13 April 2008

United see off Arsenal at Old Trafford

Owen Hargreaves was Manchester United’s unlikely goal-scoring hero as the English Premier League leaders came from behind to see-off title challengers Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford in London on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored in a 3-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Anfield.

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/ 9 April 2008

Liverpool seal victory over Arsenal

Rafael Benitez has identified his players’ self-belief and the passion of the Anfield faithful as the keys that opened the door for Liverpool to progress to their third Champions League semifinal with Chelsea in four seasons. The Liverpool boss watched his side come from behind to seal a memorable 4-2 victory over Arsenal.

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/ 1 April 2008

Gunners count on fear factor to sink Liverpool

Arsenal will be hoping the fear factor outweighs Liverpool’s vast European experience when the two sides cross swords in an all-English Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday. Rafael Benitez has guided his side to two out of the last three finals of Europe’s elite competition, but he will also be aware that, on the domestic front, Arsenal have had the edge.

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/ 24 March 2008

Man United, Chelsea taste victory

Manchester United beat old rivals Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday as the reigning champions were left five points clear at the top of the Premier League table. But it was Chelsea who became United’s nearest challengers after a double from Didier Drogba saw them come from a goal behind to beat Arsenal 2-1.

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/ 12 March 2008

Liverpool send ill-disciplined Inter crashing

Inter Milan’s ill discipline cost them again as Liverpool won 1-0 at the San Siro on Tuesday to progress to the Champions League quarterfinals 3-0 on aggregate. Nicolas Burdisso was sent off just five minutes into the second half of the second-round, second-leg tie to scupper the Italian champions’ hopes of reaching the next round.

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/ 9 March 2008

Benitez praises Liverpool’s ‘perfect’ victory

Rafa Benitez hailed a ”perfect” victory over Newcastle, which sees Liverpool travel to Inter Milan in the Champions League highly confident of finishing the job they started at Anfield three weeks ago. Another inspirational Fernando Torres performance propelled Benitez’s side to a comfortable 3-0 win over relegation-threatened Newcastle at Anfield on Saturday.

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/ 6 March 2008

Benitez hails ‘on-fire’ Torres

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez hailed Fernando Torres as ”on fire” after the Spanish striker hit his second successive Anfield hat-trick to lift his club into fourth spot on the Premier League table on Wednesday. Torres sentenced West Ham to their second 4-0 defeat in four days after a sizzling performance by Benitez’s side.

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/ 20 February 2008

Grobbelaar weighs into Liverpool rotation row

The row over Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez’s squad rotation system continued to rumble on Wednesday as former Anfield goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar said lack of continuity was at the root of the Premier League club’s ills. One day after current striker Fernando Torres had supported his boss’s policy of switching the first team around, Grobbelaar hit out at the controversial method.

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/ 18 February 2008

Benitez looks for league salvation

Liverpool tackle Italian giants Inter Milan in their Champions League second round clash on Tuesday desperately needing a victory to prevent their season falling apart. Liverpool will be one of two English clubs who entertain Milan’s finest this week as Arsenal attempt to recover from their 4-0 FA Cup mauling by Manchester United.

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/ 15 February 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo: Premier League’s entertainer

There is little doubt Cristiano Ronaldo is the Premier League’s greatest entertainer. Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres are his only rivals for flair and, with 27 goals already this season, Ronaldo is way ahead in the striking stakes, never mind all the counterattacks, dribbles and step-overs he also provides.

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/ 22 January 2008

Late goal earns Liverpool draw against Villa

Substitute Peter Crouch scored two minutes from time after Marlon Harewood’s over-head kick and an own goal from Fabio Aurelio cancelled out Yossi Benayoun’s opener to earn Liverpool a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa. It was a night that was all about the Liverpool fans directing their displeasure at the plans of club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to re-finance their debts.

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/ 16 January 2008

Gerrard treble gives Benitez a boost

Rafa Benitez finally got some good news as Steven Gerrard’s hat-trick helped Liverpool cruise into the FA Cup fourth round with a 5-0 win against crisis-ridden League One outfit Luton on Tuesday. Benitez’s position looks increasingly untenable after Liverpool’s American owners admitted they held talks with Jurgen Klinsmann over the manager’s job late last year.

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/ 7 January 2008

Benitez fights for Liverpool future

Rafa Benitez has enjoyed hero status among Liverpool fans for much of his reign but he looked distinctly mortal as he trudged across Kenilworth Road’s sodden turf on Sunday. Benitez, brow furrowed and hands thrust deep into his pockets, cut a dejected figure and understandably so after a day he will want to forget in a hurry.

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/ 3 January 2008

Man City leapfrog Liverpool into fourth

Manchester City added to the pressure on the shoulders of Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce with a 2-0 Premier League away win at St James’s Park on Wednesday that saw them leapfrog Liverpool into fourth place on the table. Defeat meant Newcastle had taken just one point from a possible 12.

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/ 31 December 2007

Liverpool frustrated by dogged City

Liverpool missed the chance to close within eight points of Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday as they could only draw 0-0 at Manchester City. Rafa Benitez’s side still have a game in hand, and City remain unbeaten at home this season, but with Manchester United losing on Saturday and Arsenal only drawing on Boxing Day, this still felt like an opportunity missed.

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/ 29 November 2007

Chelsea, Milan advance in Europe

Didier Drogba scored twice in the opening 20 minutes as Chelsea stormed into the knockout stages of the European Champions League with a 4-0 triumph at Norway’s Rosenborg Trondheim. Drogba gave Chelsea an early cushion, with Alex and Joe Cole grabbing the other goals as Chelsea clinched first place in group B.

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/ 11 November 2007

Torres rides to Reds’ rescue

Fernando Torres came off the bench to keep Liverpool’s English Premier League title bid on track by inspiring the Reds to a last-gasp win over Fulham on Saturday. Earlier on Saturday, Sunderland’s derby clash with local rivals Newcastle ended in a frustrating 1-1 draw, and West Ham beat Derby 5-0.

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/ 29 October 2007

Arsenal back on top after draw with Reds

Arsenal regained first place in the Premier League on Sunday thanks to a Cesc Fabregas equaliser in an entertaining 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield. The Gunners trailed to Steven Gerrard’s seventh-minute free kick but the inspirational Fabregas stole in with 10 minutes remaining to give the visitors a deserved share of the points.

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/ 19 October 2007

Problems mount for Chelsea

When Avram Grant sent his Chelsea players away for international duty last week, he must have thought he was beginning to get the troubled club back on track. The storm of controversy generated by Jose Mourinho’s dramatic exit and Grant’s ascension as his replacement had finally dissipated after wins over Valencia and Bolton.

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/ 26 September 2007

Liverpool, Arsenal win convincingly

Fernando Torres scored three goals on Tuesday to lead Liverpool to a 4-2 English League Cup win at Reading, while Arsenal also reached the fourth round with a 2-0 win over Newcastle. Manchester City, Portsmouth, Sheffield United, Cardiff, Luton and Blackpool were the other teams to advance.

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/ 13 September 2007

McFadden Scottish hero on winning night for Britain

James McFadden’s long-range goal earned Scotland a landmark 1-0 victory over France on Wednesday night to put them firmly on course for the Euro 2008 finals on a winning night for Britain. McFadden turned and shot with less than half an hour to go at the Parc des Princes to propel Scotland to the top of Group B and within sight of their first major finals in a decade.

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/ 2 September 2007

Reds on top after Derby demolition

Liverpool brandished their credentials as potential English Premiership champions with a 6-0 demolition of Derby on Saturday as champions Manchester United continued to recover from their slow start to the season. The pressure on Tottenham boss Martin Jol increased after his side drew in a six-goal thriller at Fulham.