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/ 22 May 2008

United walk tall in Europe

Manchester United were crowned kings of Europe for the third time on Wednesday when they beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties after a breathless all-English Champions League final had finished 1-1 after extra time. United’s 37-year-old goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar, saved the decisive spot kick from substitute Nicolas Anelka.

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/ 6 May 2008

Chelsea: ‘We will fight to the finish’

Avram Grant has promised Manchester United a fight to the very finish after his Chelsea side beat Newcastle to ensure the English Premier League title race will go right down to the wire. A hard-fought 2-0 win at St James’s Park on Monday stretched Chelsea’s impressive unbeaten league run to 20 games to set up a tense last day of the season on Sunday.

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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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/ 26 April 2008

Ballack double keeps Chelsea’s dreams alive

Chelsea beat Manchester United 2-1 in a dramatic match at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to pull level at the top of the Premier League and keep alive their hopes of snatching the title from United’s grasp. Michael Ballack was Chelsea’s scoring hero, deciding the game with an 86th-minute penalty after heading the home side ahead at the end of the first half.

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/ 16 April 2008

Bafana: In search of strikers

Bafana Bafana desperately need to uncover a new striker ahead of next year’s Confederations Cup. That was the opinion expressed on Wednesday by the CEO of the 2010 local organising committee , Danny Jordaan. While Jordaan is happy with the progress that coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is making, he is concerned by the fact that there is no successor to Benni McCarthy.

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/ 25 February 2008

Ramos savours Tottenham glory

Tottenham Hotspur manager Juande Ramos savoured the sweet taste of success after beating Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday. ”It’s always a tremendous satisfaction to win a trophy but I would say this one has a special flavour to it because it was against a team who are supposedly superior to us,” said the Spaniard.

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/ 18 January 2008

For club or country?

There has been much debate about whether the African Cup of Nations should be held at the end of the European season so that there is not a club-versus-country clash. Two football experts discuss the pros and cons. The continental showpiece kicks off in Ghana on Sunday.

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/ 28 December 2007

United ready to flex muscles as title race hots up

Louis Saha expects Manchester United’s superior squad to give the champions a decisive edge as the Premier League title fight hots up. Sir Alex Ferguson rested Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs, Anderson and Patrice Evra against Sunderland on Wednesday but United still coasted to an emphatic 4-0 victory that took them back to the top of the table.

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/ 26 December 2007

Arsenal hope that history repeats itself

Arsenal have enjoyed Christmas Day at the top of the Premier League standings — and are hoping that history repeats itself and keeps them top at the end of the season. The club at the top at Christmas have won the league for the past three years — Manchester United last season and Chelsea in 2005 and 2006.

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/ 25 December 2007

Villa out to ruin Chelsea’s Christmas

Chelsea have been warned by Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill that his side are out to do the double over them on Wednesday and dent their English Premier League title hopes. The third-placed Blues could fall nine points behind leaders Arsenal if Villa beat them for the second time this season in the Boxing Day holiday clash.

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/ 17 December 2007

Wenger expects four-horse race

Arsene Wenger has the destiny of the Premier League in his control but the Arsenal manager expects a four-way battle before he gets his hands on the title. Wenger’s side remain one point clear of Manchester United at the top of the table after William Gallas clinched a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

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/ 10 November 2007

I knew I could do it, says Chelsea’s Grant

Avram Grant insists he never doubted he would silence the critics who claimed he had no chance at Chelsea. When Grant took charge in the aftermath of Jose Mourinho’s dramatic departure in September, it seemed the Israeli coach would find it hard to last a month if one listened to the cynicism that greeted his appointment.

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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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/ 16 October 2007

Euro 2008: England receive boost, France face injuries

England have received a welcome boost, France have injury setbacks while Scotland manager Alex McLeish claimed his team were up against it to go through in the run-up to Wednesday night’s Euro 2008 qualifiers. England negotiate a tricky tie on an artificial pitch in Russia, France host Lithuania after a horrendous journey to the Faroe Islands and Scotland have an important trip to Georgia.

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/ 4 October 2007

Liverpool upset in Champions League

AC Milan and Liverpool were upset in the Champions League on Wednesday, and Chelsea won 2-1 at Valencia with a late goal from Didier Drogba. Defending champion Milan lost at Celtic 2-1 after a 90th-minute goal from Scott McDonald. After the goal, a fan ran onto the field and made contact with Milan goalkeeper Dida.

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/ 28 September 2007

Chelsea: A search for style

Avram Grant did his best to be charitable towards Jose Mourinho this week. The new Chelsea manager said that ”nobody at the club was happy” about his predecessor’s departure. He agreed that the timing last Wednesday night was inopportune and he seemed to suggest that the Portuguese had his sympathy.

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/ 21 September 2007

Women on the ball

As the England boys prepared to face Russia, there was only one topic of conversation going round the dinner table: how the women had fared against Japan the previous day. It was good to hear all the lads talking about it, along with the other results from the Women’s Soccer World Cup.