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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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/ 20 May 2008

Goal merchants set sights on Euro glory

They are the men who will reap the plaudits and milk the applause — the goal poachers who can grab glory for their nation in an instant. And they will deserve the adulation if they can rise above the increasingly defensive fare of the modern international game and the fear of losing, which hung heavy over the finals of both Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

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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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/ 27 March 2008

Dutch roar back as Greece sink Portugal again

The Netherlands staged a remarkable comeback to win 4-3 in Austria while European champions Greece beat Portugal 2-1 as all 16 Euro 2008 finalists contested friendlies on Wednesday. England midfielder David Beckham will not have happy memories of his 100th international appearance after Fabio Capello’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat to France in Paris.

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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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/ 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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/ 14 January 2008

Blackburn leave it late to clinch derby victory

Jason Roberts’s last-minute winner secured a 2-1 win for Blackburn Rovers away to local rivals Bolton Wanderers as they battled back from going a goal down in dramatic fashion on Sunday. The Lancashire derby appeared destined for a draw when the striker burst clear from the halfway line and left several defenders behind him at the Reebok Stadium.

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/ 11 January 2008

Chelsea sign Anelka

French striker Nicolas Anelka has joined Chelsea from English Premier League rivals Bolton, the clubs announced on Friday. A statement on Chelsea’s website said: ”Chelsea Football Club and Bolton Wanderers can confirm that terms have been agreed between the clubs for the transfer of Nicolas Anelka.”

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/ 31 December 2007

Arsenal back the ‘beautiful game’

The turn of the year can be both an inspiring and a daunting time for English Premier League clubs as they reach the end of a congested holiday-fixture programme and contemplate the challenges that lie ahead in the second half of the season. Someone who opts for the positive outlook is Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager.

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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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/ 9 September 2007

Italy and France in deadlock, joy for Germany, England

Italy drew 0-0 with France in their World Cup final repeat, Germany and England notched easy wins and 10-man Spain were frustrated by a 1-1 draw in Iceland in Saturday’s Euro 2008 qualifiers. The battle to reach the finals in Austria and Switzerland also saw The Netherlands beat Bulgaria 2-0, while the day’s other upset left Turkey with only a 2-2 draw in Malta.