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The man who can fix anything: Carlo Ancelotti defies time and critics

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Perhaps the best insight into how Carlo Ancelotti manages big games came as the final whistle blew at the Bernabéu this month, with Real Madrid leading Manchester City 2-1 and another 30 minutes in prospect. While Pep...

Todd Boehly’s vision for Chelsea? Glossy spectacle and ruthless profit

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A billionaire completes a spectacular takeover of one of the world’s most cherished sporting institutions and immediately goes on a lavish, jawbone-loosening spending spree. New signings pile up like presents under th...

Lawrenson’s retirement marks the end of football punditry’s era of innocence

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This is no tribute. In many ways to break out the violins for Mark Lawrenson would really be to miss the true essence of the man. You may even have missed his retirement last week amid the opera of season-ending farew...

Hybrid of Guardiola and Klopp tactics now dominate European football

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Perhaps what has been most striking about this season from a tactical point of view has been the degree of consensus. Money can skew games and there always remains the possibility of a brilliant player upsetting theor...

Fans’ ugly behaviour is not just about football – it’s about society

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Roker Park, the final game of 1989-90. Sunderland were sure of their place in the playoffs; Oldham knew they would miss out, largely because of the strains of an extraordinary season in which they had reached the Leag...

Kevin Trapp’s career-defining save lights up final for Euro nostalgists

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Glory comes in many forms and it came for Kevin Trapp in the form of an astonishing save in the final minute of extra time. When Kemar Roofe’s cross was deflected into the path of Ryan Kent six yards out, a late winne...

Rangers and Frankfurt fans hit Seville for once-in-a-lifetime European final

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A man in an orange shirt stumbled down a narrow street in the Alfalfa district of Seville. It was just before 11am, but the stench of booze preceded him. His eyes were half-closed and he looked as if he hadn’t slept f...

Klopp’s science and rigour pave way for Liverpool to win a game of inches

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Imagine, for a moment, you’re the goalframe at the east end of Wembley. Last summer, you watched as Marcus Rashford, at the climax of that sulphurous July night, took a straight run-up, stuttered, and then, as Gianlui...

Alf’s revenge: disruptor Erling Haaland can be the striker Pep Guardiola craves

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Once upon a time, many years ago, there were two warriors named Alf and Roy who fought for rival clans. Alf accused Roy of feigning injury after he had collapsed with ruptured knee ligaments and for the next four year...

Old traditions meet modern convention in FA Cup final of promise

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Ah, the Cup final. All that pomp and ceremony, the classic rites, the time-honoured rituals. The tingle of anticipation as we approach the sacred 4.45pm kick-off. A bespoke set from the world-famous house DJ Pete Tong...

City fans reminded of healing powers of De Bruyne and likely league title

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How do you mend a broken heart? Not literally, questo è. If you’re Manchester City, your solution to a broken heart would probably be to spend £30m on hiring the 50 best heart surgeons in the world to defibrillate it f...

Here’s what we have learned: Starmer can’t dazzle like Blair, but might still rid us of Johnson

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Good, but not quite good enough. Keir Starmer might just swallow that as a description of Labour’s performance in Thursday’s local elections. The task he faces now is ensuring those words do not become his political e...

Old-school racer Vincenzo Nibali gears up for what may be his last Giro d’Italia

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The Giro d’Italia begins on Friday and Vincenzo Nibali is not going to win it. We should probably be clear about that at the outset. Nibali has won it twice before, nel 2013 e 2016, but that was a younger and hungrie...

Pochettino and the paradox at PSG, a club that is almost unmanageable

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There is probably only one thing a manager can do at Paris Saint-Germain that would enhance his reputation, which is to win the Champions League – and even then there would be plenty of people looking at the £900m net...

Jacob Rees-Mogg has given the game away – even this government knows Brexit is a disaster

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The definition of a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. So ruled the veteran Washington journalist Michael Kinsley, who would surely take delight in the textbook example of the form served up on T...

What Real Madrid do shouldn’t work but yet again they are still standing

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Manchester City had 60% of the ball. They had 16 shots to Real Madrid’s 11. They won on xG, taking a consensus of various algorithms, di 3.1 per 1.6. And yet they will go to the Bernabéu next week leading only 4-3 un...

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