Championship Leeds, who marked their centenary on Thursday, climbed into second after a 1-0 victory over Birmingham at Elland Road. Kalvin Phillips’ 65th minute goal, set up by Jack Harrison, proved to be the winner. Marcelo Bielsa’s team sit behind only West Brom, who won 1-0 at Middlesbrough. With a 1-1 draw against Barnsley at Oakwell, Swansea dropped two points and the chance to finish the day above Leeds and fourth-placed Nottingham Forest, who play at Wigan on Sunday. Jordan Ayew’s 67th minute header put Swans ahead, only for Alex Mowatt to equalise three minutes later. QPR are up to fifth after coming out on top in a five-goal thriller at Hull that saw ten minutes of injury time. Eberechi Eze’s two penalties, the second coming in the 88th minute after he had been the attacking player fouled, proved decisive. Preston dropped to sixth after losing 1-0 to Reading. Royals manager Mark Bowen got a win in first game in charge with the American Matt Miazga … [Read more...] about Football League: Phillips caps off Leeds gala, Bowen lands maiden Reading win
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“I recently stumbled upon this article about Tony Hibbert signing for an unbeaten Sunday league team in 2017 and missing a penalty for them in a 1-0 defeat on his debut. Which other former professionals have extended their careers into Sunday league football after retiring,” asks George Jones. The smell of liniment oil and the thrill of almost being cut in two by a hungover centre-back would appear to be quite the draw for ex-pros as there have been a few turning out for Sunday teams over the years. “I remember Julio Arca, formerly of Sunderland and Middlesborough, playing for his local team Willow Pond FC in Sunderland for a period after he retired in 2013,” writes Robert Kelly. “He later played for South Shields at a higher standard.” Ali Tabari can go one better. He has a former Premier League player being managed by a former Premier League player in the pock-marked fields of Warwickshire. “My friend until recently played for a team near … [Read more...] about Which former pros have played Sunday league football after retiring?
“With Leon Clarke making his Premier League debut at the age of 34 for Sheffield United against Liverpool, who is the oldest debutant in a top division?” tweets Joe Turner. We’ve unearthed a golden oldie who can beat the ageing Blade by two years. Now-retired Brighton defender Bruno captained the Seagulls to promotion and then made his first appearance in the English top flight at 36 and only two months shy of his 37th birthday. But Tom Aldous points us in the direction of Graham Alexander who, at the ripe age of 37, made his Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009. Italy has always been an accommodating place for footballers who have got a fair few miles on the clock, so it is little surprise that a 39-year-old made his bow in Serie A in 2016. Goalkeeper Maurizio Pugliesi turned out for Empoli against Torino in the last game of the season and ended up on the winning team too, the home side victorious 2-1. Sticking with goalkeepers, the one and only John Burridge was … [Read more...] about Who is the oldest footballer to make their debut in a top-flight division?
1) City’s embarrassment of riches Manchester City sit top of the pile after earning maximum points from four matches, with their latest victory a comprehensive 3-0 win over basement side Birmingham. It was a game in which the gulf between the sides was clear but Nick Cushing’s side appear a more clinical beast this season, with an embarrassment of riches going forward, a raft of internationals including Janine Beckie, Tessa Wullaert and the electric teenager Lauren Hemp that offers no end of ammunition. Then there is the South Korea captain Lee Geum-min, who completed the scoring, and Pauline Bremer, who has shone since returning from a broken leg sustained on her City debut. Last season City struggled to put lesser opposition to the sword but they have shown a ruthless streak that will surely stand them in good stead in their quest to take back the title. The same cannot be said for a pointless Birmingham, mainstays of the division who appear in a sorry mess. 2) England … [Read more...] about Women’s Super League: talking points from the weekend’s action
Mario Mandzukic, without a minute of competitive football since May, is top of Manchester United’s shopping list in January. The Croatian is more out of favour at Juventus than Paul Simon at an Art Garfunkel gig, and seems set to sit on the sidelines until the January transfer window rolls around, having been left out entirely of the Old Lady’s Champions League squad. United, meanwhile, are woefully short of options up top, with Tony Martial injured, Mason Greenwood a bit, um, green, and Marcus Rashford seemingly doing his best work these days off the left flank. Rumours are rampant that United already have a verbal agreement to sign Mandzukic in January, with the 33-year-old commanding a £9m fee and a £85,000-a-week contract. Ed Woodward always gets what he wants. One might wonder why United don’t go after Edinson Cavani, a younger, more prolific striker, who would also be available for zilch come the end of the season once his contract with PSG is up. … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Mario Mandzukic to Manchester United?