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Stevie-GerrardLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers accepts captain Steven Gerrard is no longer the player he once was, but he insists it is wrong to write him off entirely.

Gerrard’s has been poor this season, but the Liverpool boss defended himself against accusations he has continued to select the ex-England midfielder on reputation alone.

“I judge Steven on merit. I think the spotlight he has been under is incredible. Everything for us is based around being a team,” said Rodgers.

“If people are expecting Steven Gerrard to be the type of player he was 10 years ago that is sadly not the case.

Jack-Wilshere-FACupArsenal and England star Jack Wilshere could face ankle ligament surgery which will keep him out of action for up to three months. The midfielder is expected to meet with a specialist in the coming days and the decision will be taken as to whether he needs the operation to repair the damage to his left ankle that he suffered after a challenge from Manchester United’s Paddy McNair on Saturday.

Messi Sets Another Goal Scoring Record

leo-messi2Fresh off becoming the all-time leading scoring in La Liga, Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Tuesday became the record goalscorer in Champions League history as he led Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over APOEL Nicosia.

After Luis Suarez had opened the scoring with his first goal for Barca, Messi scored for the 72nd time in the competition, passing former Real Madrid star Raul, and then added two more to set up a grandstand finish to Group F.

Gareth-Bale-Champions-LeagueThere are some huge games tonight in the Champions League with several contenders looking to sew up one of the ten spots in the knockout phase that remain up for grabs. Only six sides have already qualified: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Porto.

Tuesday’s fixtures
Group E

CSKA Moscow-Roma
Manchester City-Bayern Munich

Group F
APOEL Nicosia-Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain-Ajax

Group G
Schalke 04-Chelsea
Sporting CP-Maribor

Group H
BATE Borisov-FC Porto
Shakhtar Donetsk-Athletic Bilbao

Jones RevsThe New England Revolution and LA Galaxy are 90 minutes away from meeting in the 2014 MLS Cu Final after both picking up wins in their conference finals first leg on Sunday.

It was a great day out for the 1,100 New England fans who made the trip to New York as they say their side win at Red Bull Arena for the first time ever.

The Revolution took the lead in the 17th minute when Bunbury cut in from the right flank and curled the ball past New York keeper Luis Robles.

On the back of Roberto Mancini’s appointment as Inter boss, we take a look at Inter’s strikeforce from the 2014/15 season ahead of the Milan derby.

welbeck-arsenalArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned he cannot offer guarantees of a place in the starting XI to any of his strikers. For the first time in years, Wenger has quality attacking options with Danny Welbeck, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez all in contention for a starting spot.

That competition has caused Germany international Lukas Podolski to reassess his future at the Emirates as he is getting frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities, but Wenger insists that is all part and parcel of competition at a leading club.

Balotelli: I don’t listen to critics

Mario Balotelli LiverpoolStruggling Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli insists criticism of his performances this season does not affect him and he is putting in more effort than ever before. The Italian international has yet to score in the English Premier League since his £16m summer move from AC Milan with his two goals coming against Bulgarian UEFA Champions League opponents Ludogorets and Swansea City in the League Cup.

There is added pressure on the 24-year-old in the continued absence of Daniel Sturridge, who has not played for his club since August 31 because of injury and was this week ruled out until 2015 by a new thigh problem. But Balotelli stressed his approval rating outside his inner circle is not something which concerns him.

Falcao-scoresManchester United manager Louis van Gaal expects to be without midfielder Daley Blind for some time. The midfielder was taken off in the 20th minute of the Netherlands‘ 6-0 win over Latvia last Sunday with a knee injury. Van Gaal said initial tests on the player’s knee proved inconclusive and he will undergo another scan the week after next to determine how long he would be out for.

The United boss said:

ozil-arsenal2Arsenal and German star Mesut Ozil says that he has complete trust in manager Arsene Wenger making him a better player.

The Gunners’ club-record signing is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered at the start of October, and is not expected to feature again until early 2015.

Ozil, who helped Germany win the World Cup last summer, has often been criticised for perceived inconsistent displays, with questions raised over whether the former Real Madrid playmaker could cope under the physical demands of the Barclays Premier League.