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mind_the_gap-logoThe title races in both Spain and England look like they will come down to the final weeks of the season after wins for the top three in both countries left Liverpool and Atlético Madrid still holding narrow leads.

England
Two more penalties for Steven Gerrard penalties helped Liverpool beat West Ham 2-1 and lifted them back in front of Chelsea, who bounced back from two straight defeats to beat Stoke City 3-0, with Manchester City four points off the top, but with two games in hand, after beating Southampton 4-1. City travel to Anfield next weekend with the winner odds on favorite to lift the trophy. Meanwhile Arsenal‘s season is threatening to come undone as they lost 3-0 at Everton, a result that moved Roberto Martinez’s side to within a point of the Gunners, having played one game less.

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Camp Nou StadiumStunning news for FIFA that they have handed FC Barcelona a transfer ban for the next TWO transfer windows (this summer and next winter) for irregularities in the signing of 12 foreign players under the age of 18.

The FIFA investigation was reportedly centred on several minors who were registered by the club and participated in tournaments between 2009 and 2013.

“With regard to the case in question, FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations,” FIFA’s press release reads.

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Groot spandoek op 'The Kop'Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League for the first time since Christmas with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on a day when Everton heaped more misery on Fulham. The last four teams who led the league at Christmas went on to win the title but, after back-to-back defeats immediately dropped them to fifth by the turn of the year, questions were asked about the Reds’ credentials.

Tottenham, despite being sixth and supposedly still fighting for the top four, hardly posed a challenge. Liverpool have now scored nine unanswered goals against them this season – beating their previous best in a single campaign from 1914/15.

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john-terryPremier League leaders Chelsea suffered a major setback in the English title race after John Terry’s second-half own goal sent them crashing to a 1-0 defeat in the London derby at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea’s brief going into the derby at Selhurst Park had been to extend their one-point advantage over second-placed Liverpool– home to Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow – at the summit. However, 16th-ranked Palace deservedly went in front through John Terry’s 52nd-minute intervention. It prompted a second successive away defeat for José Mourinho’s men and signalled Palace’s first scalp of the Stamford Bridge club in 24 years. Liverpool can claim pole position tomorrow.

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BR-ShanksLiverpool kept their Premier League title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at Anfield, the Reds’ seventh consecutive win in the league. Victory means Brendan Rodgers’ side are back in second place, one point behind leaders Chelsea. Manchester City are a further two points off the pace, although they have two games in hand. Liverpool have still to welcome City and Chelsea to Anfield, where they have been in imperious form all season.

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Mourinho-WengerBest league in the world? Maybe not today as Chelsea thumped title contenders Arsenal 6-0 in Arsène Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge while Liverpool scored six against Cardiff and Man City five against Fulham.

It was a nightmare for Arsenal once again away from home against one of the Premier League‘s top sides. The Gunners had already conceded six at the Ethiad and 5 and Anfield this season and were quickly on the bad foot at Stamford Bridge as Samuel Eto’o and André Schürrle put Chelsea two up inside the opening seven minutes. Any hopes Arsenal fans had off a comeback ended when referee Andre Marriner mistakenly sent off Kieran Gibbs for a deliberate hand ball in the box. It should have been Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that was sent off. Eden Hazard scored from the penalty spot and when Oscar made it 4-0 before half, it was anther nightmare for Arsene Wenger against Jose Mourinho.

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RVPManUnitedWhen Robin van Persie went down late in the game against Olympiakos on Wednesday, the initial indication was that the injury was not serious, despite him being stretched off the pitch.

Well on further review that is not the case as the Manchester United striker has been ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a knee ligament injury after a second scan showed the injury was more serious than originally thought:

“Following further investigation Robin van Persie has a sprained knee which will keep him out for around 4-6 weeks” a statement from the club read.

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david moyes shockedAccording to ESPNFC, the prospect of firing manager David Moyes has been raised in the Manchester United boardroom for the first time.

The Glazers reportedly are not happy with what Moyes has done to a team that won the championship last season are are becoming more open to the idea of a change of manager.

After the embarrassing loss at home to bitter rivals on Sunday Moyes faces probably the biggest week of his managerial career. In a seven day period United must overturn a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League against Olympiakos, before facing an awkward trip to West Ham United and then a potentially daunting second derby of the season against Manchester City.

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BR-ShanksTwo really big wins for Liverpool and Arsenal on Sunday, away from home, and against bitter rivals. Liverpool heaped more pressure on David Moyes with a convincing 3-0 win at Old Trafford while Arsenal increased the pressure on Tim Sherwood with a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane.

With the win, both club moved to within four points of leaders Chelsea, and they both have a game in hand. Both clubs still have to play Jose Mourinho’s side in what will be pivotal games in the title race.

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jose-mourinhoThe title race in England was blown open on Saturday as Manchester City overcame an early red card to captain Vincent Kompany to beat Hull City 1-0 while 9 man Chelsea lost 1-0 at Villa Park.

After two consecutive cup defeats Manchester City were under a lot of pressure when Kompany was sent off 10 minutes into the game against Hull for bringing down Nikica Jelavic who was through on goal.

But David Silva put them ahead four minutes later and City defended well to hold on and then sealed the win when Silva sent through Edin Dzeko to make it two in the final minute.

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