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Premier League Weekend Winners And Losers

It was another existing weekend in the Premier League as Chelsea stunned Manchester City, Liverpool stayed unbeaten and Burnley was the only side in the bottom six to win.

Here is a look at this week’s Premier League’s Winners and Losers.

Title race
Over the last few weeks, there was a growing feeling that the destination of the Premier League title had already been decided. So dominant was Manchester City’s football that nobody could surely stop them.

Champions League Permutations: Who Needs What?

Twelve teams have already booked their place in the Champions League round of 16 after the last set of group games. Who will be the last four teams to join them?

Here is a look at what is still undecided heading into Matchday six:

Group A
Both Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have already qualified for the knockout stage, with Club Brugge third and dropping into the Europa League. Thierry Henry’s Monaco have been eliminated.

Atletico will secure top spot, and with it seeding for the last-16, if they beat Brugge or Dortmund fail to win away at Monaco.

Atlanta United Wins First MLS Cup

Atlanta United won the MLS Cup in only their second season in the competition with a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers.

MLS Most Valuable Player Josef Martinez opened the scoring on 39 minutes with his 35th goal of the season and Franco Escobar added a second after the break.

It was Atlanta boss Gerardo Martino’s final game in charge before he becomes head coach of Mexico.

“We won it, it feels good,” he said. “If I had to choose a way to leave somewhere, this is the best way.”

Derby d’Italia: Juventus v Inter Milan

The Derby d’Italia is a a game drenched in history ands the bitter rivalry between two of Serie A’s greatest clubs continues on Friday night.

Juventus will be out to end hope that Inter have of challenging for the Scudetto this season. The gap between the sides already stands 11 points, an increase in that margin this weekend would make it an almost insurmountable chasm for Inter..

Max Allegri’s team are in imperious form and could set another record with a win in this one. A Juve victory would mean they have amassed 43 points from their first 15 league games, matching the tally set by PSG last week for the top five European leagues in the three-point era.

Sarri Worried As Chelsea Struggles Continue

Chelsea’s ‘very worried’ manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he was at a loss to explain his side’s unexpected collapse at Wolves on Wednesday night but hoped it would prove a kick up the backside before Saturday’s visit of Manchester City to Stamford Bridge.

Sarri’s side, featuring five changes from the weekend win against Fulham, were in cruise control at Molineux and leading 1-0 until two goals in four minutes from the home side around the hour mark changed everything.

It was previously unbeaten Chelsea’s second consecutive away defeat having been trounced by Spurs at Wembley and Sarri said;

Chelsea Facing TWO-YEAR Transfer Ban

While Chelsea insist they have not broken any Fifa rules on the signing of underage players, there actions suggest that they know a possible transfer ban is on the horizon.

According to reports in France, the Premier League side are in trouble with FIFA for the illegal signing of players under the age of 18.

Based on documents from Football Leaks, it is claimed Chelsea face a TWO-YEAR transfer ban and a fine after 19 of their signings were investigated by Fifa’s Integrity and Compliance Department.

It is suggested 14 of those signings were under the approved age of 18, without falling into other allowed categories, or being given special permission.

American star Christian Pulisic was named the second best young player in the World on Monday at the Ballon d’Or ceremonies in Paris.

Frenchman superstar Kylian Mbappe was the unanimous winner of the Kopa Trophy, named after the late Raymond Kopa, the first French winner of the Ballon d’Or and presented to the best U-21 men’s player in the world.

The 20-year-old Pulisic, who is in his fourth season at German club Borussia Dortmund, received 10 second-place votes, including those from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and one third-place vote for 31 votes.

Manchester City are reportedly facing a Champions League ban for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations.

The English champions were the subject of a series of stunning revelations made by the Football Leaks hackers last month, not least with regard to inflated sponsorship deals seemingly designed to beat UEFA’s FFP system.

Among the reports, based on documents seized by Football Leaks, was a claim that City’s holding company paid £59.5million of Etihad’s annual sponsorship deal, with only £8m coming from the airline.

On Monday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed that what he described as ‘a concrete case’ was being investigated.

Luka Modric Wins Ballon d’Or

Luka Modric saw off competition from France’s World Cup stars as the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the Ballon d’Or on Monday to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Modric was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize in Paris ahead of Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

Paris Saint-Germain’s teenage forward Kylian Mbappe came fourth, leaving Messi to settle for fifth position. Another Frenchman, Modric’s Madrid teammate Raphael Varane, was seventh, just behind Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.

Inter Milan star Mauro Icardi has become the first non-Juventus player to win Serie A Footballer of the Year since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2011, while Massimiliano Allegri scooped the coach’s prize for a fourth time.

Icardi finished joint top-scorer in Serie A last term alongside Ciro Immobile on 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances and helped get Inter back into the Champions League.

The Argentina international has carried that form into the current campaign as well, having netted eight times in 11 outings.

Icardi also won the best goal award for his spectacular backheel during a four-goal haul against Sampdoria last March.