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Who ate all the pies

Dip in to scour the latest Deadline Day titbits...

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A second 0-0 draw in succession means Bayern Munich are clinging to the top of the Bundesliga table. Werder Bremen moved level on points with Bayern following their 5-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen. Brazilian starlet Diego was on target for the second goal before picking a fight with a giant bottle of water (pictured).

Thanks to 101Greatgoals for pointing us in the direction of this outstanding free-kick scored by Alvaro Negredo in Almeria’s win over Valladolid last week. It is the kind of set-piece routine that never quite looks as simple when you try it with your mates!

It is one week until Christmas Day and it is about time we spared a thought for this less fortunate than ourselves, such as Premier League footballers. Football Focus pundits Garth Crooks, Les Ferdinand and Gavin Peacock recount sob stories of eating pasta with Christmas turkey, travelling to away games on Christmas Day and trying to accumulate enough bookings to be suspended for the Boxing Day match.

Photographic evidence that Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo is taking cheating to a whole new level. The Portuguese has taken to diving in an attempt to con the referee into giving him free-kicks even when the opposition have possession of the ball!
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Look at this pair of world-class cuties, plugged into God-knows-what at the FIFA World Player of the Year award ceremony, held in Zurich yesterday. That Kaka, he’s been a busy boy recently, what with helping Milan to win the Club World Cup and winning just about every other award going. Captions on a postcard please…

Watford fans show their support for midfielder Al Bangura at half-time during the Championship match between Watford and Plymouth Argyle at Vicarage Road on December 15, 2007. As we reported last week, poor Bangura faces deportation back to his home country of Sierra Leone, a move that will endanger the 19-year-old’s life and put an […]

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Table-topping Real Madrid kept up their 100 per cent home record with a 2-0 win over Osasuna. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wesley Sneijder found the net for the champions. Barcelona kept themselves within four points of Real with a 0-3 over Valencia.

25268_news.jpgOf course, now it’s purely a rhetorical question. At the time when Cashley and Gallas swapped clubs, in August 2006, it was a legitimate question, although I always thought that the Frenchman was more talented and obviously more versatile than the Englishman.

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Like the Arsenal vs Chelsea clash, this was not a classic encounter. It was also a surprisingly low-key affair with relatively few talking points. Here are three things I learned from the match:
No.1 Playing in black worked wonders for Liverpool at Marseille, and it also worked for Man Utd at Liverpool on Sunday. So if Man Utd played Marseille at home and Marseille wore black, the French club would win… or something like that. Is there something about playing in black that makes you play better? I’d argue yes. I cite Reservoir Dogs:

Not a classic encounter by any means; however, it was fascinating stuff between two teams who clearly hate each other. Here are three things I learned from the match: No.1 Making William Gallas captain was one of Arsene Wenger’s unlikeliest masterstrokes. Gallas strikes me as vain, petulant and arrogant – but give him a bit […]

What a dribble! One of those flukey runs that may happen just once in any player’s career. I don’t remember Roy doing anything half as good as this, before or after.

AC Milan’s indestructible captain Paolo Maldini, announced after the final of the Club World Cup (see post directly below), that he will quit at the end of the season. ‘It’s hard for someone to reach the age of 39 and still compete at the top level,’ he said. ‘In June [2008], I will retire with […]

Here is David Beckham’s interview on Michael Parkinson’s farewell chat show. Not featured is Becks wearing a party hat provided by comedian Peter Kay.

I would have predicted that this match would end 0-0. How wrong I was. The two best club sides in the world (hmmm) scored six goals between them in a very open and entertaining game. Pippo Inzaghi, who else, scored twice for Milan in front of a crowd of 68,263 in Yokohama, Japan, while man-of-the- […]

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If you are going to cry this Christmas why not shed tears Gazza-style in this Italia 90 retro England shirt. Relive the days when the England national team could not only qualify for major tournaments, but reach the semi-finals of World Cups.

Two Finnish blondes with spiky hair and – as is the way with any sportsmen from Iceland – ice in their veins. Shit huh.

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HEROES
Roque Santa Cruz The Paraguayan gets the pity vote. It is not too often you are a hat-trick hero and end up on the losing team.

The best posts from our club Pies sites today… Should Spurs fans still hate Sol Campbell? Play the Fantasy Fergie Challenge Liverpool’s spy in Manchester checks out the opposition What sort of welcome should Ashley Cole expect at Arsenal? Would Andriy Shevchenko dress up as a whoopee cushion?

Fabio Capello and Marcel Desailly celebrate after AC Milan’s stunning 4-0 victory against Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final. Photo Bongarts/Getty Images

Something for you to put into action over the weekend…

Games

The Fiendish Friday Quiz

December 14th, 2007

1 SC Braga, Benfica, Chelsea, Lyon, Juventus (current). Whose career?
2 Blackburn’s Christopher Samba plays for which international team?
3 Which is the smallest stadium (in terms of capacity) in the Premier League?
4 Georgi Kinkladze, John Harkes, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Archie Gemmill, Peter Shilton: what links them?
5 Picture round. Who’s this?
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This just in from F365: ‘Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has claimed England winger Stewart Downing does not realise how good a player he can be.’
No, but all self-respecting football fans know exactly how good he can be: not very good at all.

099sheva_468x369.jpgChelsea had their Christmas party last night, and as is often the way, it was a fancy-dress affair. John Terry went dressed in an Incredibles superhero outfit, Frank Lampard was kitted out like a 19th century French dandy and Claudio Pizarro looked rather convincing as a Roman Emperor (see pics from the party at the Daily Mail’s website).

Hucks truly is the master of the understatement: ‘I just ran with it, beat a few people and put it in the goal…’

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Pies presents the pick of the players from the Champions League group stage who have really caught our eye. That might be because they are world-class players performing at the top of their game or it might be because they made an impression against the odds.