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Who ate all the pies

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Casey Telford of England in action during an England training session ahead of the FIFA 2007 World Cup in China at Shanghai Songjiang Stadium on September 4, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Photo Paul Gilham/Getty Images

beard5.jpg Call this a little fluff piece, but has everyone seen Alan Hansen’s foray into facial hair on last weekend’s Match of the Day?

Sevilla secured a fitting tribute to Antonio Puerta by qualifying for the Champions with a comfortable 4-1 victory over AEK Athens. A brace from Luis Fabiano and goals from Seydou Keita and Alexander Kerzhakov secured a 6-1 aggregate win. The Spanish side will now line-up in Group H with Arsenal, Slavia Prague and Steaua Bucharest.

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It’s like a James Bond film where you think, why doesn’t the villain kill him? – and then eventually he comes back to bite them.”
Northern Ireland FC (aka Fulham) manager Lawrie Sanchez compares Spurs to a James Bond after sneaking a 3-3 draw against them.

It seems our French friends will come up with any excuse to get their kit off – welcome to ‘stripfoot’.

dean%20ashton%20horror%20hair.jpgLast time we saw Dean Ashton he was going bald gracefully, but things change. He has returned from his long injury lay-off with this bleached blond barnet (because a healthy dose of peroxide was just what his dying hairs needed). All of this means the West Ham striker has been left looking like a born-again monk who gave up his life on the early 1990s rave scene to spend his days in the monastery.

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Jose Mourinho gives us the occasional chuckle with the excuses he finds for Chelsea’s failings, but Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath has trumped even the Special One’s most special of cop-outs. With his side languishing in 14th place in the Bundesliga, Magath blamed his side’s poor showing in a 2-1 defeat to Hertha Berlin on they delayed rail service provided by Hertha’s sponsor, Deutsche Bahn, on Friday afternoon.

French fast-food chain Quick has launched its Anelka burger in honour of Bolton’s sulky striker Nicolas. The burger comes with a hint of pepper, apparently. If it is anything like its patron, you would imagine the burger fills a gap at first but leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth and a lot of bellyache.
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76486547.jpgCesc Fabregas starred again for Arsenal in their 3-1 win over Portsmouth on Sunday. He’s only 20 but the young Spaniard is showing the sort of match-winning maturity that could see his dream of one day captaining the side come true.

75411484.jpgLiverpool are sitting at the head of the Premier League table for the first time in five years – and only a ‘ghost’ penalty against Chelsea has prevented them from claiming maximum points from their first four games.

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QPR players wear the name of team-mate Ray Jones, who died in a car crash last weekend, on their shirts during the Championship match against Southampton at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Photo Clive Rose/Getty Images

This is a little scary! This appears to be Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola starring in the video to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart (click here if you want to put yourself through the entire video). What’s the Italian for Turn around, Bright Eyes?!

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Real thrashed Villareal 0-5 to go top of La Liga after two games. Raul, Wesley Sneijder (two), Ruud van Nistelrooy and Guti were all on target for the champions. Coach Bernd Schuster was remarkably calm at his side’s early season form considering winning the league normally gets you sacked at Real. He said: “I am more happy with the play and the results than the league table. We still have things to improve and the league table is not important. To be first is not bad, but to be there later on is more important.”

Bolton 1-2 Everton
Wanderers look increasingly like they might be heading for a post-Allardyce fall from grace, while the Toffees go from strength-to-strength. Yakuba bagged a debut goal.
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Chelsea

Horror Hair: Jose Mourinho

September 3rd, 2007

76476527.jpgWhen he arrived, Jose Mourinho was seen as the king of Continental cool – the sharp suits, trademark Armani overcoat, and perfectly coiffured hair all made him look more like a matinee idols than a Premier League manager.

76450247.jpgIt’s been a long time coming but Michael Owen rediscovered his shooting skills with his first league goal for two years as Newcastle beat Wigan at the weekend.

1 Martin Jol is going to get sacked very, very soon.
2 Sammy Lee is going to get sacked shortly afterwards.
3 The Premier League is more competitive than it has been for a few years, which is great news for neutrals and anyone who doesn’t support Manchester United or Chelsea.

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A pretty dull end to the summer transfer window in the end. Pies puts together an XI featuring the pick of the purchases. Not many goalkeepers to choose from, but Senegalese aplenty!

Remember the Brazilian ball boy who sneakily scored a goal? Well, it seems some Brazilian ball boys also have a penchant for saving their team with goal-line clearances!

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Steve McClaren has announced his England squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia, and the biggest surprise – assuming he doesn’t get injured between now and the matches – is the inclusion of Aston Villa’s Ashley Young. Blackburn’s David Bentley also gets a call-up despite being frozen out of the international set-up since he withdrew from the under 21 squad at the start of the summer.

21313a.gifPlenty of gems from Ian Holloway’s BBC Sport column this week, including this startling revelation: ‘I’ve ridden a horse but I’m rubbish at it. I look like a crab sat on a horse with my hunched back.’

Most football fans were more than happy to leap aboard the ‘Roy Keane is God’ bandwagon after he guided Sunderland from the depths of the Championship to the Premier League in one rocket-fuelled rise. But recent defeats to Wigan and Liverpool in the league, and then Luton in the Carling Cup, will test Keane’s resolve […]

So Ardwick AFC maintains its lead at the top of the Pies fantasy league. First-week leader DDG has moved back up the table into second spot. I had a better week, thanks to decent performances by Cesc Fabregas (who scored the winner against Man City at the Emirates) and Clint Dempsey (who scored for Fulham […]

Games

Fiendish Friday Quiz

August 31st, 2007

1 Nantes, Olympique Marseille, Bordeaux, Olympique Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea, Valencia (retired). Which former player’s career?
2 Diego Maradona has tattoos of which two 20th century icons?
3 Picture round: who’s this?
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A lovely instinctive strike from Kolo’s younger brother, signed by Barca this summer for a reported fee of €10m. On this evidence, they have picked up a bargain.