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Champions League

Clubs Compete In Europe Following A Sobering Week For English Football

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League group A match between Manchester United FC and FC Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on September 29, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester United‘s 1-0 win over FC Zorya Luhansk brought down the curtain on the outings of English teams on the European stage this week and alongside other wins for Premier League clubs, United’s narrow victory did little to brighten a somewhat shambolic week for English football.

England manager Sam Allardyce was sacked just 67 days into his reign to the post following an undercover sting by a British newspaper.

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The 61-year-old was caught on camera seemingly admitting that he knew of ways to skirt around FIFA rules on player ownership and the scandal came to light after the video recorded by undercover reporters from The Daily Telegraph was published on Monday.

The departure of Allardyce has led to various names being thrown into the hat for the newly available role; Arsene Wenger‘s being one of which and his Arsenal team kept up their outstanding form by defeating Swiss side FC Basel.

It took the Gunners just six minutes to open the scoring as Theo Walcott headed home from Alexis Sanchez‘s cutback. The two Arsenal men linked up again as Walcott drilled low into the net to complete a swift team move in the 27th minute.

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Flying the flag for England in Tuesday nights games were Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur and both put in solid performances to take all three points.

The former of which beat Porto in their first ever home Champions League game to maintain the winning start to their debut season in Europe’s premier club competition.

Islam Slimani, who had a prolific scoring record against Porto with his former club Sporting Lisbon, headed the only goal from a Riyad Mahrez cross to haunt his suffering victims once again.

Porto substitute Jesus Corona hit the post, but the Foxes held on and Leicester now lead Group G by two points and meet second placed FC Copenhagen on 18 October.

Elsewhere, Son Heung-min continued his superb recent form to give Tottenham their first win of their Champions League campaign at CSKA Moscow.

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The South Korean scored his fifth goal in five games to win the game, slotting in after collecting Erik Lamela‘s pass.

Before Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s late winner for Manchester United, Southampton earned a valuable Europa League point against Hapoel Be’er-Sheeva from a glum affair in Israel.

Southampton and Hapoel are level on four points at the top of Group K.

The game of the week came on Wednesday night between two British clubs as Celtic claimed their first Champions League Group C point while Pep Guardiola’s perfect record in charge of Manchester City was ended with a draw in Glasgow.

The hosts caught Pep’s men cold, taking the lead twice in the first half, Moussa Dembele diverting in Erik Sviatchenko‘s header and Kieran Tierney forcing an own goal by Raheem Sterling.

Fernandinho‘s strike brought City level first time and the superb Sterling showed composure to net the visitors’ second.

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Nolito equalised for the visitors again after Dembele had netted acrobatically.

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Barcelona‘s win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany keeps the Spaniards top of the group with City two points behind in second. The top two meet in Barcelona on 19 October.

Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic hold a one-point advantage over bottom side Borussia going into their meeting in Glasgow.

The game in Glasgow was a true pointer as to just how far Sterling has come in such a short period of time under Guardiola as the 21-year-old winger put in a phenomenal performance; Man City looked for the pint-sized star to create going forward and although the three goals conceded proved that there is much to work on for the Catalan coach, the attacking play was mouth watering at times in his total football regime.

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Wales national team Head Coach Chris Coleman claims that anybody caught partaking in wrongdoings in the game should be given lifetime bans, yet this would leave many chairs empty in the head offices at Wembley stadium as the English Football Association has been exposed for the corrupt, money-driven party that they are this week.

Whilst prospects look melancholy for the game in its homeland, Pep Guardiola is a man in which English football fans can seek refuge in as they’re lucky to have him on their shores and should grasp on his irresistible methods and learn from his new ways of playing the beautiful game.

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