Everton confirm David Moyes’ departure as Scot faces tough task with Wayne Rooney

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As Manchester United scramble to confirm David Moyes’ appointment (it’s been awhile since they’ve had to do this sort of thing), Everton have confirmed that the Scot’s 11 run at the club will come to an end at the end of the season.

After watching Chelsea draw 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge, Moyes went through the departure formalities this morning at Everton’s Finch Farm training base. He leaves the club after taking over from Preston North End in 2002.

Annually strapped with financial constraints at Everton, Moyes consistently outperformed expectations by taking the Toffees to a Top 4 finish in the 2004-05 season, earning them a Champions League qualification. Despite never lifting a trophy, Moyes managed to reach the 2009 FA Cup final where Chelsea defeated the Toffees 2-1 and the 2012 FA Cup semi-final where they lost 2-1 to Liverpool.

Everton’s official website released the following statement confirming Moyes’ departure:

David Moyes will leave the Club at the end of the season. The Manager met Chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday 8th May) and confirmed his desire to join Manchester United. The Chairman, on behalf of the Club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding Manager. During his tenure at Goodison Park, David has taken charge of the team on over 500 occasions including four European campaigns. His final two games as Everton Manager will be the remaining Premier League matches against West Ham United and Chelsea. Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately.

Moyes will arrive at Old Trafford needing to address the current drama surrounding former Toffee Wayne Rooney, who asked to leave United two weeks ago in order to rejuvenate his career. Ferguson reportedly rebuffed Rooney’s request, informing the striker that his future remained at United.

Claiming Rooney would be given a new deal, Ferguson stated, “He’ll be here next year. You can have my word on that.” A spokesman for United reaffirmed this on Wednesday explaining, “Wayne Rooney is not for sale.”

MORE: What now for Wayne Rooney?

But with the changing of the guard at United, speculation has persisted and Rooney has reportedly asked to leave the club for a second time. It will now be up to Moyes to diffuse the situation. The two certainly have history.

The Scottish manager handed Rooney his Premier League debut at Everton in August 2002 in a 2–2 home draw against Tottenham. He was 16 years old at the time. In October of that year, just five days before his 17th birthday, Rooney scored a last minute winning goal against Arsenal, making him the youngest goalscorer in Premier League history (a mark which has since been surpassed by James Milner and James Vaughan). Two years later, Moyes sold Wazza to Manchester United in a deal worth a £27 million.

It will be interesting to see whether Moyes can convince the striker to stay at United. Two years after Rooney’s departure from Goodison Park the pair had a falling out when Moyes successfully sued the striker for allegations made in an autobiography. Rooney thereafter personally apologized and many believe their relationship to be in a decent state.

How healthy that relationship truly is will now doubt be further examined over the coming weeks.

Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have been mentioned as potential destinations for the England international.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

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Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

[ MORE: Under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.

Sydney FC clinches first place in A-League

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SYDNEY (AP) After clinching first place in Australia’s A-League without taking the field, Sydney FC enhanced its record achievement with a 3-0 win over the Perth Glory on Sunday.

Sydney FC won the Premiers Plate as regular-season champions after the second-place Melbourne Victory lost 1-0 to Brisbane on Saturday, when Sydney had a night off.

The Brisbane win left Sydney with an unassailable 11-point lead in first place with three rounds to play.

[ MORE: An under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

The Sydney side also created some history: it became the only team to have remained in outright first position in the standings for an entire season.

In the other match Sunday, the Wellington Phoenix beat Newcastle 5-0 to remain within five points of sixth-place Western Sydney for the final playoff spot.

Walking Dead? Star fittingly sees Exeter’s implausible comeback (video)

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As Rick Grimes, actor Andrew Lincoln regularly battles the undead on his show “The Walking Dead”.

As a friend of Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, Lincoln was probably pretty happy to watch a team that would not die.

Exeter went down 3-0 when Yeovil Town broke a scoreless drought with a trio of tallies between the 62nd and 78th minutes.

[ MORE: An under-the-radar Premier League XI ]

But Exeter’s David Wheeler scored in the 88th minute, and Troy Brown and Reuben Reid scored a minute apart at the beginning of stoppage time to earn a point for the League Two playoff hopeful.

Couple things on this video, too:

— Check out the shove on the goalkeeper when trying to collect the ball after the first goal of the fight back.

— Watch the man with his baby behind the net after the third goal. Did Mom know how safe her little one was?