Stoke City v Everton - Premier League

Stoke City 0-0 Manchester City: Stalemate at the Britannia (video)

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Stoke City put in another great performance as they held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters have never lost at home to Man City in the Premier League and continued that good run of form going with a spirited display.

Both teams were limited to speculative efforts throughout and Stoke’s best chance came in the first half as Kenwyne Jones raced through but fired his shot straight at Joe Hart. At the other end, City once again failed to create much going forward and Manuel Pellegrini will be disappointed with more dropped points away from home.

Early in the game the Sky Blues dominated possession, with Samri Nasri having an early shot straight at Asmir Begovic as City started well against the Potters. Stoke came back into things and a curling cross missed everyone in the 12th minute.

There was much more of a midfield battle for much of the first half as Stoke proved what a difficult place the Britannia Stadium is to visit.

Midway through the first half Jones raced clear of City’s defense but the Stoke forward met an onrushing Hart who blocked his effort superbly. it turned out to be the best chance of the first half for both teams.

Stoke knocked numerous high crosses into the box as the Potters bombarded City’s defense with  Jones a real problem for Pellegrini’s side.

In the 39th minute Charlie Adam hit a thunderous drive straight at Hart after a surging run from midfield as Stoke knocked on the door.

After the break the game continued to be a midfield battle, with both teams struggling to create clear cut chances. And despite numerous substitutions, neither side could find that extra bit of creativity to unlock two staunch defenses.

In the grand scheme of things a draw was a fair result. Back to the drawing board for Man City, while Stoke are unbeaten in three. Man City are fourth, while Stoke are seventh.


Stoke City: Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Adam (Arnautovic 70), Wilson, Etherington (Ireland 70); Jones (Crouch 70) Subs not used: Sorensen, Whelan, Pennant, Palacios.

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Garcia, Nastasic, Kolarov, Milner, Rodwell, Toure, Nasri (Navas 73), Negredo, Jovetic (Aguero, 63). Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Fernandinho, Dzeko, Boyata

Ancelotti rules himself out of Liverpool job

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid CF
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Carlo Ancelotti will not be the next manager of Liverpool, if you’re not so cynical that you don’t believe Mr. Ancelotti himself, that is.

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Ancelotti, who this summer was fired one season after winning the UEFA Champions League at Real Madrid, has been widely reported a top-two candidate for the Premier League club’s vacant managerial position ever since Brendan Rodgers was fired on Sunday.

While he may very well have been one of Liverpool’s top choices, to hear Ancelotti tell it, he’s not interested in taking the job, nor any other job anywhere in the world this year.

[ MORE: “Super computer” predicts final Premier League standings ]

Ancelotti, speaking at the National History Museum in London on Tuesday — quotes from the Guardian:

“I enjoy my time now but, of course, I want to come back to manage – to work – because it is my passion. I want to take my time to rest, but next season I am ready.”

“Why not [return to Paris Saint-Germain]? I have very good memories of Paris, PSG, I have good relations with everyone, with Nasser [al-Khelaifi, the PSG president].

“But I’m thinking about other things and PSG has a very good coach in Laurent Blanc. I hope he will continue and shine in the Champions League.”

Of course, with Jurgen Klopp reportedly all but officially announced as Liverpool’s new manager, Ancelotti is probably doing two things by ruling himself out until next season: 1) saving a bit of face, given that he was pretty clearly not Liverpool’s first-choice candidate; 2) letting every Ancelotti-sized club know that he’ll be available come this spring and summer, just in case they’re considering firing their current manager and need a bit of assurance an elite candidate will be available.

[ MORE: Klopp expected to be named new Liverpool manager this week ]

For instance, the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG and Juventus immediately come to mind. A manager of Ancelotti’s quality will always have options and offers, and that’s something he clearly understands. Ancelotti has earned the right to enjoy a year-long sabbatical and to be picky when choosing his next job.

Report: FIFA provisionally suspends Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter, FIFA president

Sepp Blatter could, finally, be frozen out by FIFA.

The 17-year leader of world soccer’s governing body has reportedly been suspended for 90 days after FIFA’s ethics committee met on Wednesday to discuss allegations against both Blatter and his close ally Michel Platini.

[ MORE: Chung to sue Blatter ]

Reports suggest that the decision to suspend the Swiss official still needs to be formally ratified by the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, but it is highly likely that Blatter will be suspended until January 2016.

Blatter, 79, has been at FIFA for over 40 years but under his stewardship the organization has been riddled with allegations of corruption as current investigations from both the U.S. and Swiss authorities continue. The longtime FIFA official is suspected of “criminal mismanagement or misappropriation” by the Swiss authorities after a payment of over $1.9 million is linked to Blatter and the current president of UEFA, and FIFA presidential candidate, Platini.

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Klaus Stoehlker, who formerly advised Blatter, has told Sky News that the ethics committee “made the ruling pending further investigations by the Swiss attorney general” and the verdict was “pending”  but that “no negative finding had been made against the head of world football’s governing body.” It is believed that the 90-day suspension is the maximum amount of time the ethics committee can suspend any individuals while an investigation is ongoing.

It has been reported that the head of FIFA’s ethics committee, Judge Hans Joachim-Eckert, has told Blatter of his suspension.

The leader of FIFA, who will stand down following the next presidential elections on Feb. 26, 2016, has been defiant in recent weeks despite growing pressure from corporate sponsors of FIFA for him to resign.

On Wednesday he spoke out and denied he will quit, while at the Leaders’ in Sport Summit in London another presidential candidate ,Chung Mong-joon, declared that he will sue Blatter for “at least $100 million” and believes the FIFA president and his “cronies” are deliberately sabotaging his own presidential campaign.