10 soccer movies you need to watch

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Now, we all need plenty of things to watch to keep us going through the current coronavirus pandemic and here are 10 soccer movies you should add to your list.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

With no live games going on across the vast majority of the world right now, it feels good to at least watch soccer of some kind.

Below are trailers and explainers on 10 movies which differ vastly. From serious documentaries to comedies, we have you covered. There’s something for everyone in the list below. Trust me.

In no particular order, let’s take a look at which soccer movies are essential viewing.


Maradona

Asif Kapadia, the director of Senna, has produced the best-ever documentary on Diego Armando Maradona. There have been plenty of films which have detailed one of the greatest players in the history of the game but this is just stunning. Kapadia had hundreds of hours of never before seen footage and this docudrama focuses on Maradona’s tumultuous spell at Napoli when he delivered to Serie A titles and was beloved by Neapolitans across the globe. But, like most things in his life, his genius on the pitch got him into trouble off it. Watch this. You will not regret it. One of the great soccer movies ever made.

Escape to Victory

Pele. Check. Bobby Moore. Check. Michael Caine. Check. Sylvester Stallone. Check. Need I say more? Perhaps the greatest soccer movie in history. Escape to Victory (which is known officially as Victory) is set in France during the Second World War and focuses on a team of star players playing against the German army amid the background of (you guessed it) an escape. Stallone’s antics as star goalkeeper, Pele’s bicycle kick and a rallying cry from Caine are just some of the great moments from this classic movie.

Damned United

Brian Clough is perhaps the greatest manager England has ever produced. He won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest and league titles with Forest and rivals Derby County and did it all while making everyone laugh. This movie, starring Michael Sheen, focuses on his infamous 44-day spell in charge of Leeds United. Sabotage, player revolts and tremendous team talks. Just like the outspoken genius that was Brian Clough, this is top-notch entertainment.

We Must Go

An incredible documentary on Bob Bradley taking charge of the Egyptian national team after being fired by the USMNT in 2011. Amid the uprising against the government in Egypt, the Port Said massacre and huge unrest, people were united by one thing: Egypt reaching the 2014 World Cup for the first time in 24 years. This story about Bradley and his young team coming so close to their goal is emotional, dramatic and full of poignant moments. A reminder that Bradley, the current LAFC head coach, is the bravest coach in American soccer history.

Bend it Like Beckham

Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra star as aspiring young female players in London as their team, against all the odds, prove they belong. A truly uplifting movie as curling free kicks like David Beckham’s famed right foot is still the main aim for every young English girl and boy growing up.

She’s the Man

Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum star in this comedy about high school soccer as Bynes pretends she is a boy to play on the varsity team but there is plenty of drama along the way. Another inspirational story about women proving antiquated attitudes are no longer welcome in the beautiful game.

Mike Bassett: England manager

Think of every single British soccer cliche you can. Okay? Put that in a movie with plenty of British comedy actors and it is hilarious. Not one of the most intellectual soccer movies out there but Ricky Tomlinson (who plays Mike Bassett) plays the part perfectly. Who would be the manager of England!?

Kicking and Screaming

Will Ferrell is a rising figure in the soccer world as part-owner at LAFC and this movie is a lovely crossover between his comedy genius and his love for the game. Coaching a team of underdogs which includes his young son, Ferrell transforms into a coach who is consumed by the game. Was this the inspiration for Ted Lasso?

United

The tragic story of the 1958 Munch Air Disaster is told in a compelling and gripping manner, as Manchester United’s famous Busby Babes are still revered to this day. One of the greatest teams English soccer has ever seen, the plane carrying United home from their European Cup clash at Partizan Belgrade crashed in Munich, Germany over a stop. Star players perished as the grief was felt by the entire soccer world.

One Night in Turin

Every single England fan out there will tell you they should have won the World Cup in 1990. Paul Gascogine’s tears. Gary Lineker’s goals. More penalty kick heartache. This was typical England. Set against the backdrop of hooliganism on the rise in England once again, Sir Bobby Robson led his unfancied Three Lions squad to the brink of their first World Cup final since 1966.

Arsenal smash Crystal Palace, go eight points clear atop the table

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LONDON – Arsenal eased past Crystal Palace to move eight points clear atop the Premier League table as Mikel Arteta’s side are surging towards a first league title in 19 years.

Not quite ‘one hand on the trophy’ territory but it’s getting close to that stage for the Gunners.

FULL MATCH REPLAY

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka each scored in the first half and then Granit Xhaka added a third and Saka added his second and Arsenal’s fourth after Palace briefly threatened a comeback through Jeffrey Schlupp’s goal.

The home fans at the Emirates sang ‘we are top of the league!’ with gusto throughout and the positive vibes are swirling around this part of north London heading into the international break.

Arsenal now have 69 points, eight clear of second-place Manchester City but City do have a game in-hand over the Gunners and host them in April in a title showdown. Palace remain on 27 points and although they sit in 12th place they are just three points off the bottom three and four points off the bottom of the table.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


First half blitz theme continues to lead title charge

Most teams are beaten by Arsenal before they know what happened. That was the case for Crystal Palace on Sunday. They did have the best chance of the early stages but Zaha’s shot hit the post, hit Ramsdale and somehow squirmed wide. That woke Arsenal up (perhaps their Europa League exploits delayed their usual early blitz a little?) and normal service resumed about 20 minutes into the first half. Saka, Martinelli and Trossard were too quick for Palace and Gabriel Jesus came on to help them close it out in the second half. Arsenal’s intensity is too much for teams they play against and that hunger combined with pace, skill and understanding is so tough to stop. Eight points clear with 10 games to go, which includes that trip to Manchester City in April. Arsenal’s fans are so close to believing that almost two decades of waiting for a league title is over. 


Stars of the show; Arsenal vs Crystal Palace player ratings

Bukayo Saka: Two goals and an assist in the first half and was so sharp cutting in from the right. Back to his very best.

Granit Xhaka: Lovely move and finish for his goal and plugs the defensive gaps so well.

Ben White: Supported Saka whenever he was needed and gave Arsenal an extra attacking outlet down the right.

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace
Graphic via FotMob.com

What’s next?

Arsenal host Leeds United on Saturday, April 1, while Crystal Palace host Leicester City in a big relegation six-pointer on the same day.


How to watch Arsenal vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time + analysis by Joe Prince-Wright at Emirates Stadium!

Kick off: 10am ET, Sunday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

FULL TIME: Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – That is a very, very comfortable win for Arsenal who have now won six in a row in the Premier League. They are full of confidence, all of their main men are standing tall and with 10 games to go they are eight points clear.

Smith Rowe and Jorginho come on for Arsenal. Plenty of cheers for Ben White and Gabriel Martinelli. A really party atmosphere here now.

GOALLLL! Game. Set. Match. After a few poor clearances from Palace, substitute Kieran Tierney crosses for Saka and he finishes beautifully. Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace. Again, this is too easy for the Gunners.

CLOSE! Wilfried Zaha drags a shot across goal and inches wide of Aaron Ramsdale’s far post. So close to a second for Palace. This is getting very interesting now.

GOALLL! Maybe this isn’t over? Jeffrey Schlupp bundles the ball home and after a quick VAR check for handball, the goal stands. Arsenal 3-1 Crystal Palace.

GOALLL! Granit Xhaka scores. Lovely pass from Leandro Trossard on the give and go. This is too easy for the Gunners. Arsenal 3-0 Crystal Palace.

Ramsdale saves at the near post from Zaha. Maybe Palace have a little bit left in them here?

The second half is underway. No changes but a few more chances for Arsenal early on. This could get ugly quite quickly for Palace.

HALF TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace – After a shaky start, total control from Arsenal. Martinelli and Saka (once again) with the goals and Mikel Arteta’s side are cruising and eight points clear at the top. They are way too good for Palace.

GOALLL! Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace. Bukayo Saka strokes home. He has been unstoppable in this first half. Arsenal cruising and going 8 points clear atop the Premier League table.

Arsenal probing for a second as we approach half time. The youngsters dressed in the same black shirts are banging their drum loudly at the Clock End. Arsenal then go so close to scoring a second. Odegaard drags a shot just wide.

Reminder: as it stands Arsenal are eight points clear atop the Premier League table. Not that Arsenal fans anywhere needed a reminder of that. But still. For the rest of us.

GOALLL! Gabriel Martinelli smashes home across goal after Bukayo Saka found him with a lovely cross. All came from Ben White winning the ball in front of Wilfried Zaha. The Emirates erupts! Arsenal 1-0 Crystal Palace.

Caretaker Palace boss Patrick McCarthy will be delighted with this first 25 minutes for his side. They look well organized and have a threat on the counter. Arsenal are getting a little frustrated.

Rob Holding doing his best Virgil van Dijk impression so far. Some majestic passes out of the back.

SAVE! Teenage goalkeeper and lifelong Palace fan Joe Whitworth with a really good stop to deny Odegaard who fired a shot on goal from the edge of the box. Saka tried to get on the rebound but he was offside.

That chance for Palace has quietened down the home crowd a bit. Then there is a good save by Ramsdale to deny Edouard but he was offside as the flag goes up. Arsenal are getting caught out on the counter quite a bit here.

POST! So close to an opener for Crystal Palace. They find Wilfried Zaha on the counter, he beats Ben White easily and his shot hits the post, hits Ramsdale on the back and goes out for a corner. So close for Palace.

Arsenal having plenty of the ball early on but Palace look okay on the break. The managerless Eagles are holding firm. For now. The rhythmic beating of a drum in the home end is keeping the atmosphere nice and lively as the sun peeks through the grey London clouds.

The first song of the day from the Arsenal fans is for their legendary midfielder Patrick Vieira who was sacked. Harshly treated, Vieira.

KICK OFF! We are underway. Palace’s fans in the away have lit flares. There is a drum beating in the home end. A brilliant atmosphere.

Hello and welcome to a lovely spring day here in north London! That smell in the air is expectation. Arsenal fans are hoping for an easy home win against out of form and managerless Crystal Palace. We all know it isn’t quite as easy as that.


Key storylines & star players

Gabriel Jesus started Thursday in the Europa League, so it’s easy to predict a depth flex from the Gunners on Sunday rather than another start for their just-fit star. Leandro Trossard, Martin Odegaard, Ben White, Thomas Partey, and Bukayo Saka were kept on the bench at the start versus Sporting Lisbon, but the Gunners going 120 minutes and then losing on penalty kicks will certainly challenge them.

Palace is going to hope to get something out of Wilfried Zaha here. He’s looked more like a red card candidate lately but we all know an in-form Zaha is electric. Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze will look like even better playmakers once Zaha starts punching home some goals.


Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Eddie Nketiah (ankle), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock), William Saliba (back)

Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Albert Sambi Lokonga (loan – parent club),  Sam Johnstone (calf), Nathan Ferguson (undisclosed), James McArthur (illness), Vicente Guaita (hamstring)

Premier League table, 2022-23 season

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If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 has delivered plenty of fun.

Now we are approaching the final few months of the campaign, it is so tight up and down the Premier League table.


Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

As we head into the final months of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest and although Manchester United briefly surged into the picture, they look more likely to cement their spot as the third best team in the Premier League.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.


What about the top four and European places?

Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle and for the moment have hunted down Newcastle, while Liverpool is back in the Champions League picture after their return to form and Chelsea looks like a top six finish is their ceiling. For now.

Surprising Fulham, Brentford, and Brighton are all hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns. Can one of them surprise and qualify for Europe?


Who are the candidates for relegation?

Southampton, West Ham, and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation places but that keeps changing all the time and it is so tight at the bottom of the table.

Nottingham Forest, Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds, Everton and Crystal Palace all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three as the race to stay in the Premier League intensifies. This could be the craziest relegation scrap in Premier League history.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.


Premier League table – March 19

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard



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Fulham unravels, Manchester United takes another step to silverware

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Manchester United took another step toward another trophies thanks in huge part to Fulham’s misplacing of the plot at Old Trafford in an FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.

Leading 1-0 with under 20 minutes to play, Fulham’s Willian used his hand to block a would-be Jadon Sancho goal. It was 2-1 to the hosts within minutes, as Fulham finished the match with nine (?!) men and a 3-1 loss.

[ LIVE: Follow the FA Cup scores here ]

A penalty was confirmed by VAR review and Willian was shown a red card, leading to goal scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic shoving the referee to earn a red card of his own, and Fulham manager making it a trio by berating the fourth official

Bruno Fernandes rolled home the penalty and the 9-man Cottagers needed to somehow find extra time, which they decidedly failed to do thanks to Luke Shaw setting up a Marcel Sabitzer goal. Fernandes scored late to complete the scoring.

Having already secured the League Cup this season, Erik ten Hag’s side is also into the last-eight of the Europa League after finishing off Real Betis on Thursday.

Manchester United haven’t won the FA Cup since the 2015-16 season. Fulham, on the other hand, continues its wait to win England’s most famous trophy in a knockout competition.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Fulham loses the plot, Man Utd gratefully accepts it

From manager to star forward, Fulham can only blame itself for an a dictionary definition of losing the plot on Sunday.

The visitors were leading 1-0 and frankly the better team at Old Trafford, as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goal was an absolutely fitting marker of the occasion.

Manchester United was 20 minutes away from blowing a semifinal date with Brighton and a potential Manchester derby final when Fulham lost control of itself.

VAR review determined that Willian blocked Jadon Sancho’s would-be equalizer with his hand, and the behind-the-net view showed the Fulham star swatting down at the ball to stop it from going across the line. It was an undebatable penalty and got Willian sent off.

But, wait: surely Fulham manager Marco Silva was getting his men together to discuss the plan if United converted the penalty, right? He was getting them focused on the alternatives and how they were just 15-20 minutes away from extra time, that their FA Cup Final dreams were still right there for them, especially with Mitrovic capable of anything up top?

Nope.

Silva was shown a red card for berating the fourth official, and the formerly notoriously combustible Mitrovic could not control his emotions with a bustle into the referee, who had no choice but to send Fulham down to nine men and no manager.

Manchester United at this stage in the Erik ten Hag project knew exactly what to do. Bruno converted his penalty as the Red Devils seized the control of the game they had wonted for so long. They read the plot word-for-word.


Manchester United vs Fulham player ratings: Stars of the Show

Bruno Fernandes: Those questioning his leadership after the Liverpool rout have seen a sincere and perhaps expected response. Dynamic, dangerous, and ready to strike at any time.

Issa Diop: That his flick cued up Mitrovic’s goal was fitting, as the center back had five recoveries and four clearances while passing at 90 percent out of the back.

Marcel Sabitzer: What a signing, and what a touch of class on the match-winning goal. The January window in the Premier League this season really shaped so many competitions, as Sabitzer, Jorginho, and Leandro Trossard found new and welcoming homes.

Manchester United vs Fulham player ratings
fotmob.com

Aleksandar Mitrovic goal video: ‘Mitro’ pushes Diop flick past De Gea

Bruno Fernandes goal video: Penalty converted as Cottagers down to 10, er, 9 and Silva sent off, too

Marcel Sabitzer goal video: Slick back leg puts Red Devils in front


How to watch Manchester United vs Fulham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 12:30 pm ET, Sunday
Online: ESPN+


Key storylines & star players

The fixtures continue to come thick and fast for Manchester United, who will play their 14th game since the start of February (47 days – a game every four days, on average, for a month and a half) before a brief respite in the form of the international break next week. They will, however, be without Casemiro, perhaps the most important player (and summer signing) at the club after the Brazilian picked up his second red card of 2023 in a 0-0 draw with Southampton last weekend. He featured, and starred, in the second leg against Betis, but will almost certainly give way to the Scott McTominay-Fred double pivot which often roamed the field at Old Trafford prior to his arrival. The Red Devils have lost just two of their last 26 games in all competitions (to Arsenal and Liverpool, in Premier League play).

Fulham, on the other hand, find themselves suddenly in one of their worst moments all season, having lost back-to-back games while conceding six goals to Brentford and Arsenal. Aleksandar Mitrovic hasn’t scored a goal in his last nine appearances (all competitions) after starting the season with 11 in 15. The 3-0 defeat to Arsenal snapped Manor Solomon’s run of five straight games with a goal, picking up the slack amid Mitrovic’s downturn.


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Casemiro (suspension), Alejandro Garnacho (ankle), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE), Anthony Martial (hip)

Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Tom Cairney (ankle), Neeskens Kebano (achilles), Layvin Kurzawa (knee)

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Gabriel Jesus eager to lead Arsenal in final push for title

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LONDON — Gabriel Jesus received a standing ovation when he came off the bench in the second half of Arsenal’s win against Crystal Palace and knows he is truly loved.

“So good. They have always been with me,” Gabriel Jesus smiled when ProSoccerTalk asked about the support from the fans. “They help me, push me. The way they did it last Sunday against Fulham it was amazing. I will never forget that. All I want is to give them something back on the pitch. Maybe the next game. I hope a lot.”

Arsenal are running out of ‘next games’ this season and have on hand hovering over the Premier League trophy.

With 10 games to go they sit eight points clear atop the table and the return of their talismanic Brazilian striker from a near four-month injury layoff has given the Gunners a perfect boost ahead of the run-in.

Leading from the front, even on the sidelines

For so long the doubts around Arsenal’s unlikely title bid were all about how they would cope without Gabriel Jesus.

He has yet to score in his three appearances in all competitions since returning but (even before the injury) he represents much more than goals.

“It is very good to be back. It is not easy to be out long and have a very, very bad injury. Now I’m back I am fully fit. At the same time I am so happy because the team are doing good to keep the distance to the second,” Jesus said.

“I want to be involved. I was injured but in my mind I was involved. I need to talk, to try to help them with something like talking, or seeing the games. That is why. Always together. Everyone.”

Jesus a total team player

As well as helping the team off the pitch, his play on it helps Arsenal’s other attackers come to life and he has already slotted back in seamlessly.

Jesus admitted he suffered “a lot” while he was out but he’s been helping as much as he can behind-the-scenes and is delighted both Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard have stepped up to boost Arsenal’s attacking options in his absence.

“The team are doing so good. Everybody here is together. When I was getting fit we were sure Eddie can go there and help us and he did it. Trossard came and did it as well. Everyone is together. To be champions of this big, big competition we don’t need only 11 players,” Jesus explained.

He also explained that he has always been watching videos of his games, focusing on the goals he has scored, the chances he has missed and always striving to get better. That dedicated seems to have seeped into his teammates and fans love the extreme dedication of Gabriel Jesus.

Entire squad ready for the run-in

The atmosphere around the Emirates was buzzing throughout their routine win against Crystal Palace as back-up players like Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Jakub Kiwior, Emile Smith Rowe and Jorginho all featured as injuries to William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu stretch the squad to its limits but the likes of Reiss Nelson and Fabio Vieira are still in reserve.

The fans, players and staff are together as one and Jesus is happy to be entering the business end of the season with this group as he was asked about Mikel Arteta referring to Arsenal as a ‘family’ unit.

“I believe when you have a good relationship with your teammates everything on the pitch works well. We are top of the league, we are playing good football, we are understanding each other. It is very good to be a family,” Jesus said.

“Now is the best part of the season. End of the season when you have deciding games, big games away and at home. Now is the time we have to play the same, don’t change, still together.”

Jesus is a focused, serious, dedicated individual and the perfect role model for this young Arsenal side. He and Oleksandr Zinchenko have been serial winners at Manchester City in bit-part roles but in their first season at Arsenal they are now thriving as key men in this unlikely title push.

“I think the most important thing is my mind. I keep focused and then come back fully fit,” Jesus said.

Arsenal are glad he’s back fit to further boost their title hopes and the role Jesus has played off the pitch over the last four months could be just as important as his play on it as this young Gunners outfit are still the team to catch.