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Burning question: Which clubs have the best crest, look in soccer?

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be asking some burning questions we have when it comes to the beautiful game and the next one focuses on something we all have: a team we like that we don’t want to admit.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release a burning question, as now seems like a good time to take stock of where the game is at and take a look at what we love and what we’d like to change as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Next question: Which clubs have the best crest and uniform combination?

It’s a difficult one, as some are great on the former and others on the latter. Look at the Premier League alone. Liverpool and Chelsea have terrific crests, iconic even, but the Reds and Blues’ traditional uniforms are not altogether different from several big clubs in the world. It’s difficult to lay claim to red.

We’re not kicking either of the above clubs out of the house party, but here are five looks that are inevitably theirs.

That said, you might argue the case of either club and we’d encourage you to do so in the comments.

Without further ado…

Pele won three World Cups with Brazil during their golden era.

Brazil

The yellow shirt with a dosing of green around the neck is instantly associated with Brazil, though the more green on the collar the better. The blue shorts matter here, too, completing a look worn by some of the greatest players of all-time. That helps the brand.

Celtic

The green and white hoops are unmistakable, as is the four-leaf clover. Celtic actually wore green-and-white horizontal stripes for the early part of their existence, but the hoops were the proper switch.

Barcelona

The Blaugranas — blue and dark red, don’t you know? — striped-top has met the stripes in its crest, which also is topped by the red-and-white cross and red and gold stripes of the Barcelona coat of arms. Many say the stripes were brought to Spain by its Swiss leader, Joan Gamper.

Arsenal

The Gunners moved white sleeves onto their red tops in the 1930s, and the look is one of the most iconic in the world. While the crest has changed more than a few times, the addition of a cannon from the middle of the last century onward has been everpresent.

(Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Also considered:
Ajax
River Plate
Real Madrid
England
Argentina
AC Milan
Inter Milan
The Netherlands
Mexico
Dozens more…

Europa League roundup: Big comeback for Gerrard’s Rangers; Marsch’s Salzburg falls

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Both Old Firm rivals picked up notable first leg results, while American coach Jesse Marsch endured a tough knockout round debut as the Europa League sprung back into action on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Premier League sides Arsenal and Wolves both collected wins — the latter in highlight-reel fashion — after Manchester United drew in Belgium to start the day.

Rangers 3-2 Braga

The visitors set the tone for an audacious tie with a marvelous 11th-minute goal, but Steven Gerrard‘s hosts took a one-goal lead with an even better comeback.

Fransergio scored the show-stopping opener in question before Barcelona loanee Abel Ruiz made it 2-0 before the hour mark.

Rangers thundered back, though, with Joe Aribo bookending a brace from Ianis Hagi — son of Gheorghe — to take an advantage to Portugal.

Hagi has 10 caps but has yet to score for Romania, but has three goals and an assist in his first six matches for the Glaswegian set.

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg

Marsch’s men were down 2-0 at the break and 4-0 before the hour mark, but will at least have the comfort of Hwang Hee-Chan’s 85th-minute away goal to bring back to Austria for the second leg.

Daichi Kamada scored a hat trick for the Bundesliga side, with Filip Kostic netting Eintracht’s other goal.

Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic

The Glaswegian set saw two of its stars combine to produce a quarter-hour lead, with Odsonne Edouard the scorer off a Callum McGregor assist, but ex-Hull and Sunderland man Dame N'Doye salvaged a draw for the hosts in the second half.

Full Thursday UEL scoreboard

CFR Cluj 1-1 Sevilla
Club Brugge 1-1 Manchester United — RECAP
Eintracht Frankfurt 4-1 Red Bull Salzburg
Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic
Getafe 2-0 Ajax
Ludogorets Razgrad 0-2 Inter Milan
Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 Benfica
Sporting Lisbon 3-1 Istanbul Basaksehir
APOEL Nicosia 0-3 Basel
AZ Alkmaar 1-1 LASK
Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Porto
Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal — RECAP
Rangers 3-2 Braga
Roma 1-0 Gent
Wolfsburg 2-1 Malmo
Wolves 4-0 Espanyol — RECAP

Gerrard slams Rangers’ mentality as title hopes slip away

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The good news: Steven Gerrard appears set to take Rangers to back-to-back second-place finishes in the Scottish Premiership in his first two seasons in charge.

[ MORE: The race for Premier League promotion is red-hot ]

The bad news: While that’s an improvement on the back-to-back third-place finishes which preceded Gerrard’s appointment in the summer of 2018, the distance which Rangers still have to close between themselves and eight-time defending champions, and hated rivals, Celtic is still quite large.

As recently as Jan. 24, Rangers trailed Celtic by just two points and had a game in hand which could have sent them top of the league. Since that point, Rangers have dropped eight points from five games and trail by 10 points (still with a game in hand).

Gerrard is very displeased by these recent results and picked Wednesday, after losing 2-1 away to seventh-place Kilmarnock, to make it known — quotes from the BBC:

“I thought we had the mentality and the characters to sustain a push, but on the evidence of the last four to five weeks, I’m getting proven wrong.

“But having said that, it’s me as well because I’m responsible for that group of players.”

“Very, very tough. You’ve got to look at the form of other people that are relentless right now.

“But we keep going and try to change the situation that we put ourselves in. There’s no denying they’re obviously in the driving seat”

[ MORE: Report: Chelsea closing in on Hakim Ziyech deal ]

Gerrard is widely perceived to have done well at Rangers, which will almost certainly lead to his name being linked with any mid-table-to-bottom-half Premier League jobs beginning either this summer or the next one. His window to unseat Celtic is probably small, as is that of Rangers based on the evidence of the last few weeks.

Europa League draw: Arsenal, Man Utd, Wolves learn fate

Europa League Manchester United Club Brugge
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Premier League sides learned their fate in the UEFA Europa League, and not one of them were handed an easy path to the Round of 16.

Manchester United drew Club Brugge, who transferred from the Champions League after a third place finish. The sides met in UCL qualifying back in 2015, the Red Devils cruising past the Belgians.

[ MORE: Champions League draw ]

Arsenal tangles with stingy Greek side Olympiacos, having met in four Champions League group stages between 2009-15.

Wolves draw a side its never faced: La Liga mainstay Espanyol.

The notable matches don’t stop there.

American coach Jesse Marsch will lead Red Bull Salzburg against the Bundesliga’s Eintracht Frankfurt.

Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers both learned their fates, the Bhoys will meet Danish powers Copenhagen and Steven Gerrard‘s Rangers clash with Braga.

The Round of 32 matches will be staged Feb. 20 and 27.

Europa League Round of 32
Wolves v. Espanyol
Sporting Lisbon v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Getafe v. Ajax
Bayer Leverkusen v. Porto
Copenhagen v. Celtic
APOEL Nicosia v. Basel
CFR Cluj v. Sevilla
Olympiacos v. Arsenal
AZ Alkmaar v. LASK
Club Brugge v. Manchester United
Ludogorets Razgrad v. Inter Milan
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Red Bull Salzburg
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Benfica
Wolfsburg v. Malmo
Roma v. Gent
Rangers v. Braga

Gerrard reacts to Rangers’ Old Firm heartbreak in final

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Steven Gerrard lined his Rangers side up for success, but fate was cruel to the Liverpool legend.

Rangers lost the League Cup Final to their Old Firm rivals on Sunday despite out-shooting the Bhoys by a 16-5 margin, winning a penalty, and playing almost a half-hour up a man.

[ RECAP: Rangers 0-1 Celtic ]

“To a man we were very good … by much the better side,” Gerrard said. “But unfortunately that’s not what gets you a trophy.”

But Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster stopped Alfredo Morelos’ penalty, three minutes after goal scorer Christopher Jullien was offside on the lone goal of the game.

Scotland doesn’t yet use VAR, and Gerrard doesn’t love VAR but he likes it more than he likes Scottish officials.

“There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR,” he said, via the BBC. “I’d be a liar if I said I was 100% in favour of it, but the one thing I do know is that officials up here need support.”

Now he has the task of getting his men to rebound ahead of its biggest non-derby in ages, as Rangers need at least a draw against Young Boys at home on Thursday to advance to the Europa League knockout rounds

“It’s a bit raw right now… It’s up to me to pick the players up. One thing I will say is I’ll stay with these players on the evidence of today because they gave me absolutely everything. We might have to suffer a bit short-term. I need to pick them up a bit physically and mentally for Thursday which is huge but our day will come on the evidence of today.”

Gerrard has done a very good job with Rangers, who are two points back of Celtic in a two-horse race for the Scottish top flight title. Celtic has won eight-straight titles to improve their total to 50, four less than the Rangers.