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Liverpool crash out of Europe of penalties

Dejan Lovren missed from the spot. Credit: PA

Liverpool lost their first European penalty shoot-out as Dejan Lovren was the only man to miss from the spot against Besiktas in Istanbul.

There was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won the Champions League on penalties against AC Milan in 2005, as Brendan Rodgers' side exited the Europa League after a torturous affair.

Having conceded a 72nd-minute goal to substitute Tolgay Arslan to level the tie at 1-1 on aggregate Liverpool, shorn of eight senior players, had nothing left in the tank and looked dead on their feet after 120 minutes.


Oldham would welcome Man United legend as manager

Oldham Athletic could target Paul Scholes as their manager after Lee Johnson left for Barnsley. The former Manchester United and England midfielder is a life-long Latics supporter, who still lives in the area.

Paul Scholes has coaching experience from working at Old Trafford. Credit: PA

"I wouldn't be surprised if Paul Scholes came in," caretaker manager Dean Holden told the Manchester Evening News.

"I know he's a massive fan of Oldham and he's very friendly with the chairman Simon Corney too.

"He's a legend so I'll probably have my autograph book at the ready if he does arrive!"

Alan Pardew gives thumbs up to winter 2022 World Cup

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew claims a winter World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will help England's chances and that the world of football must just deal with any disruption the change in dates will cause.

Pardew has given the winter World Cup a big thumbs up. Credit: PA

The final decision on the dates will be made by FIFA on March 20, and Pardew said playing in Qatar in the summer would not have been right.

England certainly wouldn't benefit from a World Cup in the summer in Qatar - for our fans or for our players.

Qatar have won the process and we all have to understand in football that year could well be a winter World Cup. We have to deal with it and I'm sure we can.

We have to organise our winter leagues and programmes around it accordingly. Can it be a success? Absolutely, why not? Most World Cups are a success.

– Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew

Courtois reveals he's never played in competitive shoot-out ahead of Spurs clash

Courtois has never played in a competitive penalty shoot-out. Credit: PA

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has revealed he has never played in a competitive penalty shoot-out ahead of Sunday's Capital One Cup final against Tottenham.

No, I don't think I have been in a penalty shoot-out before.

There was just one time, which was in a friendly tournament with Atletico.

That was the only time I've been in a penalty shoot-out.

We all work with the goalkeeper coach, we do our thing in practice.

We will be prepared if it goes to penalties.

– Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.


Liverpool set to escape FFP sanctions from UEFA

Liverpool are set to escape any FFP sanctions. Credit: PA

Liverpool are expected to be cleared of any financial fair play breaches on Friday but Hull will be handed a small fine by UEFA.

The Reds have been one of several clubs absent from European competition last season who have been under investigation by the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).

The CFCB will meet on Friday and is expected to announce that investigations into Liverpool have ended without any sanctions to be brought against the Merseyside club.

It is understood that Hull, who played in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, have agreed to settle for a small fine for FFP breaches.

Gutierrez set to make emotional Newcastle return

Gutierrez could return for Newcastle this weekend. Credit: PA

Jonas Gutierrez could make an emotional return for Newcastle this weekend after winning his battle against testicular cancer.

The 31-year-old Argentina midfielder, who last featured for the Magpies at Cardiff on October 2, 2013, is in the squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Head coach John Carver said: "I'm going to bring Jonas Gutierrez into the squad, and there's a possibility he could be on the bench this weekend.

"That's a huge lift for him, and for everyone else around the club, and certainly for the fans because I know how much they like him. I'm sure they'll give him a good reception."

Gutierrez was given the all-clear in November last year and returned to training on Tyneside the following month, since when he was been working his way back to match fitness.

De Bruyne eyes move to 'big European club' as Man Utd wait in wings

Kevin De Bruyne. Credit: Marius Becker/DPA/PA

Wolfsburg midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has put reported suitors Manchester United on red alert after saying he plans to one day leave the German outfit for a "big European club".

"My biggest ambition is to come out for a big European club," the Belgian international, 23, admitted. "One I can win trophies with. As much trophies as possible."

Man Utd have been linked with a £30m summer move for the former Chelsea man, who has been in superb form this season.

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