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Arsenal and Chelsea playmakers rated best in Europe

Hazard and Ozil are Europe's best performing attacking midfielders. Credit: PA

Arsenal and Chelsea are the best attacking midfielders in Europe this year, according to figures powered by Opta and published by the CIES Observatory.

Based on performances of player who have featured in more than 66% of matches since January 1st, the Premier League rivals each scored 100 and were followed by Jesus Navas of Man City.

The six key performance indicators specified were rigour, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation and shooting.

See the full results here.

Southgate pleased with character in win over Germany

Gareth Southgate is confident his England Under-21 players will benefit from having to dig deep to beat fellow European Championship finalists Germany 3-2 in a five-goal thriller on Monday night.

Southgate admits there is still room for improvement. Credit: PA

Nathan Redmond and skipper James Ward-Prowse struck within three minutes of each other at the end of an absorbing contest at the Riverside Stadium to turn defeat into victory and set themselves up perfectly for their summer adventure in the Czech Republic.

However, manager Southgate was as pleased with the lessons they learnt at the hands of a strong German team as he was with the result.

We are really pleased with the comeback, definitely. To go behind twice... We believe we have a group of players that have got character and they showed that.

Sometimes you have to go into those positions to realise what you have got as a group, so that part is pleasing. There are elements of the performance that we weren't pleased with and that we can be better at - and that we will have to be better at.

Germany were a very good side and looked very composed. We weren't as composed as we have been and can be, certainly in the first 25 minutes. Some of our passing was sloppy and we can play at a better level than that, which we showed as the game progressed.

– England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate


Southampton announce £33.4m after tax profits

Southampton have announced after tax profits of £33.4m for the year ending June 30, 2014, their first full-year profit since the club went into administration in 2009.

Southampton are enjoying a successful year on the field too. Credit: PA

St Mary's Football Group Limited audited annual results showed a £33.4m profit on ordinary activities compared to a £7.1m loss in 2013.

Total revenue increased to £106m from £71.8m in 2013 while group wages, including players, increased from £41.4m in 2013 to £55.2m in 2014.

Southampton chief executive officer Gareth Rogers said:

There are lots of positives to take from these financial results. Recording the first profit and positive net asset position for the first time since administration in 2009 is very pleasing. It shows the health of the club and the Group is strong and the foundations are there to be built on."

– Southampton chief executive officer Gareth Rogers

Southampton's debt now stands at approximately £50m, of which circa £19m is owed to Vibrac, £15m shareholder's loan and a further £15m secured on the shareholder's estate.

How Newcastle's latest financial results compare to other Premier League clubs

Newcastle have announced record profits of £18.7million last season due to increases in television income and new deals with sponsors.

Here's how their results compares to other Premier League clubs:

  • Everton £28.2million profit
  • Manchester United £23.9million profit
  • Newcastle £18.7million profit
  • Chelsea £18.4million profit
  • Arsenal £4.7million profit
  • Aston Villa £3.9million loss
  • Sunderland £16.9million loss
  • Manchester City £23million loss

Man Utd's Mata not giving up on playing for Spain again

Juan Mata wants to represent his country again. Credit: PA

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has not given up hope of playing for Spain again.

The 26-year-old has not featured for La Roja since a 3-0 triumph over Australia in Spain's final group game at last year's World Cup in Brazil.

Mata, who has scored 10 goals in 34 appearances since making his Spain debut six years ago, wrote on his blog: "Many of you are asking me these days about the Spanish national team.

"As I always say, I have been very lucky to play and to win a World Cup and a European Championship, to participate in the most important competitions, but I'm still excited as the first day.

"I am convinced that I'm in a perfect age in my football career and I look forward to keep contributing and achieving more success with my national team.

"That's what I work for every day, training and playing to the maximum, trying to do the best I can.

"After that, obviously, the manager is the one who picks the players for every game.

"So now I take these quiet days to keep working, as I said, but I also switch off and rest a bit."

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