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Wednesday, Jul 15th

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The lack of quality in the wide areas has been the biggest flaw in Man United’s season so far, costing them long runs in the cup competitions. The most frustrating of the trio of wingers at the club has been Nani as the Portuguese is by far the most talented of the lot. Nani’s contract troubles and injuries haven’t helped his season a great deal and his latest performance at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea has only added to the opinion that the 26 year old might need a new environment.

Sir Alex Ferguson had stated earlier this year that Nani wasn’t for sale and that the winger would be offered a suitable contract when the need arises, but with his deal expiring next year there isn’t much time left. Zenit and Inter tried to land the former Sporting Lisbon attacker last summer but his wage demands scuppered a possible move.

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The European leg of the prolonged World Cup 2014 qualifiers was in action once again last night and England were the biggest winners as they thrashed San Marino 8-0. The other European giants to have an easy night in the office were Germany who cruised past Kazakhstan 3-0, Netherlands also beat Estonia by the same margin while France comfortably swatted aside Georgia 3-1. The surprise result of the round came in Gijon where Spain were held to a 1-1 draw by Finland. Portugal and Israel played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in Group F while Wales got the better of Scotland 2-1 in the all-British battle.

England’s rampage against San Marino was welcome relief for Roy Hodgson after the usual pre-match tabloid headache. The Three Lions managed to get six different scorers on the sheet against the minnows, with Jermain Defoe grabbing a brace. England were five goals to the good by half-time, with Alessandro Della Valle getting the ball rolling with an early own goal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Defoe, Ashley Young and Frank Lampard all found a way to goal by the break to leave the home side reeling.

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The International break is a manager's nightmare across the European leagues, but the round of World Cup qualifiers last night at least provided great entertainment to football fans across the world. The big guns enjoyed a stroll in the park as victories by huge margins were the theme of the night, with England, Spain, Germany and Netherlands all notched up massive wins. England moved atop Group H after their 5-0 thumping of San Marino while Germany hammered Republic of Ireland 6-1 in Group C. The Spanish Armada rolled along with a 4-0 triumph over Belarus, but their Iberian rivals Portugal had an evening to forget as they were shocked 1-0 by Russia. The Dutch secured an important 3-0 win at Andorra to stay ahead of Romania in Group D while in Group A, Scotland were undone 2-1 by rivals Wales in dramatic fashion.

Wayne Rooney responded to being handed the captain's armband by netting a brace at Wembley to help England get back on track after their draw with Ukraine in the previous round. Rooney opened the scoring from the penalty spot ten minutes before the break and his strike was soon followed by Danny Welbeck's goal as the Man United pair came to the fore. The pair again scored in quick succession after the break as England went 4-0 up by the 71st minute, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rounding off the scoring with his 1st senior goal for the Three Lions. England's comfortable combined with Ukraine's draw against Moldova puts them in pole position in Group H, three points ahead of Montenegro who have a game in hand.

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Portuguese winger Nani is seemingly doing his best to burn all bridges with the Manchester United faithful as the Daily Mail report that he was involved in a training ground bust up with youngster Davide Petrucci.  Nani hasn't endeared himself to United and Sir Alex Ferguson with his poor start to the season, which came after a summer of heated contract negotiations. The fracas with the reserve midfielder  might be the last straw in Sir Alex's eyes and of Nani wasn't living on borrowed time before, he sure is now.

According to the reports, Nani reacted angrily to a tackle from the 20 year old Petrucci, but with only a war of words ensuing immediately. The pair then came to blows at the gym, with their shocked team-mates having to pull each other apart. The strict taskmaster at the helm of United is unlikely to let the event slide and it isn't clear what the punishment for Nani will be at the moment.

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