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Nothing to separate Man United and Real Madrid after Leg 1 at the Santiago Bernabeu

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The tie of the round of the UEFA Champions League did not disappoint, as Real Madrid and Manchester United played out a thoroughly entertaining 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu with Cristiano Ronaldo cancelling out Danny Welbeck's opener, with both goals coming in the first half. A tactical masterclass from Sir Alex Ferguson saw the veteran United boss walk away perhaps the more pleased of the two managers at what is effectively half-time in this engrossing tie between two legendary sides and managers in world football. Real were perhaps the better side, certainly creating the more chances, but a terrific display in goal from Spanish stopper David de Gea ensured that United left Madrid feeling that they had perhaps nicked round 1.

Real's team selection was largely along expected lines with Karim Benzema leading the line with Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria for company. Mesut Ozil was the wandering playmaker with Sami Khedira the destroyer and Xabi Alonso the visionary. Diego Lopez continued to deputize in goal for the injured Iker Casillas, while young French superstar Raphael Varane continued to be picked in defence ahead of Pepe, who had just returned to action after over a month on the sidelines. Sergio Ramos lined up alongside the Frenchman with Fabio Coentrao and former Liverpool man Alvaro Arbeloa completing the back four.

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UCL Round of 16 wrap: Juve leave Celtic reeling, PSG edge Valencia

February has always enjoyed the status of being the month of love but football fans around the world instead celebrate the 2nd month of the year for the return of Champions League football. The Round of 16 began with a bang last night as two high-octane clashes at Celtic Park and The Mestella provided a tasty reminder of the exciting quality on show in the knockout round. The away sides were king-makers on the night as Juventus walked away from Celtic with a commanding 3-0 victory while PSG emerged from their 1st leg at Valencia with a narrow 2-1 triumph.

Celtic 0-3 Juventus

Celtic Park on European nights is a joy to behold as the fanatical supporers of the club adorn the arena with green and white hoops. Juventus, being the Old Lady of Italy, used their experience to silence the crowd early as Alessandro Matri opened the scoring after just three minutes. Federico Peluso’s long ball from the left was horribly defended by Efe Ambrose, who allowed Matri to run behind him and roll the ball past the on-rushing Fraser Foster.

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Wilshere and Koscielny to be fit for Bayern clash, Vermalaen struggling

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Arsenal fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny have been declared most likely to be fit for the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 fixture against Bayern Munich.

The Gunners had their hearts in their mouth after Wilshere limped off during the weekend’s victory over Sunderland. The England International was involved a nasty collision with Alfred N’Diaye which saw the youngster’s hobble off and end the day with a heavily bandaged thigh.

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Petr Cech to face Sparta Prague despite broken finger

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech will be playing with a broken finger in the Europa League clash against Sparta Prague, reports the Sun.

The Czech Republic International left Sparta Prague and joined the European Champions 11 years ago. The shot-stopper is eager to face his former club despite the injury. The Blues number 1 had missed the weekend Premier League fixture against Wigan, but he’s been training hard to face his former club.

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Hodgson wants Lampard to continue career in Europe

Roy Hodgson has instructed Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard to continue his playing career in Europe, should the Blues release him at the end of the season. The England coach believes that 34 year-old Lampard is likely to reach the century mark for the national side, but he must play in Europe to make it easier for the manager to assess him regularly, revealed ESPN Soccernet.

The Blues midfielder was the star of England’s 2-1 friendly victory over South American giants Brazil as he netted the winner on 60 minutes. Lampard had come on at half-time to replace Tom Cleverley in midfield and put in a superb 45 minute performance for The Three Lions.

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International Friendly Wrap: England, Germany and Spain win; Italy hold Netherlands

The midweek international friendlies provided the perfect opportunity for nations to gauge their preparations for next year's World Cup and judging by last night's performances, England and Germany could be the teams to beat in Brazil in 2014. England turned on the style in their 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley to mark FA's 150-year celebrations as Ashley Cole became the 7th player to notch 100 caps for the Three Lions. However, it was Frank Lampard who stole the limelight with his winner after coming off the bench. Meanwhile, Germany broke their French hoodoo as they came from behind to beat France 2-1 to register their first win over the Les Blues since 1987. Mathieu Valbuena gave France the lead in the first half only for Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira to start the New Year in style for Germany.

However, there was no happy ending for the Netherlands as the Dutch were forced to settle for a late draw against Italy after Marco Verratti scored an injury time equalizer to cancel out Jermain Lens' opener. Elsewhere, Barcelona-dominated Spain registered a comfortable 3-1 win over Uruguay with a goal from Cesc Fabregas and brace from Pedro. There was also victory for Argentina who killed off the game inside the opening 23 minutes with goals from Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain leading them to a 3-2 win over Sweden.

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Arsenal legend Liam Brady tips Wilshere for greatness

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Former Arsenal star and current Arsenal Head of Youth Development, Liam Brady believes that Gunners star Jack Wilshere has the quality to develop into a true England veteran in the same league as Paul Gascoigne, Glenn Hoddle and Wayne Rooney.

Wilshere had shown great promise on a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers although his Arsenal and England careers have been marred by recurring injuries. However, the 21 year-old has made a strong return to action this season and has often been Arsenal’s most impressive player on the pitch. Roy Hodgson even called up the promising youngster to the national side for their mid-week friendly against Brazil.

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