In the October edition of the FIFA World Ranking, the first three positions are unchanged from last month. Germany have held on to the top spot despite a difficult start to their EURO 2016 qualification campaign. Portugal (9th, up 2) are making their first appearance in the top ten since July and Belgium (4th, up 1) have leapfrogged the Netherlands (5th, down 1) to achieve their highest ranking yet. Meanwhile former table-toppers Spain (10th, down 2) have slipped down as far as tenth following their defeat against Slovakia (24th, up 16) and Switzerland’s (12th, down 2) poor start in the EURO 2016 qualifiers has seen them drop out of the top ten altogether.
Arsenal gave their Champions League knock out round qualification hopes a major boost tonight by stealing a late win in Brussels against a surprisingly competitive Anderlecht side that had the Gunners on the ropes till very late in the contest.
After a sluggish first half which required neither goalkeepers to make a save, Arsenal started the second period brightly with Alexis Sanchez drawing a save out of Silvio Proto in the Anderlecht goal and Santi Cazorla being denied brilliantly by the goalkeeper after being played through by Sanchez.
Anderlecht took a shock lead through a rare foray forward with Andy Najar getting on the end of a move he started, nodding home after being left alone in the box with Calum Chambers doubling up on the man at the near post and the ball going above him.
An 87th minute goal from summer signing Danny Blind helped Manchester United salvage a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling game on Monday night.
A Stephane Sessegnon strike had given West Brom the lead as early as the 8th minute, however, an inspired half-time substitution by Louis van Gaal, who brought on Marouane Fellaini for Ander Herrera at the break paid instant dividends as United drew level early in the second half.
England hopeful Saido Berahino restored West Brom's advantage in the 66th minute racing onto a defence splitting pass, but Daley Blind ensured that United took a point away from the Hawthorns with a late strike from distance.
Liverpool gave their flagging Premier League challenge a much needed boost with a fortunate 3-2 win against bottom of the Premier League Queens Park Rangers in London today. A pair of own goals from QPR centre backs Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker undid the good work of on loan Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas, who scored a brace for QPR after coming off the bench. In between those four goals was a fantastic finish from Philippe Coutinho, who was slightly fortunate to be on the pitch after having escaped a second yellow shortly after being booked. QPR also hit the post twice, but only have themselves to blame after having scored twice in their own net.
QPR were clearly the better side in the first half, and unfortunate not to take the lead after having hit the post twice in the early exchanges with Leroy Fer the unfortunate player on both occasions, missing a sitter first, and then seeing his header come back into play off the top of the post.
Manchester City put a little bit of pressure on runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea today by picking up a 4-1 home win against Tottenham in the early kick off on Saturday. In a match that was dominated by penalties, Man City (read Sergio Aguero) converted 2 out of the 3 awarded to his side, while Roberto Soldado was brilliantly denied by Joe Hart at the other end as City registered a solid win in what was a very entertaining game. Sergio Aguero scored all four goals for the Citizens, but the result could have been oh so different if Soldado had converted from the spot when his side was just trailing 2-1.
City made a host of changes for this game with Martin Demichelis returning to centre half and former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna getting a rare start at right back. James Milner continued to keep his place in the starting eleven, where he was joined by former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Fernando. Jesus Navas provides the width on the right hand side, while David Silva had a floating role behind lone striker Sergio Aguero. Yaya Toure, who returned late from international duty, was on the bench as were forwards Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko.
Liverpool's struggles in front of goal this season are unlikely to end anytime soon with the club shattered by news that star striker Daniel Sturridge has been ruled out of action for what could be another month.
Sturridge, who scored 25 goals for Liverpool in all competitions last season, was expected to return to the first team for this weekend's game against Queens Park Rangers, after having spent the last two weeks recovering from an injury he picked up on international duty in September.
Arsenal are looking to redress their defensive frailties on a war footing and search for quality replacements has brought Arsene Wenger back to the familiar hunting grounds of Germany. The Express reports that the Gunners have now taken pole position ahead of Manchester United in the race for Borussia Dortmund sensation Mats Hummels.
Hummels has been a long standing target for Manchester United, with Louis Van Gaal more than keen to add some much needed class and experience to his otherwise vulnerable backline. But Wenger is fighting a defensive crisis of his own and his desperation could culminate in an uncharacteristic £32 million bid for the 25 year old German backbone.
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