Please click and browse through the reports below:

10-8-22 Eintracht Frankfurt 0 Real Madrid 2 UEFA Super Cup

Real Madrid win their fifth UEFA Super Cup.

Los Blancos dominate in Helsinki as goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema beat the Europa Cup winners.

Despite having the majority of the support the Germans never really looked like troubling Carlo Ancelotti's Champions League holders.


11-6-22 Romania 1 Finland 0 UEFA Nations League

Romania secured an important first win in their Nations League group despite missing a penalty.

It kept their challenge in place in what is likely to be a tight group.

While for the Finns it was another abortive attempt to beat the Tricolorii.

A single goal from Nicosur Bancu decided the outcome.


9-6-22 Kosovo 3 Northern Ireland 2 UEFA Nations League

Northern Ireland continued their poor run in the UEFA Nations League with this defeat in Kosovo.

Before a vibrant home crowd, the visitors conceded two first-half goals before managing a timely response just prior to the break.

But Ian Baraclough's side never really looked good enough to get something.

Badly needing an improvement, they could even drop into the lowest level of this competition.


28-5-22 Liverpool 0 Real Madrid 1 UEFA Champions League final

Real Madrid celebrated their 14th European Cup/Champions League crown at the Stade de France in Paris.

It was another triumph for Los Blancos who now have double the number of titles of the second-best (AC Milan) and more than the total of all the British clubs.

Somehow Real found a way to engineer a victory this season despite often being the less favoured club.

And usually having to recover from losing positions.



7-5-2022 Nice 0 Nantes 1 Coupe de France final

Just for a change, the Coupe de France final did not involve Paris Saint-Germain.

Instead, past three-time winners Nice and Nantes battled for their first such title in over twenty years.

The outcome was decided by a penalty early in the second half before 78,000 in the Stade de France.

A small margin but it resulted in plenty for the Canaries to celebrate, including entry into the Europa League.


April 2022 FIFA Europa League Quarter-finals preview

UEFA Europa League quarter-finals preview.

RB Leipzig v Atalanta

Eintracht Frankfurt v Barcelona

West Ham v Lyon

Braga v Rangers


March 2022 UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals Preview

UEFA Champions League quarter-finals preview.


Featuring analysis of the ties between:

Chelsea v Real Madrid

Manchester City v Atletico Madrid

Villarreal v Bayern Munich

Benfica v Liverpool.


3-2-2022 Cameroon 0 Egypt 0 (Egypt won 3-1 on penalties) AFCON 2021

Cameroon 0 Egypt 0  (Egypt won 3-1 on penalties)  AFCON 2021


In the end Mohamed Salah didn’t need to take a penalty as Gabaski in the Pharaoh's goal proved the ultimate hero after he saved two Cameroon spot-kicks.

Egypt’s win set up an intriguing final matchup between a pair of Liverpool stars in Sadio Mane and Salah.

Meanwhile, the fans of the hosts drifted home disappointed despite their team's first-half efforts.


So on Sunday Egypt will be bidding for yet another record number of titles while Senegal will be aiming for their first.



2-2-2022 Senegal 3 Burkina Faso 1 AFCON 2021

Senegal 3 Burkina Faso 1  AFCON 2021.


Favourites Senegal confirmed their place in the AFCON final by beating a spirited Burkina Faso team in Yaounde. 

The Teranga Lions are bidding for their first such title and with Liverpool star Sadio Mane as an inspiration, they may well do it.

While the Stallions, with trouble back home, gave an exceptional account of their talents.



29-1-2022 Cameroon 2 Gambia 0 AFCON 2021

Cameroon 2 Gambia 0 

Quarter-final  Douala.


Many fans arrived early both to get covid tested and to, hopefully, enter the stadium without incident.

Thankfully that seemed to have happened after the chaos and sadly, deaths, at the last Cameroon match, in Olembe.


In noisy, hot conditions this last eight encounter matched the hosts against debutants Gambia.

The Scorpions, under the experienced coach Tom Saintfiet, had certainly overperformed but this would be a game too far for them.


26-1-2022 Ivory Coast 0 Egypt 0 (Egypt won 5-4 on penalties) AFCON 2021

Ivory Coast 0 Egypt 0  (Egypt won 5-4 on penalties)


Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah delivers the knockout blow after Manchester United defender Eric Bailly fails to convert his spot-kick.

Allowing the multiple winners to progress into a quarter-final matchup with Morocco in Yaounde.



24-1-2022 Cameroon 2 Comoros 1 AFCON 2021

Cameroon 2 Comoros 1    

The AFCON hosts made it through to the quarter-finals despite the heroics of the depleted Comoros team.

In particular, their replacement ‘goalkeeper’ Chaker Alhadhur who normally plays at left-back.

Alhadhur was brought in because his side had lost their regular goalies to covid and injuries.

As per the CAF rules Comoros were forced to fulfill the fixture.

And they certainly stepped up when everything seemed to go against them.


FIFA Mens Player of the Year 2021 discussion

FIFA Men's Player of the Year 2021 discussion.


Three players made the shortlist for FIFA Men’s Player of 2021.


Prior to the result being announced the decorated German international Sami Khedira was asked, by FIFA and journalists, his views on who should gain the ultimate accolade.


Robert Lewandowski  (Bayern Munich and Poland),

Lionel Messi  (Barcelona, PSG and Argentina), and

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt) made the shortlist.



January 2022 AFCON 2021 Preview

AFCON 2021 Preview.


Originally scheduled for June 2021 this 33rd edition was delayed, due to the local conditions and the ongoing pandemic, until January 2022.


Cameroon were to stage the event in 2019 but organisers CAF decided to put back their hosting until now.


This will be the first such tournament in which 24 teams will participate.

They will be divided into six groups of four teams playing in six stadiums spread across five cities.



The Etihad Stadium experience December 2021

The Etihad Stadium experience is world-class.

Criticised for its lack of atmosphere and perceived general apathy, the Etihad Stadium experience is world-class.

Even visiting the home of Manchester City on a snowy day in the winter offers above-average comforts.

And virtually guaranteed world-class football.



2021 FIFA Arab Cup review

Review of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021


Algeria won their first Arab Cup title at their third attempt.

They defeated Tunisia in the final with two extra-time goals.


The competition was played in Qatar partly as a dry run for the upcoming World Cup.

Sixteen teams participated in this Arab Cup, the most since it began in 1963.

This tenth edition was also the first under the FIFA banner.


21-11-21 Rangers 1 Hibernian 3 Premier Sports (League) Cup

Watched by new Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst, sitting high up in the South Stand at Hampden, his new charges lost comprehensively to Hibernian.

The Light Blues, with most of their hordes of fans wearing orange, produced an incoherent, tepid performance.

And that meant Jack Ross's Hibees will now play Celtic in the final on December 19th.


July 2021 UEFA Euro 2020 final analysis

Italy win Euro 2020.


Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri won their second Euro Championship after they overcame England on penalties at Wembley.

It was a major disappointment for the hosts who had reached their first-ever senior final since their 1966 World Cup victory. 

The tournament was completed despite being played during a global pandemic. 

Although the teams had to endure restrictions and, in some cases, unparalleled travelling between matches.


UEFA Euro 2020 Finals Preview


Delayed a year because of the epidemic the Euros are scheduled to begin on June 11th in Rome.

Adding to the chaos is the decision to spread this ‘romantic’ (according to Michel Platini)  tournament around Europe.

That never looked like a particularly good idea and it looks even less so given the current circumstances.


Anyway, after some rearrangements, eleven venues will now stage the event.

With Wembley stadium now hosting both semis and the final. 

Allowing for reduced capacities in many stadiums and travel rules varying from country to country it will be a potential nightmare for travelling fans.

But on a more positive note, it will bring together many of the best players in the world to strut their stuff (assuming they don’t get covid)



May 2021 UEFA Champions League final preview

Manchester City v Chelsea   Porto  29th May 2021.

Two leading Premier League meet in Porto to decide who wins the Champions League.

With Pep Guardiola's City side strongly favoured to deliver a first-ever UCL title for the Emirati-funded Etihad team.

If so it would be a triumph for what some have called the 'best team in the world'.

And for the many millions watching on TV and the limited number of fans in the stadium it would be the stage on which to realise their apparent destiny.


25-5-2021 Barnet 2 Maidenhead United 0 National League

An improved performance from Barnet who may not now finish as the effective bottom team in the National League.

Goals from Harry Taylor and Anthony Wordsworth gave the Bees the deserved victory before 560 fans at the Hive.

Against an under-par Maidenhead side who could be ready for the end of the season.


May 2021 UEFA Europa League final preview

Big Favourites Manchester United meet Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final in Gdansk, Poland.

On paper, it looks like a foregone conclusion that the men from Old Trafford will claim another title.

But the Spanish side, under far less pressure, are coached by a triple-title winning coach in Unai Emery and might cause a big upset.


22-5-2021 Non-League finals day Wembley

The Non-League finals day produced a feast of football at Wembley with epic wins for Warrington Rylands and Hornchurch.

Essex team Hornchurch won the FA Trophy on their first visit to Wembley after scoring three second-half goals to beat higher level Hereford.

And Warrington Rylands navigated nine rounds of the FA Vase before overcoming a spirited Binfield 3-2 in an entertaining final.


11-5-2021 Sutton United 3 Woking 2 National League

Sutton United returned to the top of the National League table with this home defeat of lowly Woking.

The U's needed a couple of fine strikes from forwards Wilson and Adiboye to overcome a spirited Cards side.

Now with just three games remaining Sutton are still on course for that historic promotion to the Football League.


Analysis of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League semi-final matches

In the aftermath of the short-lived European Super League, action from the last four of the UCL and UEL begins on April 27th.

With the second legs scheduled for one week later.

Premier League clubs feature prominently in both competitions with Manchester clubs, City and United, considered favourites for the respective titles. 

Sadly, because of the ongoing pandemic few, if any, fans will be able to watch the games from inside the stadiums.


FIFA World Cup qualifiers - analysis of the European groups as at April 2021

An analysis after the initial rounds of European (UEFA) qualifiers.  

A total of 13 places are available to the 55 UEFA national teams including the ten group winners plus three others via a second round of play-offs.


The groups are divided into 5 or 6 participants.

And so far the countries have played either two or three matches up until March this year.

With the first round expected to be completed by November.



27-3-21 Notts County 3 Hornchurch 3 FA Trophy (Hornchurch won on penalties)

Part-time Essex side Hornchurch made history by knocking out Notts County on penalties to reach Wembley for the first time ever.

The Urchins continued their unbelievable run in the FA Trophy to edge out the Magpies in their eighth such cup tie.

Under ex-league player Mark Stimson Hornchurch have continually overcome the odds, this time scoring late equalisers in both halves before converting all their spot-kicks. 

As well as having to compete without any league games in the last three months due to the covid lockdown restrictions.


European Leagues roundup March 2021

European leagues roundup  March 2021. 

As the leading European leagues take a break for the internationals this is their current status, particularly in relation to the respective title races.

In this (hopefully) unique season some things are the same as usual whereas some leagues are experiencing atypical contests.

The latter would apply especially to France, Italy, and to some extent in Spain.


Football in England in lockdown March 2021

Football in England in lockdown. March 2021.


How has football changed during the covid pandemic? 

With fans unable to watch from inside the stadiums the experience for everyone is radically different from the previous 150 years.

Hopefully, this scenario will be unique or at least a once-in-a-lifetime event for most of us.

But what has changed?


UEFA Europa League quarter-finals preview March 2021


UEFA Europa League 2021 Preview

Will the Europa League end with a clash between Manchester United and Arsenal in Poland?

These two Premier League teams seem to dominate the quarter-final lineup which also comprises a couple of mid-table Spanish sides, and one each from Italy, Croatia, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

With Manchester City favoured to win the Champions League this could be a special season in Europe for the EPL, and possibly the city of Manchester.


UEFA Champions League quarter-finals preview March 2021

UEFA Champions League 2021 quarter-finals preview.

The eight remaining teams comprise three from the Premier League, two from the Bundesliga, plus Porto, Paris Saint-Germain, and just one Spanish side in Real Madrid.

The odds consider the title favourites to be Manchester City and the holders, Bayern Munich.

And the games begin on April 6th, as usual in the prevailing covid situation, behind ‘closed doors’.


20-3-2021 Barnet 0 Chesterfield 2 National League

A change of coach for Barnet but it was the same result for the unfortunate Bees.

They were missing a number of key players and that meant it was a relatively easy afternoon for Chesterfield at the Hive.

Assuming there is no relegation, Barnet will need some new recruits if they are to compete in the National League next season.


6-3-2021 Solihull Moors 1 Maidenhead Utd 1 National League


This National League encounter matched a team created in the twenty-first century with one that was formed 150 years ago.

At a chilly Damson Park, the current covid secure conditions precluded any fans attending including those from the nearby Jaguar Land Rover plant.

They would have seen an even contest where both goals came from defensive errors.

Which left both the Moors and Alan Devonshire's Maidenhead just below mid-table.



6-02-21 Hornchurch 5 Maidstone United 4 FA Trophy

Viva the Urchins!

A nine-goal thriller in Essex kept Hornchurch in the spotlight as they knocked out another higher level opponent in the FA Trophy.

This match had no shortage of goals with the visitors consistently fighting back before a very late winner gave them no chance of responding. 


30-01-21 Barnet 0 Torquay United 2 National League

Two ex-league clubs met on a cold afternoon at the Hive, in North London.

And it was the team from the English Riviera who came out on top to enhance their chances of returning to the Football League.

Barnet had invested in a new coach and some new players but unfortunately the result was still negative and sadly for their chairman Tony Kleanthous it's hard to see them evading relegation.



16-1-21 Hornchurch 1 King's Lynn Town 1 (Hornchurch won on penalties)

A team from Essex hosted a team from Norfolk two levels higher and it was Hornchurch, with their league suspended for the foreseeable, that deservedly came out on top.

Joe Wright in the Urchins goal proved the hero as he saved all three of the visitor's spot-kicks to ensure their season will continue into the next round of the FA Trophy.

And in a battle between two coaches with vast Football League experience it was Mark Stimson who prevailed.


2020 End of Year status report

A review of the leading European leagues as they stand at the end of 2020.

In what has been a unique time for mankind and the world of football the situation at the top of these leagues is unusually competitive.

Taken in turn this is the way it is as we look forward to a better 2021, beginning with the English Premier League.



14-12--2020 UEFA Champions League knockout draw

The UEFA Champions League knockout draw has matched Barcelona against PSG, Liverpool versus the progressive RB Leipzig, Frank Lampard's exciting Chelsea team against the pragmatic Simeone's Atletico Madrid amongst other intriguing ties.

Here is an analysis of what could happen next in February/March 2021.


11-2020 UEFA Nations League review


The second iteration of the UEFA Nations League has produced a heavyweight semi-final lineup.

That comprises world champions France, top-ranked Belgium, Spain, and hosts Italy.

These four will battle it out for who follows Portugal as the title winners at the iconic San Siro and the superb Juventus Arena.

Many expect the winner to be decided between France, who include the world's most highly valued player Kylian Mbappe, and Roberto Martinez' very talented Belgian squad.  


11-2020 Maradona - football genius

Diego Armando Maradona died on 25th November 2020.

John Bethell looks back on the times he saw this football icon at the World Cup finals.

He was a flawed genius in life but an undoubted genius on the football field and for many the greatest ever.


24-11-2020 Barnet 0 Hartlepool United 0 National League

Barnet left their fairly cramped Underhill ground in 2013 and moved into the Hive Stadium in the Canons Park area of North London.

Some four years earlier a centre of excellence and training complex was created on the site before the 6500 capacity stadium was opened.

The Hive has staged various international matches, rugby league and often acted as a training ground for visiting foreign sides. 

Offering such a comprehensive range of modern facilities it also benefits from being close to Wembley Stadium.


On the field the team has become somewhat of a yo-yo club moving between the Football League and the National League.

After initially being promoted under the legendary Barry Fry’s management. Their last relegation FL relegation coming in 2018.



11-9-2020 A review of the leading EPL title contenders

A review of the leading contenders for the Premier League title.

Four teams are likely to compete for the 2020/21 title - Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United.


4-03-2020 The best Liverpool team ever?

The best ever Liverpool team?


The current Liverpool team has dominated the Premier League this season and they could well go on to clock up a record points tally. 

Could it be that Jurgen Klopp’s men are better than all those outstanding Anfield winners from the past?



11-2-2020 Al-Nassr 2 Al-Sadd (Qatar) 2 AFC Champions League

This Champions League group game produced an entertaining encounter in chilly Riyadh.

Including another goal from Moroccan striker Abderazak Hamdallah and a stunning equaliser from Nassr's defender Al-Obaid.


21-12-2019 Liverpool 1 Flamengo 0 FIFA Club World Cup final.


Liverpool win their first FIFA Club World Cup.


A Brazilian scores the decisive goal against a famous Brazilian team.

Jurgen Klopp’s team need extra time to beat Flamengo before 45,000 fans in Qatar.


17-12-2019 Esperance 6 Al-Sadd 2 FIFA Club World Cup


This was a minor triumph for the Tunisians who easily beat the local Qatari representatives to secure 5th place at the CWC.

It was a result that gave their large number of boisterous fans plenty to cheer on a showery evening at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The game was also a personal milestone for Libyan forward Hamdou Elhouni who scored a hat-trick something only previously achieved at the CWC by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale.



6-12-2019 FIFA Club World Cup 2019 - Will Liverpool triumph?

FIFA Club World Cup 2019 - Will Liverpool triumph?

UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool bid for their first Club World Cup (CWC) title. 

Can Jurgen Klopp’s team add another prize to their well-stocked Anfield trophy room? 



25-11-2019 UEFA Champions League breakthrough?

UEFA Champions League breakthrough.

Who will make it through to the prestigious knockout phase of the Champions League (UCL)?

And will there be any surprise maiden qualifiers?


14 November 2019 England 7 Montenegro 0 Euro 2020 qualifier


England confirmed their qualification for Euro 2020 with this facile victory against Montenegro before 77,000 fans at Wembley.

The Three Lions have now completed 1000 senior internationals and this win was one of their easiest.


11th October 2019 Czech Republc 2 England 1 Euro 2020 qualifier


England lose a main tournament qualifier for the first time in ten years.

This defeat in Prague could serve as a wake-up call for Gareth Southgate's team who are not quite as good as they thought they were.


10th September 2019 Albania v Iceland Euro 2020 Qualifier


Albania needed this victory to maintain hopes of Euro 2020 qualification from Group H.

In a battle of contrasting styles the home team prevailed much to the enjoyment of the local fans in Elbasan.


29 August 2019 Eintracht Frankfurt 3 Strasbourg 0 (3-1) UEFA Europa League


Lamina Kone (Ivory Coast) - 30-year-old central defender, rated 3 mil, was part of a Strasbourg back three, found it tough at times against Rebic as Frankfurt pressed, his defence looked a bit ragged at times, goes up for corners, was substituted in second half as his team switched to a back four.

Kevin Lucien Zohi (Mali) - 22-year-old, played wide left, rated at 2mil, limited in the first half but showed some pace in breaks forward in the second, left-footed, had one chance blocked, kept going in losing side.

Nuno Da Costa (Cape Verde) - 28-year-old, rated 5 mil, came on after 68 minutes to play wide right, never got in a serious threat, one header went wide.

Lebo Mothiba (South Africa) - 23-year-old, rated 7 mil, very late sub. unable to affect the outcome.


19 July 2019 Algeria 1 Senegal 0 AFCON final


A deflected shot by Baghdad Bounedjah in the opening minutes gives Algeria their second AFCON title.

The Desert Foxes had to survive a penalty decision that was (correctly) annulled by VAR.



14 July 2019 Senegal 1 Tunisia 0 AFCON 2019


An own-goal in extra time sends Senegal into the AFCON final and on course for their first title.

Both sides miss second-half penalties before a goalie error gives the Lions of Teranga victory.


11 July 2019 Algeria 1 Ivory Coast 1 (Algeria won on penalties) AFCON 2019


A dramatic penalty shoot-out decides this quarter-final.

As Algeria keep their nerve to set up a meeting with Nigeria in the last four.


23 June 2019 Columbus Crew 0 Sporting Kansas City 1 MLS


Harrison Afful (Ghana) - 32-year-old, rated 600k euros, right back, smallish, moves forward readily and often leads the home attacks down his flank, dangerous crosses, but his game ended early with a red card after he held back Gerso.

David Accam (Ghana) - 28-year-old, rated 910k euros, will join Nashville next season, wide left, sadly had to go off with a hamstring injury early in the match.

Gerso (Guinea-Bissau) - KC wide man/forward, 28-year-old, rated 1.5m euros, dangerous pace on the break, setup Nemeth at least once, better second half beginning with a nutmeg and cross for the winning goal, brought down by Afful later on. 


22 June 2019 FC Cincinnati 0 LA Galaxy 2 MLS



Kekuta Manneh (Gambia) - 24-year-old, rated 800k euros, left midfield, one of the more dangerous home players, early pacy run, good deliveries from left, testing shot late on, overall solid game.

Emmanuel Boateng (Ghana) - 23-year-old, rated 2.5m euros, LA midfielder, medium height, early left-foot cross, very nice finish for the opening goal, always looked lively across the pitch, booked later and then immediately substituted.


20 June 2019 Los Angeles FC 3 San Jose Earthquakes 1 US Open Cup


LAFC qualify for the last eight of the Open Cup.

And one of their stars was young Ghana midfielder Latif Blessing.


18 June 2019 USA 4 Guyana 0 CONCACAF Gold Cup


New boys Guyana produce a spirited effort against the US.

But a Tyler Boyd double gives the Gold Cup hosts a winning start to their campaign.



16 June 2019 Costa Rica 4 Nicaragua 0 CONCACAF Gold Cup


Costa Rica enjoy hosting their first match at the Gold Cup.

Easily beating a well supported but limited Nicaragua.


9 June 2019 Portugal 1 Netherlands 0 UEFA Nations League final


Portugal win the inaugural Nations League with one strike from Goncalo Guedes (rather than Cristiano Ronaldo).

And England claim third place after winning a penalty shoot-out against Switzerland.


6 June 2019 Netherlands 3 England 1 UEFA Nations League


Calamitous England defending contributes to the Dutch victory.

The mass ranks of England fans will have to wait at least another year before they might see the senior England team in a final.


1 June 2019 Liverpool 2 Tottenham 0 UEFA Champions League final


Joel Matip (Cameroon) - right-sided centre back, 27-year-old, rated £18m, partnered MOM Virgil van Dijk, doesn't have the passing ability of the Dutchman but provides a solid combination, wins headers, dealt with Harry Kane, maybe fortunate not to be booked, part of a Liverpool side that gave Tottenham few chances.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt) - striker, 26-year-old, rated £135m, decisively converted the early spot-kick, always offered that forward outlet, though given few other chances since Liverpool conceded a lot of possession.

Sadio Mane (Senegal) - striker, 27-year-old, rated £77m, his forward break resulted in the penalty, looked sharp and often presented the most danger to the opposition, but again limited opportunities with LFC less coherent than usual. 


15 May 2019 Lazio 2 Atalanta 0 Coppa Italia final


Bastos (Angola) - 27-year-old, rated at 4.5m in the transfer market, medium height, Lazio central defender, often involved early on with right and left-foot passes, mostly solid but some wayward, booked for a tackle from behind then substituted on 35 minutes (either for the booking or the odd misplaced pass - seemed a little harsh and he was applauded by the fans)

Musa Barrow (Gambia) - 20-year-old late substitute forward, rated at 5.4m in the transfer market, came on when Atalanta were reeling from a late Lazio goal, unable to affect the outcome.


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