UEFA, WITH ALL THIS BIG CUP YOU ARE REALLY SPOILING US
Hats off to the Queen's Celtic, who have finally won a Big Cup match outside Glasgow for the first time since Don't Leave Me This Way by The Communards was top of the UK charts in the mid-80s. Well done, Queen's Celtic! Well done! As is customary with certain fitbaw fans, some of their supporters celebrated the historic win over Spartak Moscow by taking to internet forums to foam at the mouth and air grievances. They were angry about not getting enough credit for having just won a Big Cup match away from home for the first time in 26 years, in much the same way as they'd have been angry about being patronised if too much attention had been drawn to the fact that they'd just won a Big Cup match away from home for the first time in 26 years. But with the Scottish champions having finally shed that giant gorilla from their back, their less knee-jerky fans can at least feel buoyed with confidence going into their next away game against Barcelon … ah.
Meanwhile in Manchester, German champions Borussia Dortmund are preparing to take on their English counterparts Manchester City in the kind of Super-Sized Mega Zinger Tower Big Cup group all fans should relish … unless their team is unlucky enough to be drawn in it. One of those classic matches Clive Tyldesley presumes everyone in the UK wants City to win when nothing could be further from the truth, the all-out attacking policy of Dortmund ought to provide a stern test for a side that, like a teenage Fiver after finding our Weird Uncle's bongo stash, is proving utterly incapable of keeping clean sheets.
"If we concede too much space again, we will pay for it," said Roberto Mancini, suffering flashbacks to the way his team sat back against Real Madrid in the opening game of Group E, a tactic that ultimately cost them all three points in a match they should have won. And with both City and Dortmund having flopped out of Big Cup in the group stages last season, such is the lack of patience of fans these days that only three or four more first-round exits per club are likely to be tolerated in the coming years before supporters start politely voicing their disapproval.
"We saw their game against Arsenal, which was a 1-1 draw, and that was quite important as I think the way Arsenal play is quite similar to us," announced Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, hinting that those unfamiliar with his team's style of play can look forward to seeing occasionally fluid attacking with little end product married to woeful defending at set pieces. Meanwhile at the Emirates, on a night of riveting Big Cup action across Europe, the aforementioned Arsenal will be taking on Olympiakos of Greece in a match that's comparatively meh.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
1 October: "I have no immediate intention to relieve anybody of their duties" – Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell gives his backing to manager Paul Groves and assistant Shaun Brooks.
3 October: Relieves Groves and Brooks of their duties. "I believe that luck has not been on their side during their short period at the helm," parps Mitchell.
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"Re: the recent re-appearance of Soulmates advertising itself on the Fiver pages. Is this because it got dumped and is back on the market but having to lower its standards again by trying to appeal to a less glamourous and sophisticated, but more desperate, clientele?" – Mark Judd.
"Re: Michael Ballack's self-assessment of his career ('as a child, I could never have even dreamt of having such a career' – yesterday's Bits and Bobs). I'm with Michael on this one. No World Cups, no Euros, no Big Cups, two seasons with runners-up medals in four competitions. No, that is definitely not a career a child dreams of" – Andrew Hodkin.
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BITS AND BOBS
The FA has lifted £10,000 from Roberto Martinez's pocket after he admitted a charge of misconduct with regard to comments about a referee.
Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello has been given a 22-month suspended sentence in the clink after admitting scoring a deliberate own goal during a relegation decider in 2011.
Football League referee Dean Mohareb, 29, has been arrested on suspicion of computer hacking.
Barcelona mop Carles Puyol is out for eight weeks with elbow-knack.
England have dropped from third to fifth in the ultra-credible Fifa rankings.
Having won just one of their five league games this season, Panathinaikos have kicked captain Kostas Katsouranis to the kerb and terminated his contract.
And Peter Ridsdale, the former Cardiff City, Nasty Leeds and Barnsley chairman, has been banned from holding any company directorships for seven-and-a-half years after an investigation into financial irregularities. He will continue in his current role as Preston North End chairman.
STILL WANT MORE?
Three Serbian teenagers open their legs and show their class to produce this amazing goal.
Marcus Christenson on the amazingly attacking Borussia Dortmund side who face Manchester City tonight.
Paul Wilson irks the mouthbreathers by opining that maybe – just maybe – Manchester United aren't the greatest team in the history of all football.
As with Plain Jane Super Brain, nobody spotted the rich potential of Steven Fletcher – except Martin O'Neill. Louise Taylor wonders why.
You want knowledge? We got knowledge. We got so much knowledge you'll never need a chat-up line again. In this week's edition of the Knowledge, we look at whether two players have ever been sent off for the same tackle.
Big Cup? Not interested! Last night was all about the Football League, which produced a collection of storming goals. Treat your soul by clicking here.