TUESDAY'S BIG STORIES

It was Brighton's to lose... and they lost it

You can come out from behind the sofa, Leicester fans, there will no unscheduled sequel to your heroics of 2016.
Transfers
Xavi would consider Barcelona move - Paper Round
23/09/2021 AT 22:01
Despite their late show last night, Brighton's players will spend the day catching glimpses of a party that never was. Balloon carcasses on the floor. Bunting poking out from the recycling bin. A canteen member hastily scribbling out the No.1 on the badge they still wanted to wear to work.
It's cute how Crystal Palace and Brighton keep pretending it's a derby. And we were almost convinced when Neal Maupay's equaliser at 94:26 prompted a hoard of Seagulls fans to tussle with the stewards, with a lone ranger breaking free and proceeding to awkwardly celebrate near the players before darting back to the stands. There was even a single loo roll projected onto the pitch.
But none of the fictional hatred, and mildly unsavoury scenes at the end, could detract from the main talking point - Brighton had blown the chance to go top of the Premier League.
"There's a resilience, belief and character there.... That's 13 points from six games, a good start but we can improve," said Seagulls boss Graham Potter after the 1-1 draw. But can you, Graham?
Brighton are now in a five-team ensemble on 13 points, one adrift of leaders Liverpool. They face Arsenal next, the clearest indication yet of whether they will finish sixth or 16th, but each time they rack up points despite having Dan Burn in their ranks (sorry Dan), other clubs will start wondering what Potter could do for them.
Take Tottenham, for example. When their marriage to Nuno inevitably ends, Daniel Levy would be wise to take his latest engagement ring down to the south coast. In Potter, there is a tailor made manager for Spurs - one that could return the club to their perch of playing exciting football and almost winning trophies.

'So we're not in trouble?'

Surprise, surprise, UEFA have dropped its legal case against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid over their involvement in the European Super League.
The three were part of the naughty 12 caught trying to form a breakaway league earlier this year, an idea that quickly collapsed following a furious backlash from fans. Barca, Juve and Real refused to renounce their plans and were set to face disciplinary proceedings.
However, on Monday UEFA declared the case “null and void” in a statement:
Following the stay of proceedings against FC Barcelona, Juventus FC and Real Madrid CF, in the matter related to a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework in connection with the so called ‘Super League’, the UEFA Appeals Body has declared today the proceedings null and void, as if the proceedings had never been opened.
The other nine clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan - were due to pay a rehabilitation fine, but that is also reportedly set for the axe.
They must be trembling at the prospect of trying it all again...

Juventus, Barcelona und Real haben die UEFA scharf kritisiert

Image credit: Getty Images

IN THE CHANNELS

Steve Bruce is the fastest player on FIFA and Allan Saint-Maximin ain’t happy about it.

HAT TIP

People were booing the black players as they came on the pitch. When they took the knee the booing got worse. I saw the same people who had come up to me earlier and said: ‘Hello, Benjamin, nice to see you.’ Now they were booing England players who were black like me. Zephaniah smiles when asked if any of them maintained eye contact. “They look away, don’t they? But a much larger contingent started cheering and drowned them out. The booing still surprised me – because I saw it being done by the same people who had come over to speak to me. They had seen me on television and were saying: ‘Thank you, you’re doing great work.’ You know when racists say: ‘It’s the others I don’t like. But you’re all right.’
Writer, actor and activist Benjamin Zephaniah speaks to The Guardian's Donald McRae about how he fell in love with the England football team for the first time this summer, aged 63.

RETRO CORNER

It now seems a bit ridiculous to type, but there was a time when Wayne Rooney was the best player on the planet. Here he is, 18 years ago, bagging a hat-trick on his debut for Manchester United in the Champions League.

COMING UP

Cancel your plans, there are FIVE live text commentaries on Eurosport tonight. Shahtar v Inter Milan (17:45) gets us bubbling nicely, then four 20:00 kick-offs: Porto v Liverpool, PSG v Man City, AC Milan v Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid v Sheriff.
It now seems a bit ridiculous to type, but Marcus Foley was once the best Warm-Up writer on the planet. He's here tomorrow, still trying to rediscover his glorious past
Premier League
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Liga
Tensions run high between Koeman and Laporta - Paper Round
23/09/2021 AT 05:33