Big Phil expresses sympathy after feasting on 'beef ball'

Eastern Sports Club coach Chan Yuen-ting was comforted by her opposite number Luiz Felipe Scolari after her Asian Champions League debut at Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande ended in a nightmarish 7-0 defeat.

The 28-year-old Chan, affectionately nicknamed "Aw Yuen", which translates as beef ball, became the first woman to guide a men's team in a top-flight continental competition when she led the Hong Kong champions out at the Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday.

Super start for hat-trick man Ioane as Blues crush Rebels

MELBOURNE Teenage centre Rieko Ioane underlined his enormous potential with a hat-trick of tries to fire the Auckland Blues to a 56-18 demolition of the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby season-opener on Thursday.

The explosive 19-year-old, who made his All Blacks debut on their tour of Europe last November, grabbed an intercept try on the stroke of halftime and touched down twice after the break as the Blues racked up a record score in Australia.

Westwood urges Burnley to forget Cup exit, focus on league

Burnley midfielder Lee Westwood has urged his team mates not to let last weekend's fifth-round FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Lincoln City derail their promising Premier League campaign.

Burnley's eight-match unbeaten run at Turf Moor came to an unexpected end against the Imps but with four successive away games on the horizon, Westwood saw no reason to dwell on the upset.

"The gaffer (manager) won't let that happen to us. We had a little talk on Monday and it was 'concentrate fully on the Premier League'," he told the club's website.

Cedric hopes to relive Euro 2016 experience at Wembley

Southampton defender Cedric Soares believes his experience of winning Euro 2016 with Portugal will help him handle the pressure of facing Manchester United in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Cedric played a vital role for his country as they beat hosts France to claim a maiden senior international title last July and is hoping he can help Southampton add more silverware to their 1976 FA Cup triumph, when they also beat United.

Britton lauds Clement training for Swansea improvement

Paul Clement's instant impact at Swansea City has been down to the manager's clarity of thought and keen eye for detail on the training ground, according to veteran midfielder Leon Britton.

Swansea were bottom of the Premier League when Clement took over on Jan. 3, but the manager has guided his side to four wins in six league games to propel the Welsh club to 15th, four points ahead of the bottom three with 13 games remaining.

Singapore league lands Hyundai Motors as co-title sponsor

Singapore's top soccer league pulled off a major coup by getting South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co on board as the new co-title sponsor, replacing food and beverage company Yeo Hiap Seng.

Hyundai signed a two-year deal as co-title sponsor for the competition, which will now be known as the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League, the country's football association (FAS) said in a statement on Thursday.

"We are delighted to welcome Hyundai Motors on board as co-title sponsors of the S.League," said Lim Kia Tong, President of the FAS Provisional Council.

Berahino certain Hughes will unlock his potential

Mark Hughes' stellar career as a striker has given forward Saido Berahino a reason to be optimistic the Stoke City manager will help the bring the best out of him.

Berahino, who joined Stoke from West Bromwich Albion in January, has not scored a Premier League goal for nearly a year and has seen his career stall at his former club due to a series of off-field incidents.

By contrast, Hughes won a host of trophies, including two league titles and four FA Cups, during his glittering 22-year playing career.

Mourinho miffed by timing of Chelsea FA Cup showdown

Jose Mourinho's delight at Manchester United's progress to the last 16 of the Europa League has been tempered by the timing of their FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea, with the manager criticising the tie being scheduled for a Monday.

United, who beat St Etienne 1-0 on Wednesday to progress 4-0 on aggregate, now face the prospect of playing the second leg of their next Europa League tie just three days after their FA Cup showdown against former club Chelsea on March 13.

Clement out to give former club Chelsea the blues

By Toby Davis
| LONDON

LONDON Having helped Chelsea to win the Premier League as assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, Paul Clement will be looking to put a dent in their title hopes this season when he takes his resurgent Swansea City side to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Clement, who had two spells at Chelsea, was Ancelotti's right-hand man when they won the double in 2010, and will return for the first time this weekend having departed the following year.

China's Amer, CITIC line up rival bid for Southampton - source

SEOUL/SHANGHAI Chinese buyers including materials giant Amer International and CITIC Securities Co Ltd are readying a rival 246 million pounds ($305 million) bid for English soccer club Southampton, a person with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

The bid for the English Premier League side marks a potential challenge to an earlier planned acquisition by Lander Sports Development, which said in January that it was taking a stake in the club.

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