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England slip two places in FIFA world rankings… but Hodgson’s men stay in top five

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England have dropped from third to fifth in the FIFA world rankings. Roy Hodgson’s side hammered Moldova 5-0 in their opening World Cup qualifier but drew 1-1 with Ukraine. Spain remain the world’s top-ranked team in the latest charts. The … Continue reading

FT(uefa)Benfica 0-2 Barcelona

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Goals in each half from Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas were enough for Barcelona as the Spanish club strolled to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Benfica in Lisbon, but a late injury to Carles Puyol dampened what was a straightforward evening.

A smart close-range finish in the opening stages from Alexis gave his side the perfect start, before Fabregas ensured that Barca would be returning to Camp Nou with all the points when he blasted home 10 minutes into the second period. However, Puyol fell awkwardly on his arm in the closing stages, and is now a doubt for this weekend’s Clasico clash against Real Madrid.

FT(uefa) Nordsjaelland 0 Chelsea 4

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FC Nordsjaelland: Hansen,Parkhurst, Okore, Runje, Mtiliga, Adu, Stokholm, Lorentzen (Laudrup 84), Nordstrand (Ticinovic 65), John, Beckmann (Christensen 75).

Subs not used: Villadsen, Christiansen, Gundelach, Petry Andersen.

Booked: Runje.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Moses (Hazard 65), Oscar, Mata (Mikel 83), Torres.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Romeu, Terry, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.

Goals: Mata 33, 82; Luiz 79; Ramires 89.

Attendance: 42,000

Referee: Marijo Strahonja (Croatia).

FT(uefa):Cluj1-2Man U

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MANCHESTER UNITED needed a killer Vanpire to save their necks in Transylvania.

Robin van Persie struck twice in the home of Dracula after FC Cluj had stunned United by taking a 14th-minute lead.

The Romanians had barely been out of their own half yet snatched the opener when Modou Sougou crossed for Pantelis Kapetanos to score.

But RVP showed a deadly touch as his double sealed three points for United.

The Holland hotshot levelled on 29 minutes by lofting a header over keeper Mario Felgueiras from Wayne Rooney’s free-kick.

It was the first time Van Persie and Rooney had been paired from the start.

And it paid dividends again after the break when the Dutchman volleyed home Rooney’s free-kick to put United ahead.