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United States coach Bruce Arena leaves after World Cup failure

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United States coach Bruce Arena has left his role after the side failed to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

The US will not compete in next year’s finals in Russia after a 2-1 defeat in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.

Former US defender Alexi Lalas said the failure was a “sad and dark moment”.

“We didn’t get the job done, and I accept responsibility,” said 66-year-old Arena, who took charge for the second time last November.

Arena left Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy to succeed Jurgen Klinsmann, who was sacked with the US sitting bottom of the six-country qualifying group.

Arena revived their fortunes sufficiently for the US to require only a point from their final qualifying match to book their place at an eighth successive World Cup.

But opponents Trinidad and Tobago – who had won only one of their previous nine games – beat them, and with Panama and Honduras also winning, it ended the hopes of Arena’s side.

“This certainly is a major setback for the senior men’s national team program and questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve,” said Arena afterwards.

“No doubt this process already has started and will continue so that US Soccer can progress.”

Arena led his country to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in his first spell in charge.

When he took over from former Germany striker Klinsmann, he had the best win rate of any US manager with 71 victories from his 130 games between 1998 and 2006.

He has also won five MLS Cups with LA Galaxy and DC United.

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Argentina

Pogba jokes around in Manchester United training after ban

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Paul Pogba enjoyed Manchester United training despite confirmation of his three-game suspension.Paul Pogba (more…)

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Arsenal

Arsenal news: Arsene Wenger provides injury update on Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny

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ARSENE WENGER has given updates on injuries to both Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny.

Welbeck’s injury woes continued in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Watford yesterday.

The 26-year-old was making his first appearance after recovering from a hip injury but was forced off the pitch just after the hour mark.

He has played just 42 competitive games since the end of the 2014/15 season after missing a large chunk of last year due to a knee cartilage injury.

And he could be set for another setback with Wenger confirmed Welbeck suffered a hamstring injury against Watford.

“It looks to be a hamstring with Welbeck,” Wenger said.

“I don’t really know because everybody is shocked in the dressing room [about the result]. It looks a muscular problem.”

Koscielny was also unable to finish the full 90 minutes on his first return to the side since Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Brom more than two weeks ago.

Danny Welbeck hobbled off clutching his hamstring

Danny Welbeck hobbled off clutching his hamstring

Laurent Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny was also unable to finish the full 90 minutes against Watford

He was suffering from an ongoing achilles tendon injury but with Shkodran Mustafi facing an indefinite period on the sidelines Wenger was keen to bring the France international back into the side

However, Wenger admitted after the game that the centre-back also picked up a problem in the game against Watford.

“Koscielny is a muscular problem as well,” Wenger added.

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England

Lithuania 0-1 England AS IT HAPPENED: World Cup qualifying results, news and highlights

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Lithuania vs England: Unique Sports brought you LIVE World Cup qualifying scores, news and updates from Vilnius

LITHUANIA 0-1 ENGLAND

FT: That’s all folks. England have completed their World Cup qualifiers in lacklustre fashion with a rather dull 1-0 victory over Lithuania. I’ll be back again next weekend to bring you LIVEcoverage of the Premier League.

95: I’m afraid Scotland haven’t done enough to make the play-offs. They drew 2-2 with Slovenia and have been knocked out.

90: Scotland have equalised. It’s 2-2 with about five minutes remaining. They need another to reach the play-offs.

89: Close! Daniel Sturridge, who’s wearing gloves, glances his header wide of the post from Harry Kane’s cross. Should have done better.

87: Almost an embarrassing moment as Deivydas Matulevicius (copy and past job) is sent clean through but blasts his effort straight at Jack Butland.

84: Daniel Sturridge does some fancy, but completely ineffective footwork before sending a tame effort wide.

80: England’s second change. Jesse Lingard, who really made the difference when he played on Thursday, replaces Dele Alli. Trippier drills a cross into the area but Setkus collects.

76: Scotland have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They were 1-0 up at the break but they are now 2-1 behind with around 15 minutes remaining.

75: Gareth Southgate makes his first change of the evening. Daniel Sturridge replaces Marcus Rashford.

72: Four attempts on target in 70 minutes. That’s why people hate the international break. Aaron Cresswell gets into the box and heads Trippier’s cross towards goal. Goalkeeper Setkus did just enough.

(more…)

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