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Liverpool holds Arsenal, Sunderland wins derby

Liverpool grabs injury-time equalizer to draw with Arsenal, Sunderland wins northeast derby
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press

Liverpool required an injury-time goal to avoid a morale-sapping defeat to Arsenal on Sunday in a Premier League match that exposed both teams' frailties as they struggle to bridge the gap to the top four.

Wearing a bandage to cover up a nasty head wound, Martin Skrtel leapt high at a corner to score a powerful header in the seventh minute of stoppage time and rescue a 2-2 draw for 10-man Liverpool at Anfield.

City wins to climb into tie with Chelsea

City moves into tie with Chelsea after sixth straight Premier League win
Tim Collings, The Associated Press

LONDON, England - David Silva scored twice as defending champion Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday to move into a tie with Chelsea atop the Premier League standings.

Playing without a recognized striker, City reeled off its sixth straight league win and eighth in all competitions, one short of the club record.

Brazil trying to make good use of new stadiums

With World Cup long gone, Brazil still trying to find ways to make good use of new stadiums
Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

SAO PAULO - It's white elephant time for World Cup stadiums — again.

When the World Cup ended, Brazil was left with a sense of pride after successfully hosting soccer's showcase tournament. It was also left with 12 modern facilities that officials said would help revitalize the sport in the country.

Now, Brazil's brand new arenas are having to host weddings, children's parties and religious events to generate revenue.

Balotelli suspended 1 match for social media post

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli suspended for 1 match for racially offensive social media post
The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has been suspended for one game and fined 25,000 pounds ($39,000) by the governing body of English soccer for making a racially offensive online post.

The Football Association said Friday that Balotelli also has been ordered to attend an education program for the "aggravated breach" of its rules.

Arsenal's top-4 consistency a target for Liverpool

Struggling to rejoin elite, Liverpool hosts an Arsenal side used to overcoming blips in season
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - However many blips and bumps Arsenal endures through the season one outcome is a constant: finishing in the Premier League's top four.

Arsenal has spent 17 consecutive seasons among the elite, ensuring itself of a place in the Champions League year after year. Fans might be frustrated by the shortage of silverware, but it's a level of predictable consistency Liverpool would accept now.

Two-speed labour system in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

To assuage critics, Qatar builds two-speed labour system of haves, have-nots for 2022 World Cup
John Leicester And Rob Harris, The Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar - Men crammed together, dozens to a room, on bunk beds so close they can reach over and shake hands.

Qatar, on paper at least, has rules that forbid such uncomfortable conditions for its massive workforce of migrant labourers. Yet this is how the government-owned transport company, which the Gulf nation will use to ferry visitors around the 2022 World Cup, has housed some of its workers.

Liverpool sets up League Cup semi with Chelsea

League Cup: Liverpool to play Chelsea in SF after Bournemouth win, Spurs to face Sheff United
Rob Harris, The Associated Press

LONDON - Liverpool will play Chelsea in the League Cup semifinals after Raheem Sterling netted twice in a 3-1 victory over second-tier Bournemouth on Wednesday, while Tottenham eased through with a 4-0 rout of Newcastle.

Church of England appoints first female bishop

Small step and historic first: Church of England names first female bishop
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

LONDON - The Church of England on Wednesday named the first female bishop in its 500-year history, promoting saxophone-playing, soccer-loving vicar Libby Lane to bishop of Stockport.

The announcement came five months after the church ended a long and divisive dispute by voting to allow women to serve as bishops.

Lane, who called her promotion "an unexpected joy," made her first act as bishop leading a prayer for the victims of the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan.

1998 World Cup winner Thierry Henry retires

1998 World Cup winner and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry retires after 20-year career
Samuel Petrequin, The Associated Press

PARIS - In announcing the end of a distinguished 20-year career, Thierry Henry made it clear where he felt more cherished.

It wasn't France, for which he won the 1998 World Cup, remains the national team's leading goal-scorer, and second-most capped player.

Henry, who speaks French, English and Spanish, decided to announce his retirement by posting a message in English on his Facebook page, and via a statement from his future employer, Sky Sports in Britain.

FIFA dismisses Garcia's appeal of World Cup probe

FIFA dismisses prosecutor Michael Garcia's appeal of how his World Cup probe was handled
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

GENEVA - The status of Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts seemed even more secure Tuesday after FIFA dismissed ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia's appeal against the handling of his investigation into the bidding process.

FIFA said its appeals panel ruled the case "not admissible."

The former U.S. Attorney had objected to ethics judge Joachim Eckert's summary of the World Cup bid investigation, claiming "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations" of his work.

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