Chief football writer for Guardian/Observer. Fourth football book, in tandem with @miraclesfilmuk, out now:

N’Golo Kanté’s solo strike seals Chelsea’s rout of Manchester United — For José Mourinho, perhaps the only tiny consolation from a traumatic day is that the Chelsea crowd were not impertinent enough to barrack the returning manager or gloat at his misfortune.

José Mourinho: I will always respect Chelsea but am now United 100% — José Mourinho returns to Chelsea on Sunday insisting his emotional attachment with the club will never be broken and indicating he should also be given some of the credit for Carlo Ancelotti's 2010 title success at Stamford Bridge, pointing out it was "the team I left behind".

José Mourinho needs to shake off Chelsea cloud as he returns to Bridge — It was no doubt a relief to everybody at Chelsea, presumably, that when José Mourinho was asked where it had all gone wrong he referred to a Portuguese saying - não lavo roupa suja em público - and explained, possibly with his fingers crossed beneath the table, that it meant he would never wash his dirty linen in public when it came to his former clubs.

Paul Pogba gets two in Manchester United demolition of Fenerbahce — For Manchester United, this was precisely the kind of night they wanted before Sunday's match at Chelsea and all the drama that will inevitably be attached to José Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge.

Mario Balotelli's house set on fire as he shoots fireworks from window — Mario Balotelli's remarkable capacity for self-inflicted problems resurfaced on the eve of the Manchester derby when he had to escape from his burning house after a fire caused by letting off fireworks in the bathroom in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Nottingham Forest owner asks buyers for £1m salary plus player bonuses — Fawaz al-Hasawi, the increasingly beleaguered owner of Nottingham Forest, has been asking potential buyers of the club for an annual salary potentially rising above £1m and a series of financial demands that include an extraordinary clause entitling him to whatever the players earn in bonuses.

Stalemate shows a lot of how Man Utd and Liverpool now operate — Liverpool: There was blood and thunder, as there always is in this fixture, but there was also a fair amount of thud and blunder. After all the hype - including a non-stop 12-hour build-up on one Norwegian channel - the latest meeting between these old rivals certainly fell short, no matter what it showed us about how the modern-day Manchester United are evolving and where Liverpool still need to improve.

David de Gea ensures Manchester United hold Liverpool in stalemate — After all the epic battles between these sides, the latest meeting felt like a reminder about what can sometimes happen when two old rivals lock horns and refuse to budge.

Manchester United’s José Mourinho could face charge for referee comments — José Mourinho may have talked himself into trouble with the Football Association for the first time as Manchester United manager after breaking the rules forbidding members of his profession from speaking about referees in the buildup to matches.

Referee Anthony Taylor could do without old grey whistlers’ comments — It is going back a few years now but I can still remember the sense of awkwardness, sitting in the press box at Stamford Bridge one day, and seeing Mark Halsey, off-duty, greeting Gary Cahill before one Chelsea match with the kind of bearhug you would not normally expect to see between a referee and a player.
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Oct 25, 2016

@jamescox91 cheers James - good to read that, much appreciated

Oct 23, 2016

@SimonSpibey almost twice as much - hard to make sense of it, isn't it?

Oct 23, 2016

Feels like a classic Mourinho diversion technique to me. If he wanted his chat with Conte to be private, do it out of view of the TV cameras

Oct 23, 2016

Antonio Conte won't comment on what Jose Mourinho said to him but says he was entitled to ask for more noise and explains it as "emotion"

Oct 23, 2016

Mourinho says Eric Bailly has "bad injury - his knee, ligament area - he feels it is really bad."

Oct 23, 2016

Mourinho trying to sound positive in press conf but reflecting on "incredible defensive mistakes - and I say 'incredible' in capitals."

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