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FC 100 is about team, not just stars

FC 100
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Man City and Man United are a gulf apart, Juve poor, Dortmund fire Bosz

It was, perhaps, the last realistic chance to begin to derail the Pep Guardiola Express. But Manchester City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford means their lead is up to 11 points, more than the league leaders in any of Europe's top leagues. The fact that the chasing pack, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, all dropped points is significant too.

The big question was how Jose Mourinho would approach Sunday's match. Truth be told, with his best defender (Eric Bailly) and best player (Paul Pogba) unavailable,...

FC 100 ranking tries to put the team ahead of the individuals

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position.
The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position.
ESPN's Gab Marcotti delves into the managers that cracked the ESPN FC 100 Top 10.
ESPN's Shaka Hislop talks about the goalkeepers on the ESPN FC 100 list and also gives us his top 10.

The genesis of the ESPN FC 100 lies in recognizing specialists and trying to compare apples and apples in a way others do not. The fact of the matter is football skews towards those who attack, who score and who exist in the final third. Football awards and rankings follow suit.

We can't help ourselves. We are obsessed with the guys who score the goals and the guys who make the passes that lead to goals. It's some primal thing and we live in a world of highlights geared towards that end. A center-back's...

Arsenal, Man United defensive issues; PSG stunned, Barca and Madrid held

The ESPN FC crew identify the catalysts of Manchester United's free-flowing play in their 3-1 victory against Arsenal.
Alejandro Moreno explains how Unai Emery can use PSG's shock defeat at Strasbourg to get the attention of his players.
As Cristiano Ronaldo continues to struggle, Alejandro Moreno pinpoints the other areas of concern for Real Madrid.
Alejandro Moreno explains how Samuel Umtiti's absence could impact a Barcelona side that failed to see off Celta Vigo at home.
Stewart Robson offers a solution for Manchester City to be more dominant against teams that want to play deep in their own half.

As games go, Arsenal vs. Manchester United was classic glass half-full, glass half-empty stuff. Jose Mourinho can walk away from a 3-1 away win and rattle off the numbers: United have the stingiest defence and the second-most prolific attack in the Premier League, and while they remain eight points behind Manchester City -- roll on Sunday's derby -- 35 points from 15 games is the best start of any Old Trafford manager since Sir Alex Ferguson. And it's a whopping 11 more than at this stage last season.

United...

World Cup favorites get generous draws but upsets will happen

The ESPN FC crew had a lot to say as the 2018 FIFA World Cup participants finally discovered their fates in the Moscow draw.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti predicts who will emerge from each group at the 2018 World Cup.
Dan Thomas and the FC crew believe the top-seeded countries will all be delighted with their matchups at the World Cup.

The seedings did their job. Amid the slew of negativity surrounding Russia 2018 -- from struggles to find sponsors to a Russian FA president having to spend the day before the draw denying allegations of systematic doping -- this was perhaps the biggest takeaway: We will see a World Cup like no other with balanced groups and, more than ever before, clear favorites to advance.

FiveThirtyEight's Soccer Power Index (SPI) has 10 teams with at least a 70 percent chance of advancing into the Round...

No Groups of Death; rankings rule -- What to expect at the World Cup draw

The FC panel reveal their toughest and easiest potential World Cup groups ahead of the draw on Dec. 1.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura insisted Russian football didn't have a doping problem and defended Gary Lineker ahead of the World Cup draw.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be a peaceful tournament and enjoyable for all football fans.

For many, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup has been a procession -- going through the motions toward the inevitable. For others, there has been suffering and insecurity right down to the final whistle of the final playoff game. And for others still, whether because they've been absent for decades or because it's their first time, it's been a magical journey, a flight into possibility.

Then there are those who took for granted that they'd be a part of the World Cup and stumbled along the way: We...

Milan's uncertain future: Q&A on ownership, possible FFP sanctions

Gab Marcotti explains why the Europa League could prove to be Milan's best hope of Champions League football in 2018.

Last week, Marca and The New York Times reported that Milan were staring down the barrel of financial fair play sanctions, if not worse. Here's an attempt to make sense of a complicated situation.

Q: I thought Milan had a rich Chinese owner now? Like the guy at Inter Milan? Isn't this part of the whole trend of wealthy Chinese buying up football assets with the blessing of the Chinese government?

A: Li Yonghong is certainly Chinese and he may be rich, but he was only able to buy the club after...