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Champions League best XI: Haland, Di Maria and Ter Stegen lead the way

The Champions League group stage is back, but who were the stars this week? Here's the best XI from the first games.

UCL TOTW matchday one
The Champions League's best performers from this week.

Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Barcelona were well under par in their 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund so it was fortunate they had a goalkeeper in such fine form. Ter Stegen brilliantly saved Marco Reus' second-half penalty, recovering smartly to gather the ball before anyone could gobble up the rebound, and also saved twice more from his countryman at close quarters....

By the numbers - Aguero joins Rooney; Abraham's unique record

It was a bonkers weekend for European football, with the biggest upset caused by Norwich City, who beat Premier League champions Manchester City 3-2 at home, and thus helped Liverpool open up a five-point gap at the top of the table. Manchester United, too, had a welcome return to winning ways, while Tammy Abraham had a slice of history and a dubious distinction to go with it in a thrilling win for Chelsea.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lift Juventus in a tough away fixture against Fiorentina,...

One-man wall: Gurpreet's reflexes defy Qatar

India may not have made the brightest start to their World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, but it hasn't been due to any lack of effort from the team's No.1, Gurpreet Sandhu. 

After pulling off a series of remarkable saves in the opening game against Oman, Gurpreet was it again in Doha, diving left, right and centre to frustrate the Asian champions Qatar. 

His reflexes kept India in the game, and ESPN's live blog busy. 

Here is how he rose to the occasion once more: 

4' - Qatar...

Sound of silence: Real Kashmir brace for emotional homecoming

At some time on Thursday, September 5, a football team beset by anxiety and anguish will land in a city and a state completely transformed.

Real Kashmir FC return to Srinagar after a month spent on football duty, cut off from their families and their people, trying to keep their minds on the game but dogged by the uncertainty of what lies ahead. In 2018, RKFC became Indian football's new fairy tale, the first team from the troubled state to qualify for the I-League first division. Today, they are,...

Sahal Abdul Samad, the desert wanderer who dances on grass

Sahal Abdul Samad knows Oman quite well. He has lived practically all his life near its eastern border in Al-Ain, the oasis city in the United Arab Emirates.

Oman's football team had not piqued Sahal's interest until the draw for the FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers. India drew the gulf champions, Asian champions Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Now, Sahal could face Oman for the first time in Guwahati on September 5, as India push towards their biggest dream yet. With just one full season of professional...

Numbers: Patrick van Aanholt joins Thierry Henry in rare Fergie Time feat

Another topsy-turvy weekend of European football, and another weekend of scarcely believable numbers. Some results were expected. Some, not so much. 

Premier League

1

Crystal Palace have beaten Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in the competition's history. In fact, before Jordan Ayew and Patrick van Aanholt got their goals, the last time Palace even took the lead against United in league competition at Old Trafford was in 1979, when David Swindlehurst scored in an...