Shane Long scores the decisive goal for  Ireland in Thursday’s  European Championship qualifying match in the Aviva Stadium against Germany. Photograph:  Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

We all know Ireland’s history in international football is one of the longest hard- luck stories in sport, but there had always been peaks. England be(...)

Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager under growing pressure  as champions suffer a poor   start to the season. Photograph: Jed Leicester/PA

Is Jose Mourinho trying to get himself sacked? After his extraordinary seven-minute TV harangue in the aftermath of Chelsea’s defeat to Southampton, y(...)

Brendan Rodgers’ analytical approach to the game can sometimes get in the way of what he actually wants to build at Liverpool. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby/Getty Images

On Saturday, Liverpool beat Aston Villa thanks to two brilliant goals by Daniel Sturridge. ‘It is not rocket science,” Brendan Rodgers said. “The las(...)

Japan players celebrate after beating South Africa in the World Cup Pool B game at Brighton Community Centre on Saturday. Photograph: by Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

Japan 34 South Africa 32 The thing you have to remember about the greatest upset in the history of rugby’s World Cup is that it never really fe(...)

 Louis van Gaal and his assistant Ryan Giggs observe proceedings from the Manchester United bench. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

As Louis van Gaal saw where Geoff Shreeves was going with the question, his eyes narrowed irritably. Shreeves was asking him to comment on the differe(...)

Robbie Keane under pressure from three Georgian players during the Euro 2016 Group D qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The realisation that he was going to be substituted at half-time must have been up there among the most unpleasant moments of Robbie Keane’s 142-cap I(...)

Robbie Keane’s five goals in two matches against Gibraltar have enabled him win back top scorer slot in  history of European qualification matches from Cristiano Ronaldo. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Andrea Pirlo was one of the classiest midfield playmakers in Europe for more than a decade, but it turns out that doesn’t count for much in Major L(...)

Uefa insist they have “strengthened” the FFP regulations but such a claim is hard to square with the fact Manchester City’s net spend this transfer window is €165 million (€227 million). Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Arsène Wenger is the only Premier League manager who regularly issues big-picture bulletins on the state of the game. Last week, the man who did mo(...)

Pedro had attracted interest from Manchester United before signing for Chelsea from Barcelona. He scored on his Premier League debut for the London side against West Brom. Photograph: EPA.

Twenty minutes into his Premier League debut, Pedro accepted a pass from Eden Hazard, dodged to his left and tried a quick low shot at goal through th(...)

Chelsea manager José Mourinho told press conference after Sunday’s 3-0 defeat the result was “fake”, the goals “out of context”, and taking off John Terry at half-time “just a decision”. Photograh: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

José Mourinho’s post-match remarks were delivered in a detached disbelieving tone that made it sound as though he regarded Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat to (...)