A long way to go before challenging the elite

“Re: Frank Lampard’s Chelsea’s Tottenham impersonation against Bayern. a minimum of Frank called it” – Craig Fawcett.

“So Matt Dony thinks a 30-second cut-off for the VAR is just too rushed (yesterday’s Fiver letters). But this could be seen along side my view that VAR should only be used where there’s a transparent and obvious error. If it can’t be seen in 30 seconds, I reckon it’s neither clear nor obvious” – Peter Thew.

“Matt’s view ‘that rushing to satisfy a deadline rarely results in quality output’? Well, that’s all alright but, quite frankly, if it wasn’t for deadlines, a number of us would never get anything finished in the least . And something, even late and poor quality, is best than nothing, which i think is that the Fiver’s motto” – Noble Francis.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And you’ll always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Noble Francis.
Manchester City have registered their appeal to Cas against their two-year Big Cup ban and £25m fine.

Barcelona can count themselves glad to possess got out of Naples with a 1-1 draw from their Big Cup first leg. “It’s a positive result for us overall,” hollered Quique Setién. “We controlled most of the sport , but we lacked something within the final third against such an organised defence.”
Lucy Bronze has been replaced by Alessia Russ in England’s squad for the SheBelieves Cup after sustaining calf-knack.

F91 Dudelange striker Danel Sinani fancies a move to Norwich City next season, whether or not they avoid relegation or not. “I can confirm that Norwich are very curious about my services, but I haven’t signed yet,” he cheered. “I’m not frightened of that second division. have you ever seen the games they play there? It remains very strong.”

After Oxford United manager Karl Robinson was randomly linked with the Málaga job, the U’s have now rejected an approach from Blackpool over their vacancy.

And Barnet chairman Tony Kleanthous has defended the Hive’s pitch after Tuesday’s National League game against Dagenham & Redbridge became their latest home postponement or abandonment. a minimum of it wasn’t like last month’s FA Trophy tie with Farsley Celtic (380-mile round trip), called off two minutes before kick-off. “The pitch sits low on the location and intentionally will stand up during a one-in-100-year flood eventuality,” he tooted. “We have barely had each day without rain since September and therefore the forecast one-in-100-year event has now become our reality.”

It’s Sven!
Sid Lowe on the good-natured battle of the graceful scalps, as Zinedine Zidane faces an “hour of truth” against his old buddie Pep Guardiola.

Hansi Flick restored Bayern’s old fire to tear strips from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, writes Jonathan Liew.

Simon Burnton on an alarmingly prescient Forgotten Story from 1906.

A Knowledge special: footballers in communal bathtubs, necessitating some extremely delicate cropping on the a part of our picture desk.

It’s nearly MLS season 25 over within the USA! USA!! USA!!! – Tom Dart on the story thus far , and the way Mexico might be key to what’s next.

£25m and one Kepa Arrizabalaga for Jan Oblak is that the quite illusion to be found in today’s Mill.