What the papers say

  • Last Updated: December 5 2012, 7:51 GMT

A look at the stories making the back-page headlines in today's national newspapers, with Chelsea prominent once again.

Rafael Benitez: Making the headlines again
Rafael Benitez: Making the headlines again

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THE SUN: Chelsea have been told to back off Pep Guardiola or risk losing out on the former Barcelona coach...Manchester City could not even make the Europa League as their Champions League campaign ended in disaster.

DAILY MAIL: Rafa Benitez has launched a bizarre defence of Fernando Torres as Chelsea stand on the verge of an embarrassing Champions League exit tonight...Pepe Reina's future at Liverpool is under threat, with manager Brendan Rodgers considering January moves for Birmingham's Jack Butland or young German prospect Ron-Robert Zieler.

THE INDEPENDENT: The line-up may have changed significantly but Arsenal's malaise continues. Arsene Wenger made seven changes to the team dispatched by Swansea last weekend but defeat to Olympiacos carried all the hallmarks of his first-choice side...Ronnie O'Sullivan is close to accepting an invitation to make a shock comeback at next year's world championship at the Crucible in Sheffield, where he will defend his crown after holding a series of secret meetings with the World Snooker chairman, Barry Hearn.

THE TIMES: Rafael Benitez questioned last night whether Chelsea's players still have the hunger and fighting spirit that helped them to win the Champions League last season...Alastair Cook believes that the addition of Ashley Giles to England's full-time coaching staff can re-energise the squad without undermining the authority of Andy Flower as team director.

THE GUARDIAN: England have waved aside suggestions their 2015 Rugby World Cup pool qualifier against Wales could be played in Cardiff rather than London, with Australia also expressing concerns about the potential unfairness of facing the Welsh team at their Millennium Stadium home...Another fitful performance, another soulless defeat. When some Premier League cheerleaders predicted that Manchester City might make a statement in Europe this season this, surely, was not what they had in mind.

DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson is willing to put Wayne Rooney in the firing line against Cluj in tonight's meaningless Champions League clash at Old Trafford...Juan Mata insists Chelsea will not wilt under the pressure if fans continue their hate campaign against Rafa Benitez.

DAILY MIRROR: Brendan Rodgers is set to gamble with Luis Suarez to keep Liverpool's European hopes alive...Shane Warne has opened the way for a shock Ashes return next summer.

DAILY EXPRESS: Roberto Mancini's Manchester City are now officially the worst English team in Europe...Chelsea have finally found something the hapless Fernando Torres is good at - defending corners.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: The Rugby Football Union moved swiftly yesterday to reassert its authority as host of the 2015 World Cup by firmly declining the offer from its Welsh counterparts for England to play their pool match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium...Whatever twists might be in store tonight for Celtic, who will progress to the last 16 of the Champions League if they achieve a better result at home to Spartak Moscow on Wednesday night than Benfica manage in Barcelona, it is unlikely they will encounter anything as bizarre as yesterday's pre-match press conference.


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