Rory Smith

Rory Smith is a football writer for The Independent.

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Mancini was happy to see Chelsea so delighted

Roberto Mancini plays down tunnel row after City are halted at Bridge

Roberto Mancini last night welcomed the exuberant celebrations with which Chelsea greeted their 2-1 victory over Manchester City as a sign of his club's arrival as the Premier League's biggest scalp, despite his hosts' glee – and especially that of Ashley Cole – prompting a mêlée in the Stamford Bridge tunnel after the final whistle. The Italian, instead, chose to reserve his scorn for referee Mark Clattenburg, suggesting someone "outside the stadium" could have seen the first-half penalty on David Silva that the official missed.

Roberto Mancini and Andre Villas-Boas share a joke last night

Villas-Boas can only look on as the old guard close ranks

Here, the crux of the issue facing Andre Villas-Boas, laid bare. As Chelsea drew deep into their well of resilience and determination and grit to staunch Manchester City's tide and then to turn it, ending a game with their title credentials enhanced, the futility of the Portuguese's position crystallised.

Harry Redknapp was unimpressed by the referee at Stoke on Sunday

FA to let Redknapp off the hook after referee criticism

No sanction likely despite manager's claim that Foy was 'enjoying' giving decisions against Spurs

Arsenal full-back Andre Santos requires surgery on his ankle injury

Santos blow may force Wenger into some January shopping

Andre Santos, the Arsenal left-back, has been ruled out for up to three months after the club confirmed the Brazilian international requires surgery on ankle ligaments damaged in last week's 3-1 Champions League defeat to Olympiakos. His absence leaves Arsène Wenger facing five Premier League fixtures in the next three weeks without any fit senior full-backs.

Nicolas Anelka (right) poses with his new shirt and Shanghai Shenhua club investor Zhu Jun after signing a two-year deal

Shenhua target Drogba after sealing Anelka deal

Nicolas Anelka will become the biggest signing in Chinese football history – and one of the highest-paid players in the world – when he completes his transfer to Shanghai Shenhua from Chelsea next month. The 32-year-old French international has agreed a two-year deal reportedly worth around £200,000-a-week after tax with the Super League club.

Robin van Persie is congratulated by Theo Walcott (right) after his spectacular goal for Arsenal

Van Persie carving out place in pantheon

Arsenal 1 Everton 0

JUAN MATA: The Spaniard says his friend David Silva encouraged him to move to the Premier League

Mata and Silva walk tall for 'little people'

Juan Mata pauses for thought. It is not often that Chelsea's creator-in-chief stops. His movement, on the pitch, is constant, buzzing, whirring. Even in his quiet, softly-spoken English, he is fluent, engaging. But one question has stumped him. "Who is shorter, me or David Silva?" he asks himself, rhetorically. "I don't know. Probably him. Just."

Andre Villas-Boas: Returned to the criticism he made of the media after Chelsea's win on Tuesday night

Villas-Boas rants at 'comic' Neville

Chelsea manager goes on the attack again against 'ridiculous' pundit

Luis Suarez who has been accused of directing racist abuse at Patrice Evra

Luis Suarez: Courteous, respectful, sensitive...

That's the real Luis Suarez, according to former team-mates and friends who dispute his image as an enfant terrible. They talk to Rory Smith

Alex Frei heads in the second to knock out Manchester United last night

Ferguson's humiliated men head for Europe's backwaters

From Matchday One, the Champions League has given a glimpse of United's ugly underbelly

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