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The Independent's Martin Hardy analyses today's January transfer window stories and separates the reality from the rumour

<i>Les Bleus</i> on the brink after Mexican defeat

France 0 Mexico 2

Matt Gatward: Losing streak (17/06/10)

Today's bets

Domenech puts faith in Malouda to contain French revolution

France v Mexico; Today, 7.30pm, BBC1

Ribéry fails to build on Diaby platform

On the side of a flyover in Cape Town, as the motorway slithers down to one of the world's great waterfronts, is an electronic tally of the number of goals scored in what in South Africa they refer to as the "Mother City". The day after the opening game at Green Point, it was still reading zero.

Faltering France frustrate Malouda

Chelsea forward is unhappy to warm the bench but Domenech's men find the 'new Vieira' in Arsenal's Diaby

Domenech struggles to fight off French revolution over Henry

The France manager, Raymond Domenech, is facing a revolt from within his squad, the players demanding that he reinstate Thierry Henry for their opening World Cup fixture against Uruguay.

Cole's flashes of finesse are enough to sway Capello

Despite a poor season, Chelsea man is still the one who can produce the unexpected

Utaka ready to accept mission impossible

Portsmouth haven't beaten Chelsea for 50 years but their Nigerian forward says the underdogs can cause a shock in the FA Cup final

James Lawton: Ferguson's words fall on deaf ears as Chelsea sound their title charge

Drogba's brilliance and Lampard's rediscovered taste for battle offer the perfect riposte to United manager's verbal sparring

Holders Chelsea book place in FA Cup final

Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 3

James Lawton: Technology can halt another title travesty

Drogba's almost laughably illicit goal might be the decisive factor in a season-long battle

Thrillers from history teach us to always expect the unexpected

The focus is on Wayne Rooney, Didier Drogba and Cesc Fabregas, but the key man in the title race may prove to be one of the supporting cast. That was the case the last time the Premier League title was this closely contested with seven games to go.

Ancelotti demands focus from Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti believes his Chelsea side must prepare for their remaining matches like they are cup finals if they are to end the season as Barclays Premier League champions.

Chelsea stumble in title race after draw at Blackburn

Blackburn 1 Chelsea 1

Ancelotti claims style advantage over predecessor

Italian says Chelsea have found the elegant 'identity' demanded by Abramovich
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On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
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tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

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Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
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Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

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A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
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Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
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Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
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Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week