Sport Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

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

Chelsea 5 Milan 0: Anelka's four-goal haul impresses Scolari

The Chelsea manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari, believes that Nicolas Anelka has finally showed he can be a lethal striker for the London club with a four-goal rampage against Milan in Moscow yesterday.

Liverpool's £10m bid for Barry shows their limitations

Liverpool's £10m bid for Gareth Barry is as ambitious as their spending will get this summer – a state of affairs which left their manager, Rafael Benitez, in the course of some ruminations on his worst season at Anfield yesterday, to highlight the financial gulf which exists between his own side and the two who will be journeying to Moscow in three weeks time.

Jason Burt: Golden boy Beckham leaves little impression

Golden boots but not too many golden balls. In the 27th minute of his 100th appearance for England, David Beckham received a pass, took a touch – and hit a wildly ambitious ball sailing high in the direction of Wayne Rooney's game but, to be honest, fruitless run. William Gallas simply tidied up.

Liverpool 3 Sunderland 0: Crouch's timely boost for Benitez

Three second-half goals move Liverpool back up to fifth but Black Cats hover dangerously close to drop zone

Portsmouth 1 Chelsea 1: Defoe makes instant impact for Portsmouth

Whether he cost seven, eight or nine million, depending on the source of the transfer information, Jermain Defoe was joyously welcomed by Portsmouth as well worth the money as a coollytaken equaliser halted Chelsea's winning run at nine and applied a brake on their title ambitions in a rousing contest.

Birmingham City 0, Chelsea 1: Pizarro pounces to keep depleted Chelsea in chase

Avram Grant may not provide the verbal pyrotechnics offered by his predecessor as Chelsea manager, but in his more measured way he can communicate just as effectively.

Birmingham City 0 Chelsea 1: Rare Pizarro strike keeps Chelsea's slim hopes alive

Claudio Pizarro, the striker who Chelsea supporters feared might never score in the Premier League again, confounded doubters yesterday to maintain the push towards the top of the table. He might find goals hard to come by against everyone else, but against Birmingham City he is deadly.

Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Anelka cameo puts Chelsea in good heart for title challenge

Debutant only defied by crossbar as Blues cruise to keep step with United

Chelsea 2 Everton 1: Lescott's late error hands slim advantage to depleted Chelsea

Someone must have had to explain to Fabio Capello exactly what this strange Carling Cup competition was all about but when it came to the performance of Shaun Wright-Phillips, no such explanation was necessary. As the new England manager watched, Chelsea's English nearly-man delivered his performance of the season to give Avram Grant's 10-man team a dramatic last-minute win.

Wolves 0 WBA 3: Kamara's speed ensures Wolves are forced to eat humble pie

A tale of pies and prejudice in the Black Country saw West Bromwich Albion pen another chapter in their modern ascendancy over Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday. Albion repeated the score from the Championship meeting in October - their biggest victory over Wolves for 25 years - while their fans won the Molineux song contest with equal ease.

Doctors treating poisoned Russian focus on objects in his colon

The poison used to attack the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko remained unknown last night as doctors searching for a radioactive toxin focused their efforts on pieces of "dense matter" found in his intestines.

Inside Burma's rebel army: the struggle against a regime propped up by foreign oil

When Zoya Phan was 13, she was happy. Every day on her way home from school, deep in the thick forest of Karen state in eastern Burma, she would scramble on her hands and knees up hillsides to pick mushrooms for her mother. Before the rains came that summer she chased scarlet butterflies through lush banana gardens and mango trees, the sweet smell of ripening rice heavy in the air.

Cissé profits from return of French heroes

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

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Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor