Sport Villas-Boas has promised that Jermain Defoe will not be sold in January

Following the confirmation of his move to MLS side Toronto FC, Defoe brings to an end a somewhat unfulfilled partnership with Spurs that often saw him - rightly or wrongly - overlooked

Fletcher: United need to stay strong after derby humiliation

Conceding six goals can be an omen. The last time it happened to Manchester United – at Southampton in October 1996 in a game which, as Roy Keane later recalled, meant their fans could not leave the house for "the jeering, the mocking, the sneering" – the obituaries were being written. The United side that had shipped five at St James' Park six days earlier would also lose at home to Chelsea, before setting off on a near six-month unbeaten run which saw them home to their fourth title in five years.

Darren Fletcher (right) and Wayne Rooney are left stunned by the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City

Premature talk of saviour Cleverley as Fletcher rues 'naive' defending

Conceding six goals can be an omen. The last time it happened to Manchester United – at Southampton in October 1996 in a game which, as Roy Keane later recalled, meant their fans could not leave the house for "the jeering, the mocking, the sneering" – the obituaries were being written.

Mohamed al Fayed (right)and Mark Hughes before things turned sour

Fayed issues furious response to Mark Hughes

The Fulham chairman, Mohamed al Fayed, yesterday issued a withering critique of the club's former manager, Mark Hughes, labelling the Welshman a "flop" and a "strange man" and questioning both his courage and ambition.

Manchester City's very own Rocket Man, Mario Balotelli, enjoys scoring his second

Ferguson is hit for six on 'our worst ever day'

The last time something of this significance happened, Sir Alex Ferguson repaired home to Wilmslow and buried his head under a pillow, having also contemplated placing it in an oven. But that was after the 5-1 Maine Road massacre of September 1989 and yesterday did not even come close.

Mario Balotelli reveals his 'Why Always Me?' T-shirt at Old Trafford. He won't be wearing another one though: 'No, because otherwise I'll get booked every week,' he grinned

Changing of the guard as City slay the beast

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6: Silva pulls strings for remarkable visitors to ensure a day to forget for Sir Alex Ferguson's side

Spurs on alert as Ancelotti confirms desire for English job

The Premier League chairmen are yet to make their first sacking but, when they do, there will be a former European Cup, Premier League, Serie A and FA Cup-winning manager available.

The Last Word: Wenger's right: Great Britain FC is a bad joke

Selling seats, schmoozing and vanity the driving forces behind a cynical project no one truly wants

Norwich put Holt to Anfield charge as Carroll counts cost

Liverpool 1 Norwich 1: Striker keeps his head to send Delia Smith home happy but Liverpool rue their missed chances – and a brilliant goalkeeping performance by Ruddy

Ferguson: agents to blame for Tevez trouble

Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday launched a staunch defence of Roberto Mancini's handling of the Carlos Tevez affair, declaring that managing players who are dominated by their agents was making the manager's role a difficult and complex one.

Mancini: City are closing the gap on United

Even Sir Alex Ferguson thinks rivals have 'turned a corner' but Italian wants his side to toughen up as they head for Old Trafford

'Captain Colo' leads Newcastle's revival

Once a figure of ridicule, Fabricio Coloccini is enjoying the last laugh for the unbeaten Magpies

Mark Hughes: Manchester Man

Mark Hughes tells Sam Wallace about 'autocratic' Mancini, his fury at being sacked by City, his relationship with Alex Ferguson and laughing at that Welcome to Manchester poster

James Lawton: For the good of the old game, it's simply got to be All Black

Back in Johannesburg last year it became so vital for football that Spain won the World Cup.

Ferguson attacks agents for Mancini's Tevez saga

Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday launched a staunch defence of Roberto Mancini's handling of the Carlos Tevez affair, declaring that handling players who are dominated by their agents was making the manager's role a difficult and complex one.

Wenger hits out at 2012 tournament

Arsenal manager rejects credibility of London football event just after European Championship

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone