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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn