Sport Juan Mata made an impressive debut for Manchester United

A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at the Britannia Stadium

I needed a new challenge says Barry

Gareth Barry has admitted the fear of "going stale and falling into a comfort zone" was a major factor in him deciding to quit Aston Villa and join Manchester City in a £12m move.

Cole on brink of Cup record

Left-back could be the first player in over 100 years to pick up five winners' medals

Hughes receives backing from Manchester City owner

Manchester City owners have quashed speculation that Mark Hughes will be replaced as manager by saying he will stay on at the Premier League club for next season at least.

Hughes finds reason to be cheerful as derby looms

The Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes, insists his team will approach the derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday with a spring in their step.

Elano 'would love' to stay with City

Elano has suffered a mixed bag of a season so far but with his star currently in the ascendancy the Brazilian has announced that he is ready to sign a new contract with Manchester City.

Robinho insists he's staying at Manchester City

Manchester City striker Robinho have moved to quash rumours that he will be leaving Eastland's this summer.

Jonathan Aitken: The way we treat prisoners creates a conveyor belt of crime

A system based on punishment rather than rehabilitation won't work

Mark Hughes: Why DNA profiling is not just about convicting the guilty

The acquittal of Sean Hodgson is the latest case to benefit from the enhancement of DNA profiling techniques.

Mills backs Hughes to remain at City

Danny Mills is convinced Mark Hughes will still be Manchester City manager in 12 months' time, even if the club fail to win this season's Uefa Cup.

Sturridge demands signal Manchester City exit

Manchester City are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of persuading one of their most promising Academy graduates, Daniel Sturridge, to sign new contract terms, with his current deal running down and his family seeking more than £60,000 a week wages for him.

Hughes defends handling of Robinho

Mark Hughes insists there is not one rule for Robinho and another for everybody else at Manchester City.

No problem with Hughes insists Robinho

Robinho insists he does not have any problems with Manchester City manager Mark Hughes.

David Ashdown's Sports Picture Diary: The sports portrait

My job at The Independent is to cover a mixture of sporting events and features, which includes portraits of sports people, both past and present. Most of the time this form of photography is a pleasure, but on the odd occasion it's been a nightmare.

Hughes calls for strength at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has told his players to stand up and be counted as he prepares to strengthen in the transfer window.

Leading article: Lighten up

They say the darkest hour is just before the dawn. But to suggest that now we have got the longest night of the year out of the way, things can (as a famous song once put it) only get better would, sadly, be stretching it a bit.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

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Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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24-Hour party person

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Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
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Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

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From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

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Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

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Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

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'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

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London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital