Preston North End FC

Tevez back in blue but Preston ensure a bruising welcome

After his refusal to warm up in Munich, his 12-week vacation in Argentina, millions of pounds in fines and the months of blame and counter-claim, Carlos Tevez finally made a return to action for Manchester City yesterday.

League round-up: Bothroyd lifts Cardiff to top two

Cardiff City reclaimed the second automatic promotion berth in the Championship after a straightforward 3-0 win over Portsmouth. Seyi Olofinjana turned in Craig Bellamy's cross after six minutes before Pompey made the win easier when Ricardo Rocha was sent off for head-butting Jay Bothroyd. Bothroyd made it 2-0 on half-time, and Peter Whittingham's second-half tap-in wrapped up the victory.

League round-up: Olofinjana makes name for himself to break Iron

Late goals at the Cardiff Stadium, Carrow Road and the Riverside Stadium saw teams chasing Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers grab all three points where only one seemed likely. Cardiff City regained the second automatic promotion place when Seyi Olofinjana's 85th-minute header from substitute Jason Koumas' cross earned an unexpectedly narrow 1-0 win over relegation-haunted Scunthorpe United.

Neil Young: Footballer whose elegant, artistic talents made him an

The most successful and entertaining period in Manchester City's history to date, the late 1960s and early 1970s, has entered football folklore as the Lee, Bell and Summerbee era. It's a convenient tag paying tribute to three exceptional and highly contrasting footballers, but it does scant justice to their elegant fellow attacker Neil Young, who was at the heart of all their most glorious triumphs under the inspirational guidance of manager Joe Mercer and coach Malcolm Allison.

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League round-up: Burley sacked in Palace revolt after mauling by Lions

George Burley became the third Championship manager to be sacked in the Christmas and New Year period when Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat in the south London derby at Millwall proved one reverse too many for the Selhurst Park board. Burley took over at Palace last June after the club was bought by the CPFC 2010 consortium. But the team languish a place off the bottom, and three points from safety, after Jason Puncheon's hat-trick had lifted Millwall to the play-off fringes.

Preston fear the Ferguson effect as Stoke recall pair

Preston North End were hit by a second major blow in the wake of them sacking Sir Alex Ferguson's son Darren when the Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis, recalled his club's players, Danny Pugh and Michael Tonge, from their loan spells at the bottom-placed Championship club.

James Lawton: We can be grateful England's hold on Ashes urn was

What can we say but shame on us all, except maybe for celebrity guru Piers Morgan, for whom a text from Kevin Pietersen has long been something to weigh in gold, not just for its shining wit and wry sophistication but the fact that it comes on the wings of Mercury from one of the great men of our times.