Sport Jermaine Pennant has left Stoke with immediate effect, the club have confirmed

The Potters chose not to activate a clause in his contract that would have seen him stay until the end of the season

La Liga is priority for Barcelona

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola has stated that his club’s main priority this season is the retention of their domestic league title, rather than European glory.

Messi produces another mesmerising performance

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admits he has run out of superlatives to describe Lionel Messi following another stunning performance from the Argentinian ace last night.

Matt Derbyshire: 'I've got the beach, the pool... you can't pop out in Lancashire and find that'

It was a wrench for Blackburn boy Matt Derbyshire to join Olympiakos but, ahead of his Champions League debut tonight, he tells Simon Hart he's loving Greek life

Arbeloa orders Madrid to regain focus

Real Madrid have little time to dwell on their midweek disappointment against Lyon as they prepare to face Villarreal on Sunday in the first of what could prove a decisive run of home matches.

Ian Herbert: Bad deals and risky tactics: how Rafa’s Reds fell so fast

In one year Liverpool’s manager has slipped from conqueror of Real Madrid and thorn in Ferguson’s side to become a man clinging on to power

Bologna want Macheda loan

Federico Macheda's agent says Bologna want to take the young Manchester United striker back to Italy on a loan deal, although he feels it is unlikely to happen.

Real Madrid rue missed opportunity

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos described his side's goalless draw against Osasuna as "bittersweet" as the title hopefuls missed the chance to replace Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division standings.

Gabriel Milito returns to Barcelona first-team

Barcelona defender Gabriel Alejandro Milito has made a welcome return to the first-team fold after featuring in a friendly game in Kuwait.

Messi can deliver Barça's six of the best

Euro Zone

Martinez: Rafa can revive Reds

Wigan manager points to countryman's tactical nous ahead of tonight's trip to Anfield

Eurozone: Pepe's injury forces Real to spend again

Real Madrid will try to sign a central defender in the January transfer window after their defensive linchpin Pepe was carried off in the 3-2 win over Valencia on Saturday and told he will not play again this season.

O'Neill excited by Blackburn cup clashes

Martin O'Neill is relishing the prospect of a cup double header with Blackburn in January when the two clubs will meet three times in little more than a fortnight.

Spanish clubs face inquiry into betting allegations

The Spanish second division clubs Las Palmas and Rayo Vallecano, and seven professional players, are to be investigated in an inquiry into betting on matches, Las Palmas said on their website.

Euro Zone: Keita hat-trick fires Barça to thumping win

It was the night when Fabio Capello was meant to be watching Jermaine Pennant, but in the end it was more a case of Jermaine Pennant watching Barcelona. Zaragoza were spectators as Barça stormed back to the top of La Liga with a 6-1 win.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there