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Man City chief defends spending, blasts La Liga

The FC guys mention Manchester United's '99 treble winners and Arsenal's '98 side when questioning if Man City are the best team of the Premier League era.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes joins the party in Manchester to get the fans' thoughts on City's treble-winning season and Vincent Kompany's departure.

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has defended the club's spending and accused La Liga president Javier Tebas of hypocrisy over allegations that they are distorting the transfer market.

The Premier League champions, who are under investigation from Uefa over a potential breach of Financial Fair Play rules, have spent more than £1 billion on players since they were bought by Sheikh Mansour in 2008.

- Man City keep or dump: Who stays for Pep's all-conquering side?
- City plan Sane...

Atalanta, Inter Milan secure UCL spots on last day

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti zeroes in on Inter's late drama against Empoli and Atalanta's 'unreal' season after both sides secured Champions League spots.
Inter held on to the last Champions League spot while Empoli slipped into the relegation zone in a frantic 2-1 win for the Nerazzurri at the San Siro.
Atalanta came from behind to defeat nine-man Sassuolo and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in club history.
Milan did their job against SPAL, but results elsewhere mean they fail to qualify for the Champions League for the sixth straight season.
Italian Serie A: Radja Nainggolan (81') Inter 2-1 Empoli
Italian Serie A: Hamed Junior Traore (76') Inter 1-1 Empoli
Italian Serie A: Penalty saved (61') Inter 1-0 Empoli

Atalanta and Inter Milan secured their spots in next season's Champions League group stage, earning wins in a wild last day of the Serie A campaign.

Atalanta locked up third place by defeating Sassuolo 3-1, while Inter hanged on to a 2-1 win over Empoli for fourth place.

- Who has qualifed all across Europe?

Atalanta finished with 69 points, ahead of Inter Milan on their head-to-head record. It is the first time that Atalanta have secured Champions League play in club history.

"The Champions...

Messi backs Valverde, faults players for Anfield collapse

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe shares his thoughts on how Barcelona should proceed with Ernesto Valverde as his UCL failures continue to overshadow his tenure.
Dani Alves recalls what it's like to play for Pep Guardiola and reminisces on his time playing alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi has backed Ernesto Valverde to continue as Barcelona coach, despite the Champions League humiliation against Liverpool, and says the players should take the blame for what happened at Anfield.

Messi, giving his first news conference as a Barca player in four years, said the loss at Liverpool was as tough to take as losing the World Cup final with Argentina in 2014. He called the performance "lamentable" and apologised to the club's supporters for failing to compete...

Madrid blast Poch claim over training ground stay

Craig Burley makes his very premature prediction of Premier League's top six next season one day after Manchester City secured the 2018-19 title.
Do Bayern have their sights set on Leroy Sane? Is Kieran Trippier on his way to Juventus? Plus, the latest on Lorenzo Insigne and Nicolas Otamendi.

Real Madrid have denied Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino's claim that president Florentino Perez had refused Spurs use of the club's residence before the Champions League final.

Tottenham and Liverpool are training at Madrid's Valdebebas facility next week ahead of Saturday's final at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium on June 1.

Speaking on Spanish radio on Thursday, Pochettino inferred that Perez had intervened to stop the team staying at the Valdebebas facility's residences...