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  1. Zinedine Zidane's fears that Real Madrid's lack of intensity at the start of games would eventually cost his team have proved well founded. On Wednesday night, away against a Valencia side that has endured its worst season in many years, Real showed a defensive frailty that allowed their opponents to score twice in the opening nine minutes on their way to a 2-1 upset of the La Liga leaders. "That was our fault, " Real vice-captain Marcelo told the club website.
  2. Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy said he has no regrets over rejecting a move to Arsenal during the close season despite the Premier League champions' recent struggles. Vardy, who scored 24 league goals during Leicester's title-winning campaign, had the release cause in his contract triggered by Arsenal but he opted to sign a four-year extension with the Foxes in June. Following their stunning title triumph last season, Leicester are battling against the drop, sitting a point and a place above the bottom three.
  3. Eastern Sports Club coach Chan Yuen-ting was comforted by her opposite number Luiz Felipe Scolari after her Asian Champions League debut at Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande ended in a nightmarish 7-0 defeat. The 28-year-old Chan, affectionately nicknamed "Aw Yuen", which translates as beef ball, became the first woman to guide a men's team in a top-flight continental competition when she led the Hong Kong champions out at the Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday. Eastern were run ragged by a relentless Guangzhou and found themselves trailing 3-0 and reduced to nine men after Wong Chi-chung was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 34th minute.
  4. Roma's American president is starting to lose patience with city officials over long-delayed plans for a new stadium. Ahead of a meeting between municipal authorities and club officials Friday, James Pallotta issued a statement saying the team expects ''a massively positive result'' from the encounter.
  5. Burnley midfielder Lee Westwood has urged his team mates not to let last weekend's fifth-round FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Lincoln City derail their promising Premier League campaign. Burnley's eight-match unbeaten run at Turf Moor came to an unexpected end against the Imps but with four successive away games on the horizon, Westwood saw no reason to dwell on the upset. "That was always the aim for this club, to stay in the Premier League, and we have put ourselves in a great position... We want to be pushing up and looking above, rather than at what's below us." Burnley, who are 12th in the table, 10 points above the bottom three with 13 games remaining, will look for their first away league win of the season when they travel to relegation-threatened Hull City on Saturday.

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