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Wednesday cannon fodder: famous problem conquered

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Napoli’s Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti looks on during the... Photo by Antonio Balasco/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images

Premier League/England

Aston Villa 5-0 Liverpool: Dean Smith’s side overwhelm young Liverpool side - BBC Sport
Aston Villa overwhelm Liverpool’s youngest-ever starting line-up 5-0 at Villa Park to cruise into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

Liverpool Under-23s boss Neil Critchley defends naming youngest side - BBC Sport
Liverpool’s Under-23s boss Neil Critchley defends the club’s decision to play their youngest-ever side in the 5-0 defeat by Aston Villa in the League Cup.

Report reveals ridiculous clause in £14m Ancelotti Everton contract - Football365
Only Mourinho and Guardiola will earn more.

Carlo Ancelotti agrees deal with Everton to take over as manager | The Guardian
Carlo Ancelotti has agreed a deal to take over as Everton’s manager and may forgo money he is owed by Napoli to speed his appointment at Goodison Park.

Europe

Safety is the goal for this clásico as police gather amid political unrest | The Guardian
Security, more than sport, has been the focus of the buildup to this meeting between the world’s two biggest clubs.

Can Real Madrid and Barcelona forwards thrive in the age of pressing and transitions? | StatsBomb
In this new era of pressing, modern midfielders and forwards need different skill sets to defeat opponents.

How the underrated Rafinha conquered two continents and lifted 18 trophies at Bayern Munich
Underrated for much of his career, flying under the radar, the stats and the glory suggests that Rafinha is one of Brazil’s great modern full-backs.

Ronaldo’s agent slams Messi Ballon d’Or ‘injustice’
Jorge Mendes believes it was “an injustice” that the Ballon d’Or award was presented to Lionel Messi.

MLS/Americas

U.S. Soccer admits work-culture problem, outlines reforms
Now that president Carlos Cordeiro and the top brass at U.S. Soccer have admitted that there’s a problem, they have to prove they are actually fixing it, which should start next year.

Five foreign-based players MLS clubs should pursue this winter | SBI Soccer
The MLS offseason may be in full swing, but the silly season is only just beginning.

MLS announces Charlotte as 30th franchise, beginning play in 2021 | Pro Soccer USA
Charlotte Albion Wednesday FC Club de Futball will open play in 2021.

Columbus wanted soccer more than Austin did — and paid for it - News - The Columbus Dispatch - Columbus, OH
#SaveTheCrew is coming at a very large cost to the taxpayers of Columbus.

The story of the most famous photo shoot in American soccer history – The Athletic ($)
If you have yet to subscribe to the Athletic, let this amazing story be your prompt to do so.