Football

Evening report: December 18

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Jack Wilshere felt Arsenal answered some of their critics with a 5-2 demolition of Reading at the Madejski stadium last night. (Sky Sports)

Arsene Wenger and his team had come under intense scrutiny following their shock Capital One Cup defeat at Bradford last week - but they re-discovered some of their free-flowing spirit in a morale-boosting performance.

Senior figures at Manchester City have told manager Roberto Mancini to leave striker Mario Balotelli out of the team over Christmas as punishment for his recent behaviour. (Daily Mail)

The Italian is taking the Premier League champions to a tribunal later this week - accusing the club of unfairly fining him £340,000 for poor discipline.

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri wants to be reunited with midfielder Frank Lampard at French second division side Monaco. (Daily Mail)

The 34-year-old has been told his Stamford Bridge contract will not be renewed when it expires next summer.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says there is no value in the January transfer window and has ruled out making any new signings in the new year. (Sky Sports)

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele says he is 'totally different' to Luka Modric. (Sky Sports)

The Belgian has been earning rave reviews since his £15million arrival at White Hart Lane in August, but does not want to be seen as an exact replica of the former Spurs star.

And finally, Barcelona striker David Villa could be on his way to the Premier League in January. (Daily Mail)

The 31-year-old forward has also fallen out of favour with manager Tito Vilanova, who has used the likes of Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello in attack this season.

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