From the Back Pages, December 12: Strip storm as adidas stops Ashley’s Sports Direct from selling Chelsea kit next season

From the back pages

From the back pages

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One of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s key businesses has suffered a blow after adidas has stopped retailer Sports Direct from selling Chelsea replica kit next season. (Daily Mail)

There has been disappointment, pressure and early inquests this season for Tottenham Hotspur, but this was all about fun, freedom of expression and entertainment as a hat-trick from Roberto Soldado and a strike from Lewis Holtby secured an uncomplicated win for André Villas-Boas in preparation for the match at home to Liverpool on Sunday. (The Times)

Swansea reached the knockout stages of the Europa League despite a disappointing defeat in the fog and cold of St Gallen. (The Telegraph)

Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat at Napoli on Wednesday night cost them winning Group F and progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League as a top seed, but Gunners’ defender Per Mertesacker is looking forward to facing one of Europe’s top teams in the next phase. (The Independent)

Paul Scholes’ retirement from football ranked higher on the Twitter trending list than the anointing of Pope Francis, according to the site’s end of year figures. (The Mirror)

WIGAN have failed to progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League after losing 2-1 to Maribor on Thursday evening. (The Express)

Alastair Cook has described the third Test as “do or die” for England, though the captain’s cause was immediately hindered when Monty Panesar suffered an injury scare to further complicate England’s delicate selection process. (The Guardian)