From the Back Pages, December 5:

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Manchester City pulled off quite a coup on Tuesday when they signed 14-year-old Brahim Abdelkader from Malaga because he has been talked about in Spain as the new Lionel Messi. And much of that talk has come from people at Barcelona who remember the Argentine arriving in Catalonia at a similar age. (The Independent)

When even Nicklas Bendtner is scoring goals, surely it is time to start believing Arsenal are genuine title contenders. The much-derided striker has waited two and a half years for a Premier League start in an Arsenal shirt, yet it took him just 95 seconds to score on Wednesday night. (Daily Mail)

Only a true footballing magician could even conceive a hat-trick of hat-tricks, but that’s exactly the sorcery Luis Suarez conjured up last night. The Liverpool striker delivered a stunning treble against poor Norwich for the third time in just four games against them... and then added a fourth just for good measure. (Mirror)

For David Moyes, the night was overflowing with indignities. He can be sure now what Everton’s supporters make of him after a caustic burst of chanting from the away end and there must be something deeply troubling from his perspective about the fact Everton, finally, have reminded themselves what it is like to win at Old Trafford. Moyes, remember, never managed it, nor at Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool, in 46 league attempts. (The Guardian)

Premier League campaigns are never won in December but many decisive battles are and this was an important victory at the start of a pivotal month for Chelsea, a win masterminded by the brilliant Eden Hazard. (The Telegraph)

The career of Gerard Butler lay in ruins last night after he was disqualified for five years. The trainer will attract little sympathy after committing a string of rule breaches that, most recklessly, included injecting four horses with anabolic steroids himself. (The Times)

ARSENAL and Manchester City have both declared an interest in signing former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra in January. (The Express)