Phil McNulty

Chief football writer

Analysis and opinion from our chief football writer

About Phil

Phil has covered football on regional and national newspapers since... Read more about Phil McNulty the late 80s and has been BBC Sport's Chief Football Writer since July 2000.

He has covered World Cups for the BBC in Japan and South Korea, Germany and South Africa as well as European Championships in France, Portugal and Poland and Ukraine.

Born in Liverpool, Phil attended De La Salle Grammar School which later had England striker Wayne Rooney as its most famous ex-pupil.

Phil's main brief is covering the Premier League, England and the Champions League and he can also be heard giving his analysis on BBC Radio 5 live, Radio Four and the World Service.

He has been included in the UK Press Gazette's list of the top 50 UK sports journalists.

Spurs player celebrate

'Spurs silence doubters on night not to be forgotten'

Read full article on Tottenham beat Man City in Champions League: 'Spurs silence doubters on night not to be forgotten'

Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola were so overcome by the nerve-shredding tension of this night that their only answer was to start shedding clothes.

Tottenham boss Pochettino's trademark black coat was hurled amid the drama of Raheem Sterling's disallowed injury-time strike while Manchester City counterpart Guardiola emerged from the same melee minus his stylish grey cardigan.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Paul Pogba

'The baby-faced assassin must be ruthless'

Read full article on Barcelona 3-0 Man Utd: 'The baby-faced assassin must now be ruthless'

Manchester United's last trophy arrived with a routine Europa League final triumph over Ajax in Stockholm two years ago. Events in Barcelona and Turin on Tuesday showed how times have changed.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's fifth defeat in eight matches saw United outclassed by Barcelona in the Nou Camp, while Ajax evoked the grandest traditions of the Amsterdam academy to beat Juventus on their own turf and deservedly reach the Champions League's last four.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez

'Man Utd left to rely on unlikely Nou Camp miracle'

Read full article on Man Utd 0-1 Barcelona: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer relying on another Nou Camp miracle

Manchester United will summon up spirits and omens from far and wide as they go in search of a second Champions League miracle in Barcelona - but the bottom line is a brutal one.

This Manchester United team cannot consider itself anywhere near Europe's elite and the freakish events that saw United claw back a 2-0 home loss to overcome Paris St-Germain in the last 16 rarely strike twice.

Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola

How Pochettino outgunned Guardiola

Read full article on Champions League: Pep Guardiola gets it wrong as Mauricio Pochettino takes first blood

Pep Guardiola called Manchester City's performance "incredible" as they lost at Tottenham on Tuesday. With the greatest of respect to this magnificent manager, it was not the only thing he got wrong on this night.

Spurs may have the narrowest of advantages to take to Etihad Stadium after their Champions League quarter-final first leg, but no-one can seriously dispute that their victory was fully deserved.

Watford players celebrate

'Watford and Wolves stage FA Cup classic'

Read full article on Watford and Wolves rise to occasion to stage FA Cup classic

The FA Cup has still got it. Try as some might to kill it off and downgrade its significance, Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers produced a classic Wembley semi-final as a reminder that this great old competition can still touch all the sport's senses.

Watford's remarkable victory that confirmed their return to meet Manchester City in their first final since 1984 on 18 May, had all the classic FA Cup ingredients.

Jurgen Klopp

Is fate taking Liverpool to the title?

Read full article on Liverpool: Is fate taking Jurgen Klopp's side to title after win over Spurs?

Liverpool have been showered in plaudits for the past two seasons as Jurgen Klopp's side have illuminated the Premier League and Champions League with a thrilling all-action style.

Klopp's attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino remains the focal point and most eye-catching aspect of Liverpool's team, but this alone does not lead to one defeat in 32 Premier League games this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Why Solskjaer appointment is a big gamble

Read full article on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appointed Man Utd boss, but is it the right decision?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's coronation as Manchester United's new manager is merely confirmation of the inevitable - but still represents an unlikely line of succession following Jose Mourinho's sacking.

The 46-year-old Norwegian's superb work in reviving Manchester United's top-four hopes in the Premier League and leading them to a Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona after a remarkable comeback against Paris St-Germain positioned him as the only candidate in town.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

'Hudson-Odoi thrills for England – but embarrasses Sarri'

Read full article on Callum Hudson-Odoi sends message to Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri

Callum Hudson-Odoi's full England debut brought joy to Gareth Southgate - and hopefully a measure of embarrassment to Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

Southgate has shown more faith in 18-year-old Hudson-Odoi in 10 days than Sarri has shown all season at Stamford Bridge, an instant elevation from England's Under-21 squad followed by a debut as a substitute against the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday then a first start in Montenegro.

England players celebrate

'Exciting, mobile and modern – England live up to the hype'

Read full article on England 5-0 Czech Republic: Gareth Southgate's side live up to the hype

England's years of living down to expectations are over - now the difficult part will be keeping a lid on the rising hopes and anticipation surrounding Gareth Southgate's exciting young side.

The euphoria of a surprise run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia was tempered by the sense of a missed opportunity after they were beaten in extra time by Croatia in Moscow and failed to reach their first final for 52 years.

Jadon Sancho

Could England evolution push World Cup heroes to margins?

Read full article on England v Czech Republic: Could evolution push World Cup heroes to margins?

"Golden Generation" is the phrase that should never speak its name again when projecting England's future - the ultimate over-exaggeration for international underachievers.

England's collection of world-class club players such as Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen, along with the Manchester United quartet of Gary Neville, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, all felt the weight of the millstone as they came up short at major tournaments.