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.

England players v Germany

'Defeat laced with promise for England'

Read full article on Germany 1-0 England: 'Defeat - but a display laced with promise for England'

Gareth Southgate's first game as permanent England manager, following a four-game spell in interim charge, ended in defeat - but it was a loss with honour here in Germany.

The 46-year-old is charged with shaping the new era that was meant to be Sam Allardyce's province, but which ended after one World Cup qualifying win in Slovakia when the now Crystal Palace manager was caught in a newspaper sting.

Leicester fans

Could Leicester defy logic once again?

Read full article on Leicester reach Champions League quarter-finals and threaten to defy logic again

Leicester City delivered a new entry into their list of unlikely success stories with a stunning victory over Sevilla at the King Power Stadium that takes them into the Champions League quarter-finals.

The club and team that makes a habit of turning logic on its head did it again as high-flying La Liga side's 2-1 advantage from the first leg was overturned amid an atmosphere of passion and emotion that evoked memories of last season's Premier League title win.

Arsene Wenger

'Ominous signs Wenger is in last chapter'

Read full article on Arsene Wenger: Is Arsenal's Bayern Munich defeat end of the road?

Arsene Wenger stood in isolation and desolation in his technical area as the pain he suffers this time every year nagged away at him once more - but now it was accompanied by an inescapable feeling of finality.

As his Arsenal side dissolved and were brutally dispatched by Bayern Munich - once they awoke from 45 minutes of complacency - Wenger will have felt every goal, every added humiliation, like a blow to the solar plexus. Five second-half goals. Five more questions to ponder.

Leicester Lights

'A Leicester triumph tinged with regret'

Read full article on Leicester 3-1 Liverpool: 'A Foxes triumph tinged with regret about Ranieri'

Claudio Ranieri was relaxing in Rome on Monday following his sacking as Leicester manager nine months after an historic Premier League title win - but the Italian's presence was everywhere around the King Power Stadium as the Foxes dominated Liverpool on a night of high emotion.

Ranieri spent the day with his grandson at the Bioparco Zoo while the team he took to the title in arguably British sport's greatest story battled their way out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win against Liverpool.

Jose Mourinho

Is EFL Cup success the start of a new era for Man Utd?

Read full article on EFL Cup final: Does Manchester United win make season a success?

Jose Mourinho was back doing what he does best at Wembley on Sunday - lifting silverware, as Manchester United beat Southampton in the EFL Cup final.

Mourinho claimed the season's first major trophy and ensured success just months after his appointment despite a largely disappointing United performance which was rescued by two-goal inspiration Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Claudio Ranieri

Were Leicester right to sack Ranieri?

Read full article on Claudio Ranieri: Were Leicester right to sack title-winning manager?

When Claudio Ranieri - surrounded by his triumphant Leicester City squad - lifted the Premier League trophy at the King Power Stadium on 7 May last year, it concluded arguably the greatest story in British sport.

The Italian's first season in charge, following an appointment greeted with a wave of indifference, ended with a success that defied history, logic, the odds and the game's natural financial order, as he turned a Leicester team that narrowly avoided relegation into champions.

Sergio Aguero

'Man City need Aguero now more than ever'

Read full article on Sergio Aguero: Man City striker proves he is priceless against Monaco

Manchester City's heady mix of fantasy football and flawed defending was on display for all to see in the thrilling Champions League victory over Monaco at Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side were irresistible going forward and an open door at the back as they secured a 5-3 first-leg win in the last 16, the highest-scoring game at this stage of the tournament's 25-year history.

Jurgen Klopp

What is going wrong for Liverpool?

Read full article on Liverpool: What is going wrong for Jurgen Klopp and his team?

Liverpool's nightmare January reached rock bottom as they were dumped out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side have won only one game out of eight since the turn of the year - an unconvincing third-round replay win at League Two Plymouth - and the loss at home to a team lying 18th in the Championship leaves Liverpool's season at a tipping point.

Pedro, Claudio Bravo and Harry Kane

How Premier League top six is shaping up

Read full article on Premier League title race: How top six is shaping up

Chelsea's Premier League title rivals thought the door had been pushed ajar after a run on 13 straight wins ended at Tottenham and the new harmony under manager Antonio Conte was disturbed by Diego Costa.

The title pacesetters would always be able to recover from a bad result - but how would they cope with the exclusion of their firebrand top scorer after a training ground bust-up and suggestions of interest from China?

Graham Taylor

'An outstanding manager and one of the nicest men in the game'

Read full article on Graham Taylor obituary: Ex-England boss a fount of knowledge and a true gentleman

Graham Taylor will be remembered by many for his unfulfilling spell in charge of England - but by plenty more as an outstanding club manager at Watford and Aston Villa and one of the nicest, most genuine men in the game.

The reaction to Taylor's death on Thursday at the age of 72, and the affection expressed for him, was the true measure of his standing inside and outside football.