Neymar’s last-gasp saves PSG

first_imgRelatedPosts Neymar bags two-match ban Neymar risks seven-game ban, Gonzalez 10 Neymar, four others sent off as Marseille grab rare win at PSG Neymar marked his return to action for Paris Saint-Germain for the first time in four months with a stunning overhead kick in injury time that gave his team a 1-0 win over Strasbourg on Saturday. The world’s most expensive player, resigned to another season in France after failing to get the move back to Barcelona he so desired, had been given a hostile reception by angry PSG fans throughout the match at the Parc des Princes. However, his acrobatic effort in the 92nd minute broke the deadlock and gave PSG a 1-0 win as they stay top of the Ligue 1 table. In an earlier match on Friday, Lyon slipped to a 2-2 draw at Amiens despite Moussa Dembele’s double as Mathieu Bodmer grabbed a late equaliser for the hosts. Sylvinho’s side have now managed just two points in their last three games. Lyon, who were considered PSG’s likeliest challengers for the title at the start of the season, host Thomas Tuchel’s men next weekend. They fell behind in only the seventh minute on Friday, as veteran former Lyon defender Christophe Jallet’s left-wing free-kick found its way into the far corner of the net to put Amiens ahead. But Dembele volleyed in an equaliser only two minutes later before producing an acrobatic effort to divert home Bertrand Traore’s cross in the 34th minute and make it five goals in as many league matches this term. Lyon suffered as Amiens struck in injury time. Substitute Bodmer, 36, diverted the ball into the bottom corner to snatch the home side a point. On Friday, Nigerian youngster Victor Osimhen also scored his fifth Ligue 1 goal of the season as Lille claimed a 2-1 win over Angers. The 20-year-old Osimhen netted the opener six minutes before half-time. Luiz Araujo’s fine individual strike in the 53rd minute doubled the lead for last season’s runners-up, who held on to take their third victory of the new campaign despite a late goal from Angers forward Stephane Bahoken. Osimhen, who scored doubles in previous home victories over Saint-Etienne and Nantes, took advantage of a dreadful error by visiting goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle to grab his goal.Tags: NeymarParc des PrincesParis Saint-GermainStrasbourglast_img read more

Continue reading

CR7 handed 700-goal Juve shirt

first_imgRelatedPosts Gambian pair gives Bologna unlikely win at Inter Milan Lukaku scores two late goals as Inter win at angry Bologna Paqueta banned for slapping referee Juventus presented Cristiano Ronaldo with a special Juventus shirt to commemorate the 700th goal of his career – shortly before he notched his 701st.The Portugal winger was awarded a Juve top before his side’s match against Bologna, which had the number ‘700’ printed on the back with his name above it.The shirt marked the feat, which Ronaldo achieved by scoring a penalty in his country’s 2-1 defeat to Ukraine on Tuesday.Being presented the shirt was a moment Ronaldo clearly cherished as he posted images of himself with the top on Instagram.Then, just 19 minutes into the Serie A clash, he picked up the ball and drove at the Bologna defence before firing a shot in at the near post to give Juventus the lead.Danilo Larangeira levelled for the visitors before Miralem Pjanic netted a winner in the second half to ensure Ronaldo could celebrate a victory alongside moving level with former Germany striker Gerd Muller’s career total.With that strike, only Josef Bican, Ferenc Puskas, Pele and Romario have managed more career goals than the former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger.And it was with those two clubs that Ronaldo has made the most impact at club level, netting 118 goals for United before a mammoth 450 strikes during his nine-year spell in the Spanish capital.Ronaldo’s penalty against Ukraine was his 95th strike for his country and therefore it appears that it is just a matter of time before the 34-year-old brings up a century of goals for Portugal.Tags: 700 goalsBolognaJuvuntuslast_img read more

Continue reading

EPL: Wounded Reds feast on Bournemouth

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Liverpool vs. Bournemouth Venue: Anfield Stadium Kick off: 1:30PMLiverpool will be looking to return to winning ways after an uncharacteristically poor spell of form when they welcome relegation-threatened Bournemouth to Anfield at lunchtime. Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost three of their last four games across all competitions but are firm favourites to get their campaign back on track against a Bournemouth side who sit inside the bottom three with 10 games of the season remaining. After a season of winning week after week and breaking records left, right and centre, Liverpool have finally suffered a slump in form since returning from the winter break. Debate as to whether Klopp’s side deserve to be regarded as among the best teams in English football history has been put on hold following a week in which they have seen their hopes of matching Arsenal’s Invincibles and Manchester United’s treble-winners ended. Tuesday night’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Stamford Bridge means that there are just two trophies left for Liverpool to fight for this season, and it may be difficult for the players to avoid having one eye on the must-win Champions League return leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. While their defence of the European crown remains up in the air, it still seems like only a matter of time before they regain their place as the champions of England, 30 years after lifting their 18th and most recent title. Last weekend’s shock 3-0 defeat to Watford – a result which statistically ranks among the biggest upsets in Premier League history – was undoubtedly a setback, but one which is unlikely to have a telling impact on the end result of the campaign with Liverpool still needing just 12 more points to guarantee the title. The loss does mean that they may not be able to wrap things up as early as they might have hoped, but if the top two continue to win from now on, then it means Liverpool would have the chance to clinch the title at the home of the current champions Manchester City on April 5. Regardless of the seemingly inevitable destination of the Premier League trophy, the recent defeats have thrown up issues which need correcting for Liverpool, most notably a sudden vulnerability in defence, which has seen Klopp’s side concede seven goals in their last three outings. Discounting the EFL Cup tie against Aston Villa when the Under-23 side played, that is as many goals as Liverpool had shipped in their previous 20 matches before then. It is the first time since August 2016 that Liverpool have conceded two or more goals in three consecutive games, and almost all of them have been down to individual defensive errors. There is also a concern at the other end considering the three recent defeats have all seen Liverpool fail to score; the Chelsea match was different as they created plenty of chances, but against both Atletico Madrid and Watford they looked short of ideas in the attacking third and managed only one shot on target in those two games combined. Indeed, the Watford loss was the first time Klopp’s side had drawn a blank in the league since March 2019 – 36 games ago – while they have not failed to score in successive top-flight outings since May 2018. Of course, the recent slump must be kept in the context of what has still been a season the likes of which we may never see again, but failure to pick up all three points against Bournemouth on Saturday would crank the pressure up a few more notches, particularly ahead of Atletico’s visit. Returning to Anfield should help them, though; while Liverpool have now lost three successive away games for the first time since November 2014, they have won their last 21 league outings in front of their own fans and are unbeaten in 54 stretching all the way back to April 2017. Another victory today would see Klopp’s class of 2019-20 surpass Bill Shankly’s 1972 team in terms of most consecutive home wins in English top-flight history, and given Bournemouth’s recent troubles on the road it would be another major surprise if that did not happen. The Cherries make the trip to Anfield having lost each of their last five away outings and eight of their last nine in the top flight, while no team have lost more games on their travels this season. Matters are more encouraging at home, where Bournemouth have only lost one of their last five league games, but their away form does not appear to put them in the best position to take advantage of a Liverpool side showing more signs of mortality than at any other stage of the campaign. Eddie Howe’s side have now slipped into the relegation zone despite faring better than Liverpool did against Chelsea in their last outing, earning a 2-2 draw against Frank Lampard’s side having scored twice in the space of three second-half minutes. Watford’s victory over Liverpool ensured that Bournemouth would end the weekend in the bottom three, incidentally, and Howe will no doubt be looking at the Hornets’ blueprint for inspiration of how to pull off a similar shock. Nigel Pearson’s side were similarly written off before ending the joint-longest winning run and second-longest unbeaten streak in English top-flight history, going on to record the biggest victory by a team inside the bottom three over top of the league since 1985. Emulating that achievement at Anfield is a much tougher test, of course, but the result will have at least given Bournemouth some belief, while Liverpool’s veil of invincibility has undoubtedly slipped in recent weeks. The Cherries may also draw encouragement from the fact that they have beaten both Chelsea and Manchester United already this season, although a visit to Anfield is an entirely different proposition right now. Bournemouth are likely to need one or two surprise results during the run-in, though, with Howe’s side still due to face six of the current top seven in their final 10 games of the campaign. Liverpool possible XI: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Bournemouth possible XI: Ramsdale, Stacey, S Cook, Ake, Smith, Billing, Lerma, L Cook, Fraser, C Wilson, King.Tags: Atletico MadridChelseaFA CupJurgen KloppManchester CityNigel PearsonUEFA Champions LeagueWatfordlast_img read more

Continue reading

Eberechi Eze: I won’t rush decision on Super Eagles

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Townsend: Eze’s an incredible talent Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze has given consideration to playing his international football with Nigeria, but said he is holding out on making a decision immediately.Eze has been on the radar of Nigeria for at least three years, without getting capped, and he was among a posse of players of Nigerian descent who were invited to train with the Super Eagles in March 2017 following a cancelled friendly with Burkina Faso. Ola Aina, one of the players in that training camp, has gone on to become a senior international, but Eze is still on the outside and has instead been called up for and represented England at under-21 level.But Eze, whose eye-catching performances in the English Championship had drawn praise from the likes of Graeme Souness, says he doesn’t “want to make any decision on my international career until it is time, until I feel like it is right”.“I don’t want to make a rush decision, as much as it would be a privilege to play for either,” Eze said on The Beautiful Game podcast.“It would be a great honour.”Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick said in December that he had met Eze and his parents, and was hoping the player would decide to join up with Nigeria as Gernot Rohr builds a squad for the 2022 World Cup. “I spoke to them,” Eze said on The Beautiful Game.“But again, I am just enjoying my football right now and I don’t want any added pressure on my mindset.“I don’t want to focus on the wrong things.“I want to focus on what has got me to this position, continue doing it and wherever it takes me, it takes me.”Eze’s stance seems to validate information from a Super Eagles source, who told ESPN in December that the player’s prospects of a move to an English Premier League club could be jeopardized by a rush decision. “There are very influential people who do not want him to switch allegiance,” the source told ESPN.—Tags: Amaju PinnickBurkina FasoEberechi EzeOla AinaSuper Eagleslast_img read more

Continue reading

Bruno Fernandes scoops Premier League awards

first_imgRelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Bruno Fernandes has taken English football by storm since his £68 million arrival and has been rewarded by winning back-to-back Premier League Player of the Month awards.The Portuguese star claimed June’s Premier League Player of the Month prize following a fantastic restart to the season with Manchester United. Fernandes has become United’s first back-to-back winner of the award since his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo all the way back in 2006.After clinching the award in his first full month in February, Fernandes has followed up his incredible form since the Premier League’s restart.Since the Premier League’s resumption last month, Fernandes has netted five goals, created three assists and produced 12 chances for his team-mates.The 25-year-old has been instrumental in United’s brilliant form of late, in which they have extended their unbeaten run to 17 games in all competitions.On Thursday, United became the first team in Premier League history to win four consecutive games by three goals or more, after they beat Aston Villa 3-0 away from home. Since making his debut against Wolves on February 1, Fernandes has been involved in 13 goals for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side – more than any other player during that time.United will be desperate for Fernandes to continue his fine form as they hunt down a crucial Champions League spot.The Red Devils currently sit fifth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth-placed Leicester and two adrift of Chelsea in third with four matches remaining.Tags: Bruno FernandesManchester UnitedPremier Leaguelast_img read more

Continue reading

Joe Aribo scoops Young Player, Goal of the season awards

first_imgRelatedPosts Joe Aribo vows to bounce back from injury Joe Aribo out of Super Eagles friendlies Gerrard gets Aribo, Leon Balogun boost Nigerian international, Joe Aribo, has been adjudged winner of Scottish League Young Player and the Goal of the season.The midfielder confirmed this via his Twitter handle, @J_Aribo19. Aribo tweeted: “Young player of the season, Goal of the season First place medal.“Thanks to God.”Meanwhile, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has hailed the “stunning” performances of the Nigerian during their pre-season matches.The midfielder found the back of the net in their victories over Motherwell and Coventry City and delivered impressive displays against Lyon and Nice.“During pre-season, we have been very considerate. Joe Aribo has been stunning,” Gerrard said in a pre-match conference. “Defensively we have looked solid and looked threatening going forward. Brandon Barker was looking great and a real threat during these matches also.”Aribo has been a key member of the Gers team since teaming up with the side last summer after turning down a contract extension with Charlton Athletic.The 24-year-old scored eight goals and provided eight assists in 45 appearances across all competitions during his debut season with the side.The 2019-20 Premiership campaign was abruptly ended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus across the world with Rangers finishing as runner-up behind champions Celtic.The midfielder has four caps for the Super Eagles since he made his debut for the West Africans against Ukraine in a friendly in September 2019. Aribo will be expected to play a key role for Nigeria during their Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers.Tags: Joe AriboScotlandlast_img read more

Continue reading

Coronavirus fears: Kyrgios withdraws from US Open

first_imgRelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 I was in best of forms before Tokyo Paralympics was postponed — Powerlifter Ejike Australian Nick Kyrgios has become the latest tennis player to withdraw from the US Open due to the coronavirus pandemic.The 25-year-old, who has been critical of fellow players for flouting lockdown rules, announced his withdrawal on social media. Competition is due to take place from August 31 to September 13.“I will not be playing this year at the US Open,” Kyrgios said.“It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport’s greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium.“But I’m sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you.“It’s my decision, like it or not.” During the video, Kyrgios said he had no problem with the US Open taking place, but called on tennis players to work together throughout the pandemic.He referenced Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria Tour, which was scheduled to take place in four nations in the Balkans in June.After a leg in Belgrade, Djokovic and other professionals were filmed dancing in a nightclub in the Serbian capital without any social distancing.New York City has been one of the cities hit worst during the coronavirus pandemic.Tags: CoronavirusLockdownNick KyrgiosUS Openlast_img read more

Continue reading

EPL: Everton set to compound West Brom woes

first_imgRelatedPosts Fulham keen on Lookman loan deal Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win EPL: Calvert-Lewin treble fires Everton past West Brom Two teams that suffered contrasting fortunes on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season will face off at Goodison Park at lunch time when Everton host West Bromwich Albion.Carlo Ancelotti’s side kicked off their campaign with an impressive 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur, whereas the newly-promoted Baggies were soundly beaten at home to Leicester City. For a number of years now, pre-season talk surrounding Everton has usually been regarding the subject of a possible top-six finish – something they have not gone on to achieve since the 2013-14 campaign.However, last weekend’s win at Spurs – their first away to one of the ‘big six’ since December 2013 – felt like a statement of their credentials this time around, with a world-class manager at the helm and a world star in James Rodriguez headlining some exciting summer business.Ancelotti threw all of his debutants in from the start against Tottenham and they all impressed, even if it was the more familiar faces of Lucas Digne and Dominic Calvert-Lewin who provided the assist and finish respectively for the only goal of the game.On paper, the trip to North London looks like Everton’s biggest test until they host champions Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on October 17, so there is every reason to be optimistic of a strong start to the campaign.The Toffees made it two wins and two clean sheets from two games across all competitions with a 3-0 triumph over Salford City in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night too, setting up a third-round clash at Fleetwood Town next week. West Brom were also 3-0 winners over League Two opposition in midweek as they eased past Harrogate Town at the Hawthorns, but their Premier League season got off to a much less successful start.Slaven Bilic’s side were on the other end of a 3-0 scoreline on the opening weekend as they shipped three second-half goals to lose to Leicester at home – a result which leaves them bottom of the table after matchday one.Of course, Bilic will stress to his side that Leicester were one of the best teams in the division last season and that their league standing after game week one does not mean anything, but it is still a position no team wants to be in.Today’s trip to Goodison is the Baggies’ only away assignment from five games in September and they will no doubt hope to resurrect the form which saw them pick up a joint league-high number of points and lose a joint league-low number of games on the road in the Championship last season.With Chelsea next up in the league after this match, any points on the board will be welcome for West Brom to get them off the mark as quickly as possible. Everton possible XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Gomez, Allan, Doucoure, Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. West Bromwich Albion possible XI: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, O’Shea, Townsend, Pereira, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangana, Robinson.Tags: Carlo AncelottiEnglish Premier LeagueEvertonWest Bromwich Albionlast_img read more

Continue reading

Kroenke has no plans to sell Arsenal

first_imgArsenal have received no contact over a potential takeover and owner Stan Kroenke would have no intention of selling his controlling stake, Press Association Sport understands. Kroenke pushed through his £430million-plus takeover in April 2011, and now holds 66.83% of the club to give him overall control. The Kroenke Sports Enterprise Group has a history of sustained involvement in all of his sporting interests in the United States, which include the Denver Nuggets of the NBA and the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL, as well as Major League Soccer club the Colorado Rapids. Uzbek oil magnate Alisher Usmanov remains Arsenal’s second largest shareholder with a 29.96% holding, but does not currently have a seat on the board. Reports suggest that, if successful in a potential takeover, the consortium – said to be backed by funds from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – would be ready to work with Usmanov’s Red & White Holdings to help drive the Gunners back to the top of European football, vowing to slash ticket prices and stop the sale of star players such as former captains Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. Arsenal, who have not won a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup, head to north-London rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon looking to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four, and securing Champions League qualification once again under manager Arsene Wenger – who has long championed the club’s self-sustaining policy and the need for UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play regulations. Reports have claimed a Middle East consortium are preparing a £1.5billion bid to buy out the Barclays Premier League club at around £20,000 a share. However, sources close to the Arsenal board on Sunday morning maintained there had been no approach, informal or otherwise, to the American owner, who remains “in it for the long term”. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Continue reading

Ferdinand hungry for more medals

first_imgRio Ferdinand will never be content with his massive medal collection. Ferdinand is about to embark on his 12th season at Manchester United, knowing his testimonial against Sevilla on August 9 will be the first game of the David Moyes era to be played at Old Trafford. With six Premier League titles, a Champions League and two League Cups to look back on after 432 appearances for the Red Devils, Ferdinand has every reason to be satisfied with himself. He is not though – not when he shares the same dressing room as Ryan Giggs. “I’m not happy with what I have won, not when I can look around at people in the changing room and know they have got more than me,” he said. “You always aim for the people above. That is what I did the day I walked through the door. I looked around and saw people with three, four, five titles and thought ‘I want to have that’. You set yourself targets all the time. I am never going to sit in that changing room and think ‘I am happy with what I have done’.” With Paul Scholes now retired, Ferdinand only trails Giggs in the medal stakes. Yet there are plenty just behind, including Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, who have all been involved in the last five title-winning campaigns. Even Jonny Evans has three, underlining the vast disparity in trophies between the United players and their new manager. Yet rather than intimidate Moyes, Ferdinand feels it will be an advantage to the Scot, who must navigate a particularly difficult start to the campaign whilst getting to grips with what many view as the impossible task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson. “The new manager is going to want to put his own imprint on the team. That is what you would expect as players. We are open-minded to that,” he said. “But hopefully the fact he has got people in there who know how to get the job done will give him a little bit of time. The team can be on auto-pilot, with the manager just tinkering with things to make sure it is done in the right way. “If we need to change tactics, that is when the manager comes into his own, with whatever training methods he wants to use. In terms of going out on a Saturday and getting games won, a lot of us have been doing it for years. That is why we have been here for so long and won so many things.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Continue reading