Monday, 18 October 2021

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Sports

Sports (320)

Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi netted two goals against his old club Sunday as Union Berlin fought from a goal down to beat Mainz 2-1 and continue their fine start to the Bundesliga season.

Awoniyi struck twice in four minutes in the second half to give high-flying Union their first away win of the season and fire them up to seventh in the table.

After a sluggish first half with few chances at either end, it was Union loanee Marcus Ingvartsen who gave Mainz the lead shortly before the break.

A mistake from Union midfielder Genki Haraguchi allowed the home side to launch a lightning-quick attack down the left, and the unmarked Ingvartsen stroked Karim Onisiwo’s low cross inside the near post.

But it was former Mainz striker Awoniyi who had the last laugh as Union bounced back after the break.

Having missed a handful of chances throughout the game, the Nigerian levelled the scores with a cool finish on the counter-attack 20 minutes from time.

A few minutes later, the 24-year-old scored an almost carbon copy of his equaliser to put Union ahead, once again latching onto a long ball and holding off the Mainz back line before slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Posted On Monday, 04 October 2021 00:56 Written by

Premier League giants Manchester United have, on Friday evening, confirmed when recent addition Cristiano Ronaldo is set to link up with the rest of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.

CR7 returns

A fine summer all told on the red half of Manchester of course came to a spectacular head this day last week.

As if the high-profile additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane were not enough, those in a position of power at Old Trafford set the world of football alight with their third and final reinforcement to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.

The player brought in? 5-time Ballon d’Or winner and Reds prodigal son Cristiano Ronaldo.

After the Portuguese made clear his desire to depart Serie A heavyweights Juventus on the back of three seasons in Turin, United swooped decisively for his signature, beating out competition from neighbours Man City.

In turn, Ronaldo put pen to paper on a two-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams, coming full circle on the back of a 12-year spell away from the club.

CR7 latest

Excitement, in turn, has since inevitably begun to spread throughout the Red Devils’ fanbase.

Ronaldo has been tipped to potentially make his 2nd United bow as early as next weekend, when Solskjaer and co. welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford.

And, if the latest word stemming from the club’s official website is anything to go by, then such a possibility cannot be ruled out.

In a post across their social media platforms on Friday evening, Manchester United revealed a series of photos of their latest addition touching down in Manchester.

The 36-year-old was subsequently greeted by ex-teammate Darren Fletcher in a private airport terminal, before, crucially, an insight into exactly when he is expected to begin training with his new club was forthcoming.

As per the announcement:

‘Cristiano is now preparing to begin training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at Carrington next week.’

Posted On Saturday, 04 September 2021 16:18 Written by

Cristiano Ronaldo completed a medical in Lisbon over the weekend ahead of his return to Manchester United and has reportedly agreed personal terms on a two-year contract with the Premier League club, according to Sky Sports.

United said last week they had agreed a deal to re-sign Ronaldo from Juventus after he told the Serie A club he had no intention of staying, but the transfer was still subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical.

The clubs have yet to confirm the Portugal forward’s transfer. The Premier League’s summer transfer window closes tonight at 2200 GMT.

Sky reported the fee agreed for the 36-year-old Portuguese was around 15 million euros ($17.70 million) plus a further eight million euros in add-ons.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relishing Ronaldo’s return and said on Sunday that the announcement would be made once the paperwork was done.

With the league paused for the international break, Ronaldo is expected to play his first game when United host Newcastle United at old Trafford on Sept. 11.

Ronaldo won eight major trophies at United from 2003-2009, and the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player in 2008, before sealing a then world record 80 million-pound ($110.1 million) move to Real Madrid.

Posted On Tuesday, 31 August 2021 04:06 Written by

Chelsea are confident of landing the signature of Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku with a final bid, reputed journalist Fabrizio Romano claims.

The Blues have been locked in negotiations with the Nerazzurri for the Belgian. They recently submitted an £85 million offer plus Marcos Alonso that was rejected.

Inter prefer a straight cash deal for a reported fee of around £102m. It is now reported that the Blues are confident of landing the marksman in the next few days.

Sportslens view:

The west London giants have been impressive in pre-season, but there has been a similar situation up front with their tendency to squander clear-cut chances.

Lukaku, who bagged 30 goals and 10 assists last term, would provide an ideal solution for manager Thomas Tuchel as the club look to mount a title challenge.

The Belgian was initially happy to stay with Inter next season, but his stance has changed recently after learning about the interest from the Blues.

He believes he has unfinished business at the club. Lukaku was previously with the Blues between 2011 and 2014 but hardly made a mark for them.

The 28-year-old spent two seasons away from the club before he left them permanently for Everton. The Blues attempted to sign him three years later but failed to do so.

Manchester United hijacked the deal at the final hurdle. Lukaku has since joined Inter, where he has played well over the past two seasons.

It looks increasingly likely that they will get their hands on Lukaku this time around with just a £17m difference in the valuation between the clubs.

Posted On Saturday, 07 August 2021 21:28 Written by

The club announced the departure of its highest goal scorer in a statement on his website on Thursday evening.

It reads: “Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”

Posted On Friday, 06 August 2021 00:57 Written by

Surprise French champions Lille beat Cup winners Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the Champions Trophy season curtain raiser in balmy Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Portuguese midfielder Xeka scored the winner just before half-time with an unstoppable strike from outside the penalty area that left PSG stopper Keylor Navas no chance.

“We showed who we are and we deserve this trophy,” said Xeka.

“A few months after the league title we can all celebrate this new one. Work pays, and that’s how we intend to continue.”

Having won the previous eight Champions Trophy matches, PSG arrived in Tel Aviv Saturday without Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel di Maria as well as new star signings Spanish defender Sergio Ramos and Italian ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

A positive test for Covid-19 ruled out PSG midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

There was a lively debut for Georginio Wijnaldum signed from Liverpool on a free transfer and who came on with twenty minutes to play.

PSG had their chances and Mauro Icardi had the ball in the Lille goal on 76 minutes, twisting a deft clip from close range, but what would have been a peach of an equaliser was ruled off side.

Lille brought a strong side and took the game to the Parisians, who they pipped to the French title last season by a single point in a tense run-in.

New Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec thanked his predecessor Christophe Galtier for his work and said the new title was partly his too.

“PSG play an amazing technical game, but our lads were ready athletically and our collective play was tight. The team knows what it’s doing,” he said.

The match was the first domestic football aired in France by streaming giant Amazon.

Some 27,500 fans were on hand to see the game at Bloomfield Stadium, home of Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv, on a baking evening with regular water breaks for players with the temperature at 29C (84F.)

Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams brought the French season-opener to Israel.

The entrepreneur who runs the cycling outfit Israel Start-Up Nation said the host nation would emerge a winner from staging the contest.

Posted On Sunday, 01 August 2021 22:47 Written by

By Ifeanyi Ibeh 30 July 2021 | 6:18 am/ GUARDIAN.NG

…It’s the first time two Nigerians will be racing in the 100m semis since 2012

For the first time since 2012, two Nigerian athletes will be running in the semifinals of the women’s 100m after Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats Friday in Tokyo, Japan.

Nwokocha had to run a new personal best of 11.00 seconds to secure her qualification to the semis in what is her debut Olympic Games.

The 20-year-old has also moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90), Mary Onyali (10.97), and Damola Osayomi (10.99.

The Nigerian-based athlete, who ran 11.09s personal best at the time, back in March, to secure her qualification for the Olympics at the MOC Grand Prix in Lagos, will, however, need to make further history by breaking the 11-second barrier to stand a chance of joining Onyali and Okagbare as debutants who ran to the final of the 100m event.

She has been drawn to run from lane nine in the third semifinal heat with the fastest woman alive, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, Daryl Neita of Great Britain, Teahna Daniels of the USA and fellow African, Muriel Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast.

While Nwokocha qualified for her first semifinal, Okagbare will be running in her third since she made her debut in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The 32-year-old ran 11.05 seconds to win her first-round heat.

She has been drawn in the first semifinal heat alongside two heavyweights of the event, defending champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, who ran 10.82s to win her first-round heat, and Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, the 200m world champion two years ago in Doha, Qatar, who ran 11.07s to come second in her first-round heat.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics long jump silver medallist will be in action at exactly 11.15 am Nigerian time on Saturday.

Posted On Friday, 30 July 2021 23:02 Written by

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on Saturday, has provided a brief update on the status of the club’s contract negotiations with Paul Pogba.

Sancho in/Varane to follow?

Ongoings on the red half of Manchester have of course taken centre stage in the media of late.

This comes as Solskjaer and co. go about building a squad capable of mounting a sustained challenge for the Premier League title over the season to come.

Thus far, the most high-profile arrival at Old Trafford has come in the form of Jadon Sancho, after the Red Devils finally struck a deal with Borussia Dortmund worth a fee believed to be in the region of 73 million pounds.

The board at the Theatre of Dreams, though, look far from ready to rest on their laurels.

Moves for both a midfielder and defender have also been touted, with the current favourite to fill the role of the latter coming in the form of Real Madrid stalwart Raphael Varane.

Pogba latest

As such, it goes without saying that things are looking up at Old Trafford ahead of the 2021/22 campaign getting underway.

Continuous speculation surrounding the future of key midfielder Paul Pogba has therefore come as something of a surprise.

Recent weeks have seen media reports push the narrative that the World Cup winner is leaning away from putting pen to paper on a new United contract, despite the club finally beginning to build a squad around him which looks capable of challenging for major honours.

The current favourites to land Pogba, meanwhile, come in the form of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite having already added the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Achraf Hakimi to the club’s ranks this summer, it has been suggested that the French giants remain keen to lure Pogba back to his home country.

On Saturday, however, one particular section of the PSG faithful have made crystal clear their feelings regarding the possibility of the United star joining the club.

Posted On Saturday, 24 July 2021 22:31 Written by

By: Hans Themistode

Unlike previous opponents, Jermell Charlo found Brian Castano a much more difficult combatant to deal with.

The two stood mostly toe to toe at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas last night. On the line, was Charlo’s WBC, WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine 154 pound titles – while Castano pushed his WBO belt to the middle of the table in a winner take all contest.

After appearing to fall behind early on the cards, Charlo rallied back in the second half of their contest. Still, the Houstonian’s comeback fell short of his desired results as he was forced to settle for a split decision draw.

While he was unhappy with the results, Charlo promises that in the sequel, he’ll be sure to place an exclamation point on his performance.

“I think I knock him out in the rematch,” said Charlo during an interview with FightHype.com following the draw.

Charlo’s prediction of a stoppage win in their inevitable rematch almost came to fruition last night. In the second, tenth and throughout the entirety of their showdown, Charlo visibly stunned his man. Admittedly, Castano tipped his cap to his Charlo and confirmed that he was in fact buzzed and needed time to recover.

In terms of the total body of work, Castano had the slight edge. The Argentinian native threw more punches, 586 to 533 and landed more, 173 to 151.

At times, Charlo was pressed against the ropes with nowhere to go. He would then cover up as Castano unloaded bombs in his direction. The unified 154-pound titlist didn’t result to letting his hands go, however. Instead, he picked his spots and landed the more powerful shots throughout.

While he’s incredulous at the way the fight was scored overall, Charlo still flashed a bright smile as he walked away with his world titles still tucked safely underneath his arms. Although Charlo has always opted for punch placement and timing as opposed to throwing countless shots, in the predestined rematch, the Houston native fully intends on coming out a bit more aggressive.

“I’ll be way more active, way more stronger and have way more confidence.”

Posted On Sunday, 18 July 2021 21:54 Written by

An insight into those present in Arsenal’s pre-season squad, and the club’s plans for their upcoming tour of Scotland, has been forthcoming on Monday.

Emirates influx?

Mikel Arteta’s men are of course currently ramping up preparations for the new season.

After enduring something of a nightmare campaign last time out, which saw the Gunners stutter to an 8th-placed Premier League finish, all associated with the club will no doubt have their sights set considerably higher for 2021/22.

To this point in the summer, the vast majority of the chatter when it comes to ongoings on the red half of North London has surrounded potential additions to Arteta’s ranks.

This comes with the Arsenal boss evidently of the opinion that his side remains in need of significant reinforcement, if a top-4 challenge is to develop next time out.

Links, thus far, have revolved chiefly around defenders and central midfielders, with deals for both Brighton star Ben White and Anderlect talent Sambi Lokonga understood to be close to completion:

First look at Tavares

What, though, of those already part of the Gunners’ squad?

Well, as outlined above, on Monday, an insight has been provided into the panel of players set to travel with Arteta and the club’s coaching staff as part of an upcoming trip to Scotland.

As confirmed by the reliable Charles Watts of Goal.com, amongst the travelling continent are:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe, Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares, Rob Holding, Sead Kolasinac, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari.

Other noteworthy inclusions come in the form of Joe Willock, fresh off a thoroughly impressive loan stint with Newcastle United, January signing Omar Rekik (if his latest Instagram stories are anything to go by) and recent addition Nuno Tavares.

In the case of the latter, whose Emirates switch was made official over the weekend, it is added that the Portuguese is likely to be handed his first-team debut in a friendly meeting with Hibernian on Tuesday night.

Arsenal will round out their 5-day trip up north in a meeting with Rangers on Saturday.

Posted On Tuesday, 13 July 2021 01:03 Written by
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