Friday, 24 September 2021



Sports (319)

Two goals from teenager Nicolo Zaniolo earned AS Roma a 2-1 win against FC Porto in their UEFA Champions League last 16 first leg fixture on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old continued his superb breakthrough season by finding the net twice in six second half minutes to become the youngest Italian to score two goals in a Champions League match.

FC Porto substitute Adrian Lopez, however, quickly responded with what could prove to be a crucial away goal.

The result ended a five-match winning run in Europe for FC Porto, who will welcome Roma to the Estadio do Dragao for the second leg on March 6. (Reuters/NAN)

Posted On Wednesday, 13 February 2019 04:37 Written by

Sergio Aguero was Manchester City’s hat-trick hero again as they returned to the top of the Premier League in scintillating style by outclassing Chelsea at Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool’s win against Bournemouth meant Pep Guardiola’s side needed victory to return to the summit, albeit having played one game more.

And their job was done after a sensational opening burst brought four goals in the first 25 minutes as Chelsea were left bedraggled, humiliated and on the receiving end of their worst defeat since they lost 7-0 at Nottingham Forest in April 1991, BBC reports.

The rout started after four minutes when Chelsea were caught napping by Kevin De Bruyne’s quick free-kick which left Raheem Sterling to fire in at the far post before Aguero, who had already missed an open goal, curled a magnificent right-foot finish past the stretching Kepa Arrizabalaga from 25 yards.

Chelsea’s embarrassment was symbolised by Ross Barkley’s inexplicable header straight to the feet of Aguero to poach his second and Ilkay Gundogan capped that early blitz with a low drive.

Aguero completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after 56 minutes following Cesar Azpilicueta’s foul on Sterling, his 15th treble for City and a record-equalling 11th in the Premier League, an honour he shares with Alan Shearer. It was also his second in successive home games after his hat-trick in the 3-1 win against Arsenal.

Sterling then piled on the agony for Chelsea with the sixth, turned in from six yards after David Silva’s threaded pass released Oleksandr Zinchenko down the left.

Posted On Monday, 11 February 2019 03:07 Written by
Paul Pogba produced another superb display as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it 11 games unbeaten since becoming Manchester United manager with a 3-0 win at Fulham.

With Chelsea not in action until Sunday when they travel to Manchester City, United knew victory would bring them up to fourth place for the first time since August — and they ensured they would finish the day in the Champions League positions thanks to a Pogba double and a brilliant solo effort from Anthony Martial.

Solskjaer, with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, started with Romelu Lukaku in attack as in-form Marcus Rashford was dropped on the bench.

It was Fulham who started the game stronger and should have taken the lead when Luciano Vietto squandered a brilliant chance inside two minutes. The home side created more chances with Andre Schurrle shooting over from seven yards.

And they were made to pay for their profligacy when Pogba gave United the lead on 14 minutes. Martial played his France teammate in and Pogba rifled an effort past goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who would have been disappointed to be beaten at his near post.

United doubled their lead on 23 minutes when Martial showed shades of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous late winner at Craven Cottage in 2007. The former Monaco man picked the ball up inside his own half and ran through the Fulham defence before finishing neatly in Rico’s far corner.

The visitors looked to get a third before half-time and Phil Jones almost got himself on the scoresheet when he fired just over from the edge of the box after Fulham failed to clear a corner.

Manchester United’s goal scoring heroes Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba celebrate going 2-0 ahead. Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

Fulham were lucky not to be a man down just before interval when Calum Chambers received just a yellow card for an apparent stamp on United defender Chris Smalling.

The hosts, who started the day seven points from safety, looked unlikely to mount any sort of comeback — and the game was put to bed as a contest on 65 minutes when Pogba scored his second from penalty spot after Juan Mata had been fouled in the box.

Fulham fans made their feelings clear as they booed Schurrle when he was replaced by Cyrus Christie on 53 minutes and applauded the decision to take off Ryan Babel on 77 minutes after the Netherlands international had hit the post from point blank range.

Next up for United is a huge midweek clash with PSG, while Fulham travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham on Friday.

Posted On Saturday, 09 February 2019 20:58 Written by

Hertha Berlin captain Vedad Ibisevic sees Wednesday’s German Cup clash against Bayern Munich as a “mini final” with the hosts hoping to topple the Bavarian giants again.

Ibisevic scored when Hertha shocked Bayern 2-0 in the Bundesliga last September and the last-16 tie at the Olympic Stadium offers a chance to deal last season’s finalists Bayern an early exit.

Ibisevic, 34, is out of contract in June, but the veteran striker has netted 10 goals this season and took heart from seeing Bayern suffer their fourth league defeat of the campaign at Bayer Leverkusen last Saturday.

“This feels like a mini final for us,” said Ibisevic. “You can see that they have lost points this year that they wouldn’t have given away normally.

“Of course, it gives us hope that they could slip up again, so we know what’s possible.”

Bayern hope to have Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer back between the posts, but playing with a plastic cast on his right hand after damaging his thumb in training last week.

Berlin’s Olympic Stadium has been an unhappy hunting ground for Bayern on their most recent visits, losing last May’s German Cup final 3-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt before the defeat by Hertha.

Ibisevic firmly sees his team as the underdogs even though Berlin last lost to Bayern in September 2016.

“We don’t need to talk about being the favourites here, they are an opponent who are one of the top teams in Europe.”

The Hertha-Bayern clash is the tie of the round, while Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund play on Tuesday at home to Werder Bremen.

“If they have a good day, you’re 3-0 down,” said Hertha coach Pal Dardai, who refused to read too much into Bayern’s defeat at Leverkusen.

“Now they have lost once, doesn’t mean they are bad.”

Dardai expects a tight match, but insists penalty practice has not been on the programme in training, saying “we don’t practise those extra anymore”.

German Cup last-16 fixtures


Hamburg v Nuremberg, Heidenheim v Bayer Leverkusen (1730 GMT), Duisburg v Paderborn, Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen (1945)


Kiel v Augsburg, RB Leipzig v Wolfsburg (1730), Schalke v Fortuna Duesseldorf, Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich (1945)

Posted On Wednesday, 06 February 2019 03:49 Written by

Spanish giants, Barcelona Football Club, on Thursday confirmed the signing of Nigeria international Asisat Oshoala on loan from Chinese Women’s Super League outfit Dalian Quanjian.

According to reports on the club’s official website, the 24-year-old completed her move after passing her medical on Thursday, before signing her contract at the Camp Nou.

Oshoala was quoted on the club’s official handle as saying that she was delighted to have signed for one of the best football clubs in the world.

“This is obviously one of the best clubs in the world. The team has a great history and wonderful football mentality.

“I am excited about playing with Vicky Losada again. She’s a great midfielder, with a lot of energy and skill. I also met Fabiana in China and she helped me to make this decision”.

“My goal is to strengthen the team and help them to win and make history. This is a fantastic opportunity because I’m sure something big will happen here,” Oshoala said.

Oshoala, three-times African Women’s Footballer of the Year, will now provide an extra attacking option for Lluis Cortes’ side, who are currently placed second in the Primera Division.

Blaugranes are two points behind Atletico Madrid and six points above third-placed Levante.

She has been handed Jersey No. 20 and is in line for her debut when Barcelona host Albacete on Sunday.

Posted On Friday, 01 February 2019 03:54 Written by

Juventus has extended its unbeaten run in Serie A after Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty secures all three points for the champions.

Lazio dominated play, but it was Juventus that did the scoring, winning 2-1.

Emre Can’s 59th minute own goal gave Lazio the lead. It was a goal Lazio deserved as they mounted pressure on Juventus all day.

Juventus failed to deal with a corner which was flicked on at the front post by Wallace and Emre Can reacted by inadvertently knocking the ball into his own net.

The Olimpico erupted and it seemed Juventus’ unbeaten run was about to end.

Joao Cancelo’s 73 minutes goal brought Juventus back into the game.

Max Allegri’s final change proved dividends. Another sub – Federico Bernardeschi – beat Bastos down the left and plays a cross in for Paulo Dybala but the first-time effort was saved by Thomas Strakosha.

Full-back Joao Cancelo was on hand to convert.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a sublime penalty on 89 minute after a Juventus player was brought down.

Having not had a sniff all game, Ronaldo stepped up and leathered a penalty straight down the middle and into the roof of the net. It was over and Juventus remain unbeaten.

Posted On Monday, 28 January 2019 02:48 Written by

• Thembi Kgatlana named Women's best

Egyptian striker Mohamed Salah was voted as the African Footballer of the Year for the second successive year at the Confederation of African Football’s 2018 awards ceremony in Dakar on Tuesday.

Salah beat fellow nominees, Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

He edged the same two players last year in a vote decided by the technical directors and head coaches of 56 CAF member associations.

Salah becomes the fourth African after El Hadji Diouf, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure to win the award back to back.

The award caps yet another remarkable year for Salah, who boasts of 13 goals in the English Premier League to help the Reds lead the log.

The 26-year-old was named the Premier League Player of the Year and ranked high in Goal 50, Fifa Best Awards and Ballon d’Or.

Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa beat Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Franseca Ordega to pick up the Women’s Player of the Year gong, while the Super Falcons were named Women’s National team of the Year. Mauritania edged Uganda and fellow AFCON debutantes Madagascar for the Men’s National Team of the Year award.

Posted On Wednesday, 09 January 2019 02:15 Written by

Jamie Vardy’s 58th minute strike gave Leicester City a 1-0 win at Everton on Tuesday and condemned the Merseysiders to their fourth defeat in five English Premier League games.

Leicester boss Claude Puel made four changes from the team which lost to Cardiff City on Saturday, including leaving midfielder James Maddison on the bench.

Also, Marco Silva recalled Brazilian Richarlison to his starting line-up.

After a poor first half, the decisive goal came when Everton defender Michael Keane mis-controlled the ball to Ricardo Pereira, who sent Vardy through.

The striker made no mistake with a low drive past Jordan Pickford, before celebrating with a cartwheel in front of the travelling Foxes’ fans.

Gylfi Sigurdsson blasted over from a promising position for Everton, but Leicester should have doubled their lead when Harry Maguire somehow missed the target from point-blank range.

Everton, with just one win from their last eight games, have now failed to win in their last four home matches.

The win moves Leicester up into seventh place, on 31 points, four behind Manchester United.

Everton manager Silva was frank in his assessment of his team’s performance.

“A disappointing result, poor performance to be honest. In this moment we have to be honest and look clear at the game.

“Poor performance since the first minute. We knew what they came here to do, playing a 4-5-1 and waiting for our mistake,” said the Portuguese who accepted his players looked nervous.

“When you play so anxious you make easy mistakes like the one we conceded. There is no reason they are under the normal pressure we’ll find the reason for that,” Silva added.

Puel was delighted with the way his team carried out his gameplan.

“The organisation of the team was perfect and I am happy for the players because we lost our last game at home to Cardiff and it was not a fair result,” the Frenchman said.

“We said after that game we wanted to take three points away. It was a difficult challenge of course, but the team showed character.

“We know all the players are tired like us, but the most important thing was to show our strength in this moment. We needed to have a different adaptation for this game.

“In this situation it is not just the quality, but the physical makes a difference. We needed to find the right situation to move.”

Posted On Tuesday, 01 January 2019 16:50 Written by

A first half of cavalier attacking football saw United score three times, with Paul Pogba netting his second double in successive games and Marcus Rashford grabbing the other against Bournemouth.

They are now only three points behind fifth-placed Arsenal, having trailed by eight following the morale-sapping 3-1 defeat at Liverpool earlier this month.

Pogba poked in his first after Rashford had mesmerised both Nathan Ake and Diego Rico on the right, before the French World Cup winner headed in from Ander Herrera’s precise delivery.

It was 3-0 when Anthony Martial, back in the XI after recovering from a bug, provided a wonderful delivery for Rashford to slide his shot past Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth, who had looked dangerous on set-pieces, pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time when Ake headed in following good work by David Brooks.

Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored United’s fourth from Pogba’s pass two minutes after coming on, while defender Eric Bailly was shown a straight red card for scything down Cherries midfielder Ryan Fraser.

United, who have now found the net 12 times in the three matches since Solskjaer took over, will look to continue their dramatic revival at Newcastle on Wednesday, BBC reports.

Posted On Monday, 31 December 2018 01:17 Written by

Everton scored twice in the last three minutes to snatch a dramatic victory over Crystal Palace in a tight Premier League game at Goodison Park.

Tactical changes by Toffees boss Marco Silva decided the game, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin heading in fellow substitute Ademola Lookman's cross.

Moments later, substitute Cenk Tosun fired in the second.

Earlier in the second half, Everton keeper Jordan Pickford saved Luka Milivojevic's penalty with his feet.

Everton's third victory in a row lifted them to eighth in the table, while Palace stay in 15th, two points above the relegation zone with only two wins this season.

Silva strikes gold with substitutes

For most of the afternoon a rather drab encounter looked destined to finish goalless as both sides struggled to create clear chances.

What swung the game in Everton's favour was Silva's decision to make a bold attacking double change, bringing on forwards Calvert-Lewin and Lookman with eight minutes left.

The home side effectively switched to a 4-2-4 formation, having earlier introduced striker Tosun for attacking midfielder Bernard.

Lookman clipped in a precise, curling ball from the left which was met by a Calvert-Lewin header from close range.

As Palace belatedly tried to respond, Tosun latched on to a long punt clear by defender Michael Keane to fire through Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey's legs one minute 44 seconds later.

"It came down to which manager was brave enough to make the big changes - and it was Marco Silva," former Scotland winger Pat Nevin said on BBC Radio 5 live.

"Luck favoured the brave. I don't think you will see too many better substitutions this season."

This was the first time since August 2017 that three substitutes were directly involved in goals in a Premier League game.

Pickford lets his feet do the talking... again

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford saves Palace penalty
Jordan Pickford saved his second penalty in the Premier League, having also stopped one against West Ham in November 2017

England international Pickford, 24, attracted plaudits during the international break after his distribution helped set up two goals in the surprise 3-2 Nations League win over Spain on Monday.

Again he produced a moment of quality with his feet, albeit in a rather different manner after Seamus Coleman tripped Wilfried Zaha to concede the penalty.

Diving to his left, Pickford stuck out his right boot to stop Milivojevic's spot-kick down the middle and prevent Palace from taking the lead with only their second shot on target.

It was only Milivojevic's second penalty miss in his past 11 attempts.

"It was a good save from the goalkeeper," Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said. "If Luka had scored it might have been a different story."

Wickham returns after two-year absence

One positive for Palace was the return of striker Connor Wickham after a two-year absence because of a serious knee injury and subsequent problems.

The 25-year-old made his first appearance since November 2016 when he came him on seconds after Tosun's 89th-minute goal, but had little time to make an impact.

"He has worked so very hard to get into that position where he is deemed fit enough to get on the bench," Hodgson said.

"We would not have risked him for a long period of the game. I'm sure he will be pleased to have got on the field for Palace in a Premier League game and hopefully it will give him hope and heart.

"He has still got a lot of hard work to do on the training field."

Man of the match - Jordan Pickford (Everton)

Jordan Pickford
Although tempting to pick Everton boss Marco Silva as man of the match, his substitutions may have proved fruitless had Pickford not saved Milivojevic's penalty. The Everton keeper also produced a good stop from the Palace skipper's first-half free-kick and looked assured throughout

Hodgson must hate going to Goodison - the stats

  • Everton have won three straight Premier League matches for the first time since January 2017
  • Crystal Palace are now without a win in four league matches, drawing one and losing three
  • Palace manager Roy Hodgson has not won on his past eight Premier League visits to Goodison Park, losing seven and drawing one
  • Everton have scored more headed goals in the Premier League this season than any other side
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun are the first two Everton substitutes to score in the same Premier League game since March 2014, when Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith netted against Fulham
  • Since the beginning of last season, only Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (six), has won more Premier League penalties than Crystal Palace's Wifried Zaha (five)
Posted On Sunday, 21 October 2018 18:38 Written by
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