Friday, 30 September 2016

Europa League Recap: Ibra Rescues United; Inter Lose, Emenike Scores Again

Zlatan Ibrahimovic provided the spark as Manchester United recorded their first win of their 2016/17 Europa League campaign, beating Zorya 1-0.

The Swede struck on 69 minutes, rising highest at the back post to power home a header from close range after Wayne Rooney had miscued a shot.

United were far from at their best, and with two-thirds of the game gone they had yet to record a shot on target as the visitors from Ukraine proved tough to break down.

Fenerbahce’s win over Feyenoord means that Jose Mourinho’s men sit second in the group, and they play the Turkish outfit next in three weeks time.

Mario Balotelli Continues His Goal Fest

Rejoice, soccer lovers, for the joy of Mario Balotelli scoring goals is once again a regular part of our lives.

Scholes: Liverpool can win the Premier League

Paul Scholes has tipped Liverpool to challenge for the Premier League title in 2016-17 on the back of their positive start to the season. 

Jurgen Klopp's men have taken 13 points from their opening six games and sit fourth in the standings at the end of September. 

And former Manchester United star Scholes believes they have enough goals in the team to mount a serious title challenge.

Arsenal, Madrid & Bayern eye Dembele

Arsenal sent scouts to watch Celtic striker Moussa Dembele against Manchester City, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also monitoring the youngster.
Source: The Sun

Swansea add Klinsmann to shortlist

Swansea City have added Jurgen Klinsmann to their shortlist of potential new managers should they choose to replace Francesco Guidolin. Ryan Giggs and Bob Bradley are also in contention.
Source: Daily Star

Howe on three-man England shortlist

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is on a three-man shortlist for the England job with Gareth Southgate and Arsene Wenger.
Source: Daily Mirror

Barcelona admirers of Atletico Carrasco

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez is a fan of Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco and could be willing to bid his release clause of €40 million next summer.
Source: Sport

Dembele can be next Drogba - Rodgers

Celtic star Moussa Dembele is cut from the same cloth as Didier Drogba, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.

Dembele, 20, starred in the Champions League on Wednesday, scoring twice in his side's 3-3 draw against Manchester City.

Rodgers lauded the Frenchman and believes the forward is capable of matching Drogba, who won four Premier League titles and the Champions League once with Chelsea.

Lukaku: I am not on Suarez's level yet

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has acknowledged he still needs to improve if he is to reach the same level as Barcelona ace Luis Suarez and other top strikers.

Lukaku netted 18 goals in 37 Premier League appearances last term, but the Toffees endured an inconsistent campaign and finished 11th in the table, costing Roberto Martinez his job at Goodison Park.

And the Belgium international says his ability to have a greater impact on his club's fortunes stands between him and reaching the highest level.

Mourinho hoping to pick from near-full strength squad for Stoke visit

Jose Mourinho expects to have almost all of his Manchester United players available for selection on Sunday when Stoke City visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.

The United boss made four changes on Thursday night for the 1-0 Europa League home win over Zorya Luhansk, with further alterations ruled out due to an injury for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and a bout of illness for Luke Shaw.

But Mourinho is confident that both will be back for the visit of Mark Hughes’ struggling side, with only Phil Jones set to be unavailable as he continues to battle back from a knee injury.

Loftus-Cheek: I looked up to Lampard at Chelsea

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has revealed he looked up to Frank Lampard while coming through the ranks at Chelsea.

Despite playing in midfield, Lampard is the all-time leading goalscorer in the Blues’ history, having struck 211 times in all competitions.

And as a central midfielder with an eye for goal himself, Loftus-Cheek has admitted that he looked to the West Ham academy product for guidance and inspiration.

Klopp eyes retirement before 60

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is already thinking about life after football and has made it clear he aims to retire before the age of 60.

The 49-year-old started his coaching career at Mainz in 2001 and also enjoyed a successful spell with Borussia Dortmund before taking charge of Liverpool in 2015.

Klopp is loving life at Anfield, but admits he cannot see himself staying in the game for much more than another decade.

Wenger open to be England coach

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would be open to taking charge of England's national team in the future, with his contract at the Emirates Stadium expiring at the end of the season.

Sam Allardyce's tenure as England manager ended this week after just 67 days following alleged remarks he made in a video recorded by undercover reporters offering advice on how to circumvent Football Association (FA) rules on transfers.

Wenger has been mentioned as a potential replacement, but the Frenchman is only thinking about Arsenal for now.

Juventus ready to renew Dybala contract to keep suitors at bay

Juventus are ready to renew Paulo Dybala's contract in an attempt to prevent suitors from following up on their interest, according to reports.

Dybala enjoyed a spectacular debut season with the Bianconeri last term, scoring 23 goals in 46 games in all competitions.

The 22-year-old's exploits have led to him being linked with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United, and therefore Juve are hoping to tie him down to a new deal.

It is understood that Juve are willing to double Dybala's annual salary from €2.2 million (£1.9 million) to €4.4 million (£3.9 million) and have opened initial negotiations with the forward's team.

Man Utd hectic fixture list a 'poisoned gift' - Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described his team's hectic fixture list as a "poisoned gift".

Mourinho's men are set for a busy run after the international break, with five matches in 13 days.

And the former Chelsea boss, whose team beat Zorya 1-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, has hit out at the schedule, singling out his side's clash with Liverpool on Monday October 17 for particular scrutiny.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Manchester United 1-0 Zorya: Zlatan on target as Red Devils scrape win

Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved the difference for Manchester United as his second-half strike saw the Red Devils past Zorya on Thursday. 

LMC Reveal Huge Prize Money For Eventual NPFL Title Winner

Eventual winners of the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League will go home with a prize money of N40 million.

According to the figures released by the League Management Company made available, the money will rise up to N90m in all direct payments for the 2016 season including the basic award which comprises pool of funds shared equally among all 20 participating clubs and  the merit award paid to clubs based on their final position in the table.

Federation Cup:Controversy Trails Ifeanyi Ubah's Win Over Crown FC

There was controversy as FC IfeanyiUbah rallied back from a goal down to edge out Crown FC 2-1 in their Federation Cup semi-final fixture at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Wednesday

Second-tier side Crown FC  who knocked out Enugu Rangers and Wikki Tourists from the competition, took the lead through Ademola Ayoola in the 16th minute of the encounter.

The lead lasted only six minutes with Elu Wilson restoring parity for FC IfeanyiUbah in the 22nd minute.

Golden Boy Nominations Revealed; Two Players From The Super Eagles make the list

Italian newspaper Tuttosport today revealed the nominations for the coveted Golden Boy award.

The Golden Boy is an award that is given by sports journalists to a young football playing in Europe perceived to have been the most impressive during a calendar year (two halves to two seasons). 

All nominees must be under the age of 21 and play in a European nation's top tier.
Founded in 2003, 40 footballers under the age of 21 and registered in Europe are included in a vote which asks members of the public to pick their winner. 

Past winners include the likes of Paul Pogba, Sergio Aguero, Lionel Messi and the previous year’s winner Anthony Martial.

Tragedy Befall Ronaldo As His Private Jet Crash Lands

Cristiano Ronaldo's private plane crash landed in Barcelona at the El Prat airport after the landing gear broke on impact.

The Real Madrid star was not on board as he was in Germany gearing up for the Champions League fixture against Borussia Dortmund.

Ozil yet to agree Arsenal deal

Contrary to reports in Germany, Mesut Ozil is yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal and driving a hard bargain for a £200,000-a-week package.
Source: Daily Mirror

Ancelotti frustrated by slow & toothless Bayern Vs Atletico

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti felt his side paid for a sluggish performance in their 1-0 Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The Bundesliga title-holders had won all eight of their matches so far this season before Wednesday, but a solitary strike from Yannick Ferreira Carrasco sealed a deserved win for the home side at the Vicente Calderon.

Bayern created few meaningful chances despite dominating possession, and Ancelotti was left frustrated by their slow use of the ball and a lack of "bite" when trying to win it back.

Raiola: Juventus mad at me over failed Matuidi deal

Juventus are angry with him over their failure to sign Blaise Matuidi from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

Bayern's travel sickness not cured and five things we learned from the Champions League

The France international had looked set for a move to Turin during the last transfer window but the move was called off, with PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi insistent that he did not want the player to leave.

Wenger could be tempted by an international offer, says ex-assistant

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be tempted by the lure of an international job, according to his former Monaco assistant Jean Petit.

Ex-France international Petit worked with Wenger between 1987 and 1994, winning the Ligue 1 title in their first season together.

The latter has gone on to enjoy a successful 20-year managerial career with Arsenal, but, with his contract set to expire in June and Sam Allardyce leaving his post as England manager this week, Wenger has again been linked with the role.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Rostov 2-2 PSV: Poloz hits twice in enthralling draw

PSV Eindhoven's poor run against Russian sides continued as they were held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by Rostov in the Champions League.

Phillip Cocu's team came into Wednesday's encounter at Olimp-2 Stadium having failed to claim a victory from their previous four matches on Russian soil in European competition.

Besiktas 1-1 Dynamo Kyiv: Substitute Tsygankov earns visitors a point

Besiktas were forced to settle for successive 1-1 draws in Champions League Group B after Dynamo Kyiv battled back for a draw in Turkey.

Napoli 4-2 Benfica: Mertens double proves the difference

Napoli made it two wins out of two in Champions League Group B after a second-half blitz secured a 4-2 home victory over Benfica.

Ludogorets 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Cavani on form as visitors recover for victory

Edinson Cavani put his woes from Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League opener with Arsenal behind him with a double in a 3-1 win over Ludogorets on Wednesday.

Cavani netted in the opening minute of PSG's first Group A game this month but became the scapegoat for fluffing a simple finish later in the game as Arsenal equalised late on to claim a point.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-2 Barcelona: Arda & Pique seal comeback win

Gerard Pique netted a second-half winner as Barcelona came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 in the Champions League after Arda Turan cancelled out Thorgan Hazard's opener. 

Gladbach were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City in their Group C opener earlier this month, while 
Barca hammered Celtic 7-0 on matchday one, but the Bundesliga side appeared to be on their way to a shock win following Hazard's goal after a quick counterattack at Borussia-Park.

Celtic 3-3 Manchester City: Nolito strike saves Guardiola's side in Champions League thriller

Celtic and Manchester City played out a Champions League thriller on Wednesday night, with Moussa Dembele in inspired form as he scored two goals to secure a point for Brendan Rodgers's side.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich: Carrasco goal secures win over Ancelotti's men

Atletico Madrid took control of Champions League Group D with a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon, as Carlo Ancelotti suffered his first defeat in charge of the club.

Diego Simeone's side beat the German champions by the same scoreline in the first leg of last season's semi-final clash in April, and they followed that up with a deserved victory thanks to Yannick Ferreira Carrasco's pinpoint finish.

Bayern went into the game off the back of eight wins in a row in all competitions, but struggled to find any attacking cohesion despite enjoying the majority of possession.

Arsenal 2-0 Basel: Walcott double secures Champions League win for the gunners

Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 Champions League win over Basel on Wednesday night as Theo Walcott took centre stage.

'Mourinho strong enough to cope with Manchester United critics', says Jankauskas

Jose Mourinho is well able to withstand the criticism coming his way following a turbulent month at Manchester United, according to Edgaras Jankauskas.

The current Lithuania manager won a Champions League title as a player under the Special One with Porto in 2004 and says Mourinho will understand that harsh judgements are part and parcel of life in the Old Trafford hot seat.

“He’s strong enough and smart enough to cope with it,” Jankauskas told Goal. “I don’t see that as a big issue. He developed that strength and skin to cope with that.”

PHOTOS: Pep Guardiola Shows His Fashion Side As He Stuns On The Cover Of GQ Mag

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have turned on the style during the early weeks of the Premier League season, but the Spanish manager is just as dapper off the pitch as his side are on it.

Guardiola has won each of his first 10 games in charge at the Etihad Stadium to guide his side to the top of the Premier League table, and at the same time has shown the English football public just why his spells at Bayern Munich and Barcelona were as entertaining as they were successful.

But that style isn't restricted to the confines of the pitch, as is proven by the former midfielder's appearance on the front cover of the October edition of the Spanish GQ magazine.

PHOTOS: Meet Alex Iwobi's Sexy Model Girlfriend Clarisse Juliette

Alex Iwobi has been an integral part of Arsenal’s team this season after bursting onto the scene at the end of the last campaign. 

The 19 year old joined the Gunners when he was 4 years old and has since then risen through the ranks; learning and inculcating the Arsenal football philosophy. 

Last weekend, he played a vital role as Arsenal dismantled Chelsea in the London derby and was rewarded with the man of the match award.

Samson Siasia gives NFF two weeks ultimatum to pay him his owed salary

Rio Olympics Bronze winning coach Samson Siasia has given the Nigeria Football Federation a two weeks ultimatum to pay him all his owed salaries or he will sit in the NFF's Abuja office until he's paid. 

Siasia signed a two year contract with the NFF which ended this summer after he led the Under 23 team to win a Bronze medal at Rio 2016 but complained that he was owed for 5 months and at even one point in time during the Rio Olympics threatened to join his players on a strike.

Ben Arfa leads Milan shortlist

AC Milan want to sign a winger in January, with Hatem Ben Arfa, 'Papu' Gomez and Keita Balde on their shortlist.
Source: Calciomercato.com

Man Utd to offer Mata new deal

Juan Mata is "desperate" to stay at Manchester United and has held talks with Jose Mourinho over signing a new deal.
Source: The Sun

Tevez: I may retire this year

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez has blamed the media for him receiving a suspension and has said he could quit football by the end of the year.

Tevez, 32, currently plays for Boca Juniors in his homeland, having previously enjoyed success with Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus in Europe.

But he has voiced frustration at a number of aspects of the domestic game in Argentina, including the pressure placed on Boca by external factors such as the media, who he blamed for a three-match ban picked up earlier this month for dissent.

‘Entrapment has won' - Allardyce hits back at media after England sacking

Sam Allardyce has hit out at the media following his sacking as England manager, stating that "entrapment has won".

The 61-year-old's reign in charge of the Three Lions ended on Tuesday, lasting just 67 days, after The Daily Telegraph published a video in which Allardyce tells two men purporting to be from a Far East firm that he could offer advice on how to "get round" FA regulations concerning the transfer of players under third-party ownership.

Allardyce admitted he had made a mistake the morning after losing his role, but also expressed regret about the tactics used by the investigative reporters.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Pep Guardiola warns against complacency

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has warned his team not to underestimate Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday. 

Despite going into the game as clear favourites after an unbeaten start to the season, Guardiola is taking nothing for granted against the Scottish champions.

Both sides enjoyed differing fortunes in the first round of Champions League fixtures, with City beating Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 and Celtic going down 7-0 in Barcelona. 

Dinamo Zagreb 0-4 Juventus: Old Lady take top spot with big win

Miralem Pjanic scored one goal and created another as Juventus eased to victory over Group H rivals Dinamo Zagreb to move to the top of their Champions League group.

Midfielder Pjanic only played 45 minutes, yet still played an influential role in helping Massimiliano 
Allegri's side end a run of four games without a win in the competition that stretched back to November 2015.

Sevilla 1-0 Lyon: Ben Yedder strike seals first win for Spaniards

Sevilla continued their encouraging start to Champions League Group H thanks to a 1-0 win over Lyon, as Wissam Ben Yedder silenced his doubters with the winning goal.

The close-season signing from Toulouse had been one of several new recruits to attract criticism after initially struggling to break into the team, but he made the difference for Jorge Sampaoli on 

Tuesday, as Sevilla added to their point at Juventus on matchday one.

Leicester 1-0 Porto: Slimani maintains Foxes’ fine start

Islam Slimani extended his remarkable scoring record against Porto as Leicester City made it two wins from two in their debut Champions League campaign with a 1-0 victory.

The Algeria international moved to Leicester from Sporting CP last month and his decisive first-half header at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday took his tally to six goals in four games against Porto in 2016.

Southgate named as temporary England manager

Gareth Southgate has been appointed as England manager on a temporary basis.

Sam Allardyce left his role as in charge of the Three Lions on Tuesday following secretly-filmed remarks regarding how to get around transfer rules.

The former Sunderland and West Ham manager spent just 67 days in the role, winning his one game in charge as Slovakia were beaten 1-0 with an injury-time goal from Adam Lallana.

Hernandez: It was very difficult at Real Madrid

Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez has admitted his lack of playing time at Real Madrid was not easy for him having previously struggled for chances at Manchester United, but he is loving life in the Bundesliga.

Hernandez left United for a one-year loan spell at Madrid in 2014-15, but the Santiago Bernabeu side opted against making the deal permanent after just seven starts in LaLiga.

The 28-year-old has impressed since his move to the Bundesliga, though, and he believes getting regular first-team action again has been key to his success at Leverkusen.

Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Legia Warsaw: Bas Dost nets again as Leões claim victory

First-half strikes from Bryan Ruiz and Bas Dost ensured Sporting CP got their first points in Champions League Group F as the eased to a convincing 2-0 win over Legia Warsaw.

Sporting were beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid on matchday one, but they collected a much-needed victory on Tuesday as Jacek Magiera's debut in the Legia dugout ended in defeat.

Allardyce offers 'wholehearted apology' for England shame

Sam Allardyce is "deeply disappointed" over his departure as England boss after 67 days at the helm and has offered a "wholehearted apology" to the Football Association (FA) and others offended by his actions.

The 61-year-old's tenure was ended by mutual agreement following a summit on Tuesday with FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn, less than 24 hours after the Daily Telegraph published footage claiming to be from a meeting in August between a pair of undercover reporters and Allardyce.

In the footage, Allardyce allegedly told two men purporting to be from a Far East investment firm how they might "get around" FA regulations concerning the transfers of players under third-party ownership.

CSKA Moscow 0-1 Tottenham: Son the saviour for Spurs again

Tottenham were held to a goalless draw by Monaco as their search for a first win in the Champions League continues despite dominating possession.

Dele Alli hit the crossbar in the first half, before Vincent Janssen's dinked effort was correctly ruled offside shortly afterwards.

Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Real Madrid: Late Schurrle strike denies Zidane's men

A late goal by Andre Schurle denied Real Madrid victory with the Germany international securing a 2-2 draw for Thomas Tuchel's side.

Ronaldo gave the hosts the lead rifling home a low shot after being teed up beautifully by a backheel from Gareth Bale.