Half-Time Report: Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa… Saka’s own goal separates the two teams

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Aston Villa are in the lead at half time at the Emirates with Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka scoring an own goal

The visitors had the ball in the net after 46 seconds, but after that stunning start was ruled out the visitors have done well to absorb pressure from Arsenal and take their chances at the other end.

After a lengthy VAR review it was disallowed as Ross Barkley was blocking Bernd Leno’s line of vision from an offside position.

However, midway through the first period Villa’s persistance paid off after some great passing play from Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Matt Targett. Their inter play saw the left back inside the box and flash a ball across the goal as it deflected off Bukayo Saka and past Leno.

Saka put the ball into his own net after a fine Villa move, before Alexandre Lacazette headed the Gunners’ best chance over the bar.

Arsenal need to find more creativity in the final third following a slow start to the match.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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England, Germany, Nigeria set for battle over former Chelsea starlet

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

There are reports that England and Germany are set for an international tug-of-war over Bayern Munich’s former Chelsea prospect Jamal Musiala.

According to The Sun, the 17-year-old winger is joining up with the Three Lions’ Under-21 squad next week.

But the Daily Mail claims he is also due to be invited to train with Germany.

Musiala is one of the hottest young prospects in the Bundesliga after a major breakthrough at the Champions League holders.

He has scored twice in his seven appearances already this campaign.

The teen was born in Stuttgart to a Nigerian father and a German mother but the family moved to England when he was a child.

That means he is also eligible for the African nation but is likely to opt for either the Three Lions or Germany.

Musiala signed for Chelsea as a schoolboy but left the Blues for Bayern at 16.

He has British citizenship and has played for both Germany and England at age-group levels, and also speaks both languages fluently.

Fifa rules state a player has not committed his international allegiance until he plays in a competitive fixture for the senior team.

England will be boosted by the fact he accepted their U21s call.

But Gareth Southgate and his youth coaches at the FA will be expecting a response from their German counterparts.

And he will reportedly receive a call to their U21s in the next international break in 2021.

Photo Credit: Twitter/FCBayernEN

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(Watch Highlights) Cristiano Ronaldo scores for Juventus, limps off as Lazio equalize at the death (Match Report)

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Cristiano Ronaldo’s early goal seemed to be enough for Juventus, but Lazio are the team who never give in and Felipe Caicedo snatched a last-gasp equaliser.

Ronaldo limped off the pitch in the second half of the match and reportedly told Andrea Pirlo he twisted his ankle.

After a couple of attempts from distance with Cristiano Ronaldo and Adrien Rabiot, Juve broke the deadlock. Juan Cuadrado deserves much of the credit, having dribbled away from two players down the right to put a low cross in for Ronaldo to bundle over the line.

Lazio had a huge opportunity to equalise, as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic nodded it down across the face of goal and Muriqi was inches away from getting his studs to it from a yard out.

Joaquin Correa also fired straight at Wojciech Szczesny after cutting back past Merih Demiral, while Ronaldo and Muriqi were just off target.

Ronaldo thought he’d doubled his lead on another counter, but this time the curling finish smacked against the top of the far post.

CR7 came even closer with the last move of the half, as his free kick from the edge of the area was palmed out from under the bar by Pepe Reina.

Adam Marusic’s left-foot curler was just over from a tricky angle, while Reina got down well to beat away an Adrien Rabiot angled drive after the Frenchman caught Luis Alberto in possession.

Luiz Felipe made a decisive tackle on Ronaldo in the penalty area after good work from Kulusevski to send him clear, while Milinkovic-Savic’s free kick was charged down by the wall.

Ronaldo was replaced by Paulo Dybala after an ankle sprain and Lazio had another big chance when Marusic got in front of Cuadrado for a header straight at Wojciech Szczesny from point-blank range.

The hosts began to pin Juve back in the closing 20 minutes, and the team famous for last-gasp goals did it again. With the final kick of the game, Correa squirmed away between three players in the box to feed Felipe Caicedo, who turned on a sixpence to fire into the far bottom corner.

Photo Credit: Twitter/officialSSLazio

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(Half-Time Report) Man City 1-1 Liverpool… Kevin De Bruyne misses penalty as Gabriel Jesus cancel out Mo Salah goal

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Manchester City and Liverpool ended the first half of their Premier League encounter at Etihad 1-1 draw.

The Pep Guardiola side ought to have been been ahead, Kevin De Bruyne missing a penalty after Gabriel Jesus had cancelled out Mo Salah’s early spot kick.

It was breathless stuff from both sides in the half as penalties, misses, great attacking play, and most importantly, goals characterized the first half of the match.

Sadio Mane turned in the box and cut his run across Kyle Walker, who could help but bring the Senegalese down.
There was little argument from the City players as penalty was awarded to Liverpool.

Salah stepped up and made no mistake as Ederson went the wrong way to give Liverpool lead at the Etihad in 13 minutes of the game.

But City leveled through Gabriel Jesus with a neat turn and finish. De Bruyne came infield from the right flank and played it in to the Brazilian with his back to goal, but a little flick – sure looked like he meant it – bamboozled Alexander Arnold and he’s there to stab the ball past Alisson.

Photo Credit: premierleague.com

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Frank Lampard hails N’Golo Kante, reveals what he’s doing to keep midfielder fit after injury-plagued 2019-20 season

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Frank Lampard has hailed ‘incredible’ N’Golo Kante following Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Sheffield United on Saturday.

New signing Hakim Ziyech had received most of the plaudits after a stunning display but Lampard thinks Kante also played a vital role in the game.

He said: “He’s shown in the last couple of games he’s played he is N’Golo Kante.

“His attributes are incredible, he can play various positions in midfield, he has energy, the ability to win the ball back but also his ability on the ball. That is sometimes underrated.”

Lampard says Chelsea are reaping the rewards of carefully handling N’Golo Kante’s fitness.

The French midfielder struggled with injury during a stop-start 2019-20 season and his role within the team has come under close scrutiny since.

Lampard said: “I have made big steps to try and manage his training and games, and making sure we attempt to keep him as fit and ready for games as we can. I’m pleased he is fit now and we will keep managing that.”

Photo Credit: Twitter/ChelseaFC

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Chelsea legend likens Manchester United star to Frank Lampard during his heyday as Blues midfielder

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea legend Joe Cole has likened Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes to Blues boss Frank Lampard.

Fernandes produced a wonderful display in today’s win at Goodison Park.

Speaking to BT after the game, Cole said: “This (goal) is like Lampard in his prime the way he timed it. If you look at Luke Shaw he could have delivered it first time but he didn’t.

“He waits and waits and waits and Fernandes just reads it, gets in between the centre halves.

“He’s got that instinct from midfield where he is always going to score goals because his timing is excellent and his finishing is top drawer as well.”

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Frank Lampard reacts to Chelsea win over Sheffield United, singles out Blues star for praise

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

A delighted Frank Lampard has been praising his team’s performance after they conceded an early goal, but insists that he and his squad are not getting carried away by their recent good form.

“Sheffield United are very good at taking the momentum in games and they did that early on.

“Once the goal goes in, the reaction is important and our reaction for the rest of the game was spot on.

“We knew [Ziyech] was a top player. Sometimes it’s great to see that from afar, but when you work with someone they impress you even more with their personality around the place and their quality on the pitch..

“When you think about our squad this year, we have competition as top teams generally do, and I need players who can come in, lift the level and do something different.

“We’re third, but the season is long and we’re in the very early days. I am keeping my feet on the ground.”

“We played against him in the Champions League the year before, I knew the player. Top top class player.”

Frank Lampard was full of praise for Hakim Ziyech as Chelsea were too for Sheffield United.

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Two Chelsea stars breach Covid-19 restrictions

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Callum Hudson-Odoi breached Covid-19 restrictions for a second time after a night out with Fikayo Tomori.

Hudson-Odoi has already had his fight with Covid-19 and publicly “warned” people after his experience.

But the 20-year-old last month filmed a get-together with team-mate Tomori at the end of last month, which broke strict measures, the Daily Star reveals.

Hudson-Odoi filmed Tomori on a night out at a Mayfair venue.

According to the Daily Star, a source close to the player said: “The club will no doubt be furious.

“This is really not on, especially given that Callum has had coronavirus himself so he should be taking the rules more seriously.

“The rest of the country was doing their bit and meeting friends and family that they don’t live with outside. It’s infuriating they think they’re above the law.”

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“I feel comfortable in this team”- Chelsea star declares after his impressive performance in win over Sheffield Utd

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea new boy Hakim Ziyech says he has settled into life at Chelsea, saying “I feel comfortable in this team.”

He recorded two assists in Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Sheffield United on Saturday, creating anxious moments against their Premier League opponents.

He said after the match: “We played a good game. We controlled it, we created a lot of chances and we could have scored more goals. I feel comfortable in this team.”

Speaking earleier in the club’s official matchday programme, Ziyech said: “I’ve settled really well. I’ve found my place, it feels like home and a lot of people have helped me – in the squad and also people outside the squad that works for the club. They’ve settled me really well.

“On the pitch, I’m enjoying building an understanding with the other players, which is always something to look forward to.

“You know how it goes in football – you work together every day and the last month I’ve been here, everything has gone well with my team-mates, so it’s really exciting.

“It’s a squad of big talents that are young, hungry and that’s the thing that I like – when people are hungry and want to achieve something.”

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Eden Hazard, Casemiro test positive for coronavirus

November 8th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Real Madrid have announced that Eden Hazard and Casemiro have both tested positive for COVID-19 from a round of tests carried out on Friday morning.

All other players and members of the coaching staff of the first team, as well as all of the club employees who work with them, returned negative results on Friday morning as well as from the antigen tests carried out on Saturday morning.

Los Blancos are fresh from their 3-2 defeat of Inter Milan in the Champions League last Tuesday and had been preparing to travel to Mestalla to face Valencia on Sunday evening.

They currently sit second in the league table, a point behind league leaders Real Sociedad, and will be disappointed to lose two key figures in Hazard and Casemiro.

Hazard will particularly be frustrated to miss out on yet more action. The Belgian has played just 10% of Madrid’s minutes so far this season according to Transfermarkt, and has made just 25 appearances for the club since joining from Chelsea for €103.5m in the summer of 2019.

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