Liverpool wasted a chance to take complete control of the Premier League title race as Leicester earned a 1-1 draw against the leaders, while Chelsea’s bid for a top-four finish was rocked by a humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth on Wednesday.
After second-placed Manchester City lost at Newcastle on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s side would have moved seven points clear at the top with a win over Leicester.
But Liverpool, chasing a first English title since 1990, had to settle for a frustrating draw that left them five points ahead of champions City.
Following a warm-weather training break in Dubai, Liverpool were ahead in the third minute at snowy Anfield.
Senegal winger Sadio Mane wriggled through the Leicester defence and slotted a clinical finish into the far corner for his 11th goal of the season. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Liverpool’s quickest league goal since April 2016 had the Kop belting out songs of praise for their former manager Rafael Benitez, who masterminded Newcastle’s victory against City. Continue reading “Chelsea humiliated, Liverpool held in title blow”
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said Eden Hazard is free to leave the club if he wants to but the Italian hopes the forward stays at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has been linked with a move to Spanish side Real Madrid in recent months and the Belgium international had said in October last year that it was his dream to play for the reigning European champions.
Chelsea are looking to renew his contract, which expires next season, and the west London side risks losing him for free in the close season in 2020 if he does not extend his current deal.
“Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go,” Sarri told reporters ahead of today’s Premier League clash at Bournemouth. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Of course, I hope the opposite, I hope he wants to stay here. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment.” Continue reading “Sarri gives Hazard permission to leave Chelsea if he wants”
Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he will not be satisfied with a top-four finish in the Premier League as he targets success in two cup competitions in the second half of the season.
Sixth-placed United have won all six league games since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho to close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea from 11 points to three, while they are still in the FA Cup and Champions League contentions.
“For Man United, you should always aim to win the league,” he told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s league clash against Burnley.
“We can’t do that this year, but we have to get back to the challenge. We’ve got the Champions League, we’ve got the FA Cup, we can’t just say we’ve got top four and that is it.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
United’s last trophy – the Europa League – came in 2017 but they have not won the Premier League since former coach Alex Ferguson’s final season at Old Trafford in 2012-13. Continue reading “Winning Trophies main target for Man United than top four – Solskjaer”
Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty two minutes from time as Serie A leaders Juventus came from behind to win 2-1 at Lazio and go 11 points clear at the top on Sunday.
Lazio dominated the first hour and went ahead with an Emre Can own goal in the 59th minute before Joao Cancelo levelled for Juve in the 74th, four minutes after coming on as a substitute.
The Portuguese also won the penalty which allowed his compatriot Ronaldo, who missed a spot-kick against Chievo in his last game, to score his 15th league goal of the season.
Juventus, chasing an eighth successive title, have 59 points out of a possible 63, while second-placed Napoli are on 48 after their 0-0 draw at AC Milan on Saturday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Lazio are seventh after continuing their dismal run against Serie A’s so-called big teams – Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma and Napoli. They have taken only one point in seven games this season against sides from that group. Continue reading “Late Ronaldo penalty help Juvetus to sink Lazio”
Paris Saint-Germain are hoping Neymar’s prayers are answered after the runaway Ligue 1 leaders’ talisman suffered a fresh metatarsal injury just weeks from their huge Champions clash with Manchester United.
Neymar invoked divine intervention after being forced to leave the field in tears during their 2-0 French Cup win over Strasbourg in midweek with the same injury that curtailed the Brazilian’s campaign last season.
“Your will be done, my God” he wrote in an Instagram post.
Although fans in Paris are concerned about the danger of Neymar missing the two games against a rejuvenated United, his absence should not have much impact on PSG’s title defence.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 going into their home meeting with Rennes on Sunday, and with serious domestic opposition lacking, most in the French capital are now looking ahead to Old Trafford on February 12. Bet Now
Tuchel admitted that both the player and PSG’s medical staff are “worried” about the injury, and bemoaned that “the referee didn’t give anything” despite what he saw as persistent fouling from Strasbourg. Continue reading “PSG sweat over Neymar’s injury as Henry gets pushed aside by Monaco”
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund resume their Bundesliga rivalry this weekend with both sides looking to avoid slipping up in the title race at home against relegation-threatened opposition.
Dortmund, who are six points clear of defending champions Bayern, host second-from-bottom Hanover on Saturday while VfB Stuttgart, who are 16th and also in the bottom-three, are Sunday’s guests at Munich’s Allianz Arena and are hoping to avoid a fourth straight league defeat.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac has a decision to make about who starts at centre-back for second-placed Bayern with neither 2014 World Cup winners Jerome Boateng nor Mats Hummels, both 30, sure of a starting place.
Kovac has said Niklas Suele is the only centre-back sure of a spot in the 11, leaving the experienced Germany stars to battle for the other berth.
Hummels started last Friday’s 3-1 win at Hoffenheim, with Boateng on the bench, because “Mats was just a tiny bit better – we’re talking a micron” explained Kovac. Start forecasting your Weekend games Now
The race is on to see who can convince Kovac they should start Bayern’s Champions League last 16 away tie at Anfield on February 19.
Bayern are searching for clues as to why they lag behind Dortmund and midfielder Leon Goretzka has revealed they are attempting to find their weaknesses. Continue reading “Dortmund, Bayern resume to avoid slip ups in title race”
Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said he has a “good feeling” about Lionel Messi’s possible return to international soccer and will talk to the Barcelona forward about a possible return from his self-imposed exile.
Messi took a sabbatical from the national side after another disappointing World Cup, with Argentina knocked out in the second round after winning just one game in four.
He has not said whether he will return for the Copa America in Brazil in June but the interim coach said at Thursday’s draw he was hopeful the inspiring forward might return for a March friendly. Bet Now
“We will speak with Leo in the days before the March list. When the time is right we will speak,” Scaloni told reporters. “I hope he can be here but more than that, we want him to be happy. I have a good feeling.” Continue reading “Argentina coach hopeful Messi will return from self-imposed exile”
Chelsea signed Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus until the end of the season on Wednesday as boss Maurizio Sarri looks to ignite his spluttering attack.
Higuain will be reunited with Sarri, who managed the 31-year-old at Napoli and made him his top target in the January transfer window.
After spending the first half of the season in a disappointing loan spell at AC Milan, Higuain admitted he was keen to move to Stamford Bridge.
“When the opportunity to join Chelsea presented itself I had to take it,” he told Chelsea’s website.
“It’s a team I’ve always liked that has a lot of history, a wonderful stadium and they play in the Premier League, a league I’ve always wanted to play in.
“I now hope I can give back that trust Chelsea have shown me out on the pitch. I can’t wait to start and I hope to adapt as soon as possible.” Continue reading “Higuain reunite with Sarri in Chelsea on loan until end of the season”
Real Madrid and Barcelona were the highest earning clubs in European football last season, knocking Manchester United off top spot, according to the latest Deloitte ‘Football Money League’ published on Thursday.
Deloitte based their survey of the top 20 earning clubs in Europe on the annual financial statements of the company or group running each club, or other direct sources, covering the 2017/18 season.
Real returned to top spot for the first time since 2014/15 with revenues of €750.9 million. Their revenue increased by more than €75 million year-on-year as they secured their third successive Champions League title.
Deloitte said the rise was “primarily due to the commercial growth of €54.8million including an uplift in sponsorship, merchandising and exploitation of increasingly lucrative pre-season fixtures.”
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte said: “Real Madrid’s outstanding financial performance in 2017/18 is built on their long history of success on the pitch, most recently three consecutive Champions League titles. Place bet on LIVE Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“This has enabled the club to continue to drive commercial revenue as the appetite to partner with Europe’s most successful clubs remains stronger than ever,” he added. Continue reading “Spanish giant Real, Barca replace United as top earning clubs”
While Jimi Agbaje has gotten endorsements from Accord Party which holds sway in the Mushin Axis of the State, the closest rival, Jide Sanwo-olu seems to be haunted by the spirit of discord within his party.
ALL IS NOT WELL IN APC LAGOS.
With the dramatic emergence of the APC candidate and the historic defeat of an incumbent Governor at the Party primaries. The lingering crack in the Lagos branch of the APC where two camps have to emerge resulting in court cases and parallel congresses and State Executive. The Fuad Oki led faction has been more silent in recent neither dispelling not confirming their support for Jide Sanwoolu. It is important to note the danger this portends for the chances of APC Lagos in retaining the coveted Governorship seat
With party stalwarts like Muiz Banire, two-time Governor of the State Babatunde Raji Fashola, and other notable members not seen to be campaigning for Jide Sanwoolu it is understandable why keeping the governorship seat will be the toughest challenge for the APC in Lagos State.
JIMI AGBAJE CAMPAIGN KEEPS GROWING FROM STRENGHT TO STRENGHT
Jimi Agbaje though faced with a harsh campaign media environment, with his posters and billboards being pulled down that those who have been identified as agents of the State in several social media posts. His narrow loss of the 2015 elections to Governor Ambode is still fresh in the heart of his youthful supporters across the State.
This support base has communicated its dislike for the perceived silence of JK as he’s fondly called after that election, but they still remain resolute to see Lagos government free from the shackles of one man.
The odds definitely change with betting pattern where the option that receives the most bets begin to have lower odds as the date of the event draws closer.
About 2 months ago when the Lagos Governorship Election the odds of Jimi and Jide were the same at 1.90 but as the election date draws closer, both aspirants odds have dropped compared to the plenty others in the race, but it is worth noting that Jimi Agbaje’s odds have dropped faster than that of Jide Sanwoolu indicating that more bettors fancy a victory for the PDP aspirant at the March 2nd polls.
What is your take on this? 1.7 on a Jimi victory or 1.8 on a Sanwoolu victory. We are sure the odds would fluctuate more rapidly as we get closer to the d-day. You may lock in your bets to take advantage of these fluctuations.
Marcos Alonso has challenged his Chelsea team-mates to prove they are motivated to arrest their alarming slide in Thursday’s League Cup semi-final showdown against Tottenham.
Furious with the latest in a growing list of punchless displays, Blues boss Maurizio Sarri launching a scathing attack on his Chelsea stars after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.
Questioning their mental strength and revealing he finds it “extremely difficult” to motivate his players, Sarri risked alienating a squad that had already rebelled against his predecessor Antonio Conte last season.
The Italian’s blast was entirely understandable after so many tepid efforts from Chelsea this term. Bet Now NaijaBet
But Sarri must shoulder some of the blame himself after making a pair of tactical decisions that have contributed to Chelsea’s malaise. Continue reading “Chelsea must hit back in Spurs EFL Clash”
Serena Williams’s bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title was brought to a halt in sensational style at the Australian Open Wednesday by Karolina Pliskova, as Lucas Pouille reached his first ever major semifinal.
The American great had beaten world number one Simona Halep in the fourth round but folded against the tall Czech seventh seed, who saved four match points before winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 under the hot Melbourne sun.
Her reward is a clash against Japan’s Naomi Osaka for a place in the final, after the Japanese fourth seed brutally swatted aside the injured Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-1.
Pouille also made the last four after beating power-serving Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, becoming the first Frenchman to do so at Melbourne Park since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2010. Bet Now
Awaiting him is the winner of the night match on Rod Laver Arena between world number one Novak Djokovic and Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
It was a gut-wrenching defeat for Williams, who battled back from a set down and was leading 5-1 in the third and serving for the match, only to throw it away with some wild shots as frustrations bubbled to the surface.
“There’s nothing I did wrong on those match points. I stayed aggressive. She just literally hit the lines on some of them,” said the dumbfounded 37-year-old, who rolled an ankle but refused to blame it for the defeat. Continue reading “Pliskova sent Serena out as Pouille reaches first ever Slam semi”
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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is “optimistic” his team can beat Chelsea to reach the League Cup final despite injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
The 46-year-old Argentine remains focused and upbeat even though Kane likely to be missing until March while Alli is being assessed after going off late in the 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday with a hamstring problem.
Pochettino is also without South Korean forward Son Heung-min, who is away on Asian Cup duty.
Pressure is growing on the manager and his talented young Spurs side to translate attractive football into silverware – a loss in the 2015 League Cup final and two FA Cup semifinal defeats have led to questions over their mental strength.
Spurs take a 1-0 lead into Thursday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, who beat them in the League Cup final and the 2017 FA Cup semifinal. Naija and Bet
“I am so optimistic,” Pochettino was quoted as saying -. “We are going to prepare for Chelsea, try to find solutions. Try to be solid, aggressive, offensive and keep our identity. Continue reading “Mauricio Pochettino remains positive despite injury blows”
Marcus Rashford was in danger of seeing his dream of becoming Manchester United’s star striker turn to dust but the England forward is flourishing again after escaping Jose Mourinho’s shackles.
Three years after exploding onto the Premier League scene, Rashford marked his 150th United appearance on Saturday with a memorable goal that underlined his vast potential.
Smoothly turning away from Brighton’s Pascal Gross, Rashford curled a fine shot into the top corner as United sealed a seventh successive win since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as interim manager.
Solskjaer’s arrival in December to replace the sacked Mourinho has proved a catalyst for United’s surge, and Rashford has been at the heart of their success.
Rashford has scored five times in six league matches following the Norwegian’s appointment, earning comparisons from his manager with former United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. Place bet on Live games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“Definitely he can be absolutely top-class. He is only 21 but the maturity he is showing at times is more than 21,” Solskjaer said when asked if Rashford was capable of emulating Ronaldo and Rooney. Continue reading “Rashford comes in from the cold at Manchester United”
Arsenal will be down to sixth in the table by the time this match starts if Manchester United avoid defeat at home to Brighton in one of Saturday’s fixtures.
The Gunners were streaks ahead of United prior to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment but have endured a terrible run of two wins from their last five league matches.
Chelsea haven’t been much better either of late. Maurizio Sarri’s side have suffered a dip in form and haven’t won a match by more than a one-goal margin since beating Manchester City 2-0 over a month ago.
The west London outfit has historically come out on top in this fixture but that has changed slightly in the last few league meetings between the two sides. Start forecasting your weekend games Now
Neither London rival are at their best ahead of Saturday’s match and both know the consequences of defeat with Manchester United breathing down their necks. Will either side do enough to get all three points? A draw would be a great result for their top-six rivals. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Arsenal vs Chelsea”
Bernardo Silva says Manchester City’s squad is approaching full strength at the right time as they mount a four-pronged trophy assault
Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy have missed large chunks of the campaign through injury, while David Silva, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan have had spells out recently.
But the Premier League champions are now getting close to full strength, with Mendy the only key player sidelined with a serious injury, and there are hopes he could be back in action before the end of the month.
City illustrated the depth of their squad as they named De Bruyne, Aguero and Riyad Mahrez on the bench for Monday’s clash with Wolves and still eased to a 3-0 win.
“It feels like we have all the squad, which is important because we need all of them,” said playmaker Silva. “It is good finally to be back together.
“Of course until this moment of the season we have had so many injured players, we never played with the whole squad. To have almost the whole squad available is fantastic for us and it is very good to try and go for all the competitions.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Silva, 24, has no issue with the fact that means increased competition for his own place. Continue reading “Silva welcomes the return of Man City big guys”
Chelsea are facing disciplinary action over alleged anti-Semitic chanting by their supporters during a Europa League match against Vidi FC in Budapest last month, Uefa said in a statement on Tuesday.
The European soccer body said it had completed an investigation and that “in relation to the alleged racist incidents that occurred at the…. match, Uefa has announced that disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Chelsea FC.”
The hearing will take place on February 28., Uefa added.
Media reported some Chelsea supporters chanted offensive songs about Tottenham Hotspur fans early in their 2-2 draw in Hungary.
Chelsea issued a statement following the game describing anti-Semitism as “abhorrent to this club and the overwhelming majority of our fans.” Continue reading “Chelsea face Uefa disciplinary action over racist chanting”
Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal on Sunday, a total his coach Ernesto Valverde called “monstrous”, as Barcelona terrorised Eibar to reclaim their five-point cushion at the top of the table.
Messi drove the ball into the bottom corner after being teed up by Luis Suarez, who added two goals to his own tally either side of the Argentinian marking another historic record at the Camp Nou.
“It’s monstrous,” said Valverde, after the 3-0 victory. “It’s easy to say but you have to score them one after the other, it’s a long-term job.
“His numbers are stratospheric, incredible. He is from another galaxy.”
Victory saw Valverde’s side restore their advantage over Atletico Madrid, who had briefly cut the gap to two points after beating Levante earlier in the day.
“There is a lot of time left,” Valverde said. “It is a good cushion but nothing is done yet.”
Real Madrid won too, beating Real Betis, to ensure Spain’s big three all prevailed in the same round for only the fourth time this season. Real remain 10 points adrift of Barcelona. Continue reading “Messi set another record as Barcelona extend Laliga lead”
David de Gea produced a goalkeeping masterclass on Sunday as Manchester United beat Tottenham 1-0 to prove their recovery under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no flash in the pan.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the 44th minute of an open, exciting match at Wembley but the performance of the Spanish goalkeeper will live long in the memory.
He made 11 saves – the most saves he has made in a top-flight league match without conceding a goal – leaving Spurs players holding their heads in disbelief on multiple occasions. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
United were eight points behind Arsenal when Solskjaer became their caretaker manager on December 19 but are now level on points with the fifth-placed Gunners as they hunt down a Champions League qualification spot.
But the result is a devastating blow for Mauricio Pochettino’s title-chasing Tottenham, who again came up short when the pressure was on and remain nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“We won the game against a top team, we controlled the first half but in the second half they had chances,” De Gea said . “I was feeling very well with the first two saves, it was a great game. Continue reading “Rashford and De Gea shine as United sink Spurs”