Louis van Gaal feels his players “must deliver” against Liverpool on Today.

Van-Gaal1

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal feels his side “must deliver” in their Europa League last-16 second leg tie against Liverpool on Thursday.

A desperately poor performance from the Red Devils saw them lose 2-0 in the first leg at Anfield last week.

United have failed to win in their last three matches in all competitions.

“It starts with the players, of course, but it starts also with the fans. They have a lot of impact on the pitch,” said Dutchman Van Gaal.

The meeting against rivals Liverpool comes a week before the 32nd anniversary of one of their greatest comebacks.

Trailing 2-0 to Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, United won 3-0 at Old Trafford to reach the semi-finals.

They were also 2-1 down to Danish side FC Midtjylland after the first leg in the previous round, before winning 5-1 in the second.

“We have to believe in it,” said Van Gaal when asked if they can rescue the tie. “I have spoken only with the players about the victory.

“We always owe to the fans a big result because the fans are paying to see that. We have to deliver.”Naija and bet

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Taiwo Awoniyi confident to shine with Liverpool first team next season.

Taiwo Awoniyi says he is confident of getting a chance in the Liverpool first team next season.

The 18-year-old joined Liverpool on August 31, 2015 for around £400,000 and was immediately loaned out to German second division club, FSV Frankfurt.

He has since made five league appearances for the German club but is eager for the chance to shine in England from next season. Naijabet

“The first issue (I have to sort out now) is the work permit.

“Before you play in England, you have to get the work permit and that is what I am concerned about now”

The attacker has already played for Nigeria at under-17, 20, 23 and senior levels.

He is widely regarded as a big prospect in years to come and made his intent known shortly after Liverpool announced they had acquired his services last year.

““This is the biggest club in the world and I’m privileged to be here. I’ll try to develop myself very well so that when I come back to Liverpool I’ll be able to add value to the team.

“When I’m in the red shirt, I will always give my very best to make the fans happy,” he told the club’s official website.

Barca Messi,Luis Suarez and Neymar are the best strikers I have seen: Wenger’s

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as capable of turning football into art as all three struck to eliminate his side from the Champions League.

The Gunners bowed out at the last 16 stage for a sixth consecutive season 5-1 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, but gave the European champions a scare with a spirited display.

However, the difference in quality in front of goal was the deciding factor in the tie as Barca’s South American trio all netted to take their combined tally for the season to 106.

“We have to admire art and they have two or three players that transform normal life into art,” said Wenger.

“I have to say we played against a team with the best strikers I’ve seen. The three are exceptional and from nothing they can create a chance.”

By contrast, Arsenal’s whole squad have managed just 72 goals this season and their downfall was once again a lack of cutting edge up front.

Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck missed great chances to level after Neymar’s early opener. Naijabet.com

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Lucky Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to beat Juventus in extra time

Bayern Munich’s stunning four-goal fightback to beat Juventus had the ‘wow’ factor for Pep Guardiola as the they reached the Champions League quarterfinals for the fifth season in a row

Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to beat Juventus in extra time, dramatically progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals.

With the tie poised at 2-2 after the first leg, Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado scored to put Juve in command.

Robert Lewandowski’s header gave Bayern hope but Juve looked to have seen them off until Thomas Muller’s 90th-minute goal forced the match into extra time.

And a buoyed Bayern finished in style through Thiago and Kingsley Coman. Naijabet.com

The hosts – who had dominated possession to little effect in normal time – played with more urgency after Muller’s lifeline, with the introduction of substitutes Coman and Thiago playing a key part in the turnaround.

Continue reading “Lucky Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to beat Juventus in extra time”

Barcalona v Arsenal :The big Match Preview

Barcelona will be looking for a tenth straight Champions League home win when they host round of 16 rivals Arsenal Today.

Arsenal will hope to avoid defeats against Barcelona who beat them previously in two-legged ties in the Champions League in 2010 and 2011.

The Gunners, however, have a mountain to climb after Lionel Messi’s late double in the first leg gave Barcelona a 2-0 victory– the fourth year in a row Arsenal have lost at home in the round of 16 first leg.

When the teams met in the 2010/11 round of 16, Arsenal came from behind to win the first leg 2-1, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin overturning David Villa’s first-half goal.

Barcelona recovered with a 3-1 second-leg success in which Messi scored twice. Sergio Busquets had briefly given Arsenal hope with a 53rd-minute own goal that made it 1-1 three minutes before Van Persie’s dismissal.

 

The previous season Messi had hit all four Barcelona goals in a 4-1 second-leg quarter-final triumph over Arsenal. Arsène Wenger’s men had given themselves hope in the first leg by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 through Theo Walcott and Cesc Fàbregas (penalty).

Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final at Stade de France with Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti scoring late on to overturn Sol Campbell’s strike for an Arsenal side who lost Jens Lehmann to a first-half red card. Naijabet.com

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Atletico beat PSV 8-7 in a shootout to progress into quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Juanfran scored the winning penalty as Atletico Madrid beat PSV Eindhoven 8-7 in a shootout to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The two sides could not be separated over 210 minutes, in what was the first-ever Champions League knockout tie to end 0-0 in both legs.

In a high-quality shootout, the first 14 penalties were all converted.

But Luciano Narsingh, on as a late substitute for the Dutch champions’ top scorer Luuk de Jong, then hit the bar.

“It was a real heart stopper,” said Juanfran. “I am very happy to see how the crowd got behind the side. We believe, our coach makes us believe and we have a lot of hunger and heart. We believe in all that we do.”

It is the second consecutive season in which Diego Simeone’s men have progressed to the last eight on penalties, having seen off Bayer Leverkusen in similar fashion last year. Naijabet

Continue reading “Atletico beat PSV 8-7 in a shootout to progress into quarter-finals of the Champions League.”

Super Eagles open camp for preparations against Egypt

Eagles have continued preparations for the March 25 Africa Cup of Nations against Egypt with the return of players in camp after the weekend games in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The players were put through their paces by interim coach Samson Siasia and his assistants with emphasis on fitness and ball movement.

First choice goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa led the group which includes Emmanuel Daniel, Chisom Chikatara, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kalu Orji, Seth Sincere, Ifeanyi Matthew, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Etim Matthew, Austin Obaroakpo and Godwin Obaje.

Enyimba duo of Chima Akas and goalkeeper Femi Thomas were excused to rejoin their club for the second leg CAF Champions League tie with Vital’O of Burundi, Naijabet.com

The home-based players will be joined by the foreign-based players from March 20, five days before the all-important clash with the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Super Eagles are second in Group G of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, two points behind leaders Egypt.

Manchester City reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time

Manchester City reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time despite a  goalless draw against Dynamo Kiev.

City, 3-1 up from the first leg, were in control of the tie but lost both centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi to injury early on.

In a slow-paced first half, neither side threatened a shot on target.

Jesus Navas hit the post with a low drive in the second half and Yaya Toure struck straight at the goalkeeper.

Manuel Pellegrini wants to finish by making City champions of Europe for the first time, Champions League remains City’s only realistic hope of a second trophy this season, as they lie 12 points behind leaders Leicester in the Premier League. Naijabet.com

 Pellegrini has made history by taking City further in the competition than any other manager, but can he go all the way? Well, they will want to avoid Barcelona in the draw for the next round – should the holders complete the job against Arsenal on Wednesday – having been knocked out by the current Spanish champions in each of the last two seasons. Continue reading “Manchester City reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time”

‘Giggs ready to takeover from Louis van Gaal United hot seat’

Ryan

Ryan Giggs is ready to become Manchester United’s next manager if Louis van Gaal is shown the door a year early at the end of this season, former club captain Bryan Robson.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been tipped to takeover at Old Trafford but Robson says United great Giggs, who has been assistant to Van Gaal, would be a perfect choice.

“The thing for me is that Van Gaal was always going to be a three-year contract with Ryan working under him so that they could see whether he was ready to step in,” Robson Added.

“Ryan was a great player for this club, he loves playing football the United way, he’s done all his badges and for me he’s in the right place at the right time.”

Former England skipper Robson, 59, was still at the heart of United’s midfield when a teenaged Giggs broke into the first team in 1991. The Welsh winger went on to make a record 963 appearances and claim 34 trophies.

He has been working alongside the much-travelled Van Gaal in what has been a tricky transition period for United following the retirement of Alex Ferguson, who had been in charge for 26 years, in 2013 Naijabet.com.

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Arsenal to face an almost impossible task against red-hot Barcelona on Wednesday

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side face an almost impossible task when they travel to face a red-hot Barcelona on Wednesday looking to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in six years.

As so often in the second half of Wenger’s 20-year reign, Arsenal will travel to the Camp Nou with a sense of what might have been.

They had their chances to lead at the Emirates three weeks ago before Barca’s brilliant forward triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez cut through them with an unerring ease they have made routine.

Messi, Neymar and Suarez have scored a combined 103 goals this season while Arsenal’s entire squad a mere 71.

Top of the list of Wenger’s detractors has been his inability or unwillingness to splash out on the top-class striker needed to turn Arsenal from perennial pretenders into winners.

Yet, he tried to land Suarez whilst the Uruguayan was still at Liverpool in 2013.

In a tale of Arsenal’s penny-pinch culture under Wenger, they infuriated Liverpool by launching a bid one pound over Suarez’s reported £40 million buyout clause.

Even more damming for Arsenal was that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard managed to talk Suarez into staying for an extra season at Anfield by telling him he was “too good for Arsenal” and that his move to Barcelona would come, Naijabet.com

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Antonio Conte Italy coach may be Chelsea next Manager

Antonio Conte will step down from his position as manager of Italy following Euro 2016.

Conte has been heavily linked with the managerial vacancy at Chelsea and this move increases the prospect of him taking over at Stamford Bridge.

The 46-year-old was appointed Italy manager in August 2014 shortly after resigning as coach of Juventus.

“He feels the need for the pitch, the everyday training,” said Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio.

Conte led the Turin club to three successive Serie A titles prior to taking on the national job.

Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho as their manager in December 2015 and appointed Guus Hiddink on an interim basis until the end of the season.

The Blues have improved from 16th to 10th in the league under Hiddink but have been knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup.

They face missing out on next season’s Champions League unless they can make up an 11-point gap in nine games.

Conte is a former Italy midfielder who made over 500 appearances for Juventus, winning five league titles and a Champions League. Naija and bet

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Manchester City v Dynamo Kiev,Yaya Toure has recovered from injury and is fit to play

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has recovered from injury and is fit to play in Today’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Dynamo Kiev.

The Ivorian, 32, missed Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Norwich in the Premier League because of a heel injury.

“He has no problems,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who will attempt to guide City into the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

City, who enjoy a 3-1 first-leg lead, are favourites to progress.

But a cautious Pellegrini said his team must forget about the advantage they built in Ukraine.

“The most important thing is to know we have not yet qualified. We play against a team who know how to play this type of game,” said the Chilean.

“We’re not going to play with the score we got in Kiev, we’re just going to say it’s 0-0 and try to win the game.” Naijabet

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Diego Costa charged with improper conduct following his red card at Everton

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been charged with improper conduct following his red card at Everton on Saturday.

The Spaniard was sent off after a clash with Everton midfielder Gareth Barry in the 84th minute of Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park.

Costa, 27, appeared to bite Barry in the incident, although both players have denied that happened.

However, the Football Association has now charged Costa for his behaviour after being shown a second yellow card.

“It is alleged his behaviour, after being shown a second yellow card in the game, amounted to improper conduct,” the FA said in a statement.

The player has until  on Thursday, 17 March to respond to the charge.

He has also been given until Wednesday to provide his observations to the FA over an alleged gesture made towards Everton supporters while leaving the pitch at half-time. Naijabet

Leicester extended their lead at the top of the Premier League

Shinji Okazaki’s spectacular overhead kick earned the Foxes a win which, with just eight games left, moved them closer to their first league title.

An improved Newcastle went close through Ayoze Perez and Moussa Sissoko.

But ultimately Leicester’s pressing foiled them and the defeat leaves the Magpies second from bottom.

Before the match, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri refused to accept his team were favourites to win the title, insisting that qualifying for the Europa League was the target.

But as he gesticulated on the sidelines in the closing minutes, urging the home fans to increase the volume, his actions suggested that he and his team are chasing more than a chance to compete in Europe’s second-tier competition.

With every passing week, the prospect of the Foxes achieving what their former striker Gary Lineker describes as possibly the most “unlikely triumph in the history of team sport” becomes more likely.

A team which at the start of the season were among the bookies’ favourites to be relegated are on the home straight, unbeaten in four matches and closing in on history. Naijabet.com

Ranieri’s men are 12 points clear of Manchester City and 11 ahead of Arsenal, leaving many to believe the title is a two-way fight between the leaders and second-placed Tottenham.

Continue reading “Leicester extended their lead at the top of the Premier League”

Leicester City ‘on edge of sporting immortality’

Former Leicester City striker Gary Lineker says his old club “are on the edge of sporting immortality”.

The Foxes, fighting relegation last year, are top of the Premier League with nine games to go.

They can go five points clear if they win their game in hand against Newcastle on today.

“They are on the edge of sporting immortality,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever wanted something to happen more in sport in my entire life.”

Lineker admitted he was wrong to be sceptical about the appointment of Claudio Ranieri, who succeeded Nigel Pearson as Leicester boss in July last year.

The Match of the Day presenter said he thought the 64-year-old Italian was an “uninspired choice” when he arrived after a spell as Greece boss.

“Oh how wrong I was,” said former England captain Lineker. “How wonderfully, spectacularly, blissfully wrong.”Naijabet.com

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Wright says Fans’ criticism of Arsene Wenger hurts

Arsenal legend Ian Wright says “it is tearing him apart” to see Arsene Wenger come under fire from Gunners fans.

Wenger faces increasing criticism from some supporters angry with the club’s poor form, with one banner urging him to end his 19-year reign as manager.

The London club have slipped to third in the Premier League table and exited the FA Cup at the weekend.

Wright says that he found it “very uncomfortable” to see Wenger being treated the way he is.

“It is tearing me apart because I played for him and have a lot of respect for him,” said Wright. “He gave me extra years on my career.”

Arsenal’s season looked very healthy just a few weeks ago.

They were top of the Premier League on 4 January and fighting for silverware in two cup competitions.

But they have won only two of their past nine league games and now lie third in the table, eight points behind leaders Leicester City and six behind north London rivals Tottenham.

They are also heading out of the Champions League.

Continue reading “Wright says Fans’ criticism of Arsene Wenger hurts”

Keylor Navas sent warning to his team-mates following their scrappy win over Las Palmas

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has warned his team-mates that they must change their style of play if they want to be winning silverware anytime soon.

A late goal from Casemiro spared Madrid’s blushes on Sunday as they scraped to a 2-1 win away toLas Palmas.

The Spanish outfit advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday but sit in third in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona with nine games left to play.

And Navas believes Madrid will not be lifting any trophies come season’s end if they do not start playing differently.

“In the second half [against Las Palmas] we did not have the best of games,” Navas  Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Keylor Navas sent warning to his team-mates following their scrappy win over Las Palmas”

Gareth Barry says Diego Costa did not bite him

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry says Chelsea striker Diego Costa did not bite him when they clashed during Saturday’s quarter-final.

Costa was shown a second yellow card for his part in the incident, in the 84th minute of Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, but denied biting Barry.

The Toffees player, who was later sent off, has backed Costa’s claim.

The Football Association is awaiting referee Michael Oliver’s report before deciding if more action is necessary.

Costa responded to a tackle from Barry by confronting the England international, moving his head towards him and in the direction of his neck.

Blues manager Guus Hiddink said the 27-year-old striker had been “chased a bit in the game” and was provoked by Everton players.

Barry was sent off three minutes after Costa when he was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said the 35-year-old had not complained after the match about his clash with Costa.

Former referee Howard Webb : “I’ll be amazed if Costa is not punished for his reaction after the second yellow card. Naija and bet

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Is Arsenal’s season over?

Following defeats by Swansea and Barcelona, this was Arsenal’s third consecutive loss at the Emirates – their worst home run since moving from Highbury in 2006.

Defeat at home to Swansea in early March saw Arsenal’s Premier League aspirations take a serious blow, and with the gap to leaders Leicester having since moved out to eight points, winning the title looks very unlikely.

Then followed their 2-0 reverse at home to Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League. Not many Gunners fans will be betting against the Spanish side progressing at their expense in the second leg on Wednesday.

Victory in this year’s FA Cup was without a doubt the club’s best chance of silverware. And it would have been Wenger’s seventh triumph, making him the most successful manager in the history of the competition.

Watford stunned FA Cup holders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to book their place in the semi-finals at Wembley. Naija bet

Now, though, the pressure will be on the Frenchman like never before during his near 20-year reign in north London.

If Arsenal’s two consecutive FA Cup trophies were supposed to demonstrate progress towards winning the league or the Champions League, what does this season’s disappointing exit herald?

What is next for Arsenal?

Borussia Dortmund moved within five points of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich

Reus scored from Gonzalo Castro’s fine pass on the half-hour and Kagawa added the second on 73 minutes.

Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius made a string of impressive second-half saves to prevent more Dortmund goals.

Dortmund are unbeaten in 12 games, including nine in the league, since their defeat at Cologne in December.

But Bayern remain clear favourites for a fourth successive title after their 5-0 win against Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Dortmund’s win was marred by the death of a supporter attending the match. Another fan had to be resuscitated following two separate incidents.

The club said the second supporter was in a stable condition in hospital.

The club statement read: “During the game there were two tragic incidents in the stadium in which two spectators had to be resuscitated.

“Unfortunately one person did not make it and has died. We are full of sadness and the families are in our thoughts.

“We have received the news from the hospital that the condition of the second person is apparently stable.”

Paris St-Germain were crowned French champions with their fourth-successive title

Laurent Blanc’s men clinched their fourth-successive title in style with the biggest away win in the history of the competition.

They did it with just one defeat in 30 games after they were beaten 2-1 by Lyon in February, and the latest win took their goal difference to +62, with just 15 league goals conceded.

They have won 24 of their 30 games and Ibrahimovic has scored 31 goals in 25 appearances to add to Cavani’s 16 in 27.

Defeat left Troyes, who had Lossemy Karaboue sent off in the 64th minute, eight points adrift of second-from-bottom Toulouse with a goal difference of -47.

Having confirmed their dominance of the domestic scene, PSG will now attempt to transfer their success onto the Champions League stage.

Blanc’s side beat Chelsea 4-2 on aggregate in the last 16 of this season’s competition and will find out their quarter-final opponents when the draw takes place in Nyon on Friday. Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Paris St-Germain were crowned French champions with their fourth-successive title”

Paris St-Germain may be Crowned Champions on Sunday

Paris St-Germain will be crowned champions of France for the fourth successive season if results go their way this weekend.

Should Monaco fail to defeat struggling Reims on Friday, Laurent Blanc’s side can wrap up the title with victory at bottom club Troyes on Sunday.

PSG are 23 points ahead of second-placed Monaco with nine games left.

If they do not win it this weekend, PSG could clinch the title by beating Monaco at home the following Sunday.

The record for the earliest title won from the five big European leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – is held by Bayern Munich.

They were crowned champions of Germany on 25 March 2014 after 27 games in an 18-team league – France has 20. Naija.com

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Newcastle United appoint Rafael Benitez to replace Steve McClaren’s

Rafael Benitez has been named as Newcastle’s new manager, following the sacking of Steve McClaren.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Valencia boss takes over with the Magpies a point from safety with 10 games left.

Spaniard Benitez, 55, has signed a three-year contract and brought in coaches Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Miguel Moreno and Antonio Gomez Perez.

“C’mon Toon Army. The club and I need your total involvement,” he said.

Benitez was sacked in January after seven months as Real Madrid boss.

He spent six years as Liverpool manager, winning the Champions League in 2005. He also had an interim spell with Chelsea, guiding the Blues to Europa League success in 2013.

“I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League,” he said.

“It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans. Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Newcastle United appoint Rafael Benitez to replace Steve McClaren’s”

Karim Benzema will be allow to play for France at Euro 2016

Striker Karim Benzema will be eligible to play for France at Euro 2016 after some legal restrictions were lifted.

Benzema is being investigated for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

The Real Madrid player – who denies wrongdoing – was not allowed to contact Valbuena, meaning they could not be in the same squad, but an appeals court has partially lifted some restrictions.

However Benzema, who is injured, was suspended from France duty in December.

That ban was due to stand until the end of court proceedings.

An investigating judge last month lifted the order keeping Benzema and Lyon playmaker Valbuena apart, but the prosecutor appealed. That was dismissed on Friday. Naija and bet Continue reading “Karim Benzema will be allow to play for France at Euro 2016”

Newcastle United has sack head coach Steve McClaren

Newcastle United have sacked head coach Steve McClaren.

The former England boss won just six of 28 Premier League games in charge of the Magpies, who are just one place off the foot of the table.

McClaren and his team were booed off following Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Bournemouth at St James’ Park – their third successive league defeat.

Former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez has been tipped to take over.

McClaren’s future has been a source of almost constant speculation since the defeat to the Cherries.

“Newcastle have finally put Steve McClaren out of his misery.

“The running of that great football club is beyond shambolic.”

Ian Dennis, said Benitez had been identified as a replacement for McClaren at a board meeting on Monday.

McClaren, 54, signed a three-year contract with the Magpies in June after the club avoided relegation on the final day of last season.

Newcastle’s next game is at leaders Leicester City on Monday.

Club statement

“After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, the club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren’s employment with the club will end with immediate effect.

“We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise.

“However, we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the club at heart. Naijabet.com

Continue reading “Newcastle United has sack head coach Steve McClaren”