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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Ronaldo Reveals 3 Things Real Madrid Need To be Crown Champions

Cristiano Ronaldo has said Real Madrid need to add “continuity, luck, ambition” to their game following their 2-0 win over AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday and praised Gareth Bale for his performance on his successful return to action following injury.

 “We know the quarter and semi-finals are going to be much more difficult. We’re still lacking a lot. We’re lacking continuity, luck, ambition… but if we continue like this, I think we’re on the right path.”

 he said of the Welshman: “Bale played really well considering he had been out of action for so long. I thought Lucas Vazquez was great too. He’s a great asset for the team, playing well and fighting when he gets a chance.”

Ronaldo recently generated controversy by criticising his team-mates following Real’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, saying: “If we were all at my level maybe we would be leaders,” per BBC Sport.

However, despite assertion that his latest comments signal he “has done it again,” this time it appears he has simply made a frank and honest assessment of the team’s shortcomings. Naijabet.com 

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I want to return to Argentina in 2018 ,Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has said he will leave the Premier League club when his contract expires.

The Argentina international’s five-year deal at Etihad Stadium takes him to the end of the 2018-19 season.

He has scored 128 goals for City since signing from Atletico Madrid for £38m in 2011, winning two league titles.

Aguero, 27, “it’s clear” I am going to return to my first club Independiente “and retire there”.

“Here (at City) they know what I want to do, they know I want to return to Argentina,” he added.

“My family know that I am going to go there when my contract with Manchester City finishes in 2018.”

It is unclear why Aguero referred to his deal ending in 2018, as the club have confirmed he is contracted until 2019. Naijabet

Togo coach hopes for Emmanuel Adebayor return

Togo coach Tom Saintfiet is hopeful he may yet be able to convince Emmanuel Adebayor to return to the national team, after the striker rejected a call-up for their forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia.

Adebayor, who last played for his country in June 2015, said he wanted to focus on his new club Crystal Palace which he joined in January after 10 months away from professional football.

But Saintfiet said the 32-year-old was still key to his plans.

“As national team coach, I want Adebayor to return to the national team, I want him to be there, I want him to play and I want him to score goals for our country,

Adebayor has had a difficult relationship with Saintfiet in the past.

The former Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal player had not been picked since failing to turn up for a Nations Cup qualifier against Djibouti in September following a row over losing the captaincy. Naijabet new

But Saintfiet says he has been monitoring Adebayor’s progress at Crystal Palace and is hopeful the striker may change his mind about returning to the national set-up before the Tunisia match on 25 March.

“I got the information that Adebayor gave a message that he is is not ready to come back, but let’s see what happens in the next coming weeks,” he said.

“We have still a few weeks before the match, so I hope we can still convince him to return to the national team.”

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Europa League : Borussia Dortmund defeat Tottenham 3-0 in last-16 tie

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has “no regrets” about making seven changes to his side, despite a 3-0 defeat by Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

Pochettino, whose side are also trying to win the Premier League title, named striker Harry Kane as a substitute.

“I am very disappointed with the result. It was a bad day in the office but we need to accept that,” he said.

“We picked the starting XI to try and win the game.”Naijabet

A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang header and two Marco Reus goals left Spurs on the brink of elimination before the return leg at White Hart Lane on 17 March.

Tottenham have not won for three matches, their loss in Germany following a 1-0 defeat at West Ham and a 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

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Liverpool beat Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield

Liverpool produced a sensational performance to take a 2-0 lead in its UEFA Europa League series with Manchester United on a night to remember at Anfield. A Daniel Sturridge penalty kick in the first half and Roberto Firmino’s latest goal in the closing stages were the key moments in a display that would have brought even more were it not for David de Gea in the opposition goal. The key points: Sturridge’s penalty kick put the Reds ahead after 20 minutes.

Scholes, who made 718 appearances for United, told BT Sport that the Old Trafford club “have certain standards and they have fallen well short”.

He added: “Liverpool had a way of playing. United didn’t have a clue.”

“Manchester United should be competing to win the Premier League and Champions League every season,” said Scholes.

“They have spent £300m and they are sixth in the league. They have ended up in the Europa League after failing in a poor Champions League group. They should be competing with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“I hope none of the players comes out saying sorry on Twitter. Stop talking on social media and start playing. Naijabet

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Arsenal should make a brilliant move by signing Ibramimovic : Rio Ferdinand

Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be the perfect signing for Arsenal in the summer as he would bring a winning mentality to the club that is currently lacking, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The former Manchester United centre-back said after Ibrahimovic masterminded Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, that English clubs should be looking to snap him up when his contract with the French club expires in the summer.

He showed  that even at 34, as a free transfer English clubs should be looking at this guy to come over here and be the catalyst to winning things because that’s what he does—he wins things.

This game was decided by clinical top-level play and he was at the centre of that both times, one with an assist and one with a goal which basically ended the tie.

What he’d bring to Arsenal is a mentality, what they’re lacking to win. To get over the line and win titles. He’s done that more than anyone.

Ibrahimovic remains one of the best players in Europe and has netted 23 goals and provided 10 assists in Ligue 1 this season as PSG have opened up a 23-point gap at the top of the table. Naija play and win 

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Leicester City : Our Dream May Be Real

“The title is not ours,” said Leicester City Manager Claudio Ranieri. “Something special can happen, but we have to fight a lot, slowly, slowly.” Naijabet.com

Those cautious words, said on television after Leicester’s latest win at Watford , contained for the first time an acknowledgement from this wily old coach that the seemingly impossible could happen.

Ranieri has been in denial throughout this remarkable season. His mantra has been that the Foxes are a small club running just to survive and that he has been expecting them to be chased down by the pack, led by Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Manchester City.

He is right, to the extent that it is still an implausible dream that a club the size of Leicester ever could win the Premiership. Yet with nine games remaining after this weekend, and with the Foxes five points ahead of their closest rival, the chasers are beginning to run out of games to reel Leicester in.

“A lot can happen,” insisted Leicester’s goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel. “In nine games last season, we saved ourselves in this league.” Naijabet

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Muller says Barcelona are not Stronger than Bayern

Thomas Muller says he does not know in what aspect Barcelona could be superior to Bayern Munich.

Muller, 26, scored the opening goal of the game in Bayern’s 2-2 draw at Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie as the Bundesliga champions aim to win a second European crown in four years.

Bayern were knocked out of last year’s tournament in the semi-finals by Barcelona – who went on to win the treble – but Muller believes the clubs are more even than most people think. Naijabet 

“Barcelona are in a good moment and they come from winning the treble last season,” the Germany international told Sport1. “But I see Bayern as one of the strongest in Europe, naturally alongside Barcelona.

“Bayern are first in the [Bundesliga], are one game away from a cup final, and got a good result away in the first leg of the round of 16.

“I don’t know where they are better than us.”

The forward added: “You can see every week how good they are, but also you can see our games and say ‘Yes, they are also very strong’.

“If we find ourselves up against Barcelona again, we will be prepared.”

Benfica reached the Champions League quarter-finals with win against Zenit St Petersburg.

Two-time European champions Benfica reached the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate win against Zenit St Petersburg.

 Benfican won the European Cup in 1961 and 1962.

The Portuguese side won the first leg 1-0 but Zenit levelled the tie in Russia on Wednesday when Hulk scored a second-half header.

However, Nicolas Gaitan nodded in after the hosts’ keeper Yuri Lodygin had pushed a shot onto the bar.

Talisca then sealed a 2-1 win on the night with a late drive.

Zenit, managed by former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, had been looking to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time. Naijabet.net

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Newcastle target Rafael Benitez as next Manager

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will be Newcastle’s preferred choice as manager if they replace Steve McClaren.

McClaren is still in charge after talks with managing director Lee Charnley.

The 54-year-old, whose side are 19th in the Premier League, has taken training all week and spoke to Charnley by phone on Wednesday after a planned face-to-face meeting failed to take place. Naijabet

His future remains unclear but he is expected to take training on Thursday before Monday’s game at Leicester.

The Magpies are in danger of a second relegation in seven years after five defeats in six league games, including Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Bournemouth.

Spaniard Benitez was sacked as manager of Real Madrid in January after only seven months in charge of the La Liga side.

The 55-year-old spent six years in charge of Liverpool, winning the 2004-05 Champions League, and had an interim spell with Chelsea, with whom he won the Europa League in 2012-13.

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Paris St-Germain Send Chelsea packing 4 – 2 Aggregate

Chelsea’s Champions League hopes were ended by Paris St-Germain at the last-16 stage once more as Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired the French champions to victory at Stamford Bridge. Naijabet.com

Zlatan Ibrahimovic  has scored in four consecutive Champions League matches.

PSG built on their 2-1 lead from the first leg when Ibrahimovic crossed perfectly for Adrien Rabiot to score from close range after 16 minutes.

Diego Costa’s smart finish put Chelsea level on the night before half-time, but his departure through injury on the hour and Ibrahimovic’s simple finish from Angel di Maria’s delivery seven minutes later sent PSG into the last eight.

The visitors, who knocked Chelsea out on away goals at this stage last season, ended the night in total control.

Chelsea – 10th in the Premier League – now face the prospect of being without European football next season, with Costa and Eden Hazard limping off injured before Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.

David Moyes is Coming to Nigeria to support Yobo

Former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes is coming to Nigeria.

He will be among the dignitaries expected to be present at former Nigeria defender Joseph Yobo testimonial game this summer. Naijabet

“I was David Moyes’ first signing at Everton, and he has confirmed to me that he will be here for the game”, Yobo announced at a news conference in Lagos.

The former Captain of the Super Eagles went further to announce that the game will be played in his home city of Port Harcourt.

“It has been an absolute honor for me to have represented my country, and played at the highest level for over 13 years, and I am humbled to see so many great people turn out here”.

Other stars to be present that day include Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Taribo West, Peter Rufai, Victor Ikpeba, Yahaya Toure and Henry Nwosu.

Chelsea VS P S G Match facts Preview

Chelsea have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League 12 times in the past 13 seasons, making the quarter-finals eight times.

The Blues have scored in their past 22 Champions League home games; the last time they failed to score was in the 1-0 defeat by Manchester United in April 2011. NAIJA AND BET

57% of Chelsea’s Champions League goals this season have been scored from set-pieces (eight out of 14), the highest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition.

Diego Costa has scored only one goal in his past 15 Champions League games, against Maccabi Tel Aviv in September 2015.

This is PSG’s fourth successive season in the knockout stages, the best run in their history; they have been eliminated in the quarter-finals in the past three years.

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Barcelona Stadium capacity to rise to 105,000 by 2021

Barcelona have unveiled plans to remodel their Nou Camp stadium with the capacity rising to 105,000 by the 2021-22 season.

A joint bid by Japanese architecture company Nikken Sekkei and a Catalan studio won the tender to remodel the home of the La Liga champions.

The Nou Camp has a capacity of 99,354 and is the biggest stadium in Europe. Naijabet.com

The redevelopment will also see the roof ring the entire stadium with all the seats being under cover.

Work is scheduled to start in the 2017-18 season and will not prevent the club from hosting games.

 The top tier capacity of the Nou Camp will be increased and it will have an even height throughout the stadium and The area underneath the
grandstands will be open and visible from the outside

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Guus Hiddink :Mikel is the ideal Player to bring balance to the team

Anyone seeking to understand Chelsea’s steady return to form under interim manager Guus Hiddink will find a partial explanation in the unassuming figure of holding midfielder John Mikel Obi.

 Having started just two of Chelsea’s final 16 Premier League games under Jose Mourinho, Mikel has started nine of 12 under Hiddink in the only notable non-enforced personnel change that the Dutchman has made to the starting XI. Naijabet.com


As well as being unbeaten in their 12 league games to date under Hiddink, Chelsea’s average number of goals conceded per game has dropped from 1.625 to 1, and Mikel’s defensive nous has been an important factor.

“He’s the ideal player to bring balance to the team,” Hiddink said earlier this year.

“He knows where the strength of the opponent is and he knows exactly how to cope with that.

“He doesn’t do it in a very brutal way — he’s very, very elegant. What I like to see very much is not just a quality player, but a player who can defend so smoothly. It’s beautiful to see.”

It is a configuration that has helped Chelsea climb to 10th in the league, kindling hope that they may yet succeed in overturning a 2-1 deficit in today’s Champions League clash at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

Mikel missed the two previous Champions League ties with PSG over the last two seasons. An unused substitute in both legs of the quarter-final in 2013-14, he was recovering from knee surgery last season.

But he has already made his mark on this season’s last 16 tie, having been the source of two goals in the first leg at Parc des Princes.

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