Saturday, 23 September 2017

SPORTS

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Sports (183)

Arsenal’s early-season problems mounted at Anfield on Sunday after they were condemned to a miserable 4-0 defeat by Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool.

Not even the return of Alexis Sanchez could inspire Arsene Wenger’s side as they fell to goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge. Salah’s third goal, after 57 minutes, summed up Liverpool’s mastery of the opposition as Arsenal managed to concede from an attacking corner.

After the ball was headed clear, Hector Bellerin misjudged the bounce and Salah sprang past him before sprinting over half the length of the field and converting clinically.

Substitute Sturridge got in on the act with just his third league goal of 2017, completing the rout with a far-post header from Salah’s cross after yet another unstoppable counter-attack 20 minutes later.

The opening goal had come in the 17th minute after wave after wave of Liverpool attacks.

Finally, on a rapid break, young full-back Joe Gomez delivered a superb, hanging right-wing cross and Firmino sprinted in at full speed to head past Petr Cech from six yards.

The warning signs had been there for Wenger, even before Firmino’s opener.

On 10 minutes, Emre Can and Firmino had combined effectively for the former to cross to the far post, where Salah looked certain to score until Cech scurried across his goal to make a brilliant block.

Moments after taking the lead, Liverpool should have doubled it as Firmino freed captain Jordan Henderson, whose poor touch preceded a shot that flew well off-target.

Klopp’s decision to axe regular first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet from his squad had raised eyebrows, although Arsenal made an equally significant move in dropping club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette to the bench.

Wretched
Despite recalling Sanchez for his first Arsenal start since the FA Cup final in May, the Gunners looked close to complete disarray at times.

Still, they might have taken the lead after just seven minutes when Sanchez surged through and played in Danny Welbeck, who could only hook his shot over under pressure from Gomez.

But once in front, Liverpool played with increasing confidence, while Arsenal’s visibly drained. When Henderson’s 31st-minute cross was headed out of the area, Mane volleyed it, first-time, narrowly wide of the right-hand post.

Liverpool’s control was complete in the 40th minute when Mane claimed a second goal that had been a long time coming. To sum up Arsenal’s wretched half, it came from one of their own attacks, which was broken up in the Liverpool area by Gomez.

Liverpool broke upfield at electrifying pace, Can to Firmino to Mane, and the forward calmly cut inside Rob Holding before curling an unstoppable finish past the diving Cech.

Wenger brought on Francis Coquelin for Aaron Ramsey at the interval and the visitors at least started to threaten, with Mesut Ozil shooting wide and Sanchez seeing his shot blocked on the edge of the area.

The relief was short-lived, however, with Can soon heading a Salah free-kick just wide and Salah’s pacy run clean through on goal drawing another good save from Cech.

The third and fourth goals were fully deserved for the hosts and only another good stop by the beleaguered Cech denied Mane a second goal in between them.

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:42 Written by

Paris Saint-Germain have agreed a deal to sign teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, French media reported on Sunday.

Radio stations France Info and RMC reported that PSG had agreed to pay 180 million euros ($215 million) including bonuses for the French international striker.

That would make him the second most expensive transfer in football history behind Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona for 222 million euros earlier this month.

Despite the reports, Mbappe was named on the Monaco bench for Sunday night’s Ligue 1 meeting with Marseille.

According to sports daily L’Equipe, Paris will initially sign Mbappe, 18, on loan before making the move permanent.

“Monaco and PSG on Sunday reached an agreement for a loan deal for Kylian Mbappe to the Parisian club with an option to buy for 180 million euros,” said L’Equipe, adding that Mbappe would undergo a medical by Monday morning.

A loan deal would help PSG get around UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, with many wondering how the Qatar-owned club can avoid sanctions from European football’s governing body considering the investment already made on Neymar.

FFP rules currently stipulate that clubs cannot post losses of more than 30 million euros over the three-year period to 2018.

Among the sanctions risked by PSG if they are found to have broken those rules is a ban from the Champions League.

Mbappe burst onto the scene in the second half of last season and scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in Monaco’s run to the French title.

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2017 20:30 Written by

While Jose Mourinho is pleased with Manchester United's impressive start to the Premier League season, he wants to see how his side react to going behind.

United have enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign, picking up maximum points from their opening two games after repeat 4-0 wins over West Ham and Swansea.

United currently sit top of the table as a result, but Mourinho would like his side to fall behind in the upcoming weeks to discover if they can handle adversity.

"The thing I want to happen is for the team to be losing," Mourinho is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "So I can see the way we react emotionally.

"At this moment, everything is going in our favour, but it is not always going to be a motorway. You can always find difficult journeys and road blocks, and we have to be ready for that.

"It has not happened so far but going a goal behind will be a different challenge and I want to see how these players try to change a result.

"Let's see how we are when we are in difficulties, when we need the last minutes to win matches."

Mourinho also said that he is not getting carried away by United's start, given they also picked up two wins from their opening two league games last season yet ended up finishing sixth.

"Of course I am happy with the way we have started the season," he added. "And the quality of our performances has given me even more confidence.

"But I don't forget that we started last season with six points from our first two matches and still finished sixth. That is not a lesson, it's the reality of football. Two wins are not paradise, just as two defeats are not the end of the world."

Posted On Sunday, 20 August 2017 13:32 Written by

Manchester United maintained their 100 percent start to the new season with a 4-0 win at Swansea to remain top of the Premier League.

Eric Bailly opened the scoring and his United account on the stroke of half-time, nudging the ball over the line after Lukasz Fabianski had diverted it onto the underside of the crossbar from Paul Pogba's powerful header.

Swansea CitySwansea City
Manchester UnitedManchester United
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United then burst into life as the game entered the 80th minute, doubling their advantage when Henrikh Mkhitaryan played in Romelu Lukaku, who made it three goals in two Premier League appearances following his summer move from Everton.

Mkhitaryan produced another fine assist moments later, racing down the right before slipping in Pogba, who flicked the ball over Fabianski, before substitute Anthony Martial then rounded off the scoring in the 84th minute with an excellent solo effort, doubling his tally for the season.

Jese scored the lone goal of the game on his Stoke City debut to help the Potters hold off Arsenal at home.

Jese Rodriguez scored on his debut as Stoke beat Arsenal 1-0 at the bet365 Stadium to claim their first Premier League points of the season.

Stoke took the lead two minutes into the second half, with Paris Saint-Germain loanee Jese netting on his debut, slotting past Petr Cech after being played in by Saido Berahino.

Stoke CityStoke City
ArsenalArsenal
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Arsenal piled on the pressure as they went in search of an equaliser, with Hector Bellerin, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil all going close.

They thought they had found it in the 73rd minute when Alexandre Lacazette fired into the top corner of the net following substitute Olivier Giroud's flick, but the goal was disallowed for offside, with Stoke holding on for victory.

After knocking at Crystal Palace's door all game, Sadio Mane finally found a way through at Anfield.

Sadio Mane was on target for Liverpool with his second-half winner securing a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace at Anfield and his side's first league victory of the season.

After a tight first half, Liverpool almost went ahead nine minutes into the second when Daniel Sturridge volleyed at goal from 25 yards out, only for Wayne Hennessey to deny him with the save.

LiverpoolLiverpool
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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The home side had another chance to open the scoring just a few minutes later as Roberto Firmino curled one from the edge of the box, but his strike went inches wide.

Jurgen Klopp brought on Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke as time wore on, and Liverpool eventually found a breakthrough in the 72nd minute with Mane stabbing the ball past Hennessey after Palace's defence had failed to clear the danger.

Charlie Austin converted from the spot late in stoppage time to sink a spirited 10-man effort from West Ham.

Charlie Austin netted a last-minute penalty to secure Southampton a dramatic 3-2 win against 10-man West Ham at St Mary's.

Southampton went ahead in the 11th minute through Manolo Gabbiadini, who fired past Joe Hart after being played in by Nathan Redmond to net the club's first league goal at home since April 5.

SouthamptonSouthampton
West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
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West Ham were then dealt a further blow in the 33rd minute when Marko Arnautovic picked up a straight red card after catching Jack Stephens with his elbow, and things got even worse five minutes later when Jose Fonte conceded a penalty and Dusan Tadic stepped up to convert from the spot.

West Ham pulled one back on the stroke of half-time when Javier Hernandez slotted home after Fraser Forster had saved Michail Antonio's effort, and the Mexico international was on the scene once again in the 73rd minute to convert after Diafra Sakho had headed against the bar.

But Southampton had the final say after winning a penalty deep into stoppage time, with Austin firing home to secure the three points for the Saints.

Leicester blanked Premier League newcomers 2-0 courtesy of goals from Shinji Okazaki and Harry Maguire.

Leicester recorded their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory over Brighton at the King Power Stadium.

Shinji Okazaki opened the scoring for Brighton inside the first minute, converting the rebound after Riyad Mahrez's shot had been parried into his path by Maty Ryan.

Leicester CityLeicester City
Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton & Hove Albion
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Brighton had the ball in the back of the net through Glenn Murray, but the goal was disallowed due to offside, and Leicester then doubled their lead 10 minutes after the restart through Harry Maguire, who arrived at the far post to head home Mahrez's corner.

A debut goal from Richarlison and stunner from Etienne Capoue led Watford past Bournemouth at Dean Court.

Watford saw off Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium with Richarlison and Etienne Capoue getting the goals.

AFC BournemouthAFC Bournemouth
WatfordWatford
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Watford had a chance to open the scoring just before half-time when Richarlison cut the ball back to Andre Gray, but the striker sent his effort over the bar.

They made no mistake in the 72nd minute, however, with Richarlison touching the ball over the line after Gray had done well down the right, before Capoue doubled their lead with a strike from 25 yards out four minutes from the end.

Hal Robson-Kanu's lone goal of the game outweighed his late red card as West Brom held on for the narrow win at Burnley.

West Brom made it two wins out of two with a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor, though match-winner Hal Robson-Kanu also received a red card.

West Brom thought they had found the breakthrough shortly after the restart when Jake Livermore had the ball in the back of the net but the flag went up for offside on Jay Rodriguez.

BurnleyBurnley
West Bromwich AlbionWest Bromwich Albion
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They did manage to move ahead 20 minutes from time, with Robson-Kanu shrugging off a defender and striking a low hit past Tom Heaton.

West Brom were reduced to 10 men seven minutes from time when Robson-Kanu was sent off for an apparent elbow on Matthew Lowton, but the visitors manged to hold on for the victory.

Posted On Saturday, 19 August 2017 21:55 Written by

Cristiano Ronaldo has been banned for five matches after pushing referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea during Real Madrid's 3-1 Spanish Super Cup first-leg win at Barcelona on Sunday.

Ronaldo's 24 minutes as a substitute at the Camp Nou saw him score a superb goal, pick up a booking for removing his shirt during the celebration, and then quickly receive a second yellow after De Burgos Bengoetxea ruled the Portugal captain had dived to try to win a penalty.

Ronaldo reacted to being sent off by pushing De Burgos Bengoetxea. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) banned Ronaldo for one match for drawing the red card and the other four for pushing the official.

That was just one major talking point on a night that also saw Gerard Pique's own goal put Madrid ahead, Lionel Messi equalise with a controversial penalty won by Luis Suarez and Marco Asensio score a screamer to put his side fully in control ahead of Wednesday's second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo has also been fined €3,805 for his actions, while Madrid were fined €1,750.

Ronaldo is set to miss the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona as well as Madrid's four opening La Liga games against Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.

His next domestic appearance will come at home to Real Betis in La Liga in the midweek round of fixtures of Sept. 20, although he will be eligible to play in Real Madrid's Champions League group stage opener a week before and the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy friendly against Fiorentina on Aug. 23.

The RFEF says Madrid have 10 days to lodge an appeal with its appeals committee, while adding in its report that the club attempted to get the offence downgraded from a push to a minor "disregard" for the referee.

The official match report sent to the RFEF from the Camp Nou included Ronaldo's push in the "other incidents" section.

"Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro -- having been shown the red card, the player pushed me slightly in a sign of his disagreement," the Basque official wrote.

The RFEF's disciplinary code appears clear that the punishment for such behaviour, even if only "slightly violent," is an extra suspension of four to 12 games.

"Pulling, pushing or shaking, or a general attitude towards the match officials which, even if only slightly violent, without confirming an aggressive attitude on their part, will be punished with a suspension of four to 12 games," says the code's article 96.

At the postmatch news conference, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said the second yellow was "a bit too much" and hoped Ronaldo could still be cleared to play in Wednesday's second leg.

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos told Telecinco after the final whistle that he believed Ronaldo had not dived, and therefore the club would be able to appeal the decision.

"I was far away," Ramos said. "But I believe Cristiano lost his balance and did not fake anything. We can appeal, as it leaves us without a very important player, with 10 minutes left. [The referee] should have thought about it a bit more."

Ramos also said that De Burgos Bengoetxea had erred in earlier awarding a penalty when Suarez fell to the ground dramatically, having been challenged inside the box by Madrid keeper Keylor Navas.

"There is a lot of tension in these type of games," he said. "For me it was not a penalty. I don't believe the referee blew the whistle if he did not see anything; he must have seen it clearly. But for me there was nothing."

Madrid left-back Marcelo told the club's official website that the red card was "bizarre" while acknowledging that referees make mistakes.

"Cristiano being sent off was bizarre, but sometimes that can happen," the Brazil international said. "Referees can make mistakes, along with the things they get right."

Ex-Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa, now popular among fans and pundits for his regular defence of his former club, tweeted after Ronaldo's sending off: "They are laughing in our face. Lamentable."

Posted On Tuesday, 15 August 2017 00:51 Written by

MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho says he is "keeping his feet on the ground" despite watching his Manchester United team thrash West Ham on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Two goals from new £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku helped United to a 4-0 win at Old Trafford which left Mourinho's side top of the table.

It was United's biggest opening-day win since beating Fulham 5-1 at Old Trafford in 2006 and Mourinho's biggest league win as Red Devils manager. United went on to win the title in the 2006-07 season, ending a four-year drought under Sir Alex Ferguson. 

Mourinho, though, insists he is not getting carried away.

"We finished the [last] season winning the Europa League and qualifying for Champions League," he told a news conference. "We start the second season with a very good performance at home. We had many players on the pitch with a very good game. We have reasons to be optimistic.

"For me, years and years of experience and experience in the Premier League, my feet are on the ground and I am calm. Last season we were also top of the league in the first match and we finished sixth so this means nothing. It just means we played well and confidence levels will be high and now our challenge is to keep this confidence level."

There were plenty of positives for the United manager. Lukaku scored twice on his league debut for the club following his move from Everton, while Nemanja Matic, a £35m buy from Chelsea, ran the midfield in a manner that made it hard to believe he spent most of the summer training alone at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's 3-2 defeat at home to Burnley 24 hours earlier made Matic's performance even more noteworthy.

Mourinho said afterwards he had wanted Matic, who was named Man of the Match, at Old Trafford last season.

Manchester United eased to victory against West Ham.

He added: "It depends on what is happening or what was happening behind doors and we don't know.

"The only thing I know is that of course with Chelsea money I brought him to Stamford Bridge because I thought he was a player with special qualities, and since I left I always thought he could be a perfect player for us, but I didn't disturb him, I didn't disturb Chelsea.

"I never thought it was possible unless something special was happening and his agent told me we could have him and we were very happy with that. We have him and we are very happy. He was a player this team needs."

West Ham were one of the 10 teams who got a point at Old Trafford last season, a statistic that cost United any chance of challenging Chelsea for the title.

In the 1-1 draw in November, United had eight shots on target but only scored once, while six on target this time produced four goals.

Lukaku has scored more goals against West Ham than any other team and took his tally to 11 in 13 games with a double.

Mourinho said: "Romelu scored in the Super Cup, scored twice today, he's playing well and he's working hard. He likes the team and the team likes him. Strikers can play phenomenally well, but if they don't score goals, the pressure's on them.

"So I think it was good for him to score and for all the guys arriving at new clubs who scored goals on their first games. It's always oxygen, it's happiness and confidence for them.

"Romelu knows we well. He knows sometimes strikers can play well but not score, but from me there will be no pressure. But today was very good and he was very effective, with the first goal especially."

Posted On Sunday, 13 August 2017 22:14 Written by

Champions Chelsea lost Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas to red cards as they suffered a stunning 3-2 home defeat to Burnley on the opening Saturday of the Premier League season.

Chelsea were down to 10 men with 14 minutes gone when captain Cahill was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Steven Defour, and they fell behind with 24 minutes gone as Sam Vokes guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Burnley's lead was doubled when, with a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Jack Cork set up Stephen Ward to hammer home, and it was 3-0 before the interval when Vokes scored his second with a header.

Marcos Alonso had an effort saved by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton early in the second half before Alvaro Morata was brought on for Michy Batshuayi, and Alonso had a free kick saved soon afterwards.

Morata dived to head home his first Premier League goal from a Willian cross and bundled the ball home moments later only to see an offside flag deny him.

Fabregas then saw red for a second booking -- but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley's Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

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Liverpool conceded an injury-time equaliser as they were held 3-3 at Watford in their Premier League opener.

Mohamed Salah looked to have netted a winner on his Liverpool debut, but Miguel Britos headed home from point-blank range in the dying moments to secure a share of the spoils.

Liverpool -- without Philippe Coutinho, who was ruled out with a back injury amid intense speculation over his future -- fell behind on eight minutes, with Stefano Okaka taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner to head past Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane hit back on 29 minutes, but Liverpool's defensive weaknesses were exposed again as Abdoulaye Doucoure slotted in for 2-1.

Liverpool turned it around early in the second half, with Roberto Firmino equalising from the penalty spot after Salah was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on 55 minutes and then Salah nudging home.

Two goals in three minutes set Huddersfield up for a dream start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Tom Ince missed an early chance to give the Terriers the lead when he sent a bouncing effort from Tommy Smith's cross straight at keeper Wayne Hennessey.

But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward -- and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home.

Palace made a half-time change, with Andros Townsend coming on in place of Luka Milivojevic, and Christian Benteke almost pulled a goal back -- but Huddersfield made sure when Mounie struck again.

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Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City denied Brighton any hope of a shock on their Premier League debut.

Pep Guardiola's side, for all their riches, took time to get into their groove in a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium.

But the moment they did it was ruthless as striker Aguero converted 20 minutes from time.

Lewis Dunk turned Fernandinho's cross through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grasp and into his own net soon afterwards as City prevailed after previously being frustrated.

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Wayne Rooney scored the decisive goal on his second Everton debut as the big-spending Merseysiders beat Stoke City 1-0 at Goodison Park.

New-look Everton had marginally the better of a disjointed opening spell with Sandro, another of their new signings, seeing an effort trundle just wide of the Stoke goal.

But Rooney ended a scrappy first half when he headed in to mark his Goodison homecoming in the best possible style.

Stoke started the second half in determined fashion but found good chances at a premium with Darren Fletcher coming closest when he seized on a loose ball 25 yards out and drilled narrowly wide from distance, and they were denied at the end when new home keeper Jordan Pickford made a fine stop from Xherdan Shaqiri.

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West Bromwich Albion made another set piece pay as they opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

The visitors produced plenty of neat football throughout, but were unable to create much threat and fell behind after 31 minutes when Ahmed Hegazi headed in a Chris Brunt free kick.

Jermain Defoe came on for Bournemouth after the break, replacing Benik Afobe, but the former Sunderland striker had little to work with as West Brom held firm.

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Southampton suffered a frustrating afternoon as they were held 0-0 at home by Swansea City.

Dusan Tadic missed a fine early chance to put the home side in front when he guided a close-range finish wide from Ryan Bertrand's inviting cross, and James Ward-Prowse saw an effort deflected over as the home side kept control.

They continued to create the better openings, with a Nathan Redmond cross creating havoc before Swansea scraped the ball away, but struggled to carve out clear chances against a well-organised visiting side.

Dusan Tadic went close late on as Southampton made it a club-record six home league games in a row without a goal, their worst run since the 1930s.

Posted On Saturday, 12 August 2017 20:42 Written by
 

The Super Eagles forward has signed a five-year deal at the King Power Stadium and becomes Craig Shakespeare’s fourth signing ahead of the new season.

LEICESTER CITY ended this summer’s longest-running transfer saga when Kelechi Iheanacho finally completed his £25million move from Manchester City.

Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare’s dogged pursuit of the 20-year-old Nigerian strike sensation eventually paid off after his top summer signing target put pen-to-paper on a five-year-deal.

Kelechi Iheanacho completed his £25m move to LeicesterKelechi Iheanacho completed his £25m move to Leicester

 

Kelechi Iheanacho signed a five-year deal with Leicester

Kelechi Iheanacho signed a five-year deal with Leicester

Leicester were always confident they were in pole position to land the lethal finisher, who has scored 21 times in 64 appearances for City.

But complex issues over the player’s image rights and a court case involving a former agent caused the move to drag on throughout the summer.

Now Iheanacho says he can’t wait to show what he can do in a Leicester shirt, with a speedy home debut in Friday’s friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on the cards.

Iheanacho told LCFC TV: “It feels good to be part of this team. I know the ambition here and I know what I need to do to help the team achieve what they want.

“After speaking with the manager I was convinced and happy to be here. It gives me more confidence that I will fit in this team and hopefully I’ll achieve a lot.” 

Iheanacho’s goal-scoring credentials are impeccable and he is the supreme penalty box poacher Shakespeare wanted to compliment Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton.

Kelechi Iheanacho in the Leicester changing room after completing his £25m move

Kelechi Iheanacho in the Leicester changing room after completing his £25m move

Kelechi Iheanacho became Leicester's fourth summer signing

Kelechi Iheanacho became Leicester’s fourth summer signing

Kelechi Iheanacho is put through his paces after arriving at Leicester

Kelechi Iheanacho is put through his paces after arriving at Leicester
Posted On Friday, 04 August 2017 02:03 Written by

Africa has confirmed the signing of Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record €222 million fee after activating the Brazil international’s buyout clause on Thursday.

Neymar has been the subject of intense speculation all summer and has finally put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal.

Late doubts about the move had been raised earlier on Thursday when La Liga refused to accept the €222m payment from PSG to trigger the clause, forcing Neymar’s legal team to travel to Barcelona to make the payment directly to the club.

Barcelona then confirmed that Neymar’s contract had been terminated, and a few hours later, the French club announced the most expensive transfer ever — more than doubling Manchester United’s €105m capture of Paul Pogba from Juventus last year. 

A presentation is planned for Friday, a source told ESPN FC, and it is possible he could debut in PSG’s Ligue 1 opener at home against Amiens on Saturday.

Neymar Agrees PSG Deal

“I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain,” Neymar said in a statement after signing his contract. “Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.

“Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”

A source has told ESPN FC that Neymar will be paid around €30m per year after taxes and has been handed a major signing bonus in excess of his net annual sum. 

On top of those future earnings and significant bonuses, the source added that Neymar and his father will also profit from a number of club owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments’ other commercial ventures in Paris and outside of the footballing world.

“It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “Neymar Jr is today one of the very best players in world football. His winning mentality, strength of character and sense of leadership have made him into a great player.

“He will bring a very positive energy to this club. In six years, we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football.

“Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realizing our greatest dreams.”

Neymar helped Barca win one Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey as well as one FIFA Club World Cup and one Spanish Super Cup during his four-year stint in Catalonia, and he scored 105 goals across all competitions.

Posted On Friday, 04 August 2017 01:52 Written by

Joaquim Francisco Filho, a former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has been named as coach of Mauritius.

Filho succeeds Belgium-born Congolese Joe Tshupula who announced his resignation after the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers where Mauritius failed to reach the next round.

Filho's main task will be to prepare the national team for the Indian Ocean Islands games, scheduled in Mauritius in 2019.

"I have noticed that there is a great willingness to learn and improve here in Mauritius," Filho said.

"It is most important. You have to learn the basics, and then climb the ladder step by step."

Last February, Filho shared his knowledge for a week with some 30 coaches and aspiring coaches in Mauritius and made a great impression.

"A lot remains to be done in Mauritius especially at technical level.

"In football, the most important thing is technique whereas the physical part comes next.

"Above all, with these youngsters, we must make them footballers before we make them athletes.

"We must promote the skill and execution of movement," added Filho.

Born in São Paulo in 1940, Joaquim Francisco Filho began his career as a professional player at the age of 16.

He played in Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal and France.

As a coach, Filho made his name at the French development centre in Clairefontaine for nearly 30 years where he met Jonathan Bru, who is currently the assistant technical director of Mauritius.

In 2002 he joined Manchester United as a youth coach, working with Sir Alex Ferguson.

He also acted as an interpreter for Cristiano Ronaldo when he arrived at Old Trafford in 2003.

Posted On Thursday, 03 August 2017 14:28 Written by
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