Ex-Green Eagles’ Goalkeeper, Dead

Joe Erico, former goalkeeper and assistant coach of the Super Eagles, is dead. The outspoken tactician died at age 72 after a brief illness, surrounded by his family. “He passed on this (Thursday) morning after a brief illness. He was sick for about three days. He went to the hospital and returned home yesterday feeling okay, but sadly didn’t wake up this morning,” a source close to the deceased told newsmen. Erico alongside late coach Shuaibu Amodu and late Stephen Keshi qualified the Super Eagles for the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup, but were dismissed before the tournament. Popularly known as Jogo Bonito Exponent, Erico stood between the sticks for Electricity Connectors of Nigeria (ECN) and for Green Eagles of Nigeria in his playing days. Erico was a proponent of Jogo Bonito – an aesthetic football philosophy that is based on the tip-tap playing pattern similar to that of Brazilian Samba. He introduced the style of play in Nigeria in the 90s’ while still the coach of Julius Berger FC aka Adewale Bridge boys.

Read more

Giroud name written in History books

Olivier Giroud refused to be drawn on his chances of keeping a place in Chelsea’s starting XI after he scored all four goals in the 4-0 Champions League match with Sevilla. Giroud scored with his left foot in the first half at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan before adding further goals with his right and his head as well as a penalty to help the Blues secure first place in Group E on Wednesday. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are in action against Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday but Giroud (who happens to be the second player from France to score four goals in a single Champions League match after Bafetimbi Gomis for Lyon in December 2011) could  lose his place to Chelsea’s regular forward Tammy Abraham.  “Let me enjoy the night and that great win and after that we will rest and we will see what the gaffer’s plan is,”  Giroud told BT sport. Olivier Giroud is the first Chelsea player to score four goals in a game since Frank Lampard in March 2010 vs Aston Villa, while he’s the first to net four for Chelsea in a European Cup/Champions League game. “When you win 4-0 in a Champions League away game it’s always a great feeling and a good performance from the team. We took the game from the front foot and we were efficient up front, especially for me because I scored four goals. I will try to carry on like that to finish the good job of the team. It’s always nice to be in the club history and we play football to mark our history so I’m pleased to help the team to win and to score the four goals.” Giroud, who scored three goals for Arsenal against Olympiacos in December 2015, is the second player to score a Champions League hat-trick for multiple English sides after Michael Owen (Liverpool and Manchester United). He is the third player to score a perfect hat-trick (left-foot, right-foot[…]

Read more

Nine teams reach last 16,

Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland, Juventus’ Álvaro Morata, and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United are 2020/21 UEFA Champions League joint top scorers with six goals apiece. Haaland had been out in front with six goals from four games, but did not feature in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw with Lazio on Matchday 5. Morata and Rashford, meanwhile, added a goal each to their tallies to join the young Norwegian at the top of the pile. Olivier Giroud is in a chasing pack of two players who are one adrift after scoring all the goals in Chelsea’s 4-0 win at Sevilla. UEFA Champions League leading scorers after Wednesday’s matches: 6 goals: Morata (Juventus), Haaland (Dortmund), Rashford (Manchester United) 5 goals: Berisha (Salzburg), Giroud (Chelsea), Plea (Borussia Moenchengladbach) 4 goals: Immobile (Lazio), Jota (Liverpool), Lukaku (Inter Milan) 3 goals: Braithwaite (Barcelona), Coman (Bayern Munich), Dembele (Barcelona), Felix (Atletico Madrid), Fernandes (Manchester United), Kahveci (Istanbul Basaksehir), Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Messi (Barcelona), An. Miranchuk (Lokomotiv Moscow), Neymar (Paris SG), Oliveira (Porto), Torres (Manchester City), Werner (Chelsea), Zapata (Atalanta) UEFA Champions League last-16 qualifiers Nine teams have qualified for the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League last 16 after Wednesday’s matches: Barcelona Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund Chelsea Juventus Liverpool Manchester City Porto Sevilla  

Read more

Lukaku shoots Inter to victory

Inter Milan Striker Romelu Lukaku kept Inter’s Champions League hopes alive on Tuesday, scoring two second-half goals to seal a dramatic 3-2 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach in their  group game. Lukaku’s double gave Inter their first victory in the Champions League this season in a rollercoaster game, blowing Group B wide open ahead of the final round of group matches next week. Gladbach still sit on top of the group after Shakhtar Donetsk beat Real Madrid 2-0 earlier on Tuesday, but they are now just three points ahead of bottom side Inter. With just a single point separating the top three sides, all four teams still have a chance to qualify next week. In need of a win at all costs, Inter set up to hit Gladbach on the break, with Matteo Darmian causing early trouble for the German defence on the right wing It was Darmian who gave Inter the lead on 17 minutes, nutmegging goalkeeper Yann Sommer from a sharp angle after a neat passing move between Lukaku and Roberto Gagliardini. Alassane Plea equalised for Gladbach on the stroke of half-time, heading in a pinpoint cross from Inter loanee Valentino Lazaro. With Inter unsettled by the equaliser, Marcus Thuram almost headed the hosts in front shortly after the break. Yet the Italians hit back, with Lautaro Martinez hitting the post before Lukaku restored the lead. Having been stifled by the Gladbach defence for much of the game Lukaku finally found space to shoot on 65 minutes, and sent a low strike whistling past Sommer. The Belgian doubled the lead seven minutes later, slotting home Achraf Hakimi’s cross at the end of a clinically executed counter-attack. Gladbach hit back equally clinically, Plea squeezing the ball past Samir Handanovic on the break just two minutes after the restart. The Frenchman found the net again seven minutes from time, but the goal was disallowed for offside after Breel Ebomlo was ruled to have blocked the goalkeeper’s view. With the group now poised[…]

Read more

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: , Man City top group after stalemate as Porto reach last 16

Porto qualified for the Champions League last 16 and Manchester City sealed first place in Group C after Agustin Marchesin’s superb display for the hosts in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at the Estadio do Dragao. Sergio Conceicao’s side were on the defensive for long periods, but a series of superb saves from Marchesin secured the point they needed to advance. City dominated throughout but Gabriel Jesus was denied a late winner after VAR ruled out his goal. City had already booked their place in the last 16 after winning their first four games and, with top spot now secured, Pep Guardiola can now rest players for their final match against Marseille next week. Guardiola insists City will thrive in the Champions League this season as they bid to make amends for last term’s shock quarter-final defeat against Lyon. City have never won the Champions League and Guardiola, who last lifted the trophy with Barcelona in 2011, has been unable to take them past the quarter–finals. Finishing on top of the group was the first step towards that target and Guardiola will be encouraged by City’s improved defence. They have conceded just six goals in their last 13 games in all competitions, a run that includes four successive Champions League clean sheets. Guardiola made seven changes as Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker were among those resting on the bench following the 5-0 thrashing of Burnley. Raheem Sterling felt he should have had an early penalty when Malang Sarr thudded into him without getting the ball, but VAR decided not to intervene despite the strong claim. With Sergio Aguero still troubled by a knee injury and Gabriel jesus on the bench, Ferran Torres started up front for City. Torres was denied the opening goal by a fine save from Marchesin after the Spaniard raced onto Phil Foden’s pass. City had 70 percent of the first half possession and Sterling almost made the breakthrough when he cut in from the left[…]

Read more

Being Sacked doesn’t worry Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has brushed aside questions on whether he is concerned about the sack after the club endured its worst start to a season since 1981. Arsenal lost 2-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, their third successive Premier League defeat. The Gunners are 14th in the table after five losses in their opening 10 Premier League games and they have been beaten in their past three home matches. Arsenal’s form has not been helped by their lack of bite in front of goal with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a shadow of the player he was last season. Gabriel’s first-half goal against Wolves was their first in open play in the Premier League in six games. Defeat also came a year to the day that Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery was sacked. ALSO However, 38-year-old Arteta — who previously served under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City — says he will not be distracted by questions over his own future. “It’s something that the day I decided to be a coach I know that one day I will be sacked or leave the football club,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s the day after I sign my contract, in a month’s time, a year’s time or six months’ time. I never worry about it. My only concern is to get the best out of the players, give the best possible service to the club and become better and better. I know, I repeat, in this profession, one day I will get the sack or leave but I don’t know when that is going to happen.” Arteta will hope they can end their poor run by gaining bragging rights in the north London derby against table-topping Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Read more

Iwobi says playing under Ancelotti similar to playing under Wenger

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi  has said that playing under Carlo Ancelotti at Everton was like that of former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger. The Nigerian started off his career with the Gunners and was promoted to the first team in 2015 by the French manager. He was later sold to English Premiership side, Everton in the summer of 2019 but reckons that he’s lucky to have played under both managers in his career. “The way they trust their tactics is one of a kind, it’s almost like playing for the same manager,” Iwobi told TalkSport “They both want the best out of their players, they give an opportunity to each and every player and the youngsters in cup games and use the whole squad and everyone is involved. “It’s almost like playing under the same manager and the accomplishments speak for themselves what they’ve been able to achieve. “I’m lucky to play under both managers,” Iwobi added.

Read more

AFCON qualifier: Obaseki assures players, visitors of security

Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State Governor, has assured players, supporters, and other visitors for the Super Eagles’ 2021 AFCON qualifier against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone of adequate security. This encounter will take place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital, on November 13, 2020. This is the Eagles’ first competitive match after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, reaffirmed the readiness of the state to host the teams and lovers of football. Osagie said, “We are proud to play host to the AFCON qualifier between our Super Eagles and Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the world-class Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium. “This match is dear to us as it is coming barely 24 hours after the inauguration of Governor Godwin Obaseki on November 12. “As a sports-loving government, the Governor Obaseki-led administration has made concerted efforts to ensure the safety and security of all players, supporters, and visitors who would be in the state for the football match. The governor has promised that the Super Eagles won’t lack any form of support to come out victorious in Benin City on November 13. “The very competitive match is also an opportunity for the governor to showcase to Edo people and Nigerians the holistic transformation of the stadium into a world-class facility. Players and supporters alike will be treated to one of the best sporting facilities in the world, which features the Video Assistant Referee technology.”

Read more

Victor Moses moves to Spartak Moscow on loan.

Victor Moses, Chealsea’s midfielder, has reportedly move to Russian club, Spartak Moscow on a season long loan. An announcement from Spartak Moscow says that the loan includes an option to buy at the end of his loan spell. Moses had loan spells with Italian giant and Fernabache, inter Milan last season. Moses has not featured in any of Chelsea’s games for more than two years and this is his sixth spell away from Chealsea club after he arrived years back in 2012.

Read more