Month: September 2020

Chelsea Dreaming Upset at Camp Nou

first_imgUEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE*Conte goes head-to-head with Valverde to survive been ‘chopped’Antonio Conte has said he will consult his players ahead of Chelsea´s Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday and after the game he might do better to seek out Ernesto Valverde. Both coaches faced chaotic starting points this season but only Valverde heads into this last 16 second leg at the Camp Nou with his domestic campaign still very much intact.Each began the campaign at the end of a frenzied summer, in which key players were sold, less wanted ones bought and with the feeling overall of a squad weakened rather than bolstered.Asked in September to reflect on the club´s transfer dealings, Conte said: “This question is very difficult to answer. I think we have to wait until the end of the season and then we’ll see.”Valverde was even less diplomatic. “The best thing about this window is that it is now closed,” he said.Each had unexpectedly found a gaping hole in attack as Neymar was lured by Paris Saint-Germain while Conte was only too happy to let Diego Costa leave, but then watched Manchester United walk off with Romelu Lukaku, the intended replacement.Barcelona bought Ousmane Dembele, the club´s most expensive signing, who limped off 55 minutes into his debut and would not return until January.Chelsea, meanwhile, plumped for Alvaro Morata, who lacked confidence and gumption, and then in January Olivier Giroud, who had already been failing to get into the Arsenal team.There were the players missed. For Chelsea, Lukaku, Alex Sandro, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fernando Llorente. For Barcelona, Marco Verratti, Hector Bellerin and Jean Michael Seri.And the ones brought in. Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger, for Chelsea. Paulinho and Gerard Deulofeu, on a buy-back agreement, for Barcelona.But, eight months on, and with the season’s end now in sight, one coach allowed the frustration to fester and deepen, while the other has ensured it is all-but forgotten.Barcelona sit eight points clear at the top of La Liga, and are unbeaten after 28 games. Chelsea are fifth, four points adrift of the Champions League qualification spots, and perhaps need to win the tournament to play in it again next season.The Blues could certainly beat Barca – they were unfortunate only to come away from the first leg with a 1-1 draw – or still sneak into the Premier League´s top four.But they are 25 points behind Manchester City and their miserable title defence is likely to mean Conte departs in May.What Conte has complicated, Valverde has simplified. Barcelona have become more functional this season, playing 4-4-2 as well as 4-3-3, and tighter at the back. They have conceded only one more league goal than the miserly Atletico Madrid.When Valverde was asked about the possibility of Neymar returning last week, he typically brushed it off with minimal fuss. “It is a fantasy and we will not talk about speculation we know would not end here,” he said.And he has kept Messi happy, the Argentinian arriving this week with five goals in his last four games, including the crucial winner against Atletico Madrid.Conte, meanwhile, is yet to find a solution to his striking problems, has given oxygen to his conflict with the club´s hierarchy and has succeeded only in alienating his own best player, Eden Hazard, who is disillusioned with a lone role up front.After Barcelona edged out Atletico 1-0 earlier this month, Diego Simeone said Messi was the decisive factor but also had paid tribute to Valverde´s calm and calculated Barca revival.“It makes me happy to see a Barca so tight and strong defensively,” Simeone said. “What Valverde is doing is wonderful. He has reinvented them.”They hope to have Andres Iniesta available again after the midfielder trained on Monday, following a hamstring strain.On Chelsea, Valverde said: “They are very strong and defend very close together. We have a lot of hope and all is still to play for.”RESULTSRoma 1-0 ShakhtarMan Utd 1-2- SevillaTODAYBesiktas v B’ MunichBarca v ChelseaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Football Lovers at Kwese Football Fans Arena Adopt Les Bleus

first_imgAs France swaggered its way through the mundial with swashbuckling performances to finally become crowned ‘world champions’ after 20 years, they had the full support of the Nigerian fans at the various fan parks across the country with supporters painting their faces in blue, red and white colors whenever the French team played.Football enthusiasts and part time supporters of France and Croatia across the Kwese Football Fans Arena in Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja were treated to a wonderful viewing experience, one that they will surely talk about for Months and remember for years as there was not only quality viewing, but also music, comedy, dance and games fused into Football which made the total experience unique and fun filled.There was jubilation in the various fan parks across the country and new phrase that came out was “Our Distant Cousins From Across The Sea Are Champions” with celebrity musicians like Harrysong, Seyi Shay, Praiz, Small Doctor and Immaculate, present at the parks to join the celebration and delight their fans present with great performances.Kwese Football Fans Arena was established to enable the passion of Nigerians for Football throughout the Mundial and beyond because #ThisIsNaija #WhereFootballLives.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram When the phrase “Our Distant Cousins are Champions” was first uttered there might have been confusion as to what the young man who chanted it was talking about, but it did not take 60 seconds at the Kwese Football Fans Arena Port Harcourt, before it dawned on the Football lovers present what he was really talking about. Yes the distant cousin from across the Sea as you may have guessed by now is new World Champion, France.How did France become Nigeria’s distant cousin you may ask, when geographically as the “Crow Flies” Paris is some 4720 kilometers away from Lagos Nigeria. The French team has a lot of players with African ancestry, especially golden boy Kylian Mbappe who is actually of Nigerian descent, this is reason enough for Nigerians to support France.But the real reason Nigerians especially threw their weight behind the French national team is because they duly avenged Nigeria by sending Argentina home from the tournament.last_img read more

Liverpool Seeks More Silverware as Lampard Eyes First Win

first_imgUEFA SUPER CUP Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to make winning trophies a habit as they head back to Istanbul, Turkey – the scene of one of the club’s greatest triumphs – to take on Premier League rivals Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup tonight. The Anfield club memorably defeated AC Milan on penalties to win the Champions League by the Bosphorus back in 2005, and now they face Chelsea in the Turkish city after becoming European champions for the sixth time in June.The traditional curtain-raiser to the European season may not be taken entirely seriously by everyone, but neither club will turn their noses up at the chance of lifting more silverware, with Liverpool having just ended a seven-year trophy drought and Frank Lampard eager to kick-start his Chelsea managerial career.The clubs have already won the competition four times between them, but nine of the last 10 winners of the Super Cup have come from Spain.Among the other protagonists on Wednesday will be Stephanie Frappart, with the French official becoming the first woman to referee a major men’s match in European competition.Frappart will nevertheless be happy to stay out of the limelight once the match at the Vodafone Park, home of Besiktas, kicks off, with Liverpool favourites against a Chelsea side reeling from their 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in their Premier League opener.After losing on penalties to Manchester City in the Community Shield, Liverpool began their league campaign with a comfortable 4-1 win over Norwich City with Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Divock Origi all scoring.However, that result was somewhat overshadowed by the loss of Alisson Becker, with Klopp confirming the formidable Brazil goalkeeper will be out for a while with a calf injury.“I don’t want to make now (an) exact prognosis on when he will be back but it will not be Wednesday for sure, so now then we have to see. It takes a while, it takes a couple weeks for sure, and we have to see,” he told the club’s website.Spaniard Adrian will deputise in Alisson’s absence, and Klopp is hopeful his team can build on their win over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final in Madrid.“Stay greedy. That’s very important – I have no doubt about that, but it’s clear that we have to do that,” Klopp told when asked how his side could build on that success.Reds fans will also be tempted by the possibility of a third successive Champions League final appearance, back in Istanbul at the end of the campaign.Equally, they will hope the Super Cup can be the prelude to their side finally going all the way in the Premier League.“We don’t want to just stop at the Champions League, that’s all we’ve won as a group of players,” Andy Robertson told the club’s website.“We want more but we know how hard that’s going to be. This is our next opportunity to do so and it’d be great if we can take it.”Chelsea secured their place in this fixture thanks to their comprehensive victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final, but much has changed since then.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Mainz 05 Football School Charms P’Harcourt

first_imgFootball enthusiasts were treated to amazing display of good football artistry at the FSV Mainz 05 Football Camp that held at the Shell Club in Rumukurushe, Port Harcourt recently.The camp powered by Vandyke Football Club and hosted by the PENGASSAN Shell branch and ran from August 26 through September 06 in the Garden City.Mainz 05 coaches, Robin Hassenclever and Philipp Weber led the drills ably supported by Vandyke FC coaches Blessing Harrison and Sunny Gershon Ejekwu. The Chairman, Rivers State Football Association, Chris Green, who graced one of the sessions described the Mainz 05 camp as one of its kind in recent times in the land.“The camp is a great opportunity for youth players to develop under a very professional structure and we are very happy to work with Mainz 05 and Vandyke FC as they roll out this exciting project in the state.“This is a huge platform for player’s development in Nigeria,” said the former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee chairman.The FSV Mainz 05 Football School Head, Christof Babatz said Nigeria is amazingly endowed with great football talents.“It is a well known fact that Nigeria is a country of many talented players and we are proud to be here to help young players in their development of technical and tactical football skills,” said Babatz.Vandyke FC Director, Emeka Enyadike who is one of the most trusted voices in African football and a legend of the game is the driving force behind the Mainz 05 Football School partnership and expansion into Africa.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

GOtv Ready to Thrill Subscribers with Matches in EPL, Laliga

first_imgA series of exciting Premier League, LaLiga and Serie A matches will be available on GOtv this weekend.For as low as N2,600, customers on lower GOtv packages – Plus, Value and Lite – can step up to GOtv Max to enjoy the select premium matches from the top football leagues which will be broadcast live on SuperSport.The Premier League returns on Saturday, 19 October after a two-week international break. The match between Tottenham Hotspur and Watford at the White Heart Lane will air live on SuperSport Select 2 at 3pm. Spurs are currently besieged by crisis after losing two of their last five Premier League matches, as well being defeated in their recent League Cup and UEFA Champions League fixture. The team led by Maurico Pochettino is currently ninth on the table. Watford, on the other hand, are languishing at the bottom of the table, despite changing their managers. The return of Enrique Sánchez Flores does not seem to have improved the fortune of the Honets The pick of the LaLiga games is the encounter between Eibar and defending champions, Barcelona. The game, which kicks off at 12pm on Saturday will be live on SuperSport Select 4. Eibar, who have the third best defense in the LaLiga, will aim to lengthen their unbeaten run from four to five games when they host Ernesto Valverde’s men at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua. The Catalans, who started their title defense in sloppy form, will be aiming for a win to enable them topple leaders, Real Madrid, who are only two points better.Also on Saturday, Atletico Madrid will host Valencia in their ninth game of the season at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish capital. The match will air live at 3pm on SuperSport Select 4.The day’s schedule will be rounded off with the broadcast of the match between Mallorcaand Real Madrid on SuperSport Select 4 at 8pm. Real have shaken off their indifferent early season form and currently top the table in Spain.In the Serie A, defending champions, Juventus, will seek to widen their advantage over Inter Milan when they host Bologna at Juventus Stadium in Turin. The match will be live on SuperSport Select 5 at 7:45pm. In their last match, the defending Serie A champions defeated their major rivals Inter Milan 2-1 away from home to seize the leadership of the league from Antonio Conte’s team.On Monday, 21 October, the Premier League action returns as Arsenal travel to Bramall Lane to battle newly promoted Sheffield United. Arsenal will seek to continue their climb up the table. The currently occupy the third place on 15 points, just one behind incumbent Premier League champions, Manchester City. The match will be aired live on SuperSport Select 2 at 8pm.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

GOtv Boxing Night Mini: KB  Godson Promises Explosive Return

first_imgLightweight boxer, Kabiru ‘KB Godson’ Towolawi, has declared that his return to ring action at GOtv Boxing Night Mini will be an explosive one.Towolawi’s last fight ended in a sixth-round knockout he suffered in the hands of Adewale ‘Masevex’ Masebinu in a national light heavyweight title bout at GOtv Boxing Night 16.Speaking in an interview in Lagos on Thursday, Towolawi said he is desirous of making amends at the event, which holds on 16 November at the Rowe Park Sports Complex, Lagos. “The defeat by Masevex was a bitter pill to swallow, but I’m happy for the opportunity to return and I promise my fans a fantastic return by crushing my opponent,” Towolawi said.He lauded the sponsors of GOtv Boxing Night Mini, describing it as an initiative that will help Nigerian boxers rack up more fights and improve their fight records in order to be recognised by international boxing bodies to compete for regional and global titles.Boxers scheduled to fight at GOtv Boxing Night Mini include Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union (WABU) lightweight champion; Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, West African Boxing Union (WABU) welterweight champion; Waheed “Skoro” Usman, former African Boxing Union (ABU) featherweight champion; Opeyemi Adeyemi and Sikiru Shogbesan   Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Baseball teams try to adapt, find safe options on road trips

first_img Associated Press Television News Last Updated: 4th August, 2020 12:42 IST Baseball Teams Try To Adapt, Find Safe Options On Road Trips Gone for now are the days of baseball players, often dirt-stained and still in uniform, gathering in the clubhouse to scarf down a late night meal before heading their separate ways until doing it all again some 24 hours later COMMENT Gone for now are the days of baseball players, often dirt-stained and still in uniform, gathering in the clubhouse to scarf down a late night meal before heading their separate ways until doing it all again some 24 hours later.The coronavirus pandemic has changed that cherished time when players could sit together at a table to decompress from a long game, celebrate a hard-fought win or support each other through a tough defeat.Still, many teams are trying to find smart and creative ways to mingle safely and have some semblance of that close-knit normalcy while paying close attention to season-stalling outbreaks for the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.The San Francisco Giants arrived at their team hotel in Denver on Sunday night and discovered what manager Gabe Kapler thought would be an ideal space for planning meetings and players to hang out during the club’s current four-game series with the Colorado Rockies.Then he found something safer.“We scoped them out indoors initially and we met with the hotel to ensure that those would be places that we could utilize and spread out, and then this morning, we audibled because we found an outdoor area right outside one of those meeting rooms that was especially spread out and gave us an opportunity to do our advance meetings,” Kapler said at the start of a 10-game trip that also goes through Los Angeles and Houston.Road teams have been hit hardest by COVID-19. The Marlins played in Philadelphia and the Cardinals were in Minnesota when the coronavirus began to spread through their rosters, leading to postponements that are wreaking havoc on the shortened 60-game schedule.“It’s not a normal year, so to keep guys healthy is huge,” Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija said. “We’re still learning right now. We’re still learning the best spots to put bikes and have guys see the trainers. It’s just completely fluid.”The teams out West don’t necessarily feel removed geographically from what is affecting those as far as 3,000 miles away.“We are all in this together as the National, League, the American League, all of baseball, all of us,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.Joe Maddon wants his Los Angeles players to be able to gather after night games — socially distanced, of course. So he planned to secure a banquet room or conference space as the Angels begin a six-game trip Tuesday in Seattle that ends this weekend at Texas. Maddon also hoped to have a small room for coaches to spend time together.The Texas Rangers rent a ballroom on the road with a side space used for meetings and also have a hospitality room. Manager Chris Woodward’s priority is to prevent players from moving room to room within the hotel, and he’s asking them to wear masks and keep their distance in banquet room.“What we’re seeing now, I feel like, we’re really close to possibly shutting down if there’s another outbreak somewhere,” Woodward said. “So we’re trying to be as preventative as we can.”Black heard of Maddon’s idea and said he would consider the options for Colorado, hoping it could make up for some of what has been lost due to clubhouse safety protocols.“There’s obviously a component that players are used to postgame, being in the clubhouse, hanging out, talking about the game, sharing a meal, relaxing, hanging out, together. The new guidelines and protocols do not recommend that,” Black said. “To be able to spread out and maybe kibitz a little bit would be something that is beneficial.”Medical experts say the bigger the room with more space to spread out, the lesser the risk — but there’s certainly still risk when gathering groups such as baseball teams.“I would not characterize spending time in the same room for long periods of time a high risk activity for transmission, but some might assume no risk if you’re physically distanced, and we should be clear about the fact that we do have evidence of transmission in this kind of setting,” said Dr. Emily Gurley, associate scientist in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.”… The ballroom solution does not eliminate risk for transmission. Another step to further reduce risk in this setting is to increase the airflow in the room.”Many are adapting as they go.“I think we need to have thick skin and be resilient and be willing to adjust,” San Francisco’s Samardzija said. “It’s a short season. We certainly knew going in it was going to be a different situation. But as long as we’re healthy and we can continue to get stronger as a team then those teams are going to be in great position to make the playoffs.”Image credits: AP LIVE TV First Published: 4th August, 2020 12:42 ISTcenter_img Written By FOLLOW US SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVElast_img read more

Junior paddler Swastika Gosh facing financial crisis in Mumbai due to lockdown

first_img Written By COMMENT 1 month ago 2 injured in firing by group of people in outer Delhi’s Narela First Published: 8th August, 2020 14:26 IST Last Updated: 8th August, 2020 14:26 IST Junior Paddler Swastika Gosh Facing Financial Crisis In Mumbai Due To Lockdown Swastika Ghosh is facing acute financial crisis due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown and her family is contemplating returning to her native place World number five junior paddler Swastika Ghosh is facing acute financial crisis due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown and her family is contemplating returning to her native place near here as they are struggling to even pay the room rent in Mumbai.Swastika’s father Sandeep, who is also her coach-cum-training partner, is rendered jobless for more than four months and he is finding it difficult to pay the rent of the house they are staying at Navi Mumbai.Sandeep was a table tennis coach at the DAV Public School at Nerul but since the lockdown, he is under “no work, no pay”. He has been forced to spend all his provident fund savings to make the ends meet.”Everyday Swastika needs food supplements worth about Rs 1200 to compensate for her six hours’ training. Everything has stopped now and if the lockdown continues like this we may have to quit and return to Bengal,” the Level 2 coach, who has been in Mumbai since 1992, told PTI.”I had about Rs 60,000 left in my provident fund that also I’ve spent and later borrowed some money from my in-laws. We are left with no saving now and there’s no way I can fund her training expense now.”He said the family was thinking of going back to their native place at Andul, a suburb of Kolkata.”At least we have a shelter there.” he said. “I just hope that the school reopens and training resumes soon, otherwise everything is doomed for us,” the 52-year-old said.Having become the cadet national champion at nine years of age in Ajmer 2013, Swastika made rapid strides in the last two years, improving her world junior rankings from 278 in January 2018 to a career-best fifth in April this year.Swastika is currently the top-ranked Indian junior with national champion Diya Chitale a distant 38 in the TTFI world rankings.”It’s the result of her exposure in Golden and Premier Series meets over the last two years. She has won about eight bronze medals at international level. But now we are uncertain what the future holds for her.”Sandeep said he had written to both the central and state government, apart from the Maharashtra federation but there’s been “no response” yet.”I had written to sports minister Kiren Rijiju and the state sports department here but there has been no response. Even the Maharashtra federation is turning a deaf ear to our plight.”The only help they have got is from the Bengal Chamber which is funding her with Rs one lakh through a charity musical event.”It will be quite a help and will run for a few months. I just hope the situation normalises by then and we are back at training,” said Sandeep.If all goes well, Swastika is targeting a medal at the World Junior Championships in Guimaraes, Portugal, from November 29-December 6.”It will be history if she wins a world championship medal. We will try our best. The next target is to do well at youth level and make the cut at senior level. If she improves her ranking at least the Ministry can consider her including in the TOP Scheme,” Sandeep said. 1 month ago ON TAPE: Sushant’s aide questions Sandip Ssingh’s role in death, draws link to Disha WATCH US LIVE LIVE TVcenter_img FOLLOW US WE RECOMMEND Press Trust Of India 1 month ago Delhi: 2 held for stabbing, looting man 1 month ago The many warped inconsistencies in Sushant’s so-called friend Sandip Ssingh’s narrative SUBSCRIBE TO US 1 month ago Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA arrests two more accused; gets custody for 4 dayslast_img read more