Breaking! Abia Warriors encounter armed robbers

Abia Warriors team travelling to Lagos for their Aiteo Cup round of 16 games ran into a group of armed robbers operating along the Lagos-Ibadan express way but by God’s Grace the team escaped even-though some players who panicky attempted to jump down from the vehicle sustained some injuries and have been treated by the medics.Related image

Between 2005 and 2010 they played under the name “Orji Uzor Kalu FC” in honor of Abia governor Orji Uzor Kalu who helped the club with state sponsorship upon promotion to the professional level. They reverted to their old name in summer of 2010. They won promotion to the Nigeria Premier League for the first time in August 2013 after winning their division on the last day. They have been in sublime form since gaining promotion into the Nigeria Premier League sitting in 8th position in the league table.

 

Premier League: Watford boss lauds Nigerian star, others after draw

Watford saw their perfect start to the 2018-2019 Premier League campaign ended by Manchester United last weekend. The Hornets were hoping to revive their flying start against newly promoted Fulham, but the failed to consolidate on a great first half where they scored within a minute.  Andre Gray put Watford ahead in just 90 seconds as he pounced on a ball from Will Hughes before beating Marcus Bettinelli with ease to give the visitors the lead.

In the relief of escaping a second successive defeat, Gracia’s team were also left to rue a first half after which they might have been out of sight. “After we scored in the first minutes and after a good first half, all of us thought we would be able to get three points. At the end of the game they scored. We played much better in the first half when we had to kill the game and score another goal. We had the chances to do it.”

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“In the second they changed their shape and we tried to keep the high press and we suffered a bit. We tried to keep the same level of intensity and ambition. The players feel really bad. They are hungry, they want to win and have made a very big effort today. They played really well in the first half. That is what we want to keep for the rest of the season.”

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Having surrendered their 100% record by losing to Manchester United last week, and drawn here, fantastical talk of Watford being this season’s Leicester 2015-2016 should now be set aside. Fulham picked up their game significantly in the second half and Aleksandar Mitrovic eventually equalised for the hosts as he bagged his fifth goal of the season in the 78th minute. Fulham began applying lots of pressure on Watford as Fosu-Mensah managed to break down the right flank before cutting the ball back towards Vietto, but Hughes read the ball well and made the intercept.

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Fulham should also have been down to 10 men; Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s rash and high challenge on Troy Deeney did not receive the red card it deserved from Martin Atkinson.  It was then Mitrovic who finally made the pressure count as a deft flick on from the cross by Vietto saw the Serbian bag his fifth goal of the season and bring the scores level. In the end the draw was a fair result with Watford dominating the first half, but a great second half performance from the hosts earned them a deserved point.

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Former Arsenal winger emulates Maradona and Weah

Gervinho returned to Italy this summer after a two-and-a-half year stint in China. The 31-year-old winger signed a three-year contract with Parma – and he’s not forgotten how to find the back of the net in Serie A. Gervinho previously spent three seasons at Roma, netting 26 times in 88 appearances before heading to Asia in January 2016.

He was in the Parma starting line-up for Saturday’s 2-0 win over Cagliari. Two minutes into the second half, Gervinho produced a magical solo goal reminiscent of George Weah’s incredible goal for AC Milan against Verona in 1996.

Receiving the ball on the edge of his own box, the former Arsenal flop reminded his opponents of his blistering pace. They simply couldn’t get near him. Gervinho cut through the Cagliari defence like a knife through butter before firing an inch-perfect finish past the goalkeeper.

Gervinho scored against Juventus earlier in September and Parma coach Roberto D’Aversa had to explain why he subbed him off after 60 minutes.

“Clearly I wanted to keep him on for the whole game and I received a lot of insults from the stands, but I am taking some risks with him,” D’Aversa told Sky Sport Italia. He had 20 minutes against SPAL, plus some problems during the week, and I can’t afford to lose him. Gervinho has unique technical and physical characteristics, so I can’t let him get injured.”

At full fitness, Gervinho can be unplayable. Let’s hope we see him scoring more goals like this one in the years to come.

What Neymar ACTUALLY shares with Kim Kardashian

Joey Barton says Neymar should not be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. Rather, the former English midfielder has compared the Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar to reality star Kim Kardashian. Beyond the Barton comments however, the Brazilian talisman does share some attributes with the the reality show star . Neymar shares a spot on the top 10 most followed celebrities on Instagram. While Neymar comes up in 10th, with 101 million (and counting) followers, the reality show star is rated fifth with 116 million (and counting).

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Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton made the comparison while criticising the Brazil international in an interview with L’Equipe, saying he does not deserve to be compared to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.

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“I think he is the Kim Kardashian of football,” Barton said. “Neymar is not the best player in the world, we saw that again in Russia. He is not at the level of Ronaldo and Messi, and there are many other players in front of him. Neymar, more than a football phenomenon, is an advertising phenomenon, like the Kardashians.”Image result for Neymar

The former Manchester City and Burnley midfielder is only in his first season with Fleetwood – who play in the third tier of English football – but already feels he could cope with the challenge of taking charge at the Ligue 1 heavyweights, mainly due to his thorough understanding of how the club works. Barton also revealed he has the ambition to one day coach Marseille, after spending the 2012-2013 on loan at the French club during his playing days.

Mahrez scores as Manchester City thrash Cardiff

Algerian forward, Riyad Mahrez got his first goals for the Cityzens in their five nil rout and Sergio Aguero scored on his 300th appearance for Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s side bounced back from their shock Champions League disappointment.

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The club’s all-time leading goalscorer, who signed a contract extension this week that will keep him at the club until 2021, opened the scoring after 32 minutes. So often the star of the show, Aguero shared the spotlight on a rainy afternoon in South Wales with Bernardo Silva, who doubled City’s lead three minutes later, and Ilkay Gundogan, who capped a fine performance with a brilliant solo effort.

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Substitute Riyad Mahrez scored his first goals for the club with a brace to put the result beyond doubt, and the manner of the victory will have delighted Guardiola after a below-par showing in a 2-1 defeat to Lyon in midweek.

Cool and composed during a scrappy opening half an hour, Gundogan started the move that led to the opener, feeding Silva who squared to Aguero and the striker beat his marker to apply a first-time finish. Silva got his head underneath Leroy Sane’s cross from the right two minutes later and looped the ball up and over Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and in at the far post.

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Gundogan was the stand-out player in the first half and he was rewarded with the pick of the goals, playing a one-two with Raheem Sterling before confidently side-footing into the top corner.

City controlled the second half from start to finish and when Sterling set Gundogan free down the left, he sent a low cross to the feet of Mahrez to open his account for the club.

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With one minute left to play, Bruno Ecuele Manga needed to make a simple clearance, but instead played the ball straight to Mahrez, who drove it low and hard into the bottom-left corner of the net to wrap up a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon for Guardiola.

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What it means: Unbeaten champions keep the pressure on

City’s dropped points against Wolves last month is what separates them from leaders Liverpool, who have a 100 per cent record, but being in the chasing pack can offer a psychological advantage – especially if your team is playing the way the champions did against Cardiff.

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Gundogan burying the memory of World Cup nightmare

After being caught up Germany’s torrid World Cup campaign, Gundogan has played himself back into form and his intelligent movement and exquisite touch were too much for Cardiff to handle, not to mention his superb goal.

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Captain Morrison must steady the ship

Cardiff’s wait for a first win of the season goes on and they have conceded 12 goals in their last three Premier League games. Bluebirds captain Sean Morrison might have been helpless to prevent Aguero and company in such fine form, but he must rally his troops and help Neil Warnock grind out some results soon.

Key Opta facts

– Cardiff City lost a home league game by a five-goal margin for the first time since April 1994 (2-7 v Cambridge United in the third tier).
– Since Pep Guardiola took over ahead of the 2016-17 season, Manchester City have scored 5+ goals in 10 Premier League fixtures, four times more than any other side.
– Sergio Aguero made his 300th appearance for Manchester City in all competitions, and scored his 205th goal for the club.
– Aguero has now scored 13 and assisted two more in his last 13 Premier League games against newly promoted sides
– Bernardo Silva scored and assisted in the same game for the first time ever for Manchester City in his 61 appearances for the club in all competitions.
– Silva’s goal for Manchester City was his first-ever headed goal for the club in any competition.

What’s next

There is no let up for Cardiff, who face fellow strugglers Burnley at home before travelling to Tottenham, while Manchester City can look forward to what should be another three points when they meet Brighton and Hove Albion at home after their EFL Cup clash with Oxford United.

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Wolves spoil Fergie’s Man Utd return

Manchester United invited their legendary manager to the club to celebrate and honour him, after the former boss recovered from a life threatening illness, but Wolves played out a 1-1 draw with the Red Devils to draw the match.

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Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance for the first time since undergoing brain surgery in May as Fred became the 500th different player to score a competitive goal for United when he drilled home the opener, wonderfully set up by Paul Pogba in the 18th minute.

The newly promoted Wolves did not let United’s opener unsettle them, though, as they remained a real threat and engineered a deserved equaliser for Moutinho in the 53rd minute.

Man Utd 1-1 Wolves

United pressed for the winner, but could not find a way past a stubborn Wolves side who were more than good value for the point that keeps them in the top half.

United sit fifth, eight points behind leaders Liverpool, after a disappointing afternoon. Wolves were much the better side in the opening stages, forcing David de Gea into two fine saves, one from a close-range Raul Jimenez effort, and the other, a more impressive one from a Ryan Bennett header.

The Portuguese midfielder scored an equaliser for the newly-promoted side early into the second half to stun the home fans

Wolves were made to pay for not taking their chances as Fred fired United into the lead. It was all about the Pogba pass, as the France international controlled the ball brilliantly into the path of Fred, who arrived just at the right moment to fire into the net from the edge of the box.

The goal did not deter Wolves, though, as they continued to put United on the back foot, but for all their good possession and pressure, they could not find that killer pass.

Manchester United opened the scoring on home soil after 18 minutes with a delightful effort from summer signing Fred

Team news

Two changes for United from the side that beat Watford last weekend, with Fred and Luke Shaw coming in for the suspended Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young.

Marouane Fellaini, who sat out of United’s Champions League win in midweek, started in midfield. Wolves, for the sixth game in a row, were unchanged.

Manchester United look dejected as they walk back to the halfway line with Wolves players celebrating in the background

Cue Raul Jimenez to provide that telling assist eight minutes into the second half, as he held the ball up in the box and laid it off perfectly for Moutinho, who slammed the ball into the top corner from the 18 yards.

United pressed for the winner, with Marouane Fellaini denied by a smart save from Rui Patricio, but Wolves had chances of their own to win it, with lively substitute Adama Traore forcing De Gea into another save with his feet in stoppage time.

The visitors forced David de Gea into making a save early on as Wolves players Diogo Jota, Willy Boly and Matt Doherty watch

The result dents recent good work from United, who had overcome back-to-back defeats at the end of August by going on a three-match winning streak on the road. Wolves, though, will cause many a team problems this season.

Jonny Castro tries to flick the ball over Antonio Valencia as he tries to put the newly-promoted side on to the front foot

Opta stats

  • Manchester United have dropped six points from seven Premier League games at Old Trafford against newly-promoted opposition under Jose Mourinho; more than the Red Devils had dropped in 10 seasons in the top-flight between 2006-07 and 2015-16 (5).
  • Wolves have avoided defeat at Old Trafford against Man Utd in all competitions for the first time since November 1980, stopping a run of eight successive losses.
  • João Moutinho scored his first goal in 28 league games since netting against PSG in November 2017.
  • Fred is the first Brazilian player to score a Premier League goal for Man Utd since Rafael vs QPR in February 2013.
  • Paul Pogba has been directly involved in six goals in his seven starts in all competitions for Man Utd this season (4 goals, 2 assists).
Nuno Espirito Santo says his Wolves side are getting better game by game after they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Nuno Espirito Santo was full of praise for his Wolves side.

Man of the match – Joao Moutinho

Eyebrows were raised when Wolves managed to snare Moutinho in the summer for what appeared to be a nominal fee, and he proved why he has garnered such a prestigious reputation at Old Trafford, dictating the play for much of the contest, against impressive opposition.

Joao Moutinho scored a sensational equaliser as Wolves earned a memorable point at Manchester United on Saturday

No team-mate created more chances, while he put in double the crosses of any Wolves player. It was the control with which he went about his business that was most impressive, though.

Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United were “not good enough to get three points” against Wolves after their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho: We only deserved a draw

Portuguese managerial duo Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo embrace in the technical area before kick-off 

De Gea proves that World Cup criticism was indeed “stupid”

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea came under fire at the World Cup in Russia this summer when he blundered by letting a Cristiano Ronaldo shot squeeze through his grasp in Spain’s 3-3 draw with Portugal and went home having saved just one of 11 shots on target. The Spanish No 1 has however been in better form for Manchester United since the start of the season, making an excellent late save at Watford last weekend to earn Jose Mourinho’s side victory at Vicarage Road.

Earlier in the week he insisted that he has not been affected by the ‘stupid’ criticism of his performances for Spain at the World Cup. He went on to prove his mettle on saturday evening when he made a string of crucial saves though Manchester United dropped two points to visitors Wolves at Old Trafford. With the man who signed him, Sir Alex Ferguson, returning to Old Trafford for the first time since recovering from surgery, De Gea evidently made a good impression.

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He would have proven that indeed any criticism of his performances is unfounded and fans on social media rave on about De Gea heroics.

Liverpool sets new club record

Liverpool won their 6th premier league game, defeating Southampton by three goals to nil. In doing so, they have set a new club record of victories.

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Liverpool have set the mark for the best start in the club’s 126 years history after a 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday. With the victory, the Reds have won seven consecutive matches to begin a season for the first time ever.

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Jurgen Klopp’s side have won all six of their Premier League fixtures, and also defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 midweek in their Champions League opener.

The win was slightly marred by an injury to star defender Virgil van Dijk, who was taken off in the second half with an apparent rib injury.

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Liverpool are currently alone in first place in the Premier League, but can be joined by Chelsea if the Blues defeat West Ham on Sunday for their sixth straight league win to begin the season.

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The Reds’ unblemished start will be put to the test over the next two weeks, with Klopp’s men set to face Chelsea twice, Napoli and Manchester City over their next four matches.

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Manchester United held at Old Trafford by Premier League “giant killers”

Newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers are turning out to be the Premier League giant killers this season. After holding defending Champions Manchester City to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season, and stalling their flying start, Javi Garcia’s boys inflicted the same punishment on Manchester United at Old Trafford, renewing pressure on Coach Jose Mourinho.

United’s three-game winning run has come to an end with a frustrating afternoon at home. On the back of three wins away from home, this was supposed to be the fresh launch of United’s season at Old Trafford, post defeat to Tottenham, but it was another stalling and more frustration. They played an exceptional Wolverhampton Wanderers side who were never intimidated by the stage on which they found themselves, but as Ferguson will himself observe, these are the games his club has to win.

The problem for Jose Mourinho is not just that the standard of the teams outside the elite has risen dramatically since Ferguson’s years of dominance, it is that the components of his team are not delivering the individual brilliance needed to make the difference.Or perhaps he has been unable to get them to do consistently.

Alexis Sanchez was substituted after another forgettable afternoon. Romelu Lukaku could not find the touch to score the goal to win the game. Paul Pogba’s form lurched from the perceptive to the negligent.

It was Pogba who made United’s goal for Fred but it was also Pogba who was robbed for the equaliser. The pressure to make things happen for United seems to be persistently on his mind. For Neves and Moutinho in the Wolves midfield, the instinct is more to control. Fred’s goal on 18 minutes came against the run of play, made by a smart pass from Pogba who tucked a clearing header into a clear channel where his team-mate could take the ball first time with his right foot.

At the end United pushed hard, but there was always the danger of Adama Traore on the counter-attack, a substitute with such ferocious pace that it does not always give him the time to make the right decision. A De Gea save from the Spanish winger at the end stopped it from being worse, and it was not the only save he had to make.

Iheanacho on fire: Inspires Leicester to a comeback win with a goal and assist

Leicester City came from a goal goal down to defeat Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium. The comeback started with Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho.

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James Maddison scored an impressive free-kick as Leicester City came from behind to beat Huddersfield Town 3-1 in the Premier League, easing the pressure on boss Claude Puel.

Defender Mathias Jorgensen put Huddersfield in front after just five minutes, having failed to score in any of his 38 Premier League appearances last season. But Kelechi Iheanacho, back in the team as one of three changes from Puel, promptly equalised before Maddison’s moment of quality and Jamie Vardy’s impressive finish proved decisive in the second half.

The home win gets Leicester back on track after a run of two straight defeats, while struggling Huddersfield remain without a victory.

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Leicester City

@LCFC

3️⃣ goals
3️⃣ points

Job done ✅

Having found goals hard to come by this season, Huddersfield got just the start they needed. It was scrappy, but the visitors were delighted when Philip Billing’s long throw was flicked on by Laurent Depoitre and tucked in by Jorgensen from six yards, Kasper Schmeichel unable to get enough behind the shot. But their lead lasted only 14 minutes, as a lethal Leicester counter-attack produced the equaliser. An excellent Maddison throughball found Vardy, who teed up Iheanacho to place a first time, left-footed finish into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

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Leicester made most of the running from there, as Vardy squandered good opportunities in either half and Harry Maguire was denied a penalty after tangling with Jorgensen.

Depoitre failed to pull the trigger quickly enough in a rare Huddersfield opening as he bore down on Schmeichel, but Maddison then produced a moment of quality at the other end to put Leicester ahead in the 66th minute, his curling, 25-yard free-kick proving too hot for Jonas Lossl to handle.

And the points were safe for Leicester with 15 minutes left, Vardy racing through to chip Lossl after Iheanacho sent him clear.

Leicester 1-1 Huddersfield

What it means: Leicester back on track as Huddersfield struggle

After back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Bournemouth, Leicester and Puel looked like they were in trouble after falling behind, but a morale-boosting win in which their key attacking stars shone sets them up nicely for the weeks ahead.

Huddersfield came into the game winless and as the league’s lowest scorers, and it could be another long, difficult season given they prop up the table with two points and only three goals from six games.

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OptaJoe

@OptaJoe

4 – James Maddison has either scored or assisted in four of his last five Premier League starts for Leicester City (3 goals, 1 assist). Whip.

Maddison continues to impress

Maddison was excellent again for Leicester. His free-kick was the decisive moment with the match evenly poised at 1-1, while his earlier pass was instrumental in creating Leicester’s equaliser.

He now has three goals this season, while lively performances from Iheanacho and Vardy in attack also helped the Foxes, as a tinkering Puel continues to look for his best line-up.
Depoitre display typical of Huddersfield’s attacking woe

Huddersfield will have fewer chances than the opposition in most of the games they play this season, so taking advantage of the openings they do create is pivotal.
Depoitre, who replaced Steve Mounie for this game, did not do that, failing to shoot when through on goal in the second half, while also planting a late header straight at Schmeichel. Scoring goals looks like it is going to be a massive problem for Huddersfield again this year.

What’s next?

Leicester will aim to continue their momentum at Wolves in the EFL Cup on Tuesday before a crunch league meeting away to Newcastle United on Saturday, the same day as Huddersfield host Tottenham in the top flight.