Tuesday, 30 April 2019

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: SOUTH AFRICA VS TUNISIA 1996 NATIONS CUP FINAL

This week we take a trip down memory lane and look back at how Bafana Bafana defeated the continent’s best as at then to lift the trophy at Soccer City.
Bafana Bafana came into the competition on the back of some good form in the Simba Cup (a draw and two wins) and a morale boosting goalless draw against World Cup ’94 quarter-finalists Germany. And, with their rugby counterparts doing the nation proud [in winning the World Cup in 1995], the pressure was on to deliver in their first African adventure.
And deliver they did, putting to the sword a Cameroon side featuring a young Rigobert Song, beating the west Africans 3-0 in the opening game. Bafana Bafana went on to win their second group game against Angola by a solitary goal, but were quickly brought back down to earth, losing 1-0 to Egypt.
Despite the loss, they still qualified top of their group on goal-difference, avoiding rampant Group B winners Zambia. Their quarter-final opponents were Algeria, who they narrowly beat 2-1.
The dangerous Black Stars of Ghana lay next for Clive Barker and his boys but, inspired by John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, they thumped the west Africans 3-0 to book their place in the Final.
You can watch the highlights of the final versus Tunisia right here >>> http://sowernal.com/2zmT

Monday, 22 April 2019

WATCH AS PAOK FANS CELEBRATE THEIR FIRST GREEK SUPER LEAGUE TITTLE IN 34 YEARS!!!

In wild scenes of celebration, fans packed along the city's seafront — hundreds holding red flares — to catch a glimpse of the winning team on a double-decker bus after its 5-0 win over Levadiakos sealed its undefeated run to victory.
At the heart of the party was Ivan Savvidis, a stout Russian billionaire who transformed the club and bet heavily on the northern Greek economy. Supporters chanted his name as he walked between two rows of flame machines during a celebration ceremony.
The 60-year-old businessman, whose family is partly of Greek ancestry, took over PAOK in 2012 and rescued the club from financial ruin, settling debts and building a 63 million euro ($70 million) roster equal in value to that of the country's largest club, Olympiakos.
PAOK was founded in the mid-1920s by Greek refugees who fled to the city after a catastrophic war with Turkey and owes much of its loyal following to that history. Not only veterans and fans feel that burden.
Vieirinha, PAOK's Portuguese captain, wasn't born the last time the team won the league. On Sunday, in tears, he received a standing ovation from 25,000 fans at Toumba Stadium, playing the last five minutes despite an injury.
"A great team like PAOK does not deserve to wait 34 years to win a championship," Vieirinha said. "What we lived through this past year is a dream for every PAOK fan. I am one of them. I come from them. For me, PAOK means everything."
Watch the celebrations right here >>> http://vaugette.com/2uxr

RONALDO BECOMES FIRST PLAYER TO WIN EUROPE'S TOP 3 LEAGUES!!!

In doing so, the 34-year-old Ronaldo became the first player in history to win league titles in the English Premier League (with United), the Spanish league (Madrid) and Serie A (Juventus). "I'm very happy to have won in England, Spain and now the league title in Italy as well," Ronaldo said. "It meant a lot to me and it means a lot to us as a team."
Other players have won titles in three of the five major European leagues (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France) but nobody had previously put together the combination of England, Spain and Italy.
David Beckham played in four of the top leagues but only won titles at United (six), Madrid (one) and Paris Saint-Germain (one), having failed to lift the Serie A trophy during his two loan spells at AC Milan.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic won four Serie A titles (three with Inter Milan and one with AC Milan), the Spanish league with Barcelona and four French championships with PSG. Brazil fullback Maxwell was on many of those same teams as Ibrahimovic and also won in Italy, Spain and France.
Then there was Arjen Robben, who won the Premier League twice with Chelsea before adding a Spanish title at Real Madrid and seven Bundesliga trophies at Bayern Munich. Another Dutchman who achieved the feat was Mark van Bommel, with titles with Barcelona, Bayern Munich (two) and AC Milan.
While Juventus also won the league in the seven seasons before Ronaldo's arrival, there was no doubting his impact in Turin. With 19 goals and six assists in 27 Italian league matches this season, Ronaldo played a part in nearly 40 percent of Juventus' goals.
So it came as no surprise when his dangerous cross from a sharp angle was redirected in by a defender as an own-goal for the winner in Juve's 2-1 win over Fiorentina on Saturday — giving the Bianconeri more than the single point they needed to secure a record-extending eighth straight title with five rounds remaining.
It's the sixth league title of Ronaldo's career. The first came as a 22-year-old at United, ending a four-year drought for Ferguson's squad as Ronaldo scored 17 goals — three fewer than Didier Drogba's league-best 20.
That was just a warmup for what came next. In 2007-08, Ronaldo led the Premier League with 31 goals and helped United to the league title and the Champions League trophy. Another Premier League title came the following season as Ronaldo finished second in the scoring charts with 18 goals, behind only Nicolas Anelka, who had 19 for Chelsea.
While Ronaldo won only two Spanish league championships in his nine seasons at Madrid, he also helped the team to four Champions League trophies — including three consecutive European titles over the last three seasons.
When Juventus acquired Ronaldo in a 100 million euro ($112 million) transfer last year, the expectation was that he would help end the club's long chase for a Champions League trophy. Ronaldo did his part by scoring a hat trick to overturn a first-leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in the opening knockout round and goals in both legs of the quarterfinals against Ajax but the Bianconeri were still eliminated by the Dutch club.
"Next year is a new page, the fans all want it and so do we," Ronaldo said. "It is an important trophy, but it's difficult to (win)." A Champions League title with Juventus would enable Ronaldo to match another multiple nation and multiple team record — joining Clarence Seedorf as the only players to win the trophy with three different clubs.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: PSG TRASHED BY LILLE

PSG needed a home win against Strasbourg to clinch an eighth French title last weekend, only to draw 2-2. This time, PSG striker Kylian Mbappe had two goals disallowed for offside. PSG lost two players to injury and had its goal scorer Juan Bernat sent off — all in a frantic first half.
But the way PSG capitulated after the break, letting in four goals, exposed glaring weaknesses in the team, notably on free kicks, and an ongoing lack of composure and fight when under pressure. Mbappe gave a strong verdict on his team's shortcomings.
"We will win the league, but you have to lose in the right way. You can't let in three, four or five," Mbappe told Canal Plus television. "That's not normal. We have to show more personality, that's one of our faults and we have to fix that. When you play like beginners ... We have to stop losing like that."
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel, however, was quick to disagree with Mbappe's comments. "No, no, no," Tuchel told the broadcaster. "That's not the case. It's too easy (to say)." Instead, Tuchel blamed injuries, missed chances, illness and refereeing decisions — even though both offside calls and the red card were accurate.
But there are clearly ongoing weaknesses in PSG's side. They were evident in another humiliating exit from the Champions League, when PSG went out in the last 16 to Manchester United despite winning the away leg 2-0.
PSG's defense was unable to contain outstanding Lille forward Nicolas Pepe , who scored the second goal and set up the fourth and fifth to underline Lille's brilliant teamwork. PSG needs a win at Nantes on Wednesday to guarantee the league title, although a draw would in all likelihood be enough at the end of the season, given PSG's huge advantage on goal difference.
Lille strengthened its claim to finish in outright second place and qualify automatically for next season's Champions League — moving eight points ahead of third-placed Lyon with six games left. The win had the crowd on its feet and the players danced jubilantly in front of their fans after the final whistle, while PSG's players trudged off despondently.
FRANTIC START After Mbappe's second-minute tap in was ruled offside, Lille went ahead in the ninth when PSG defender Thomas Meunier deflected a Lille header into his own net. Two minutes later, Mbappe expertly set up Bernat's volleyed equalizer and, just two minutes after that, Mbappe ran through and finished superbly — only for the flag to come up once again.
PSG lost center half Thiago Silva and Meunier to injury, with less than 25 minutes played. Bernat got a straight red card in the 36th, pulling back Pepe as he sprinted through on goal. The decision stood after referee Benoit Bastien used a video review.
PACE AND POWER Lille's forward line caused 10-man PSG constant problems. Loic Remy and Jonathan Ikone combined well to send Pepe sprinting through from midfield, and he finished with aplomb in the 52nd for his 19th goal of the league campaign — second only to Mbappe's 27.
Jonathan Bamba rifled a powerful shot into the top left corner after getting behind PSG's defense in the 65th. Star player Pepe then turned provider, setting up headers for defenders Gabriel and Jose Fonte.... you can watch the highlights of the match here >>> http://cesinthi.com/2dfK
OTHER MATCHES Saint-Etienne kept the pressure on Lyon and Marseille in the race for third with a 3-0 home win against Bordeaux. Saint-Etienne is two points ahead of fifth-placed Marseille and three behind Lyon.
Sixth-placed Montpellier beat Toulouse 2-1 and Rennes is 10th after a 0-0 home draw with eighth-placed Nice. PEPE AWAY Lille president Gerard Lopez says Pepe will be sold next season. The 23-year-old Pepe is among the most highly rated forwards in Europe and his transfer value is estimated at more than 50 million euros ($57 million).
"Four or five players will leave this summer. Nicolas Pepe's departure is certain," Lopez told French soccer show Telefoot on Sunday. "He's entering a price (salary) range we can no longer pay. He will have a lot of choices."
His value will have gone up after his performance against PSG.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF THE UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE TOMMOROW!!!

ARSENAL-NAPOLI  Arsenal heads into the Europa League's last eight potentially needing to win the competition to secure a return to the Champions League next season. Finishing in the top four of the Premier League would also guarantee that and Arsenal is currently in fifth place, locked in a tight battle with Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United to claim the two qualifying spots behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
Five points separate Chelsea in third place and United in sixth, with Chelsea having played a game more than its three rivals. Ozil's five-match run in the team started in the 3-1 Europa League loss to Rennes in the first leg of the last 16. But Arsenal's 3-0 victory in the second leg kept alive Emery's bid to win the competition for the fourth time, after doing so with Sevilla in three straight years from 2014.
Napoli, which is second in the Italian league, won the now-defunct UEFA Cup — the precursor to the Europa League — in 1989. It is the club's only major European honor. A look at the other three quarterfinals:
SLAVIA PRAGUE-CHELSEA Chelsea, the 2013 champion, is in a similar position to Arsenal in needing to take the Europa League seriously to potentially earn a Champions League qualification place. Winning the competition would also provide its manager, Maurizio Sarri, with a first title in his 29-year coaching career.
Slavia Prague is widely regarded as the weakest team left in the Europa League, even though the Czech club surprisingly ousted Sevilla in the last 16. VILLARREAL-VALENCIA The clubs from eastern Spain are on opposite ends of the league standings, with Villarreal fighting against relegation and Valencia contending for a Champions League spot and preparing for the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona.
"We have done a good job separating both competitions," Villarreal coach Javi Calleja said. "There is no pressure for us in this competition, unlike in the Spanish league." Valencia got past Villarreal in the semifinals of the 2004 UEFA Cup, a competition it eventually won.
BENFICA-FRANKFURT Eintracht Frankfurt's season could hardly be going better under coach Adi Huetter, who replaced Niko Kovac in offseason. The club can match Atletico Madrid's record for 15 games unbeaten in the Europa League if it avoids defeat in Lisbon.
Frankfurt also is enjoying its best ever Bundesliga season, with 52 points after 28 matches. Benfica has never lost at home in any stage of the Europa League, with 18 wins and three draws.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

CHELSEA 2 - 0 WEST HAM : 5 TALKING POINTS!!!

Chelsea increased the pressure on their rivals after a win over West Ham took them to third in the Premier League. Another stellar performance by their main man Eden Hazard, saw them ease past West Ham. 

Chelsea got going since the first minute and had a few chances early on in the game before Hazard produced a moment of individual brilliance to put Chelsea ahead after 24 minutes. West Ham came close to getting a goal back in the second half, but nothing significant materialized. A cross from Ross Barkley found Hazard in acres of space as he calmly slotted a shot past Fabianski to finish off the game just before stoppage time. 

West Ham had a few decent spells throughout the game, but failed to actually control the game, and were beaten by an in-form Chelsea team in this London Derby. Let us take a look at 5 talking points from the game at Stamford Bridge.


#5 Sarri continues to put faith in Chelsea youngsters

Maurizio Sarri started Chelsea youngsters Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the second game in a row, and this being only the second Premier League start for the latter. Neither of them disappointed in the rare start offered to them by their manager. Loftus-Cheek was solid in the midfield as Chelsea drove forward, and was back there to support the Chelsea defence. He also happened to be the provider for Hazard’s terrific first-half goal. 

Hudson-Odoi didn’t have as much of an effect as he did against Brighton but still managed to run at defenders and get some crosses into the box, although no one was there to receive it. He even had a couple of chances to score but failed to do so. Both the players are fitting well into the team and have repaid their managers trust in them. 


#4 Hazard shines, again!

Eden Hazard showed us why he is considered one of the best players in the world as he dazzled and glided past the West Ham defence. His solo goal, worthy of the Premier League goal of the season, tells us exactly why Real Madrid are behind his signature for so long. He has been essential to Chelsea this season, having played a part in almost half of all the goals they scored this season. Chelsea will find it very difficult to replace the man who has been their best player for a long time if he does indeed move to Real Madrid.


#3 Chelsea given boost in the top-four race

Chelsea moved into third above Tottenham and Arsenal with this win, increasing the pressure on their rivals. The top-four race gets more and more crucial as the weeks keep going, and it is important that teams win matches to keep their hopes alive. Their current form, along with points dropped recently by their rivals has given Chelsea a massive boost in their aspirations of finishing in the top-four. 


#2 Manuel Pellegrini’s gameplan didn’t work

West Ham sat deep for most of the game and allowed the Chelsea team to come forward in a bid to hit them on the counter. It did not quite go as planned for the Hammers, as the Chelsea defence was more than able to with their attack. They began the second half well, with Snodgrass coming on for Javier Hernandez, West Ham retained more possession and pushed forward in the search for the all-important equalizer. They came close a couple of times with efforts from Lanzini and Felipe Anderson almost creeping into the goal. Other than these few chances, they did not really cause trouble to the Chelsea defence. 


#1 West Ham’s poor away form continues

West Ham have not won an away game in their last eight away matches across all competitions, and it showed tonight, as they were not really really struggled to produce anything meaningful at Stamford Bridge. They struggled to create chances, when in the opposition third, and failed to capitalize on the few opportunities that were handed to them. By no means did West Ham have a poor game. They took the fight to Chelsea in the second half, and more often than not, Chelsea players had to track back to defend against the West Ham attack.

Monday, 8 April 2019

EVERTON 1 - 0 ARSENAL: 5 TALKING POINTS!!!

Arsenal faltered in their bid to solidify their position in top 4 after Phil Jagielka’s early goal put Everton within 1 point of Leicester City. Gunners’ lacklustre performance exposed their lack of quality and depth in their squad which could see the scramble for CL football intensify further with each result. Here are the talking points from the game…

#1 Arsenal’s wait for an away clean sheet continues

Phil Jagielka’s early finish from close range meant the continuation of an unwanted run for Emery’s men this season The Gunners are yet to keep a clean sheet in their away games in the Premier League and the last they managed to do so was last season in what was Arsene Wenger’s last game in charge as the Arsenal boss in a 1-0 win at Huddersfield on the final matchday. Arsenal will have the opportunity to get that stain off when they play against Watford, Wolves, Leicester and Burnley in the coming weeks but it won’t be an easy task. 


#2 Everton’s home form frustrates top 6 clubs

Marco Silva has given a glimpse of the future to the Goodison faithful with the fluid attacking system he has cultivated. Despite losing to Spurs and Man City, Silva’s men have somewhat redeemed themselves with a draw against arch-enemy Liverpool, 2-0 win against Chelsea and now condemning Gunners to a frustrating defeat. 

Everton have the best home record outside of the top 6 and it has put a dent in the top 4 hopes of two London clubs. They could yet be a source of annoyance for another top 4 hopeful - Manchester United - when the two sides meet in two weeks’ time. 


#3 Sokratis suspension a cause for concern

It cannot be denied that Sokratis addition to the Gunners’ backline has brought in much-needed steeliness which was severely lacking in previous campaigns. However, the Greek international picked up his 10th booking of the season at Goodison Park which means that he will now be suspended for the next two games against Watford (away) and Crystal Palace (h
ome). 

Playing away to Watford will be no easy task since it was here where Troy Deeney questioned the Gunners ‘cojones’ and with their incredible comeback win against Wolves in the FA Cup semi-final, Emery’s men will have to be on their toes for 90 minutes. But they’ll have to do so without the services of Sokratis.


#4 Arsenal miss Xhaka and Torreira

With Granit Xhaka out with a groin injury and Lucas Torreira serving his suspension for the red card he received against Spurs, Emery was forced to field the inexperienced Guendouzi and the often overlooked Mohamed Elneny in midfield. The duo was unable to dominate the proceedings as Arsenal’s midfield was overrun by Everton’s dogged pressing. 

This meant that Arsenal attacking stars Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan often had to drop deep into midfield to receive the ball which left Everton’s final third light of bodies and thus the creative duo were unable to influence things in and around the box. This further highlights how crucial the duo is for Arsenal - Xhaka for spreading the play wide and Torreira to break the opposition’s play to launch a counter. 


#5 The battle for European spots intensifies

With Tottenham sitting 3rd in the table (64 points), a point ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea and 3 points ahead of Manchester United in 6th, the top 4 race could go down to the wire. Although Arsenal have an easier fixture list compared to their competition and are still the favourites to finish in the top 4 places, their dodgy away form could make things interesting. 

On the other hand, Everton is within a point of Leicester City (47 points) in what is a 4-way scramble for the 7th place which may offer a potential Europa League second round qualifying place should Watford fail to lift the FA Cup against Manchester City in May. With Everton, Watford, Leicester City and Wolves all having to face top 6 clubs in their remaining fixtures, every result henceforth in the top half could mean the difference between playing in the Champions League, Europa League and even winning the title!

Sunday, 7 April 2019

LILLE DROPS POINT, PSG CAN CLINCH TITLE BY BEATING STRASBOURG!!!

A homegrown product who joined the Champagne club when he was 15, Oudin canceled out Jose Fonte's opener with his 10th goal this season in the 79th minute. Ideally set up by a brilliant pass from Tristan Dingome, Oudin connected with the ball in the box and beat Lille 'keeper Mike Maignan with a left-footed shot.
Oudin has played a key role in his team's successes this season. With seven matches left to play, Reims has lost just six league games and is challenging for a place in European competition. Second-placed Lille extended its lead over Lyon to five points in their fight for the second automatic Champions League spot, but the draw opened the door for PSG to seal a sixth title in seven years. If it beats Strasbourg later at the Parc des Princes, PSG will have an unassailable lead of 22 points.
OTHER RESULTS Nice secured three precious points in the race for European qualification with a 1-0 win against Montpellier. Brazilian defender Dante's goal in the 20th minute lifted the Riviera side to seventh place, just three points below fourth-placed Saint-Etienne.
Toulouse took a step toward safety with a 1-0 win against struggling Nantes. Issiaga Sylla scored the winner to help his team move four points above Vahid Halilhodzic's squad. It was Nantes' fourth consecutive loss in all competitions.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

THROWBACK : HIGHLIGHTS OF SUNDERLAND VS LIVERPOOL MATCH 2 - 2 DRAW!!!

                                                           
                                                         http://ethobleo.com/3Mwa

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

HIGHLIGHTS: BAYERN MUNICH WIN 5-4 IN A REMARKABLE DFB POKAL QUATER FINALS!!!

Robert Lewandowski came off the bench to help 10-man Bayern Munich win 5-4 at home to Heidenheim in a remarkable DFB-Pokal quarter-final.
Leon Goretzka's early header had Bayern in front at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday but Niklas Sule was sent off and Robert Glatzel and Marc Schnatterer scored to give the second-tier side a shock half-time lead.
watch the full highlights of the match below here http://ethobleo.com/2yr3

THROWBACK: ROMA VS AC MILAN 02/03 COPPA ITALLIA FINAL!!!!

The competition was won by  Milan  for the fifth time in its history. Milan's triumph took place in a double match against  Roma  ,...