- European Football Wrap Up: Champions League Review, Europa League Preview
- NBA: Kevin Durant Back Like He Never Left
- Tennis: French Open Postponed
- Latest FIFA Rankings
UEFA Champions League Quarter-final results and reaction as PSG stun Bayern in Munich, while Chelsea bounce back to Claim first leg win at Porto
ALLIANZ ARENA: Bayern 2-3 PSG
Kylian Mbappe continued from where he left off against Barcelona with another superb away performance against one of Europe’s biggest teams.
Two goals by the Frenchman and another by Brazilian defender Marquinhos saw Paris Saint-Germain claim a crucial 3-2 first-leg Champions League quarter-final triumph over reigning champions Bayern Munich in a repeat of last year’s final on a wet Wednesday night in Munich.
Mbappe broke the deadlock early in the third minute of the game, before Marquinhos made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 28th minute, with fit again Neymar assisting both goals.
Bayern halved the deficit before half time through Cameroonian striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 37th minute, before veteran forward Thomas Muller headed in Joshua Kimmich’s freekick delivery, to bring the home side level.
The Germans continued to take the game to Paris Saint-Germain but it was the French side who got the decisive goal just eight minutes from Bayern’s equalizer after Mbappe collected a pass from Angel Di Maria and raced through to the edge of the box, before striking the ball hard and low past Manuel Neure to inflict Bayern’s first loss in 19 Champions League games.
Mbappe who has now scored eight Champions League goals this season, said after the game:
“Like I said in Barcelona, I love this type of game. They haven’t always gone my way and maybe they won’t in the future, but I’m not here to hide. I love this kind of game and being decisive.”
Mbappe’s eight Champions League goals this season is the joint-most in a single season by a Frenchman, along with Wissam Ben Yedder (2017-18) and David Trezeguet (2001-02).
ESTÁDIO DO DRAGÃO: Porto 0-2 Chelsea
Mason Mount and Ben Chillwell got on the score sheet in each half as Chelsea produced a remarkable response to a past few days of pressure to defeat 2004 winners FC Porto 2-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
The Blues, who had come under immense slander after losing 5-2 in a Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion over the weekend, proved their class in Portugal with a highly impressive and efficient all-round display to claim first blood ahead of next week’s return leg at Stamford Bridge.
The winners of this tie will be up against one of Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semi-finals – Real lead 3-1 after the first leg.
EUROPEAN FOOTBALL: Four fixtures games lined up in the Europa League; including Granada vs Manchester United & Arsenal vs Slavia Prague
Ahead of Granada vs Manchester United at the Nuevo Los Cármenes stadium tonight, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that forward Marcos Rashford was part of the travelling party to Spain.
The 23-year, who old opened scoring for Solskjaer’s side in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton, was a doubt for tonight’s game after a strong tackle forced him to be withdrawn from the Premier League game in the 72nd minute.
“We’ve just got to make a decision if he (Rashford) starts or is on the bench.
“I don’t think he’ll be a 90-minutes man.”Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
18-year-old Anthony Elanga has also traveled with the squad alongside midfielder Juan Mata.
- Anthony Martial (Knee injury)
- Eric Bailly (Illness)
Elsewhere, Martin Ødergaard (ankle related) is a doubt for Arsenal ahead of their Europa League quarter-final first leg against Peter Olayinka’s Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.
But Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe will all be available for selection after missing Saturday’s 3-0 loss against Liverpool.
- David Luiz (Knee injury)
- Kieran Tierney
Meanwhile Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela, 34, will not partake in this game after a provisional one-match suspension was handed to him following his racial violation of Rangers’ Finnish midfielder Glenn Kamara in last month’s round of 16 fixture.
Europa League Fixtures: Thursday, April 8th
- Arsenal 20:00 Slavia Prague
- Granada 20:00 Manchester United
- Ajax 20:00 AS Roma
- Dinamo Zagreb 20:00 Villarreal
All times are subject to change and set in West African standard
NBA review as Kevin Durant comes off the bench to score 17 points in Nets win over the Pelicans
On the event of his return from a 23-game injury lay-off, Kevin Durant, off the bench for only the second time in his career, bagged 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists as the Brooklyn Nets cruised to a comfortable 139 – 111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The 32-year-old netted five out of five shots, including two three-pointers, after being introduced in the second quarter.
“I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action.
“I expected to come out here and play the way I played. I wasn’t trying to ease into the game.
“The game was fast-paced already so from watching it from the bench I knew exactly how I needed to approach it. It was pretty cool coming off the bench, I can’t lie.”Brooklyn Nets forward, Kevin Durant.
While the Nets welcomed Durant back for the first time since injuring his hamstring in February, they are now also set for another high profile absentee with point guard James “the beard” Harden ruled out for at least 10 days with a hamstring problem.
NBA Results: Thursday April 8th
- Minnesota Timberwolves 137 – 141 Indiana Pacers
- Washington Wizards 131 – 116 Orlando Magic
- New York Knicks 99 – 101 Boston Celtics
- New Orleans Pelicans 111 – 139 Brooklyn Nets
- Dallas Mavericks 93 – 102 Houston Rockets
- Memphis Grizzlies 131 – 113 Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Hornets 113 – 102 OKC Thunder
- San Antonio Spurs 96 – 106 Denver Nuggets
- Utah Jazz 113 – 117 Phoenix Suns (OT)
French Open pushed back one week in hope for more spectators
Following a surge in new Covid-19 cases, a third nationwide lockdown has hit host country France, leading French Open organizers to delay the start of the tournament by a week in the hope that more spectators will be permitted to attend games.
“I am delighted that the discussions with the public authorities, the governing bodies of international tennis, our partners and broadcasters, and the ongoing work with the WTA and ATP, have made it possible for us to postpone the 2021 Roland Garros tournament by a week”.French Tennis Federation president, Gilles Moretton.
Following the decision, the Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament will now run from 30 May to 13 June.
Nigeria move up three places in FIFA rankings, Belgium maintain top spot
Nigeria men’s national team, the Super Eagles have moved from 36th to 32nd in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings published on Wednesday, 7 April.
The Cameroon 2021 AFCON bound Eagles won both of their games during the last international break against the Republic of Benin and Lesotho.
Meanwhile, Nigeria maintained third position on the CAF rankings, with Senegal and Tunisia above them in first and second respectively.
The top ten ranked teams in the world are Belgium, France, Brazil, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay and Denmark, in that order.
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Mubarak Mohammed Zakari He prefers to be known not as just a Sports Journalist; but as a "modern broadcaster" because of his ability to create content for visual, audio and print media. He co-hosts a football podcast with a growing audience from 17 countries across the globe.