UEFA Champions League
Image Credits: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
European Action Returns With Two Round-Of-16 Second Leg Matches Each Set For Tuesday And Wednesday.
We start today’s bulletin from the UEFA Champions League where Premier League front-runners Manchester City will look to complete the task of securing a place in the last-8 when they play host against German opposition Borussia Monchengladbach at the Puskas Arena for their Champions League round-of-16 second leg tie tonight, while 13-time winners Real Madrid welcoming Italian opposition Atalanta to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in the day’s other fixture.
Champions League Fixtures, Time & Date
TUESDAY 16th MARCH
Man City 21:00 M’Gladbach
Real Madrid 21:00 Atalanta
WEDNESDAY 17th MARCH
Bayern Munich 21:00 Lazio
Chelsea 21:00 Atletico Madrid
All times are set in West Central African Format (GMT+1)
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jota Winner Drags Liverpool Back Into Contention For Top-Four, Messi Brace Inspires Barcelona To Crucial Win
Image Credits: Paul Ellis/Pool/AFP
Diogo Jota marked his return to his former club by scoring the game’s only goal to give Liverpool’s hopes of earning a top-four finish a big boost on Monday night, but the game ended worrisomely after Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio was stretched off with a head injury.
Jota’s goal ensured the champions ended a bad patch of form that has seen them crumble to six defeats in the past seven league games and into mid-table.
The scenes of Patricio’s injury were reminiscent of Mexico International, Raul Jimenez’s skull fracture suffered earlier in the season, but Wolves gaffer Nuno Espirito Santo allayed such fears in his post-match press conference.
“Rui Patricio is OK. He’s conscious, he’s aware,” said Nuno. “He remembers what happened. The assessment is positive, he is going to be OK.
“When it’s something so serious, you always get worried. It can happen in football. The law is clear. The referees keep the flag down and play to the whistle. Situations will happen. This won’t be the only time.”
Fulltime Result: Wolverhampton 0-1 Liverpool
Image Credits: Getty
Lionel Messi bagged a brace and provided an assist as Barcelona outclassed struggling Huesca at the Nou Camp on Monday night.
Messi’s brace, along with goals from Antoine Griezmann and Oscar Mingueza ensured Barcelona ran out 4-1 winners – despite Rafa Mir halving the deficit from a controversial first half injury time penalty – to return to second on the table, four points off leaders Atletico Madrid.
The game was the 33-year-old’s 767th in Blaugrana colours, meaning he has now equalled club legend, Xavi Hernandez’s record for most appearances for the club.
Since making his competitive debut as a substitute in a 1-0 win against Catalan rivals Espanyol in October 2004, Messi has gone on to win a jaw dropping 34 trophies, breaking several records on his way.
He will break Xavi’s record if he plays in Sunday’s La Liga fixture away at Real Sociedad.
Full Time Result: Barcelona 4-1 Huesca
WEEKEND ACTION: From The Premier League, To The Women’s FA League Cup Final, To Serie A, La Liga And Ligue 1
KING POWER STADIUM
Image Credits: Lindsey Parnaby – Pool/Getty
Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho stole the headlines on Sunday after bagging his first senior career hat-trick, as Leicester City put five without reply past Sheffield United.
“I don’t know how to express this, I’ve been waiting for this day to come. I’m grateful to God, my teammates and my manager for helping me grow,” said Iheanacho after the game.
The 24-year-old also joined the rest of the world in celebrating Mothers’ Day: “I wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day. I dedicate this match ball to all the mothers in the world.”
Behind only Jamie Vardy’s 14, Iheanacho is the Foxes’ second highest goal scorer this season, with 10 goals in all competitions to his credit.
The win moved Leicester temporarily into second on the log, right before Manchester United’s win over West Ham.
The Blades, who were without manager Chris Wilder after it was announced on Saturday that he had left his position as manager by “mutual consent” after almost five years in charge, look more destined than ever for the drop. They sit rock bottom on the log and 14 points adrift of safety.
Full Time Result: Leicester City 5-0 Sheffield
EMIRATES STADIUM: Lamela ‘Rabona Finish’ Smart But Not Enough To Make The Difference in North London Derby
Image Credits: Getty/Optus Sports
Goals from Martin Ødegaard and Alexander Lacazette cancelled out Eric Lamela’s stunning ‘rabona finish’ as Arsenal completed a comeback to claim all three points, and of course bragging rights in North London.
Lamela – on for the injured Son Heung-Min – provided a moment of brilliance in the 33rd minute when he applied an instinctive touch using the outside of his left foot maneuvered behind his right to curve an unstoppable shot beyond Bernd Leno from what was Spurs’ first shot on target.
Arsenal, who continued to controll most of the possession despite falling behind got their equalizer on the stroke of half-time when Ødegaard’s deflected shot beat a helpless Hugo Lloris in goal, before Lacazette’s 64th minute penalty sent Arsenal to their tenth North London derby game without defeat.
Full Time Result: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham
OLD TRAFFORD: Dawson Own Goal Sends United’s Second
Image Credits: Getty
An own by the Craig Dawson made all the difference at the Theater of Dreams as Manchester United edged their way to a slim 1-0 victory over fellow top-four hopefuls West Ham.
The win restored United’s standing in second spot, having fallen behind Leicester earlier on Sunday. With teams from fourth to seventh all failing to register a win in the Premier League this weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side now hold a massive nine-point advantage over West Ham who stay fifth, with a game in hand.
Full Time Result: Manchester United 1-0 West Ham
GOODISON PARK: McNeil Wonder Strike Shocks Toffees
Image Credits: Gareth Copley/Getty
Burnley got their second famous win in as many games on Merseyside this season, with strikes from Dwight McNeil and Chris Wood seeing off the challenge of hosts, Everton.
Sean Dyche’s team raced into a two-goal advantage inside the opening 24 minutes and looked set to keep a clean slate in the first half, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin combined with Tom Davies to peg them back with a header that went past Nick Pope to halve the deficit before half-time.
The home side came out fired up in the second half and created more chances, but lacked the cutting edge required to penetrate Burnley’s typically resolute defence line.
The win, albeit crucial to their survival ambitions, wasn’t enough for Dyche’s men to move further than their previous 15th position on the log, but then they are now seven points clear of the bottom three. Everton on the other hand sit five points outside the top four.
Full Time Result: Everton 1-2 Burnley
Premier League Results
- Southampton 1-2 Brighton
- Leicester 5-0 Sheffield United
- Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United
- Leeds United 0-0 Chelsea
- Crystal Palace 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
- Everton 1-2 Burnley
- Fulham 0-3 Man City
- Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa
The FA Women’s League Cup Final
Chelsea Ladies Record Big Win To Retain League Cup Trophy
Image Credits: Ross Kinnaird/Getty
Sam Kerr scored a hat-trick as Chelsea matched to their eighth major trophy after outclassing Bristol City 6-0 at Vicarage Road to retain the title they won last year.
Kerr contributed a hat-trick while England International, Fran Kirby, was involved in all six goals scored by the Blues.
What seemed like a perfect day at the office for Chelsea was marred late on with Norwegian defender Maren Mjelde having to be taken to hospital after suffering a what is suspected to be a serious knee injury that could as well keep her on the sidelines for a long time.
Full Time Result: Chelsea Ladies 6-0 Bristol City Ladies
Ronaldo Surpasses Pele’s Record, Milan Drop More Points, Inter Open 9-Point Lead
Serie A In English
Cristiano Ronaldo is easily this week’s Serie A poster boy after his perfect hat-trick inside the opening 32 minutes in Juventus’ win over Cagliari on Sunday took his tally (770) over Brazilian legend Pele (767) for the most number of goals scored in official matches.
Pele posted on Instagram: “Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone. Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches.”
Ronaldo was criticized by some quarters of the Juventus fan base after their defeat to Porto in the Champions League last mid-week, but his performance on Sunday evening is a firm reminder of the level of talent he possesses, and the 36-year-old did promptly responded by gesturing towards his ear as if to say “I can’t hear you” during his third goal celebration to hammer this point home.
What’s Changed On The Table?
- Despite the win, Andre Pirlo’s men remain in third position, 10 points adrift of leaders Inter with a game in hand, but three clear of fourth-placed Atalanta and just a point off Milan who lost 1-0 to Napoli at the San Siro, courtesy of Mateo Politano’s 49th minute winner.
- Torino remain in 18th place with 20 points, two adrift of Cagliari, but with a game in hand.
- Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku continued their fine form in front of goal at Torino this weekend, scoring the goals as Inter came away 2-1 winners.
- Antonio Conte’s men have also capitalized on Milan’s recent poor run of form to open a nine-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings.
Serie A Results
- Bologna 3-1 Sampdoria
- Parma 2-0 Roma
- Torino 1-2 Inter
- Cagliari 1-3 Juventus
- AC Milan 0-1 Napoli
- Sassuolo 3-2 Verona
- Benevento 1-4 Fiorentina
- Genoa 1-1 Udinese
- Lazio 3-2 Crotone
- Atalanta 3-1 Spezia
La Liga: Three Horse Title Raise Intensifies in Spain
- Leaders Atletico Madrid were forced to a goalless draw at Getafe, meaning they have failed to capitalize on a chance to open up an eight-point gap over their rivals in the race for this season’s La Liga title.
- Karim Benzema restored some belief to his team’s dressing room with a late brace against Elche, including a winner deep into injury-time as Real Madrid’s pursuit of leaders and City rivals Atletico Madrid intensifies.
- Real Sociedad’s seven-game run without defeat came to an abrupt end after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Granada. The win moves Granada to eighth on the standings, while Sociedad maintain fifth spot.
- Elsewhere, Celta Vigo held Athletic Bilbao to a goalless draw that left both teams tied with 34 points from 27 matches.
- Samuel Chukwueze’s Villarreal also ran out 3-1 winners at Eibar.
- FIXTURE: Attention will shift to Barcelona who take on Huesca on Monday night for a chance to cut Atleti’s lead to four points.
La Liga Results
- Celta Vigo 0-0 Athletic Bilbao
- Granada 1-0 Real Sociedad
- Eibar 1-3 Villarreal
- Sevilla 1-0 Real Betis
- Alaves 1-1 Cadiz
- R Madrid 2-1 Elche
- Osasuna 0-0 Valladolid
- Getafe 0-0 Atletico Madrid
- Levante 1-0 Valencia
We conclude today’s Football Wrap Up in France where another Nigerian, Simon Moses was in the thick of the action as Nantes inflict defeat on Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc De Princes.
Ligue 1: PSG 1-2 Nantes
Nigerian Attacker Stuns Les Parisians
Image Credits: Philippe Renault/Maxppp
PARC DE PRINCES: Moses Simon delivered an eye catching performance to help Nantes defeat champions Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 and end an unwanted three-game streak without a win.
The Super Eagles invitee starting his 19th league game of the season continued from where he left off last weekend by making it back to back goals in consecutive weeks.
The win will surely be a moral booster for Antoine Kombouare’s men, but they remain rooted in the relegation waters, having won only 27 points from 29 outings so far this season.
Joshua vs Fury Paperwork Agreed
A two-fight deal that will see two of British boxing’s biggest names; Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury contest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion has been agreed, according to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
No dates or locations have been confirmed for the bout but Hearn gave positive updates when asked about the fight on Monday.
“All parties have now put pen to paper and we will be working hard over the next few weeks to confirm the site and date for the biggest fight in boxing”.
WBC titleholder Fury, 32, and WBA, WBO and IBF holder Joshua, 31, will look to emulate compatriot Lennox Lewis who was the last man to hold the title of undisputed heavyweight champion between 1999 and 2000.
Fury is unbeaten in all of his 31 professional fights so far, while Joshua has won 24 and suffered one defeat in 25 professional bouts.
Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports
Back-to-back NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 133-122 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
The Bucks left it late having let slip a 26-point third-quarter advantage slip to five midway through the fourth. The Wizards continued piling the pressure and were within seven in the final minutes, but the Greek Freak had other ideas.
He scored the game’s next four points to take his tally to yet another double-digit game as the Bucks matched to their fourth consecutive victory.
“I’m not Kobe,” said Antetokounmpo. “I just try to be a basketball player. I don’t look at the clock and say, ‘Oh now we are up two or we’re down two, let me take over the game.’ No, I just make the right decision at the right moment. Sometimes it’s going to be score, sometimes it’s going to be pass.”
- Kings 116-122 Hornets
- Bucks 133-122 Wizards
- Spurs 109-99 Pistons
- Knicks 112-117 Nets
- Clippers 109-99 Mavericks
- Pacers 106-121 Nuggets
- Grizzlies 99-122 Suns
- Lakers 128-97 Warriors
Organizers of Tokyo 2020 Confirm Olympic Torch Relay Will Go On As Scheduled
Image Credits: Getty
Organizers confirmed on Monday (March 15) that the torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will go on according to plan on March 25 in Fukushima, Japan.
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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.