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Sports Update
#1
Luka Modric wins Ballon d'Or 2018 to end Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's 10-year duopoly.

The Real Madrid midfielder won the ultimate award, outshining his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who now plays for Juventus.

Ronaldo ranks second, followed by Antoine Griezmann who led France to World Cup trophy. 

Another 5-time winner Lionel Messi sits only at 5th, behind PSG star Kylianm Mbappe.

Modric has made a perfect performance in the past year. He led Real Madrid to win the 3rd straight Champions League Championship and guided Croatia to the final in 2018 World Cup. 

The Croatian being crowned the FIFA Best Men's Player of the Year has significantly changed the football landscape, becoming the first non-Messi or Ronaldo player since Kaka in 2007 to lift such an award. Besides, Modric was chosen in FIFA/FIFPro World XI, and won FIFA Golden Ball and UEFA Best Player.

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#2
The 23-year-old was rewarded for her excellent scoring record for continental champions Lyon as she scooped the inaugural women's award
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Lyon and Norway star Ada Hegerberg has won the 2018 women's Ballon d'Or award.

The 23-year-old striker beat Denmark star Pernille Harder, Lyon team-mate Dzsenifer Marozsan, Brazil icon Marta and Australia's Sam Kerr to claim the inaugural title on Monday.

Hegerberg finished last season as the French league's top scorer with 31 goals and netted 15 in the Champions League as Lyon went on to win the competition. She has kept up that form this term, too, with 12 league goals and a further four in Europe. Overall, she has scored 185 goals in 149 games since signing for Lyon four years ago.


Quote:"It is fantastic. I don't have words. This is unbelievable. It's a big moment for me, " Hegerberg said as she accepted her award at the ceremony in France.

"This is a great moment for me. I want to say thank you to my teammates. It would not have been possible without you, thank you! Thanks to the technical staff, and to my club. And to one man in particular, Jean-Michel Aulas, our president. Thank you for everything you do for women's football."

She ended her speech with words of encouragement for young women across the world, saying: "Please, believe in yourself!"

Hegerberg was the UEFA Women's Player of the Year in 2016 and has won the league, Coupe de France and Champions League three times apiece with Lyon.

Despite her continued success, however, she us unlikely to compete at the World Cup in France next year over a dispute with the Norwegian Football Association. Hegerberg claims the women's game has been shown a lack of respect amid low investment and player wages, causing her to step back from the national team indefinitely.
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Source: https://www.mediahelm.com.ng/2018/12/lyon-star-ada-hegerberg-wins-womens.html[/size]


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#3
Despite his dominance of the award alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, the Argentine has dropped down the list and finished outside the top three. 

Lionel Messi has failed to make the top three of the Ballon d'Or for the first time since 2007, finishing fifth in this year's final vote.

Luka Modric is being tipped to become the first player not named Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award since Kaka beat the pair to it 11 years ago.
Messi and Ronaldo have each won the Ballon d'Or five times, and while the Portuguese star once again looks likely to make the podium thanks to another Champions League crown with Real Madrid, the Argentine hero has dropped much further down the list.

France's World Cup heroes Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe appear to have collected enough votes to overtake the Barcelona icon, who won La Liga and the Copa del Rey in 2018 but was unable to make an impact in the Champions League or the international showpiece in Russia.

The Catalan side crashed out of the European competition at the quarter-final stage, while Argentina were knocked out of the World Cup by an Mbappe-led France in the second round.

https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/messi-finishes-fifth-in-ballon-dor-chart/1o3pz624at7q61t2hooe8jf0dc?fbclid=IwAR3MfDY9QQtH85dNwVJE89ufZ1gzfVynJg0ou-RLDnR6MavhZzAyEZhimkI


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#4
Africa Cup Of Nations: Sierra Leone Disqualified From 2019 Quali
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Sierra Leone were suspended from all football by Fifa in October and an investigation was launched.[Image: Caff.JPG]
Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign because of government interference in the country's football association.
 
It means Kenya and Ghana qualify for next year's Nations Cup finals from Group F.
 
Sierra Leone were suspended from all football by Fifa in October and an investigation was launched.
 
They have not played any qualifying matches since that ban.
 
The ban was imposed after the country's anti-corruption commission (ACC) barred Sierra Leone Football Association president Isha Johansen and general secretary Christopher Kamara from the governing body's offices. Both deny any wrongdoing.
 
The Confederation of African Football (CAF), which made the decision on Friday, confirmed in a statement on Monday that all Sierra Leone's matches during the qualifying campaign are now "annulled."
 
With one match remaining in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign, Kenya are top of Group F on seven points from three matches, with Ghana a point behind.
 
Ethiopia are third on one point from four games and cannot now qualify.
 
CAF is looking for new hosts for the 2019 Nations Cup after confirming on Friday that Cameroon had been stripped of hosting rights for next year's showpiece event.




Africa Cup Of Nations: Sierra Leone Disqualified From 2019 Qualifiers
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#5
Guardiola confident Sane will sign new Man City deal
Tuesday, December 04, 2018  SPORT


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Pep Guardiola is confident that winger Leroy Sane will sign a new long-term deal with Manchester City despite delays in ongoing contract negotiations between the two parties.

The 22-year-old has recovered well from the disappointment of a summer in which he was not selected in Germany’s World Cup squad and then returned to England to discover he had lost his starting place under Guardiola.

Sane has still only started seven of City’s 14 league games this season but four goals in his past five Premier League games suggests he is rediscovering his impressive form of the past two seasons.


And even though Sane is yet to join a list of senior stars such as Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Ederson, Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otamendi in signing new long-term contracts with the club, Guardiola is convinced that will happen.

“I don’t have any info about the club, about being in trouble with Leroy,” said the City manager, whose side travel to Watford on Tuesday.

“The last info I had was that it’s going well but the process is not one day — Raheem Sterling it was not one day. Except for Kevin De Bruyne, it was in one or two days done, the other ones sometimes take longer but hopefully, he can stay here for many, many years.”

Sane’s task at City this season has been further complicated by the summer club-record signing of £60 million ($76 million) Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez.

Mahrez v Sane 
The pair have been effectively engaged in a straight fight for the wide left position in Guardiola’s attack, with Mahrez having made one less start than Sane but having been involved in one more league game when substitute appearances are factored in.

But it is clear that Sane, who became a father for the first time earlier this year, has noted the warning signs and improved his form of late for the Premier League leaders.

“I’m pretty sure becoming a father helps in many senses,” said Guardiola. “I think he was incredible last season, he played a lot of games because we had just one left winger, and he had an incredible season, but we’ll see.

“There are many games to play and I have a feeling he can do better. In many things, he can do better, but with the age he has and the potential he has we are delighted to have him here.”

The City manager, blessed with an embarrassment of riches in virtually every position, admits that team selection is one of the most difficult aspects of his job.

But the competition for places has also ensured that his players have maintained an unbeaten start to the domestic season and form that has them on course to eclipse even last season’s record-breaking championship campaign.

Guardiola has not ruled De Bruyne, who has played just 81 minutes of league football this season due to two knee injuries, out of the weekend visit to Chelsea.

“He’s started training. It’s day by day,” he said. “This kind of situation, if the player himself decides it feels good, he will train with the team. We will see.”
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#6
Again, N’Golo Kante speaks on his new role at Chelsea
Tuesday, December 04, 2018  SPORT


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Chelsea midfielder, N’Golo Kante has again spoken on his new position in manager Maurizio Sarri’s formation.


Sarri had demanded that the France international play a more attacking role.

Speaking after his side’s 2-0 victory over Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, Kante insisted that he is enjoying his new role under Sarri.


Kante told Chelsea’s official website: “I like this position.

“The manager has given me the confidence to play this position since the beginning of the season.

“I am trying to do my best and I will get better at it, and I hope to have success in it this year.”


Kante added: “It was the order from the manager to press them. “I saw there was an opportunity to press, I took the ball and passed to Pedro who used great skill and hit a good shot.”

“The feeling is that it was not an easy match,” Kante said, adding “Fulham are returning to form and it was sometimes complicated, but scoring quickly was important.

“They had a couple of chances, but we were able to score again and make the end of the match easier. We deserved to win.”

Kante will hope to lead Chelsea to victory when they tackle Wolves in the Premier League fixture on Wednesday.
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#7
EPL: Emery speaks on giving Ramsey new contract after 4-2 win over Spurs
Tuesday, December 04, 2018  SPORT


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Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has said the contract negotiations with Aaron Ramsey remain “closed”, despite being impressed with the midfielder’s form and focus.


Ramsey claimed he was ready to pen a new deal, when the Gunners withdrew their offer of an extension earlier this year.

The 27-year-old could sign a pre-contract agreement as early as January, with Bayern Munich and Chelsea believed to be keen.


Ramsey came off the bench at half-time against Tottenham on Sunday, to help Arsenal come from 2-1 down to win 4-2, leading to fresh calls for Arsenal to reopen talks.

“Two months ago we spoke together, both for his moment, his present and future. I think it was a very good conversation.

“I said to you also here in the press conference that I want his focus only on the team, on giving us his performances.


“His present is as I want, and his future is very important for him and his family.

“I think in the last matches his focus [is there]. We were speaking between us [the coaches] and I look at him in every match.

“His focus is positive for us, it helps us. He needs to think about his future, for his family and for him. If he plays like [in the north London derby], it’s the best for him and the best for us,” Emery told a press conference on Monday.

Although he is pleased with Ramsey’s recent contribution, Emery indicated there had no been change to the contract impasse.

“This conversation is not for today, for us or for me.

“It’s one situation that was closed one or two months ago.

“At the moment the most important thing is he’s smiling, he has the commitment, the behaviour and the performances like yesterday – that’s the best for him and for us,” he added.
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#8
Man Utd Need Miracle From God Of Soccer To Finish Fourth In EPL Says Mourinho
Tuesday, December 04, 2018  SPORT


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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said it would take a ‘miracle’ for the Red Devils to finish fourth at the end of the English Premier League (EPL) season.

Mourinho, at the beginning of the season, said the strength of Manchester United team will guarantee the team a top-four finish.

However, over three matches in the league, the former Chelsea manager seems to be having a rethink at the target.

When asked about the team’s chance in the top four in November, Mourinho said “but I believe we are going to be there.”


Mourinho’s side are without a league win since a 2-1 victory against Bournemouth on November 3 and either side of securing qualification for the Champions League, they have drawn their last two league fixtures against Crystal Palace and Southampton.

United, who finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City in the 2017/18 campaign, currently sit seventh in the league and are eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, with the two sides meeting at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“Last year I said it was fantastic to finish second considering the quality we had compared to other teams who were fighting for a top-four finish,” Mourinho said while speaking in preparation to the clash against Arsenal.

“This year, as we’re facing even more problems, it proves what I said when the season started: that it would be very tough for us. Now we must try and win as many points as we can. It will take almost a miracle to finish in the top four.”

Mourinho’s time at Manchester United has attracted criticisms from pundits, particularly former players of the club like – Gary Neville who said United were a million miles away from challenging for the top four.

Paul Scholes after 12 matches in the 2018/2019 Premier League season believes that rivals Manchester City already won the title.

However, United’s result against Arsenal has a ‘huge’ potential of defining the Red Devil’s season.
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#9
Man City Faces UEFA Champions League Ban Over FFP
Wednesday, December 05, 2018 SPORT
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Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League, with reports saying a ban could happen next season, after UEFA reached an initial conclusion that they had misled them over their finances, Associated Press has reported.


European football’s governing body discovered from reading internal City emails, published by Der Spiegel last month, the extent of schemes to allegedly cover up the true source of income in a bid to comply with financial fair play (FFP) regulations, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told AP.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the situation while UEFA conducts a review.


City have already been punished for violating FFP, striking an agreement in 2014 that saw them fined rather than banned from the Champions League for inflated sponsorship deals with companies linked to the club or their ownership.

UEFA said last month that evidence from “Football Leaks” could lead to past cases being re-opened.



The person with knowledge of the situation said it was more feasible to use the leaks to reassess the candour of club executives and as a basis to judge City’s compliance with FFP in the current three-year assessment period.

That covers 2015, when Der Spiegel said emails were being sent internally at City showing the manipulation of sponsorship revenue from Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi state-owned airline which is the naming rights sponsor of City’s stadium and training campus as well as having its name on City’s shirts.


The sponsorship was said to generate £67.5 million annually for City. But City’s holding company, the state-backed Abu Dhabi United Group, channelled £59.9m back to Etihad, according to Jorge Chumillas, the club’s chief financial officer, in an internal email to director Simon Pearce.
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#10
Kane Desperate To Overtake Aubameyang As The Premier League’s Top Scorer
Friday, December 07, 2018  SPORT


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Tottenham Hotspur captain, Harry Kane, has admitted the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is spurring him on in his quest to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer.


Kane scored the opening goal against Southampton on Wednesday night, to put himself one behind Aubameyang in the goal charts.

The England striker won the Golden Boot two times in a row between 2015 and 2017, before missing out last season to Mohamed Salah.


And now he admitted he is chasing the individual honour and being inspired by the competition around him.

Asked about the Aubameyang, Kane told SportsMail: “Since I’ve been in the Premier League it has had some of the best strikers in the world. Aubameyang is at the top end at the moment.

“There’s quite a few on eight or nine goals so it’s important for me to carry on doing what I’m doing. There’s still a lot of the season to go, but I’m happy with where I am.”
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#11
Kante, Luiz Help Chelsea End Man City’s Unbeaten Run


Manchester City dominated most of the match, but goals from N’Golo Kante and David Luiz ensured it was Chelsea who triumphed.

Manchester City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season as N’Golo Kante and David Luiz secured a hard-fought 2-0 victory for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The reigning champions were on top from the outset, but Pep Guardiola’s decision to play Raheem Sterling through the middle in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero failed to pay dividends and they were unable to regain top spot from Liverpool, who beat Bournemouth 4-0 earlier on Saturday to edge a point clear.

Chelsea were forced to sit deep for much of the opening period before Kante scored with their first shot on target in the 45th minute. Maurizio Sarri’s team were well-drilled in the second half and a 78th-minute header from David Luiz sealed a huge victory after a run of just one win in four. Chelsea tried to press the visitors high from kick-off, but Guardiola’s side were capable of passing their way out of any situation and they dictated terms.

However, it was not until the 33rd minute that City truly threatened, Sterling turning Marcos Alonso easily and finding Leroy Sane for a shot that deflected over off Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea then punished City against the run of play on the stroke of half-time with a swift break, Kante firing into the roof of the net after he was teed up by Eden Hazard, who led the line ahead of Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.

The Blues carried the momentum into the second period and Willian had a free-kick pushed away by Ederson, with Guardiola responding by sending Gabriel Jesus on for Sane.

Kepa Arrizabalaga parried a free-kick from Kyle Walker as City, who saw David Silva hobble off with an injury in the 68th minute, laboured in their search for an equaliser. David Luiz ensured the visitors’ 14-game unbeaten run in away Premier League matches was ended when he beat John Stones to Hazard’s corner – which Guardiola was adamant was incorrect to award – and looped a header beyond Ederson

http://mcebiscoo.com/2018/12/09/kante-lu...eaten-run/

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#12
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling Wins Premier League Player of The Month
Thursday, December 13, 2018  SPORT


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Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been named as the Premier League’s player of the month for November.

The England international helped City win all three of their league matches, against Southampton, Manchester United and West Ham.

Sterling scored three goals in those games, while setting up another three for his team-mates.

The 24-year-old has scored eight Premier League goals in total this season, while adding seven assists, in 13 appearances.

He signed a new deal last month which will keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2023.
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#13
Jose Mourinho's side have secured Champions League progress, but a former striker believes they are no match for the European elite at present

Manchester United hold no fear to the Champions League heavyweights, says Michael Owen, with Porto the only last-16 opponents the Red Devils should feel confident against.

Jose Mourinho’s side were already assured of progress in Europe prior to a trip to Valencia on Wednesday.

They could, however, have topped Group H had they taken maximum points from that contest, with Juventus suffering a surprise 2-1 defeat to Young Boys.

United came unstuck by the same scoreline on Spanish soil, with another disjointed display seeing Phil Jones put through his own net and the Red Devils make little impression in the final third until Marcus Rashford grabbed a late consolation.

Owen believes the performance sent out a worrying message to the rest of the continental elite, telling BT Sport: “The really sad thing is the group winners are probably looking at the runners-up and thinking Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are the ones to avoid.

“Manchester United, as much as it still says Manchester United on the shirt, it’s just not the same Manchester United as it was six years-plus ago now.

“It’s been a pale shadow of that team for a long time now.

“They’re not the force to be reckoned with as they used to be.

“If they played next week I think they could beat Porto but I’d be very, very worried against anyone else.

“The good thing for Manchester United is there’s a couple of months now to regroup.

“At the minute, against any of those big boys, I couldn’t see them going through over two legs.

“The team just doesn’t reflect Manchester United teams that have gone deep in the competition on a regular basis.”

The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League will take place on December 17 in Nyon.

Porto would be the preferred option for United at the next stage, with their other potential opponents being Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund.

Prior to turning their attention back to European matters, though, Mourinho’s men have a crunch Premier League clash with arch-rivals Liverpool to take in on Sunday.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.goal.com/en/amp/news/nobody-will-fear-man-utd-in-last-16-red-devils-a-worry/1aly4xnxryyv31xl5hao2hadem


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#14
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has won the 2018 BBC African Player Of The Year Award.

The five nominees were: Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Thomas Partey (Ghana) and Mohamed Salah (Egypt).

Salah now joins an illustrious list of names like Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu, Okocha and Ivory Coast legend Yaya Touré, as the only players to win the title twice.

MySportDab report Salah won the award in 2017 and has become the first Egyptian to win the BBC African Player Of The Year Award back-to-back.

The 26-year-old helped Liverpool reach the 2017-18 Champions League final last season, scoring 44 goals in all competitions.

The Egypt superstar is also only the third player from the North African nation to win the title after Mohamed Aboutrika in 2008 and Mohamed Barakat, who won in 2005.

He scored both of Egypt's 2018 FIFA World Cup goals - 40% of their all-time total at the tournament.

See more;https://www.mysportdab.com/2018/12/mohamed-salah-named-2018-bbc-african.html


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#15
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will appear before a court in Madrid on January over a £14.7m tax evasion fraud.

The five time Ballon D'or Winner was charged by Spanish authorities in 2017 over money owed from image rights.

MySportDab report this was after a shell company British Virgin Islands  was used to hide parts of his income between 2011 and 2014.

“The accused made use of a corporate structure created in 2010 to hide from the tax authority income generated in Spain through image rights,” said a statement by prosecutors at the time the charges were first brought.

According to AS, Ronaldo who signed for Juventus in the summer will now be sanctioned to appear before the court to hear the verdict - which a be a two-year prison sentence.

He has applied to the courts to appear by video-link.

Spanish law dictates that jail sentences of two years and under are to be suspended for first-time offenders, pending the accused not committing any further crimes in Spain during that period.

Ronaldo's lawyer, José Antonio Choclán, had lobbied the courts for the sentence to be commuted to a €375,000 fine - the same outcome as was negotiated for another of his clients, former Real defender Fábio Coentrão, for similar offences.

That deal was rejected by presecutors.

Ronaldo has already paid up the bulk of the €14.7million which was outstanding in order to smooth over his move to Turin, and January's court appearance will bring a close to the matter.

The final bill for the Portugal forward will ultimately top €18.9million once fines and interest are factored in.

While in Spain Ronaldo became Real Madrid's highest ever goalscorer, netting 451 times after joining from Manchester United for a then-record £80million in 2009.

Ronaldo is also Portugal's most-capped player, with 154 appearances, and record goalscorer, with 85.

See more;https://www.mysportdab.com/2018/12/juventus-star-cristiano-ronaldo.html


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#16
Manchester United are reportedly ready to sell star midfielder Paul Pogba in the January transfer window.

United signed Pogba for a then world-record £89m fee from Juventus in the summer of 2016 after his stunning performances in the Serie A.

But since his return to Old Trafford, Pogba has not had a good relationship with Coach Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese manager is reportedly out of patience.

Pogba had missed out in United's Starting XI at the start of the month but featured in the 2-1 loss at Valencia in the Champions League.

According to The Mirror, United are ready to wave Pogba goodbye and sell the player for the second time.

United's willingness to sell Pogba despite his commercial importance is motivated by two key factors.

Ed Woodward and co. are keen for Mourinho have the best chance possible to turn United’s campaign around - and that means Paul Pogba not being in the picture.

MySportDab report United are also mindful of not wanting any potential replacement for Jose Mourinho to have to deal with Pogba when they take the reins once he departs.

Should Pogba Leave Manchester United?

See more;https://www.mysportdab.com/2018/12/omg-m...-sell.html

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#17
Brighton vs Chelsea: Sarri speaks on swapping roles between Jorginho, Kante
Sunday, December 16, 2018 SPORT
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Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri, has insisted there are no plans to return N’Golo Kante to his former holding midfield role.


Kante helped Leicester City and the Blues to the Premier League title in successive seasons playing at the base of the midfield.

But Sarri has preferred to play Jorginho who arrived at Stamford Bridge alongside the manager from Napoli, as a deep-lying playmaker this season, with Kante pushed further forward.


And though Jorginho was badly exposed in the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham last month, Sarri is yet to be convinced to re-install Kante to his regular position.

“We have a squad for this kind of football.

“If you buy Jorginho and have [Cesc] Fabregas, then I think you have to play 4-3-3.


“If you play 4-3-3 in my style of football, then the central midfielder is a very technical player. Jorginho is very fast in the mind.

“He is able to play one touch or two touch. Fabregas also is technically really very good.

“I think that Kante in my style of football has to play [further forward].

“I can understand that somebody might think something different but if you think to my football, you have to say that I am right,” Sarri said ahead of the trip to Brighton on Sunday.
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#18
Only 10% of Manchester United’s dressing room still support manager Jose Mourinho, with the rest waiting for the club to sack him, the UK Sun reports.

Mourinho has endured a tumultuous third season at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils in sixth place, ahead of Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.

The Portuguese has had run-ins with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia already this season and is furious at the club’s board, for what he perceives as a failure to back him in the transfer market.

However, the Sun claims United’s 2-2 draw against Southampton at the start of the month, was a turning point for the squad.

They found themselves two down against Mark Hughes’ Saints and though they mounted a comeback, they failed to claim three points.

One senior star who still backs Mourinho, is said to have revealed the squad has now almost unanimously turned against him and believe he will be sacked.

His backroom staff are also said to have been irked by his behaviour and believe they will outlast him at Old Trafford. 

http://mcebiscoo.com/2018/12/16/epl-manchester-united-players-waiting-mourinho-sacked/


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#19
Liverpool top English Premier League
Monday, December 17, 2018 SPORT
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Substitute Xherdan Shaqiri scored twice to give Liverpool a fully deserved 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Anfield to go back to the top of the table.

The Reds ended a run of eight games without a run against their fierce rivals in a largely one-sided victory that saw Jurgen Klopp’s side pull 19 points clear of Jose Mourinho’s men in the Premier League.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a deserved lead after a frantic start to the game, but goalkeeper Alisson’s huge clanger gifted Jesse Lingard a leveller that stunned Anfield into silence.


Klopp’s side huffed and puffed in the second half but were largely reduced to shot from long range until Shaqiri’s introduction bought an extra bit of quality.

Arsenal lost for the first time in 23 games as Southampton won on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s home debut courtesy of three headers in a 3-2 victory.

The returning Danny Ings and substitute Charlie Austin did the damage, all with their head, as they cancelled out two equalisers from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the second via a massive deflection.

Although they were twice pegged back, Saints showed a renewed vigour and purpose in Hasenhuttl’s home debut as he seemingly made an immediate impact at St Mary’s.

The hosts were in front when a terrific Targett delivery beat Koscielny at the near post for Ings to head home in the 21st minute.

Arsenal found themselves level just before the half-hour mark through Mkhitaryan’s header.

The visitors worked the ball to find Monreal free on the left wing before his cross was met by a firm header from the Armenia international and into the bottom corner.

Southampton regained the lead on the stroke of half-time through another superb Ings header.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard scored one and set one up for Pedro as Chelsea proved too good for Brighton in their 2-1 win at the Amex.

The Belgium star laid on an assist for a personal record fourth consecutive league game, then fired his eighth league goal of an already hugely-fruitful campaign.

Hazard has now had a hand in 17 goals in 16 Premier League appearances for Chelsea this term – last season he only mustered a combined 16 goals and assists, in some 34 turns.

Solly March’s neat half-volley set up a tense finish, but Chelsea still remained worthy winners on the south coast.

Hazard actually ended a seven-match league run without a goal, but even amid that barren run he has still been serving them up on a plate for his team-mates.
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#20
Group winners
Barcelona (ESP, Group B)
Bayern München (GER, Group E)
Borussia Dortmund (GER, Group A)
Juventus (ITA, Group H)
Manchester City (ENG, Group F)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA, Group C)
Porto (POR, Group D)
Real Madrid (ESP, holders, Group G)

Group runners-up
Ajax (NED, Group E)
Atlético Madrid (ESP, Group A)
Liverpool (ENG, Group C)
Lyon (FRA, Group F)
Manchester United (ENG, Group H)
Roma (ITA, Group G)
Schalke (GER, Group D)
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG, Group B)

Draw procedure

Two seeding pots are formed: one consisting of group winners and the other of runners-up.

No team can play a club from their group or any side from their own association.

Seeded group winners are away in the round of 16 first legs on 12/13 and 19/20 February and at home in the return matches on 5/6 and 12/13 March.

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