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October 20, 2019250

The much anticipated match up between league leaders Liverpool and Manchester United ended in a one all draw.

Goals by Marcus Rashfold on the 36th minute and Adam Lallana on the 85th minute ended Liverpool’s endless streak, one short record 18.

Liverpool’s winning run ends at 17, one short of the record, but they will be happy enough after Adam Lallana’s late equaliser put them six points clear at the top.

Although it was a scruffy game of few chances, there was always something going on and it was fascinating tactically. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set United up expertly in the first half, with a 3-4-1-2 formation and split strikers, but they ran out of steam in the second. And although Liverpool were nowhere near their awesome best, they deserved a draw for their persistence and territorial dominance.

There was VAR controversy, inevitably, and a soupçon of needle. United look deflated because of the late equaliser. When the dust settles, they will reflect on a pretty good day. Marcus Rashford.

 


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October 7, 2019100

Substitute Gonzalo Higuain scored a late winner as champions Juventus ended Inter Milan’s perfect league start to move top of Serie A.

Higuain struck powerfully past Samir Handanovic with 10 minutes remaining to send Maurizio Sarri’s side one point above their opponents at the San Siro.

Juventus had led after just four minutes through Paulo Dybala.

But Inter levelled 14 minutes later as Lautaro Martinez converted a penalty after a handball by Matthijs de Ligt.

Advantage Juventus in Serie A

A highly anticipated 236th Derby d’Italia between the league’s top two sides saw former Chelsea managers Sarri and Antonio Conte go head to head for the first time since their respective summer appointments.

Conte’s Inter had won all six league games leading into game – and their previous five home Serie A fixtures – but Juventus were rewarded for their early intent as Dybala cut in from the left and curled into the opposite corner for the opener.

Inter, beaten 2-1 by Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday, were not behind for long as Martinez struck confidently from the spot after Nicolo Barella’s cross had struck De Ligt on the arm.

A tense second half saw action at both ends of the pitch, as Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny denied Matias Vecino at close range and Handanovic did well to block Cristiano Ronaldo’s low strike.

But the champions, whose only blip so far was a goalless draw against Fiorentina last month, were rewarded for their persistence as Higuain latched on to Rodrigo Bentancur’s pass to secure all three points. (BBC).


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October 3, 2019130

Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori and Tammy Abraham have snubbed Nigeria after rejecting representing their country of origin in men’s football games.

Instead they would be representing a secondary country, England, which has wasted no time to call up the duo for the Euro 2020 qualifiers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Tomori, a central defender, has been called up for the first time.

Gareth Southgate, England Coach, said of Tomori: “His profile as a defender fits with the way international football is. Athleticism is important; he is capable with the ball. We think it’s a good opportunity to have a closer look at him.”

Tomori and Abraham are also eligible to play for Nigeria and, in the defender’s case, Canada but Southgate said he would not use them in a competitive game to close that door.

“I don’t think it’s ethically right to select someone just to make sure he can’t play for somebody else,” England’s manager said.

“Fik and Tammy are in on merit. They’ve both been part of our youth system. Fik came in a bit later but he was part of the team that won the (Under-17) World Cup – as far as we’re concerned they’re English players.”

Southgate said Abraham, who has two caps and has scored eight goals in his past 10 Chelsea games, had “really grasped this opportunity at the start of the season.”

The duo waited for call up to Nigeria’s Super Eagles but never came. The two Chelsea players have been in irrepressible form with Abaraham scoring scoring goals with reckless abandon.


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September 21, 2019220

A rout initiated by David Silva after 52 seconds showed one way Manchester City can negotiate having Aymeric Laporte and John Stones missing because of injury: simply make it 5-0 inside 18 minutes and so nullify any concerns regarding being weakened in central defence.

Pep Guardiola’s side will, of course, have tougher challenges than bottom-placed Watford, who are yet to win this season. But when in this imperious mood most teams would struggle to contain the champions of the past two campaigns, who ended with a record league victory under the manager.

After Silva’s opener, Sergio Agüero (who has now scored in all opening six league games), Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Nicolás Otamendi all placed their name on the scoresheet in a start to the opening half that will be recalled for a while.

Following the break Bernardo scored twice more to make it 7-0 and Kevin De Bruyne hit a rocket past Ben Foster near the end, and that made it a 35-3 aggregate to City in their past eight meetings with Watford. So comfortable were the home side that Eric García was handed a Premier League debut after the seventh strike, the 18-year-old in effect the third-choice centre-back behind Otamendi, whom he replaced, and Fernandinho.

This had been only the second match of Quique Sánchez Flores’s second Watford tenure. It would be interesting to know what Javi Gracia, sacked despite taking them to the FA Cup final, will think when seeing this scoreline. (Guardian.Uk)



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