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Man United stun Juventus as City, Madrid win big

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Manchester United produced a stunning late comeback to beat Juventus 2-1 on Wednesday in what could be a turning point in their Champions League campaign, while a Gabriel Jesus hat-trick helped Manchester City all but secure a last-16 berth.
Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo Pep Guardiola’s City crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 on a night which saw Real Madrid also win big, as Bayern Munich closed in on a place in the knockout stage. Juventus were within seconds of confirming their spot in the last 16 after Cristiano Ronaldo put them ahead in Turin with a superb volley in the 65th minute.
The hosts had already hit the woodwork twice before that and should have been out of sight before Juan Mata equalised from an 86th-minute free-kick. The turnaround was completed in the 90th minute when Leonardo Bonucci scored an own-goal, and United boss Jose Mourinho delighted in taking to the field at the end, cupping an ear towards the home support.
The former Inter coach said it was a response to insults from Juve supporters, and United are now two points behind the Italians in Group H. “In a beautiful Italian city, they insulted me for 90 minutes. I didn’t insult them. I just made a little thing,” Mourinho told BT Sport.
“It is a big victory for us, not just because we needed the points but because it was away from home against an amazing team.” The result was a blow for Valencia, who are still two points behind in third after beating Young Boys 3-1 at Mestalla. Santi Mina scored twice either side of a Roger Assale goal, before Carlos Soler sealed the win. Young Boys, who had Sekou Sanogo sent off, cannot now qualify.
There was less drama at the Etihad Stadium, where City — whose financial dealings have come under scrutiny in a series of Football Leaks allegations — eased to their biggest win in the competition. Goals from David Silva and Riyad Mahrez bookended the victory. In between there was a stunner from Raheem Sterling, who was also awarded a penalty for kicking his own foot into the turf in the box.
Ronaldo a goal machine, money-making machine for ambitious Juventus Jesus scored the spot-kick, the first of two penalties in his hat-trick. City will head to Lyon later this month requiring a draw to secure a last-16 place.
“Unfortunately we haven’t qualified, but we are so close and will try to maintain this level,” said Guardiola, whose team play United on Sunday. City would have been through already had Lyon not squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to 10-man Hoffenheim. Nabil Fekir and Tanguy Ndombele had the French club 2-0 up at the break, and the Germans had Kasim Nuhu sent off early in the second half.
But Andrej Kramaric pulled one back and Lyon missed chances to secure the victory before Pavel Kaderabek’s stoppage-time equaliser. Reigning European champions Madrid had no trouble against Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic, with Karim Benzema scoring twice in a 5-0 win.
Real were four ahead at the break, Benzema’s goals taking him to 200 for the club. Casemiro and Gareth Bale also netted in the first half, and Toni Kroos completed the scoring with a delicious chip. Santiago Solari has now overseen three victories, all with clean sheets, since being put in charge of Madrid, and the Spaniards are level atop Group G with Roma. The Italians won 2-1 away to CSKA Moscow, Kostas Manolas and Lorenzo Pellegrini scoring their goals either side of Arnor Sigurdsson’s equaliser. CSKA, who had Hordur Magnusson sent off, still have a slim chance of qualifying, but Plzen are out.
Meanwhile, Bayern require just one more point to advance in Group E after Robert Lewandowski netted twice — the first a penalty — on his 100th European appearance in a 2-0 home win over AEK Athens, who are eliminated. Ajax remain well placed to progress too. They are second, four points clear of third-placed Benfica, after a 1-1 draw in Portugal. Jonas put Benfica ahead before Dusan Tadic equalised.

-Vanguard
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SPORTS

SOPAN hails Falcons for South Korea Victory

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..Charges team to beat France

Sports Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (SOPAN) has congratulated Nigeria’s Super Falcons for spanking the former World Champions, South Korea 2-0 in their second group game at the ongoing 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

According to the Chairman of the Noble association, Mr Martin Odiete, who on Thursday after the Executives meeting of the Association held at their headquarters in Abuja, commended the efforts of the senior national female team for bouncing back from a 3-0 defeat in the hands of Norway in their first Group A match to beat the South Koreans.

By this victory, Falcons now has a good chance of making it to the round of 16 if they can get at least a draw in the last group match against the host team France, but warned that the match would play a big role in booking their second round ticket.

“We are extremely happy with the resilient spirit of Nigeria’s apex female football team (Super Falcons), especially proving the doubting Thomases wrong against Korea Republic few days ago.

“SOPAN is a body that is duly registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Nigeria, and part of our objectives include putting Nigerian sports in good spotlight before the world. We believe you can consolidate on the recent triumph over the bottom placed Korea republic,” Odiete maintained.

Martin Odiete on behalf of SOPAN, implore the Super Falcons to fight for the next phase of the ongoing FIFA World Cup as the play host nation, France.

“As African Champions, with intimidating track records, we are sure Falcons can conquer one of the biggest women football nations, France, when they meet in their last group match.

“We Salute the Technical Savvy of Falcons’ crew Led by Thomas Dennerby and ex International, Maureen Madu, as we urge the Super Falcons to be ruthless against the French National team to extend their stay in the world football showpiece ”

“SOPAN shall continue to give its ‘unflinching ‘ support to Super Falcons as the pride of Africa and believes that the Nigerian team can make progress in this Women’s FIFA World Cup holding in France,” he assured

Super Falcons rose from a 3-0 defeat to Norway in their first group match to beat Korea 2-0 and stand a good chance of progressing to the second round but must maintain a decent scoreline in the last group match against the host, France in Rennes on Monday to clear the debris of not reaching the knockout phase since 1999.

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BREAKING: Gianni Infantino re-elected as FIFA president

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Gianni Infantino was re-elected by acclamation for a second term as FIFA president at the Congress of world football’s governing body in Paris on Wednesday.

The 49-year-old, who took charge of FIFA in February 2016 after the departure of the disgraced Sepp Blatter, stood unopposed for re-election for a new four-year term which will run until 2023.

He said that the organization has been transformed into being “synonymous with credibility.”

Before the decision, Infantino said: “It is only thanks to you that we have been able to transform FIFA, to transform it into a new FIFA, an organization that is synonymous with credibility, confidence, integrity, equality, human rights, social engagement, modernity, professionalism and equality.”

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Liverpool beat Spurs 2-0 to win Champions League

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Jordan Henderson raises the trophy. Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Liverpool has won the 2019 UEFA Champions League, after beating Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 in Madrid, Spain.

Mohamed Salah’s early penalty and a late goal by Divock Origi steered Liverpool to a sixth Champions League title on Saturday as they beat Tottenham 2-0 in an all-English final in Madrid.

Salah scored the second quickest goal in Champions League final history as he converted from the spot after just one minute and 48 seconds following a handball by Moussa Sissoko.

Belgian striker Origi, who scored the winning goal against Barcelona in Liverpool’s remarkable semi-final comeback, sealed victory three minutes from time with a superb low finish.

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