Neymar-Cavani penalty spat a ‘war of egos

Brazil’s media on Monday dubbed the spat between Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar and Edinson Cavani over who should take a penalty kick during their victory against Lyon “a war of egos.” Newspapers in Brazil, always hungry for Neymar news, dived into the tussle in which the recently signed PSG superstar tried to take the ball from his Uruguayan teammate on Sunday. Cavani kept the ball but had his shot saved in what was ultimately a 2-0 win. “Neymar and Cavani argue again,” O Dia’s headline read, referring to another penalty…

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NFF retains Uyo as host of Eagles, Zambia match despite unrest in South East

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has retained Uyo as host of the 2018 World Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and Zambia despite the recent clashes involving the Military and the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) in the neighboring Aba. Some football followers recently raised questions on the suitability of Uyo for the game in view of the crisis in the South East. But Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye dismissed such fears, noting that the Akwa Ibom State government has always ensured adequate security in the city since the Super Eagles started playing…

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Wayne Rooney get 2-year driving ban for drinking

Former England Captain Wayne Rooney, was given a two-year driving ban after pleading guilty to drink-driving on Monday. The 31-year-old Everton striker was charged after being stopped by police in the early hours of September 1. “Following today’s court hearing I want publicly to apologise for my unforgivable lack of judgment in driving while over the legal limit,” Rooney said in a statement. “It was completely wrong”. “I have already said sorry to my family, my manager and chairman and everyone at Everton FC. “Now I want to apologise to…

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Messi’s double inspires Barca to Juventus revenge

Barcelona defied an outgoing off-field crisis as another Lionel Messi-inspired display exacted revenge on Juventus to open their Champions League campaign with a resounding 3-0 win on Tuesday. Messi was involved in all three goals as he beat Gianluigi Buffon for the first time in his career to open the floodgates just before half-time. Ivan Rakitic added a second after Messi’s run and cross opened up the Juventus defence before the Argentine rounded off the scoring by drilling home his second of the evening 19 minutes from time. Victory puts…

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Arsenal must decide on Europa League campaign – Peter Cech

Arsenal must go into their Europa League campaign with the intention of winning the tournament or set themselves different priorities for the season, goalkeeper Peter Cech has said. The London side host Germany’s Cologne in Europe’s second-tier competition on Thursday and Cech, who won the title with Chelsea in the 2012-13 season, said the club must take a call on how they approach the tournament. “You make your decision,” he told London’s Evening Standard. “At Chelsea, we were really disappointed to have been knocked out of the group stage (of…

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Arsene Wenger wants top-four over Europa

Arsenal can sustain a Europa League challenge but a top-four finish in the Premier League would be the best way to reach next season’s Champions League, manager Arsene Wenger has said. Manchester United won the Europa League title last season to secure direct entry to the Champions League. Manager Jose Mourinho made winning the competition a priority as United slipped to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League. Wenger, however, believes domestic success is key to Arsenal’s ambitions after dropping out of the top four for the first time in…

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Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo extends Real Madrid contract

Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo extended his 11-year stay with the Spanish giants by signing a new contract until 2022, the club announced on Wednesday. The Brazilian, 29, has won three Champions League and four La Liga titles in over 400 appearances since joining from Fluminense in 2006. “Real Madrid and Marcelo have agreed to extend the contract of the player, who will remain tied to the club until June 30, 2022,” the club said. Marcelo will, though, be suspended for Madrid’s next two La Liga games after his ban for…

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Atletico Madrid confident of breakthrough in Diego Costa negotiations with Chelsea

Atletico Madrid confident of breakthrough in Diego Costa negotiations with Chelsea Diego Costa remains AWOL from Chelsea as Atletico move closer to his signing Atletico Madrid are increasingly confident they have made a breakthrough in negotiations to sign Diego Costa from Chelsea, Sky Sports News understands. A source close to the negotiations says progress is being made but “it is not sorted yet”, after a summer-long debacle between the player and his current West London employers. Atletico are banned from registering new players before January and have so far offered…

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Tottenham Hotspurs fight to end Wembley woe

Frustrated by a series of miserable experiences at Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur host Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday desperate to finally vanquish the ghosts that haunt them at the national stadium. When Mauricio Pochettino’s side kick off their Champions League campaign against the Germans, it won’t be just priceless Group H points that are up for grabs. For Tottenham, Wembley is in danger of becoming the bogeyman that wreaks havoc on their ambitions to challenge for silverware at home and abroad. The north London club have been forced to relocate to Wembley…

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UEFA Champions League to test Klopp’s progress at Liverpool

When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, he made a promise: “If we sit here in four years, I think we (will) win one title,” he said. Next month will mark the second anniversary of Klopp’s appointment, the halfway point of that four-year cycle. There has undoubtedly been progress in that time; a team who were 10th in the Premier League when he arrived finished fourth last season. Whether they are significantly closer to winning a major trophy is more open to debate. Liverpool reached two finals in…

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