Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fati becomes youngest ever Champions League goalscorer in Barcelona win

The young Catalan star has continued his stunning breakout season by snaring a European record. Barcelona attacker Ansu Fati has become the Champions League's youngest ever goalscorer, finding the back of the net on Europe's biggest stage aged just 17 years and 40 days.

Just moments after being brought on against Inter on Tuesday with the scores locked at 1-1, Fati found the bottom left corner with a powerful driven effort.

In the process, Fati broke a record previously held by Peter Ofori-Quaye, who scored for Olympiacos aged 17 years and 194 days in 1997. Ernesto Valverde's side were in need of a spark at the San Siro and got it in the form of Fati.

After the Catalans opened the scoring through Carles Perez, Inter equalised just before half-time through Romelu Lukaku with Lautaro Martinez then finding the back of the net twice in the second half, only to be denied both times for offside.

Fati was then introduced for Barcelona in the 85th minute and just a minute later he'd settle the contest after a sharp one-two at the top of the box with Luis Suarez was followed by a pin-point finish.

That record-breaking strike would prove decisive as the Catalans claimed a 2-1 victory to deny Antonio Conte's side progression to the knockout stage.

Barcelona finished top of Group F having won four and drawn two of their six matches, while Inter ended third, three points shy of Borussia Dortmund.

Fati's goal continues his breakout season for Barcelona. After making his debut in August, he became the club's youngest scorer after striking in the same month against Osasuna in La Liga.

In September, the Spain U21 international then made his Champions League debut, becoming the Catalans' youngest player to feature in the competition.

Having turned heads around the world, Barcelona recently locked Fati down to a contract extension running until 2022 with a release clause of €170m (£144m/$188m).

"La Masía is for me the best school in the world," Fati said at the time. "They helped me in everything from the first day I arrived and I am very grateful to the people who work there. Everyone is spectacular.

"From the first day, I learned a lot from everyone. Also in difficult times, because they have always been there to support me.

"From now on I have to continue working more than ever to be able to have opportunities and continue enjoying. Everything else will come."

While Fati's playing minutes have been reduced over the past month, his father recently ruled out the possibility of a loan move in January.

Napoli sack Ancelotti after sealing qualification for Champions League knockout phase

The 60-year-old has been mentioned as a candidate for vacancies at Arsenal and Everton. Napoli have sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti just hours after he helped the Serie A side seal qualification for the Champions League knockout phase.

"SSC Napoli has taken the decision to part ways with first-team coach Carlo Ancelotti," a club statement read.

"The friendship and mutual respect between the club, president Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti remains intact."Ancelotti was in charge on Tuesday as his side defeated Genk 4-0, sealing a second-place spot in Group E behind Liverpool.

It was the first time that the Partenopei have reached the last 16 of the Champions League since 2016-17, but it was not enough to save Ancelotti's job with his side slumping in recent weeks.

Prior to Tuesday's game Napoli had gone nine games without a win in all competitions, a run that had seen them drop down to seventh in the Serie A table, 17 points behind table-topping Inter.

It is a far cry from the club's domestic performances over the past two seasons, with Napoli having finished runners-up to Juventus in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Ancelotti was also reported to have fallen out with the club's board and De Laurentiis after just a season and a half in charge.

The 60-year-old acknowledged that the victory over Genk may not have been enough to save his job after the game, saying that he was due to meet with De Laurentiis to discuss his future.

Former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Ancelotti, with the 41-year-old having left his role at San Siro at the end of last season.

But Ancelotti may not be out of a job for long, as the former Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Chelsea boss has been mentioned as a candidate for vacancies at Arsenal and Everton.

The Gunners are looking for a full-time boss after sacking Unai Emery last month, with Freddie Ljungberg serving as interim since the Spaniard departed north London.

Everton are also in the market for a manager after dismissing Marco Silva last week, though interim boss Duncan Ferguson did lead the Toffees to a win over Chelsea in his debut at the weekend.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

#INeverExperredIt: Divine Oduduru graduates from Texas Tech University

Divine Oduduru, the Nigerian born athlete that went viral on social media a few years back for his phrase 'INeverExperredIt' is now a University graduate.

Oduduru who has represented his school Texas Tech University at various sporting events shared photos from his graduation and wrote, ':#MRINeverExperredIt is now a Graduate glory to God. I Work for it and I got it'.

Lille coach speaks on the future of Barcelona & Arsenal linked 'hot target' Victor Osimhen

Lille coach Christophe Galtier has come out to speak on the future of Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen.

Osimhen who has scored 11 goals in 21 games across all competitions this season has also established himself as one of Africa's in-demand strikers, scoring four goals in his last four appearances for his motherland, Nigeria and was recently nominated for the 2019 African Youth Player of the Year award by the Confederation of African Football.

Barcelona needs a replacement for Luis Suarez while Arsenal needs a new striker in case Aubameyang leaves but Galtier insists Osimhen will remain at the club when the January transfer window closes for business.

Asked if the former Sporting Chaleroi striker Osimhen will stay until the end of the season, Galtier told beIN SPORTS : ''

Yes, I believe so. But in football, nothing is safe. I can confirm this with regard to the weeks that have just passed''.

Osimhen and his teammates will visit Chelsea's Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

Erling Haaland Has Revealed His Prediction For Crunch Clash With Liverpool Tonight

Who can blame Erling Haaland for oozing confidence given his incredible goalscoring feats this season?

The 19-year old goal machine is out to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League this evening and his pre-match comments show he's clearly not fazed by the occasion at all.

Going into the game, the Norwegian was asked to give his prediction for the crunch clash against the Premier League leaders and while most players would hesitate, he replied: "3-1" - and added that he would score all three.

Haaland's optimism is completely understandable. The 6ft 4 striker has scored a ridiculous 28 goals in 21 games in all competitions, including eight in his first five Champions League appearances.

Having joined Salzburg for just £4.5 million in 2018, the Austrian outfit will no doubt make a substantial profit if they choose to cash in on him in the near future - which could well happen given interest from the likes of Juventus and Manchester United.

He's already copying Cristiano Ronaldo's diet as he looks to continue his ascendency in European football, while he also wakes up to the Champions League theme every morning and sleeps with all of his match balls.

Having seen Haaland come off the bench at Anfield to score in a seven-goal thriller, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is wary of the threat he poses and the need to keep him quiet.

"He's 19 years old, exceptional player, but how would you defend a very good striker? Try to make sure that he gets not that many balls," Klopp said in his press conference, via Sky Sports.

"Just a really big, big talent with a wonderful future, 100 percent, but for tomorrow night, how you defend the best strikers, you try to avoid passes to them, you cut them out of the game and when they have the ball.

"We have to make it as difficult as possible. He's unfortunately not the only strong player in their team."

Liverpool are top of Group E on 10 points going into the final game, though the complexion of the group can change dramatically depending on results.

Napoli, who play Genk at the same time, occupy the second qualification spot on 9 points, with Salzburg in third on seven points.

Deontay Wilder Doesn't Think He And Anthony Joshua Will Ever Fight In Unification Bout

Deontay Wilder doesn't think he and Anthony Joshua will ever do battle in the squared circle.

Joshua regained his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles in Saudi Arabia with victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday and once again there's plenty of fan interest in AJ taking on Wilder, who holds the WBC world heavyweight title.

Joshua-Wilder has the potential to be one of the biggest fights in the history of boxing but the undefeated fighter doesn't think the unification bout will happen and claims Joshua wants to avoid him at all costs.

"I don't think we'll ever see a unification bout," he told The Athletic after seeing Joshua avenge his first professional defeat ot Ruiz.

"We'll never see it, and I don't want people to get their hopes up on it because it'll never happen.

"They couldn't say anything about fighting me. They couldn't mention my name. They went around me.

"I'm too dangerous. You've seen what I do in the ring. I don't play around. And they know if Ruiz can get Joshua out of there, imagine. That's why they stayed away from me."

Joshua's win over Ruiz was far from vintage as instead of trading with 'The Destroyer' like in the first fight at Madison Square Garden, he adopted a smart, old-school approach of sitting behind his jab and keeping the distance en route to a comfortable points win.

Knockout artist Wilder blasted the 30-year old for having Wladimir Klitschko in his camp and using the Ukrainian legend's 'boring' boxing style.

He added: "Joshua did what he had to do to get the win. He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day.

"Basically, he had Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That's all he did tonight.

"You want to dominate guys, man. Maybe I'm just too rough, too hardcore and too much of a dream for this time and era, maybe the world wants that nice s**t... my mentality is so different from these other fighters.

"But when I think of myself as a champion... you want to come out there and whoop his a*s.

"I'm not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold.

"I'm going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no-one is close to me, especially with what's going on in the division right now. It's a time of proving who is the best."

Following his latest win, Joshua has been ordered to face WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk in his next fight and very much welcomes a bout with the Ukrainian.

Jurgen Klopp Loses Cool With Translator, Blasts Him as S**t

Jurgen Klopp called out a translator for being 's**t' after misinterpreting Jordan Henderson's comments about tonight's game with RB Salzburg.

The translator suggested that the Liverpool captain said they'd take tonight's Champions League clash in Austria 'easy'.

Henderson had said the opposite and that the game wouldn't be easy.

Klopp immediately jumped in and said:

"It's s*** when next to the translator sits a coach who speaks German."

The question was if the Champions League title from the last year helps us because we have always delivered in situations like this.

'He [Henderson] doesn't talk about going easy in this game. We are aware of this challenge. He is speaking about all this normal stuff.

'You should really listen. Otherwise, I can do it by myself. It's not too difficult.'

He then switched over to English and joked:

'I am in a competition mood already, I can tell you.'

Liverpool need a point in Austria to secure qualification to the last 16.

They currently top Group E with 10 points and Henderson discussed whether being the current holders added pressure on qualification.

He said: 'We need to perform, we need to get a result to get through to the next round which we have proven we have done before.

'That doesn't mean it's going to be easy to do it again. We learn from those experiences and we know what we need to do.

'We have confidence in our own ability and if we perform to the level we have been and we are capable of we can get a good result.'

The Reds are currently eight points clear in the Premier League and they have a packed festive fixture list.

They take part in four different competitions over the next two weeks including the Club World Cup.

Liverpool's first game in the tournament will be Wednesday 18 December and before that they host bottom of the league Watford on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua increases his fortune by £52m after beating Andy Ruiz to reclaim heavyweight titles

Boxer Anthony Joshua has 100 million smackers in the bank after recapturing his world heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia.

The 30-year-old increased his fortune by £52million after winning his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr – and could yet double it with a £200million mega-fight against Deontay Wilder .

Before Saturday’s win, Watford-born Joshua had made £49million from 23 professional fights after winning Olympic gold at London 2012.

Team Joshua member Mark Seltzer, a boxing manager and cut man with 50 world title bouts to his name, said: “The sky’s the limit for Josh.

"A mega-fight with Wilder could see them attract a purse of £200million.

"It’s the fight the world wants to see. With money from the Middle East and the Far East now in the sport, countless backers will pay."

Joshua was slammed for taking the rematch in Saudi Arabia because of its appalling human rights record but he could not turn down the payday.

Following his win, Joshua was joined in the ring by his family and hugged his three-year-old son, Joseph Bayley Temiloluwa Prince Joshua.

The boxer’s parents, Yeta and Robert, along with his sister, Janet, jumped up and down as they hugged the champion.

The fight is said to have attracted more than 25 million viewers worldwide, including Sylvester Stallone who held a party with his celebrity friends in LA.

My hunger for success pushes me to want more in the sport – Asisat Oshoala

Super Falcons and Barcelona striker, Asisat Oshoala, has said her hunger for success pushes her to want more in the sport.

The 25-year-old, who is in contention for the African Women’s Player of The Year award, admitted that her drive for success for both club and country made her put in the best performance during games.

With three of the last five African Player of The Year awards and a UEFA Champions League silver medal, as well as boasting 16 goals from 22 matches this year, Oshoala expressed optimism about winning her fourth award as Africa’s best women’s footballer.

“Going for my fourth award, I think it is a very good thing. I just want to be consistent. It is the most important thing for me,” she said.

“I don’t really know if 2019 is my best year because I’ve always been good for a couple of years.”

Vandrezzer FC Unveil Brazil Midfielder Alberico Da Silva

Nigeria National League outfit Vandrezzer FC have unveiled Brazilian midfielder Alberico Da Silva.

Alberico Da Silva previously had stints with Nigeria Professional Football League clubs, FC IfeanyiUbah and Akwa United under his compatriot, coach Rafael Everton.

Attesting to his pedigree at the unveiling ceremony, which took place at the Ikot Ekpene Stadium, the Media Director of Vandrezzer FC and ace Radio personality, George Essien (aka Mighty George) stated:

“Alberico can be compared to Luka Modric of Real Madrid. If you don’t believe me, come and watch him play” Indeed, the fans will be hoping to be treated to mouth-watering football when Alberico takes the stage in their next Nigeria National League fixture.

Still at the unveiling ceremony, which coincided with Vandrezzer’s debut home game in the NNL, the Lions of Naija welcomed their South-South counterpart, Bayelsa United to match day 3 of the NNL. They are hoping to get things started off with a good home win after their loss a week ago to J. Atete.

Hostilities commenced with the home team making several threatening moves in the half of Bayelsa Utd. But for the gallantry of B-United shot stopper, the first half ended goalless. But not for long. Ekerete Udom with a scorching strike mid-way the second half made history as the first ever player to score a goal in the NNL for Vandrezzer FC. The towering forward was wildly jubilant with team mates on this achievement.

Samson Hussaini made sure the score-line was safe when he headed in from close-range for goal number two, advantage Vandrezzer. Vandrezzer FC stands fifth on the NNL group B2 log, with an outstanding home game against Jossy. Their next fixture is away to neighboring Calabar Rovers.

Struggling Arsenal Defeat West Ham 3-1To End Winless Streak

Arsenal came from a goal down to score three goals in nine minutes and beat fellow strugglers West Ham United 3-1, away in Monday night’s Premier League game.

Goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, saw Arsenal end a run of nine straight games without a win in all competitions.

Angelo Ogbonna had given West Ham the lead towards the end of the first half.

Before the start of the game Arsenal were forced to make a change as Hector Bellerin got injured during training and was replaced by Aisley Maitland-Niles.

On the half hour mark, Arsenal suffered another injury with Kieran Tierney going off with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Sead Kolasinac.

This is the first time since October 2011 that Arsenal have come from a half-time losing position to win a Premier League away game.

It is also their first away win since beating Newcastle 1-0 in their first Premier League game of the season.

West Ham took the lead on 38 minutes through Ogbonna whose header took a deflection off Maitland-Niles on the way in.

Arsenal added more urgency in their play in the second half and were rewarded in the 60th minute thanks to Martinelli who capped a swift Arsenal attack with a low finish into the bottom-right corner.

In the 66th minute Arsenal went 2-1 up as Pepe cut inside onto his left foot and curled his effort into the top corner.

Just three minutes later, Pepe turned provider following a well timed cross into the boxer which Aubameyang volleyed in to make it 3-1.

The win move Arsenal up to ninth position on 22 points, seven points adrift of fourth spot in the league table.

For West Ham, they are now 16th on 16 points, just a point above the relegation zone.

Up nextfor Arsenal is a tough game against champions Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday.

Rudiger Set For Chelsea Return After Three Months Injury Layoff

Antonio Rudiger could make his first appearance for Chelsea since September, following his inclusion in their squad for Tuesday’s Champions League home clash against Lille after recovering from injury.

This was revealed by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard on Monday, ahead of the game against Lille.

Rudiger’s last featured for Chelsea three months ago after sustaining a groin injury in his first game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He had missed the start of the season after having knee surgery.

Lampard Also revealed that Fikayo Tomori will not be in action against the French club due to a slight hip strain.

“He (Rudiger) is in the squad, so there’s a chance,” said Lampard. “It’s good to have him back, he’s been training really well.

“He’s got a lot of his fitness work done since the injury healed.

“The other news I suppose is that Tomori is out. He’s got a small tiny strain around his hip area and it’s been bothering him so I’ve taken him out for a few days.”

Speaking further on Rudiger, Lampard said:”He looks fit and ready to go. I know he’s hungry.

“In terms of people building him up, it’s probably rightly so. Everybody spoke about youth at the start of the season and transfer bans.

“The idea that we started the season with five big players all injured for a period of time. Carrying on that now, Rudiger is just back and Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] is a big player for us as well.

“You do miss those individuals, let’s see what he can add for us now.”

Chelsea had their transfer ban lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday but Lampard insists he won’t rush into making signings in the January window.

“I think you’ve got to be careful with being too reactionary,” he said. “Ban lifted, defeat at Everton. It’s quite easy to come to that conclusion I suppose.

“Just as much as people were saying at the start of the season that we’ve got all these young boys, this is going to be no problem we don’t need any players. At a club like Chelsea, it’s a balance.

“You have a strong squad, which I believe we have, but you have to look at whether we can strengthen.

“There will be times going forward, whether it’s January or next summer, of course we’re going to look at the opportunity to strengthen because we want to improve

Martins Denies Turning Down Lucrative Offer From Saudi Club ​

Nigeria forward Obafemi Martins has denied a report linking him up with a Saudi Arabia football club on a deal worth $1.5 million

An online media platform had reported last month that Martins, former player of Chinese​ Super League​ side Shanghai Shenhua, rejected the offer in Saudi Arabia on the ground that the oil-rich country does not have top night club.

“How on earth will I even reject an offer because of absence of night clubs in a place? Fortunately, there is no even a deal for me in Saudi Arabia that I will reject,” Martins explained .

“it is rather so unfortunate, the people behind this report supposed to get their findings right.”

The 34-year-old striker popular called ‘Obagoal’ last played for Chinese outfit, Shanghai Shenhua where he sustained a hamstring injury.

The injury sidelined him for a lengthy period and he was certified fit in May this year.

“I am an open person and friendly to any journalist who wants to know anything about me. I think putting facts right and balancing stories are some of the hallmarks of a good journalists,” Martins said.

New Ronaldo Mane is Superb Modern Player –Ajax Legend, Blind

Ajax Amsterdam and the Netherlands legend, Danny blind has hailed Senegal international cum Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane, as the young version of Cristiano Ronaldo who is ‘very mordern’ with his style of play.

Blind – the father of former Manchester United defender, Daley Blind, beams his spotlight on Mane as Liverpool get ready for their UEFA Champions League Group E away clash with Salzburg on Tuesday.

Mane who has already scored 13 goals in all competitions so far this term for the Jurgen Klopp’s men, will be a star performer that Blind is looking forward to watching in the match that Liverpool need just a draw to advance to the knockout phase.

“Sadio Mane is the new Ronaldo in world football. As an attacking player he is absolutely fantastic. I can go through all his qualities – and he is superb in every aspect,” Blind stated in an interview with The Mirror.

“He can score with his left foot, right foot and with sensational headers. He can give brilliant assists, he is an incredible athlete, and I could go on even more.

“Mane is the super modern player. If you look at his skills, that is one great thing, but he is able to combine that with astonishing sprints right throughout the game.

“That requires so much power. You have to be incredibly strong both physically and mentally. Sadio has it all.

“I don’t compare Mane to [Lionel] Messi. I think Sadio is much more like Cristiano Ronaldo in his very best years.”

Star Player Pogba Needs Love To Shine For Man United –Valencia

Former Manchester United right-back Antonio Valencia has called on the Red Devils’ faithful to show Paul Pogba a lot of love in order to inspire the France international to rediscover his fine form.

Pogba has missed 14 matches in all competitions through an akle injury, but is expected to return to action soon after making recovering from the setback, but his former teammate Valencia believes he needs the love of the fans and every at the Old Trafford to hit his real element on the field of play.

Transfer rumours and a dip in form before the injury spell have conspired to put Pogba down in the reckoning of Old Trafford faithful.

“Pogba is a star. Do you know what he needs? Love,’ Valencia, now 34, who who joined Liga de Quito, LDU in his country Ecuador this season, told Mundo Deportivo.

“I have heard many rumours about [Zinedine] Zidane and Real Madrid, but he [Pogba] never said anything.

“He is a clever person. If at United we give this affection, Pogba will shine.”

Valencia also spares some thoughts for his former club Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer works harder to turn their season around for the better.

United made a bold statement of a remarkable improvement with a 2-1 away win over Manchester City in their Saturday’s derby.

Valencia believes Marcus Rashford who scored from the spot in the win and goalkeeper David de Gea will continue to play great roles in steadying the side’s resurgent form.

He added: “It’s difficult to manage such a unique case. I see United getting better and better, Rashford is going through a great time.

“They are a solid team behind [defence line], with confidence and a star in De Gea.”

Slovenian Club sacks Nigerian Player who Impregnated President’s Daughter

An unnamed Nigerian player has been sacked by his Slovenian club side for gross misconduct and indiscipline after he admitted to impregnating the Club President’s daughter.

According to a publication on the player admitted he impregnated the young lady, but considers it illegal to terminate his contract over the affair.

Here’s an excerpt of the his quotes:

” I signed a three year deal with the option of another year but last month I ran into trouble when my girlfriend who happens to be the daughter of the president said she was pregnant for me,” he said.

” The club got to know about it and summoned me for a meeting. I got there and admitted that I am responsible for the pregnancy and I was told to stay at home and not to be seen around the club premises until I am instructed to return.

” A week later I was called to the office and told that my agent has been informed about their plans to terminate my contract for gross misconduct and indiscipline. The news came to me as a surprise because I have not been found wanting in any area since I arrived the club six months ago.”

The Nigerian player says he is considering legal action at FIFA over the claims of the club that he went beyond the boundary set for players of the club.

” My agent called me up and said we should file a case with FIFA that he has a recording of the president saying my contract was terminated for having an affair with his daughter. She’s an adult for God sake, we both love each other and decided to have a child.

” Now I don’t know what will happen to her and the child since I’m back in Nigeria.

” They have forced her to block me on all social media platforms so we have not been communicating.

” The few friends I made at the club are also scared of speaking to me about her apparently they don’t want to run into trouble with the team. I’m confused right now,” he concluded.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Unai Emery Approached by Everton For Manager Job

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery was approached about the Everton job. An informal meeting was held in London and it is thought Emery wants more time to think about his next move following his dismissal as Arsenal head coach.

Emery is keen to continue improving his English as he sees England, as well as Spain and Italy, as viable options for his next job.

The Spanish coach is taking time out after Arsenal, but he does not want to wait too long and is already thinking about his next challenge.

Everton are on the hunt for a new manager after they parted ways with Marco Silva last week, with Shanghai SIPG boss Vitor Pereira believed to top the board's list.

Chairman Bill Kenwright and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri have drawn up a four-man shortlist, including Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti.

It has been confirmed to Sky Sports News Emery was desperate to sign Wilfried Zaha in the summer, as reported during the last window.

Emery also wanted to sign a central defender, and was keen on Harry Maguire - but he proved too expensive.

Man City Not Able To Compete With Top Clubs" - Pep Guardiola

Manchester City Coach Pep Guardiola is worried about his team's recent performances and believes they are not ready to compete with top clubs. Guardiola fears the gap between City and Europe's top clubs have been conceded after a shocking defeat against Manchester United in the Manchester Derby.

After the defeat on Saturday, City are now 14 points behind title rivals Liverpool.

But now the Champions League is a major priority and Guardiola is still concerned his team is not yet good enough against top clubs like Barcelona, Juventus and others.

“United had the quality to mount a tough defence and their power on counter attacks are exceptional but you just have to accept that,” said The Spaniard.

"However, such is the level we face against the likes of Liverpool, Madrid, United Juventus and are the kind of clubs we need to fight with and the fact of the matter is possibly we are not capable presently to rival them.

"Perhaps we have to live that as a club to improve, to acknowledge the truth now and improve."

"We need to continue battling until the end," Guardiola proceeded.

"Obviously, they [Liverpool] are solid. Presently it is troublesome yet we need to continue attempting.

"We are the start of December and we have different rivalries to play and different games to battle and enhance that and possibly it will help us for what's to come."

However, despite their unimpressive start to the new season, Guardiola has no plans to change the club's approach.

Manchester United centre-back eyeing top-four push - Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has the top four in his sights after Manchester United's 2-1 derby triumph at Manchester City.

Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho's Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday evening, United won by the same scoreline across town at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening thanks to a roaring start and impressive game plan.

The victory in the 179th Manchester derby moved United up to fifth and within five points of the Champions League spots after fourth-placed Chelsea fell to a surprise loss at Everton.

"I think you need to look after your own results, don't look elsewhere, keep winning games," Maguire said.

"We've won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We've got another big game next week now.

"The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving."

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial helped seal the derby success - United's third away victory against City in the league over the last five seasons.

Maguire, who became the world's most expensive defender after his £80m arrival from Leicester last summer, says United's improved offensive threat has been key to the club's upturn in form.

The 26-year-old told United's official website: "Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they're going to score goals."

"At the start of the season, we didn't really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it's a few games on the spin where we're back to scoring goals.

"They're a big threat, they're top players, great talent and I think it's all coming together now."

Everton investigate 'homophobic' chants aimed at Chelsea fans

Everton are investigating allegations of homophobic chanting during their game against Chelsea on Saturday.

Both the club and Kick It Out are working with police after receiving reports of a chant being aimed at Chelsea fans by a small section of the home crowd.

It comes a week after an incident of homophobic chanting was reported to police during West Ham's win over Chelsea.

Everton say: "Homophobia has no place within our stadium, our club, our community or our game. The club strongly condemns such behaviour and is carrying out a thorough investigation which will include liaison with Merseyside Police."

The incident stains an otherwise positive day at Everton's home, after they ended a run of three successive defeats with a 3-1 win in interim boss Duncan Ferguson's first game in charge.

But it is the second week in a row Chelsea fans have been subjected to homophobic chanting, after supporters groups of both the Blues and West Ham reported the 'continuous' abuse during their shock home defeat.

The Hammers' LGBT fans group Pride of Irons, Chelsea Pride and the Chelsea Supporters Trust also spoke out in condemnation of the chant, which has been deemed homophobic by Kick it Out.

Benik Afobe reveals huge public support after death of his daughter

Bristol City striker Benik Afobe has expressed his appreciation for the support he has received after the tragic death of his daughter.

The former Wolves forward lost his two-year-old daughter Amora last Friday following a severe infection.

Afobe, 26, was left "devastated and heartbroken" following his daughter's death but says he has been grateful for the outpouring of public support since.
"I have had to come off private on Instagram to personally make a public statement," he said.

"On behalf of Lois, my family and myself, I would like to say thank you to everyone who has messaged or prayed about the death our baby girl Amora, nine days ago.

"The support we have received is something we will never forget and it means the world to us.

"You've all given us hope and showed the world can come together at times like this and we can all be one.

"Not many know but Amora has a one-year-old sister called Alba and we will be strong for her and Amora now lives inside her little sister's heart and will drive her to grow up and be bold and brave like her older sister was."

Afobe, who is currently on loan at Bristol City from Stoke, has also thanked the football community for uniting in support for him.

Both Bristol City and Stoke wore black armbands in their respective matches on Saturday as a mark of respect towards the forward.
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Manchester City vs Manchester United: Man arrested after alleged racism at Etihad Stadium

Micah Richards, Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp have their say on racism after a Manchester City fan aimed alleged racist abuse towards Manchester United players

Greater Manchester Police have arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with allegations of racist abuse towards Manchester United players at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The 2-1 derby victory for United was marred by an altercation between Manchester City fans and United players in one of the corners of the ground, which included objects being thrown at midfielder Fred and more than one United player claiming they were racially abused.

Police and Manchester City have been investigating footage of a person making a suspected racist gesture that was circulated on social media, and on Sunday GMP confirmed they had made an arrest.

"At around 6.55pm on Saturday 7 December 2019 police were called to a report of a supporter making alleged racist gestures and sounds towards players during the Manchester City and Manchester United derby," the force said.

"A 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence and remains in custody for questioning."

Racism has no place in football or in society & we are providing support to our players who were impacted yesterday.

We will continue to combat & educate against racism & discrimination, both through our own initiative & our support of football-wide campaigns.

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Superintendent Chris Hill of the City of Manchester Division added: "I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident. Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society and I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

"We will continue to work with Manchester City and Manchester United football clubs on this incident and will investigate any other lines of enquiries."

The man's employers, infrastructure company Kier Group, say they have suspended the 41-year-old pending an investigation.

Earlier on Sunday, the Football Association confirmed they were also investigating the incident, and the equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out said they had been "inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals" during the game.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial helped Manchester United secure a 2-1 win over City but a pulsating match was overshadowed by the alleged incident off the field of play.

In a statement released shortly after full-time, City said: "The club operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."

Manchester United have said they are offering their players support, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Roy Keane and Gary Neville were among those who condemned the incident.

The incident comes on a weekend when Charlton's Lyle Taylor also highlighted racist abuse he received online via private social media messaging.