Murray Beat Pouille To Reach Dubai Final

Andy Murray, Dubai Open, Lucas PouilleBritain’s Andy Murray outclassed Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-1 to reach his second Dubai Championships final.

The world number one, who was involved in a 31-minute tie-break in his quarter-final, struggled in the first set against seventh seed Pouille.

The pair broke each other twice before Murray took the set after 68 minutes with his third break.

The final set was a one-sided affair as Murray set up a meeting with Fernando Verdasco in Friday’s final.

Wengers’ Opinion On Manipulation Of Loan Markets

Arsene Wenger, loan marketsArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has stressed the need to address the way football clubs manipulate loan markets to stockpile talents.

The Frenchman also told the club’s website that short-term deals were essential part of a player’s education.

Wenger, who currently has 13 players out on loan, believed that the manipulation of loan markets was one of the major challenges in modern football.

“It is one of the big problems in the modern game. You’ve invested a lot of money into players because we’re paying more and more money, and then at the age of 20 you don’t usually get much for any of the players.

“So the reflex is to stockpile the players. That’s not right. When you look at the number of loans that happen here and there, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution in there.

“The first is to continue developing players, the second step is just to make sure your investment is safe, and that’s not the right way to think about it but it’s the natural reflex for the clubs,” the Gunners manager said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Premier League leaders, Chelsea currently have about 40 players on loan to other clubs.

The Blues have come under criticism for exploiting loan rules, by snapping up youngsters from various clubs before immediately sending them out to gain experience.

Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 In World Cup Qualifier

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria Trash Algeria 3-1 in UyoThe Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Desert Warriors of Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Chelsea forward Victor Moses scored Nigeria’s first goal in the 26th minute after a mix up in the Algerian defence.

Captain Mikel Obi added a second on 42 minutes after beating the offside trap set by the Algerian defence.

Nabil Bentaleb pulled one back for Algeria in the second half but Victor Moses’s 2nd goal of match wrapped up all three points for the Super Eagles.

Nigeria now have six points from the two matches played and have created a 4-point lead after Cameroon and Zambia played a 1-1 draw in the group’s other game.

Cameroon are second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria have one point each.

Georges Leekens’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of having some of the continent’s most in-form players and being ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal.

Before the match, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in the World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per Goal

Governor Udom Promises Super Eagles $10,000 Per GoalAkwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in Saturday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.

The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will host Algeria in this weekend’s biggest African qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.

Algeria, ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal, face a resurgent Group B pacesetters Nigeria at the ‘Nest of champions’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

While Algeria could not hold an early lead in a surprise 1-1 home draw with Cameroon in October, Nigeria made a perfect start by winning 2-1 in Zambia.

The Uyo showdown marks the debut of Belgian coach, Georges Leekens, the third handler of Algeria this year after Frenchman Christian Gourcoff and Serb Milovan Rajevac.

Starting Line-up

Coach Gernot Rohr has released his team list for the crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Daniel Akpeyi starts in goal while Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun and Elderson Eciejile will file out in defence.

Captain Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi will marshal the midfield while Victor Moses, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are the forwards.

The game kicks off 5pm Nigerian time.

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini Completes Crystal Palace Move

Arsenal’s Mathieu Flamini Completes Crystal Palace MoveEnglish club, Crystal Palace have completed the signing of former Arsenal midfielder, Mathieu Flamini.

The Eagles announced on Thursday on their website that the former AC Milan defensive midfielder joined the club on a contract deal until the end of the season.

He had been a free agent subsequent to his release by the Gunners in the summer.

During his seven seasons at the Emirates stadium, the 32-year-old Frenchman won three FA Cups and reached the 2006 UEFA Champions League final.

Reacting to his move, Flamini said: “Crystal Palace is a very ambitious club with great players and I am looking forward to being part of that squad.

“It is a very interesting challenge for me and I am very excited to be here.

“I have had chance to discuss the move here with Alan Pardew and he really helped me make my decision.”

On his part, Pardew, who manages Crystal Palace, stressed the need to sign an experienced midfield player to join his squad.

“I thought it was important to get another midfield player.

“His playing ability will help us but also, his leadership qualities and his ability of how to win games in a passing style.

“I am delighted that we have secured a player of his stature,” the Eagles boss said.

Schmeichel Confident Leicester City Will Defend Title

Leicester City, Kasper SchmeichelLeicester City Goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, says the Foxes will defend their English Premier League title
with the same determination they took to become winners last season.

Schmeichel told BBC on Monday that he was very sure his side would work harder to defend the title in spite of the changes witnessed by the club such as N’Golo Kante’s move to Chelsea.

“I can assure you the hunger is 100% still there. We have to go again, do exactly the same again and see where it takes us,” he said.

The 29-year-old was an ever-present figure for the Foxes in the Premier League last season.

Leicester City’s shocking title win was described as one of the greatest sporting stories.

Chelsea Move Is A Dream Come True – N’Golo

Chelsea , N'Golo KanteLatest Chelsea signing, N’Golo Kante, has described his move to the Stamford Bridge as a “dream come true”.

The former Leicester City midfielder told the club’s website that he was happy to have signed for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

“The opportunity to work with Antonio Conte, a brilliant coach, and some of the best players in the world was simply too good to turn down.

“My first season in English football was very special and now I hope to go on to achieve even more during my time as a Chelsea player,” he said.

The Frenchman, who signed a five-year contract expressed his preparedness to meet up with his new team-mates and help Chelsea achieve a lot of success.

He joins Chelsea on a five-year contract after he won the English Premier League title with Leicester City in the last EPL season.

The 25-year-old came close to adding to that success on the international stage in July, being part of the France squad that lost to Portugal at the Euro 2016 finals.

Arsenal Beat Everton To Revive Title Ambition

arsenalArsenal defeated Everton 2-0 in Saturday’s early kick off in the English Premier League.

Welbeck opened scoring in the 7th minute with Alex Iwobi doubling the lead in the 42nd minute to put Arsenal two goals up at half time.

Arsenal kept the ball for ages until Sanchez quickened things up with a short ball into Ozil. Then he took the return and slid a gentle through pass to Welbeck, who moved smoothly around the keeper to score.

The second was a simple counter-attacking goal. Bellerin curled an excellent long pass that allowed Iwobi to charge through on goal from the halfway line. He ran into the box and slid the ball through Joel’s legs and into the net.

It was Alex Iwobi’s first Premier League start.

Giroud also had a goal disallowed by Referee Mark Clattenburg in the 83rd minute. He headed Sanchez’s corner into the net from six yards, but the whistle had gone for a foul by Iwobi on Jagielka.

The gunners held on to the highly important victory which ensures that they remain third on the log, moving within eight points of Leicester City having played same number of games.

Other Results 

 

Chelsea 2 – 2 West Ham United
Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Leicester City
Watford 1 – 2 Stoke City
West Bromwich Albion 0 – 1 Norwich City
Swansea City 1 – 0 Aston Villa

Lukaku Will Be Arsenal’s Headache – Lukaku

ArsenalArsène Wenger says Romelu Lukaku will provide Arsenal with “another headache” on Saturday.

The Gunners defence faced Barcelona’s feared front three of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar on Wednesday, and will now have to deal with the Belgian international at Goodison Park.

Lukaku has scored five times in his last four appearances and Wenger has been impressed with how the striker has developed since arriving in England as an 18-year-old.

“We knew him from Belgium, but he went to Chelsea,” he said. “He then went out on loan to Everton and I expected him to go back to Chelsea. After that, we were never on the case [to sign him].

“He’s developing well – year after year he’s better. His finishing his better, technical link-up play is better. He is promising a big career, it’s always a sign when the numbers are better year after year.

“We’ve just played against Neymar, Messi and Suarez, so [Lukaku] give us another headache. Our defenders should take encouragement from the performance they put in against Barcelona.”

The Gunners head into Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against Everton 11 points behind league leaders Leicester City, but with a game in hand.

Wenger’s side have not won a league game since February 14, and the manager feels they must be pragmatic if they are to get back into the race.

“I would say we have to go step by step,” he said. “Let’s get back to winning habits first, that starts tomorrow… if we win tomorrow, we’ll see. That’s our target.

“But at the moment, the only way to achieve something special is first to be realistic and humble enough to deal first with Everton.

“Things will change until the end of the season, that’s for sure. We have to take care of our own destiny, and that’s by producing the performances we expect from ourselves.

“It’s very tight, but I believe the Premier League is far from over. We are in a position where we hope for the best. I agree that a negative result would be very bad for us, but we focus on a positive result. We know now is the time for us to produce the result we want.

“We also have to look behind us because things can change very quickly. We want to move forward, but I’m conscious that our position is not secure, even where we are.”

Arsenal Trash Hull City 4-0 In FA Cup Replay

ArsenalEnglish club, Arsenal, have beaten Hull City 4-0 in an FA Cup fifth-round replay to set up a quarter-final match against Watford.

Oliver Giroud set the pace for the Gunners as he netted the first goal in the 41st minute of the game which lasted till the end of the first half.

The Frenchman scored his second goal in the 72nd minute which gave Arsenal a hope of winning the game.

Theo Walcott remarkably sealed the win for the Gunners when he side-footed in and then rifled in a late shot in the 77th and 89th minutes as they edged Hull City out of the competition.

The Tigers had forced a replay after Arsenal failed to beat them at the Emirates Stadium.

Debuchy Unhappy With Blockage To Man Utd Move

DebuchyArsenal defender, Mathieu Debuchy, has expressed displeasure with the obstruction of his transfer to Manchester United.

The 30-year-old Frenchman said he had a transfer deadline-day loan move to the Old Trafford blocked by Arsene Wenger.

Debuchy joined Bordeaux until the end of the season on February 1, having lost his place in the Gunners side to Hector Bellerin.

“I discussed it with the coach, who said that obviously he couldn’t help out a rival,” BBC quoted him as saying.

Djokovic Wins Shanghai Masters

DjokovicNovak Djokovic continued his dominance of men’s tennis by winning the Shanghai Masters title on Sunday in straight sets.

It proved all too easy once again for the Serbian brushing aside Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 6-4 to claim his third Shanghai Masters and ninth title of the year.

Tsonga had shown his serving prowess in taking out Rafael Nadal in three tight sets in the semi-finals but against the imperious returning skills of Djokovic, he had no answers.

It was a second straight tournament Djokovic had won without dropping a set after he landed his sixth China Open title in Beijing last week.