Liverpool v Arsenal - FA Women’s Super League - Lookers Vauxhall StadiumPhoto by Nigel French/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Fingers crossed its a sign of good things ahead.

Liverpool Women ended their strong pre-season showing with a 0-0 draw against Manchester United this weekend. The Reds took on (former Liverpool player) Casey Stoney’s side at Leigh Sports Village, and the Red’s front three — Rinsola Babajide, Jess Clarke, and newly signed Amalie Thestrup — gave United exactly the kind of trouble we like to see.

Babjide and newly minted vice captain, Rachel Furness, both had some excellent chances through the game but in the end couldn’t find the back of the net. Liverpool’s defense also held up well against United, with both Rachael Laws and second-half substitute Rylee Foster, making some very good saves.

The most promising thing about Liverpool’s pre-season has been Babajide as the focal point of Liverpool’s attack, and the fact that she’s been creating the kind of chances that might see Liverpool get promoted back to the WSL next season. Earlier this month, she spoke with the club’s official website about how she felt about the relegation and the team’s path forward.

“I was so gutted about us getting relegated but now I’ve just washed that aside,” she said. “I’ve got the emotions out of it and we just need to accept we’re now in the Championship and I’m ready to fight for the team to get promoted to the WSL.

“We have to use the frustration and anger in a positive way to help us with the fight for us to come back up. We’re all focused, we’re ready.”

We’ll hopefully see that focus next week when the FA Women’s Championship season kicks off when Liverpool takes on Durham.

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Coach Caleb Esu of Nigeria Professional Football League side Dakada FC has stated that he is yet to sign a new deal with the Uyo based side after the expiration of his contract with the club.

Esu speaking in a chat with  www.brila.net said that he is in the market himself as things stand and that nothing has yet been done with regards to his future and that of a number of first-team regulars under his watch last season with about 10 players already out of the club to other clubs.
He stressed that he is available in the transfer window himself as a coach.
“I have finished the season I don’t know if I will be there next season because I must negotiate. So if a deal goes through in Dakada I stay with them and If it doesn’t go through I look elsewhere. Everybody is looking for greener pasture, football is big business and the highest bidder takes the whole. Well, I’m also in the transfer market.”

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Enugu Rangers forward Kelvin Itoya has downplayed the potential of the seemingly scary transfer activities of Nigeria Professional Football League side Rivers united over the spate of top signings made already ahead of the 2020/2021 football season. 

Itoya speaking in a chat with  www.brila.net acknowledged the weight of the signings made by the Port Harcourt based side already which included players with cognate experience of playing on the continent at one point or the other.
He, however, stressed that the signings don’t automatically translate to Rivers united been the front runner for the NPFL title next season.
“Football is practical and it’s a good development that Rivers united are assembling the best legs in the NPFL, some other clubs are signing too I think all clubs in the NPFL are also trying to beef up their team. They are signing players who have played in the continent before, they are doing a good job signing new players. I commend them for that. Signing the best legs in the league doesn’t guarantee them the league.”

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D’Tigers swingman Stanley Okoye says Nigeria can get a podium finish at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The Herbalife Gran Canaria of Spain stated in a chat with brila.net that the players believe D’Tigers are one of the world’s top teams and are determined to prove that on the global scene.
“For us, we have always talked about it. We want a medal. We have to look forward to the Olympics. We want to stay on the podium,” the 29-year-old said.
Reminiscing on D’Tigers 2019 FIBA World Cup performance in China, the US-born small forward who missed out on the 2019 Afrobasket tournament co-hosted by Tunisia and Senegal rued the team’s inability to advance from their group describing it as a missed opportunity to fight for a medal.
“At the 2019 World Cup, I felt like we had the opportunity if we had gotten out of the group stage, we would have had a decent run to get a medal.”
With D’Tigers currently ranked 23 in the world and number one in Africa, Okoye believes that a second-ever Afrobasket triumph is a distinct possibility for Nigeria.
“They know we are the best in Africa, so we have to get gold every time. If we don’t then we have fallen short,” he said.

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Kano Pillars coach, Ibrahim Musa has stated that he would prefer the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi as Pillars’ base for their home games in the CAF Confederation Cup than the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna because the former’s artificial turf is more likely to bring out the “best of Pillars”.

Pillars will be unable to host matches at their traditional home ground, the Sani Abacha Stadium, which has been temporarily repurposed as a Covid-19 isolation center.
In a chat with brila.net, Musa stated that, the club’s management is currently evaluating the suitability of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi and the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna as alternative home grounds for Pillars’ continental campaign and club chairman Surajo Shuaibu Yahaya recently secured the approval of sports ministry officials in Kaduna for Pillars to play at the Ahmadu Bello.
He noted further that, the stadium’s unfamiliar natural grass playing surface might not be best suited to his team’s playing style which is more suited to the artificial turf at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.
Musa highlighted his players’ struggles at certain grounds with natural grass pitches in the NPFL as proof that playing in Kaduna might not bode well for them.
“I’ll only advise [the Kano State government and the club chairman], I prefer Bauchi because our ground is like Bauchi, so the Kaduna training pitch is natural grass, we’re not used to the natural grass,”
“You can’t see the best of Pillars if we go to a pitch that is not good. But I don’t think Kaduna will be good during rainy season [but] if we are playing our CAF champions league in the dry season, we may get the best of it but a bad pitch, we can’t see the best of Pillars.
“If we were training normally [on a surface] like the Ahmadu Bello pitch, we can’t have problem, but our ground [at] the Sani Abacha is artificial ground and Bauchi is artificial ground, so, we are used to that.
“So, anywhere we go, if you have bad pitch you can’t see the best of Pillars. That’s why when go to [grounds] like Ifeanyiubah, Abia Warriors the pitch is natural grass so it’s not good [and] we [can’t] be at our best. We are just managing.”

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La Liga have released an official statement on the contract saga that is currently the most important issue in Lionel Messi’s future.

On Sunday morning, Messi failed to attend the PCR tests at Barcelona – a clear signal of his desire to leave the club and an attempt to put pressure on the board to reach a resolution.

 

Additionally, it has been reported that Messi’s camp believe that his release clause of €700m no longer applies, and that the Argentinean is effectively a free agent and can sign for any club he wishes.

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

With regard to the various interpretations (some of which are contradictory) published by a number of media outlets in recent days in relation to the contractual situation surrounding FC Barcelona player Lionel Andrés Messi, after having studied his contract with the club, LaLiga considers it appropriate to clarify that:

 

  • The contract is currently in force and features a release clause to be applied in the event that Lionel Andrés Messi should decide to activate the early unilateral termination of the contract, pursuant to Article 16 of the Royal Decree 1006/1985 of 26 June, which regulates the specific labour status of professional athletes.

 

  • In line with the regulations and procedures that apply in such instances, LaLiga shall not proceed with the release required for the player to be deregistered from the Spanish Football Federation unless the aforementioned clause has been paid.

 

 

 

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Super Eagles winger Moses Simon featured for his club Nantes in their 2 -1 home win over Nimes on Sunday.

Simon was deployed on the left side of Nantes attack and was harmful to the visitor’s defense all night.

 

Although the 25-year-old former Gent of Belgium forward failed to get on the scored sheet, he was impressive all through the encounter.

 

Simon lasted for 90 minutes but was replaced by Jean-Charles Castelletto in the added time.

 

Nantes got their goals through Andrei Grotto and Imran Louza who was later sent off alongside Fábio da Silva as the Christian Gourcuff finished the game with nine men.

 

Nantes now have garnered four points from possible and will be hoping to make two wins out of three when they take on Henry Onyekuru’s Monaco next week.

 

 

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Super Eagles striker Josh Maja has opened his goal account for the 2020-2021 French Ligue one season against Angers SCO on Sunday.

The former Sunderland forward was on target for Bordeaux in their 2 – 0 win over Angers SCO at the Stade Jean Bouin.

 

Maja gave Bordeaux the lead in the 25th minute, thanks to assist from former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscienly.

 

Bordeaux who were playing away from home killed the game off two minutes later after Toma Basic scored from a close range.

 

Bordeaux remain second on the table with four points from possible six points.

 

They are two points behind Nice who are topping the table with six maximum points from two matches.

 

 

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Cyriel Dessers was the villain as he missed a penalty in KRC Genk’s defeat to champions Club Brugge at the B-Veld Racing Genk Stadium on Sunday.

Dessers started the game as the lone striker in the absence of compatriot Paul Onuachu who missed the encounter.

 

Dessers was handed the opportunity to level the scores for Genk from the penalty spot, but he failed to convert from six yards.

 

His penalty missed proved costly as Genk went down 2 – 1 to the visitors who also parade Nigerian duo of Emmanuel Dennis and David Okereke.

 

Emmanuel Dennis assisted Club Brugge’s first goal on 22nd minutes, but he was later replaced in the second half by Charles De Ketelaere 15 minutes from time.

 

Youssouph Badji scored the winner for Club Brugge with seven minutes left to play on the clock, while Théo Bongonda scored Genk’s consolation goal.

 

David Okereke also started the game for Club Brugge and he featured for  90 minutes, likewise Cyriel Dessers for Genk.

 

 

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Napoli manager, Gennaro Gattuso, has warned fans against putting pressure on the new signing, Victor Osimhen, who scored a hat-trick in their pre-season friendly in L’Aquila on Friday.

 

The Serie A side continued their impressive preseason campaign with an 11-0 win over L’Aquila two days after thrashing Castel di Sangro 10-0 with the Nigerian international missing out in the first game.

 

The 21-year-old had an impressive outing, scoring a hat-trick in eight minutes but Gattuso has warned fans against getting carried away, advising them against putting pressure on his young shoulder.

 

“I’m satisfied with Victor, but let’s let him work in peace. Osimhen is integrating well, he has quality, means, he knows what he can do and if he continues to commit himself in this way can affect a lot on the pitch,” Gattuso told Radio Kiss Kiss and Skysport Italia.

 

“It’s too easy to get excited now, we’ve got to give him time and let him work, not put pressure on him.”

 

“He is an important player and we paid a lot for him, but there were no doubts he would give us something different that we haven’t had in my time here. There’s a long way to go.”

 

“It’s not like we suddenly signed Pele or Maradona, we simply brought in a player with certain characteristics that can help us.”

 

In order to accommodate Osimhen, Gattuso changed his system to a 4-2-3-1, with Hirving Lozano, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne fanning out behind the Nigerian center-forward.

 

 

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