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Champions League: Why I’m not angry with Mbappe for snubbing Real Madrid – Benzema

Real Madrid captain, Karim Benzema, has said he is not angry Kylian Mbappe snubbed a move to the club to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

Benzema, however, admitted he wanted his compatriot to join him in the Spanish capital.

Mbappe was widely expected to sign for the LaLiga champions as a free agent this summer.

But the 23-year-old opted to commit to PSG for another three years, sparking outrage among some figures in La Liga.

But Benzema told Canal+: “It was a long year for him, he had to decide.

“It’s his choice, I wish him the best although, as I said before, I would have liked him to play at Real Madrid.”

He continued to Movistar+: “I prefer not to talk. I’m not angry, I can just tell you that I’m focused on the Champions League final [against Liverpool on Saturday] which is more important than listening to anything else.

“Now is not the time to talk about these little things.”

News Sports

Premier League approves Todd Boehly’s takeover of Chelsea

 

Todd Boehly’s proposed takeover of Chelsea moved a step closer to completion on Tuesday when the Premier League board announced it had approved his purchase of the London club.

A consortium led by Boehly, a co-owner of baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, had already agreed a £4.25 billion ($5.3 billion) deal to buy the Premier League club from owner Roman Abramovich on May 7.

And a Premier League statement said Tuesday, “The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake Consortium.

“The purchase remains subject to the (British) Government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.”

Russian billionaire Abramovich put Chelsea on the market in early March, just before he was sanctioned by the British government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Completing the purchase has been a lengthy process due to government concerns over the potential for Abramovich to profit from the sale.

There had been fears the takeover would collapse because of the £1.5 billion debt owed by Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam Ltd, to Camberley International Investments, a Jersey-based company with suspected links to Abramovich.

Abramovich, who has said he has not asked for his loan to be repaid, is understood to have provided confirmation to the government that his associate, Demetris Ioannides, has resigned from the trust owning Camberley International.

Earlier on Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the government were working with “international partners” to get the deal done.

The Premier League statement added: “The board has applied the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT) to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

“The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

“Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant Governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover.”

Chelsea have been forced to operate under a special licence from the UK government since Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003, was sanctioned.

Under the terms of the licence, Chelsea were unable to offer new contracts to existing players or sign players from other clubs.

The sale of the European champions brings the curtain down on 19 years of nearly unbroken success under the 55-year-old Abramovich, who has overseen five Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.

News Sports

Ballon d’ Or 2022: Organizers announce date to unveil Messi’s successor, others

 

Ballon d’Or organizers, France Football, have announced this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony will be held on October 17, 2022.

 

It also announced that the lists of candidates for the succession of Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas would be unveiled on August 12.

 

The Ballon d’ Or organizers disclosed this in a post via its website on Tuesday.

 

Recall that Messi won the Men’s Ballon d’ Or last year, while Putellas won the female’s award.

 

Meanwhile, the Kopa Trophy for the best young player and the Yachine Trophy for the best goalkeeper will be revealed on August 12.

 

Recall that Barcelona’s Pedri and Paris-Saint-Germain’s Gianluigi Donnarumma won the awards last year.

News Sports

Uzoho dispels Super Eagles quit rumour

Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has debunked reports that he is not willing to represent his country again.

Uzoho came under intense criticism after he committed a blunder in Nigeria’s 1-1 home draw against eternal rivals, Ghana in a 2022 FIFA World Cup playoffs in March.

The Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus goalie allowed Thomas Partey’s long-range effort to slip through his hand early in the first half.

Although the Super Eagles rallied back with defender William Troost-Ekong equalising from the penalty spot, they were eliminated on the away goal rule.

There were reports in the media on Monday that Uzoho, who was left out of Nigeria’s squad for the upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Ecuador, has quit international football.

The former Deportivo La Coruna star has however poured cold water on the speculation.

“I’m committed to playing for my dear country anytime I’m called up,” Uzoho told the Super Eagles media team.

The 23-year-old has 18 caps for the Super Eagles.

News Sports

Mexico arrive US for Super Eagles friendly

The El Tri of Mexico arrived in Dallas, United States of America on Tuesday morning ahead of their international friendly against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Gerardo Martino’s men will take on the West Africans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Saturday.

The players and their officials were received on arrival by their supporters based in the USA.

The team will train later in the day as they intensify preparations ahead of the highly anticipated friendly.

The North Americans have also lined up friendlies against Uruguay and Ecuador as part of their tour of the USA.

Mexico and Nigeria have met seven times in the past, four of which have ended in draws.

The most recent game was a resounding 4-0 mauling of Nigeria by El Tri at the Memorial Coliseum Stadium in Los Angeles, California, in July 2021.

News Sports

CAF expels Kenya, Zimbabwe from AFCON 2023 qualifiers

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that both the Harambee Star, Kenya and Warriors of Zimbabwe will not participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The race for Cote d’Ivoire 2023 will begin on June 1.

Kenya and Zimbabwe were suspended by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) for political interference.

They were included in the official draw by CAF on the condition that the suspension must be lifted two weeks before their first games in the qualifiers.

The two countries has, however, failed to meet the criteria required by the FIFA Congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspension.

“The two associations: Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) will be considered losers and eliminated from the competition,”CAF said in a statement on their official website.

“Groups C and K will be composed only of three teams and the order of the matches will be maintained in accordance with the match schedule that has been communicated to the teams after the draw.

“The first and runner-up teams of those groups will qualify to the final tournament,” it said.

News Sports

EPL: Chelsea takeover to be approved within 24 hours

The UK government is set to approve the Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of Chelsea within the next 24 hours, according to Sky Sports.

This came after legal guarantees that current owner Roman Abramovich will not benefit from the sale of the Premier League club.

Chelsea will be sold in a deal believed to be around £4.25bn.

It is understood the proceeds of the sale will go into a frozen bank account controlled by the government.

Abramovich has also been sanctioned by the European Union and, as he has a Portuguese passport, the sale has to be approved by the Portuguese authorities.

It is expected the deal will be signed off on Tuesday.

The deal will bring an end to the Russian’s 19-year ownership of Chelsea, during which the Blues won 21 trophies including five Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues.

News Sports

Football is the only sport that has the power to transmit emotions and give desire – Edouard Mendy

Senegal and Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, says football has the power to transmit and instil values in young people.

According to the shot-stopper, the sport brings lots of people together at a given time more than any other sport.

Mendy was speaking during a panel session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting which happened in Davos, Switzerland.

“Football is a sport which brings together more people than any onetime than any other sport. I think we’ve all seen that as you said, football has the power to transmit and instil values in young people,” he said.

“They see us like some example, as role models and so I think when you see African players – people like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, who really play at the highest possible level, we talk about the world’s best players, not the best African players and I think this is what we need to focus on.

“These are true examples, true role models and they give hope to young people. They give them the desire and they transmit emotions. It’s football which has that power and it is the only sport that has that power.”

The panel was moderated by CAF president and FIFA vice-president, Patrice Motsepe and also included, two-time FIFA World Cup winner Ronaldo, Arsenal Wenger, Jill Ellis and Hassan Al Thawadi.

News Sports

DOL: Heart of Lions blame poor internet for fielding unqualified player against Kotoku Royals

Oda-based side, Kotoku Royals have moved to the top spot in Zone Three of Ghana’s Division One League after being awarded three points and three goals following their protest win against Heart of Lions.

According to Heart of Lions, poor internet connectivity forced them to field an unqualified player in their game with Kotoku Royals two months ago.

Lions pleaded guilty to the offence and asked for leniency per the words of the Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee.

Kotoku Royals, who are backed by Eastern Region RFA chairman, Linford Asamoah Boadu, petitioned the Ghana FA to take action against Lions for fielding Abdul Mohammed Musah – an unqualified player – in their Division One League matchday 18 meeting in Zone Three.

Kotoku Royals lost 1-0 at home to the Lions, who were in serious contention for promotion back to the top division.

In their defence, Lions admitted: ” that the player was suspended for the said match and the Club was duly noted that he was unavailable for the match. The club further stated that they unintentionally selected the player and couldn’t edit the team sheet because of internet challenges in Akyem Oda and were forced to use the player.”

But, the Disciplinary Committee didn’t admit their defence and found them guilty of the offence.

The decisions of the DC read as follows.

1. That the protest filed by Kotoku Royals FC shall succeed.

2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Heart of Lions FC shall
be considered as having lost the match in accordance with Articles 33(2)
and 34(12) and accordingly, three points and three (3) goals are hereby
awarded in favour of Kotoku Royals FC.

3. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC shall lose
three (3) points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous
matches pursuant to Article 33(5)(a) of the Division One League
Regulations.

4. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC is hereby
fined Two Thousand and Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,500.00) payable
to the GFA, 50% of which shall be paid to Kotoku Royals FC pursuant to
Article 33(5)(b) of the Division One League Regulations.

5. That the fines mentioned above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen
(14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Heart of Lions FC shall
forfeit their subsequent matches after the said deadline.

6. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision,
the party has within one (1) day of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to
the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association.

The ruling now means, Kotoku Royals now move to 56 points, a point above Tema Youth and Liberty Professionals on the league table in the chase for promotion.

News Sports

Football is the only sport that has the power to transmit emotions and give desire – Edouard Mendy

Senegal and Chelsea goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, says football has the power to transmit and instil values in young people.

According to the shot-stopper, the sport brings lots of people together at a given time more than any other sport.

Mendy was speaking during a panel session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting which happened in Davos, Switzerland.

“Football is a sport which brings together more people than any onetime than any other sport. I think we’ve all seen that as you said, football has the power to transmit and instil values in young people,” he said.

“They see us like some example, as role models and so I think when you see African players – people like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, who really play at the highest possible level, we talk about the world’s best players, not the best African players and I think this is what we need to focus on.

“These are true examples, true role models and they give hope to young people. They give them the desire and they transmit emotions. It’s football which has that power and it is the only sport that has that power.”

The panel was moderated by CAF president and FIFA vice-president, Patrice Motsepe and also included, two-time FIFA World Cup winner Ronaldo, Arsenal Wenger, Jill Ellis and Hassan Al Thawadi.

News Sports

DOL: Heart of Lions blame poor internet for fielding unqualified player against Kotoku Royals

Oda-based side, Kotoku Royals have moved to the top spot in Zone Three of Ghana’s Division One League after being awarded three points and three goals following their protest win against Heart of Lions.

According to Heart of Lions, poor internet connectivity forced them to field an unqualified player in their game with Kotoku Royals two months ago.

Lions pleaded guilty to the offence and asked for leniency per the words of the Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee.

Kotoku Royals, who are backed by Eastern Region RFA chairman, Linford Asamoah Boadu, petitioned the Ghana FA to take action against Lions for fielding Abdul Mohammed Musah – an unqualified player – in their Division One League matchday 18 meeting in Zone Three.

Kotoku Royals lost 1-0 at home to the Lions, who were in serious contention for promotion back to the top division.

In their defence, Lions admitted: ” that the player was suspended for the said match and the Club was duly noted that he was unavailable for the match. The club further stated that they unintentionally selected the player and couldn’t edit the team sheet because of internet challenges in Akyem Oda and were forced to use the player.”

But, the Disciplinary Committee didn’t admit their defence and found them guilty of the offence.

The decisions of the DC read as follows.

1. That the protest filed by Kotoku Royals FC shall succeed.

2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Heart of Lions FC shall
be considered as having lost the match in accordance with Articles 33(2)
and 34(12) and accordingly, three points and three (3) goals are hereby
awarded in favour of Kotoku Royals FC.

3. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC shall lose
three (3) points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous
matches pursuant to Article 33(5)(a) of the Division One League
Regulations.

4. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC is hereby
fined Two Thousand and Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,500.00) payable
to the GFA, 50% of which shall be paid to Kotoku Royals FC pursuant to
Article 33(5)(b) of the Division One League Regulations.

5. That the fines mentioned above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen
(14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Heart of Lions FC shall
forfeit their subsequent matches after the said deadline.

6. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision,
the party has within one (1) day of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to
the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association.

The ruling now means, Kotoku Royals now move to 56 points, a point above Tema Youth and Liberty Professionals on the league table in the chase for promotion.

News Sports

DOL: Kotoku Royals go top of Zone Three after winning protest against Heart of Lions

Oda-based side, Kotoku Royals have moved to the top of the table of Zone Three of Ghana’s Division One League after being awarded three points and three goals following their protest win against Heart of Lions.

According to Heart of Lions, poor internet connectivity forced them to field an unqualified player in their game with Kotoku Royals two months ago.

 Lions pleaded guilty to the offence and asked for leniency per the words of the Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee.

Kotoku Royals, who are backed by Eastern Region RFA chairman, Linford Asamoah Boadu, petitioned the Ghana FA to take action against Lions for fielding Abdul Mohammed Musah – an unqualified player – in their Division One League matchday 18 meeting in Zone Three.

Kotoku Royals lost 1-0 at home to the Lions, who were in serious contention for promotion back to the top division.

In their defence, Lions admitted: ” that the player was suspended for the said match and the Club was duly noted that he was unavailable for the match. The club further stated that they unintentionally selected the player and couldn’t edit the team sheet because of internet challenges in Akyem Oda and were forced to use the player.”

But, the Disciplinary Committee didn’t admit their defence and found them guilty of the offence.

The decisions of the DC read as follows.

1. That the protest filed by Kotoku Royals FC shall succeed.

2. That having been found to have forfeited the match, Heart of Lions FC shall
be considered as having lost the match in accordance with Articles 33(2)
and 34(12) and accordingly, three points and three (3) goals are hereby
awarded in favour of Kotoku Royals FC.

3. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC shall lose
three (3) points from the club’s accumulated points from their previous
matches pursuant to Article 33(5)(a) of the Division One League
Regulations.

4. That in addition, being the defaulting club, Heart of Lions FC is hereby
fined Two Thousand and Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢2,500.00) payable
to the GFA, 50% of which shall be paid to Kotoku Royals FC pursuant to
Article 33(5)(b) of the Division One League Regulations.

5. That the fines mentioned above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen
(14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Heart of Lions FC shall
forfeit their subsequent matches after the said deadline.

6. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision,
the party has within one (1) day of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to
the Appeals Committee of the Ghana Football Association.

The ruling now means, Kotoku Royals now move to 56 points, a point above Tema Youth and Liberty Professionals on the league table in the chase for promotion.

News Sports

PSG: I understand your disappointment but I want to stay in France – Mbappe to Real Madrid

 

Paris Saint-Germain forward, Kylian Mbappe has told Real Madrid he understood their disappointment but insisted it was not the right time for him to leave his country.

 

Real Madrid and their supporters all over the world were disappointed at the weekend after the 23-year-old Frenchman turned them down and decided to extend his stay in Paris.

 

Mbappe addressed the press on Monday, following the French forward’s contract extension until 2025.

 

The player repeated multiple times that he did not want to join Real Madrid because he did not feel it was the right moment of his life to leave France.

 

“I didn’t think this was the right time for me to leave the country where I have grown up and where I’m from,” he stated.

 

“I appreciate all the effort Real Madrid made, doing all they could to make me happy. I am grateful for their love and I understand their disappointment.

 

“Like I said, I am French and, as a French man, I wanted to stay here. I am happy with my decision.

 

“I am looking to the near future. I don’t know what’ll happen in three years.”

News Sports

PSG: Mbappe clarifies rumours of taking over club’s captaincy

Paris Saint-Germain forward, Kylian Mbappe has rubbished claims he was offered the club’s captaincy to stay in Paris.

There were claims that PSG might try to convince the 23-year-old to stay by offering him the captain’s armband, but he dismissed that notion.

“Marquinhos is the captain, that’s not my priority right now,” he replied when asked about that,” Mbappe told the French media on Monday while fielding questions about his decision to turn down Real Madrid and remain in Paris.

“I don’t need to be the captain to make an impact on the pitch.”

Speaking about the timing of his announcement to confirm his decision, the Frenchman revealed that he and the club had wanted to make it even more of a surprise than it was.

“I made my decision last week, but I didn’t tell my teammates, as the club didn’t want me to,” he stated.

“It was supposed to be a surprise, although some people found out the information.

“I then called Florentino Perez, who I have a lot of respect for.”

News Sports

EPL: You’re imbeciles – Simon Jordan slams Man City fans after title win

Former Crystal Palace owner, Simon Jordan, has slammed Manchester City fans who invaded the Etihad pitch on Sunday, describing them as imbeciles.

It was a tough battle for Manchester City on Sunday as they could only wait for Ilkay Gundogan to come off the bench and produce incredible comebacks on the final day of the season to secure the Premier League title for Pep Guardiola’s side.

From the first half until deep into the second half, City were 2-0 down and heading for second place until Gundogan came from the bench and saved the day.

Rodri levelled for City before Gundogan again completed a six-minute comeback that won the title for the Pep Guardiola side.

Liverpool finished the league season on 92 points, just one behind City, and the Germany international praised and commiserated with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And immediately after the final whistle at Etihad fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their victory, still, Jordan believes Manchester City should have done more to prevent a pitch invasion.

This was after two men were arrested for being involved in the attack on Aston Villa’s goalkeeper after the Premier League title triumph.

“The Man City fans are imbeciles for going on the pitch!” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“City [should have said] they would not bring the Premier League trophy out.”

News Sports

EPL: Prize money for Manchester City after winning title revealed

 

The prize money for Manchester City after winning the 2021/22 Premier League title has been revealed.

 

Manchester City, on Sunday, clinched the Premier League title after beating Aston Villa 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

 

A brace from Ilkay Gundogan and a strike from Rodri ensured Man City defeated Aston Villa to retain the Premier League title.

 

According to AS, Pep Guardiola’s side will collect a tidy enough £44 million ($54.4 million) from the Premier League for winning the title.

 

It’s a sliding scale from there down £38.8 million ($40 million) to the team that finishes rock bottom, who take an extra £2.2 million ($2.7 million) as they trundle down to the Championship.

 

However, all clubs in the Premier League will take the same central share from television rights and commercial revenue from the £2.5 billion prize pot.

News Sports

EPL: You’re imbeciles – Simon Jordan slams Man City fans after title win

Former Crystal Palace owner, Simon Jordan, has slammed Manchester City fans who invaded the Etihad pitch on Sunday, describing them as imbeciles.

It was a tough battle for Manchester City on Sunday as they could only wait for Ilkay Gundogan to come off the bench and produce incredible comebacks on the final day of the season to secure the Premier League title for Pep Guardiola’s side.

From the first half until deep into the second half, City were 2-0 down and heading for second place until Gundogan came from the bench and saved the day.

Rodri levelled for City before Gundogan again completed a six-minute comeback that won the title for the Pep Guardiola side.

Liverpool finished the league season on 92 points, just one behind City, and the Germany international praised and commiserated with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And immediately after the final whistle at Etihad fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their victory, still, Jordan believes Manchester City should have done more to prevent a pitch invasion.

This was after two men were arrested for being involved in the attack on Aston Villa’s goalkeeper after the Premier League title triumph.

“The Man City fans are imbeciles for going on the pitch!” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“City [should have said] they would not bring the Premier League trophy out.”

News Sports

Transfer: Liverpool make first signing after losing EPL title to Manchester City

Liverpool on Monday confirmed that Fabio Carvalho would join the club this summer.

The Reds made the announcement in a statement via its website after losing the 2021/22 Premier League title to Manchester City on Sunday.

The statement read: “Liverpool FC can confirm Fabio Carvalho will join the club this summer.

“The 19-year-old forward will officially complete a switch to the Reds on July 1.

“Carvalho played a key role in Fulham’s promotion back to the Premier League in 2021-22, scoring ten goals and providing eight assists in 36 games as Marco Silva’s side won the Championship title.”

Carvalho had featured for the Cottagers in the top flight on four occasions in the previous season.

The 19-year-old made his debut for Portugal U21s in March of this year, having previously represented England at the youth level.

He came through the academy ranks at Fulham and went on to make 44 senior appearances in total for the London club.

News Sports

Five key moments that won Man City the Premier League

Manchester City are champions of England for a fourth time in five years after holding off Liverpool in a titanic tussle for the Premier League title.

City’s failure to land a natural striker to replace Sergio Aguero cast doubt on their title credentials as Liverpool and Chelsea strengthened their squads with eyes on the crown.

Pep Guardiola’s men again proved to be well-suited to the marathon grind of a 38-game season, but needed to summon the spirit of champions to seal the deal on the final day.

Trailing 2-0 to Aston Villa with 14 minutes remaining, City needed to score three times to avoid a trophyless season and pulled it off thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double either side of Rodri’s strike.

SuperSport.com looks at five defining moments that swung the title race City’s way:

CHELSEA PUT IN THEIR PLACE

Chelsea had City’s number towards the end of last season, beating them three times in three different competitions, culminating in lifting the Champions League in Porto.

The Blues were expected to carry that momentum into a title challenge and started the season strongly.

City were three points behind Chelsea and Liverpool when they travelled to Stamford Bridge in early September having dropped points in two of their first five games.

However, Guardiola’s men laid down a marker with a dominant display that deserved a more comprehensive result than their 1-0 victory.

The same day, Liverpool were held 3-3 at Brentford to nullify the impact of City’s slow start.

WINTER WINS

Fans were back in the stands all season but coronavirus still had a major impact as outbreaks among squads led to mass postponements in the winter months.

City were one of the few clubs to escape without a single match being rearranged and produced a 12-game winning run between November and February that took the title race away from the chasing pack.

Rodri’s 92nd-minute winner at Arsenal in an early kick-off on January 1 amid a packed schedule was the stuff that champions are made of.

But there was plenty of the exhilarating football Guardiola’s sides are synonymous with too as Leeds were dispatched 7-0, Leicester hit for six and Newcastle and Norwich thrashed 4-0.

LIVERPOOL PAY PENALTY AT LEICESTER

As City motored through the festive period, Liverpool’s title bid came off the rails.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost just three of 62 games all season that kept their bid for an unprecedented quadruple alive into the final week of the campaign.

However, one of them came in the most unlikely circumstances at Leicester on December 28.

The postponement of Liverpool’s Boxing Day game with Leeds had given Klopp’s men a rare six-day rest amid the busiest time of the English football calendar.

Leicester, by contrast, had lost 6-3 at City only 48 hours previously and were severely weakened by injuries and Covid cases.

Mohamed Salah missed a Premier League penalty for the first time in four years before Ademola Lookman gave Leicester an unlikely 1-0 win.

Draws at Tottenham and Chelsea either side of Liverpool’s trip to the King Power allowed City to move 12 points ahead on New Year’s Day.

‘TITLE DECIDER’ STALEMATE SUITS CITY

Liverpool’s stunning form in 2022 gave Klopp’s men the chance to leapfrog City when the top two faced off at the Etihad in early April.

But City maintained a one-point lead at the top after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Guardiola bemoaned his side had left the Reds “alive” after missing the best chances to win the game.

However, ultimately it proved to be a vital point in retaining the title.

NO HAMMER BLOW

Liverpool’s first dropped points at Anfield since October in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham allowed City to extend their lead to three points going into the final two games of the season.

But they twice nearly threw it away by falling behind 2-0 to both West Ham and Aston Villa.

Jarrod Bowen punished an injury-decimated City defence scoring twice for the Hammers before Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal’s own goal did enough to salvage a point and keep the destiny of the title in their own hands.

City did not learn their lesson as Villa also counter-attacked to good effect to take a 2-0 lead at the Etihad on Sunday.

This time Gundogan was the hero off the bench to spark scenes reminiscent of Aguero’s 93rd minute title winner to start City’s era of dominance 10 years ago.

News Sports

DOL: Samartex secures Premier League qualification with three games to spare

Samartex 1996 FC gained qualification to the Ghana Premier League (GPL) for the 2022/2022 season after finishing as Zone Two winners following a 0-0 stalemate against Swedru All Blacks in match week 27 of the 2021/22 league season.

Samartex has 58 points from 26 matches prior to match week 27, with a game in hand for which the points have been forfeited in their favor pending official confirmation. The table-toppers were reportedly awarded the points after their opponents failed to show up for the game which was scheduled to be played at Samereboi.

With just three games to go, Samartex will boast 61 points should they officially be awarded points for the forfeited game.

Samartex currently leads the Zone Two league standings with 58 points, but ruling from the game in hand will take them to a total of 61 points in 27 games before the last three games. With 51 points from 26 games, the Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs are presently second on the log.