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Spurs take the points at Vitality Stadium Bournemouth



Goals either side of half-time from James Maddison and Dejan Kulusevski earned Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Spurs drew first blood when Maddison bagged his first goal for the club following his summer move from Leicester City in the 15th minute.

And although the Cherries had chances to level, Sweden international Kulusevski doubled their lead midway through the second half.

Summer signing Justin Kluivert made his full Premier League debut as Cherries head coach Andoni Iraola made two changes to his starting line-up.

Kluivert, who made substitute appearances against West Ham and Liverpool, was joined by defender Lloyd Kelly, the pair replacing Marcos Senesi and Jaidon Anthony.

The visitors were forced to defend in numbers as the Cherries made an encouraging start with an early penalty appeal for a push by Cristian Romero on Dominic Solanke falling on deaf ears.

Spurs were thwarted during the early stages when Kelly cleared Son Heung-min’s low cross and Illia Zabarnyi cut out a through ball from Maddison.

Max Aarons charged down an attempt by Richarlison before Philip’s timely tackle prevented Destiny Udogie from delivering a cross from the byline.

The Cherries had a let-off after Neto’s intended pass had been intercepted, a combination of the Cherries goalkeeper and Aarons doing enough to prevent Maddison from profiting in the 15th minute.

However, the Spurs man drew first blood just two minutes later, Maddison scuffing the ball past Neto and into the bottom corner after Pape Matar Sarr had picked him out with a defence-splitting through ball.

Neto smothered after Sarr had taken aim through a crowd of players before Son fired wide of the upright after Maddison’s corner had fallen to him midway through the first half.

Antoine Semenyo, who was on target in the Cherries’ defeat against Liverpool, saw an effort blocked by Spurs defender Micky van de Ven having been teed up by Philip’s cushioned pass.

Philip then climbed at the far post to meet Ryan Christie’s free-kick, his header deflecting off Pedro Porro and landing in the grateful hands of Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Referee Tim Robinson deemed Romero’s crunching challenge on Semenyo to have been fair, much to the annoyance of the Cherries bench and supporters who were convinced it should have been a foul.

To compound their frustrations, Spurs immediately mounted a counter-attack with Milos Kerkez and Joe Rothwell both playing a part to clear their lines after Richarlison had looked to add a second.

Richarlison then headed Maddison’s free-kick into the side netting before Vicario threw himself to his left to beat away Christie’s stinging drive from the edge of the box.

Deep in first-half stoppage time, Philip curled an effort inches past the post after Kluivert’s shot had been blocked and rolled into his path around 15 yards from goal.

Cook replaced Rothwell for the start of the second half, the former Blackburn man possibly having succumbed to injury after having treatment in the first half.

Yves Bissouma and Richarlison were booked in quick succession for fouls on Semenyo and Zabarnyi, respectively, before Solanke’s inviting centre across the face of the goalmouth was eventually cleared.

Semenyo went close to levelling in the 57th minute, his first-time effort from the edge of the box flashing past the post before Philip’s shot struck Perro.

A double change on the hour saw Anthony and Hamed Traorè come on for Christie and Kluivert before Spurs made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute.

Kulusevski arrived at the near post to sweep Udogie’s cutback past Neto following a flowing move down the left by the visitors.

As the Cherries looked to halve the deficit, Anthony worked an opening but fired low into Vicario’s hands before Maddison dragging his shot wide after racing through.

Spurs substitute Ivan Perišić escaped with a yellow card after appearing to lash out at Aarons, a VAR check agreeing with referee Robinson’s decision.

Ben Davies went close to adding a third for Spurs in added time when he fired narrowly over the crossbar before Perišić’s low drive flashed past the upright.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Aarons, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Kerkez, Rothwell (Cook, h/t), Philip (Moore, 86), Christie (Traorè, 60) , Kluivert (Anthony, 60), Semenyo (Brooks, 73), Solanke.

Unused subs: Senesi, Mepham, Hill, Radu (g/k).

Booked: Kelly.

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie (Davies, 82), Sarr (Perišić, 59), Bissouma (Lo Celso, 73), Kulusevski, Maddison (Skipp, 73), Son Heung-min, Richarlison (Højbjerg, 59).

Unused subs: D Sánchez, Emerson Royal, Solomon, Forster (g/k).

Booked: Bissouma, Richarlison, Perišić.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attendance: 10,567.

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Celtic vow to break 10-year Champions League spell against Lazio




Once feared as a fortress of European football, Celtic are aiming to end a 10-year wait for a Champions League win at home when Lazio visit Parkhead on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

Brendan Rodgers wasted no time on his return as the Hoops’ manager in revealing his ambition to finally make a mark on the Champions League.

In domestic football, Celtic remain in a class of their own, having won 11 of the last 12 Scottish Premiership titles and four domestic trebles in the past six seasons.

But Rodgers was in charge during his first spell at the club the last time the Hoops won a game in Europe’s elite competition in 2017 away to Anderlecht.

After failing to qualify for the next four seasons, Celtic collected just two points from six games on their return to the Champions League last season under Ange Postecoglou despite some impressive performances.

The reality facing Rodgers was laid bare in a 2-0 defeat to Feyenoord two weeks ago.

After a bright start, the visitors were undone by red cards to new signings Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm, whose inexperience showed on their Champions League debuts.

Celtic’s business model of hoovering up young talent from around the globe at bargain prices to be developed and sold on at big profits has been highly successful for the club’s bank balance.

Financial results for last season revealed a club record pre-tax profit of £40.7 million ($50 million) for the 2022/23 season and £72 million of cash in the bank.

Rodgers could be forgiven for wishing he had, therefore, been handed more significant funds to strengthen his squad in the transfer window, especially after suffering a number of injuries to key players early in the season.

“If you look at the strategy of the club, it’s signing the younger players to develop and improve,” said the Northern Irishman. “You need quality, and you need experience, and that will obviously help and support potential that you have.

“So that’s something that hopefully, over the course of my time here, the squad can regenerate into that way.”

After spending most of his managerial career in the Premier League, Rodgers is having to readjust to living within the constraints of a budget in the small pond of Scottish football.

But he still believes Celtic are capable of far more than they have shown in recent times in European football.

The Scottish champions have not won a knockout tie beyond the qualifying stage in any European competition since 2004, during which time local rivals Rangers have reached the UEFA Cup and Europa League finals.

“We want to see if we can make an impact in Europe,” added Rodgers. “It’s always a challenge at the really highest level, but we want to go in there and see if we can progress and show our good side.”

Lazio’s own troubles give Celtic some encouragement – as does recent success against the Italians. Four years ago, they beat the Biancocelesti home and away in the Europa League group stages.

Lazio arrived in Glasgow sitting just outside the Serie A relegation zone, having won just two of their opening seven league games of the season.

And they only salvaged a point at home to Atletico Madrid in their opening Champions League game thanks to a remarkable stoppage time equaliser by goalkeeper Ivan Provider.

Maurizio Sarri’s men appear there for the taking, but that requires Celtic to rise to the Champions League challenge for the first time in a long time.

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International Friendlies: Omeruo, Iwobi, Osayi-Samuel, Moffi back to Super Eagles




Head Coach Jose Santos Peseiro has recalled defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Bright Osayi-Samuel, as well as midfielder Alex Iwobi and forward Terem Moffi to the Super Eagles’ squad for this month’s international friendly matches against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique in Portugal. The quartet were absent from the team that demolished Sao Tome and Principe in last month’s 2023 AFCON qualifier in Uyo.

Midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, of Hatayaspor FC of Turkey gets his first-ever invitation, while Peseiro has decided to retain the trio of Francis Uzoho, Adebayo Adeleye and Olorunleke Ojo in goal. Yet-to-be-capped defender Jordan Torunnarigha is also called.

Wilfred Ndidi, who captained the team against Sao Tome and Principe, as well as Raphael Onyedika and forwards Moses Simon, Ademola Lookman, Victor Osimhen, Taiwo Awoniyi and Kelechi Iheanacho have also been invited.

The Super Eagles take on the Green Falcons of Saudi Arabia in the city of Portimão, Portugal on Friday, 13th October 2023, starting at 5pm before a clash with the Mambas of Mozambique in the same city three days later.

The players are all expected to arrive in Faro, Portugal on Tuesday, 10th October.

Both encounters have been arranged as tune-up games for the Eagles ahead of the commencement of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, in which the three-time African champions host Lesotho’s Crocodiles in Uyo on 17th November before travelling away to play Zimbabwe four days later.


Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Omonia FC, Cyprus); Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba FC); Adebayo Adeleye (Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Nottingham Forest, England); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Jordan Torunarigha (KAA Gent, Belgium); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC, England); Jamilu Collins (Cardiff FC, Wales); Bruno Onyemaechi (Boavista FC, Portugal)

Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Raphael Onyedika (Club Brugge, Belgium); Joe Ayodele-Aribo (Southampton FC, England); Frank Onyeka (Brentford FC, England); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC, England); Fisayo Dele-Bashiru (Hatayaspor FC, Turkey)

Forwards: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan, Italy); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Ademola Lookman (Atalanta FC, Italy); Victor Osimhen (SSC Napoli, Italy); Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest, England); Terem Moffi (OGC Nice, France); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

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D’Tigers Storm China On Playing Tour 




Nigeria Senior Men Basketball team, D’Tigers this morning, left the country for China on a playing tour of games which began this weekend and will end on October 20th. 

 The team which failed in its quest to pick a slot for the 2024 Paris Pre-Olympic Qualifiers held in Lagos, will take part in games across different cities in China. 

Led by Coaches Abdulrahman Mohammed, Baba Jubril and Usman Yakubu, the players on the roster include, Afuwape Michael Okiki, Victor Ezeh, Timothy Kwaor, Ibe Agu, Michael Daramola and Chinedu Chimbou. 

Others are, Wisdom Anyaoha, Nnoruka Francis Junior, Chris Obekpa, Kingsley Onyekachi and Garba Chingka. 

A source within the Nigeria Basketball Federation disclosed that the playing tour is one of the several developmental programmes of the NBBF board led by its President Engr. Musa Kida. 

Adding that it is always a priority of the NBBF to continually develop the local game, while also increasing the pool of basketball talents in the country. 

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