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Nigeria Premier League

Brentford shock Chelsea to make Premier League history

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Chelsea’s revival came to a grinding halt in a 2-0 West London derby defeat to Brentford, who have become the first-ever visiting team to win each of their opening three Premier League games at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team dominated the possession and shot counters, but Thomas Frank’s side defended admirably and drew first blood through Ethan Pinnock’s powerful header, before Bryan Mbeumo doubled the Bees’ tally with seconds remaining, making the Blues pay for their worrying profligacy.

With neither Enzo Fernandez nor Mykhaylo Mudryk making the hosts’ squad due to fresh knocks, the door swung open for Noni Madueke to make his first Premier League start, and the ex-PSV Eindhoven man almost justified Pochettino’s decision with just 10 minutes gone.

While both sides enjoyed forays forward in the earliest exchanges, Chelsea countered with pace after every Brentford set piece, one of which ended with Madueke cutting in from the right and curling a sumptuous strike onto the bar with 10 minutes gone.

Pochettino’s side continued to make inroads at will, as Mark Flekken got down to his right to beat away a Conor Gallagher drive in the 12th minute, before Cole Palmer picked out the run of Marc Cucurella with a delightful inswinging delivery in the 19th minute, but the Spaniard’s tame volley landed straight into the arms of the Bees goalkeeper.

Brentford’s besieged defence continued to hold out, although Mads Roerslev was arguably fortunate not to give away a penalty for a shove on Raheem Sterling in the 24th minute, which neither Simon Hooper nor VAR official Craig Pawson deemed spot-kick worthy.

For all of Chelsea’s first-half dominance, Robert Sanchez was forced into the first meaningful action of the second half, as Mathias Jensen’s cutback into the penalty area landed at the feet of Vitaly Janelt in the 50th minute, but the German could only shoot straight at the Blues goalkeeper.

However, the hosts’ early profligacy would eventually come back to haunt them, as with 58 minutes gone, Mbeumo lifted an inviting delivery to the back post, where Pinnock surged beyond a jumbled Chelsea defence and directed a bullet header past a stranded Sanchez.

The same old story befell Chelsea as the Blues searched for an equaliser, with Pochettino’s men stringing together several slick passing sequences in and around the Brentford box before a mishit final ball killed the attack, although the visitors’ defensive masterclass more than played its part too.

Chelsea frustrations soon boiled over on the sidelines, as Pochettino’s assistant Jesus Perez was given a red card – seemingly for something he said towards the Brentford dugout – and his dismissal would only mark the beginning of a chaotic 90th minute.

As Chelsea failed to make the most of a set-piece again, Brentford launched a four-on-one counter-attack, which ended with Sanchez bravely thwarting substitute Yegor Yarmolyuk before Mbeumo fired just wide of the post a few seconds later.

Sanchez then came up for a last-minute corner as Chelsea rolled the dice one last time, but the goalkeeper’s risky endeavour backfired and then some, as Neal Maupay broke away on the counter-attack, shook off the backtracking Sanchez and slid in Mbeumo to tap home into an empty net.

Brentford and their ecstatic fans celebrated with a few Jurgen Klopp-esque fist pumps, as the Bees snapped their six-game winless run in all tournaments to rise to 10th in the table, leapfrogging Chelsea – who have only won one of their last 13 league home games – in the process.

The Bees have a week to recuperate before they tackle another London counterpart in West Ham United next Saturday, while Chelsea seek a spot in the EFL Cup fourth-round when they battle Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday.

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Nigeria Premier League

Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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Nigeria Premier League

Lagos State FA Congratulates Madiba, Inter Lagos, Ikorodu City, On NNL Play-offs Tickets

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The Lagos State Football Association ably led by Hajji Gafar Liameed, has congratulated the trio of Lagos State based football clubs, Madiba

The Lagos State Football Association ably led by Hajji Gafar Liameed, has congratulated the trio of Lagos State based football clubs, Madiba FC, Inter Lagos and Ikorodu City, for qualifying for the NNL Super 8 payoffs.

In the press statement, Hajji Gafar Liameed described the qualification of the teams, as remarkable and very commendable.

“Lagos State Football Association, the stakeholders and indeed, all lovers of the game are very happy over the feats of these teams, and of course, what it portends for the development of the game in Lagos State.

“As we earnestly look forward to big time and top level football matches in Lagos State in the next season, Lagos FA, shall continue to give technical and every other necessary supports to all clubs, for the benefits of game in the state.”

The board of the Lagos State Football Association, also expresses its profound appreciation to the Lagos State Government and its agencies, including the Lagos State Sports Commission, for providing the enabling environment for social activities and particularly, football to thrive in the state.

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Nigeria Premier League

Stormers FC will return to NNL soonest, Olopade Assures

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The Chairman / proprietor of Stormers Sports Club of Abeokuta, Chief Bukola Olopade, has promised that with proper restructuring, planning and complete dedication of the players and coaches of the team, the relegated Nigeria National League club will return to the professional league cadre, sooner than expected.

Stormers SC, at the end of the concluded NNL 2023/2024 season were relegated to the lower Nationwide League after ammassing a meagre 24 points in 22 matches in the Group A of the NNL.

The team’s below par NNL outing only saw them winning 7 matches, lost 12 and drew three games, only good enough for the bottom third position in a league of 12 teams.

Stormers SC scored 16 and conceded 10 goals, a performance not good enough to keep the team in the professional league, when compared with the NNL Group A Champions, Madiba FC, that finished with 40 points with the same number of matches in the league, won 18 games, lost 6 and drew 6.

Olopade, a former Commissioner of Youth and Sports in Ogun State, stated that, by all standards, Stormers SC’s performance was not befitting enough and he doesn’t have any option than to make positive changes in the team that would lead them to greatness.

Olopade said on Monday in his office in Lagos that: “The relegation of Stormers SC from the professional NNL to the amateur Nationwide, is failure on the part of the technical crew and the players.”

He noted that, with the new plan for the club ahead of the 2024/2025 campaign, he would ensure Stormers Sports Club return to the NNL sooner than anyone expects. Adding that :”The goal of the team is to get promoted back to the NNL and in record time step up to the premier league and play prominently in the Nigeria Professional Football League. I believe strongly this is possible with hard work and investment in young players who will believe their future is in the team.”

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