Manchester United bids to pull off an unlikely win at Bayern Munich today as they continue their attempts to salvage a poor season.
The clubs have enjoyed contrasting fortunes domestically this season, with Bayern having already retained their Bundesliga title while English champions United languish sixth in the Premier League.
All-conquering UEFA Champions League holders Bayern were expected to sweep David Moyes’ team aside in the first leg of their quarter-final at Old Trafford last week, but a spirited display from United saw them claim a 1-1 draw to take to the Allianz Arena today.
United has endured a tricky first campaign under Moyes, who replaced the legendary Alex Ferguson last July, with the club now mathematically certain to relinquish their Premier League title as they sit 17 points adrift of leaders Liverpool with five games to play.
They also look likely to miss out on qualification for the Champions League for the first time since 1995-96, as they are seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
Bayern, meanwhile, have continued to flourish under Pep Guardiola’s guidance, with the Bavarians wrapping up the German title with seven matches to spare and remaining on course to retain both their Champions League and DFB-Pokal crowns.
Bastian Schweinsteiger’s away goal last week – which levelled Nemanja Vidic’s opener – puts them in the driving seat to reach the semi-finals, although they will be without the Germany international midfielder through suspension after he was dismissed for a second bookable offence late on at Old Trafford.
However, United left-back Patrice Evra, who returns after missing the first leg due to a one-match ban, believes his side can emulate Chelsea’s 2011-12 season, when the London club finished sixth in the Premier League but won the Champions League – beating Bayern in the final.
“It was funny because all season reminded me of the Chelsea season they won the Champions League when they were not playing well in the league,” Evra said.
“I am not saying we are going to do the same but sometimes you have to be positive, so why not?
“Of course it is unusual for us to say we can save our season in one game. Now we must make sure the fans will be proud for the second leg against Bayern.”
Bayern head into the fixture with the unfamiliar feeling of losing, as a 1-0 setback at Augsburg on Saturday ended the club’s record 53-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
Guardiola shrugged off the defeat, but described the second leg with United as a “life or death match”.
CAF Mulls Super League Idea
The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.
NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players
The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough.
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents 1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated.
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach
The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt.
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said.
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..
By: Kiadum Edookor
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