Rooney Inspires Man Utd Steamroll Over Leverkusen …As Day 1 Records 30 Goals
David Moyes began his Champions League campaign as Manchester United manager with victory against Bayer Leverkusen on a night Wayne Rooney scored his 200th goal for the club.
Rooney’s early volley opened the scoring but Simon Holfes levelled via a Michael Carrick deflection.
Robin van Persie restored United’s lead before Rooney pounced on a defensive lapse to coolly finish for his brace.
Antonio Valencia added the fourth but then Omer Toprak halved the deficit.
Bayern Munich also got their European title defence off to a winning start as they recorded a straightforward 3-0 victory at home to CSKA Moscow.
A win for the hosts never looked in doubt and they found themselves ahead within the opening five minutes as the talented David Alaba fired a free-kick in from a central position, while Mario Mandzukic added a second with a header just before half-time.
Arjen Robben wrapped up the three points 22 minutes from time after a lovely assist by Alaba, thus securing a win in Pep Guardiola’s first UEFA Champions League outing in charge of the German club.
Guardiola’s men strolled to a similarly comfortable 2-0 win over Hannover at the weekend and the coach made only one change to that team as Dante replaced Daniel Van Buyten at centre-back.
The Russians also came into the game fresh from a domestic victory over Rostov, but the win came at a cost as Alan Dzagoev and Zoran Tosic both picked up injuries, meaning Aleksandrs Cauna and Steven Zuber took their respective places.
Manchester City got their Champions League campaign off to a confident start as they beat Czech side Viktoria Plzen 3-0 thanks to strikes by Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
After a nervous first half, Manuel Pellegrini’s side went ahead when Dzeko finished a break after 48 minutes.
Within 10 minutes City were 3-0 up as Toure curled in from 25 yards and then Aguero fired in after a smart turn.
Plzen came closest when Tomas Horava hit the post from a corner.
Aguero also hit the post in the first half, while Dzeko and Toure should both have headed in, but it was a welcome victory for City who recorded their first win in seven Champions League games.
In Greece, Thiago Motta’s second-half brace helped Paris Saint-Germain to an impressive 4-1 win away to Olympiacos at the Karaiskakis Stadium.
Vladimir Weiss cancelled out Edinson Cavani’s opener with a fine individual effort in the first half, before Motta headed home from two Ezequiel Lavezzi corners to put the visitors in control.
Young debutant Marquinhos added a fourth in the remaining few minutes, in what was eventually a convincing win for Laurent Blanc’s side in their UEFA Champions League opener.
Olympiacos made three changes from the side that beat Xanthi at the weekend, with Javier Saviola, Kostas Manolas and Leandro Salino making way for Giannis Maniatis, Alejandro Dominguez and Dimitrios Siovas.
The Ligue 1 outfit handed a debut to 19-year-old Marquinhos, who was drafted in for the injured Alex.
Javier Pastore was ruled out with a foot injury, while Cavani was welcomed back to the starting line-up having been named on the bench for the weekend win over Bordeaux.
Jorge Jesus’ UEFA Champions League dream got off to a solid start as Benfica beat Anderlecht 2-0 in Group C on Tuesday.
First-half goals from Filip Djuricic and Luisao gave the home side an early advantage that they were not prepared to relinquish, and they now find themselves comfortably off the mark in a tough group.
With Paris-Saint Germain and Olympiacos still to come, Anderlecht now face a tough task to bounce back after struggling against their hosts.
For Jesus, who watched his men fall to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2012, the result represented an ideal home start.
Despite a number of injuries, the 59-year-old named a strong line-up, with 19-year-old Lazar Markovic, who was heavily linked with Chelsea in the close-season, leading their attack.
Meanwhile, Anderlecht manager John van den Brom also opted to showcase youth in his side, with 16-year-old Youri Tielemans named on the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to an opening-day UEFA Champions League triumph as they beat Galatasaray 6-1 in Istanbul.
The Portugal international scored a second-half hat-trick to seal an emphatic win, with Isco and a Karim Benzema double completing the three points.
Isco opened the scoring after controlling a perfect pass from Angel di Maria before netting his fourth goal in nine Champions League starts.
Benzema added a second early in the second half after more good work from Di Maria, the France international emphatically firing past Fernando Muslera to end the game as a contest.
Ronaldo’s quick double came just before Benzema added his second from close range, while Umut Bulut added a late consolation for the visitors before Ronaldo sealed the win following a mazy run.
Five players – including Wesley Sneijder and Muslera – returned to the Galatasaray starting line-up having been rested for the draw with Antalyaspor on Friday, with Fatih Terim partnering Burak Yilmaz and Didier Drogba in attack.
Carlo Ancelotti also made changes to his side from the 2-2 draw with Villarreal, recalling experienced goalkeeper Iker Casillas while Di Maria replaced Gareth Bale.
Unfortunately for Casillas, his game came to a premature end when he clashed with Sergio Ramos. The Spain goalkeeper tried to carry on but had to be replaced by Diego Lopez in the 14th minute with a back injury.
Lopez was called upon just before the half-hour mark as Melo got to a left-wing cross in front of his marker. His header looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Lopez to dive to his left to keep it out.
Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Copenhagen after dominating much of their opening UEFA Champions League encounter in Denmark.
Nicolai Jorgensen gave the hosts the lead in the 15th minute in the Group B clash before Fabio Quagliarella levelled the scores 10 minutes into the second half.
It was scant reward for a Juventus side that enjoyed much more of the ball and created far better chances, only for wasteful finishing to deny Antonio Conte’s side.
Stale Solbakken made one change from the side that drew 1-1 with Esbjerg at the weekend, Igor Vetokele making way for Daniel Braaten.
Conte made three changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Inter, with Angelo Ogbonna, Federico Peluso and Quagliarella coming in for Andrea Barzagli, Kwadwo Asamoah and Mirko Vucinic.
The Italian champions had the first effort of note in the fifth minute, Carlos Tevez meeting Andrea Pirlo’s cleverly-taken corner but firing wide of the right-hand post from an angle.
‘Nigerian Football Suffering From Eight Years Of Neglect’
The President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, has strongly lamented the low state of Nigeria football. The man who has led Nigerian football supporters to different countries in the last two decades says the drop in overall performance is a result of the ground the country lost in the last eight years.
Ladipo said, “We actually had eight underutilized years with the last administration. We achieved far less than we should have done because the man who was in charge focused more on himself and aesthetics than proper development of football in Nigeria. Rather than build up the system we focused too much on elections and people getting into international offices.”
Ladipo who lamented on the backdrop of the Flying Eagles performance in Egypt said the lack of growth pattern is now showing in our teams and clubs on the continent.
“Did you see how we lost to The Gambians? That is just a sign. Are we ever sure of the Super Falcons anymore? Did the Super Eagles qualify for the last World Cup? No is the answer.”
“I am not saying that a country like Gambia cannot beat Nigeria but it did not bring shock this time because the slide has been steady.
We have declined so much. How many games have the Falcons won of their last 10 matches? Did we qualify for CHAN? How many of our clubs can stand firm on the continent today like Enyimba used to do not too long ago? Now compare our performance in the last four years with countries like Senegal and Morocco. We are running in the opposite direction. We are dropping while they are going up. What did we get other than dividing the supporters club instead of facing football development?
Amusan Clinches Silverbird Sports Personality Award
World record holder and Adidas track athlete, Tobi Amusan has emerged the winner of the Silverbird TV 2022 Sports Personality of the Year.
The world champion clinched the award at the 2022 Silverbird Man of The Year which held at the Eko Hotel and suits, Lagos.
Lanre Vigo, the co-founder of Plug Sports, the sporting division of The Plug Entertainment, who received the award on her behalf, shared the news via his Instagram handle.
“Congratulations @ihurdle_33.0inches on being awarded as the @silverbirdtv sports personality of the year,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I’m honoured to receive this award on your behalf and to say a few words. Honestly @ihurdle_33.0inches I wish you were here to receive all these awards in person and feel the love Nigerians have for you,” he added.
Vigo, in his acceptance speech at the event noted that his key resolve was to encourage both the private sector and the government to invest more in athletes as there are many Tobi Amusan’s out there waiting to be discovered.
“There are a lot of talented sports people in Nigeria, and I feel like if the government and private sector invests more in these people, we will have more superstars in Nigeria.
“So I’m encouraging everyone to please support Tobi Amusan on this quest or possibly find the next Tobi Amusan,” Vigo said.
Amusan became Nigeria’s first World champion and World Record holder at the World Championships in Oregon, where she won the 100m Hurdles titles in WR times of 12.12s in the semifinals and a wind-assisted 12.06s in the final.
She also successfully defended her Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles, clocking record-breaking times of 12.30s and 12.29s respectively.
Her 12.30s time was also a new record at the Games.
With this accomplishment, the 25 year-old Amusan is the first World Champion to win Gold in the event and the first Nigerian athlete to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year.
She beat Jamaican duo Danielle Williams, Megan Tapper, England’s Cindy Sembre, Michelle Jenneke of Australia, and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas.
Betking Partner Ikorodu City Football
Betking has signed a partnership agreement with Ikorodu City Football Club (FC) as a way to encourage sports development at the grassroots level.
The leading sports betting and digital entertainment firm, which made the announcement at a media briefing in Lagos, said the partnership is an effort to reaffirm the brand’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of local sports in communities within Nigeria.
It said that the collaboration would support the club’s plans to become the leading team and compete with their peers nationally, added that it will also provide capacity building for the players and an opportunity for them to reach their full potential, thereby contributing to the advancement of grassroots sports in the country.
Commenting on the alliance, Managing Director, King Makers, Gossy Ukanwoke, said: “We are committed to sports development and driving the growth of grassroots football here in Nigeria. Our commitment is expressed in this partnership with Ikorodu City FC.
“We’re happy to be backing a team that wins, which is one of our ethos as a company, we are winners and kings and hope that Ikorodu City FC will also become kings. With this partnership, we will work closely together to build future stars and create opportunities to grow and make a difference.”
He added: “By extension, the company will continue to invest in local sports development, youth empowerment, health, education, and other initiatives that improve the socio-economic well-being of individuals and communities.”
Also speaking on the teamwork, Vice President, Ikorodu CityFC, Adeyemi Doherty, said, “I want to sincerely thank BetKing for partnering with us. What they have done is laudable, and we hope other organisations take a cue from them.
“This partnership will not only contribute to sports talent development, but open doors for national exposure. As you invest and build confidence in us, we will be as transparent and honest as possible. We are pleased with this partnership and look forward to its continuity.”
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