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Man United Frustrates Chelsea At Home

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With Cristiano Ronaldo benched, United redefined the idea of caution in the first half, taking 21 minutes to touch the ball in the final third and 44 minutes to have a touch in Chelsea’s box, but the hosts struggled to break them down.
Callum Hudson-Odoi saw an effort well saved by David de Gea, and later in the half the goalkeeper tipped Antonio Rudiger’s long-range shot onto the crossbar, but United stunned Chelsea to take the lead moments after half-time as Jadon Sancho feasted on Jorginho’s mistake to run through on goal unopposed and finish (50) for his first Premier League goal.
But Jorginho had a chance to redeem himself as Aaron Wan-Bissaka kicked the back of Thiago Silva’s leg in the box, allowing the Italian to score from the spot for 1-1 (69).
Chelsea huffed and puffed but could not find a winner – Rudiger blazed over the bar in the 97th minute unmarked at the far post – meaning Michael Carrick remains unbeaten in what could be his final match in charge with the imminent arrival of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager. Man Utd are eighth, while Chelsea stay top, now just a point ahead of Man City.
Carrick’s decision to drop Ronaldo – it was only the fourth time in nine years he has started a league game on the bench – and start a midfield three of Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred pointed to a vigilant approach in a game where a draw would have been seen as a good result.
There were suggestions that Rangnick had helped picked the XI at Stamford Bridge, but Carrick denied this on several occasions after the game.
First, Hakim Ziyech turned away from Eric Bailly all too easily but was blocked by De Gea, and the goalkeeper had to be at his best moments later as Wan-Bissaka’s failed interception allowed Hudson-Odoi in, but his effort was saved with Timo Werner in a better position beside him.
It was by no means adventurous in an attacking from the visitors, their first touch in the final third coming in the 21st minute as Bruno Fernandes harmlessly struck wide. At the other end United became so packed in that Chelsea were reduced to long-range efforts, Rudiger cracking the crossbar from 25 yards, although De Gea got the slightest of touches.
United ended the half with just 32 per cent possession, no shot on target and an xG of just 0.02, but the statistics meant little as the visilevel as Wan-Bissaka clumsily kicked the back of Thiago Silva’s leg as he went to clear in the box. Jorginho stepped up, and sat De Gea down to convert.
With 20 minutes remaining, Chelsea could smell a winner, but despite the introduction of Romelu Lukaku after an injury lay-off, they could not find it.
Wan-Bissaka appeared from nowhere to block Werner in the box, and in the seventh minute of stoppage time Rudiger blasted into the stands unmarked 10 yards out from a Christian Pulisic cross.
United had their own chances, too, as the game opened up late on, but the best fell to Fred, who harmlessly chipped into Mendy’s hands with Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard in better positions.
Ronaldo was named on the bench for Man Utd for only the second time in the Prewith Carrick naming a midfield three of McTominay, Fred and Matic. Fernandes, Rashford and Sancho were in front of them, while Bailly and Lindelof were paired at centre-back.
Chelsea made four changes from the side that beat Leicester last weekend; Alonso came in for the injured Chilwell, while Werner, Ziyech and Loftus-Cheek came in for Havertz, Mount and the injured Kante. Lukaku returned to the bench.
Despite trailing with 21 minutes remaining, Chelsea will see this as two points dropped – they had 24 shots on United’s goal – but after weeks of instability, this makeshift United side got what they came to Stamford Bridge to achieve as Rangnick waits in the wings.
“It’s a big point to Manchester United because Chelsea were by far the better team. But United were spirited, stuck at it, so they will take a little bit of momentum into their season now. Hopefully they can kick on.
“Lots of changes over the last week, a new manager coming in next week, but there are still huge question marks over a lot of these players. But they deserve credit because they stuck together in what was a spirited performance rather than one of real quality. I said if United were to get anything from the game it would maybe be down to a bit of arrogance from Chelsea, which proved to be the case with the goal.
“To say United played well today, or during the week [is a stretch], but they’ve got two positive results and that is what you always fall back on, the results. David de Gea’s said after the game United fought for everything, but that is what you should be doing every week. It’s as if these players pick and choose their moments when they are up for it.
“If you want to play for Manchester United and compete for titles, you do that week in, week out. There was spirit today, and they deserve credit for that, but ultimately you want more.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel on Sky Sports: “I’m absolutely happy. I was happy to coach the team, I saw a huge effort, big intensity, so many ball recoveries in the opponents’ half, put the pressure up high.

We controlled the counter-attacks before they started, we were brave and courageous.
“They defended deep and maybe you need the first goal to open up a bit and gain the last per cent of freedom and confidence to have follow-ups and big chances on goal. If you don’t score, you always run a bit behind because you feel like you’re the stronger team, you play in the opponents’ half so we have two or three big chances we should have maybe used. But, in general, I am very happy with the way we played. I was pleased with our aggression, our rhythm and the intensity.”
Man Utd caretaker boss Michael Carrick on Sky Sports: “I’m disappointed actually. When you are in front in a game like this to have it taken away is disappointing. I’m proud of the players and the group all week. In a difficult situation we tried to make the best of it. But there is that little bitter feeling. We came to win the game. A little disappointed, I can’t lie.
“I don’t think it was a penalty at all. They have had a lot of shots David had two saves which we knew before the game he would have to make one or two. Other than that I have felt quite comfortable in the game. Of course we want to be better. I am not getting carried away but I thought we defended well. I cannot fault the boys one bit. To come away disappointed and to feel like you have left something out there is a positive.”
Chelsea skipper Jorginho stood head in hands looking back at the wreckage behind him, knowing he should have cleared the ball at the first opportunity, prompting both Roy Keane and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to describe the decision as “arrogant” after the game on Sky Sports.
Werner then hooked a decent chance wide as the ball fell kindly to him at a corner, Ronaldo was introduced on the hour mark, but United handed Chelsea a chance to level as Wan-Bissaka clumsily kicked the back of Thiago Silva’s leg as he went to clear in the box. Jorginho stepped up, and sat De Gea down to convert
With 20 minutes remaining, Chelsea could smell a winner, but despite the introduction of Romelu Lukaku after an injury lay-off, they could not find it.
Wan-Bissaka appeared from nowhere to block Werner in the box, and in the seventh minute of stoppage time Rudiger blasted into the stands unmarked 10 yards out from a Christian Pulisic cross.

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Nigeria U16 To Battle Belgium, Others In UEFA Tourney

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Nigeria U16 national team, nicknamed Future Eagles will trade tackles with Belgium, Italy and England in UEFA U16 Development Tournament.
All games are to be played at the Pinatar Arena Football Center in San Pedro del Pinatar.
The Future Eagles are presently at Remo Stars Stadium Ikenne preparing for an U16 tournament before they leave for Spain today.
Meanwhile, the Future Eagles continued their preparations for their tournament in Spain with a 2-0 win over Beyond Limits’ U-15 side in Ikenne.

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Tennis: 72 Players To Feature In TPPA UTR Tourney

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Seventy-two Nigerian youth tennis players will feature at the maiden edition of the Tennis Players’ Parents Association UTR Nationals.
The TPPA UTR Nationals are the culmination of the regional events held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The tournament takes place from April 8–13 at the tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
The five-day event will have over 72 players from across the country in the boys and girls categories for the U-12, U-14, and U-16, respectively.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the Tennis Players Association President, Segun Aluko, said winners of this year’s edition will receive educational support and equipment.
He also stated that the tournament aims to groom and nurture young tennis players in the country to stardom and help them bridge the gap between tennis at the youth and senior levels.
“As you all know, we have been doing great at the junior levels, but we need to ensure we groom more players who will also move up to the senior level and dominate the world scene, just like Novak Djokovic.
“TPPA UTR Nationals is a tournament organised to give opportunities to young tennis players to realise their dreams.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learned that the reigning champion of the J30 Abuja ITF World Junior Tour, Khadijat Mohammed, tops the list of players who got a wild card to play at the tournament.
In the boys U-12, Ahenjir Tertema, Mohammed Okandeji, Samuel Adegbite, and Korede Ogunkolade were listed, while Success Godwin, Barakat Ganiyu, and Grace Oritingbeni made the cut in the girls category.
In the boys’ U-14, Folaranmi Fafowora, Nathaniel Aluko, and Gabriel Igbinovia will battle for honours just as Bisola Ogunkolade and Lorelay Holzendorff will in the girls’ U-14.
For the U-16 girls, Jasmine Osho, Ndidi Osaji, and Adesewa Olaniyan received wild cards just as Kushimo Quzeem and Precious Aliya did for the U-16 boys.

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AAG:Nigeria Boxing Coach Decries Non-Payment Of Allowances

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Team Nigeria boxing head coach, Tony Konyegwachie, has expressed his displeasure over non-payment of allowances to some of the boxers who won laurels for the country at the 13th African Games in Ghana, Tidesports source reports.
Team Nigeria topped the boxing medals table at the Games with eight gold and two silver medals , but they have yet to be paid almost two weeks after the Games ended in Ghana, with three gold medallists Adam Olaore, Patricia Mbata and Cynthia Ogunsemilore, as well as Konyegwachie featuring prominently on the list despite promises made by the Sports Minister, John Enoh that athletes will not encounter any delay in getting their allowances.
A day before the end of the Games, the Ministry of Sports Development stated that it had begun payments of athletes and officials’ camp allowances and bonuses for winning medals.
“Today the 22nd of March, the athletes started receiving their camp allowances,” sports minister’s aide Diana-Mary Nsan said in the statement.
“A lot of athletes had doubts and fears but the trust and confidence has been restored. Athletes who won medals will also get their bonuses.”
“It’s unfortunate that some of our colleagues have been paid while we’re yet to receive any alert. We’re appealing to the Honourable Minister to wade into the matter and make sure we’re paid because our families are hungry and we need the money to settle some debts,” coach Konyegwachie said.
“I am very angry and it is making me bitter. I want it to be investigated as I feel some boxers are being robbed, three of my boxers and I have not been paid bonuses for the African Games while others have gotten theirs.”
Aside from the allowances, payments promised gold medallists are also being withheld. One of the boxer, Omole Dolapo, who has received his allowance told our correspondent that he was yet to get his bonus for his gold medals.
“I have gotten the allowance, but I know some of my colleagues are yet to get theirs. For the medal bonus, I have not received that, and we are still waiting for the payment,” he said.

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