Enyeama’s 100th International Game, Bendtner’s Hattrick and Others

So we have had no midweek Arsenal game nor upcoming Weekend game unless you see Brazil vs Chile as an Arsenal affair with Gabriel and Sanchez likely to feature at the Emirates.

Three major footballing events over the week caught my attention:
1. Vincent Enyeama becomes an international Centurion.
Nigeria hosted and lost to Uganda few days ago in the Nest of Champions as the new Uyo stadium is being called. The game was a friendly one but marked the 100th time Enyeama would be between the Nigerian goal. The former Enyimba goal stopper made his debut in May 2002 and is now the 2nd Nigerian to join the Century Club behind Joseph Yobo.

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Unfortunately, the Super Eagles flew without sharp beaks and taflons and had their nest ruffled by the Cranes of Uganda with a deflected goal late in the game. NatGeoWild would be excited to see a park of Cranes chasing out a eagles from their mountain top nest. Only in Nigeria. South Africa is next, can we still remain unbeaten. I head there was an eyeball showdown in the dressing room. Hope noone lost an eye or a tooth? And Stephen Keshi…. what can i say?

2. Lord Bendtner Reigns Over America
After the loss to Uganda, i switched channels and i saw Altidore score a goal in the Lair of the Lord. Bendtner’s lordship was being questioned by his subjects but he rose to the occasion to grab his first international hattrick as Denmark came from behind twice to defeat the USA by 3-2. The Dane scored two hattricks playing for Arsenal.

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The egocentric Wolfsburg striker who scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan in the Europa League was so delighted and looks forward to breaking the Danish record of 52 goals. He now has 29 goals from 65 games. For now he can glory in his reign over America. All hail Lord Bendtner.

3. Gunners on International Duty.
Danny Welbeck scored, created another and won the MoM as England beat Lithuania 4-0 in the Euro qualifiers. The former Manchester United striker haven’t been in the best of forms, scoring just one goal in the last 11 games, although against his former club. *sips lipton*. Unfortunately, he is expected to return to the Emirates sharperly after tweaking his knee in the game. Arsenal and injuries.

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In the other Euro qualifier that involved a gunner, Cazorla had 16mins of action as Spain defeated Ukraine by a lone goal.

Podolski grabbed a late equalizer for Germany on Wednesday night in their 2-2 friendly draw with Australia, 8mins after coming as a sub. Ozil played 90mins despite missing Arsenal’s last game due to illness.

Olivier Giroud had just 6 mins of regular action as Brazil defeated France 3-1 while Ospina had his clean sheet in Colombia’s 6-0 thrashing of Bahrain.

Hopefully, noone joins Welbeck with an injury scare.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Another Monday, Another Mixed Feeling

It is the beginning of the working week and it is a day to reflect on the immediate past weekend and see what was, might have been and will be.

The Top4 in England scrapped out victories to make the closing stages of the Barclays Premier League interesting. Arsenal held on to a 2-1 victory at St. James Park to keep the pressure on City. Two quick goals from Olivier Giroud gave the gunners a 2-0 first half lead but the Toons came out rejuvenated and firing on all cylinders.

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The gunners held on but let in a goal with Ospina dancing sekem just like the first goal conceded against Monaco. He was on ground though to prevent the agile toons from grabbing an equalizer. The final whistle was a great relief.

Chelsea were stunned at the KC stadium but Remy spared Mourinho’s blushes by grabbing an winner in a 5 goal thriller. Before the Chelsea game, Gerrard made a legendary appearance at Anfield against Manchester United featuring for just 45 seconds before getting his marching orders. He must be tired of Liverpool. Time to be a yankee.

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The Red Devils won the game but Gerrard’s red was a major talking point. Mata’s double, especially his acrobatic 2nd was great. And stingy Rooney failed to convert from the spot. Liverpool did start a revival with Sturridge’s goal but you must have a laugh seeing the Anfield fans holding Balotelli from grabbing a 2nd yellow.

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As a Gooner, a draw at Anfield would have been perfect. Hull City’s failure to use their chances against Chelsea hurt but we will hope on.

In Africa, Nigeria’s Kano Pillars were given a football lesson in Morocco as they were thrashed 4-0 by Moghreb Tetouan in the CAF Champions league. Will Pillars score 4 or 5 in Kano? Difficult. The last time they lost 4-0 in the continent,  they went on to lose the 2nd leg 1-0 in Kano.

The Glo Nigeria Premier league continued and top of the week was a 7 goal thriller in Owerri, the eastern Heartland. Heartland 5-2 Nasarawa United was the result. Gabros won the first Oriental derby of the season with a 1-0 victory over Rangers.

Other football highlight of the weekend includes Kane’s hattrick, Suarez and Barcelona’s victory in the el Classico, Bayern’s home defeat. Football is so sweet.

So the international break is on. Time to take a break on club football and switch to international games. Nigeria will play Uganda on Wednesday.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Last Week Random Football Yarns: Arsenal, Bendtner, Dolphins and Others

My tea became sweeter after seeing Chelsea lick their wounds from two Brazilian centre backs, booting them out of the tournament they despite being seen as better compared to other English teams.

Last weekend was a good one for a typical Nigerian Gooner: Chelsea were held to a draw, City lost to Burnley, Warri Wolves and Enyimba had home victories in the CAF club competitions.

Although victories for Manchester United and Liverpool meant the Top Four trophy chase is real and the prospect of overtaking City must be watched with the probability of being overtaken by the Devils and the Reds.

It was a little uncomfortable, although expected, as Arsenal crashed out of the UEFA Champions league despite winning 2-0 in Monaco. One more goal but one more year once again. Dortmund, Arsenal’s group mate also crashed out after losing 3-0 to Juventus in Germany. Was that group that poor?

On the Nigerian front, the Flying Eagles have qualified for the finals of the ongoing African Youth Championship in Senegal. The U-20 side defeated Ghana 2-0 to book a place in the final. This was the Eagles’ first clean sheet of the tournament and their first clean sheet over Ghana (@OptaNGR).

Meanwhile Daniel Amokachi have invited 28 Super Eagles for the friendly against South Africa and Bolivia. Bolivia chickened out. Brown Ideye returns but Emenike was left out. Has anyone seen Keshi? This soap opera is getting exciting.

In club football, Dolphins drama in Tunis was a slap in Nigeria’s face. The Port Harcourt based side reduced Nigeria’s participating slot by half when they failed to arrive Tunis on time to face Club Africain. Dolphins were worked over, something that looks new to Nigerian clubs in the continent. A club statement was released but CAF booted them out like Ramos’ penalty under Mourinho despite giving them false hopes to wait in Tunis. Warri Wolves would bear the flag alone in the CAF Confederation Cup.

There were two away wins in 9 matches played in Gameweek 2 of the Nigerian Premier league, a rarity. With the LMC offering cash prizes for away wins, we may see more of such.

If you are a fan Bendtner or you enjoy the trolls of the Lord, you must be happy to see that his Lordship scored Wolfsburg’s 2nd goal in a 2-1 victory over Inter Milan in the Europa League. The former gunner who followed Arsenal’s Monaco game came in as a substitute to ascertain his Lordship. Wolfsburg has been doing so well; is Bendtner the magic from the bench?

The draws for the quarter final of the UCL was held on Friday with Zlatan’s PSG to face Barcelona, a Madrid derby, Porto vs Bayern and Juventus facing Monaco. Juicy.

Enough for the week. Getting ready for Arsenal’s trip to Newcastle, El Classico, The Nigerian Premier League and Kano Pillars’ return to CAF Champions league.  Hopefully this weekend results will gladden my Monday morning.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Arsenal: The One More Goal Champions League Team

As expected, Arsenal got a win in France, equalled the tie with two unreplied goals but were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League no thanks to Monaco’s 3rd goal at the Emirates. Goals from Giroud and Ramsey were not enough.

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Year in, year out, The Gunners take their fans through the emotional torture of making qualification to the quarter finals difficult by playing wonderfully awful in the 1st leg and raising up the hopes of the fans to the “nearly” moment just like heating water to 98°C always, when you need to get to 100°C.

It is like downloading a large file and it stops at 99%. Arsenal have been kings of return legs in the last 4 round of 16 games.

@optajoe: 4 – Arsenal are unbeaten in their last four CL Last 16 second leg matches (W3 D1) but have been eliminated each time. Heartbreak.

Every year, at same stage, we keep getting heart breaks. Last season, Arsenal lost 3-1 on aggregate to Bayern Munich after Ozil missed a penalty and Szczesny saw red in the 1st leg 2-0 loss at the Emirates.

In 2013, It was Bayern again and it was a replica of this season’s scores and aggregate. We needed one more goal with Giroud scoring the 1st in the 3rd minute and Koscielny scoring the 2nd in the 85th minute.

In 2012, the Gunners lost the 1st leg 4-0 to AC Milan but scored 3 1st half goals in the return leg at the Emirates. The game ended 3-0 with Arsenal needing just one more goal to take the game to extra time.

Tonight’s victory was marred by the 3rd goal conceded at the Emirates. We can live on making all available assumptions and “if-to-say”s. If the penalty was given, if Welbeck has scored, if Giroud’s header had gone, if we had Chamberlain.

Wake up gooners. Think about the next game. The milk is spilt. You can’t scoop it. Newcastle next.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Hammers Hammered, Reading Date, but Monaco Tonight

Everyone associated with Arsenal have their eyes set at Monaco where the Gunners would take on the herculean task of qualifying for the UEFA Champions league quarter final after losing 3-1 at the Emirates. Arsenal need to score 3 unreplied goals to progress. Can the gunners do this? No team has done this before. AS Monaco has not conceded a goal this season at home in the UCL.

Olivier Giroud must be at his best in his home country. Repetition of his first leg performance may not be forgiven. The Gunners must be clinical and the back four must remain water tight.

On Saturday, Olivier Giroud inspired Arsenal to a 3-0 victory over Big Sam’s Westham. The inform striker scored a pitch of a goal before setting up Aaron Ramsey to grab the 2nd. Flamini came in and scored his first goal in over a year with his first touch of the match.

The 3-0 victory drew Arsenal closer to the top2 with Manchester City burnt at Moorfield and the Saints holding Chelsea to a draw. A point away from City and you can start dreaming.

But the Top4 chase is still on with victories for United and Liverpool. The gunners must be watchful of the aforementioned duo who are a point and 3 points away respectively. City may see themselves 5th if they continue in this form.

Last night Reading knocked Bradford out of the FA cup to book a Wembley semifinal date with defending champions Arsenal. Bradford had one job which they did perfectly: Knock Chelsea out of the cup. A 3-0 replay win at the Madejski stadium booked the Royals to their first semi final since 1927. Nigeria’s Yakubu Aiyegbeni will hope to give the Gunners troubles in Wembley.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Reasons To Laugh After Chelsea’s Knockout

A good laugh a day keeps the doctor a week away. The Champions League gave some of us reasons to have a good laugh especially in London and recently at Stamford Bridge.

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10 man PSG held Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea to a 2-2 draw thus progressing to the quarter final of the Champions League. But how it all happened and circumstances that were before and after gives a lot of reasons to have a good laugh especially if you have little or no love for Mourinho.

1. Unable to win against 10 men.
Zlatan got his marching orders no thanks to poor officiating in the 37th minute. A 50-50 challenge went against him despite retrieving. But Oscar feigned well enough to con the referee. How Chelsea failed to win in 90mins and 120mins would taunt Mourinho for a while. Two late equalizers from two Brazilians knocked lights out of Stamford Bridge.

2. Blue Babies
Zlatan’s comment after the game killed it for me:

‘I don’t know if I have to get angry or start to laugh. For me when I saw the red card I was like “the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing”.

‘That is not the worst. The worst is when I got the red card all the Chelsea players come around. It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.’

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3. Chelsea defending themselves
PSG played so well that Chelsea defenders had to tackle themselves.

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4. Diego Costa vs Yaya Sanogo.
Yea. This is wrong but would it surprise you that the Arsenal striker on loan to Crystal Palace scored more Champions league goals than Chelsea’s almighty Costa despite playing fewer games tjan the Blue bully. It also worthy to note that Mourinho blamed last season exit from the Champions League on lack of fire power upfront and Costa have fired blanks this season.

On the other hand i wished the Blues got knocked out in the semi finals but i will take this with all joy. What a week to be a gooner.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

Arsenal To Play in Barclays Asia Trophy Singapore

Arsenal will be featuring in Barclays Asia Trophy for the first time later this year in Singapore.

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Arsenal will join Everton, Stoke City and a Singapore Select XI team for the pre-season tournament which will take place at the newly built 55,000-capacity National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub.

It will be the Gunners’ first visit to Singapore since 1991.

The knockout competition will take place over two matchdays on Wednesday, July 15 and Saturday, July 18, with a final to determine the winner and a play-off to decide third place. There will be two matches on each day.

The Barclays Asia Trophy has been held biennially since 2003. This year will be the first time that Singapore – celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015 – has played host to the tournament.

Enjoy.

By Chibuzor Amos (AmosCP)
Posted from WordPress for Android

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