• Ancelotti offered job of Italian coach

    Ancelotti offered job of Italian coach

    Carlo Ancelotti is set to be given the job of reviving the fortunes of Italy’s national team, according to reports on Tuesday.

    Ancelotti, who was sacked by Bayern Munich last September,  met with Italian Football Federation (FIGC) commissioner Roberto Fabbricini and sub-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta in a Rome hotel on Monday, Corriere dello Sport reported.

    And Sky Sport Italia said the 58-year-old has been offered a two-year position, which is likely to be less lucrative than his previous contract with the German champions.

    Italy have been without a permanent coach since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked after they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years following defeat by Sweden in a two-legged playoff in November.

    Ancelotti, who has also managed Chelsea, Real Madrid and Juventus, has three Champions League titles to his name as a coach. He has also won the league in Italy, France, Germany and England.

    The FIGC budget for a new coach and his staff is five million euros ($6.1 million) per year, which would be a big drop from what Ancelotti earned at Bayern Munich.

    Costacurta is reported to have offered Ancelotti, who has also been linked with former club Chelsea and the soon-to-be-vacant job at Arsenal, a free hand in choosing his staff.

    Ancelotti’s son Davide, who was his assistant at Bayern, could play a role as well as former stars such as Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon and Paolo Maldini.

    Costacurta, who was appointed to find a successor to Ventura, set a dateline of May 20 for the appointment of a new coach.

    Among the other names touted were Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and former Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri, now in charge of French club Nantes.

    Italy Under-21 coach Di Biagio, 46, has been holding the position on an interim basis.


    Click here to read the full text by Agency Report

  • Allardyce defends Everton style in win over Newcastle

    Allardyce defends Everton style in win over Newcastle

    Theo Walcott scores his first goal since January as Everton beat Newcastle to move up to eighth in the Premier League.

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  • Robot helps seriously ill Everton fan make history

    Robot helps seriously ill Everton fan make history

    A seriously ill teenage Everton fan made history on Monday by becoming the world’s first ‘virtual matchday mascot’ ahead of his beloved team’s home Premier League match with Newcastle United.

    Jack McLinden, a 14-year-old who suffers from multiple health conditions and is wheelchair bound, was able to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime mascot experience through the Norwegian-designed telepresence robot, AV1.

    It was the first time a child has been able to perform matchday mascot duties remotely, with the robot’s integrated camera, microphone, and speaker enabling the virtual experience of going onto the pitch.

    Everton team captain Phil Jagielka carried the robot as he led his team out with the AV1 connected to McLinden’s iPad at home — allowing him to see and hear the experience in real-time through the telepresence robot avatar.

    “We are thrilled to have had the chance to do this for Jack and we hope it has provided him with a memory he will always treasure,” said Scott McLeod, Head of Engagement at Everton Football Club.

    AV1 is designed to help combat loneliness in children and young adults with long-term illnesses, by allowing them to attend school and social occasions through the device’s connection to a smartphone or tablet, allowing them to see, hear and communicate with others.

    Colin Dyer, chief executive of Wellchild, the national charity for seriously ill children and their families, said the technology could help alleviate the sense of isolation.

    “We think the little robot could be a massive boon for children with complex needs, whose conditions mean that they cannot be everywhere they want to be in person,” said Dyer.

    “There is a growing population of families who are caring for a seriously ill child at home. We know that feelings of isolation are a common issue for many children and families in this situation.”

    The post Robot helps seriously ill Everton fan make history appeared first on Vanguard News.

    Click here to read the full text by Emmanuel Okogba

  • Klopp calls for Roma respect amid Anfield cauldron

    Klopp calls for Roma respect amid Anfield cauldron

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    City became just the latest victims of a famous European night at Anfield on the pitch three weeks ago as Liverpool raced into a 3-0 first leg lead that laid the foundations for their 5-1 aggregate victory over the English champions in the quarter-finals.

    However, Klopp wants to retain the passion inside the stadium without the ugly scenes outside, which are the subject of a UEFA investigation.

    “In the stadium do it again and better. Outside the stadium, please show the respect we have to show,” said Klopp on Monday.

    “This is such an outstanding football club, an outstanding football family, known for fantastic atmospheres all over the world, so we don’t need to throw whatever at the bus of the opposing team.”

    The Italians will be greeted by at least one familiar face in Mohamed Salah, but it is the Egyptian who poses the biggest threat to their dream of returning to the final for the first time since they lost to Liverpool on home soil in 1984.

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    Salah made the move from the Italian capital to Anfield just 10 months ago, and has surpassed all expectations since with an incredible 41 goals in 46 Liverpool appearances to already net more times than he did in two years for Roma.

    The 25-year-old was rewarded for his brilliant campaign by winning the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year award on Sunday evening, beating off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to the prize.

    “I’m really happy for him, really proud of that, it is a fantastic achievement. I think if all the other players vote for you it means most to all players,” added Klopp.

    “In a season like this, when Kevin De Bruyne played a season like he did, it made it even more special.”


    Click here to read the full text by Agency Report

  • 'If Pep asks me to take a penalty, I'm there. I'd like to score' – Man City keeper Ederson

    'If Pep asks me to take a penalty, I'm there. I'd like to score' – Man City keeper Ederson

    Manchester City’s Ederson is hoping to become the first goalkeeper to find the net for a Premier League title-winning side.

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  • La Liga: Atletico held by Betis, Las Palmas relegated

    La Liga: Atletico held by Betis, Las Palmas relegated

    Atletico Madrid failed to break down Real Betis in a 0-0 draw on Sunday which further reduced their slim chances of catching FC Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

    Elsewhere, Las Palmas were relegated after a crushing 4-0 home defeat by Alaves.

    Diego Simeone’s Atletico moved 11 points behind FC Barcelona with four games remaining and the unbeaten leaders need one more point to win the title.

    With the Europa League semi-final first leg match at Arsenal on Thursday in mind, Simeone rotated key players and Betis tried to take advantage.

    Javi Garcia missed two excellent chances and Cristian Tello struck the post for the visitors, who extended their club record run of games without conceding a goal to six.

    However, Atletico’s defensive resilience ended Betis’ run of six wins in a row as they recorded their 11th consecutive home clean sheet.

    Aissa Mandi headed a Fernando Torres effort off the line and Saul Niguez struck the bar as Atletico also came close, but neither side could earn a victory.

    “The team is heading into Thursday’s game really well,” Simeone said. “We made important changes and the players responded. I had to rotate to ensure we had fresh players.”

    In a mostly-empty stadium at Canary Islands, Munir El Haddadi struck twice with Alvaro Medran and Ruben Sobrino also netting as four second-half goals from Alaves consigned Las Palmas to relegation.

    Paco Jemez’s side have 21 points from 34 games and are 13 short of Levante in 17th with only four matches left and they will join bottom side Malaga in the second division next season.

    “Beyond the fact that this is a sad day, because we go down to the second division, it’s also sad because of the result. We went down in the worst way possible,” said Jemez.

    “We are as sad as (the fans). We didn’t want this moment to arrive but we will keep working because there are still a lot of things to fight for.

    “We must be responsible with the image of the club.”

    Alaves’ triumph confirms their safety, sitting 13th with 41 points from 34 games.

    It is an impressive feat masterminded by Abelardo Fernandez who took over in December with the Basque side bottom of the table.

    Malaga beat Real Sociedad 2-0 and Espanyol won 2-0 at Girona to damage their Catalan rivals’ dreams of finishing in a Europa League spot.

    The result left Girona ninth and Espanyol 16th in the standings, 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

    Las Palmas have gone 12 matches without a victory and this was their fifth straight defeat.

    The post La Liga: Atletico held by Betis, Las Palmas relegated appeared first on Vanguard News.

    Click here to read the full text by Emmanuel Okogba

  • Chelsea face Man United in FA Cup final

    Chelsea face Man United in FA Cup final

    Chelsea booked an FA Cup final showdown with Manchester United as Olivier Giroud tormented Southampton again with a sublime strike in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Wembley, AFP reports.

    Giroud has made a habit of scoring against Southampton and the France forward was their nemesis in a one-sided semi-final.

    Opting to select Giroud instead of Alvaro Morata proved a shrewd move by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte as the former Arsenal star produced a tremendous piece of skill to break the deadlock early in the second half.

    Giroud has feasted on Southampton this season, scoring twice to spark Chelsea’s 3-2 win last weekend and also netting a late equaliser against them for Arsenal in December.

    His fourth goal for Chelsea since his January signing was followed by a late header from substitute Morata, setting up a heavyweight final against United at Wembley on May 19.

    That will be Chelsea’s last chance to win major silverware at the end of a troubled season.

    “The most important thing is to reach the final. This is the second FA Cup final in a row for us. I’m delighted for our fans,” Conte said.

    “For sure, Olivier has been a good signing for us. I needed a player like him, strong physically, to hold the ball up.

    “Today I decided to start with Olivier because I knew we were playing against three strong central defenders, but when Morata came on the impact was impressive as well.”

    Chelsea’s 13th FA Cup final appearance will be a repeat of the 2007 showpiece, when Jose Mourinho’s men won 1-0.

    The Blues, back in the final after losing to Arsenal in May, last won the competition in 2012 and are bidding to lift the trophy for the eighth time.

    Winning the FA Cup might not be enough to convince either Conte or Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that their two-year partnership should be extended.

    Conte has spent much of the season complaining about Chelsea’s failure to back his transfer plans, while several of his players are believed to be unhappy with his demanding training sessions and intense personality.

    Click here to read the full text by Abdulfatai Ayobami Ibrahim

  • Liverpool's Salah named PFA Player of the Year

    Liverpool's Salah named PFA Player of the Year

    Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is voted the PFA Player of the Year for 2017-18, with Leroy Sane picking up the young player award

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  • Napoli coach Sarri gives finger to ‘spitting’ Juve fans

    Napoli coach Sarri gives finger to ‘spitting’ Juve fans

    Maurizo Sarri was unrepentant after he was spotted giving the middle finger to a group of Juventus fans on Sunday.


    “I replied to a group of people who were spitting at the bus and insulting us for being Neapolitan,” said Sarri after Napoli kept the Serie A title race alive with a 1-0 win over Juventus in Turin.

    “I would never make a gesture like that towards anyone for being a Juventus fan.

    “The vast majority of Juventus fans are wonderful people and there was one in our hotel who we had a good laugh and joke with.

    “I have no issue with Juventus fans. It was only with those who spat at us and insulted us for being Neapolitan.”

    Napoli closed the gap at the top of the table to just one point with four games to play after Kalidou Koulibaly nodded in a Jose Calle njon corner in the final minutes.

    “So far, I’m having fun,” said Sarri as his side target a third title after 1987 and 1990.

    “We made our extraordinary fans happy, but Juventus remain ahead and therefore almost nothing has changed. We still have a very slim chance of overtaking them.”

    Napoli’s team bus was surrounded by Juventus fans as it made its way to the Allianz Stadium, but Sarri was in no mood to be intimidated.

    Tensions are always high between the two sides from the north and south of Italy going back to the days of Diego Maradona and Michel Platini.


    The post Napoli coach Sarri gives finger to ‘spitting’ Juve fans appeared first on Vanguard News.

    Click here to read the full text by Emmanuel Okogba

  • EPL: Man City thrash Swansea 5-0 to celebrate title

    EPL: Man City thrash Swansea 5-0 to celebrate title

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    The only negative aspect of the occasion for the newly-crowned Premier League champions was a post-match pitch invasion by several hundred City supporters, who ignored pleas over the loudspeakers to burst through stewards and onto the field.

    Seven days after Manchester United’s shock home defeat to West Bromwich Albion had made the title a mathematical certainty for Guardiola’s side, City returned to action before their own supporters.

    With the league safely won, Guardiola had warned that his players will find next season far tougher — both in terms of the opposition and his own demands — and hoped that the chance to set new historical marks would prove an inspiration over the remainder of this campaign.

    And another emphatic victory certainly left City, who have four games remaining against teams in the bottom eight of the league, well placed to do precisely that.

    They stand one victory short of Chelsea’s Premier League record tally of 30, set last season, and with 90 points, are also well on course to break the record of 95 points, again set by Chelsea in 2010.

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    That season also saw the London club set the current best for goals scored with 103, a mark City now trail by just five.

    – Season for the ages –

    In short, Guardiola has presided over a season for the ages in his second season in England, even if there was a slightly anti-climactic feeling about the way in which City clinched the title just days after a Champions League quarter-final exit to Liverpool.

    But there was still no denying the triumphant air around the Etihad as a huge banner proclaiming “Welcome to the home of the Premier League champions” was unfurled across the East Stand.

    City, and their captain Vincent Kompany, must wait a further two weeks before physically getting their hands on the trophy — their third Premier League title in the last seven years — with the authorities having decided that a formal presentation will be made when Huddersfield Town visit the Etihad on May 6.

    Still, Swansea provided City with a guard of honour before kick-off and the visitors were largely reduced to watching and admiring as City showed them why they are setting records this season.

    After just 11 minutes, and relentless City possession, Kevin De Bruyne’s superb pass was played back by Raheem Sterling for David Silva who juggled the ball skilfully before volleying into the Swansea goal.

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    Five minutes later, an even better move saw David Silva and Fabian Delph play a series of one-twos before the latter crossed for Sterling to calmly slot in the ball from four yards.

    It was the start of a monotonous procession towards the Swansea goal with De Bruyne scoring the pick of the bunch on 53 minutes with a magnificent 25-yard right-foot shot.

    Nine minutes later, Federico Fernandez brought down Sterling and, after Gabriel Jesus’s penalty was touched onto the post by Lukasz Fabianski, Bernardo Silva responded quickly to net City’s fourth from the rebound.

    In the comfortable finale for City, there was time for Benjamin Mendy to make his return after a seven-month absence with a knee injury as a 75th-minute substitute, handing the French international a fifth appearance of the season and, with that, a Premier League winner’s medal.

    And Jesus finally claimed his goal two minutes from time, appearing on the end of Yaya Toure’s chip to head in the final goal of a game that served as an emphatic statement by club and manager alike.


    Click here to read the full text by Agency Report

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