Arsenal return to winning ways, condemn Middlesbrough to relegation battle

Mesut Ozil's second-half strike secured an unconvincing 2-1 win for Arsenal away to relegation-threatened Middlesbrough that keeps their top-four hopes alive. The Germany international's seventh Premier League goal of the season sealed the victory after Alvaro Negredo had cancelled out Alexis Sanchez's stunning set-piece opener.

Arsene Wenger's side slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace last time out, prompting the manager to experiment with a 3-5-2 system at the Riverside Stadium – with Rob Holding in a back three – in an effort to encourage a more resolute display. Chances were scarce in a poor first half, but Sanchez swept in a fine free-kick to break the deadlock just before the break, only for Negredo to equalise five minutes into the second half.

Brendan Rodgers says Celtic will never match the spending of some teams in Europe, but insists an inability to spend "hundreds of millions of pounds" on players will not stop his side from embracing their Europa League campaign.

Unseeded Celtic take on Zenit St Petersburg in the round of 32 and will play the first leg of their tie at home before making a trip to Zenit Arena in Russia; one of the 2018 World Cup venues.

Their Champions League journey brought five defeats and one win in Group B, but a 1-0 loss to Anderlecht was enough to see the Scottish champions qualify for the Europa League, and the manager says his men are ready for the challenge.

"We're in the competition, so we're going to play against the likes of these teams and it's up to us to try and somehow find a way to bridge the gap," said Rodgers.

"Celtic will never be a club that's going to go out and spend hundreds of millions of pounds in getting in these, some of the world-class players.

"That's not where we're at.

"But we have got some very good players and we've got a great structure at the club that allows the club to be stable and financially sufficient and allows us to go on and achieve what we aim to achieve domestically, and of course to then go on and be able to qualify for European football.

"That will bring us, of course, in against some of the giants of the game.

"But we have to embrace that."

The Hoops have sat five points clear of at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a record unbeaten domestic run of 68 games.

They took the first step towards successive domestic trebles by retaining the Scottish League Cup with a 2-0 win over Motherwell last month.

Despite their domestic domination, Rodgers knows Zenit will prove a different kind of challenge on the bigger stage.

"It's a really exciting time at the club for me, in terms of being here and being the manager here, and everything that's going on," said Rodgers.

"We're into the Europa League now. We take on a team that's got some really good players and an excellent manager.

"It's an exciting draw. You look at some of the teams that you could play. There is never an easy game. Teams get through for a reason, so they're at that stage because they're a good side.

"There are some other clubs of course with a great history in the game. Zenit will be a tough game for us, but it's a game that we will look forward to when it comes around."

Rodgers recalled how he almost joined Zenit St Petersburg head coach Roberto Mancini as a first-team coach at Manchester City, before taking charge of Swansea in 2010.

"When I was rejected as a manager at Reading and was in between jobs, I didn't think I was going to get a manager's job," the former Liverpool boss said.

"I was in talks with Manchester City about maybe going back there as a first-team coach. I spoke to the club, all went well and I flew out to Milan to meet Roberto.

"We had a nice chat and it ended up that not long after that I got the job at Swansea as a manager. We have come across each other since. He is a good, nice guy."

Harambee Stars became the final side to book a semifinal slot in the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup following a narrow 1-0 in over Tanzania Mainland on Monday December 11, 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

AFC Leopards young forward Vincent Oburu scored the only goal of the match in the 23rd minute with a close tap-in after connecting to Ovella Ochieng's cross from the right flank.

Dennis Sikhayi also had a chance for Stars in the first half but saw his long ranges strike go off target, with Himid Mao coming close for Kilimanjaro Stars on the other end.

The second half had numerous chances for both sides but none was able to find the back of the net hence the match ending 1-0 in favor of the hosts.

The victory took Kenya's point tally to eight to take them to the top of Group A and they will now face Burundi, who finished second in Group B in the semifinals.

Zanzibar, who finished second in Group A following a 1-0 loss to Libya earlier on will clash with Group B leaders Uganda.

More to follow...

Kenya Starting XI

Patrick Matasi (GK), Musa Mohammed (C), Jockins Atudo, Dennis Sikhayi, Wesley Onguso, Ernest Wendo, Patillah Omotto, Vincent Oburu, Chrispin Oduor, Ovella Ochieng, George Odhiambo

Substitutes

Gabriel Andika (GK), Boniface Oluoch (GK), Said Tsuma, Bernard Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Masoud Juma, Wellington Ochieng, Charles Momanyi, Kefa Aswani, Issack Kipyegon, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Issuza

Tanzania Starting XI:

Peter Manyika Jr 24, Himid Mao Mkami 7, Gadiel Michael Mbaga 2, Kennedy Wilson Juma 6, Erasto Nyoni 4, Jonas Mkude 20, Abdul Hilal Hassan 13, Abdallah Hamisi Riziki 8, Daniel Lyanga 9, Ibrahim Ajib Migomba 10, Shizya Ramadhan Kichuya 16

Subs:

Ramadhan Kabwili 17, Boniface Maganga 3, Mohamed Hussein 14, Muzamiru Yassin 19, Yahya Zayd Omary 21, Yohana Mkomola 11, Aman Peter Kyata 23, Raphael Daudi Loth 15

The Kenya Hockey Union Premier League continues on Tuesday December 12, 2017, with a total six fixtures lined up in both men's and women's leagues.

Men's

Four matches will be played in the Men's Premier League, with league leaders Kenya Police, who registered a 2-1 win over Greensharks on Sunday taking on bottom placed Technical University of Kenya at noon. The match will then be followed by the one pitting Parklands Sports Club against Chase Sailors before KCA University take on Strathmore University at 15:00.

Bring the curtains down on Tuesday will be a clash between Sikh Union and Wazalendo at 18:00, with all matches slated for City Park Stadium.

Ladies'

In the Ladies Premier League, bottom of the pack University of Nairobi will be eyeing their maiden win of the season when they take on Strathmore University, a side that is currently fourth on the log and have lost only once in their last twelve fixtures. 

At 10:30, a mouthwatering clash between Chase Amira and league leaders Telkom looms as both sides seek to disrupt each other's rhythm.

Fifteen games into their campaign, Telkom still remain unbeaten and have only conceded two goals so far compared to 93 that they have scored. Amira on their part were held to a 1-1 draw by Vikings on Sunday and will be looking to get back to winning ways and probably end their opponent's unbeaten run.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE MEN

Kenya Police 12:00 TUK    CITY PARK  

Parklands 13:30 Chase   CITY PARK  

KCAU 15:00 Strathmore      CITY PARK  

Sikh 17:00 Wazalendo     City Park

PREMIER LEAGUE WOMEN

UON 09:00 Strathmore CITY PARK

Amira 10:30 Telkom CITY PARK

 

Arsenal will face Ostersund and their English manager Graham Potter in the last 32 of the Europa League. 

Monday’s draw paired Arsène Wenger’s men with the Swedish side, who former York defender Potter has taken from the fourth division to the top-ranked Allsvenskan in six years. 

The 42-year-old has earned comparisons with Roy Hodgson – who himself managed in Scandinavia in his formative years - and this will be his first clash against English opposition. 

The draw also saw Celtic come out against Zenit St Petersburg.

 

Full Europa League Round of 32 Draw:

Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta

Nice v Lokomotov Moscow

Copenhagen v Atlético Madrid

Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao

AEK Athens v Dynamo Kyiv

Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg

Napoli v RB Leipzig

Red Star Belgrade v CSKA Moscow

Lyon v Villarreal

Real Sociedad v Salzburg

Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen

Steaua Bucharest v Lazio

Ludogorets v Milan

Astana v Sporting

Ostersunds v Arsenal

Marseille v Braga

 

UEFA Champions League defending champions will face Paris St-Germain as the full Round of 16 draw was made on Monday December 11, 2017.

Chelsea on their part face a hard task after being drawn against Barcelona while Tottenham will face Italian champions Juventus.

Manchester United, who finished top in Group A, will take on Spanish side Sevilla as Liverpool lock horns with FC Basel.

The group winners will be away in the round of 16 first legs on 13/14 and 20/21 February, and at home in the return matches on 6/7 and 13/14 March.

 

FULL ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES

Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur

FC Basel vs Manchester City

FC Porto vs Liverpool FC

Sevilla vs Manchester United

Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain

FC Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma

Chelsea vs FC Barcelona

FC Bayern Munchen vs Besiktas

 

Tanzania Mainland have named their starting lineup that will take on hosts Harambee Stars in their final Group A match in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup on Monday December 10, 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

After soaking in a number of goals, Azam FC goalkeeper Aisha Manula has been relegated to the bench with his place taken by Peter Manyika Jr of Singida United.

Tanzania are already out of this year's competition having not won any match but will be eyeing an upset for hosts Kenya in a bid to bow out of the competition with them.

The match kicks off at 16:00.

 

Starting XI: Peter Manyika Jr 24, Himid Mao Mkami 7, Gadiel Michael Mbaga 2, Kennedy Wilson Juma 6, Erasto Nyoni 4, Jonas Mkude 20, Abdul Hilal Hassan 13, Abdallah Hamisi Riziki 8, Daniel Lyanga 9, Ibrahim Ajib Migomba 10, Shizya Ramadhan Kichuya 16

 

Subs: Ramadhan Kabwili 17, Boniface Maganga 3, Mohamed Hussein 14, Muzamiru Yassin 19, Yahya Zayd Omary 21, Yohana Mkomola 11, Aman Peter Kyata 23, Raphael Daudi Loth 15

 

A complete list of all nominees that have been nominated in several categories of the 2017 Sport Journalists of Kenya Association (SJAK) Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Awards has been released.

The awarding event has been scheduled for Monday December 18, 2017 at the Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi.

Goalkeepers

In the goalkeeping category, Posta Rangers shot stopper Patrick Matasi, who is currently on duty with Harambee Stars in the 2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, is in line to defend the award he won last year after being named among three others. He however faces stiff completion from Jeff Oyemba of Kariobangi Sharks who kept the most clean sheets in the 2017 league season. Others are Sofapaka keeper Mathias Kigonya, Kakamega Homeboyz’s David Juma and Gor Mahia’s Boniface Oluoch.

MVP

A tough duel is expected in the Most Valuable Player category which has eight strong nominees. An unsettled Kenneth Muguna of Gor Mahia will be hoping to retain the gong, but will have to beat four of his teammates namely  Meddie Kagere, Musa Mohamed, Jacques Tuyisenge   and George Odhiambo . 2017 league top scorer Masoud Juma of Kariobangi Sharks is also a favorite to lift the prestigious prize.

 Below are all nominees for the five categories.

 

GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR:  Patrick Matasi  (Posta Rangers), David Juma  (Kakamega Homeboyz),  Mathias Kigonya  (Sofapaka),  Jeff Oyemba  (Kariobangi Sharks), Boniface Oluoch  (Gor Mahia).

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR: Charles Momanyi  (Kakamega Homeboyz), Musa Mohamed  (Gor Mahia),  Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia),  Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers),  Christopher Oruchum  (Thika United),  Pascal Ogweno  (Kariobangi Sharks),  Karim Nzigiyimana (Gor Mahia).

MIDFIELDER OF THE YEAR: Sven Yida  (Kariobangi Sharks), Lawrence Juma  (Nzoia Sugar), Michael Madoya  (Zoo FC), Chrispinus Oduor (Mathare United), George Odhiambo  (Gor Mahia), Ernest Wendo (Gor Mahia), Kenneth Muguna  (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker FC).

YOUNG/NEW PLAYER: Nicholas Kipkirui ( Zoo FC) , Faraj Ominde (Chemelil Sugar), Shafan Oyugi (Chemelil Sugar), Clinton Kisiavuki  (Nakumatt), Chris Ochieng  (Mathare United), Vincent Oburu  (AFC Leopards), Michael Kibwage  (AFC Leopards), Brian Otieno  (Nzoia Sugar).

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:  Meddie Kagere (Gor Mahia), Masoud Juma (Kariobangi Sharks), Musa Mohamed (Gor Mahia) Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Lawrence Juma  (Nzoia Sugar),   Patrick Matasi  (Posta Rangers), Jacques Tuyisenge  (Gor Mahia),  George Odhiambo  (Gor Mahia).

COACH OF THE YEAR: William Muluya  (Kariobangi Sharks), Mike Mururi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Sam Ssimbwa  (Sofapaka), Sammy Omolo  (Posta Rangers), Bernard Mwalala  (Nzoia Sugar).

 

Having already qualified to the semifinals of the 2017 CEAFA Senior Challenge Cup, Zanzibar head coach Hemed Suleiman Morocco has rested eight key players for their final Group A match against Libya on Monday December 11, 2017 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Notably benched are wingers Mohamed Issa and Mudathir Yahya, who have played an integral part in Zanzibar impressive displays. Goalkeeper Mohamed Abraham has also been benched, with his place being taken by Ahmed Ali Salula while Young Africans' defensive midfielder  Abdalah Shaibu 'Ninja' gets his first CECEFA start.

Zanzibar currently top Group A with seven points, two ahead of hosts Kenya who play Tanzania later on in the day. 

The match kicks off at 14:00.

Starting XI:

Ahmed Ali (Salula) 1, Mohamed Othman Mmanga 6, Haji Mwinyi Ngwali 16, Abdullah Haji (Ninja) 5, Issa Haidar Dau (Mwalala) 8, Abdul azizi Makame (Abui) 21, Seif Rashid (Karihe) 12, Abdul swamad Kassim (Hasgut) 22, Khamis Mussa (Rais) 28, Amour Suleiman (Pwina) 14, Adeyum Saleh 20

Subs:

Mohamed Abrahman (Wawesha) 18, Nassor Mrisho Salum 30, Ibrahim Mohamed (Sangula) 15, Ibrahim Abdallah 2, Abdulla Salum Kheri (Sebo) 13, Mohamed Issa (Banka) 10, Mudathir Yahya 4, Ibrahim Hamad Hilika 17, Feisal Salum (Fei Toto) 3, Hamad Mshamata 9,

 

Brendan Rodgers says Celtic will never match the spending of some teams in Europe, but insists an inability to spend "hundreds of millions of pounds" on players will not stop his side from embracing their Europa League campaign.

Unseeded Celtic take on Zenit St Petersburg in the round of 32 and will play the first leg of their tie at home before making a trip to Zenit Arena in Russia; one of the 2018 World Cup venues.

Their Champions League journey brought five defeats and one win in Group B, but a 1-0 loss to Anderlecht was enough to see the Scottish champions qualify for the Europa League, and the manager says his men are ready for the challenge.

"We're in the competition, so we're going to play against the likes of these teams and it's up to us to try and somehow find a way to bridge the gap," said Rodgers.

"Celtic will never be a club that's going to go out and spend hundreds of millions of pounds in getting in these, some of the world-class players.

"That's not where we're at.

"But we have got some very good players and we've got a great structure at the club that allows the club to be stable and financially sufficient and allows us to go on and achieve what we aim to achieve domestically, and of course to then go on and be able to qualify for European football.

"That will bring us, of course, in against some of the giants of the game.

"But we have to embrace that."

The Hoops have sat five points clear of at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a record unbeaten domestic run of 68 games.

They took the first step towards successive domestic trebles by retaining the Scottish League Cup with a 2-0 win over Motherwell last month.

Despite their domestic domination, Rodgers knows Zenit will prove a different kind of challenge on the bigger stage.

"It's a really exciting time at the club for me, in terms of being here and being the manager here, and everything that's going on," said Rodgers.

"We're into the Europa League now. We take on a team that's got some really good players and an excellent manager.

"It's an exciting draw. You look at some of the teams that you could play. There is never an easy game. Teams get through for a reason, so they're at that stage because they're a good side.

"There are some other clubs of course with a great history in the game. Zenit will be a tough game for us, but it's a game that we will look forward to when it comes around."

Rodgers recalled how he almost joined Zenit St Petersburg head coach Roberto Mancini as a first-team coach at Manchester City, before taking charge of Swansea in 2010.

"When I was rejected as a manager at Reading and was in between jobs, I didn't think I was going to get a manager's job," the former Liverpool boss said.

"I was in talks with Manchester City about maybe going back there as a first-team coach. I spoke to the club, all went well and I flew out to Milan to meet Roberto.

"We had a nice chat and it ended up that not long after that I got the job at Swansea as a manager. We have come across each other since. He is a good, nice guy."

Arsenal will face Ostersund and their English manager Graham Potter in the last 32 of the Europa League. 

Monday’s draw paired Arsène Wenger’s men with the Swedish side, who former York defender Potter has taken from the fourth division to the top-ranked Allsvenskan in six years. 

The 42-year-old has earned comparisons with Roy Hodgson – who himself managed in Scandinavia in his formative years - and this will be his first clash against English opposition. 

The draw also saw Celtic come out against Zenit St Petersburg.

 

Full Europa League Round of 32 Draw:

Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta

Nice v Lokomotov Moscow

Copenhagen v Atlético Madrid

Spartak Moscow v Athletic Bilbao

AEK Athens v Dynamo Kyiv

Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg

Napoli v RB Leipzig

Red Star Belgrade v CSKA Moscow

Lyon v Villarreal

Real Sociedad v Salzburg

Partizan Belgrade v Viktoria Plzen

Steaua Bucharest v Lazio

Ludogorets v Milan

Astana v Sporting

Ostersunds v Arsenal

Marseille v Braga

 

UEFA Champions League defending champions will face Paris St-Germain as the full Round of 16 draw was made on Monday December 11, 2017.

Chelsea on their part face a hard task after being drawn against Barcelona while Tottenham will face Italian champions Juventus.

Manchester United, who finished top in Group A, will take on Spanish side Sevilla as Liverpool lock horns with FC Basel.

The group winners will be away in the round of 16 first legs on 13/14 and 20/21 February, and at home in the return matches on 6/7 and 13/14 March.

 

FULL ROUND OF 16 FIXTURES

Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur

FC Basel vs Manchester City

FC Porto vs Liverpool FC

Sevilla vs Manchester United

Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain

FC Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma

Chelsea vs FC Barcelona

FC Bayern Munchen vs Besiktas

 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he does not want to make an issue of the team's recent bad starts as it could affect the confidence of the players, and accused Southampton of time-wasting after the 1-1 draw at St Mary's on Sunday.

Arsenal repeated their poor start from last week against Manchester United as Per Mertesacker gave the ball away after just three minutes, setting up a quick attack for Southampton that was finished off by Charlie Austin.

The Gunners struggled to create chances for much of the game until substitute Olivier Giroud headed home an equaliser in the 88th minute, but his side still remain outside the Premier League's top four.

Arsenal conceded two similar goals in the first 11 minutes in the 3-1 loss to United last weekend, and Wenger admitted that may have had an effect on his players.

"I felt that we played with an excellent spirit," Wenger told BT Sport. "But in the last two weeks, unfortunately we dropped points in the last two games for bad starts -- we are caught straight away. And after, it's difficult.

"Of course you're concerned, but you don't want to make too big a problem of it because it takes belief and confidence away from the players. I think you could see today that last week had an influence on today's start of the game. The players wanted to start strong, and overall I believe it took us time to get into the game again."

Wenger singled out Southampton's time wasting in the second half as a problem, and said Premier League referees have to crack down harder on such efforts.

"I feel the wasting of time becomes a real problem in England, and the referees have not found the answer yet," Wenger said. "The answer is the authority of the referees. First of all, I think it's in the head of the players to respect the game, and to play. And secondly, the authority of the referees to act early in the game, because it becomes really a problem in the last two seasons."

Giroud's goal was his 17th as a substitute in the Premier League, tying the record held by former United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Giroud has yet to start any league game this season, but Wenger paid tribute to the striker's ability to deliver off the bench when it matters.

"I think he has come back into a very good shape, he has shown that again today. He is mentally extremely strong as well," Wenger said. "It's a remarkable achievement what he has done again today."

Olivier Giroud climbed off the bench to rescue a point for Arsenal in a 1-1 draw at Southampton.

The French frontman struck two minutes from the end as Saints just failed to hang on to Charlie Austin's early opener.

Austin had punished Arsenal for a calamitous beginning to the match with his fourth goal in his last three starts.

With just two minutes on the clock the striker collected a loose clearance from Per Mertesacker and fed Dusan Tadic.

Austin timed his run into the area perfectly, taking Tadic's return ball in his stride and lashing it past Petr Cech.

Things could have got worse moments later when Tadic sent Austin through again, with Arsenal's defence nowhere to be seen, but this time Cech blocked the striker's low drive.

And there was more panic in the Gunners ranks with just seven minutes gone as Austin got in behind again, crashing his shot against a post although he was flagged offside.

Arsenal eventually recovered from their woeful start, but they struggled to find a way through a dogged Saints defence until Giroud's late intervention.

Arsene Wenger had once again started with Jack Wilshere on the bench despite his sparkling Europa League display in midweek.

Granit Xhaka, the man keeping Wilshere out, set up a chance for Alexandre Lacazette, who turned in the area but fired sraight at Fraser Forster.

Lacazette was then denied by a timely challenge from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after a lightning counter-attack before Forster held Aaron Ramsey's scuffed effort.

Forster has had his critics this season but the England World Cup hopeful made a fine save on the half-hour to tip a well-struck Ramsey drive around the post.

Southampton had another let-off before half-time when Maya Yoshida clattered Lacazette in the area after he had taken a shot but no penalty was given.

Their determination not to allow Arsenal back in was summed up when James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens double-teamed Sead Kolasinac, both sliding in to rob the winger in the penalty area.

Saints were inches from a second when Oriol Romeu took aim from 25 yards and crashed his shot against the crossbar.

Then Tadic fed Austin once again but the frontman's attempt to lift the ball over Cech drifted wide.

Arsenal pushed for an equaliser and Alexis Sanchez stood over a free kick 20 yards out only for Forster to punch his shot clear.

 

But with two minutes left Sanchez curled a cross into the area and Giroud rose above Virgil van Dijk to guide his header inside the far post.

West Ham United gave David Moyes his first victory as manager with a magnificent defensive effort against Chelsea on Saturday.

Marko Arnautovic’s early goal was enough to see off the Premier League champions and end a two-month wait for victory in the Premier League.

The Hammers had to repel an enormous amount of Chelsea possession, but did a fine job of restricting their visitors largely to efforts from range.

After a testing period for the Hammers, it was just the tonic they needed following on from a similarly resolute performance at Manchester City last week, and sets them up for the busy festive period on a stronger footing.

Moyes had a big call to make in goal following Adrian’s fine performance at Manchester City last week and he opted to retain the No13 in his starting XI, alongside bringing Winston Reid, Mark Noble and Arnautovic back.

It was the latter who had an immediate impact, firing the hosts into the lead with just six minutes on the clock.

It was a lovely goal too, as the Austrian exchanged passes with Manuel Lanzini before dropping a shoulder to see off Cesar Azpilicueta and shoot into the corner.

The Hammers led at the league leaders a week ago and then held the advantage again here, giving them something to hold onto as Chelsea searched for a foothold in the contest.

They certainly gained it in terms of possession – going into the break with 66 per cent of the ball – but West Ham were doing a sturdy job of defending against it.

Chelsea’s threat was largely coming from shots from outside the box, and Adrian had to be alert to touch a N’Golo Kante curler around the pitch on 28 minutes.

The danger wasn’t over, and from the resulting corner Davide Zappacosta’s low drive needed another smart stop from the Hammers keeper.

West Ham’s problem in the opening 35 minutes was that they were not winning enough of the second balls in midfield, but they improved in that aspect in the closing stages of the opening period and began to pose questions again.

Arthur Masuaku looked to use his dribbling skills to good effect in attacking areas and he ghosted past his man before dragging a shot wide from outside the area.

West Ham had penalty shouts early in the second period when Arnautovic ran at Andreas Christiansen and the ball skipped up onto his arm, but referee Anthony Taylor waved play on.

The visitors wasted no time in using their attacking options, bringing all of Pedro, Willian and former Hammers loanee Victor Moses on inside the first 19 minutes of the second period, and the Hammers were being pushed deeper and deeper.

Like the first half, though, Chelsea were having difficulty in cutting through the Hammers though, with Zappacosta’s flashed shot across goal on 58 typical of their threat.

As the Hammers tired, the Blues’ sights of goal got slightly clearer, and Alvaro Morata cracked a shot just wide of the mark after Masuaku couldn’t get up in time and played the Spaniard onside.

It was a clear opportunity – the clearest the visitors had – but they didn’t take it as the Hammers held on for the points.

 

West Ham United: Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble (c), Obiang, Arnautovic (Sakho 69), Lanzini, Masuaku, Antonio (Ayew 78)

Subs: Hart, Rice, Fernandes, Carroll, Chicharito

Goal: Arnautovic 6

Booked: Arnautovic, Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Obiang, Masuaku

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christiansen, Cahill (c), Zappacosta (Willian 64), Kante, Bakayoko (Pedro 46), Alonso (Moses 55), Fabregas, Hazard, Morata

Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Ampadu, Batshuayi

Booked: Alonso

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance: 56,953

 

 

 

Jesse Lingard says friendships will be put on hold when Manchester United host derby rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's side travel to Old Trafford seeking to extend their eight-point lead at the top of the table, while United will look to breathe life into their own title challenge by handing City their first loss of the season.

Each squad features internationals from England, Spain, Belgium, France and Argentina but Lingard insists those relationships will mean little once the derby begins.

"You know quite a lot of them [City's Academy players] growing up, and through the England set-up as well," Lingard told United Review, Sunday's official match-day programme.

"I'm good friends with Raheem [Sterling] off the pitch. But when you're on the pitch, there are no friends and we're there to do a job and win the game."

With Jose Mourinho gradually losing patience with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata, Lingard appears certain to feature for United after igniting his season in recent weeks,

Lingard was given just his second Premier League start of the season against Watford and seized the opportunity with both hands, helping himself to a goal and an assist in a 4-2 United victory.

The 24-year-old followed that up with two goals in a 3-1 win at Arsenal and he goes into Sunday's game with plenty of optimism.

"I am confident," Lingard said. "It's two great teams going out there and you don't know what the game is going to be like.

"It might be a battle; it might not be pretty. But if we come out on top, it's always good for the city of Manchester. We need to make sure that Manchester is red at the end of the day. Like us, they have lots of big players.

"When [Kevin] De Bruyne's on the ball, he's always got that eye for a killer pass that can put a player one on one with the keeper, and Raheem Sterling's been popping up with the late goals.

"It's going to be full-on for 90-plus minutes. We need to be on point until that whistle goes, so everyone needs to stay highly-concentrated throughout.

"As long as we start the game well, like we did at Arsenal, I don't see any reason why we can't win."

 

Antonio Conte believes it is harder for Chelsea to win the Premier League title because of the sheer number of derby games the Blues and, indeed, other London clubs have to play each season.

Champions Chelsea take on city rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, which will be the Blues' fourth Premier League London derby already this season.

Meanwhile, top-flight leaders Manchester City face a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on Sunday, which follows Liverpool's derby clash with Everton at Anfield.

And Conte believes that having to play eight derby Premier League games this season makes it more difficult for a team like Chelsea to win the league compared to clubs in many other major cities in Europe where, typically, they have only one big rival.

When asked for his thoughts on Chelsea's clash with West Ham, Conte told reporters at Cobham: "I think the derby is always a different type of game, it's always a special game. 

"If you are a team and you stay in London you must be prepared to play a lot of special games. For sure, it is different this type of game. 

"In Italy if you are in Turin there is only one derby, in Milan the same, in Rome [too]. In Manchester only one game. Here you must be ready to face many teams and I think also for our fans this is a special game."

When then questioned about whether playing so many derby games per season in London made it more harder to win the league, Conte replied: "I think in this league every game is very tough but to play during a season eight to ten derby is more difficult."

 

Popular Articles

The gambling industry is growing rapidly in Kenya. We could be competing with the West African nations. Since last year, the country has witnessed over 10 bookmakers join the industry with each contesting for a piece of the pie.

Those who love him, love him with so much passion. Those who hate him, also do so with the same gusto. If a book on ‘The most hated footballers’ were ever to be written, several chapters would be dedicated to him.

Matatu culture is part of living in Nairobi City and the transport means used by all. Soccer fans use their own cars, buses and matatus for traveling to away matches.

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Eric Ochieng' aka Cantona is one of most iconic soccer athletes to grace Kenya Premier League in the 1990s.

He is the Kenyan version of Portuguese super agent Jorge Paulo Agostinho Mendes. He is many things to many people, and recently added another feather to his cap by venturing into player and coaches representation. Starting off as a journalist, he grew through the ranks to become a Television producer, took the big risk and ventured into football administration, before jumping ship to start what has been a largely successful venture of talent management.

The day is September 26th 2010. Kenya U-20 coach Vince Ombiji brought on a young and promising player as the national junior side took on Lesotho. The rookie had an almost immediate impact, as he ran down the Lesotho defense rugged. Fleet foot works, pacy and pin point crosses made him a darling to the fans instantly. Kenya’s next big thing was alive.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has landed 0.75 billion shillings from FIFA in a grant that is aimed to make the federation set up and manage their inhouse media activities.

Kenyanstar has learnt from sources privy to the deal that the world governing body has agreed to hand the Federation a grant of USD 7.5M to set up their own media production for the league matches.

The news coming barely weeks after Supersport suspended their broadcast deal with Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and later on laying off staff earlier on this week, will be welcome to the soccer industry.

FKF president has been in the news saying how FKF and the KPL would be produced in-house and availed for free to air (FTA) TV channels.

To reduce pressure in starting up, our sources say, FKF will absorb the staff that were working for Supersport to do the production and there is likelihood they may buy the studio Supersport had set up in Nairobi.

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)

 

 

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has described joining Crystal Palace as the “worst decision” of his career.

The 33-year-old Togolese striker is currently playing for Turkish side ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir after being released by the Eagles in the summer of 2016.

Adebayor signed a six-month deal with Palace at the beginning of 2016 – a decision he says he would reverse if given the opportunity.

“I had some great experiences in England in clubs who are among the best in the country,” he told L’Équipe, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

“I was happy there, my family too. The only error that I made was to sign for Crystal Palace in January 2016.

“I did it just to please my entourage, who were saying to me: ‘Manu, you have to start playing again!’ It was the worst decision of my career.”

He would played 15 senior matches for Palace under then boss Alan Pardew scoring once in a losing effort to Watford.

It turned out to be his worst return for a single club since turning professional nearly 20 years ago with hometown side AC Merlan Lome.

Prior to relocating to Selhurst Park, the enigmatic centre-forward had already plied his trade with three different English clubs, most notably Arsenal from whom he joined Manchester City before returning to North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

In his first season with Ba?ak?ehir, the former Monaco man, has managed to register six goals across 11 league appearances including a hat-trick against Galatasaray.

 

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