Cristiano Ronaldo struck from the spot kick to clinch Juventus’ 1-0 win against Torino Saturday, going joint top in the scorers chart as the Italian champions continued their dominance in the Serie A. Juve are unbeaten with 15 wins and one draw for a 46-point tally from 16 games. City rivals Torino are sixth on 22. Ronaldo had a first effort bravely saved on 15 minutes by Salvatore Sirigu, who then left the pitch for Salvador Ichazo, having been injured in an earlier clash with Leonardo Bonucci.
The aggressive Toro left little manoeuvring room for the Bianconeri, who found the winner after their Ichazo downed Mario Mandzukic as he pounced on a backward pass from former Juve striker Simone Zaza. Ronaldo converted in the 70th minute to go level on 11 strikes with Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek. The goal was Juve’s 5,000th in the Serie A.
Juve boss Max Allegri spoke to DAZN after the game and revealed what he did before Ronaldo took the penalty that gave his team the goal in the game, here is what he had to say on the matter:
“Penalty-kick goal? I didn’t see it as I turned my back just before Ronaldo took the shot. Penalty-kicks are always stressful so I prefer not to look. Torino played well and they always give us a difficult time. They play a physical style of football but when their tempo fell a little, this is when we took control of the game.”
“Result? Well I am happy since we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, especially since Torino have been coming off a few decent results. Forwards? They did well especially in the second half. “Torino pressed us very high up on the pitch in the first half which gave us troubles but we responded well in the second half. This result allows us to take another positive step forward. We are trending in the right direction that’s for sure…”.
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Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo has expressed his delight after Leganes extended their unbeaten run with a 0-0 draw against Celta Vigo in Friday’s La Liga game. The Nigeria international helped Mauricio Pellegrino’s men to keep a clean sheet and claim a point against the Sky Blues at Abanca-Balaidos.
The Chelsea loanee played the entire duration to help the Cucumber Growers claim a valuable point away from home to stretch the run to eight games. The draw saw Mauricio Pellegrino’s men maintain their 16th spot in the log with 18 points from 16 games. And the 25-year-old defender has taken to the social media to show his excitement on the impressive run.
“Good to take one point from a difficult game, eight games unbeaten. The team fought till the end,” Omeruo posted on Instagram.
Omeruo has made nine league appearances since arriving at Estadio Municipal de Butarque in the summer and will hope to get another chance to continue against Sevilla on December 23.
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Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, on Sunday heaped praises on President Muhammadu Buhari, acknowledging that the man he toppled in a coup d’etat in 1985 has remained focused and shown tremendous energy and vibrancy in running the affairs of Nigeria since 2015.
Babangida also acknowledged Buhari’s patriotism and commitment to serve the nation diligently with honesty and sincerity of purpose.
Babangida poured the accolades on Buhari in a statement released ahead of Buhari’s 76th birthday on Monday, 17th December.
The Minna hilltop-based army general must have beaten a flood of greetings expected to be showered on Buhari on Monday.
Babangida noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has been “an excellent role model to many young aspiring politicians and even to the not-so-young, because of the way and manner you have managed to sustain the survival of our country as an indivisible one nation albeit in the face of many daunting diversions.”
He said: “You achieved great success in the fight against corruption, terrorism and other forms of insecurity in addition to getting our country out of economic recession.
“I wish to congratulate you for all the achievements you have recorded in your lifetime and particularly for your humility, deep sense of honesty and faith you have shown in the various aspects of governance, politics and democracy as our President.”
“As we get over our mid-seventies, we can say with all sense of modesty that we should celebrate every birthday anniversary with prayers in order for us to thank Allah for all the blessings and the bounties He showered upon us.
“It is only fair that we pause and reflect in our own different ways on all the life’s challenges we face day by day and the positive strides we have been blessed to attain.
“A typical day in the life of a Nigerian President requires faith, poise, patience, tenacity, experience, strategic thinking and quality character for one to get through it.”
“I join the first lady, Aisha and all your children and grandchildren in wishing you many happy returns of your birthday.
“Aisha’s loyalty and support, as the home front commander, is invigorating since by our age we require much comfort, care and affection at home. Welcome to our club of the over 75.”
Leicester City Manager Reveals The Reason Behind Super Eagles Kelechi Iheanacho’s Recent Poor Performance
Leicester City and Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho has not been receiving good service from the midfield despite his good attacking movements, manager Claude Puel claimed. The Super Eagles star has struggled in front of goal in the English Premer League this campaign. The former Manchester City striker has only managed just a goal in 16 league games for the Foxes who are 11th in the English top-flight table. His only goal so far this season came in Leicester’s 3-1 defeat of Huddersfield Town back in September.
On Saturday, he was introduced as a second-half substitute for Demarai Gray as his team slipped to a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. Despite the dip in his goalscoring form, Puel has defended the former Manchester City attacker by calling for improvement from his midfield distributors.
“I think in his last game he was available between defenders a lot and he made many good runs behind the opponents’ line without receiving good service,” Puel was quoted by SkySports. “We need to improve our play between the attacking players and the midfield, to give a good pass in the right moment. “For an attacking player or striker, they need good service. We can improve in this and we have progress to make.”
He has also struggled for form on the international scene with Nigeria fans slating him for his displays. Since his arrival from the Etihad in 2017, Iheanacho has scored 11 goals across all competitions for Leicester City.
What do you think is Iheanacho’s problem or Puel is right about him not getting good service from the midfielders?
The Nigerian Navy says that its improved presence at sea has reduced incidences of sea piracy which hitherto was prevalent on the nation’s territorial waters.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, stated this on Saturday during the inauguration of a naval medical centre and gulf course at the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder in Port Harcourt.
Ibas attributed the declining occurrences of activities of sea pirates to the adoption of the Maritime Domain Awareness Infrastructure strategy launched few years ago.
He said: “We have been able to successfully reduce the incidences of sea piracy as well as contained the menace of maritime criminals we have at sea.
“We have robust infrastructure – maritime domain awareness infrastructure – which gives us an eye over the seas.
“Hitherto, these criminal elements carried out their actions, and we didn’t see them; but now, we see them and we are able to respond appropriately.
“This also goes to affirm that with necessary enablement that we will be able to carry out our legitimate functions – which is what the navy has done.”
Ibas further attributed the success to the addition of the newly acquired warships and assault gunboats to the Nigerian navy fleet in the last one year.
The naval chief said the improved security at sea had resulted in steady rise in production of crude oil as well as economy of the nation.
He said that in spite of challenges encountered in 2018, the navy made remarkable progress in both operational duties and welfare of personnel.
Ibas said: “So, I am here at NNS Pathfinder as part of routine function to appraise the operational readiness of the Nigerian Navy. I am happy with our performance so far.
“The various commands that I visited have been able to judiciously utilise the resources that have been made available to them.
“So, it is on that note that I have commissioned a medical centre in addition to other welfare facilities to further encourage the officers and men and their families.”