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2021 AFCON: Why Super Eagles performed poorly, by Rohr

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Super Eagles Coach Gernot Rohr has said the poor condition of the pitch at the Siaka Stevens stadium, Freetown, was responsible for the poor performance of the team against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Tuesday’s match.

The Super Eagles played an uninspiring goalless draw against the Leone Stars in the reverse fixture of their Group L 2021 AFCON qualifier.

The Eagles remain leaders of the group with eight points after four games, while Sierra Leone are third with three points.

Rohr, reviewing the game on the team’s official Twitter account, praised the performance of some his players, singling out Maduka Okoye for being the most impressive, and lamenting the long ball tactics used by the home team, which scuttled the efforts of the Eagles’ to secure the much needed three points.

Rohr stated, “The team did well, especially our goalkeeper who had a very good match. Last time, he conceded four goals, which was not his fault. And today, he showed everyone what he can do. Our defence did well, but the pitch was very difficult to play good football and they were playing long balls.

“The point means we stay top of our group and I believe we are in the right direction.”

The Eagles will in their next match play away to Benin Republic in March 2021.

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Tottenham sack Jose Mourinho

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Tottenham Hotspur management has sacked coach Jose Mourinho.

The announcement comes after Tottenham Hotspur drew 2-2 with Everton on Friday evening, leaving them down in seventh place in the table.

Mourinho was appointed as Tottenham manager in November 2019, a day after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

He guided them to sixth place in the table by the end of the campaign, but his style of football often didn’t win him much acclaim from fans.

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Kelechi Iheanacho fires Leicester City into FA Cup final

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Leicester City have booked their place in the FA Cup final against Chelsea as Kelechi Iheanacho’s second-half strike seals the win over Southampton.

It is Leicester City’s first FA Cup final since 1969.

The striker converted from close range in the 55th minute after good work from Jamie Vardy set him up during a counter attack.

It is the fifth time the Foxes have reached the FA Cup final and they will now face Chelsea next month after the Blues defeated Manchester City in the other semi-final on Saturday.

Iheanacho’s strike was the 14th he has scored in this competition since 2015 and no player – not Sergio Aguero or Harry Kane – has scored more FA Cup goals during that time. The cup has become his playground.

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Klopp proved right about Tuchel after Chelsea’s win over Man City in FA Cup

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Chelsea booked their place in this season’s Emirates FA Cup final with a 1-0 win over Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday evening.

Hakim Ziyech, who joined the Blues from Dutch giants Ajax last summer, netted the only goal of the game just ten minutes into the second half after he connected with Timo Werner’s square pass.

The Moroccan’s fifth goal of the campaign, and his second in his last two FA Cup appearances, was enough to seal the win for Thomas Tuchel’s charges, meaning they brought an end to City’s hopes of completing a famous quadruple this season, with Pep Guardiola’s side currently riding high at the top of the Premier League table, in the final of the Carabao Cup and just two games away from the final of the UEFA Champions League.

t is fair to say that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was bang on the money when waxing lyrical about Tuchel when he was in charge of Paris Saint-Germain.

Klopp had hailed Tuchel as a “fantastic manager” and spoken highly of the way he had changed the French club’s style of play, something he most certainly had not been afraid to do since arriving in West London.

“A fantastic, fantastic manager. You can see really his influence, it has changed a lot their style of play, how they play, different formations and stuff like that,” Klopp said back in 2019, as quoted by Get French Football News.

He also said, “I know a lot of people who have worked with him, they all are full of respect for him. You cannot be in the Champions League only because of spending money; that is not how it is.

“You need to have on the pitch a good organisation, because all the others we are not blind.

“We do our job as well and you need to have the right tools in the right moments and Thomas has that.”

Tuchel reacts

Although City have been a dominant force in England this season, sweeping almost everybody aside who they have come up against, Tuchel had the measure of them. The German implemented his tactics to perfection and guided his side to a fully deserved victory.

The win over City capped off what can only be described as an outstanding week’s work. The Blues defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 at Selhurst Park last weekend, securing their biggest win of the Tuchel era so far, before booking their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in seven years on Tuesday evening. Now, they have ended the week by moving to within one game of lifting the FA Cup for a ninth time.

Considering Chelsea was a club that was in serious danger of missing out on the top-four when they sacked Frank Lampard towards the end of January, to still be in with an excellent chance of finishing third this season, booking a place in the final of the Champions League and lifting the FA Cup deserves enormous amounts of praise.

And the vast majority of that praise should be sent in Tuchel’s direction. The German has arrived at Stamford Bridge and wasted no time in setting out his own philosophy for how he wants his team to play. He has changed the formation, their outlook and the belief they have within as a squad. They fear nobody, proven with wins over Atletico Madrid (twice), Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and City.

To have beaten all of those clubs, and done so without conceding a single goal, deserves massive amounts of plaudits.

-Football.london

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