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Chelsea sack manager Lampard after 18 months

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  • Thomas Tuchel to take over

Frank Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea FC after just 18 months as head coach and will be replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Chelsea’s decision, according to the club’s statement quoted by Sky Sport, on Monday, was based on poor results of the team under Lampard.

The statement said, “Results and performances have not met the club’s expectations, leaving the club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.”

In another statement, owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, said, “This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.

“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, the board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as head coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”

Tuchel, who left PSG in December and previously managed Borussia Dortmund, will be Chelsea’s next head coach and plans are under way to appoint him before the game against Wolves on Wednesday. The German is the only candidate for the role.

Lampard, who is the club’s all-time leading goal scorer, enjoyed a good first season as Blues boss, taking them to the FA Cup final and securing qualification for the Champions League.

But after being given more than £200m to spend on new players in the summer, Chelsea find themselves ninth in the Premier League after 19 games, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five points off Liverpool in fourth.

Lampard took the side on a 17-game unbeaten run but away defeats to Everton, Wolves, Arsenal and Leicester and a 3-1 home defeat to Manchester City have cost him his job.

Chelsea had looked at bringing in an interim manager but RB Leipzig’s former Head of Sport Ralf Rangnick turned down the opportunity.

Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal in 2017 with Dortmund before a brief but trophy-laden spell in Paris which saw him win two Ligue 1 titles and a French Cup, as well as reaching the final of last season’s Champions League, which they lost to Bayern Munich.

“Roman Abramovich’s quotes on the sacking show just how much respect he has for Frank Lampard. Abramovich has never previously commented on footballing matters.

“The decision was difficult because it was Lampard, but easy because of what was happening on the pitch.

“Lampard lost his job because the board were very concerned by results and performances, especially the fact that he has the worst points per game record of any manager in the Abramovich era.

“The board could not see a way for Lampard to reverse the negative direction of travel.

“The board were very concerned about the lack of confidence, form and momentum.

“Lampard was told at the start of the season that the target was to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City and to be challenging at the top. That has not happened so a change had to be made. The aim was not just to finish in the top four.

“Chelsea felt they had no option but to make the change now in order to give Thomas Tuchel as much time as possible to turn their season around.

“Tuchel is being appointed because he is the best man for the job – it has nothing to do with him being German and nothing to do with trying to get the best out of Werner, Havertz and Rudiger.

“Lampard was told this morning. As always, he took it like the ultimate professional.”

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Olympiacos sign Henry Onyekuru on permanent deal

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Olympiacos FC have announced the signing of forward Henry Onyekuru from Ligue 1 club Monaco.

 

The 24-year-old Nigerian forward arrived in Greece to seal a permanent move on Saturday after spending last season on loan at Galatasaray.

 

Olympiacos have confirmed the signing of the 24-year-old star on their official website by stating: “Olympiacos have announced the acquisition of international ace, Henry Onyekuru.

 

“The Nigerian, born on June 5, 1997, in Lagos, has been acquired from Monaco after signing a four-year contract.

 

“Having spent five years at Aspire Academy, Onyekuru took the first big step in his career in 2015 by signing a contract with Eupen.

“His 30 goals in 60 games with the Belgian club attracted several clubs with Everton acquiring his services in 2017. The Nigerian spent the next two seasons on loan at Anderlecht (28 assists, 10 goals) and Galatasaray (31 assists and 14 goals) respectively.”

 

Speaking after signing for the team, Onyekuru said: “I know it is a big club in Greece, one of the biggest and they have good ambition and target every season and they are always in the Champions League.

 

“I also know of two Nigerians who played here before and I am just here to contribute and keep on pushing and also to be champions countless times, achieve more goals and aims with the club.

On June 30, 2017, Onyekuru joined Premier League side, Everton, for £7 million and was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht where he was handed the number 9 jersey.

Onyekuru, who made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3-0 friendly win over Togo on June 1, 2017, is part of the key players for head coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches in September.

 

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Nigeria wins first medal at Tokyo Olympics in long jump

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Nigeria on Tuesday morning won her first medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in long jump through Ese Brume.
Brume jumped 6.97 metres to clinch the bronze medal in the event.
The world championship bronze medalist became the first athlete to claim an Olympic medal for Nigeria in 13 years.
Malaika Mihambo, the reigning world champion, claimed the gold medal with a 7.00m jump.
American athlete, Brittney Reese, who won gold in London 2012, finished second with 6.97m to take the silver medal.
Brume went right into the lead with her first jump of 6.97m but she went behind after she leaped 6.67 meters in the second jump and recorded a foul jump at the third attempt.
Early on, the medal contenders had bunched up at the top with Mihambo moving within 2cm of Brume’s 6.97m and Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic in third with 6.91m.
Reese then took the top spot on her third attempt, moving in front of Brume’s jump of 6.97m by virtue of having the second-longest effort, but the Nigerian’s second-best jump of 6.88m on her fourth attempt put her back into the overall lead.
The 6.87m jump by Reese on her fourth attempt meant she trailed Brume by a centimeter. But her fifth attempt of 6.95m got her to the top.
In the final round, it was a battle between Mihambo, Reese and Brume for the gold medal.
On Mihambo’s last jump, she scored 7.00m to move from bronze into gold position.
Brume had her foot well behind the line in her last jump (6.90m) which did not improve on her best, forcing her to settle for bronze.

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Arsenal lose 2-1 to Chelsea in pre-season encounter

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The next season of the English Premier League is only 12 days and already the injury concerns that have plagued Arsenal football returned in their pre-season match which they lost 2-1 against Chelsea on Sunday.
Nine minutes past the half hour mark and former Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey, one of the best performers in the game had to be withdrawn for an injury he tried to endure and play with but could not.
In post-match comments, Gunners’ manager Mikel Arteta confirmed the worst fears of the Emirates fans about the situation around Thomas Partey’s injury when he was quoted as saying: “At the moment it’s not looking good.”
The Ghanaian has hardly had the chance to properly settle and give the Arsenal faithful what his potential promises in any sustained fashion since his celebrated move to the Premiership from La Liga’s current League champions.
Every time, he returned from injury and clicked back to form, there was another setback waiting just around to corner to consign him to the sidelines for another period, denying the Emirates side the productivity of his high profile contributions when he is fit and on the team sheet for matches.
Although his replacement, the Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, who has been strongly linked with a move to join Jose Mourinho at Serie A side Roma, scored the leveller for the Gunners, Chelsea kicked off the pre-season Mind Series tournament with a composed 2-1 victory over their London rivals.
The injury to Xhaka aside, Arsenal began the game on top. They caused Thomas Tuchel’s charges some trouble down the left wing, but Chelsea opened the scoring with a Kai Havertz goal from a two-on-one chance after 26 minutes. The Gunners could have equalised but Emile Smith Rowe’s strike, just like Hakim Ziyech’s after him, came back off the post to see Chelsea finish the half ahead.
Ziyech was again guilty of fluffing another excellent chance to double the Chelsea lead before Xhaka headed Arsenal level from a corner midway through the second half. Then, Tammy Abraham, who had also been linked with a move to the Emirates took advantage of the famous Arsenal sloppiness in defense to get the Blues back in front.
There was a second Arsenal goal in the match as Joe Willock fired the ball home late on. However, even though replays showed the ball to have bounced over the line, the goal was not given and Chelsea instead managed to see the rest of the game out comfortably for a good start.
The Gunners team saw all of their vulnerabilities from last season exposed even after the previous victories they had managed in the pre-season matches so far played. What will worry Arteta most is the injury to Partey from this match and the ones that may come with more games they play.

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