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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half hour mark and former Atletico Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey, one of the best performers in the game had to be withdrawn for an injury he tried to endure and play with but could not.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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Buhari hosts FIFA president at Aso Villa

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President Muhammadu Buhari received Gianni Infantino, president of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), at Aso Villa in Abuja on Thursday.

 

Infantino who was on courtesy visit was accompanied by Patricee Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports.

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Ronaldo’s lone not enough as Young Boys beat Man U 2-1 in Champion League opener

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored again for Manchester United, but they were beaten 2-1 by Young Boys in their Champions League opener after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card.

Despite playing with 10 men 55 minutes, it looked like a solid defensive display would see United come away with a point.

But a late error from Jesse Lingard allowed Jordan Pefok (90+5) to slot home the winner with the final kick of the game.

Man Utd had been heavy favourites heading into the game, and made the perfect start as Ronaldo – who went level with Iker Casillas on all-time Champions League appearances (177) – slotted through David Von Ballmoos’ legs inside 13 minutes.

But the complexion of the match-up was changed in the 35th minute as Wan-Bissaka was shown a straight red for a heavy and clumsy challenge on Christopher Martins.

 

 

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Lukaku scores in Chelsea slim Champion League victory

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Romelu Lukaku’s second-half header saved an under-par Chelsea as they began their Champions League defence with a 1-0 win over Zenit at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku brilliantly headed home Cesar Azpilicueta’s deep cross (69) for his fourth goal in four appearances back at Chelsea, in a game where the European champions struggled to create clear-cut chances and one manager Thomas Tuchel admitted was “not easy” for Lukaku.

Zenit nearly grabbed an equaliser late on as sub Artem Dzyuba failed to convert at the far post with the goal gaping, summing up a nervy and at times frustrating opening night in Group H for Tuchel’s side.

With Juventus winning 3-0 at Malmo, Chelsea sit second in their group, before going to the Italian side on September 29 for matchday two. Tuchel’s side remains unbeaten this season after five games in all competitions.

 

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