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Messi gets first-ever Barcelona red card in Spanish Super Cup defeat

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Athletic Bilbao won the Spanish Super Cup at the La Cartuja Stadium on Sunday night courtesy of a come-from-behind 3-2 extra-time victory over Barcelona who had Lionel Messi, their captain sent off for violent conduct.

It was Messi’s first-ever Barcelona red card and it came in his 753rd game for the club where he has broken almost every record available.

Messi, who had a quiet evening for Barcelona, crowned the Catalans’ miserable night with a red card for violent conduct in the last minute of extra time.

The 33-year-old Argentine bundled a Bilbao player to the ground off the ball and was given the marching order following a VAR review.

Athletic Bilbao, on the other hand, earned their third Super Cup title and their first since 2015 when they also defeated Barcelona.

Marcelino, Bilbao’s new manager who joined the club earlier this month, also recorded his second cup final win over Barcelona, following his 2019 triumph with Valencia in the Copa Del Rey final.

With two wins apiece in their past five meetings, both clubs delivered a pulsating match that required extra time to separate them with Bilbao punishing a tired Barcelona in extra time, courtesy of Inaki William’s wonder goal.

Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the 40th minute, pouncing on a loose ball that fell to him from Lionel Messi’s blocked shot to slot home from 10 yards out.

Athletic Bilbao restored parity two minutes later through Oscar de Marcos. The versatile midfielder ghosted between Barcelona’s defenders to bury Williams’ cross for a 1-1 scoreline at halftime.

The Basque side would have a goal chalked off for offside by the VAR that adjudged that Raul Garcia was inches offside as he met a free kick with a powerful header.

Griezmann restored Barcelona’s lead in the 77th minute when he again slotted home Jordi Alba’s cross for his sixth goal contribution in his last six matches.

A dramatic end to regulation time saw Asier Villalibre, who was introduced from the bench on the 73rd-minute, volleyed into the top corner from Iker Muniain’s deep free-kick to steal a last-minute equalizer and force an extra time.

Bilbao then punished their tired-looking but more illustrious opponent three minutes into extra time through the brilliant Williams.

The striker collected Muniain’s pass and curled perfectly into the top corner from the edge of the box to make it 3-2 and hand Athletic the lead for the first time in the encounter.

 

 

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Everton confirm former Burnley boss Dyche as new manager

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Everton have confirmed the appointment of former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

The report came on Monday that Dyche had been chosen by the Everton board as Frank Lampard’s successor, after also holding talks with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Dyche, according to a Sky Sports report, is the seventh permanent manager hired by Toffees owner Farhad Moshiri since he took over the club nearly seven years ago.

Lampard’s last game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham on January 21, which kept them second-bottom on 15 points after 20 games – two points below the safety zone.

The Merseyside club had been floundering under the former England international, having last won a league game in October when they beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at home.

Lampard was appointed by Everton in January 2022 after he managed Chelsea from 2019/2021 and Derby County in the second tier in 2018/19, but Dyche will now be tasked with arresting the slide towards the Championship.

Dyche told the club’s official website, “It’s an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track.

“I know about Everton’s passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We’re ready to work and ready to give them what they want. That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for for a long time.”

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Mourinho Compares Victor Osimhen to one of the African legend, Didier Drogba

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Victor Osimhen

AS Roma manager, Jose Mourinho, has compared Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli of Italy hitman, Victor Osimhen, to Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend, Didier Drogba.

NEWSBREAK reports that the  Nigerian striker netted a world-class goal as his side, Napoli, marched towards the Serie A title on Sunday. Osimhen’s classic goal came against Mourinho’s Roma at the Diego Maradona stadium where Napoli won 2-1.

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Speaking after the match, Mourinho, a former Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid manager, said: “He (Osimhen) is of the same level as Drogba, but Didier didn’t dive.

“If Victor changes, then OK. I’d buy him if I was at a club with a lot of money. However, if he does go to England one day, he needs to change, because in Italy they put up with this sort of behaviour, whereas in the Premier League, they’d come down hard on him.”

He added: “I told him that he scored a wonderful goal and needs to stop diving so much. His goal was fantastic, he did the same thing when we met earlier this season, so he’s a fantastic player. But he mustn’t dive.”

Osimhen, 24, is currently the highest goal scorer in the Italian league Serie A with 14 goals scored in 16 matches.

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Kelechi Iheanacho’s record goal helps Leicester qualify for last 16 FA Cup

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Leicester city needed the goal from Nigerian footballer Kelechi Iheanacho to avoid a shock elimination from the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Walsall on Saturday.

The Nigerian has scored more goals in the competition than any other player since making his debut in 2016.

Iheanacho’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances had some fortune as his strike from the edge of the box took a deflection for the only goal 23 minutes from time.

Leicester, Leeds and Man United join Manchester City as the first four sides to book their place in the last 16 of the competition.

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