Celtic manager Ronny Deila to leave at end of season

Ronny Deila

Celtic manager Ronny Deila will leave the club at the end of the season, the Scottish champions said on Wednesday.

Norwegian Deila led the Glasgow club to a league and cup double last year in his first season and is close to delivering a fifth consecutive Scottish Premier League title.

Celtic are eight points clear of Aberdeen in the SPL but suffered a Scottish Cup semifinal defeat by second-tier local rivals Rangers in a penalty shootout on Sunday. Bet Naija

“The club, as always, will give Ronny our full support until the end of the season,” Celtic chairman Ian Bankier said in a statement on the club’s website .

“We will then make a decision regarding our next manager with the objective of remaining Scotland’s pre-eminent club. I thank Ronny and once again wish him well for the futu

Jay Jay Okocha lectures his nephew Iwobi on humility

iwobi-300 jay jay okocha

Former Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has warned emerging starlet, Alex Iwobi to avoid pride if he is to achieve his full potential.

Iwobi has been impressive in recent weeks for English Premier League club, Arsenal with two goals and two assists in his last four starts.

Okocha says Iwobi can reach for the heavens only if he keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

“My Uncle (Jay Jay) is always offering me advice.

“He says he knows things are working well for me but that I must stay humble and remain the same person I have always been,” Iwobi told Arsenal Player.

Okocha has been vocal on Twitter in his support for the nephew and Iwobi says he was shocked to discover his storied Uncle had an account on the microblogging site.

“I didn’t even know he (Jay Jay) was on Twitter but then my friends brought what he said to my notice and I am like ‘Oh Gosh’.

“I am happy that I am making him proud and hopefully, I will be better than him. Naijabet.com

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Barcelona : What is going wrong for the La Liga giants?

Barcelona must reverse an amazing loss of form to win all five of their remaining La Liga games to be assured of retaining their title, starting with a trip to Deportivo la Coruna on Wednesday.

The Catalan giants have taken just one point from their last four La Liga games and lost four of their last five in all competitions having previously enjoyed a 39-game unbeaten run stretching back six months.

Only Barca’s superior head-to-head record separates them from their Champions League conquerers Atletico Madrid at the top of the table with Real Madrid lurking just a point further back after a run of seven straight league wins.

All three face tough tests on a Wednesday evening of action that will go a long way to settling the title with the fixture list for all three favourable in the final four games.

Barca are up first as they travel to Galicia in a desperate search to snap their worst run of league defeats in 13 years.

Coach Luis Enrique and key defender Gerard Pique insisted Barca can and will win the league if they play like they did against Valencia on Sunday despite slipping to a 2-1 defeat thanks to a mixture of bad luck, poor finishing and a brilliant goalkeeping display by Diego Alves.

“If there is a team capable of doing it and much more given what they have done, it is this Barca,” said Enrique. Naijabet

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‘Leicester not relishing title chase’ keep hopes of lifting the trophy alive

Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa says the players are “not enjoying to the full” their unlikely assault on the Premier League title and that the matches are getting tougher.

The Argentine kept Leicester’s hopes of lifting the trophy on course when he scored an added-time penalty to earn a 2-2 home draw with West Ham United on Sunday.

That point stretched their lead at the top to eight points over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have a game in hand and travel to Stoke City on Monday.

A win would keep Spurs in touch with four games remaining in one of the most thrilling title contests for years.

Speaking before Sunday’s game in which leading scorer Jamie Vardy was sent off, Ulloa said the pressure is starting to tell on Leicester, who have never won the title in their 132-year history, and said other teams were no longer surprised by them.

“Thank God we’re winning, but the truth is we’re not enjoying it to the full. Everyone wants to beat us and all the matches are getting more difficult as we approach the end. We’re no longer a surprise,” he told Argentine newspaper Clarin. Naijabet

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Jurgen Klopp turning doubters into believers at Anfield

Liverpool won a game that will be talked about for generations – a Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund that will live forever in the memory of all at Anfield.

Emotion. Drama. Excitement. Brilliant football. Noise. Colour. And all this even before Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren rose high at the far post in front of The Kop in injury time to secure a 4-3 victory that will rank alongside the great dramas staged at this sporting theatre.

It was played out to the backdrop of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s almost crazed touchline demeanour and the young coach who succeeded him at Borussia Dortmund, the gifted and wonderfully dignified Thomas Tuchel.

Liverpool moved a step closer to earning a place in the Champions League by winning what some regard as Europe’s second-rate pot – not a label anyone was attaching to it after this classic.

When Klopp was introduced as Liverpool manager as successor to sacked Brendan Rodgers in October, he revealed one of his priorities was to “turn doubters into believers”.

And it was the transition from doubt to belief that was at the core of this remarkable Liverpool victory, both on the pitch and in the stands. If there was a trace of doubt this result would not have happened. Naija and Bet

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Lyon clash with Nice for Champion league spot next season

Lyon host Nice on Friday in a Ligue 1 clash between two in-form sides fighting for an automatic Champions League qualifying spot next season.

Lyon, second behind Paris Saint-Germain whose midweek defeat to Manchester City ended French interest in the Champions League, are level on 55 points with Monaco who host struggling southern rivals Marseille on Sunday.

But Nice are just two points behind with five matches left to play.

Monaco’s grip on an automatic qualifying berth loosened as the principality side were swept aside 4-1 at Lille last Sunday, before Hatem Ben Arfa’s hat-trick saw Nice past Rennes 3-0.

As Monaco wobble Nice are now on form with their star striker Ben Arfa in inspirational mood.

Lyon meanwhile have netted 14 goals in their past five matches to move above Monaco on goal difference and into second spot and automatic qualification with a 2-0 win at Montpellier last week.

It was Lyon’s eighth win from their last 10 games, a run that has catapulted them back into contention for Europe’s top club competition. Naijabet.com

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Luis Enrique takes blame for Barcelona Champions League exit

Barcelona are “in a hole” and “finding it difficult to score goals” admitted boss Luis Enrique following their shock Champions League quarter-final defeat.

The holders were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid,who won the second leg 2-0.

The defeat ended Luis Enrique’s hopes of securing a La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey treble, while Atletico join Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid in Friday’s semi-final draw

“The team are sad. We aren’t at our best at the moment, nor our most effective,” he said.

“I’m 99.9% to blame, no 100. That’s why I am the coach, the most responsible. We all have to improve.”

Antoine Griezmann scored both goals for Atletico at the Vicente Calderon, while Lionel Messi failed to net for the fifth club game in a row.

“It is clear that we are not in our best form, especially if you consider how we were playing before, but we need to lift ourselves,” added Enrique. Naija and Bet

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Champion League : Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Preview

Atlético Madrid took the lead at the Camp Nou but two Luis Suárez goals have given Barcelona the edge as they travel to the second leg at the Vicente Calderón.

Atlético are looking to repeat their 2014 Uefa Champions League quarterfinal win against FC Barcelona when the teams meet for the second leg at the Vicente Calderón.

Diego Simeone’s side must come from behind, however, having gone down 2-1 at the Camp Nou despite taking the lead through Fernando Torres. Torres was sent off before halftime and two Luis Suárez goals gave holders Barcelona their seventh successive win against Atlético.

Atlético

This is the third season running that Atlético have reached the Uefa Champions League quarterfinals – and they have faced Spanish opposition on each occasion.

Having got the better of Barcelona in 2014, Atlético lost out to neighbours Real Madrid CF in the last eight 12 months ago, Madrid’s Javier Hernández scoring the only goal of the tie with two minutes left of the second leg at the Santiago Bernábeu.

Madrid had also got the better of Atlético in the 2014 final, running out 4-1 winners after extra time in Lisbon.

Atlético have hosted Barcelona 109 times before in all competitions with a record of 50 home wins, 36 Barcelona victories and 23 draws.

The Rojiblancos are in the quarterfinals of the European Cup for the eighth time and are seeking a fifth place in the semifinals. Naijabet

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Manchester City beat PSG to reach first semi-finals in Champion League

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini’s ambition of leaving them as kings of Europe moved a step closer on Tuesday when his side reached the Champions League semifinals for the first time after a tense 1-0 win over Paris St Germain.

City sealed a 3-2 aggregate victory with a superb curling shot from Kevin de Bruyne with 14 minutes remaining of the quarterfinal, second-leg.

It was the Belgium international’s second goal of the tie after he netted City’s opener in the 2-2 first leg draw in Paris last week.

“This is a great achievement for the club, we played as a big, mature team and we deserved it,”  Pellegrini.

“We were very unlucky to be drawn against Barcelona in the last 16 in the last two seasons, but now we have proved we deserve to be one of the best four teams in Europe.”

The quarterfinal has proved a stumbling block for PSG, who went out of the competition at that stage for the fourth successive season, leaving coach Laurent Blanc to rue what might have been.

“Our failure was both in last week’s game and this week’s,” he said.

“We were not clinical enough over the two legs, we were not efficient enough and have paid the price by failing to qualify. Manchester City were not spectacular but they deserved to win.” Naijabet.com

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Benfica hit with injury,Coach confident that whoever plays will certainly do a great job.

Benfica coach Rui Vitoria faces another test of his powers of improvisation as he tries to patch up a team without topscorer Jonas against Bayern Munich .

The Portuguese champions and league leaders were beaten 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal last week, a narrow enough margin to give them a chance of producing a major upset at the Stadium of Light.

But with Brazilian marksman Jonas suspended following three yellow cards, the likelihood of beating Bayern for the first time after seven failed attempts and ending a 26-year wait since Benfica’s last semi-finals appearance looks more remote.

The 31-year-old has scored 30 goals in only 29 Portuguese league appearances this season, plus two in his nine Champions League outings including a crucial stoppage-time winner at home to Zenit St Petersburg in the previous round.

But Vitoria, in his first season at Benfica, has already proved he can produce a winning team from a squad which lacks the strength-in-depth of elite European teams such as Bayern.

Mexican forward Raul Jimenez, who usually starts on the bench, might get a chance to finally partner Kostas Mitroglou on Wednesday, although Vitoria could move midfielder Nicolas Gaitan into attack and reshuffle his midfield. Naija and Bet Continue reading Benfica hit with injury,Coach confident that whoever plays will certainly do a great job.