When love meets sports: Ghana’s football couple walk down the isle

I know you are used to hearing the phrase, ‘Love is in the air’ but what if a couple never met on an aircraft?, hot air balloon or even in an airport?.

Anyway, it is rare we hear news of two footballers tying the knot as many footballers settle for models and vice versa, till a Ghanaian football couple walked down the isle this past Thursday, January 5, 2019.

accam.wedding.1

Ghana men’s national team ‘Black Stars’ forward, David Accam and women’s national team ‘Black Queens’ striker Florence Dadson started the year with a bang by saying ‘I do’ in an invites-only  traditional ceremony held in Cape Coast.

accam.wedding

The two birds are based in the United States of America and have been dating for more than an year.

28-year-old Accam, plays for Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer (MLS) while 26-year-old Dadson plays for Gulf Coast Texans.

The couple’s white wedding is expected to be held in Accra in March.

We from Radiojambo.co.ke wish the two love birds all the best in their marriage.

ghanaian.football.couple

 

List Of 5 Concrete Reasons Why You Should Avoid Dating A Staunch Football Fan!

So many times, I find myself entangled in football related arguments with ladies, and the more I argue with them on the benefits of football, the more I realize why I might probably wed when am 45.

Why? This is because it always gives me reasons why I should either avoid dating, or avoid ladies who think time spent watching football as a waste of precious time.

Honestly, I can’t live without football and yes I know I won’t marry that small leather ball.

So in regards to that I decided to highlight five concrete reasons why you should avoid a die hard football fan.

  1. COLD NIGHTS

Dear ladies, it is as simple as 1,2,3. Just the way you can stay up all night keeping up with the Kardashians, that’s pretty close to how much sleep we can sacrifice to make sure we don’t miss a piece of football action.

So when am out there with the boys enjoying some Real Madrid vs Juventus match, you better look for my football socks and two pillows because the night will be extra cold.

2. FIXTURES

Basically this would pop up in every point but thing is; If we are dating and we had planned to go sky diving, zip lining or even visit my in laws on a certain Saturday, which I thought there would be no football action, then all over sudden a. football fixture pops up on that same date, there is no way I am missing the game. Sorry.

3. ATTENTION

Ladies love attention. In fact, it’s more of a basic need especially in relationships and this is where football always wins.

Apart from sneaking out of the bed at night to watch a game, we at times would love to invite you or probably say yes to your proposal of accompanying us to the game. Question is; Would you still get mad when my eyes will be fixed on the Television screen instead of your beautiful brown eyes?

A loyal football fan would be like “I mean c’mon it’s 90 minutes only, after that I’m all yours babe.”

4. VIOLENCE

Another major reason why you should avoid a staunch football fan like a plague is the probability of the guy being involved in arguments which later result to violence.

This mostly happens during football derbies, for example; Arsenal vs Chelsea, Manchester City vs Manchester United where both sections of opposing fans normally engage in banters which become heated at times.

We all know what these could lead to and you would not want to turn into his nurse or his shield when beer bottles start flying in the club.

5. EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE

This acts as a cover that joins the other four points.

Your bae will never be happy around you for a couple of hours if not a week when his favorite team gets a huge beating on a Sunday night, after the two of you spent the afternoon all cuddled up.

One defeat won’t hurt as much, till it becomes a habit where Arsenal go for six games without registering a win and that would mean six weeks of a moody boyfriend, which will definitely hurt your relationship.

Find out why legendary commentator Peter Drury has Kenyan women watching the World Cup

Peter Drury has been termed passionate, wondrous, colourful, poetic, brilliant and a man capable of making the World Cup exciting, whether one’s team is losing or winning.

His descriptions of games are why women in Kenya and other parts of the world are crazy for him … and the World Cup.

The Sun said Drury’s “flowery descriptions from Russia are proving so popular that he is regularly a trending topic in Africa”.

The news agency highlighted a description of a 2010 game at which South Africa took the lead against Mexico.

Drury was quoted as saying: ‘Goal Bafana Bafana! Goal for South Africa! Goal for all of Africa! Rejoice!’

During the England-Croatia semi-final, which Croatia won to reach the final against France, Drury said: “French players somewhere in a hotel room wishing this goes on till 3 am, and that no one will be able to walk at the end of it.”

The game went into extra time.

Drury also said: “Tonight, the Croats roar on, a roar which they ripped out of England’s throat. The Three Lions were toothless, voiceless and their dream in tatters. It’s not coming home, Britain, it has just limped away, maybe forever.

Drury, 50, claims he started out by commentating on his mum’s ironing and later learned how to express himself on the microphone.

Regardless of how he picked up the skill, the commentator has left many women, and men, pleased.

One ‘Miss P’ wrote on Twitter that she wants the man to commentate when she gives birth.

Liza Namasiku said: “If Peter Drury opens up a church, I will join.”

Regarding the Croatia thrashing, a Kenyan on social media said it was as if the commentator was ” reading a eulogy for a dying legacy of England”.

Seve Lebonyo wrote: “Meet Peter Drury who is imply of a class … What a joy to listen to his commentaries.”

He added: “The guy is well-equiped with relevant knowledge, skills and experience that bring the best into football commentaries. The World Cup finale awaits you. Make us go crazy, that night, that moment.”

Maina Mungai termed Drury phenomenal and “from another planet”.

“In the wise words of the modern day philosopher, Peter Drury … glorious … to die for .. to smile about … just to enjoy.” Grace Kerongo said.

Kan Ozturk added: “Best football commentator there is out there. And now he has Kenyan women all in a swoon.”

On Spain’s loss to Russia, the commentator will be remembered for saying: “Spain on the plane, or Spain in the Russian rain…”

During Champions league, when Roma produced an incredible comeback to beat Barcelona 3-0 and reach the semi-finals, Drury said “Roma have risen from their ruins” and that the unthinkable had unfolded.

“This was not meant to happen, this could not happen, this is happening,” he said, sensationally.

He also said: “Barcelona, extraordinarily, (are) eight minutes from elimination. (Roma boss Eusebio) Di Francesco does not know where to go, (Andres) Iniesta does not know where to look. It’s a Greek from Mount Olympus, who has come to the Seven Hills of Rome and pulled off miracle.”

-The Star

Brace Yourselves! This Is What Kenyan Dads Will Be Doing At Home During This World Cup Period

Ladies and gentlemen, after 4 years of patiently waiting, the world cup is finally here! Yes the biggest showpiece in the world is already underway and yes that is the sole reason why your beloved dad is now coming home early than ever.

The greatest footballing show piece kicked off on Thursday, June 14, 2018 and will run till 15th July, 2018.

Millions of Kenyans have either become first time TV owners or upgraded their sets to ‘accommodate’ their football needs for the next four weeks. Fans across the world have also bought football kits in support of their favorite nations.

With billions of eyes expected to follow the showpiece, we are bound to experience happiness, disappointment, anger as well as hilarious moments from the fans, or rather from our football loving dads.

With the World Cup getting juicier each day, I assure you that our dads will not be leaving the living room any time soon and with some already enjoying their leave days, these are some of the things you should expect from your dad.

Early home arrivals

If your daddy used to arrive home jaded and stressed just minutes to mid night after you have enjoyed your series and tele novellas, those days are gone now. He will be showing up hours earlier than anyone just to catch his favorite matches with games kicking off as early as 3pm.

Football themed decorations

If your living room is full of family portraits, do not act surprised when your die hard football loving dad ‘suspends’ a couple of them just to create room for some art works, flags or even scarfs of the nation he’s backing to bag the World Cup trophy.

Remote manager

When any match kicks off and your interests don’t match your daddy’s, you better keep off the living room or rather forget the TV remote control ever existed. This is because your dad would rather walk with it in his pocket to the washroom than let anyone disrupt his ‘therapy’.

Nyama season!

Do you know what will make you start thanking God for World Cup? The fact that your dad will make sure he does everything to make it up to you for endlessly feeding you with football.

And one way he would easily do that is by ensuring your meat intake doubles since who said football and nyama are not a match made in heaven? So time to meat up!

Fridge stocked with alcohol and refreshments

To add to nyama, dads know way too well that as much as water is essential to the body, the liver kind of understands that a beer or two accompanied by nyama works like a doctor’s prescription. So it’s time to create room in your fridges because daddy is about to fill it with his favorite poison.

 

7 Things women should do during the Russia World Cup 2018 period to avoid boredom

The world Cup is set to begin from June 14th through to July 15th 2018.

If your bae loves football, and you are scratching your head wondering how to keep occupied, don’t worry, we got you sorted.

And this doesn’t involve embarassing him with silly questions and answers, like why Wanyama isn’t playing.

Here are 10 things women can do to keep themselves entertained;

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1. Treat yourself to a spa

This is the time to treat your self to a nice spa day. It would do you good during this period.

2. Try new recipes

Remember that carrot cake you have been dying to bake and that new recipe you saw on You Tube? Yes? Hop on it, and let your man enjoy his time.

Anthony Bourdain and other international celebrities who committed suicide

3. Start a new project

This is the best time to start that farming project and chicken rearing project you have been dying to start. Do it as a way of keeping yourself active and testing your entrepreneurial skills.

4. Don’t nag

The temptation to nag and be a nuisance to your man might be high during this period but before you do that just think twice and keep yourself busy. Lest you end up team single when the World Cup ends.

Allan Wanga shows off his daddy skills with his cute daughter

5. Get internet connection in the house

The only way to avoid confrontations with your better half is to get some internet connections at home to keep up to date with the latest movies, series or gossip on the internet. This is also the best time to Skype with your long distance relatives

6. Meet up with the girls

This is the best time to link up with your girls and have a few drinks. Chow down with nyamchom.

Kalyeke Mumo hints on qualities she is looking for in her future guy

7. Visit your family

This is the best time to visit your family, either immediate or extended family. Take this opportunity to get to know your family and bond with your mother in law.

Also read more here

David and Victoria Beckham ‘blasted by neighbours for noisy construction work at £6m home’

David and Victoria Beckham have reportedly irked their soon-to-be neighbours over ongoing construction noise at their Cotswold home.

The couple purchased the pad in 2016 and have been working on renovations ever since, progress being slow as they frequently lock horns with local planning officials.

Now it has been claimed the alleged ‘endless’ noise at the site has angered locals who ‘can’t relax with that racket’.

A source told The Sun: ‘It’s gone on for so long that neighbours just want it finished.

‘Staying in the countryside is meant to be relaxing and peaceful — but clearly not when the Beckhams’ house is being worked on.

‘People moan that they can’t relax in the spa with that racket.’

MailOnline has contacted David and Victoria’s representatives for comment.

The couple snapped up once-derelict Upper Park Farm in popular Chipping Norton – home to a slew of famous faces including Jeremy Clarkson and David and Samantha Cameron – in December 2016.

 The couple merged three barns to create a six-bedroom mansion overlooking an orchard, with the buildings marrying up via two impressive glass tunnels.

-dailymail

Ways to be a FOOTBALL girlfriend

Well ladies, I know the football season is here and you can no longer enjoy the dates, outings and attention you always get because the boyfriend, husband or partner is always busy going to watch the game. Now am here to save you from getting mad at him and threatening him because you feel he loves football and football is taking your attention and everything else that’s meant to be yours away from you.

Dating a football diehard fan means you have to negotiate a relationship around all the games. So since as ladies the bible and our society has called on us to submit, you will have to do so by;

1.) Show him that you care about what he cares about, and support him the whole way

I know this is not easy, but relationships come with sacrifices.The more you keep making those negative comments about his games, the less he will bother watching a single game from home. So please try and be positive and support his team. Don’t be nasty as to you loving a soap opera or reality show or inspirational stories is similar to him loving the foot ball match. Trust me once he knows you support him and he can enjoy a football match with you, he’ll consider watching a few matches in the house even when his friends think it’s not fun to watch football in the house and you will at least have his attention and company. So just try and not be mean and silly with your comments about football and you just might win a football girlfriend award and so much more.

2.) Participating at the game

Get the game schedule and make sure you have a history of the last game. I know it’s a lot of work, yeah? But you want the man, so again this is another sacrifice. Even if you have no idea, google can be your friend in finding out or get an app that can keep you up to date with the football matches scheduled for the week or month and since you know his favourite team, make a bet on it. Again second gold medal for the best football girlfriend will be awarded to you as you keep up to tabs with the next game and so he can count on you to talk about football games lined up.

3.) Watch the game while you are there

Well this is the hardest of them all but you need to do it otherwise the game will be boring when watched at home and Mister will end up going out to watch it which means you won’t have the company you need. Showing up is important, but you must be present too. Even if you start to get bored, do your best to watch the whole game. If he looks at you and sees you staring at your phone or talking the whole time, he won’t feel supported. If you have a hard time staying interested, listen to the announcer while you watch. They describe the main points of action, which helps you know what is important. Another way to stay interested is to pay attention to specific things, like the forward or striker, who makes the most tackles, or how long each play lasts.This is the only way you will earn your third gold medal as a football girlfriend.

4.) Ask him to invite his friend with their girlfriends over to watch the match

I know with them shouting and talking and making all manner of murmurs as the game continues can be boring, but you know what, that’s why you are the better half, so stop complaining and play your role in his life. You will have him watching the game where you can see him and it at times feels good to stare at him enjoy the game and see his baby side. Then you getting to meet the friends’ girlfriends can make you have fun doing your own girl stuff with them and so you won’t have to watch BORING football on that day. Especially if the girls are good company. After they all leave, you can earn yourself another football girlfriend award.

5.) Cheer up with him during games

Start by wearing a jersey with his favourite number on it and from his favourite team. You can even get two, his with your name on it and yours with his name on it. No one can celebrate his team with him better than you. If you can’t get or afford a jersey, paint his number or name on one of your t shirts with the team colors. Ask him to autograph the shirt and it will be the best jersey produced by the two of you. When cheering up since you don’t know what to say as you are still learning,yell things like, “Knock ’em down, or “Let’s go, Hector!”. Try and avoid screaming, you might scare him. You know us ladies can get so emotional thinking it’s a soap opera or reality show and put that same energy to football, well don’t. Your screaming can send him back to the bar or hall where football is fun and there are no women shouting as if it’s a horror or they are fighting.

6.) Get to know the other players in the game

I know most ladies know Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Wayne Rooney, Diego Costa and the rest, I’m sure you know them. Well it’s time to up your game and know other players in his favourite team. Learn the names and positions of the starters, or the guys playing in the game, such as offense or defense. Yes it’s not an exam but you know again it’s a test you can take for the love of your life and score that goal for him girl. After this be sure that he will award you with the sixth gold medal of a football girlfriend and each time it’s the football season, you won’t have to worry about bae’s whereabouts as you will sort him out as he sorts you out and no relationship break ups because of football will be experienced.

 

 

 

Fallen Cancer Warrior Janet Kanini Tops April Google Search Trends, As The Late Ayeiya Takes 7th Place

Former NTV news anchor and cancer warrior Janet Kanini’s death was the most searched, according to Google Search Trends for April in Kenya.

The renowned media personality passed away on the 1st of April 2017, after battling lung cancer for almost a year, leaving behind two children and a husband.

Coming second on the Google Search was IEBC jobs after thousands of jobs were advertised online as we near the election date on the 8th of August 2017.

janet kanini

Being the football season, the third search was about football. Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona was the trending search under Spanish La Liga while Chelsea Vs. Tottenham, Arsenal Vs. Manchester City, were some of the dominant searches under Barclays Premier and Champions Leagues.

Interestingly, Jubilee nominations where the fourth on the search list.

With May being the month of Burger Festival, top restaurants in Kenya took the fifth place with the culture of eating out becoming popular in the last few months.

Back in April, the government of Kenya launched a web portal, where they have documented all the projects they have launched since 2013; www.delivery.go.ke, which took the sixth place on Google Search.

Top comedian Ayeiya real name, Emmanuel Makori, who passed away after a grisly car crush mid April, was also among the most searched, as people went online to find out more about him, taking the seventh spot on the searches.

ayeiya comedian

Other trending searches included the Kiambu Nominations where Ferdinand Waititu defeated the incumbent Governor William Kabogo and TSC Tpad (Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development) a performance appraisal programme for teachers and 30,000 school heads.

On the ‘Trending How to’ category, the most trending search was, “How to download music” while “How to buy Airtel airtime on Mpesa” came second.

Coming third was “How to make slime” which is a safer homemade plasticine-like material that can be made for use as a toy. “How to make Chapati” came fourth while “How to Kiss a Girl” and ‘How to Okoa Stima” took fifth and sixth positions respectively.

Check out the full list of the most searched trends on Google Search below.

Top Ten Trending Searches

Janet Kanini

IEBC Jobs

Football Results (EPL-Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Leicester) (La-Liga: Real Madrid,

Jubilee Nominations

Top Restaurants nearby

www.delivery.go.ke

Ayeiya

Anthony Joshua

Karen Nyamu

David Mwiraria

Trending ‘How To’ Searches

How to download music

How to buy Airtel airtime from Mpesa

How to make slime

How to cook Chapati

How to kiss a Girl

How to Okoa Stima

How to write a cover letter

How to pray

Radio Africa signs exclusive deal to air EPL matches LIVE and FREE!

Tune your radio to Classic105 because this is it! Radio Africa Group has signed an exclusive three-year agreement to bring live English Premier League audio commentary to fans in Kenya for the next three seasons.

Together with the world’s biggest sports radio station, UK-based talkSPORT, Radio Africa will air matches starting with the remainder of the 2016/17 season. These will be available in English on Classic105.

Patrick Quarcoo, Radio Africa CEO, said on Wednesday, “We are excited to be appointed as talkSPORT’s exclusive broadcast licensee for the English Premier League in Kenya. Now our listeners can access the game whether at home, the office and in their cars on Kenya’s top radio stations.”

“We also plan to deliver the commentaries direct to all mobile phones in Kenya so if you are not near a radio you can still stream the matches of your favorite team in English and Swahili,” he added.

Jimmy Buckland, international director talkSPORT, said: “We’re really excited to bring the passion and excitement of the English Premier League to Kenyan fans through this partnership with Radio Africa Group.”

“Radio has a unique ability to convey all the live drama of a 90-minute football match, and listeners in Kenya can now experience this via talkSPORT’s unique commentary and expert insight”.

talkSPORT

Premier League fans in Kenya will be able to listen to official, live commentary of the EPL in English and Swahili, bringing to life one of the world’s most momentous sporting events for listeners in the country more than ever before.

As global audio partner of the Premier League, talkSPORT controls an exclusive package of international audio rights that allows the station to broadcast official live commentary of all 380 matches in any language to listeners around the world, outside of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The station has the rights until 2019.

Bamba sport which also dedicated to promoting local sport recently signed a deal with Football Kenya Federation to bring live NSL matches every weekend, and also airs two episodes of weekly analysis and preview of the lower tier league.

Check Out Exclusive Photos From Superstar Footballer, Michael Olunga’s Surprise Birthday Party

Moments after his scintillating performances saw him score twice to edge DRC Congo out in a 2-1 win for Harambee Stars on Sunday March 26, 2017, birthday boy, Michael Olunga was in for a pleasant surprise from Football Kenya Federation, his fellow teammates and coaches, to cap off a memorable day.

Football Kenya Federation surprised the fast rising forward who turned 23-years-old at the team’s training camp in Machakos, with a green birthday cake, which he cut in front of his head coach, Stanley Okumbi, brother Victor Ogada, Mike Okoth and a number of team mates.

Olunga recently signed for newly promoted Chinese outfit Guizhou Zhicheng in a deal believed to be in excess of Sh450M from Swedish side, Djurgårdens IF where he finished as the club’s joint top scorer with 12 goals after switching from Kenyan giants, Gor Mahia.

Olunga has been in a superb form for the national side scoring three goals in two matches. This is after he scored a fantastic solo goal against Uganda Cranes at the same venue on Thursday last week, in a 1-1 draw.

Check out the photos from his surprise birthday party below.

olunga.birth olunga.birthda olunga.birthday olungaaa (1) olunga.birthd.1 olunga.birthdayy.copy

Chelsea head to Israel amid new security fears

Chelsea head to Israel amid new security worries in the region as they try to seal a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League against Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s team currently sit in second place in Group G and could advance with a victory against the already eliminated Israeli champions provided Dynamo Kiev do not win their game against Porto.

A draw would also suffice if Dynamo lose at the same time in Portugal.

But Chelsea travel to Israel where they will find a country racked by violence.

On Thursday, five people, including an American, died when Palestinian attacks targeted Israelis in a Tel Aviv stabbing and a West Bank gun and car-ramming assault.

In one of the attacks, a 36-year-old Palestinian stormed into an office building in commercial capital Tel Aviv with a knife, killing two Israelis and wounding one.

“I think you just have to rely on people who know a lot more than me about the whole situation to make sensible decisions,” said Chelsea defender Gary Cahill when asked to discuss the prospects of travelling to the country.

Chelsea enter Tuesday’s crucial clash in good spirits after ending their three-game winless streak in the Premier League by defeating Norwich City 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a Diego Costa goal.

Despite the victory, Chelsea have been struggling to regain last season’s majestic form in the Premier League which saw Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa form a dynamic attack that many clubs feared.

But captain John Terry was pleased with the win over Norwich and is focused on Tuesday night’s match, which will be played an hour up the coast from Tel Aviv in Haifa.

“We have three points on the board now in the Premier League and switch focus to the Champions League again. With that in mind and the importance of qualifying it’s all there for everyone to see,” said Terry.

Chelsea won 4-0 when the two clubs met earlier this season at Stamford Bridge in their opening Champions League game.

Terry, Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and Costa were omitted from the starting XI due to their poor start in the Premier League but all should play a major role on Tuesday.

– ‘Nothing to lose’ –

Chelsea have only faced one Israeli side other than Maccabi in their history — during the 2001/02 season, Hapoel Tel Aviv stunned the Blues in the UEFA Cup, beating them 3-1 over two legs.

Maccabi, who have won three straight domestic titles, geared up for this clash by beating Hapoel Haifa 3-0 on Saturday to take over top spot in the Israeli top flight.

Striker Dejan Radonjic is doubtful with a nagging calf injury, while midfielder Tal Ben Haim II is expected to feature despite not fully recovering from a calf injury.

Former Chelsea defender Tal Ben Haim I is expected to return to the line-up after being rested on Saturday.

Despite Maccabi’s poor start in the Champions League, their leading goal scorer in Europe, Eran Zahavi, is staying optimistic.

“It’s realistic to hope for points against Chelsea. It’s our time to go all out, because we have nothing to lose in the Champions League,” he said.

Serbian manager Slavisa Jokanovic, a former Chelsea player who last season led Watford to promotion to the Premier League, expects a difficult match for his team who have lost all four of their group games, managing just one goal.

“The Champions League is the highest level of European football. Chelsea may not have played well this season but they are still Chelsea, we have to show our best and I expect that we will do this,” he said.

Radamel Falcao and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois are missing for Chelsea due to injury.

Photo Credits : AFP

Defiant Wenger expects Arsenal to avoid Euro exit

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can still salvage their calamitous Champions League campaign as they prepare for Tuesday’s do-or-die showdown with Dinamo Zagreb.

Wenger’s side are on brink of a stunning failure to make the knockout stages for the first time in 16 years after three defeats from their four Group F fixtures.

The Gunners must beat Croatian side Dinamo at the Emirates Stadium to keep their hopes alive, but even that won’t be enough to avoid elimination if second-placed Olympiakos, who sit six points ahead of Arsenal, draw or win at Bayern Munich.

Yet if results go Arsenal’s way in midweek, they will travel to Olympiakos for their final group match on December 9 knowing a win could send them through depending on the margin of victory.

And Wenger remains convinced Arsenal can find a way to stage one of the great European escape acts.

“We will give absolutely everything to stay in the Champions League,” Wenger said.

“I think we still have a strong chance but it will be very tight now.

“Even if we had beaten Bayern, we would be in a position where we have to beat Olympiakos, if we beat Zagreb at home. Unless Olympiakos make a result at Bayern, which is not impossible as well.”

While Wenger is optimistic about Arsenal’s chances, he acknowledges the north Londoners have only themselves to blame for their precarious predicament.

While a heavy defeat at Bayern in their last European outing could be excused given the quality of the opposition, there was no explaining away lacklustre losses against Dinamo and Olympiakos.

“It is a reality that in two games, against Bayern, we took three points (but) we have created our own problems before that,” Wenger said.

– Major obstacle –

Adding to Arsenal’s desperation to qualify is the potential that they may otherwise finish third and have to compete in the Europa League.

Playing in Europe’s second tier competition, with its hectic schedule and Thursday night matches, could be a major obstacle to Wenger’s desire to challenge for the Premier League title.

But for now he is just focused on giving Arsenal the best possible chance to advance.

“If you ask my deep gut feeling, I want to stay in the Champions League,” Wenger said.

“Let’s just try to win our last two games.”

Arsenal, without a win in their last three games in all competitions, endured the worst possible warm-up for Tuesday’s clash as they crashed to a surprise 2-1 Premier League defeat at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Having blown the lead given to them by Olivier Giroud, Wenger’s team still had a chance to rescue a point when they won a second half penalty, only for Santi Cazorla to blaze over.

As if suffering the damaging result wasn’t bad enough, Wenger, already without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, left the Hawthorns with two new names added to his growing injury list.

Francis Coquelin sustained a knee problem and Mikel Arteta suffered a recurrence of a calf injury, with both midfielders doubtful to recover in time for the Dinamo match.

With those injuries in mind, Wenger may be forced to rush Wales midfielder Ramsey back into the team after his hamstring problem.

Dinamo will be without Macedonia midfielder Arijan Ademi after he was given a four-year ban by UEFA after failing a drugs test.

Ademi, who insists he is innocent, tested positive for a banned substance following Zagreb’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in September.

Photo Credits : AFP

Messi returns as Barcelona eye last 16 against Roma

Fresh from thrashing bitter rivals Real Madrid 4-0 at the weekend, Barcelona are aiming to seal their place in the last 16 of the Champions League when Roma visit the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

The European champions need just a point to reach the knockout stages for a 12th consecutive season, and should be further boosted by the presence of Lionel Messi from the start for the first time in two months.

Messi made his return as a substitute from a knee-ligament injury with Barca already leading 3-0 against Madrid and played his part in Luis Suarez’s second goal of the evening to round off an historic night for the Catalans.

Suarez and Neymar have kept Barca afloat without Messi, scoring 24 of their last 28 goals in all competitions.

And with a win also sealing top spot in the group, Barca boss Luis Enrique is unlikely to rest any of his star front three even ahead of a busy few weeks in league, Cup and Champions League before they fly off to Japan for the World Club Cup at the end of December.

Whilst it would take a remarkable collapse for Barca not to qualify, Roma have it all to play for in their final two group games if they are to make the last 16 for the first time in five years.

The Italians sit second in the group, a point clear of Bayer Leverkusen and two ahead of BATE Borisov, who they host in their final game.

Roma got their campaign off to a great start by holding Barca to a 1-1 draw in the Italian capital thanks to Alessandro Florenzi’s sensational strike from just over the halfway line.

And he believes they can produce another upset at the Camp Nou.

“It will certainly be difficult. They’re the strongest side in the world, but we managed to produce something of an exploit against them at the Stadio Olimpico,” Florenzi told Corriere dello Sport.

“We have to be fearless in Spain and determined to make the most of our chances.”

In contrast to Barca’s brilliance, Roma’s inconsistent domestic campaign continued with a 2-2 draw in terrible weather conditions at Bologna on Saturday.

Rudi Garcia will also have to do without a number of attacking options as Gervinho and Mohamed Salah miss out through injury, whilst captain Francesco Totti hasn’t featured since suffering a thigh injury two months ago.

Photo Credits : AFP

Atletico up to second with Betis win

Atletico Madrid moved up to second in La Liga as Koke’s early strike was enough to earn all three points in a 1-0 win away to Real Betis on Sunday.

Diego Simeone’s men close to within four points of leaders Barcelona, but now lead city rivals Real Madrid by two points after Barca thrashed Real 4-0 on Saturday.

The visitors were rewarded for a fast start as Antonio Adan could only parry Fernando Torres’s shot on seven minutes and Koke was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

Atletico should have gone on to win by a much greater margin as they controlled the game throughout.

Antoine Griezmann volleyed Torres’s lovely chipped past over midway through the first half.

Betis only threatened to strike back once when Jan Oblak produced a stunning save from Alvaro Cejudo’s long-range effort.

Griezmann missed an even better opening to kill the game when he blazed over with Koke begging for a cut-back to slot into an open goal after the break.

However, the Frenchman was very unfortunate moments later when he was clearly brought down inside the area by Heiko Westermann, but the referee waved play on.

And Griezmann’s night in front of goal was summed up when he struck the inside of the post three minutes from time.

Elsewhere, Villarreal edged into the top four on goal difference thanks to a Jaume Costa late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Eibar.

Granada moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, and Levante also edged closer to safety with just their second win of the season, 3-0 away at Sporting Gijon.

Photo Credits : AFP

Defeated Madrid lacked know-how to fightback: Benitez

Rafael Benitez lamented his side’s inability to react after going behind for the first time this season as he suffered his first defeat as Madrid boss 3-2 at Sevilla on Sunday.

Defeat leaves Madrid trailing Barcelona by three points at the top of the table with the two set to face each other next time out at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 21.

Real had got off to a flying start in Seville as Sergio Ramos’s spectacular overhead kick fired the visitors into a deserved lead.

However, after Ramos had gone off with the recurrence of a shoulder problem, Madrid fell apart as Ciro Immobile levelled before the break.

Ever Banega and Fernando Llorente set the seal on a much needed win for Sevilla after their 3-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in midweek before James Rodriguez pulled a goal back in stoppage time.

“I think we played very well for 30 minutes. We had a lot of control in every part of the game,” said Benitez.

“Then we allowed them to score from a set-piece and that conditioned the game.

“In the second-half we started well again, but from the second goal we started to commit errors and they took advantage of that to score the third goal.

“We scored again at the last minute but it wasn’t enough.”

When Banega finished off a brilliant team move also involving Immobile and Yevhen Konoplyanka on the hour mark it was the first time Madrid had even been behind in 15 games this season.

And Benitez criticised his side’s failure to respond when finally put in an adverse situation.

“We lacked know-how in managing the situation. It seemed a matter of time until the second goal in the first half hour.

“It wasn’t to be, they regained their confidence with the equaliser and then our errors allowed them to grew further into the game.

“We found it difficult to react. In the first-half we should have killed the game off and we didn’t.”

Ramos had to watch on in anguish as his side threw away the lead and could now be a doubt for the Barca clash after a disrupted two months since he first suffered a dislocated shoulder against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The defender admitted he is almost certain to miss Spain’s friendly matches against England and Belgium in the next week.

“First I have to recover. I hope to have a scan on Tuesday, but it will be difficult to go with the national team if I couldn’t continue today,” he told Canal Plus.

“The priority is to recover because it is another relapse. I have played four or five games with injections and this is the type of injury that if you are not careful can cause a lot more problems.”

The former Sevilla man insisted the Andalusians deserved credit for their second-half display, but recognised Madrid can’t afford many more slip-ups if they are to land just their second league title in eight years.

“It’s clear we didn’t play well in the second-half. This is one of the hardest places to come due to their fans and the quality of Sevilla. You also have to highlight how well Sevilla played as well as a bad match on our part.

“In the second-half they had control of possession and managed to take their chances.

“It is in games like this that you lose the league and we’ve lost three very important points. Now we have to turn the corner, the Clasico always carries a lot of expectations but above all it is an important game for us to win.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Arsenal’s Wenger likes Giroud when he’s angry

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger drew comfort from Olivier Giroud’s post-match frustration after the French striker squandered a succession of chances during his side’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

With Arsenal trailing to Harry Kane’s first-half opener at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Giroud spurned two gilt-edged headed chances before substitute Kieran Gibbs netted a 77th-minute equaliser.

Giroud also went close to scoring a winner, flashing a half-volley over the bar and testing Hugo Lloris with a header, and Wenger said the France international was left feeling “very angry” about his performance.

But it was a state of mind that encouraged his manager, who said: “I’m pleased. When you see a player who is happy to miss chances, you can worry. He’s a real goal-scorer and he did fight.

“In the last two games, at Bayern (where Arsenal lost 5-1) and tonight (Sunday) again, Giroud worked extremely hard. He wanted too much to score, I think.

“Especially the opportunity he had from six yards (a header that went narrowly wide). But that can happen. I accept that.”

While Arsenal finished the game on top, they would have been out of contention had goalkeeper Petr Cech not produced sharp saves to thwart Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld.

Chelsea captain John Terry predicted that Cech would be worth “12 to 15 points” this season and Wenger acknowledged that he had made a vital contribution against Spurs.

Asked how many points the Czech international had already earned his side, Wenger replied: “I don’t know. I have not done the mathematics yet.

“He’s shown again how important he is and that goalkeeper is maybe the most underrated position in football because there’s always a moment in the game when he can keep you in it. If you lose 2-0, it’s bye-bye.”

Kane struck in the 32nd minute, racing onto Danny Rose’s arcing pass and planting a shot past Cech to register his sixth goal in four games.

– ‘Top player’ –

The 22-year-old went eight matches without scoring at the start of the season and his manager Mauricio Pochettino believes he is now a better player for it.

“We’ve always had confidence in him,” said the Argentine. “Nothing changes for my vision of him when he scores or he doesn’t score. We’re very pleased with him. He’s a top player.

“It was hard for him because it was a period when it was difficult to score. I think he learnt a lot and we’re very happy for that because when you’re young, you need to learn (about) the good and the bad things in football. I think it was a good period for him to learn.”

Pochettino said he was “very proud” of a performance that left Spurs fifth in the table, three points below the top four, and extended their unbeaten league run to 11 matches.

Asked what his team were capable of achieving this season, he said: “In the way the team play today and the way we are, it’s impossible to set a limit.”

While Arsenal missed a chance to move clear of Manchester City at the top of the table, Wenger said that City’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa put his side’s recent run of five wins and one draw in context.

“We’ve shown the character again today,” said the Frenchman, whose team trail City on goal difference.

“We were a bit on the ropes and we responded. Every time we have a disappointment, the game after I think we respond well.

“When you look at the results again today, you see Villa-City 0-0, Liverpool lost (to Crystal Palace), we played 1-1.

“It just shows you that the championship will be extremely difficult for everybody and that the mental qualities can have a big influence in the future.”

With nine players currently sidelined, Wenger is crossing his fingers that none of his squad return from international duty injured, but he said Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were close to making returns.

Photo Credits : AFP

Mourinho facing uncertain Chelsea future

The future of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho remained clouded in doubt on Sunday following the Premier League champions’ latest setback against Liverpool.

Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat on Saturday, their sixth in 11 league games, left them four points above the relegation zone and prompted more lurid newspaper headlines about the possible fate awaiting Mourinho.

Citing sources in Portugal, The Sunday Mirror said that Mourinho was “on the brink” and could be sacked before Wednesday’s Champions League home game against Dynamo Kiev, while The Sun on Sunday claimed that he has been given two games to save his job.

The Independent on Sunday, meanwhile, reported that he will be given until the end of November to get Chelsea back on track.

Mourinho was defiant after Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge, dismissing suggestions that he had presided over his last match as manager and saying that he expected to be given more time by owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea gave Mourinho a public vote of confidence last month, but the team have won just one of their five matches since and saw their defence of the League Cup ended by Stoke City.

Nevertheless, Mourinho appears to retain the support of the club’s supporters, who chanted his name throughout the defeat against Liverpool, which was the club’s third home loss of the campaign.

“The fans aren’t stupid,” said Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea for a second spell in charge in 2013 and last season led the club to a league and League Cup double.

“They know how much myself and the players are trying.”

Avram Grant, who succeeded Mourinho after he was sacked by Chelsea in September 2007, only to be himself dismissed eight months later, believes the end is not yet nigh for the Portuguese.

“Normally Roman gives the manager space,” Grant told BBC Radio 5.

“He’s not day-by-day wanting to know what’s happening. He’s not a guy who will pick up the phone every five minutes and ask what you are doing.

“Even when the situation is not so good, he will want to show everything is calm.”

Mourinho was expected to take training as scheduled on Sunday, having told reporters after the Liverpool game that he would soon begin preparations for Wednesday’s match with Dynamo.

Chelsea’s Brazilian playmaker Oscar said that the only way to turn the situation around was to string a run of wins together.

“We need to win — doesn’t matter if it’s Champions League or Premier League,” he told Chelsea TV.

“We need to start winning games, because we played well against West Ham, played well against Stoke, played well today (Saturday), but we don’t win. We need to win the games.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Mourinho and Klopp seek League Cup bounce

Besieged Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp are both in pressing need of a change of fortune going into this week’s League Cup fourth-round matches.

Cup holders Chelsea, dealt a fifth Premier League defeat of the season at West Ham United on Saturday, visit Stoke City on Tuesday, while Liverpool, who have drawn all three games since Klopp’s appointment, host Bournemouth the following evening.

Chelsea’s 2-1 loss at Upton Park was a damaging affair for the league champions, with Nemanja Matic sent off and Mourinho banished to the stands alongside assistant Silvino Louro, and full-back Cesar Azpilicueta says that he and his teammates are itching to make amends.

“We want to play as soon as possible,” the Spaniard told Chelsea TV. “We have the game against Stoke.

“We want to get through and our mentality has to be to recover as quick as possible and to get into the next round on Tuesday.”

With Chelsea 11 points off the pace in the league and in third place in their Champions League group, the trip to the Britannia Stadium offers an opportunity to sweep talk of crisis from the back pages.

But Mourinho must balance pursuit of victory with the need to avoid over-exerting his players amid a sequence of six games in 19 days that continues on Saturday with a home match against Liverpool.

Klopp was appointed to great fanfare as the successor to Brendan Rodgers, but Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Southampton was Liverpool’s third successive stalemate since his arrival.

The German will hope that the tide turns at Anfield on Wednesday and will draw encouragement from the fact that opponents Bournemouth have shipped 10 goals in their last two outings, courtesy of back-to-back 5-1 beatings at the hands of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

– Life after Sherwood –

“We can work with this result,” Klopp said after the Southampton game. “We can work with this performance of the team.

“If I sit here and have to say, ‘These guys are not ready for fighting,’ or what not, then it would be bad news. But everybody saw how ready they are and that’s the most important thing.”

Following a dreary goalless stalemate in Sunday’s Manchester derby at Old Trafford, Manchester City and Manchester United continue their League Cup campaigns on Wednesday.

United entertain second-tier Middlesbrough, while City welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium.

Antonio Valencia is a doubt for United after manager Louis van Gaal revealed that the right-sided Ecuadorian player sustained a foot injury against City, which saw him replaced by Matteo Darmian late in the game.

The point earned at Old Trafford took City back to the top of the table above Arsenal, but Arsene Wenger’s side otherwise had little to complain about following a week in which they resurrected their Champions League campaign by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 and then defeated Everton 2-1.

“It is a perfect week and it is not easy to have that,” said the Arsenal manager, whose team visit second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.

“The only negative is that we lost some players through injury during the week, but I will have to rest some players Tuesday night against Sheffield. I think for some players it will be one game too many for them.”

Aston Villa will begin life without Tim Sherwood, sacked as manager on Sunday, with a trip to Southampton, where Under-21 coach Kevin MacDonald will be in temporary charge of the visitors.

Leicester City, fifth in the Premier League after a 1-0 win over Palace, travel to Championship side Hull City, while Everton host Norwich City in one of the five all-top-flight ties.

Fixtures (1945 GMT unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday:

Everton v Norwich City, Hull City v Leicester City, Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, Stoke City v Chelsea

Wednesday:

Liverpool v Bournemouth, Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Manchester United v Middlesbrough (2000 GMT), Southampton v Aston Villa

Photo Credits : AFP