Lionel Messi’s two second-half goals – including a stunning free-kick – earned Barcelona a handsome advantage and left Liverpool with an almighty task in their Champions League semi-final.The Reds were in the ascendancy despite going behind to Luis Suarez’s first-half strike – but they were then hit by a double sucker-punch from the Barcelona number 10.The Argentine forward’s first was instinctive, as he followed up Suarez’s shot that came off the bar, but the second was majestic as he found Alisson’s top-right corner from 25 yards out. That was his 600th goal for the Spanish giants.Liverpool came agonisingly close to a potentially crucial away goal when Roberto Firmino’s strike was cleared off the line, before Salah somehow struck the post rather than scoring with the follow-up.Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele should have put the tie out of the Premier League side’s reach in the closing seconds, but he scuffed it straight at Alisson from a few yards out.Reds out of luck at Nou CampWhat more could Klopp ask of his men in the second leg on Tuesday after a display where they constantly probed and pressured the competition favourites?Maybe some luck could have gone their way. Sadio Mane, with 15 goals in his past 18 games, shot well over from eight yards out after he was found by Jordan Henderson’s ball from the right in the first half.And in their period of domination after the interval, Ter Stegen was at full stretch to push away Milner’s shot before the German dived low to his right to make a one-handed stop from Salah’s drive.Liverpool refused to let their heads drop after Messi’s mini-show. However, they must have thought the gods are not shining on them this year after both Firmino and Salah missed clear-cut chances you would have put money on them to score.The Reds have been known to produce miracles with a 3-0 deficit. They will need to produce another next week.Messi magic relieves pressureThis was the La Liga champions at their most fluid – a supreme example of unpredictable, attacking football with the frontline of Messi, Suarez and Philippe Coutinho all on the same wavelength.Perhaps more importantly for coach Ernesto Valverde, his defence – disjointed at times against Manchester United in the last eight – was far more resolute against a more fearsome attack.After a period of pressure, they took the lead in the 26th minute when Suarez ran in behind Joel Matip and steered in Jordi Alba’s excellent diagonal through-ball.The Catalan side conceded possession after the break but, bar those two efforts from Milner and Salah, looked comfortable – before Messi relieved the pressure on his backline with two goals in a seven-minute spell.His opener came slightly fortuitously to him after Suarez tried to capitalise on Matip’s unintended through-ball.That was goal number 599 for the club, so it was only fitting that the next one was something special – a free-kick that looked to be heading for the top corner as soon as it left his boot.Substitute Dembele should have put the tie completely beyond the Reds but, like Mane, lacked accuracy with the goal in front of him. Source: BBC
Source: Susu Graham | citisportsonline.com | Ghana Asamoah Gyan believes that his Black Stars teammates’ experience was key to their win over Guinea Bissau in their final Group F game at the ongoing AFCON. The Black Stars managed to record a 2-0 victory despite a poor first half in which Guinea Bissau constantly made dangerous forays into the Black Stars half. Their second-half performance, however, was much better and the Bissau-Guineans couldn’t cope with the Black Stars.Black Stars left back Baba Rahman who played a key role in both goals was critical of the Black Stars as he said “We started sloppily but we grew into the game and we added some urgency and that made the second half lovely”Gyan, however, wanted to keep the team from getting carried away as he warned the team to stay focused on the task at hand and reminded them that the trophy was a long way away. He concluded by saying “Its too early to talk about winning the Cup, We are focused and we are thinking the next opponent.”The Black Stars topped group F and have been drawn against Tunisia in the next round. The game will be played on July 8 at 7 pm GMT.
Turkey-based defender Joseph Attamah has joined the Black Stars squad set to begin Ghana’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on Thursday.The utility player, on loan at Rizespor, received a late call-up to fill one of the voids created by injured new boy Salisu Mohammed and Mubarak Wakaso of Spanish sides Real Valladolid and Deportivo Alaves respectively.Attamah was part of the Black Stars squad at Afcon 2019 last summer but was initially overlooked when head coach Kwasi Appiah named his 23-man squad to face South Africa as well as São Tomé and Principe.After receiving his ‘emergency invite’, the former Tema Youth trainee managed to report to camp in time to participate in Ghana’s final training session ahead of the home clash with Bafana Bafana at Cape Coast Stadium.Meanwhile, another new boy, Christopher Antwi-Adjei of German side Paderborn FC is expected to arrive by close of day.The German-born winger’s arrival for his first international assignment with Ghana was delayed by paperwork which only got completed on Tuesday.The Ghana-South Africa clash is set for 7pm kickoff.
Karela United have announced that they and their head coach, Enos Adepa, have parted ways.The announcement was made by the club on Saturday night via a statement issued the team’s management.No official reason was given but the club thanked Adela for his services.The former Ghana Premier League winner joined in Karela in December 2019 to help them navigate the season but results have not been good.Karela have won once in their last 9 league matches and they were 17th on the league log as of the time the league was suspended due to Coronavirus concerns.The club added that it has started the process of finding a replacement to handle the team awaiting the resumption of league football.
CAF’s decision to introduce the maiden CAF Women’s Champions league in 2021 is long overdue, that’s according to Chairperson of the Ghana Women’s League, Hilary Boateng.This is the first time CAF is organizing an interclub competition for women’s football and forms part of a strategy to develop the women’s game on the continent.Speaking to Citi Sports, Boateng says the competition will go a long way to showcase women’s football across the continent and beyond.“I think its fantastic news as well, the Champions league across the world is known as an elite competition, it will go a long way to showcase women’s football across the continent, Personally I believe that this is long overdue, the men have been playing it for so many decades and so it is time that there is a women’s game as is being projected by FIFA,” Boateng said in an interview with Citi Sports.“We are waiting for the details to know how exactly the competition will be run and then we would probably know how to get our teams also prepared to qualify for the competition but it means that women’s football is slowly beginning to get the recognition it deserves.”The CAF women’s Champions league was announced by CAF on June 30 during its executive meeting and will be launched in 2021.
Santos star Neymar believes that Lionel Messi will win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo following his extraordinary performances this year.The Barcelona forward has netted 84 goals at club and international level throughout the year, and the 20-year-old feels the Argentina international deserves recognition for his superb displays.“The winner will be Messi because he has had an extraordinary season,” he was quoted as saying by Globoesporte.“Ronaldo has had a great season too and so it will be close and exciting, but Messi should be the winner.”The Brazil international went on to discuss his future, and reiterated that he is not ready to leave his current club for Europe just yet.“I still dream of coming to Europe, but the right moment has yet to arrive. I’m very happy here at Santos, close to my family and my friends. “I have no plans to move for the moment, but it’s not because I’m content where I am. My objective is not to be the best in the world, but instead to be happy. Happiness comes first.”Neymar is under contract with Santos until the summer of 2014.
The Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador hosts its first game after being rebuilt for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The stadium has a capacity of over 50,000 and will be one of six stadiums used for this summer’s Confederations Cup. In the inaugural match, Vitoria beat Bahia 5-1
If you were wondering whether Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon caused a fan to do anything crazy—like get a tattoo of the tennis star’s image on his or her butt—the answer is yes.The Daily Mail reports on one fan who lost a bet and had to get Murray’s image tatted on his rear, and he sounds pretty ecstatic about the whole ordeal.The booty tat you will see below belongs to Will Hirons, who sent out the following tweet ahead of Murray’s win this weekend, the first for a British male in 77 years.As we now know, Murray took down the formidable Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, leading to all of Britain losing their minds in the best way possible. Except for our friend here, who managed to turn triumph into absurdity.Off in Hereford, Hirons was no doubt freaking out just a little, knowing that he now had to lay down and get some ink where only his closest friends would see.Well, along with all of Twitter. Here is the aftermath of Murray’s triumph, according to Hirons and his now tattooed rump.According to the report, this is hardly the first time someone made good on an awful bet.Manchester City supporter Rodney Ward saw red after having to honour a drink-induced bet by getting a tattoo of arch rivals Manchester United’s badge etched on his chest.Now that sounds painful, both to the ego as well as to the chest area. In Hirons’ case, it sounds like he was excited to get the tattoo, seeing the humor in all of it.Something tells me he was sitting on the edge of his seat in the third set Sunday, waiting to get his badge of honor that pretty much makes him the biggest Murray fan in the world.
Joy sports can confirm that Kwame Baah Nuakoh has resigned as International Relations Manager of Asante Kotoko following his boss Dr KK Sarpong’s decision to quit the club.The lecturer at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, who has been a long time follower of the club, has changed his email details which had the heading of his position to his personal details which reads, Kwame Baah-Nuakoh, PhD Candidate, School of Sports, University of Stirling, UK.Baah-Nuakoh who has been in the news recently confirmed to Joy sports of his resignation at the weekend but declined to state it on record.However, Kwame Baah Nuako has been summoned to appear before the ethicscommittee of the Ghana Football Association on Tuesday for unethical comments made against President of the Ghana FA Kwasi Nyantakyi on our sister station Asempa fm.
Jose Mourinho is looking at making a shock move for Samuel Eto’o – if Chelsea fail in their bid to land Wayne Rooney.The Blues had been confident of prising England star Rooney away from Manchester United.But with the champions insisting they will not be selling, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not willing to pay a huge fee for the 27-year-old.It is understood any increase in their second bid of £25m will not be a major one – and nowhere near as high as £30m.That has led Mourinho to perform an about turn on his insistence that Rooney was his only transfer target.He has turned to experienced Cameroon striker Eto’o. The 32-year-old has been with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for the last couple of seasons, earning a stunning £17m-a-year salary after tax.But the bubble at Anzhi looks to have burst and Mourinho is considering giving Eto’o – who played for him at Inter Milan – another crack at the big time.Meanwhile, Frank Lampard has given England and Chelsea a boost by declaring himself fully fit. The Blues midfielder has played just twice in pre-season because of an Achilles problem.But the 35-year-old showed he’s getting back in the groove yesterday, coming off the bench at half-time to level against Roma in a 2-1 win in Miami.Romelu Lukaku nabbed a last-gasp winner. Lamps arrived back in London last night and now heads off to join up with England ahead of the clash with Scotland on Wednesday. Lampard said: “There is no pain with the injury. I am feeling good.“I have trained the first week of pre-season and now the last week too and I have trained hard.“I’ve looked after myself in between, so if the manager wants me, I am there and I am ready.“I am looking forward to joining up with England and I would love to take part at some point. What a great game it is. It won’t be a friendly though.”