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Late VAR Call Denies Liverpool In Derby Draw Against Everton



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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had a stoppage-time winner ruled out for offside as Everton twice came from behind to salvage their unbeaten start to the Premier League season on Saturday in a pulsating Merseyside derby that ended 2-2.

Everton have still not won a derby for 10 years, but manager Carlo Ancelotti will be the happier of the two managers to escape with a point after Henderson’s strike did not stand for the most marginal of offside calls against Sadio Mane in the build-up following a VAR review.

A share of the spoils means Everton remain three points clear of their city rivals at the top of the table.

Liverpool were smashed 7-2 by Aston Villa in their last game before the international break, but started like a side keen to make amends.

Mane missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus and the Senegalese showed why he was badly missed with a smart finish from Andy Robertson’s cut-back to open the scoring.

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Everton had a major let off moments later when Virgil Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Jordan Pickford as a free-kick was swung into the box.

However, no penalty was awarded on a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford also incredibly avoided a red card.

Ancelotti’s men made the most of that reprieve to level on 19 minutes when Michael Keane’s header from James Rodriguez’s corner had too much power for Adrian.

But it was Liverpool who remained the more dangerous side for the remainder of the first-half. Pickford leapt to his right to make a stunning save from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick before Mane then had a similar chance to the opening goal only to this time skew Robertson’s cross wide.

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s nine goals have been a major part of Everton’s flying start to the season, but the newly-capped England international missed a huge chance to put the home side in front as he failed to connect with Lucas Digne’s low cross five minutes into the second-half.

James has been a player reborn since his move from Real Madrid to join up with Ancelotti at a third club and the Colombian’s sumptuous cross nearly teed up Richarlison for the winner, but the Brazilian’s header came back off the outside of the post.

Those chances looked set to come back to haunt Everton as a moment of magic from Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front 18 minutes from time.

Alexander-Arnold’s cross was cut out by Yerry Mina but broke to the Egpytian on his left and he arrowed a shot into the far corner for his sixth goal in five appearances this season.

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Pickford kept Everton in the game with an incredible save from Joel Matip’s header and then to parry another piledriver from Salah.

That proved crucial as Calvert-Lewin produced an incredible leap and header from Digne’s cross to level once more.

Everton did finish the game down to 10 men as Richarlison was shown a straight red card for another dangerous lunge, this time on Thiago Alcantara.

Henderson thought he had won the game when Pickford failed to keep out his England teammate’s low shot in stoppage time.

However, the drama did not end there as VAR deemed Mane to be offside as he provided the cross.


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Manchester City Thrash Liverpool To End 18-Year Anfield Hoodoo



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Manchester City ended an 18-year wait to beat Liverpool at Anfield in style with a 4-1 win on Sunday to take a firm grip on the Premier League title race.

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice and missed a penalty as Pep Guardiola’s men moved five points clear of Manchester United, with a game in hand to come, at the top of the table.

A third consecutive home defeat leaves Liverpool 10 points off the top in fourth, having also played a game more than City.

Raheem Sterling and the outstanding Phil Foden were also on target for the visitors on a day to forget for Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who was at fault for three of City’s goals.

After a club record-breaking run of 68 league games unbeaten at Anfield, Liverpool have now lost three consecutive home league games for the first time since 1963.

The margin of defeat was also the Reds’ biggest in the Premier League era as City landed a knockout blow to their title defence.

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City’s club record run of 14 consecutive wins, 10 of which have come in the league, has seen them pull away from the pack at the top of the table from what seemed a wide-open title race just a few weeks ago.

That run is reminiscent of the City and Liverpool sides at their best over the past three seasons as they have ran up record points tallies in combining to win the last three league titles.

However, Liverpool appear to have run out of gas in an injury-hit campaign after ending a 30-year wait to win a league title by taking City’s crown as champions last season.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp again paired midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson together at centre-back, despite new loan signing Ozan Kabak being available on the bench.

The Liverpool backline had been rarely tested until Sterling ran at them eight minutes before the break and the former Reds winger was upended by Fabinho.

Kevin De Bruyne missed a penalty for City when the sides met earlier in the season, while Riyad Mahrez blazed over from the spot in a 0-0 draw at Anfield in 2018 – the only time Guardiola had previously avoided defeat away to Liverpool as City manager.

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The Catalan threw his arms up in disgust as Gundogan also failed to hit the target as his spot-kick flew well over the bar.

Not for the first time in City’s fine run, Guardiola started without a recognised striker, but a half-time tinkering of his formation to push Bernardo Silva closer to Foden in attack paid immediate dividends.

Another purposeful burst from Sterling fed Foden and after his low shot was saved by Alisson, Gundogan this time made no mistake on the rebound to score his seventh goal in 11 league games.

City had conceded just twice in their 13 league games, thanks in large part to the formidable partnership of Ruben Dias and John Stones in central defence.

In contrast, Liverpool had not scored at Anfield in over six hours until a rare error from Dias handed the champions a lifeline just after the hour mark.

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The Portuguese’s attempted clearance was blocked by Mohamed Salah, who was then pulled down by Dias.

Salah has not missed a penalty for Liverpool since 2017 and made no mistake when he fired straight down the middle.

But Liverpool could not build on that reprieve as the normally dependable Alisson gifted away two goals in comical fashion.

The Brazilian cleared the ball straight to Foden, who wriggled clear inside the area before squaring for Gundogan to tap home his second off the underside of the bar.

Seconds later, Alisson’s confidence seemed to have gone as another wayward attempted clearance picked out a City player as this time Silva crossed for Sterling to score his first goal at Anfield since leaving Liverpool six years ago.

Foden then completed the rout and an outstanding personal performance with a blistering shot seven minutes from time that also escaped Alisson’s grasp.


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“Covid-19 Has Caused A Lot Of Set Back To Sporting Activities Across The Globe” – Mr. Sylvanus



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By Our Reporter, Lokoja.

The Permanent Secretary, Kogi State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sylvanus Akpama, says the advent of the dreaded Corona Virus across the Globe has caused a lot of havoc to sporting activities.

In an interview with in his Office in Lokoja, he said most sports involves body contact with opponents, saying that the social distance rules to avoid the spread of Covid-19 has affected the sector.

“Covid-19 has affected sporting activities greatly. Infact, we are one of the most hit sector in the world because sporting activities requires large gathering of sportsmen/women, officials and of course, spectators. So, judging from the nature and design of sports and Covid-19 protocols, you will know that obviously, the sector has really been hit so much”

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The Permanent Secretary explained that in Nigeria, the highly anticipated National Sports Festival tagged “Edo 2020” was postponed due to the pandemic, stressing that an end to the global scourge will do the sector a lot of good.

“Driving the point back home, our National Sports Festival that every States prepared for with athletes in high spirits to showcase what they are made of was postponed because of Corona Virus. Since the advent of Covid-19, we’ve not really had a major sporting event in Nigeria. But in this 2021,we are very hopeful of revived sporting activities across the Country and get our athletes back on track”

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Mr. Sylvanus Akpama however enjoined sportsmen and women, particularly those in Kogi State to continue to keep fit, adding that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.


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David Olowookere: Life Of A Prophecy Child.



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By Yemi Sodeeq Sportspro, Kwara.

No doubt, he must have proved his worth beyond mere hit such that he had eight different scholarship offers to study in  the United States of America between 2014 and 2020.

In a recent interview with Sportspro News correspondent, the former Kwara State and  Nigeria athlete, David Olowookere talked his roots, hopes and becoming the best as a new student of Drake University in the US.

Olowookere with his personal best of 51 minutes 7 seconds of 400mh, is among many Nigerians who make it to the ‘haven’ of  their dream with mix of tales.

Talking about his pedigree, David noted that his late father hailed from Ilesha in Osun State and his mother from Eruku, Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State.

But he would tend towards his maternal side because Kwara State showed him love and platform to showcase his skills and talent over the years.

“When I started, there are some places you will laugh and cry with me. But, this is a new phase of my life- It’s been God” the 400m National Sports Festival Champions reflected.

David narrated that he was born in to a family of Nine and as the last son of the family, his parent didn’t really believe they could have any child again when he was born. But for a prophecy, he came alive.

The circumstances of his birth appears divine; a gesture, which to an African society tells a lot of about child fortunes and being special- He was born of a prophecy by a pastor and now living by a prophecy he said of himself.

“We Christian believe in God’s direction and so my mother told me that one prophet told my father that my parent will have a new child- a boy and his name will be David”  he reminisced.

Just after his birth, he came in contact with the bitter side of life as things went bad for his parent but there was something that defined his childhood which would later become the decider of his life.

“When I came, It wasn’t a nice time.Things was not going as planned but during my childhood I was very energetic and my adrenaline were always pumping up fast”.

Recalling some of his travails: “I attended a private school but got to a point, financially the family was down and I have to dropped out from the private school to public School, Government Day Secondary School, Adewole where I started my sporting career very well”

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David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo was his model, but his speed was too much for football, Why and How?

He couldn’t imagined a life on the track because his love for football was overwhelming and the penchant for wearing jersey number 7 was ebullient. Yet, he had a problem of recovering back whenever he plays the flank- much to his ‘extra’ speed .

“I love and play football very well, David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo happens to be my role model then, and because I love wearing jersey 7, I developed interest in playing 7  on the pitch”.

At GDSS Adewole, he later met with Coach S.O Ibrahim who engineered the shift to athletics.

“Your speed is just too much for football; playing football will just kill your talent. You are a sprinter not a footballer and I will like you to take to athletics” he recalled how his teacher advised him .

Although, he wasn’t happy with what the Coach said but the teacher was so serious about it that he eventually registered him for a competition even when he still “court” with football; feeding his dream to be like Christiano Ronaldo.

“He registered me for an inter school competition in 2014 but I didn’t do well. So, when I came back, I told myself track and field is not your way”. ‘Ororo’ as he his fondly called explained.

Later on, He would go to track and field training with his soccer booth and after the training, he will still go back to football and it got a time he can’t hold it together- The shift was about to be permanent now because the narrative eventually changed with his experience in a 4km race.

“So in 2014, he (Coach Ibrahim) registered me for another 4km race. And for the first time as a secondary school student among many other students from high institutions; I took third position in the race and that opened my heart to running”.

From then on, he has participated in about fifty competitions and
won over 30 medals for his School, State and the Country.

He noted another twist of life was when his father died: “One of my trying period is when i lost my dad. He was my Coach my father, my mentor and everything to me”

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According to David, his father  had impacted on him virtues which has helped his life and career adding that as a Christian he must uphold the tenets of Christendom to the latter or he might loses Christ’s support.

He wished his father is alive now to witness his transformation and the manifestation of the “prophecy”.

Track and field for him hasn’t been easy because he believes  running is beyond what we see and it takes God to break hurdles. “It’s another thing to run outside and another thing to run on the track; one need God” he exclaimed.

Although he now does 400m event, but he had transversed other forms of race like long distance race of 4km, 5000m , 3000m, 1,500m, 800m and 400m .

“I wasn’t striking the right chord in those period, It got to a time I wanted to do 400m hurdles and I was told by those coaching me then that 400m hurdles is not something I can just rush into, I need more strength and endurance”

But that didn’t stop him from   doing what he wanted. Even with his legs formation and height which many had observed would be a barrier, coupled with initial failures, he has achieved the most running 400m hurdles race.

“I can’t count the number of competitions i have attended but I have gone to more than 50 competitions and won over 30 medals, one of them is National Sports Festival record in 2018”

The US journey and another prophecy

For Olowookere, he has always told his school mates and colleagues when he was in junior class that he will never pay to study in the University and would never study in a Nigeria university.

“The genesis of my USA journey started back in 2014 and from that time till now, I have gotten over 8 different scholarships from the US but because there is time for  everything under the heaven- This is my time and I thank God for helping me”. David remarked.

How the video clip and love for Blue Colour shaped the University choice

It all started in 2018 after  emerging as a champion in the National Sports Festival. His video went viral and his phone would subsequently be buzzling with calls from all parts of the world with interest to offer him opportunity.

READ:  David Olowookere: Life Of A Prophecy Child.

He said in his words: “I remember a particular press man called me from Columbia and said my video went viral, so many schools were calling him from the US to get my informations.

Among the schools which expressed interest in him is Drake University, Des Moines Iowa State in the US.

Olowookere said he was happy to accept Drake University giving the fact that their colour is Blue -his favorite.It was a dream come through according to him as he will be studying Law, Politics and Society- The prophecy is now a reality.

“I don’t have any cause about wearing kits again,feeding is not a problem because I am on scholarship and all charges paid. What I have to do now is just to study,train and run” He enthused.

And with his achievements as the 2019 CAA Region II 400Mtrs Gold medalist ,110Mtrs hurdles Silver medalist, 2019 African U20 Finalist, National Sports Festival 400m hurdles Champion and record holder, he expressed optimism at conquering more in the upcoming African and World Athletics Championships.

Although his new environment is “partially strange to him”, he is gradually finding the rythm with his acclimatization period.

He appreciated the leadership of Amatuer Athletics Association of Kwara State under the able leadership of Alhaji Tunde Abdulkareem for their contributions and support to his career over the years.

While also pouring encomiums on his Mother, Sister, friends, loved ones and his fans at the Kwara State Stadium headed by Oladele Radical and Odion Wilson, he acknowledged their contributions has been key to all his achievements.

“I want to also thank my Coaches headed by Coach Biodun Adeyemi,Coach Muritala (Murimore), Coach Niyi Awe, Coach Bello, and Mr Tunde Raji (Sampalorajini), Sportspro News Publisher, Bayour Issah,my friend and love Oghenemiro Mirotee and host of others for their support towards making this journey possible”.

David who said he is in America to make Nigeria proud urged all his fellow athletes that there’s no limit and barrier to what they can achieve telling them no obstacle that can’t be broken with believe in God and their dream.

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