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Leandro Trossard goal ends Arsenal’s six-year curse at Everton

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Leandro Trossard hit a valuable winning goal for Arsenal as they extended their excellent start to the season against Everton at Goodison Park.

The Belgian winger struck home an excellent effort midway through the second half to finally help the Gunners to victory on Merseyside for the first time in six years.

Gabriel Martinelli looked to have given the Gunners the lead in the first-half, only for VAR to intervene and chalk-off his opener.

Arsenal eventually went in front in the second half through Trossard, with his goal being enough to carry Arsenal to their fourth win from their opening five games.

There were more than a few baffled glances around Goodison Park after Martinelli’s opener was disallowed. Commentator Gary Neville was among those scratching their heads.

The goal came about after Beto had attempted to block Gabriel Magalhaes’ pass. It then deflected all the way to Eddie Nketiah, who brought Fabio Vieira into play before the Portuguese midfielder released Martinelli with an expert pass.

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The Brazilian’s finish was unerring as he slotted home. But Nketiah was adjudged to have been marginally offside in the build-up with the celebrations soon cut short.


Whilst Arsenal were aggrieved, it was the correct decision as Beto’s touch was unintentional. To make matters worse for Martinelli, he was substituted off through injury in the immediate aftermath.

Even ahead of kick-off, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta got supporters talking with his team selection. Summer signing David Raya replaced regular number one Aaron Ramsdale in goal.

He explained that the call had been made as part of a rotation policy ahead of a busy run of games. The Spaniard didn’t really have too much to do at all at Goodison Park so it remains to be seen whether it was the right call.

One man who may be a little frustrated is Ramsdale. The England keeper was consigned to the bench and that will not do his international prospects any favours, with Three Lions colleague Jordan Pickford impressing for Everton.

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Arsenal struggled to break down their hosts for a long time at Goodison. Away from Martinelli’s disallowed goal and a good save from Jordan Pickford to deny Martin Odegaard early in the first half, the Gunners were lacking any real creativity.

That was until Trossard smashed the opener home. The former Brighton man polished off an excellent move to strike a thunderous effort in off the post.

It represented just his third goal for the North London side since moving to the Emirates Stadium. However, he is already developing a welcome habit with all three of those strikes coming as a substitute. The fact Arteta has players ready to make an impact only bodes well for a renewed title push.

The win will no doubt be satisfying for the Gunners but the fact that it has come at Goodison Park will leave an even wider smiler on Arteta’s face. Arsenal’s defeat at the same ground last season was one of a number of results which cost them in the race for the Premier League title.

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That was certainly not an unfamiliar feeling with Arsenal winless away at Everton since 2017. They have also only scored two goals at Goodison in the time since.

Sunday’s showdown was equally as testing, with the Gunners looking for a long time as though they would depart frustrated. It is far too early in the season to say a win at Goodison could bolster their title chances but it no doubt allows Arsenal to breathe a sigh of relief.

Everton will be crestfallen having failed to keep Arsenal out despite keeping the Gunners at arms length throughout the majority of the clash. Things are looking up for the Toffees though with Dominic Calvert-Lewin returning sporting a mask after his cheek injury.

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World Cup Qualifier: Benin Republic beat Nigeria 2-1

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Benin Republic beat the Super Eagles for the first time on Monday, defeating them 2-1. That scoreline leaves Nigeria’s World Cup qualification on the line.

 

Nigeria have only a miserable three points from four World Cup qualification games and are at the risk of missing the next football tournament.

 

The Super Eagles came into the game needing a win after drawing South Africa some days back.

 

While the game started on a good note for the Nigerians, they had to wait 25 minutes before taking the lead. Raphael Onyedika of Club Brugge gave the Super Eagles the advantage when he slotted in cooly just inside the box.

 

But unfazed, the Cheetahs of Benin coached by a former Nigerian gaffer Gernot Rohr levelled proceedings in the 37th minute from Jodei Dossou after a defensive error from the Super Eagles.

 

They compounded Nigeria’s misery just before the halftime whistle via Steve Mounie.

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On the resumption of the second half, Nigeria rang some changes in a push to find the leveller. However, the Cheetahs defended stoutly to record one of the biggest wins in football.

 

Monday’s result leaves Nigeria 5th in the Group C qualification lot for the 2026 World Cup.

 

 

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Rangers vs Enyimba: Fans invade pitch, match abandoned after late penalty call

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The Rangers vs Enyimba game has been abandoned following a late penalty call in favour of the Flying Antelopes in a Week 35 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) match.

 

Sunday’s game, tagged the Oriental Derby was a title decider with Rangers topping the league standings (60 points) and Enyimba trailing them by two points.

 

Fans had trooped out en masse for the fiercely contested encounter and all was going well. However, with the game tied goalless, the referee pointed to the spot late in the game, awarding Rangers a penalty.

 

That decision did not go well with Enyimba players who protested the decision. While efforts were made to resume play, the game turned chaotic when some fans invaded the pitch, disrupting the highly-anticipated match.

 

“Rangers 0-0 Enyimba #RANENY #NPFL24 #TheFinalStretch,” the NPFL wrote on its X platform.  “Match interrupted after penalty awarded to Rangers in added time.”

 

The scenes at the Cathedral isn’t welcoming for a game of this magnitude.

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The referee awarded a late penalty to Rangers and Enyimba players left the pitch.

 

And now, the fans are in the pitch with the game being inconclusive.#NPFL24 #RANENY pic.twitter.com/F8YbrnD8Re

 

 

As of now, the league body has yet to make comments about the match and the next steps.

 

 

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W/Cup qualifiers: South Africa hold Nigeria to 1-1 draw

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

 

Coach Finidi George opted to start Southampton forward, Paul Onuachu to lead the lines instead of Victor bOnifcae of Bayern Leverkusen, with another surprise inclusion in the likes of Fisayo Dele-Basiru in the heart of midfield.

 

Nigeria were hoping to avoid a third consecutive draw in the Group C World Cup qualifiers, however, South Africa’s Themba Zwane had something else in store as his 28th-minute strike beat Stanley Nwabali for an early lead.

 

Hugo Broos’ men seemed more disciplined at the back with last minute stops to deny UEFA European League final hero, Ademola Lookman as well as Kelechi Iheanacho.

 

Nigeria ended the first half the better side and resumed the second half with some renewed zest and were rewarded with a wonderful strike courtesy of Dele-Basiru who beat Ronwen Williams for the equaliser.

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The introduction of Samuel Chukwueze almost put the Super Eagles ahead but the crossbar denied the AC Milan man to keep the tie even

 

Despite a flurry of attack, Bafana Bafana remained resolute to see out the draw.

 

Nigeria remain fifth with three points on the log table, a point behind South Africa who are on 4 points

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