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Eddie Nketiah’s hat-trick sees Arsenal ease to Sheff Utd win

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Arsenal moved within two points of Premier League leaders Tottenham after beating Sheffield United 5-0 on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s side didn’t reach top gear at the Emirates but still secured a comfortable win against the Premier League’s bottom club. Eddie Nketiah scored a sensational hat-trick, just days after fellow striker Gabriel Jesus suffered a hamstring injury against Sevilla. Fabio Vieira came off the bench to convert a penalty before Takehiro Tomiyasu completed the scoring.

Arsenal will now look to win at West Ham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, while the Blades will try to pick up their first Premier League win of the season at home to Wolves next Saturday.

Arteta took a big risk on Saturday by benching Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Magalhaes and captain Martin Odegaard. Emile Smith Rowe was given his first Premier League start since May 2022, while Bukayo Saka was handed the armband.

With the Gunners also competing in the Champions League and Carabao Cup, it’s clear Arteta saw this game as a chance to rotate his squad. United are bottom of the Premier League and big favourites to make an immediate return to the Championship.

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Yet it’s always a gamble to rest players in English football’s top flight. Arsenal fans started to worry that Arteta had made a mistake around 25 minutes into the game, with the Blades looking confident on the ball. The Gunners needed to take control.


And that’s exactly what they did. Declan Rice picked up the ball down the middle, around 30 yards out, and took United’s defence by surprise by quickly playing a ball into the box. Nketiah read the delivery and controlled it before finishing from eight yards out.

It was the game’s first moment of real quality. The next came in the 41st minute, when Gabriel Martinelli’s left-footed strike was tipped around the post by goalkeeper Wes Foderingham. Arsenal went into the interval with a lead, but they weren’t at their best.

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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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