Petr Cech set a new Premier League clean sheets record with his shutout in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth. The goalkeeper has now kept 170 clean sheets in 352 Premier League appearances, putting him clear of second-placed David James (169 clean sheets) and Mark Schwarzer in third (152). Cech joined the Gunners in a £10m deal last summer and his eighth clean sheet for the club helped them return to the top of the Premier League. Cech had previously kept the opposition at bay on a remarkable 162 occasions during his 11 years with Chelsea.
Watford striker Odion Ighalo is a £12m target for Spanish giants Atletico Madrid . Ighalo, 26, has been a huge success in Watford’s impressive start to the campaign and has caught the eye of Atletico scouts. Nigeria forward Ighalo has already scored 14 goals and Atletico have watched him at least five times this season and are ready to make a summer move. Atletico are looking for a new striker this summer as Jackson Martinez has been a huge flop since his £25m move from Porto in the summer. Martinez has even been linked with a loan move to Tottenham and Chelsea with Atletico keen to offload the 29-year-old.
Manchester United scarves with the name of recently sacked Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on them were sold outside Old Trafford before Monday’s game against Chelsea. Some Manchester United fans have recently been calling for Mourinho to replace Louis van Gaal.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says he will not resign after his side drew 0-0 with Chelsea on Monday. United have now failed to win in eight games in all competitions – the first time that has happened since 1990 – and are five points behind fourth place. But Juan Mata and Anthony Martial both hit the woodwork in an improved United display against Chelsea. And Van Gaal said: “When the players give such a performance with a lot of pressure, there’s no reason to resign.” It has been a testing week for Van Gaal, who before Christmas walked out of a news conference after criticising the media for speculating about his position. The Red Devils then lost 2-0 at Stoke, while United scarves with the name of recently sacked Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on them were sold outside Old Trafford before Monday’s game.
It is the stuff of dreams for any player to join Barcelona. Yet within hours of signing for the club’s reserve team, forward Sergi Guardiola was sacked after officials were alerted to “offensive tweets” he had posted two years ago about Barca and Catalonia. Guardiola, 24, joined Barcelona B on Monday but, according to Marca , the Spanish national daily sport newspaper, his contract was terminated “some hours later” when they became aware of pro-Real Madrid tweets, including offensive language about Catalans. Guardiola started this season at Madrid-based club Alcorcon in Spain’s second tier. Talk of rivalry.
Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel is loving life under new manager Guus Hiddink and is confident the Dutchman can get the reigning Premier League champions back on track. Hiddink was brought in to replace Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese was fired following Chelsea’s dismal start to the season. Former Netherlands boss Hiddink was in the stands to watch Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Sunderland last weekend and Mikel is pleased to be reunited with the 69-year-old after his previous tenure in 2009. “He is still the same man. He likes to get involved in training, have a bit of banter with the players but at the same time it is all serious business and that is what we need,” Mikel told the official Chelsea website. “He is always like a father figure to the team, speaking to the players individually, putting an arm around them and getting feedback from the team on what we think problems are and then trying to fix them.
Louis van Gaal has bowed to player pressure in an attempt to keep his job at Manchester United. The beleaguered United boss has agreed to relax the strict regime that has proved so unpopular among his squad following a meeting with senior players Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Chris Smalling and Juan Mata at the start of the week. Van Gaal still has the support of the players but recognised an urgent need for change after seeing United lose three games in a row. The run has plunged his future at Old Trafford into doubt as he prepares for their Boxing Day trip to Stoke City.
The League Management Company will stage the annual Super Four tournament to usher in the new football season from January 11 to 15, 2016. However, a venue for the invitational tourney has yet to be decided. Nigeria champions Enyimba, runners-up Warri Wolves, third-placed Nasarawa United and Akwa United, who won the Confederation Cup, will feature in the competition which is aimed at preparing the clubs for their continental engagements next year.
It’s that season we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the Joy and Peace of our Lord reign in your life and that of your loved ones this Christmas and always. Seasons Greetings from us to YOU. We’ll play a bit Santa throughout the day for our Naija readers! You can see our guy here is tying Naija flag on the neck…lol.
The father of Liverpool target Marko Grujic says he is resisting a move to Anfield, despite the clubs agreeing a £5million transfer. Goran Grujic believes his son has been forced out of Red Star Belgrade as the Serbian club need the money and is refusing to allow the transfer to go through. Red Star have accepted Liverpool’s offer, which included loaning the player back until the end of the season for a return fee of £730,000.
Everton are in discussions with a United States-led consortium about a potential £200m takeover. The group, led by former owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team John Jay Moores and fellow entrepreneur Charles Noell, have been in talks with Toffees owner Bill Kenwright in recent months. Moores and Noell have previously been interested in investing in Swansea. The consortium is expected to perform due diligence on Everton’s accounts over the next few weeks. The Toffees have declined to comment on the latest interest – but there have been several parties pondering a deal to buy the Premier League club this year.
Under-pressure Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal answered only three questions before walking out of a news conference on Wednesday. The 64-year-old Dutchman was unhappy at being asked about his future following speculation that he could be sacked. The media briefing, ahead of Saturday’s game at Stoke, lasted only five minutes before Van Gaal’s departure. The former Netherlands boss said he had only turned up to speak to journalists because of Premier League rules. As he left, he told the reporters: “I wish you a merry Christmas and maybe also a happy new year when I see you. Enjoy the wine and a mince pie. Goodbye.” United are without a win in six games, having lost their last three matches to Wolfsburg, Bournemouth and Norwich.
Cameroonian Alex Song wed the beautiful Olivia who is his childhood darling. They have two children together. The West Ham United midfielder and the business woman have two children together. They’re known for their impeccable fashion sense.
Former Wigan and Cote d’Ivoire defender Steve Gohouri is still missing, 11 days after he was last seen. A spokesman for fourth-tier TSV Steinbach said that they have not heard from the 34-year-old since he attended his German club’s Christmas party on 11 December after which he was due to head to see his family in Paris. The club said the Ivory Coast embassy in Germany has been in touch as well to ask for updates. Steinbach are currently on their winter break and so Gohouri has not missed any training or matches with the squad due back on 6 January.
The ITF announced that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2015 ITF World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the sixth time, while this is the fifth occasion that Djokovic has received the honour. Serena Williams came within two matches of achieving the Grand Slam in 2015, winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and held all four Slams at the same time for the second time in her career. She won five titles overall, and finished No. 1 in the year-end rankings for the fifth time on the back of a 53-3 win-loss record. Williams said: “It means a lot to me to be named the ITF World Champion for the sixth time. I am proud to have achieved my second Serena Slam, in what has been an amazing year for me. Thank you for this recognition and for the undying support of the tennis community.” Novak Djokovic won a career-best 11 titles in 2015, ending at No. 1 in the year-end rankings for the fourth time. He won three major titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, and was runner-up at Roland Garros. He was in commanding form on all surfaces, boasting a career-best 82-6 win-loss record during the year. Djokovic said: “It is an honour to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time. My season was the best of my career with many highlights. It inspires me even more to keep on going, and I hope to continue to play at this level in 2016.”
West Brom forwards James McClean and Salomon Rondon have been suspended for three matches by the Football Association. The pair were sent off during Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Bournemouth in the Premier League, Irish international McClean for serious foul play and Venezuelan Rondon for violent conduct. McClean and Rondon will miss Saturday’s match at Swansea City, the home game with Newcastle United on Monday and a visit from Stoke City on 2 January.