Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho scored a hat-trick as Manchester City eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup by thrashing beleaguered Aston Villa. City went ahead within the first four minutes as the home side failed to clear a corner and Iheanacho swept in a finish from close range. The visitors doubled their lead from Iheanacho’s cool penalty after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box. Iheanacho ran clear for his third goal and Sterling poked in a fourth. Striker Iheanacho could even have had four but failed to connect with a shot after making a run into the opposition box and Fernandinho’s long-range drive was pushed over by goalkeeper Guzan. The match ended 4 – 0 in favor of City.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber may have pulled off a stunning victory to win the Australian Open – dashing Serena Williams’ hopes of clinching a record-equalling 22nd grand slam title, but that didn’t stop the World Number 1 from showing what a true sportswoman she is. Kerber beat Williams 6-4 3-6 6-4 to claim her first major title, but instead of looking disappointed (or hanging her head down in defeat), Williams walked across to the other side of the court to hug the latest Grand Slam winner. It was in incredible moment in sport, hailed by numerous tennis fans
Egyptian side Wadi Degla have signed former France international and ex-Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda. The 35-year-old joins from Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos, where he had been since August 2015. He has signed a contract until the end of the season and teams up with fellow Frenchman Patrice Carteron, who became the club’s manager earlier in January. Malouda, who played for Chelsea from 2007 to 2013, has earned 80 France caps and scored nine international goals. This is a reversal of the normal trend for African players ending up in Europe. Nice we’d say.
Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Matt Miazga from New York Red Bulls on a four-and-a-half-year contract. The United States defender, 20, was part of the New York side that finished top of the regular-season standings in Major League Soccer last year. Miazga, a centre-half, said Chelsea was “the place to develop and learn from some of the best players in the world”. He made 34 league appearances across three seasons with New York, with his solitary goal for the club coming in a derby victory over New York City FC last May. New Jersey-born Miazga has made one international appearance, against St Vincent and the Grenadines in a World Cup qualifier in November.
Alexandre Pato has hailed his arrival at Chelsea as “a dream” after joining on loan until the end of the season. Chelsea have signed the 26-year-old former AC Milan forward on loan from Brazilian club Corinthians. Pato told Chelsea’s website: “I am so happy to sign for Chelsea. It is a dream for me. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know my new team-mates and cannot wait to play. “I thank Chelsea for their support and hope I can repay this faith to the club and its fans.”
West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has strengthened his midfield options with the loan signing of Sandro from QPR. The former Tottenham midfielder, who has made 11 appearances for Rangers this term, will stay at the Hawthorns until the end of the season, with the Baggies holding the option to make the move permanent in the summer. “We’re delighted to bring such a quality player to the club,” Pulis told the club’s official website. “We’ve got a few injuries and knocks at the moment so we’re pleased to be able to strengthen the squad.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have had their FIFA-imposed transfer bans suspended pending their appeals, both Primera Division clubs have announced. Real and Atletico were banned by the world governing body earlier this month from registering new signings for the next two transfer windows for breaching rules on the international transfer and registration of players aged under 18. However, both clubs immediately appealed against the ruling – which would mean they are not be able to register any new players until the summer of 2017 after this month’s window closes – and on Friday night they announced the sanction had been provisionally suspended.
Kelechi Nwakali expects to sign for Arsenal in the weeks ahead, and the Nigerian youngster has already picked the number he wants to wear at the Emirates. Arsenal have targeted Nwakali, along with fellow youth international Samuel Chukwueze, for several months and, though they face issues over securing work permits for the two teenagers, Arsene Wenger confirmed today that he expects both players to agree contracts at the club.
Real Madrid are on the brink of signing a 10-year, £106 million-per-season contract with Adidas, which would dwarf the one signed with Manchester United in 2014.It would also be as big as Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona’s kit deals combined.United’s £750m, 10-year contract is currently the largest in the world, having overtaken that agreed by Real with Adidas in 2012. The Spanish giants’ previous deal was not due to expire until 2020 but they have managed to secure a massive mark-up four years in advance.
Russian club CSKA Moscow have rejected an improved offer from Premier League leaders Leicester City for Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa, BBC reports. Moscow turned down a new bid of $26.5m which was an improvement on the original offer of $21.6m. The 23-year-old is believed to be open to a move to Leicester. The Nigeria captain has also attracted the attention of other top Premier League teams and has a $32.5m buyout clause in his contract.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber stunned world number one Serena Williams in three sets to win her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Kerber, seeded seventh, won a thrilling final 6-4 3-6 6-4 at Melbourne Park. The 28-year-old is the first German to win a major singles title since Steffi Graf at the 1999 French Open. Williams, 34, was beaten for just the fifth time in 26 Grand Slam finals, and the American missed the chance to tie Graf’s open-era record of 22 titles. Kerber, who saved a match point in her first-round win over Misaki Doi, will move up to number two in the world rankings.