Archive for March 5th, 2015

(Sports) West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: Hazard Makes The Difference As Blues March On @Richard

West Ham 0-1 Chelsea: Hazard makes the difference as Blues march on

The Blues wasted a number of chances to make their evening more comfortable and had Thibaut Courtois to thank for making some fine saves

Chelsea maintained their five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table as they recorded a narrow win over West Ham.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring as he got on the end of Ramires’ cross to head past Adrian from close range.

West Ham responded well, with Thibaut Courtois having to twice deny Diafra Sakho either side of half-time before Diego Costa hit the post for the visitors.

Sakho headed over the crossbar late on but Jose Mourinho’s side held on for all three points.

  • Chelsea controlled the play in the opening exchanges and Costa’s close-range effort ballooned over the crossbar off his shin early on.

West Ham, who saw Winston Reid limp off in the eighth minute to be replaced by James Collins, gradually gained a foothold and Courtois – one of two changes from the League Cup final for the visitors – was quick off his line to deny Kevin Nolan after he was slipped in by Mark Noble.

But it was Mourinho’s side who seized the advantage in the 22nd minute.

Hazard’s pass to Cesc Fabregas was worked right to Ramires and his cross picked out the unmarked Belgium international to nod home from six yards.

Chelsea had the chance to make it 2-0 when Hazard sent Costa free in a swift breakaway, but the striker dawdled on the ball and allowed Carl Jenkinson to make a fine tackle.

Jenkinson was then involved at the other end as his pinpoint cross found Sakho in space just six yards out, but his header was too close to Courtois and an excellent chance went begging.

Shortly before the break Collins was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card for an ill-timed challenge on Kurt Zouma.

The hosts started the second half with positive intent and two dangerous Stewart Downing crosses caused confusion in Chelsea’s defence.

Chelsea reasserted control from thereon and the excellent Hazard played Ramires in behind the defence, the midfielder cutting inside Collins before rolling his shot against the left-hand post.

Hazard and Ramires combined again shortly after, the latter seeing his header kept out smartly by Adrian.

At the other end Gary Cahill made an excellent challenge to deny Sahko after Courtois spilled Enner Valencia’s tame effort, while Chelsea captain John Terry felt Cheikhou Kouyate should have been shown a second yellow card when the Senegal international bulldozed into him – the midfielder subsequently receiving lengthy treatment.

Both teams saw penalty shouts dismissed by referee Andre Marriner in the closing stages. First Branislav Ivanovic felt Collins had handled his shot in the area, before West Ham substitute Nene was denied a similar claim against Cahill.

It appeared as though substitute Willian would add a second for Chelsea in stoppage time, only for Aaron Cresswell to block his shot on the line – and that proved the last meaningful action as West Ham failed to score against Chelsea in the league for the fifth game running.

goal.com

(Sports) Busquets Blow Dampens Barcelona’s Copa Cheer @Richard

Busquets blow dampens Barcelona's Copa cheer

COMMENT: The Catalans reached the final by beating Villarreal 3-1, but there was bad news as the midfielder was stretchered off with an ankle injury at El Madrigal
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
It was mission accomplished for Barcelona on Wednesday as Luis Enrique’s side achieved their first objective of the season by progressing to the Copa del Rey final. But at what price?

Neymar’s early goal from a wonderful Lionel Messi pass all but sealed it and Barca – some way below their best against a spirited rival – made sure of their progression after Tomas Pina was sent off for brutally scything down the Brazilian, who added a second after Luis Suarez scored his fourth in a week.

But earlier on, Pina also made his mark by clattering into Busquets and leaving the midfielder in agony. The 26-year-old, who recently signed a new contract to extend his stay at the Catalan club until 2019, will undergo tests on Thursday to determine the extent of the damage.

Barca fans will have been encouraged to see the World Cup winner laughing and joking on the bench late in the game, but president Josep Maria Bartomeu warned after the match that the Spain international is facing a significant spell on the sidelines.

“It looks like there is no break, no fracture,” the club chief said afterwards. “But he will be out for some time. It is a slow recovery process.”

In Busquets’ absence, Javier Mascherano played a fine forward pass to set up Suarez for Barca’s second goal. The Argentine can step in to the breach and will not let anybody down. Tactically and technically, however, the Catalan offers so much more to this team, with a far greater range of passing and superior attacking qualities than the former Liverpool man.

“It’s bad news and we will have to see how long he will be out,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “We won’t know until the doctors take a look at him.”

The good news for Barca and for Luis Enrique, though, is seeing the club in the final of the Copa del Rey following some troubled times in 2014-15.

And they arrived in some style, winning all of their eight games en route to the showpiece occasion, scoring 31 goals and conceding only five. It is some turnaround for a club who, only weeks before, were in crisis as Luis Enrique suffered a major fall-out with a sub-par Lionel Messi.

However, Luis Enrique is well aware that all of that will mean little if they cannot claim the prize against Athletic Bilbao on May 30.

“Finals are to be won,” he said. “I am happy we have qualified, but now we will go back to concentrating on La Liga.”

And things are looking brighter there, too, after Barca closed to within two points of Real Madrid at the weekend, with Carlo Ancelotti’s side unable to beat Villarreal (who lost this tie 6-2 on aggregate) at the Santiago Bernabeu.

On Wednesday, it may have been something of a disjointed display from Luis Enrique’s side, but they got the job done easily after Pina’s departure and have now made it to their first final.

After all the troubles they have had this term, that is a positive news. Now, they will cross their fingers that Busquets will be there to see the season through.

goal.com

(Polls) MASSOB Insists On Jega’s Removal @Richard

Owerri—The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has said it would resist election in the south, if the Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC, chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, refuses to go.

MASSOB leader, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, who disclosed this yesterday at world press conference held at the MASSOB headquarters annex, New Owerri, Imo State, said the resolve of his group stemmed from allegations of bias against the INEC boss.

In his address, entitled “Jega Must Go”, Uwazuruike said “it has become increasingly worrisome that despite strong allegations of bias against the INEC boss, Attahiru Jega, he, ,Jega, is still preparing to conduct the forthcoming general elections.

He said the worry stemmed from the fact that the election conducted by the INEC boss would lack credibility and unavoidably put the nation into serious crisis.

“In such crisis as usual the safety of live and property of Ndigbo in the North and other parts of Nigeria will be targets for destruction.
“From the onset, Jega was not prepared for free and fair elections. He demonstrated that by his infamous 30,000 polling units, where he allotted more than two-third of the polling units to the North.

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Prof. Attahiru Jega

“Despite public outcry, the Senate also passed a resolution stating that the polling units should not be used. Still, Jega went ahead and converted the polling units to voting centres in the North,” he said.

The MASSOB leader also pointed out that Prof Jega was able to distribute more than 90 per cent of the Permanent Voters’ Cards,PVCs, in the North, including Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, where there was raging insurgency, while he failed to distribute 50 per cent of the same in the South before the elections were shifted.

He, therefore, said that even when the elections were shifted, there was an avalanche of allegations that Jega would be biased in the conduct of the March and April elections.

“The governor of Plateau State, Mr Jonah Jang, has taken INEC to court based on the fact that the PVCs meant for distribution in his state is yet to arrive.

“Besides, other state governors are still complaining that PVCs meant for their states are yet to be printed.

“Jega wants to organise a kangaroo election where he intends to pronounce his preferred candidate the winner of the election.”

– Vanguard

(Violent Conduct) Bash Ali In Jail Over Criminal Intimidation

 A Wuse Zone 6 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja on Wednesday fixed April 2 for hearing in the criminal case brought against Nigerian boxer, Bash Ali, and four other accused persons.

The four others are Gabriel Ikyowe; Timothy Ugbede; Daniel Otoski and Jones Ebele.
They were arraigned by the police on Feb. 19 on a six-count charge of joint act of abetment, criminal trespass, and obstruction in public way.

They were also charge with criminal trespass, causing obstruction in public way, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.

The prosecuting police officer, Sgt. Bulus Samuel said the charges contravened the provisions of sections 79, 85, 348, 194, 256, and 397(b) of the Penal Code
When case was first mentioned on Feb. 19, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Magistrate subsequently granted them bail in the sum of N1 million each with one surety each who must be a civil servant not below salary GL 10.

According to the Magistrate, the sureties must be reliable, resident within the court jurisdiction and must swear an affidavit to substantiate reliable means of livelihood.
Bello adjourned the matter for hearing to March 4, adding the sureties, who must be civil servants, must produce their first appointment letter and their last promotion letter.

At the resumption of hearing on Wednesday, the Principal Witness 1, Mr Bisong Peter, told the court that he and some of NEXIM Bank workers were assaulted by the accused persons.

Peter is the Chief Security Officer to NEXIM Bank.

He said this under cross examination led by counsel to the accused persons, Mr Anthony Agbolahan.

According to him, Ali, his colleagues and others now at large, disrupted NEXIM Bank operations by preventing workers and customers from entering the premises during their protest on Feb. 18.

“Ali called himself a suicide bomber and claimed that he was coming to bomb the bank.

“As a security agent, my colleagues and I have to be on alert.

“They came on a protest carrying placard with all kinds of inscriptions against corruption; we stopped them but they were still able to gain entry into the premises.

“When they were disturbing and making noise, we called the police who later came to our rescue.

“Ali had visited NEXIM Bank several times but am not aware the purpose of his visits,’’ Peter said.

He, however, said that during one of such visits, he had a meeting with the bank’s management and later left in anger”.

Defence counsel, Mr Anthony Agbolahan, however asked Peter whether he was aware that Ali and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) were planning a boxing championship.

When the witness answered in the negative, the defence lawyer told the court that Ali and his team visited the bank in connection with the championship.

Agbolahan also sought from the CSO whether Ali and other attacked the bank’s Managing Director, to which the witness also answered in the negative.

Witness also admitted that Ali had had a meeting with the management before but that Ali left the meeting in “anger”

Senior Magistrate, Habiba Bello, having listened to the parties adjourned the case till April 2 for continuation hearing. (NAN)

Obasanjo Marks 78th Birthday Today @Richard

Congratulations and happy birthday to you,baba 78. Wishing you more happy returns, from all of us at Fujiipop online magazine.

Drama As Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi Turns Hair Dresser @Richard

AIT Replies Tinubu, Demands N100bn Damages

Daar Communications Plc has rejected in their entirety the demands of Tunji Abayomi and co on behalf of Bola Tinubu over a documentary titled “Unmasking The Real Tinubu” transmitted on African Independent Television, AIT, according to a publication on its website.

The demands, which Mike Ozekhome’s chambers describe as laughable, include the stoppage of further transmission of the alleged defamatory documentary, failure which daar communications will be made to pay twenty billion Naira representing damages.

In its reaction, Mike Ozekhome’s chambers on behalf on behalf of DAAR communications declares that AIT, in transmitting the documentary was only carrying out its constitutional responsibility to uphold the fundamental objectives of the constitution.

It states further that the documentary merely stated that Bola Tinubu generally breached various portions of the Nigerian constitution.

DAAR communications plc is therefore demanding a complete withdrawal of the letter under reference, which must be given wide publicity as that accorded the letter from the chambers of Tunji Abayomi.

The media company demands an apology to be published in at least four leading national newspapers and four television stations, which must include NTA, Channels and AIT.

The sum of one hundred billion Naira representing aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages for the irreparable injury inflicted on AIT is also being demanded.

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