Video Assistant Referee (VAR) took centre stage once again when Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane had a goal harshly ruled out as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United.
After the English Premier League (EPL) match on Thursday, Spurs remain nine points adrift in the race for the top four.
The hosts took the lead in the 31st minute as Norwegian Sander Berge finished off a fine flowing move.
He slotted the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal in English football.
Less than two minutes later, Kane fired past goalkeeper Dean Henderson but his equaliser was ruled out by VAR.
Lucas Moura was adjudged to have used his arm to inadvertently nudge the ball in Kane’s direction after being pushed to the ground.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was furious with the decision.
His mood worsened in the 69th minute when Sheffield United carved his team open again to set up substitute Lys Mousset for his first goal since Dec. 1.
Tottenham lacked creativity in spite of bags of possession.
Oli McBurnie then rubbed salt in their wounds with a third goal six minutes from time.
England striker Kane scored a 90th minute consolation, tapping in from a Son Heung-min pass.
The result means Sheffield United leapfrog Spurs to go seventh on 47 points, seven points off the top four.
Mourinho’s inconsistent side dropped to ninth as their hopes of securing UEFA Champions League football for next season fade.
When the sides met at the Tottenham Stadium in November, Sheffield United appeared to have been hard done by with a goal ruled out for a fractional offside decision.
This time it was Spurs who had cause to question the use of the VAR technology with a decision pundit Jamie Redknapp described as the worst he had ever seen.
Asked for his opinion, Mourinho said: “I can’t say what I think, because I would be in trouble, suspended, and I don’t want to be.’’
Asked if he had spoken to the referee, Chris Kavanagh, Mourinho added: “Which one? The referee is hidden in some office. This man on the pitch is not the referee.”
Sheffield United had struggled after the Premier League restart, but against Tottenham they produced the kind of performance more in keeping with an impressive first season back in the top flight.
Their manager, Chris Wilder, had sympathy for his Spurs counterpart, even though he was happier to talk about his team.
“They had the majority of the ball, as they will do with the players they’ve got. When we did break it down, it was our turn to try and play which I thought we did,” he said.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Manchester City sign Valencia winger on 5-year deal
Manchester City announced on Tuesday they have signed Spanish winger Ferran Torres from Valencia, with the 20-year-old putting pen to paper on a five-year deal.
Financial details were not disclosed by the English Premier League (EPL) clubside, but British media reported the transfer fee was 23 million euros (20.73 million pounds).
Torres scored six goals and had eight assists for Valencia in all competitions last season as they came ninth in the Spanish La Liga.
“I am so happy to be joining Manchester City. Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football,” Torres told the club website.
“Pep (Guardiola) encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players. To have him overseeing my development is a dream.”
Torres joins Manchester City as a replacement for Germany winger Leroy Sane who moved to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich last month for 45 million euros plus add-ons.
“He’s young and still developing, but his technical qualities are exactly what we are looking for in a winger,” Manchester City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said of Torres.
“He’s quick, direct, can create space with one movement and is capable of producing match-winning moments.”
Manchester City have also been linked with a 41 million pounds (53.56 million dollars) move for Bournemouth central defender Nathan Ake.
This is noteworthy as Guardiola looks to close the gap on Premier League champions Liverpool next season.
Second-placed Manchester City finished 18 points adrift of the Anfield side but won the League Cup and are still in the UEFA Champions League.
They lead Real Madrid 2-1 ahead of their last 16 second leg home match on Friday.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Fulham back in EPL after Bryan’s extra time double in playoff final
Fulham made an immediate return to the English Premier League (EPL) as two extra time goals from full-back Joe Bryan gave them a 2-1 win over Brentford on Tuesday.
The win was in the English Championship playoff final match at Wembley Stadium.
Bryan opened the scoring near the end of the first period of extra time.
He spotted Brentford goalkeeper David Raya out of position and anticipating a cross from his deep free-kick, and he cleverly drove the ball into the bottom corner.
The Spanish goalkeeper was slow to react, once Bryan had opted to shoot.
But the lead was a deserved one for Scott Parker’s side, who had the better of what had been a cagey 90 minutes.
Bryan made sure of the victory with a second goal three minutes from the end of the second period of extra time.
He clipped home from close range after a burst forward down the left and a quick exchange with substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Henrik Dalsgaard pulled a goal back for Brentford in the final seconds.
But there was no time for a recovery by the Bees, who were searching for a place in the top flight for the first time since 1947.
“I’m not the hero,” said Bryan, as his team mates celebrated their swift return back to the Premier League a year after relegation.
It was an achievement worth around 135 million pounds (176.34 million dollars) over three years for the west London club.
“Every single one of them boys, players, staff, supporters, everything’s been with us all season. It’s been absolutely unbelievable.
“We’ve been written off, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times. I think I even read somewhere that we were supposed to be scared of them.
”But we took it to them and we scored twice, even though they made it hard for us,” added Bryan.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Pa Fasanmi buried as Fayemi, Akeredolu,Tinubu pay tributes
Eminent Nigerians on Tuesday paid tributes to the late Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, as his remains were interred in his country home in Iye Ekiti, Ilejemeje Local Government Area of Ekiti.
Fasanmi, a Second Republic Senator, died on July 29 at the age of 94.
Fayemi said Fasanmi’s contributions to the development of democracy was immeasurable, particularly his role in the formation and operation of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the military.
The governor disclosed that his government was already constructing a secondary school to honour the deceased for his contributions to the state before his death.
” My only regret is that he has left us before the school will be officially inaugurated for academic activities when schools finally reopen,” Fayemi said.
Fayemi, in his tribute entitled, “‘Tribute to a Man of Integrity,” said what attracted him to the deceased was his integrity.
“His death has, therefore, robbed me of a godfather, counsellor, an advocate and a father. A good man has left us.
” We will sorely miss him but we are consoled that he was dedicated to selfless service,” he said.
Fayemi added that Fasanmi belonged in the class of the youths of the 1950s when the nationalist movement was at its feverish peak.
He noted that the deceased got indoctrinated into nationalism struggle through the writings of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and his contemporaries.
“He proved his political mettle in 1964 when he was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives before 1966 and he got imprisoned in Agodi Prison and was later released.
“He offered to serve as governor of the old Ondo state in 1978 and slugged it out with Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin who defeated him in the primary.
“One legacy for which Baba would be fondly remembered was his credential of incorruptibility. He was a man of tall integrity and honesty.
“It would be recalled that he was the first to start the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee in 1973 under Col. Oluwole Rotimi of the Western Region.
“Chief Ayo Fasanmi has come, he has seen and conquered. He conquered human cravings, vanity of power, ostentation, greed and malice,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Southwest Governors, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the news of the passage of the icon was a loss to the Yoruba and Nigeria at large.
“Baba living long for 94 years was not what we are celebrating, but we are celebrating how many lives he had impacted on. He lived an impactful life.
“He was not petty but he spoke truth, lived a remarkable life and was one politician who became senator and came home to rest,” he said.
The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagements, Aderemi Adebowale, said Fasanmi’s influence became more pronounced by his incorruptible nature.
The All Progressives Congress National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Abiodun Ogunleye, said Nigerians must learn from the late politician who lived a modest and spartan lifestyle.
Tinubu described Fasanmi as a revolutionary and a politician of outstanding mien, civility and character who was worthy of being emulated .
In his sermon, the Bishop of Ekiti Oke, Anglican Communion, Peter Olubowale, said Fasanmi was not a noise maker and trouble maker during his time.
The cleric urged the people to continually do good to humanity the way Fasanmi did to his family, political associates , friends and companions.
“We need to be available to ourselves and committed to God. Nigerians are number one people in the world that are easy to govern with patience, zeal and endurance.
“Baba has told us that all these monies you are spending and the one you are keeping inside bullion vans and the ones being stashed in banks accounts are all vanity.
” Use the position you are occupying very well to develop humanity. This is the only way you can gain eternity because materialism will lead you to hell fire,” he said.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Plateau PDP set for state congress – Acting chairman
Mr Yakubu Chocho, Acting Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, says all is now set for the state congress to elect new leaders of the party in the state.
Chocho told News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jos that arrangements had been put in place to receive the national officers of the party who would conduct the elections.
Consequently, after the expiration of their tenure on May 10, the state executives of the party were constituted into caretaker committee to act for three months.
The acting chairman said that the party had received directives from its national secretariat that the congress would hold on Aug. 8 or Aug.12.
According to him, the state is waiting for the national body of the party to conduct the congress.
“We will also ensure that all delegates keep to social distancing , wearing of face mask and washing of hands. Efforts will be made to provide adequate security for peaceful congresses,” he said.
Chocho added that the party was ready to receive the elected leaders who would be in-charge of its affairs without interference from the state officials.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)