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UCL: Madrid escape with draw against Brugge, Juventus thrash Leverkusen [See all Results & Table]

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Real Madrid battled back from 2-0 down to draw with Club Brugge on another disappointing Champions League night for the 13-time champions.

Zinedine Zidane’s side were poor again at the Bernabeu and were almost undone by two bizarre goals from 21-year-old Emmanuel Dennis.

The Nigerian’s first came as he miscontrolled Percy Tau’s cross past a wrongfooted Thibaut Courtois and into the net – initially disallowed for offside but awarded after a long video assistant referee delay.

For the second, Dennis stumbled into the box and chipped Courtois – who was replaced by Alphonse Areola at half-time – despite almost losing his footing.

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Captain Sergio Ramos responded for Real in the second half with a header from Karim Benzema’s cross, which was ruled out for offside but overturned by the VAR.

After Bruges captain Ruud Vormer was sent off for two bookings, Toni Kroos crossed for Casemiro to head in the equaliser from the resulting free-kick.

Meanwhile, in Group B, UEFA Champions League 2018/2019 finalist Tottenham Hotspur were thrashed 7-2 on by visiting Bayern Munich.

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Woeful Tottenham conceded seven goals in a home match for the very first time in any major competition.

In Group C, Raheem Sterling came off the bench to provide the spark Manchester City had been waiting for as they saw off a stubborn Dinamo Zagreb side to go top of the group.

Sterling swept home City’s first goal from a Riyad Mahrez cross midway through the second half, then helped his side wrap up the points when he set up fellow substitute Phil Foden in stoppage time.

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In Group D, Cristiano Ronaldo opened his account for the UEFA Champions League season as Juventus thrashed Bayer Leverkusen 3-0.

 

See all results and table:

GROUP A

Real Madrid 2 – 2 Club Brugge
Galatasaray  – 1 Paris Saint-Germain

GROUP B

FK Crvena Zvezda 3 – 1 Olympiacos

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 7 FC Bayern München

 

GROUP C

Atalanta 1 – 2 Shakhtar Donetsk

Manchester City 2 – 0 Dinamo Zagreb

 

GROUP D

Juventus 3 – 0 Bayer Leverkusen

Lokomotiv Moscow  – 2 Atletico Madrid

 

Table: BBC

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EPL clubs to substitute five players after season restarts

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Managers will be able to make up to five substitutions for the remainder of the 2019-’20 Premier League season after clubs agreed to the temporary rule change at a meeting on Thursday.

Fifa proposed the solution last month to “protect player welfare” with a large number of matches packed into a few weeks to clear the backlog of a three-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Premier League clubs also agreed to increase the number of substitutes available for selection from seven to nine for the remainder of the season.

“For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“Shareholders also approved for clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019/20 season.”

To avoid too many stoppages, each team will still only have three opportunities to make changes as well as at half-time.

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The Premier League will resume with two matches on June 17 as Manchester City host Arsenal and Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa.

The remaining nine full rounds of fixtures are then expected to be completed in just five weeks.

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Tax fraud: Atletico’s Diego Costa sentenced to six months in prison

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Diego Costa

Atletico Madrid striker, Diego Costa, has been sentenced to 6 months in prison after he admitted defrauding the tax authorities in Spain.

According to Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, Costa pleaded guilty to a tax offence amounting to €1.1million.

The former Chelsea star was accused of defrauding the treasury of more than £900,000 by not declaring payments of more than €5.15m (£4.63m) after his move to Chelsea in 2014.

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The Spanish treasury denounced the 31-year-old for defrauding the authorities regarding €1m (£890,000) in image rights.

The tax agency added another fiscal crime to Costa before withdrawing and halving the fine.

Costa has now agreed to pay €36,000 fine to avoid any jail time.

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Osimhen wins player of the year award

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Osimhen

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has added an award to his name after being voted as the Player of The Year at his French club Lille.

Nigerian international and top striker for French club, Lille has won the player of the year award from his club.

Osimhen’s emergence as Lille’s best player in the truncated 2019-20 season is not surprising for many going by the spectacular displays of the 21-year old in what is just his maiden campaign in Ligue 1.

Among other feats; Osimhen had scored 18 goals and provided eight assists in all competitions for the French Ligue 1 side, before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season.

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It is these breathtaking performances that have seen Osimhen be linked with a possible transfer to several top clubs across Europe.

On the list of potential suitors for Osimhen are Napoli, Liverpool and Chelsea who are all said to be willing to pay heavily to lure the striker away from Lille.

Since his record-breaking performance at the 2015 U-17 World Cup, where he scored 10 goals -the most by any player in a single tournament- Osimhen has continued to shoot, despite having a torrid time at Wolfsburg where he was denied enough playing time.

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The same way Osimhen has been the toast of fans at his club, he has also been tipped for greatness with the Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles. Already, some have identified Osimhen as the next Rashidi Yekini.

On 14 August 2019, the coach of the Nigerian National Team, Gernot Rohr, extended an invitation to Osimhen for a friendly against Ukraine that was played on September 10, 2019, in Dnipro Arena, Ukraine, which ended in a 2–2 draw.

He was also included in the Super Eagles team to face Brazil in a friendly match in Singapore on 13 October 2019 and also helped Nigeria to win bronze at the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

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Before Osimhen’s emergence as the player of the year at Lille, another Nigerian, Simon Moses, had also been crowned Player of the Year, this time by Nantes.

Both Osimhen and Simon have been nominated for the African French Player of The Year.

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