Relegation threatened Southampton, with one win in 14 games, struggled at St. Mary’s as Liverpool comfortably ran out winners in Jurgen Klopp’s 50th win as the Reds gaffer. In doing so the Reds moved within two points of second placed Manchester United following goals from Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah on Virgil van Dijk’s return to St. Mary’s after his £75m January move to Anfield.
Firmino struck early after Southampton centre-back Wesley Hoedt’s mistake, as the Dutchman horribly misjudged a Liverpool ball forward and gifted possession to the last player on the pitch that the Saints should allow to have the ball, Salah. The Egyptian forward laid the ball through to Firmino and the Brazilian finished the one-on-one with ease to score his first goal in seven games.
20 – Roberto Firmino has scored 20 goals in all competitions in a single season for the first time since 2013-14 with Hoffenheim (22). Clinical. pic.twitter.com/9d7SOaAeBK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 11, 2018
Southampton occasionally threatened Loris Karius in the Red’s goal, and actually had chances to upset Van Dijk’s new side, however they were unable to take their chances. They lived to regret this as wonderful interplay between Firmino and Salah just before half-time meant that Salah scored Liverpool’s second and his 22nd league goal of the season and 29th in all competitions from 36 games.
Liverpool picked up where they left off after the break, as they controlled possession and were only prevented more goals by last-ditch defending from Southampton.
29 – Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 29 @premierleague goals this season (22 goals, 7 assists); the most by a @LFC player in their debut season for the club in the competition. Heroic. pic.twitter.com/4YNjRW3Xqg
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 11, 2018
Klopp’s pre-match predictions regarding a hostile atmosphere upon Van Dijk’s return to St. Mary’s proved to be correct, as the Dutchman was angrily booed by the home supporters every time he touched the ball. Nevertheless, this did not faze the former Saints centre-back as he produced a very solid display.
Van Dijk epitomised exactly what Southampton now lack at the back and what Liverpool were looking for when signing him in order to strengthen a previously very weak and fragile area.
Today has shown why we paid £75m for Virgil van Dijk. Arguably our most vocal player; strong and never bullied off of the ball, quick, composed, has no difficulty winning balls in the air and is more than capable of passing the ball out from the back. Another immense performance.
— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) February 11, 2018
Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand(c), Romeu, Lemina, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Carrillo.
Subs: Forster, Yoshida, Davis, Boufal, Redmond, Long, Gabbiadini.
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Can(c), Wijnaldum, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Milner, Moreno, Lallana, Ings, Solanke.
Nigeria Proposes To Host 2022 Youth Olympics
Nigeria has officially made a proposal to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Abuja.
At a video presentation held in Abuja on Sunday, the Nigerian delegation comprising the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, the Permanent Secretary Adesola Olusade, the Nigeria Olympic Committee President Habu Gumel, officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Federal Capital Territory, Dalung assured the visiting members of the IOC that Abuja will be ready to host the games if Nigeria gets the nod.
In his remarks, the minister commended the IOC for considering an African host for the event.
“I want to commend the IOC for developing a mechanism for Africa to be taken along through the changes introduced in the organisation of the Youth Olympics. I want to assure you that the capacity of the country to deliver is not in doubt. We will ensure that we package a brand of the Youth Games which after 2022, will set an agenda for the IOC to emulate.
” Abuja is ready to host because we have hosted international competitions in the past. Moreover, the IOC has emphasised that countries seeking to host the games should not build new structures but improve on their existing ones or make use of temporary facilities which will be dismantled after the games. We have the organisational capacity, the experience and the technical know-how to host.
“Abuja as a city has most of the requirements as enumerated to us by the IOC in a video presentation.
“We hope that at the end of the day, Nigeria will be chosen to host the 2022 Games for Africa,” Dalung said.
Earlier, the IOC members led by Associate Director for the Youth Olympic Games, Antoine Goetschy, stated in their video presentation that the process of securing the bid to host the games will cost nothing to enable weaker countries with the potentials to host the event.
“We are here to see what you have to propose and to show you an overview of what we want in a host city. The objective of our visit is for the proposing host nation to understand the strategic alignment and stakeholders engagement and the potential operational footprint”
Other criteria for hosting the games as presented in the video include demonstration of existing international and youth strategies, prior experience in hosting major events, motivation of the relevant authorities and stakeholders for hosting the Youth Games, dedicated and permanent fields of play, potential accommodation solutions for NOC team delegations, existing indoor multipurpose arenas, potential sites for outdoor festival space and discussions on how hosting the YOG 2022 can act as a catalyst for further development.
The members comprising Gilbert Felli, Senior Adviser, Melina Simm, Advisor and Mathieu Pouret, YOG Manager undertook an inspection tour of the Abuja National Stadium and other facilities yesterday while discussions to select the host country continue.
Neymar Makes Brazil World Cup Squad
Neymar, who hasn’t played a game since breaking his foot in February, was named on Monday as the star of the Brazilian national team which will seek a record sixth World Cup out in Russia, AFP reports.
Coach Tite announced the team list at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro. Neymar’s returning form will be a key factor for the team, which lost influential right-back Dani Alves to a knee injury last week.
Tite’s 23-man squad, which was without major surprises, sees Alves replaced by Danilo (Manchester City) and Fagner, whom Tite knows from his time at the helm of Corinthians’ 2015 national championship-winning team.
Fagner is currently carrying an injury of his own but has been cleared by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar to play in Russia.
After sweeping aside South American opponents in the World Cup qualifiers, Brazil are seen as one of the favourites at the World Cup. Their campaign begins against Switzerland on June 17.
Source : the18
Neymar Named France’s Player Of The Year
Neymar was named as France’s player of the year at an awards ceremony in Paris on Sunday, despite the Paris Saint-Germain superstar missing the last three months of the season due to injury.
The Brazilian, the world’s most expensive player, scored 19 goals in just 20 league games for PSG before suffering a foot injury in February that required surgery.
His PSG teammates Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe were also nominees, along with Marseille’s Florian Thauvin.
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