Serie A: Five Things We Learned

Juventus conceded their first league draw in over a year amid rumours that coach Massimiliano Allegri is on his way to Arsenal, but Roma are still heading for a podium place.

Here are five things we learned from Serie A at the weekend.

Allegri Arsenal rumours, and Juve concede rare draw

Given the chance to go 10 points clear after Roma's shock 2-1 defeat to Napoli on Saturday, Juventus failed to capitalise, conceding their first league draw in over a year on the day rumours linking coach Massimiliano Allegri with a move to Arsenal grew louder.

On Saturday, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti dramatically conceded the title to Juventus while live on television, claiming: "We have to be realistic. For us it's now almost impossible to catch Juventus."

Juve's failure to break down a spirited Udinese could change Roma's outlook. Udinese were given a first-half lead by powerful Colombian Duvan Zapata and it took a back-post header from defender Leonardo Bonucci on the hour for star-packed Juventus to pull level.

More runner-up woe in store for Roma

Rome may be known as the 'Eternal City', but one of the city's two football sides -- Roma -- will embellish their reputation as Serie A's eternal runners-up if they fail to overturn their eight-point deficit to Juventus over the final 11 games.

Roma's shock 2-1 defeat to Napoli was a huge blow to their chances of a first 'scudetto' since 2001 in what is legend Francesco Totti's 25th and final season at the club. Since then, the 'Giallorossi' have finished second in the table no less than eight times in 15 seasons.

Roma finished runners-up to Juventus in 2002, to AC Milan in 2004, to Inter Milan for three successive seasons in 2006-2008, then again in 2010. The capital club also finished runners-up to Juventus in 2014 and 2015, and finished third last year.

Mertens, not Milik in Napoli pole position

When Arkadiusz Milik joined Napoli from Ajax last summer, he looked all set to step into Juventus-bound Gonzalo Higuain's shoes.

But with just 11 games remaining, the Poland international has made just 10 appearances and been spectacularly eclipsed by Dries Mertens since the Belgium international was pushed out of midfield and into the main striker's role after Milik was sidelined for four months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

On Saturday, Mertens hit a brace in a 2-1 win at Roma to take his league tally to 18 goals, just four short of league-leading Andrea Belotti of Torino. Milik returned to the Napoli fray last month, but has made only three substitute appearances since his comeback, including on Saturday when he was given an 11-minute cameo after replacing midfielder Marek Hamsik.

Champions League dream alive for Lazio

After "deserved" losses to Inter Milan and Juventus earlier this season, Lazio have been only too happy to capitalise on Napoli's shock 2-0 loss at home to Atalanta last week, Simone Inzaghi's men claiming their third win in succession Sunday in a 2-0 defeat of Bologna.

The Biancocelesti are back in the hunt for a third-place finish and possible entry to the Champions League, where their biggest achievement was reaching the play-offs in 2015 prior to a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

At the Dall'Ara arena on Sunday, Ciro Immobile hit a brace as Lazio displaced high-flying Atalanta from fourth place to sit just four points behind Napoli in the third and last Champions League spot.

Bonucci was tempted by England

For months, Leonardo Bonucci has been linked with a move to Chelsea and the Juventus defender admitted on Sunday he was so tempted to leave the Turin giants that he began to study English last summer.

But despite reported overtures from his old boss Antonio Conte, who is steering the Blues to a possible Premier League title, it appears the Italy international is staying put. "I'm part of the club, I've signed a contract until 2021 with Juventus and I feel an important part of this squad. I don't see where the problem is," Bonucci said after nodding a 60th minute leveller Sunday in a 1-1 draw at Udinese.

"If I'd wanted to leave, I would have done it last year. I got some big offers last summer and I'd even started to learn English."

Nigerian News

100 Players To Compete For Lagos State Table Tennis Association Quarterly Champ   

A total of one hundred table tennis players will jostle for positions and placement in a quarterly trials which would begin today at the sportshall of Mobolaji Johnson, Rowe Park, Yaba.

The table tennis players comprises of sixty male and forty female players.


FIFA 'Mafia' Behind My Ban Says Amos Adamu   

Amos Adamu has slammed the FIFA mafia for his increased football ban globally. Amos thinks he's suffering from the fall out with the recent cabal that allegations forced out of FIFA


NPFL Match Day 12: Top Five Goal Scorers    

Stephen Odey of MFM FC still leads the top goal scorers table after matchday 12 with 7 goals while Mbaoma and Samuel are jointly closely behind with 6 goals each.


Bash Ali Sues Sports Minister, Demands For N1b For Damages   

It ought to have been a meeting where Nigeria's record aiming boxer Bash Ali would have cemented a plan with the Minister for sports to promote his proposed World Guniess book of record match but it turned to a fight between him and the minister's security aides and it has grown to a


Good Gesture! Super Eagles Defender Kenneth Omeruo Donates N2M To Sick Coach Kelechi Emetole   

Kenneth Omeruo has showed his cheerful character outside the football pitch as the defender kindly donated N2M to Coach Kelechi Emetole who needs a total of $11,000 for cancer of the throat treatment in India.
Kelechi Emetole


NPFL Match Day 11: Ten Things Fans Said   

It seems the fans are happy with the way the NPFL is progressing. Here are a few comments from the fans after match day 11:
Fans Talk


How Much Will It Cost You To Watch An NPFL Match On A V.I.P. Sit?   

According to a fan it will only cost you N500 to watch a match in Kano on the V.I.P stand, isn't that amazing. It will probably cost you from about N300,000 to be on the V.I.P. stand in any of Europe's top five leagues, we will get there....


NPFL: Match Day 11 Results   

NPFL Match day 11 results:

Rangers 1-0 ABS
Katsina 2-1 MFM 
Remo 1-1 Pillars
Enyimba 0-0 3SC
Plateau 0-0 Lobi
Gombe 2-0 FCIU
Abia Warriors 1-0 Tornadoes
El-Kanemi 3-1 Sunshine
Wikki 0-0 Rivers


Victor Moses Extends Chelsea Contract   

Super Eagles winger Victor Moses has extended his contract with English Premiership side Chelsea after a brilliant campaign under Italian coach Antonio Conte.


Victor Moses Aiming For Better Goal Scoring Form Return   

Super Eagles star and Chelsea wing-back Victor Moses is currently enjoying the best form of his career but the Nigerian admits he needs to take more of his goal-scoring opportunities after he was rewarded with a two-year contract extension earlier this week.


Amos Adamu Banned By FIFA For Two More Years   

Fifa, on Tuesday, placed a two-year suspension on its former executive committee member Amos Adamu after investigation into a proceeding opening against him last year.



Serie A: Five Things We Learned   

Juventus conceded their first league draw in over a year amid rumours that coach Massimiliano Allegri is on his way to Arsenal, but Roma are still heading for a podium place.


Alaves vs Sevilla Preview: All You Need To Know   

Venue: Estadio Mendizorroza

Time: 7:45pm

Referee: Daniel Trujillo (Spain)

Date: 06/03/17


West Ham vs Chelsea Preview: All You Need To Know   

Venue: Olympic Stadium

Referee: Andre Marriner (England)

Match Facts, Head to Head & Stats:


Sunderland vs Manchester City: All You Need To Know   

Match Venue: Stadium of Light

Referee: Martin Atkinson (England)

Match Facts, Head to Head & Stats:


Tottenham vs Everton: All You Need To Know   

Match Venue: White Hart Lane

Referee: Michael Oliver (England)

Match Facts, Head To Head & Stats:


Super Messi runs Riot On Celta de Vigo   

Enrique's Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga with a thumping 5-0 win over Celta Vigo, with Lionel Messi and Neymar at their peak.


Eibar 1-4 Real Madrid: Benzema's Double Inspires Los Blancos   

Karim Benzema inspired Real Madrid to a comprehensive 4-1 win over Eibar, putting Zinedine Zidane’s side top of La Liga - at least until Barcelona play later this evening.


Barcelona vs Celta de Vigo: All You Need To Know   

Match Venue: Camp Nou

Referee: Jesus Gil (Spain)

Match Facts, Head To Head & Stats


Liverpool vs Arsenal: All You Need To Know   

Venue: Anfield

Referee: Robert Madley (England)

Match Facts, Head To Head & Stats


Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth: Mourinho's Men Look Destined For 6th Position As Zlatan's Penalty Gets Saved   

Rojo scored for Mourinho's men, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a penalty saved and somehow avoided a red card as Manchester United drew 1-1 at home to 10-man Bournemouth as the Red Devils looke


Leicester vs Hull: Match Facts, Head To Head & Stats   

This is the fourth Premier League meeting between the teams, with both sides claiming one victory each in the three previous games (D1).


Manchester United vs Bournemouth: All You Need To Know   

Match venue: Old Trafford

Referee: Kevin Friend (England)

Stats, Head to Head & Match Facts