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Arsenal Hit Back To Beat Spurs As Lamela Goes From Hero To Zero

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Arsenal recovered from Erik Lamela’s astonishing Rabona opener to beat 10-man Tottenham 2-1 in a dramatic north London derby despite the absence of exiled captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Sunday.

Lamela scored one of the greatest goals in Premier League history with an audacious strike in the first half at the Emirates Stadium.

But the Tottenham forward went from hero to villain when he was sent off for a second booking after Jose Mourinho’s side blew the lead.

Martin Odegaard had equalised with a deflected effort just before half-time and Alexandre Lacazette sealed the points with a second half penalty.

Lamela’s moment of genius was ruined by his red card and it was Arsenal’s day as they beat Tottenham for the first time in six games.

Denting Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Champions League via a top four finish in the Premier League was an added bonus for Arsenal, who hadn’t defeated their neighbours since 2018.

It was an even more impressive success given Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta caused a storm by dropping Aubameyang as punishment after he reportedly turned up late for a pre-match team meeting.

Also Read: Stop Issuing Warnings To Bandits In English, Shehu Sani Mocks Buhari

It is believed Arteta had grown frustrated with Aubameyang for similar offences in the past.

“He is an incredible guy and one of the most important players in the team. He is our captain and these things happen,” Arteta said after leaving Aubameyang as an unused substitute for the entire match.

“We have lots going on in our lives and people finding it hard with the restrictions. I will never tell anything that happens in the dressing room.

“I love the reaction of the team. We stayed composed and in the end we won the game.”

After just a third loss against the Gunners in Mourinho’s career, Tottenham remain without a win at Arsenal since 2010 and are six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, with Arteta’s team a further four points behind.

Mourinho was furious with the penalty decision, saying: “We played really bad in the first half. No intensity or pressing. Some important players hiding. But no post-match interviews for referees? That is a pity.

“My record with Michael Oliver on penalties with Chelsea, United and Tottenham is unlucky.

“I did not complain but when I watch back on the iPad it is what it is. If somebody has a different opinion it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season ticket.”

All eyes were on Aubameyang when the teams emerged before kick-off.

The 31-year-old sat behind the bench with his black face mask only partially disguising his gloomy expression, but Arsenal ignored the drama.

– Derby drama –
After being out-played for the first 33 minutes, Tottenham took the lead in outrageous style with their only shot of the half.

When Lucas Moura found Lamela in the penalty area, the Argentine flicked his back foot behind his standing front leg to guide an audacious finish through Thomas Partey’s legs and past Bernd Leno into the far corner.

“This is one of the best goals I’ve ever seen in the Premier League. We’ve never seen anything like this,” former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports.

The 29-year-old’s impudent effort recalled a similar goal he unleashed against Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League in 2014.

Arsenal hit back strongly with their 44th minute equaliser.

Kieran Tierney’s cross reached Odegaard and the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder swivelled for a low shot that deflected off Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld as it beat the wrong-footed Hugo Lloris.

Arteta’s men took the lead in the 64th minute when Nicolas Pepe’s pass gave Lacazette a sight of goal and Davinson Sanchez made a despairing lunge that clattered into the French striker.

Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and Lacazette picked himself up to slot home the penalty.

Lamela saw red in the 76th minute after crashing his arm into Tierney’s face.

Tottenham laid seige to Lloris’s goal, but Harry Kane hit a post with his free-kick in the final moments.

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Ronaldo to miss Juventus, Atalanta clash due to injury

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Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been ruled out of Sunday’s Serie A game against Champions League rivals Atalanta with a flexor muscle issue.

Coach Andrea Pirlo said the 36-year-old Portuguese striker, the top scorer in Serie A this season with 25 goals, would rest to avoid risking a more serious injury.

“We have an important absentee. Unfortunately, Cristiano will not be taking part in the match due to a problem with his flexor,” Pirlo told a pre-match press conference.

“Over these past few days, he has not been able to recover from the problem sustained after last Sunday’s match against Genoa.

“He hasn’t been able to push himself this week. It would be too risky for us to bring him to Bergamo tomorrow.

“We have decided to leave him in Turin to rest and we will try to have him back for Wednesday’s match against Parma.”

Champions Juventus are third, 12 points off leaders Inter Milan, with their nine-year reign looking set to end.

They play fourth-placed Atalanta who are just a point behind, with next week’s game at relegation-threatened Parma.

Pirlo blamed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s problem on fatigue.

Read Also: Yoruba self-determination rally begins in Ibadan

“Cristiano has always been in excellent condition,” said the Juventus coach.

“Unfortunately, the three matches in the national team have led to an accumulation of fatigue which is a problem for everyone.

“Cristiano also told me that in the national team he should only have played two games, but then that goal not given against Serbia led him to play the third as well, otherwise he would have been back at Juve’s disposal before the third game.

“An accumulation of everything, travel and games, can lead to fatigue. (Manchester City manager Pep) Guardiola also said it, there have been too many matches and the squads are too tight and these are the consequences.

“We also saw it in the Champions League, with (Bayern Munich’s Robert) Lewandowski who was unable to play the Champions League quarter-finals League due to an injury picked up in the national team.”

Juventus can however count on Argentina striker Paulo Dybala who will start for the first time in over three months, after a long knee injury layoff, partnering Alvaro Morata upfront.

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci has recovered from Covid-19 contracted while with the national team but will start on the bench.

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Adeboye, Fayemi meet in Ekiti

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The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Saturday morning, met with Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the Government House, Oke Ayoba, Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

Speaking after the meeting, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Yinka Oyebode, said the 79-year-old cleric paid a courtesy call on the governor.

Read Also: Yoruba self-determination rally begins in Ibadan

He added that Adeboye and Fayemi also discussed issues of nationhood.

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Culture

Yoruba self-determination rally begins in Ibadan

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The Yoruba self-determination rally organised by the Ilana Omo Oodua is underway in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Hundreds of members of the group whose leader is an 86-year-old Emeritus Professor of History, Banji Akintoye, had initially scheduled the take-off of the rally for the ancient Mapo Hall but the heavy presence of armed policemen forced them to change the venue.

They are addressing people at Mapo Roundabout but they were not disturbed by the police in any way.

The agitators are armed with banners and Yoruba nation flags while leaders of the group addressing the people are saying Yoruba people are tired of staying with Nigeria.

Also Read: Iran nuclear talks set to resume in Vienna

One of the leaders of the group, Basorun Kunle Adesokan, said Yoruba were no longer part of Nigeria and the people want to be an independent nation.

He condemned the insecurity in Yorubaland, saying the people could no longer stand the injustice in Nigeria.

Adesojan said, “We are no longer part of Nigeria. Yoruba people are determined to stand alone. We are starting the rally here in Ibadan because this is the capital of the Yoruba nation.

” Our brothers in Kwara, Lagos, Kogi, Edo, Delta and other states are here. We are not going to use violence, we want the Yoruba nation. No retreat no surrender. Let Hausa go their way, let Fulani go their own way and Igbo people should also go.

“The rally has taken off, we won’t stop until we achieve our aim.”

One of the leaders of Itsekiri youths present at the rally, Isaac Ajatitan, said Itsekiri people were part of Yoruba and would support them to achieve this aim.

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