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2021 Volleyball Nations Cup: Nigeria beats Senegal 3-0

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Nigeria Women’s Volleyball Senior Team
Nigeria Women’s Volleyball Senior Team
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The Nigeria Women’s Volleyball Senior Team on Sunday defeated their counterparts Senegal 3-0 in their first game in the ongoing 202I African Seniors Nations Championship in Kigali, Rwanda.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria beat the Senegalese team in all the set 25-16, 25-18, 25-22 in their opening game on Sunday.

The Head Coach of Nigeria women’s senior team, Samuel Ajayi, said his players played according to the match plan.

Ajayi said the win against Senegal has built the confidence of the team, adding that Senegal played well in the third set but Nigeria got the deserved win.

He said:  “I am excited that the players were able to play according to the match plan and I thank God that he made our first win possible.

“The last time we met at the World Cup qualifiers, the Senegalese beat us 3-2 in Lagos and this was ringing in my ear before the game and that is why we came all out being the first game.

“The win will build our confidence in the championship and I am grateful to God and the volleyball community.”

The NSCDC coach said Nigeria will be playing against Rwanda and the crowd, stating that his team can stage an upset.

He said: “I know the match against host, Rwanda is going to be very tough, their fans will come out in their numbers to cheer them but we believe with today’s win, we will build on it and provide a shocker.”

Nigeria takes on host, Rwanda, in their second match on Monday at the Kigali Arena.

NAN reports that Nigeria is grouped along side with Morocco, Rwanda and Senegal.

The 2021African Seniors Nations Championship, which started on Sept. 5, is expected to end on Sept. 20. (NAN)

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Arsenal smash Everton in six goal thriller but settles for Europa League

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Arsenal finished the season with a 5-1 win over Everton on Sunday but the win was not enough to dislodge their fierce rival Tottenham from fourth place in the Premier League.

Arsenal had to settle for fifth place and Europa League football next season after Tottenham grabbed the last Champions League spot with a 5-0 win at Norwich on the final day of the campaign.

It made for a bittersweet finale for the Gunners, who had a firm grip on fourth place just 10 days ago, before consecutive losses at Tottenham and Newcastle handed the advantage to Spurs.

Arsenal, which hasn’t qualified for the Champions League since 2016 after 19 straight seasons in Europe’s top competition under Arsene Wenger, finished two points behind Tottenham — having been four points ahead before a 3-0 defeat in the north London derby on May 12.

Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah put Arsenal 2-0 up after 31 minutes at the Emirates Stadium before Donny van de Beek pulled one back for Everton just before the halftime break.

Defenders Cedric Soares and Gabriel then netted within three minutes of each other to put the game out of reach before the hour mark. Martin Odegaard added the fifth in the 82nd.

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Man City retain title with stunning Villa fight back

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Manchester City staged a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to retain the Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Needing to win to be assured of holding off Liverpool, City were in danger of blowing it as Matty Cash and former Reds star Philippe Coutinho struck at the Etihad Stadium.

Yet Pep Guardiola’s side showed all their champion quality to rally with Ilkay Gundogan coming off the bench to score twice either side of a superb Rodri strike in a remarkable five-minute spell.

City knew that second-placed Liverpool, trailing by just a point, could overtake them with victory over Wolves and there were times in the afternoon when they lived on their nerves.

There were few signs of the tension to follow as the game kicked off amid a joyous and raucous atmosphere.

City supporters had given their team a rousing welcome outside the stadium and there was a feeling celebrations were almost getting under way as news filtered through of an early Wolves goal.

City made most of the early running but Villa, who were warned about time-wasting early on by referee Michael Oliver, grew into the game and took a shock lead eight minutes before the interval.

Lucas Digne, the former Everton full-back, broke clear down the left and clipped in a fine cross from the byline. Cash, running in from the opposite side, met it with a firm header that Ederson could not keep out.

With Liverpool having now equalised against Wolves, the mood was transformed. City were stunned and suddenly looked vulnerable.

Fernandinho looked particularly shaky as Ollie Watkins twice threatened, first having a shot blocked and then being denied by a back-tracking John Stones.

The interval came at a good time for City and it was no surprise that Fernandinho did not return for the second half. Oleksandr Zinchenko took his place and the back line was reshaped.

City upped the tempo and Gabriel Jesus should have equalised when picked out at the back post by Joao Cancelo but volleyed over.

Kevin De Bruyne went close with a dipping free-kick but City were caught out by a long clearance upfield by Robin Olsen, which Watkins headed on to Coutinho.

The Brazilian’s first touch was exquisite and completely wrong-footed Aymeric Laporte, exposing Ederson at the near post. Coutinho kept his cool and found the bottom corner.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard was more than doing his job for former club Liverpool and this was now a serious test of City’s mettle, but they rallied.

Substitutes Raheem Sterling and Gundogan combined to pull one back on 76 minutes. The German had a free header at the back post after being picked out by Sterling and made no mistake.

City pressed again and moments later levelled as Zinchenko picked out Rodri on the edge of the area and the Spaniard stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Again Gundogan was in the right place at the back post as De Bruyne whipped in a good ball.

The comeback was complete and, even though an equaliser from Villa could have changed the picture again, it never looked like happening as City celebrated another league crown.

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City’s EPL title win ends Liverpool’s quadruple dream despite trouncing Wolves

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Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title and the chance of winning a historic quadruple despite a 3-1 win over Wolves on the final day of the season as Manchester City came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in dramatic circumstances.

The Reds got off to the worst possible start as Pedro Neto fired Wolves ahead after just three minutes, but Sadio Mane equalised just over half way through the first half.

With City 1-0 down at home to Aston Villa and then two behind, there looked to be hope if Jurgen Klopp’s side could find another goal.

But by the time substitute Mohamed Salah put the Reds in front, City had completed a remarkable turnaround with three goals in five minutes at the Etihad.

Andy Robertson later added another to seal a 3-1 win for Liverpool, but it was not enough as the Reds lost out to City by a single point.

That means there will be no quadruple for Klopp’s side, but they could still win three trophies as they look ahead to the Champions League final against Real Madrid next Saturday.

Regardless of how things pan out in Paris in six days’ time, though, this will go down as one of the greatest triumphs in Premier League history.

Liverpool looked dead and buried in mid-January as they trailed City by 14 points.

But they produced a remarkable run of form to finish the campaign, winning 15 of their last 17 games – and drawing the other two.

They have also won both domestic cup competitions in a remarkable campaign which will go down as one of the very best in their history.

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