The Daily Football Diary: Nigeria win third African Cup of Nations
The Super Eagles were dominant in their victory over Burkina Faso, whilst only winning 1-0 the result was rarely in doubt. The breakthrough goal happened on the 40th minute when Sunday Mba scored a delightful goal, when the Nigerian striker took the ball over Burkinabe defender Mohamed Koffi before volleying the ball into the far corner of the net.
It has been 19 years since Nigeria last won the Cup of Nations, back when their coach Stephen Keshi actually captained the side back in 1994. He becomes only the second man to do this behind Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary.
A lot of credit has to go to Burkina Faso however for the way they played throughout this tournament. Having never won a match a single match on foreign soil in this competition before, they had shocked everybody by getting to the final. Paul Put, their coach, commented after the game, ‘Possibly, we were a little tired after two matches that went to extra-time but I’m not going to look for excuses. The whole of Burkina Faso can be proud of their players.’
Paul Gascoigne recovering after intensive care
The former England midfielder was taken to hospital after suffering a bad reaction whilst in Arizona where he is seeking yet more help for his alcoholism. His long-term therapist Dr McKeown stated, ‘this is not unusual for someone who has been drinking as heavily as he has. There are no fears for his life.’
This seemed to be confirmed by ex-Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt who told BBC Sport that, ‘he was put in intensive care where they monitored him. But it wasn’t a life-threatening situation and he’s now in recovery.’
Gascoigne went to America with the help of several of his celebrity friends, these include include ex-cricketer Ronnie Irani and broadcaster Chris Evans.
Real Madrid ready for Manchester United
After their 4 – 1 thrashing of Sevilla, which included a Cristiano Ronald hat-trick. Real Madrid’s assistant coach Aitor Karanka believes now is a great time to play the Premier League leaders.
‘Apart from the match against Granada, the team has been showing good thigns throughout January. (Against Sevilla) we played well and have given a bit of a rest to key players and the match comes at a good time for us.’
Jose Mourinho has commented several times this season how the match scheduling has worked against his team. However with the Red Devils facing Everton on Sunday, Real managed an extra day’s rest before the gigantic clash on Wednesday.
Dejan Stankovic nearly quitted football
The Inter midfielder returned to action against Chievo recently, his first appearance for the club since May 2nd, 2012 against Parma. ‘Nine months is a long time, it was hard to stay out for so long, after two operations at my age.’
‘I thought about giving up on three or four occasions, but I didn’t thanks to the help of my family and the medical staff.’ The 34-year-old has been fighting to get back to full fitness following a series of Achilles tendon injuries that almost ended his career.
‘The nightmare is over, now I hope to get back to full fitness and help my team out,’ he continued. ‘I’d like to thank the fans for the amazing reception they gave me – it was like a second debut.’
Bayern Munich increase stranglehold on Bundesliga
When Pep Guardiola takes over the reigns at Bayern Munich it’s looking more and more likely he will be taking over the Bundesliga champions. He will have watched as David Alaba netted twice, once from the penalty spot. This was followed up by a Bastian Schweinsteiger free-kick in the second half, and Mario Gomez finishing the rout in the 63rd minute. The Bavarians now have a fifteen point lead at the top of the German league.
This is no small thanks to Hamburg SV who compelted their first double over Borussia Dortmund since 2007/08. Just like Die Rotten (Bayern Munich) they ran out eventual 4-1 winners against a surprisingly tame Dortmund side.
Long-term Tottenham Hotspur target Heung Min Son struck twice along with Artjoms Rudnevs after Die Schwarzgelben’s hitman, Robert Lewandowski’s opener but the home-side ahead. However later in the game Lewandowski would go from hero to zero after he and HSV’s Jefferey Bruma were both sent off after a heated confrontation between the pair.
English Premier League
Aston Villa 2 – 1 West Ham
Manchester United 2 – 0 Everton
African Super Cup Final
Nigeria 1 – 0 Burkina Faso
Augsburg 1 – 1 Mainz
SC Freiburg 1 – 0 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Parma 0 – 0 Genoa
Atalanta 0 – 0 Catania
Bologna 1 – 1 Siena
Cagliari 1 – 1 AC Milan
Palermo 1 – 1 Pescara
Sampdoria 3 – 1 Roma
Udinese 1 – 0 Torino
Inter Milan 3 – 1 Chievo
Rayo Vallecano 2 – 1 Atlético de Madrid
Athletic Bilbao 0 – 4 Espanyol
Real Zaragoza 1 – 2 Real Sociedad
Barcelona 6 – 1 Getafe
Lyon 1 – 3 Lille
Rennes 2 – 0 Toulouse
Evian Thonon Gaillard 1 – 1 Marseille