Salah’s Two Goals Cheered Up Liverpool Fans

LIVERPOOL, England: Mohamed Salah’s second-half brace made up for an earlier penalty miss as Liverpool started the new year three points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 4-2 win over Newcastle United at Anfield in torrential rain.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, who started the day tied on points with Aston Villa, now have 45 points from 20 games.

Villa got 42 points while Manchester City, who played one game less, is third with 40 points. Newcastle are also in ninth place with 29 points.

Liverpool dominated the match and Salah, who fired a penalty past goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in the first half, finally broke the deadlock in the 49th minute when Darwin Nunez crossed for the Egyptian to finish from close range.

Alexander Isak grabbed Newcastle’s second try of the game in the 54th minute when he met Anthony Gordon’s beautiful pass and fired beyond Alisson’s reach.

However, Curtis Jones put the hosts back in front in the 74th minute with a simple header after receiving a cross from Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo added a goal four minutes later.

Sven Botman pulled one back for Newcastle in the 81st minute before Salah, playing his final game before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations, converted a penalty after Jota was fouled to seal victory in the 86th minute.

HesGoal Celtic

Celtic was founded in 1887 at a meeting in St. Mary’s Church hall in the Calton district of Glasgow. The club played its first match, against Rangers, the following year, winning 5–2. Celtic moved to its longtime home, Celtic Park (also known as Parkhead), in 1892.

Renovated in 1995, the stadium now accommodates more than 60,000 spectators. Celtic began playing in white shirts with green collars, and the club’s famous uniform of a green-and-white striped shirt with white shorts debuted in 1903.

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Celtic won its first league championship in the 1892–93 season and has won 50 in total. The club has also won the Scottish League Cup 16 times and the Scottish Cup 37 times.

Celtic went through a lean run of 11 seasons without a league championship before the arrival of Jock Stein as manager in 1965, but the team went on to win nine Scottish league championships in a row from 1965–66 to 1973–74.

HesGoal Rangers

The club was founded in 1872 and plays in white shorts and blue shirts (though blue-and-white striped shirts were worn in the early 1880s), which accounts for its nickname “the Light Blues.”

For the first 25 years of the club’s existence, Rangers played in a variety of locations around Glasgow before funds were raised to build Ibrox Stadium, which opened in 1899.

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Between 1899 and 1954 the club was managed by just two men, William Wilton and Bill Struth. Under Struth, who led the team for 34 seasons, Rangers won 18 league championships as well as 10 Scottish Cups.

Rangers’ 54 total Scottish league championships—including one shared with Dumbarton FC in 1891—is more than any other team. The club has also won the Scottish Cup 33 times overall.

Despite great success domestically, the club has done less well abroad, with the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup title its only notable international championship.

Ronaldo Is Not In The World’s Top 10

RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo simply uploaded a laughing emoji when he was not listed in the group of 10 best footballers in the world this year released by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

The organization released its annual ranking of the 10 best footballers in the world earlier this week, with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland of Norway at the top.

The 38-year-old striker from Portugal was not listed at all, with only Bernardo Silva being the sole representative of his country on the list.

The list was uploaded by the Portuguese news site, A Bola, and Ronaldo, who is currently with the Saudi Arabian club, Al-Nassr, simply posted a laughing emoji on his Instagram page.

French striker Kylian Mbappe is in second place, while Ronaldo’s traditional rival, Lionel Messi – who also won his eighth Ballon d’Or earlier this year – is in third place.

Ronaldo returned to action for his club on Boxing Day, scoring twice for his 22nd and 23rd goals in all competitions of the season in a 5-2 win over Karim Benzema’s Al-Ittihad.

The two goals made a total of 53 goals scored by Ronaldo throughout 2023. He only failed to find the target in four league actions this season.

Haaland Criticized Referee On Social Media

MANCHESTER, England: Erling Haaland faces possible disciplinary action after complaining about referee Simon Hooper on social media following Manchester City’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Tottenham early this morning.

The City striker was furious after the official failed to award an ‘advantage’ in the final moments of the thrilling Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland was fouled but managed to get up and pass the ball to Jack Grealish but Hooper stopped the game to award a free kick.

Haaland was one of several City players angry at the referee and he continued his protest after the match by reposting a video clip of the incident on the X site with the comment “Wtf”, a cursing slang.

Manager Pep Guardiola was unaware of Haaland’s post on social media when he spoke to reporters after the match, but referred to Haaland’s reaction in the middle of the pitch, admitting he understood the players’ anger.

“It’s normal,” said the City boss. “The reaction was the same as the other 10 players. The rules say you can’t talk to the referee or the fourth official, so our 10 players should be sent off today.

“He was quite disappointed. Even the referee – if he played for Man City today he would be disappointed with the action, that’s for sure.”

Guardiola tried to tone down his criticism, saying during a TV interview that he did not want to make the “Mikel Arteta comment”, referring to the Arsenal manager’s controversial comments after the game against Newcastle last month.

He added at the press conference: “I made mistakes, the players made mistakes.

“It surprised me because when Erling was dropped if you blew the whistle then it was ok.

“But when he got up and continued the match and the referee signaled to continue the game and after he (Haaland) made a pass he then stopped the match – I don’t want to criticize him.”

Messi Critized Brazilian Police Officer

LONDON: Lionel Messi lashed out at Brazilian police after Argentina’s victory over arch-rivals was marred by violence before kick-off.

Ahead of Argentina’s 1-0 win at the iconic Maracana stadium, massive brawls broke out in the stands as fans and police clashed with each other.

After Argentina and Brazil fans started fighting, the police used batons to control the situation, leaving some fans injured and bleeding.

Although Messi was happy about the victory, he still thought about the incident after the match.

“We saw how the police beat the supporters, it already happened during the Libertadores final,” said Messi referring to the incident that took place at the Maracana before Fluminese’s clash against Boca Juniors, earlier this year.

“They are more focused on that (hitting the fans) than the match.

“We went back to the dressing room because that’s the best way to calm things down, tragedy can happen.”

Messi added: ‘We have a family and we decided to continue playing to make sure things are calmer.

Messi also made a post on Instagram after the match, writing ‘this team continues to make history.’

“A great win at the Maracana although it will be remembered as Argentina’s oppression in Brazil once again.

“We can’t let this happen anymore and it should end now!”

Lewandowski Scored Two Goals Against Alaves

BARCELONA: Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski ended his scoring drought by scoring two goals in a 2-1 win over Alaves in La Liga action.

Samu Omorodion put Alaves in front in the first minute but Lewandowski’s double in the second half secured all three points for Barcelona.

The win puts Barcelona four points behind leaders Girona and two points behind Real Madrid.

Veteran striker Lewandowski headed in the equalizer early in the second half before converting a 77th-minute penalty for his seventh league goal.

The Polish striker had previously gone six games without a goal – his worst run in more than a decade.

Barcelona also recorded a string of disappointing results with their manager, Xavi blaming media criticism – which affected the performance of his young players.

“We are more stressed because of the criticism on the team. It used to happen to sayya as a player and now it is happening to my players,” said Xavi.

Alaves needed just 18 seconds to open the scoring when Ilkay Gundogan lost the ball in midfield and Javi Lopez passed to Omorodion who slotted the ball between the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Sevilla Confident They Can Shock Arsenal

LONDON: Arsenal are on the best footing to expand their position at the top of Group B of the European Champions League.

After three games, Mikel Arteta’s men collected six points, one more than Lens and four more than Sevilla and PSV Eindhoven.

Sevilla, who are yet to record a win after three matches, are confident of improving their position, not to mention against Arsenal who beat them 2-1 in the previous match.

“There were times when we played better than Arsenal in attack. We proved that we are capable of making it a difficult game for them. We have high confidence,” said Sevilla manager Nemanja Gudelj.

Gabriel Jesus found the target in the first three group stage games for Arteta’s side.

“It’s not easy to play with the courage we showed on the highest stage. It gives confidence and at the same time we want more,” said Arteta.

Neville Predicts Ten Hag Will Be Fired

MANCHESTER: Gary Neville has warned Erik ten Hag that he may be sacked by Manchester United.

United were knocked out of the League Cup after losing 3-0 to Newcastle at home, three days after being beaten by Manchester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag have now made United’s worst start to a season since the 1962-63 campaign and his side have lost five of their first 10 home games for the first time since 1930-31.

United finished third in the league in Ten Hag’s first season and ended a six-year championship drought when they beat Newcastle in last season’s League Cup final.

“Yesterday saw the Theater of Dreams turn into the Theater of Nothing. All United supporters are getting bored and tired.

“On the field, the players performed poorly, the manager struggled in front of our eyes.

“We’ve seen it before, we know how it ends and we’re tired of it,” said Neville.

The Dutchman is the fifth permanent manager since Alex Ferguson retired after winning the 2013 Premier League.

David Moyes only lasted nine months at Old Trafford, while Louis Van Gaal was sacked after two seasons, despite winning the FA Cup in 2015.

Jose Mourinho bagged two trophies, but was sacked midway through his third season when United fell 19 points behind the league leaders.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in December 2018 before being made permanent manager four months later.

In July 2021, two months after United lost the Europa League final on penalties, the Norwegian manager extended his contract for a three-year period.

However, he was sacked after four months when United collected just 17 points from their first 12 league games and Solskjaer was replaced by Ralf Rangnick.

Alisson Urges Salah To Stay At Anfield

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah has been urged to stay at Anfield by his teammate Alisson.

The Egyptian forward struck twice as the Reds won their Merseyside neighbors’ clash with Everton on Saturday.

The goal made Salah the first English Premier League player to score 30 goals in 2023.

Salah now overtakes Steven Gerrard and Kenny Dalglish in the list of all-time top scorers at Anfield.

However, his future at Anfield continues to be questionable after Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad were interested in signing him since last summer’s transfer window.

Liverpool rejected Al-Ittihad’s bid and managed to keep Salah at Anfield this season.

According to Alisson, Salah needs to stay as long as possible with Liverpool after the striker once again showed his sharpness in front of goal.

“This player is amazing. I’m happy he’s in our team. I hope he can break all the records while wearing our red jersey,” said Alisson.