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first_imgROBBIE KEANE’s youngest son Hudson clearly shares the same eye for goal his father had judging by the Ireland legend’s latest Instagram post.Keane’s two boys Robert and Hudson were both mascots for the FA Cup clash between Middlesbrough and Tottenham on Sunday.3 The young Keane takes the ball from the centre circle3 The referees couldn’t hide their delight3 Hudson clearly has the same eye for goal as his father View this post on Instagram So little Hudson did this yesterday @theboroofficial v @spursofficial game 😂😂 @claudinekeane1 #mascots #brothers #goal #utb A post shared by Robert Keane (@robbiekeane) on Jan 6, 2020 at 5:05am PSTAnd it was four year old Hudson who stole the show before kick off as the captains and mascots stood with the match officials before kick off.The youngster took the ball from the centre circle and ran half the length of the pitch before kicking the ball into the empty net.Referee Stuart Atwell and his assistants couldn’t hide their amusement at the scene as they all broke into laughter as young Hudson ran off with the ball.MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidAnd the travelling Spurs fans serranaded him with chants of ‘Keano’ just as they had done for his father during his time at White Hart Lane.Middlesbrough thought they were on their way to scoring a big upset in yesterday’s clash when they went ahead five minutes into the second half through Ashley Fletcher.However Jose Mourinho’s side were level just ten minutes later when Lucas Moura scored to earn the Premier League side a replay.last_img read more

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):West Indies right-hander Marlon Samuels will make his first appearance in the regional domestic 50-over competition in three years, when he turns out for Leeward Islands Hurricanes later this month.The 35-year-old last appeared in the competition in 2013, when he represented his native Jamaica, but the Leeward Islands Cricket Board chief operations officer, Vernon Springer, confirmed that the player would be part of the Hurricanes squad for the January 24 to February 18 tournament.Samuels will bring a wealth of experience to the Hurricanes line-up, having played 71 Tests and 187 One-Day Internationals for West Indies.He is coming off a prolific campaign in the Bangladesh Premier League last November, where he scored 334 runs at an average of 66, with three half-centuries for Comilla Victorians.Samuels was in decent one-day touch for West Indies last year, tallying 374 runs at an average of 37, including a superb hundred against Australia in Bridgetown.Samuels is expected to be joined by Guyana and West Indies A fast bowler Ronsford Beaton and Trinidadian Daron Cruickshank.”We have 20 guys who will be here over the next couple of days or over the next two weeks, and we are going to have some trial games,” Springer said.”We promised you we are going to have the best franchise, and whatever it takes, we are going to make sure it works.”The 30-year-old Cruickshank also played first-class and 50-over cricket for Hurricanes last season.The Hurricanes have been installed in Group A of the upcoming Super50, alongside reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, West Indies Under-19s, Windward Islands Volcanoes, and English County Kent.Group B comprises last year’s losing finalists, Barbados Pride, along with Guyana Jaguars, Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners, Jamaica Scorpions, and ICC Americas.last_img read more

first_imgThe seriousness of the Ebola epidemic calls for extraordinary measures to stop its spread.  It is time to close ranks, not time for political squabbles and constitutional wrangling.   When the State of Emergency was declared it was intended to facilitate the adoption of drastic measures such as the curfew and the quarantine of certain communities which were suspected of having a high risk of infection because of overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions.The State of Emergency, when declared, often overrides the obligation to observe civil liberties among other protected rights including the denial of the right of Habeas Corpus.  That is why the Executive must have the consent of the national Legislature. Once such has been granted, then it gives the President the option of making the list of the prohibited activities under the State of Emergency, thereby ensuring that people are aware of what is expected of them.  Anyone dissatisfied with the imposition of any specific measures may file an injunction to constrain the government from the exercise of such specific powers.  It is for the court to decide on the validity and invalidity of such measures.In addition, the Attorney General/ Minister of Justice may normally be expected to enter a plea of nolly prosequoi against any injunction or other such writ.The aim of the State of Emergency is to create a deterrent to unruly conduct.  It is not to rob people of their liberties so long as there is no abuse of such liberties.  The State of Emergency does not abuse such liberties such as the right to free assembly, free speech, freedom of assembly, the practices of one’s religion etc. Rather, it is meant to dissuade people from act of sedition, libel, and disinformation. What the Emergency Powers do is enable the authorities to detain offenders for a period within the span of the Emergency without necessary recourse to the normal judiciary process.The State of Emergency may be extended at the end of the initial period of such extension is ratified by the legislature. If it is not ratified, the Emergency lapses.It will seem to me that the President, considering the difficulty of and opposition to quarantine and the curfew when they were adopted, forcing the government to cancel the quarantine felt it necessary to ask for more specific powers that will allow it to block demonstrations, public protests, religious and other gatherings that must tend to pose a risk to people in such gatherings. During this Ebola pandemic, it is in such gatherings that the virus is more easily transmitted.  As you know, refusal to heed the instructions on combating the virus explains the rapid spread of the disease.  Hence, all must be done to put an end to such willful conduct.   It is inconvincible that the President will want such extra powers to carry out a draconian rule.  No one needs to be afraid of losing his/her liberties.  For example, when it was clear that the West Point Community had adhered to prevention rules, the government lifted the quarantine. Whatever additional powers she receives will be used to ensure that people are safe from the spread of the virus.  People must by now be convinced of the democratic bonafides of the President.  She has ruled like a democrat in a country with problems of indiscipline.The Legislature, civil societies, and others who may be worried about the potential abuse of power, should realize that the government needs to be well equipped with the necessary and sufficient powers to enable it to gain control over this epidemic.It is not a time for politicking, for the fate of the nation is at stake and the President is under tremendous stress to stop the spread of the disease.  Therefore, everybody, including the Legislature, the Cabinet, Political Parties, Civil Society organizations, the churches, the Mosques, schools, colleges, and universities must all come together to bring this virus to a halt.Those who have come from afar to help us fight the epidemic are curiously watching us to see how united we are in our stand to defeat this disease. Therefore, Political squabbles which tend to deflect our attention from the path of victory will not be encouraging to them.SO LET US CLOSE RANKS NOW TO WIN THE WAR ON EBOLA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgThe keynote interview with award-winning Liberian novelist Saah Millimono, conducted by Hawa Jande Golakai, another young Liberian novelist, produced some startling, never-before disclosures about Millimono, leaving the audience sighing with inspiration as his debut novel, Boy, Interrupted, launched last Friday in Monrovia.Golakai, who also helped edit the manuscript for Boy, Interrupted, was also listed in 2014 as as one of Africa’s top 39 authors under the age of 40, is also a medical scientist.  Her own debut novel, The Lazarus Effect, has won several awards on the African Continent.“I feel great to be in conversation with Saah about this piece of literary work that has helped to expand Liberian history,” Golakai said.She added that one of the amazing things about Saah is that he improves on criticism and dedicates himself to his work.”If you want to write,” Saah told the audience, many of whom were high school students and aspiring writers, “you have to be patient.”  He speaks with a high-pitched voice distortion due to an apparent hearing impairment.  “Don’t rush.  Sometimes I sit for two hours to write, and I come up with maybe only three sentences… then I have to wait for a still, small voice in my mind to tell me what I should write.”“I have never had a family and since boyhood have had to live in different places and with relatives, until finally I started living on my own.”Saah attended the St. Kizito Catholic School, and then St. Michael’s, from where he graduated. From petty trading he tried to earn a living until he landed his first job at the Daily Observer newspaper as a literary columnist.The video of the full interveiw will be published online shortly. The Liberian Association of Writers (LAW), provided advisory support for the launch event.  Its president, Mr. Llord Aidoo, described Boy, Interrupted as “an architecture of history translated into literature.”Kate Haines, an associate editor of Kwani Trust, publisher of Boy, Interrupted and sponsor of the launch event, sent a message, read by Liberian writer, James Dwalu: “Because of the distinct quality of  the voice in which Saah wrote Boy Interrupted, the novel has received lots of acclaim from readers in and out of Nairobi.”The whole of Kwani Trust team has been impressed by Saah Millimono’s truthfulness and commitment to his writing… a story that takes us from the narrator’s difficult childhood years in Monrovia to a meeting with Kou, the beautiful girl who will change his life forever. Together they will witness their country’s descent into war and near cataclysmic destruction. Their love is tested by separation, loss, heartbreak, and emerges triumphant against all odds.”Bai Best, who has been an advisor to Millimono, said that “his style of writing stirs the reader’s mind and generates a thirst to know more.”Although Millimono is often misunderstood because of certain impairments he happens to have, the achievements he has made thus far demonstrate some important lessons for all of us to learn,” Best told the audience.He said further that Saah’s talent has taken him to lots of places that are not necessarily physical, but which no doubt enable him to add value to the human experience. Hookies Badio, who spoke on behalf of several students attending the launch said, that from the explanations about this novel, it is excellent piece of literature that should be made available for school consumption. Also in attendance were dignitaries from the Ministry of Education, the American Embassy, Stella Maris Polytechnic University, as well as officials of the Liberia Collective Societies and the Liberia Copyright Office.An excerpt of Boy, Interrupted is published in todays’ edition of LIB Life, the Daily Observer’s arts section.  Another excerpt will be read “in character” at Soul Sessions, a monthly open mic event held at Tides the Bar, on Friday, May 1. Copies of the novel will be on sale at the Soul Sessions event at $10 per copy.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgAn East Canje, Berbice man was on Monday sentenced to 18 years in jail for raping a teenage boy. The act was committed after the labourer had tied the teen’s hands behind his back.Mahadeo Ramnarine, also called “Dougla”Mahadeo Ramnarine, also called ‘Dougla,’ 48, of East Canje, committed the act on August 14, 2010. The prosecution contended that on that day, the 13-year-old victim was sent by his mother to collect milk, and on his way home, Ramnarine, who was under a tamarind tree, ran towards him and pulled him into the bushes and told him that he has something to give him.Ramnarine reportedly then drugged and raped the teen. Following the incident, the teen was found by an elderly woman who went to pick tamarind. He was taken to the Police station, and reported that Ramnarine and another man had committed the act on him. The teenager reported that he fell unconscious when the second man raped him. The teen, in his testimony, told the court that Ramnarine told him that since he was bleeding he could not keep him alive because he was going to report the incident.He said he felt he was going to die, but the elderly woman who found him saved his life.Ramnarine was found guilty of the act by a mixed Berbice jury. In a probation report on Ramnarine, which was ordered by the court, Probation and Welfare Officer Judith Vankennie told the court that the accused was previously placed before the Reliance Magistrate’s’ Court on an assault charge and was fined $15,000. He was also previously charged for abusive language and felonious wounding, but those charges were dismissed.Speaking about the victim, Vankennie said he admitted that the incident affected him greatly, and he is now unable to think positively.According to the teen’s parents, since the incident, he has suffered a mental breakdown, and as a result, they took him to the National Psychiatric Hospital to receive treatment.In handing down sentence, Justice Brassington Reynolds said it was a violent and heinous crime.He noted that the accused showed no remorse, and continued to deny the act; hence the 18-year jail term was imposed.The State’s case was presented by Attorney at Law Tuanna Hardy.Ramnarine was unrepresented.last_img read more

first_imgWednesday evening, Bush and Blair dined on she-crab soup, wagyu beef and potatoes, and rhubarb-strawberry napolean. The pair then sat on the Truman Balcony, peering out over Washington’s monuments as they chatted into the night. After breakfast Thursday morning, Blair strolled with Bush from the residence to the Oval Office – though he was left cooling his heels on the patio while the president received his daily intelligence briefing. There was yet another perk: a trip to the newly renovated and top-secret Situation Room in the basement of the White House for an hour-long secure videoconference between the two leaders and their countries’ representatives in Iraq. Bush and Blair have cooperated on Iran, on the Middle East, on fighting malaria, AIDS and genocide in Africa, and on the global anti-terror battle, among a host of pressing issues. There have been few clues from Blair’s successor, Treasury chief Gordon Brown, about whether Britain’s stance will shift in Iraq, where it is the second-largest contributor of troops. Blair suggested it would not, though it was unclear whether he was offering knowledge or opinion. “I believe we will remain a staunch and steadfast ally in the fight against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere,” he said. “There is no alternative for us but to fight it wherever it exists.” The American and British leaders found common ground on Iraq in their first meeting, barely a month after Bush became president. Appearing together at snowy, rustic Camp David, they stood firm on strong sanctions against Saddam Hussein. Back then, they found little else to bind them. The conservative U.S. president was asked what he shared with Blair, the younger and liberal prime minister who had been so close – in style and substance – to President Clinton. All Bush could manage (it was said later he thought the question was dumb) was Colgate toothpaste, a commitment to exercise, “great” wives and love for their children. Over the years, their bond grew intense, based on personal chemistry as well as a fierce belief in the rightness of the 2003 Iraq invasion and the decision to remain there. This belief was tested, and tested again, by the unrelenting violence that has gripped Iraq and inspired growing doubts among their countrymen. This was underscored when the sounds of a clutch of anti-war protesters drifted through the Rose Garden on Thursday. Both men now are grayer and more lined from the stress. Largely because of the war, Bush saw his Republican Party lose stewardship of Congress in November. And Blair is believed to be leaving his post earlier than he would have otherwise. But their positions remain the same. “We took a decision that we thought was very difficult,” Blair said. “I thought then, and I think now, it was the right decision.” The alliance sometimes seemed all upside for Bush and mostly downside for Blair. Bush was asked if he was responsible for Blair’s political downfall. “Could be,” he said candidly. But, the president added: “I have enjoyed working with Tony Blair more than I could have possibly imagined.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The British prime minister has been a presence in Bush’s presidency like no other leader. Telephone conversations were regular. This White House meeting spanning two days was their 13th get-together in Washington since Bush took office in 2001. It was their 30th overall as leaders, including four in the sought-after atmospheres of Camp David or Bush’s Texas ranch. It wasn’t even their last; that will come early next month at a gathering of major industrialized countries in Germany. Still, as a farewell of sorts, it was more a sentimental than substantive summit. Reflecting their close ties, Blair was offered at the last minute – and accepted – a White House sleepover, choosing the Queen’s Bedroom down the hall from the president over the coincidentally named Blair House across the street, the traditional quarters for visiting leaders. WASHINGTON – To the last, neither George Bush nor Tony Blair wavered. The British prime minister allowed not a single regret about the war alliance that cost him his popularity and perhaps his job. The U.S. president, losing his best friend on the world stage, bristled at suggestions that Blair should already be out the door. “Trying to do a tap dance on his political grave, aren’t you?” Bush said Thursday at Blair’s side in the White House Rose Garden, admonishing British reporters looking beyond Blair’s tenure six weeks before he leaves office. “You don’t understand how effective Blair is, I guess.” Bush’s reluctance to see the British leader go is understandable. For Bush, Blair has been a steadfast friend for over six years, an articulate and impassioned defender of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. last_img read more

first_imgFour Masters GAA Club NotesThe Frank Muldoon Memorial Singles Stableford Competition: Ladies & Gents. Sponsored by Rooney’s Centra Store, Clar Road,Donegal Town. @ Donegal Golf Links Murvagh on Wednesday 3rd July 2013. Frank Muldoon Memorial Cup will be awarded to the highest placed Donegal Golf Club full member or fully-paid adult member of Four Masters G.A.A. Club in 2013. PRIZES GALORE. Time Sheet in Operation. Contact: Donegal Golf Club 074-9734054. Entry Fee: €10 for Golf Club Members & €30 for Visitors.Good Luck: Senior / Reserve Championship against Glenfin Saturday 29th June 2013, 6pm and 7.30pm @ Tirchonaill Park. Please come out and support the lads. Well done: Huge well done to the Donegal Senior Team and Management in reaching the Ulster Final.U10 Kevin Faulkner Memorial Cup: The play-offs and Final of this excellent tournament, organised by Damien Dunnion, takes place on Wednesday 26th June 6.30pm in Tirchonaill Park.Cul Camp: The Cul Camp’s will be taking place this summer again at Tirchonaill Park. The Football Camp will take place from 22nd – 26th July and the Hurling/Camogie Camp will take place from 5th – 9th August. There will be a huge demand for places on the camps so please book ASAP. Register online at www.kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie or phone Pauric Harvey, 086 052 3905 (football) or Shane Patton, 086 088 6576 (hurling).Four Masters Fundraiser: The Senior and Reserves Teams are having a fundraiser to cover the costs for each team. The fundraiser will take place on the Donegal Bay Waterbus, Friday July 12th. This promises to be a great night out, with lots of prizes to be won and all money going to a good cause. ). First prize is a training session with Karl Lacey, Paul Durcan, Barry Dunnion and Luke Keaney for any boy or girl up to 16 years of age and their team! Tickets only cost €15 each and are available from Mickey Martin (0876198905), Rory O’Donnell (087 8872283) and Emlyn Hughes (087 9506 113) Four Masters GAA Lotto: There was no jackpot winner this week. There will now be a two week break, with the next draw taking place on July 15th. The end of year draw winners were; Mary McCauley, Drumrooske, €1000. Donal McMullin, C/O Post Office, €500. Barry Hannigan, Drumlonagher, €500. Enda Nolan, Rossylongan, €250. Ciaran Earley, Lough Eske, €250. Derek McGinty, Clar, Lough Eske, €100. Michael Feeley, €100. Rory O’Donnell, The Heaneys, €100. Mary McAnaw, Clar Lough Eske, €100. Dermot McGettigan, The Glebe, €100. GAA NEWS: MARY McCAULEY WINS FOUR MASTERS END OF YEAR DRAW was last modified: June 24th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA NEWS: MARY McCAULEY WINS FOUR MASTERS END OF YEAR DRAWlast_img read more

first_imgThe Can’t Pay Won’t Pay group has called on Sinn Fein County Councillors and TDs to support a boycott of the Property Tax after the Council voted in favour of a Sinn Fein motion calling for a repeal of the tax.“If Sinn Fein is genuinely opposing the Property Tax, they will support the boycott campaign as the only effective way to stop this unfair tax” said Can’t Pay Won’t Pay spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig.“We are now challenging Sinn Fein’s TDs and Councillors to state whether or not they will pay the Property Tax themselves. After all Pearse Doherty and Padraig Mac Lochlainn had no difficulty in stating publicly that they would not pay Household Charge. Why the silence on the Property Tax?” “The feedback we get from Sinn Fein supporters is that they overwhelmingly back the boycott campaign. Indeed some of our best activists are members of Sinn Fein, but unfortunately the leadership of the party and it’s public representatives continue to disappoint them by refusing to support our campaign.”“Putting forward a motion in the Dail to repeal the tax, as Sinn Fein is planning, is doomed to to fail given the government’s huge majority. The real opposition to the government’s austerity agenda has come from the 600,000 across the state who refused to pay the Household Charge and from the people who will now refuse to pay Property Tax. The Sinn Fein leadership should support this magnificent movement instead of playing political games in the Dail.”“If they were prepared to do that it would give an enormous boost to the campaign. Many people who would like to join the boycott but are fearful of the consequences would gain the confidence not to pay as they had the outright support of half of all Donegal TD’s. They could deal a body blow to the Property Tax in Donegal which would be noticed across the state as it is already acknowledged that our county leads the way in terms of non-compliance of Household Tax and Septic Tank registration.”“We ask members and supporters of Sinn Fein to use whatever influence they have to get their party to change it’s stance and to finally back the boycott.”  SINN FEIN TDs AND COUNCILLORS CHALLENGED ON PROPERTY TAX was last modified: April 17th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Can’t Pay Won’t PaySinn Feinlast_img read more

first_imgLOS ANGELES – A NASA spacecraft is halfway toward Mars, where it is expected to collect more data on the Red Planet than all previous Martian explorations combined. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter successfully fired its six engines for 20 seconds last week to adjust its flight path in anticipation of its March arrival. It will fine-tune its trajectory two more times before it enters into orbit around Mars, said Allen Halsell, deputy navigation chief at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Once in orbit, the two-ton spacecraft will join a trio of probes currently flying around Mars. The orbiter is loaded with some of the most sophisticated science instruments ever flown into space including a telescopic camera that can snap the sharpest pictures yet of the planet’s rust-colored surface. Previous spacecraft that have landed, circled or zipped past Mars have shot tens of thousands of images, but only about 2 percent of the planet has been seen at high resolution. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The orbiter also will continue to seek evidence of water, scan the surface for sites to land future robotic explorers and serve as a communications link to relay data to Earth. Already, the orbiter has successfully returned data at 6 megabits per second, or about the speed of filling a CD-ROM every 16 minutes. The reconnaissance orbiter flawlessly launched aboard an Atlas V rocket in August for a 310-million mile journey to the Red Planet. It will spend the next few months dipping down into the planet’s upper atmosphere, using friction to slow down and lower its altitude. The orbiter is the last of its kind that NASA will send to Mars this decade. Budget cuts forced the space agency to cancel a $500 million mission to send another orbiter in 2009. However, NASA plans two additional Martian landing missions – the Phoenix Mars Scout in 2007 and the Mars Science Laboratory two years later. The orbiter’s primary mission ends in 2010, but scientists say it has enough fuel to last until 2014. The $750 million mission is managed by JPL. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_img Tags: Atletico Madridbarcelonachampions leagueChelseajuventusliverpoolMan CityPSGreal madridSpurstop PSG were without Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr for match-day one. (PHOTOS/Courtesy)PSG stronger this seasonPSG got their Champions League campaign off to a flying start thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over record champions Real Madrid on Wednesday night.They managed to outclass Zinedin Zidane’s side without the attacking trident of Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.In the last three champions league seasons, the Parisians have bowed out miserably, after winning two of their three first leg encounters in the knockout stages. In 2016/17, they surrendered a 4-0 lead to Barca, losing 6-5 on aggregate. The following season, they lost home and away to Real Madrid before bowing out to Man United last season despite winning the first leg 2-0 away from home.This summer has seen the purchase of Keylor Navas, Idrisa Gana Gueye, Pablo Sarabia and Mauro Icardi as the big-name acquisitions.All four started on Wednesday and the team now looks much more stronger with wider depth than they have been in the last three seasons.Picturing them a healthy side in the knock-out stages, they would have a rooster to install fear in the hearts of anyone across the continent.Barca are no longer the favouritesBarcelona have surrendered two massive leads in the last two seasons to suffer elimination from the champions league.Barca have been eliminated from the champions league whilw holding a 3-0 caution from the first leg in each of the past two seasons.After failing to praise Neymar Jr away from PSG, Bulgrana’s do not look like a side capable of winning a first Champions League crown in five years.Yes they still have Lionel Messi and Suarez, two of the best players in the world but Neymar would have clearly made them out-right favourites to win this year’s crown.On Tuesday night, they were lucky to draw 0-0 at Dortmund with BVB captain Marco Reus missing from 12 yards. Messi came off the bench but could not supply the telling punch and even with the arrival of Antoine Grizemann, Barca do not look any stronger than in the past two seasons.Long Champions League season for English clubsTwo of the four English representatives are among the three favourites for this year’s Champions League title but after match-day one, a long season in Europe’s premier club competition looks very much on the card.Man City were the only winners as they powered past Shakhter Donetsk 3-0, Liverpool lost 2-0 at Napoli, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 at home to Valencia and Spurs surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 against Olympiakos.Liverpool lost 2-0 at Napoli on Tuesday.With the gap between the elite and second-fiddle sides narrowing by the day, only Man City can rightly claim they will go past the groups stages, at this moment.For the defending champions, they may be set for another interesting group stage campaign as their group (A) also has a certain fearless RB Salzburg side in it. Last season, they had to wait until the last minute of their clash with Napoli to confirm participation in the knock out stages.Spurs and Chelsea also have fairly complicated groups so this may turn out to be a long and testing campaign for English sides.Atletico not as weak as transfers suggestAtletico are not the side that reached two Champions League finals in three years, losing both to Real Madrid.An exodus of sorts has taken place at the Madrid based club with almost all of the core of that team departing and replaced by promising talents.The likes of Diego Godin, Felipe Luiz, Gabi, Juan Fran and Javi Garcia have all gone and the names that replaced them suggested that Diego Simone’s era may finally be coming to and end.However, they scrapped back from 2-0 in their champions league season’s opening game to draw 2-2 with Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday and shown all signs of the resilience still seating in them despite a change in the faces.Atletico came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus on match-day one.Atletico may have lost many players over the past two seasons but are not as weak as the transfers market suggests.Zidane’s clock tickingZinedin Zidane will forever have his name embedded among Real Madrid’s best coaches ever.The Frenchman guided Real to two consecutive Champions League crowns and remains the only manager to have ever successfully defended the champions league since 1993.Zidane is the only manager to successfully defend the Champions League since it was re-branded in 1993.However, after returning to the side last season for a second spell, his win ratio is below 50% and Real are struggling both domestically and in Europe.The 3-0 loss to PSG on Wednesday highlighted how fragile his role at Real now is and it would come as no surprise if he is fired in the next few months.All Champions League match-day one resultsTuesday, 17-09-2019-Lyon 1-1 Zenit-Inter Milan 1-1 Slavia Praha-Chelsea 0-1 Valencia-Ajax 3-0 Lille-Benfica 1-2 RB Leipzig-Dortmund 0-0 Barcelona-Napoli 2-0 Liverpool-RB Salzburg 6-2 GenkWednesday, 18-09-2019-Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray-Olympiakos 2-2 Spurs-PSG 3-0 Real Madrid-Bayern 3-0 Crvena Zvezda-Shakhter Donetsk 0-3 Man City-Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 Atalanta-Atletico Madrid 2-2 Juventus-Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Locomotive MoscowComments last_img read more