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Erik ten Hag enforces major Old Trafford change after first visit as Man Utd manager

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made the unprecedented decision to swap the Old Trafford dugouts ahead of his coaching debut this weekend.

The Red Devils are set to host Spanish side Rayo Vallecano this weekend for what is their final pre-season tie ahead of their first Premier League match of the campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion. The game will give the Dutchman an excellent idea of what he still needs to work on building up to kick-off against the Seagulls and will give attending supporters their first taste of Ten Hag’s philosophy at Old Trafford.

Some keen eyed fans might potentially spot a major change to the stadium when they attend with the new Red Devils’ boss having chosen to make quite a major change.
As confirmed by a club statement, the two Old Trafford dugouts have been swapped around. This means that the home dugout will be on the west side of the halfway line, meaning that the hosts will be closer to the tunnel and the Stretford End. The away side will now be stationed on the other side and as a result closer to the travelling support.

Ten Hag’s visit to Old Trafford shortly after his official unveiling in May apparently played a considerable role in the switch with the Dutchman giving his approval to the swap itself having noticed that the away dugout was closer to the tunnel.

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It remains to be seen if the switch benefits the Red Devils at all but Ten Hag will certainly be hopeful of bettering the club’s fortunes following a wretched season last time out.
United are currently undefeated in pre-season having earned wins against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace before they were held 2-2 by Aston Villa. Whilst they will play Vallecano on Sunday, the Red Devils also do battle with another Spanish side before that with a showdown with Atletico Madrid in Norway.
It is currently unclea how the squad will be split for the game but one man who certainly won’t be appearing is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese striker has been linked with a move to the Wanda Metropolitano this summer after handing in a transfer request to Man Utd.

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His agent Jorge Mendes has approached Atleti regarding a transfer but the club’s fans have taken an exception to any move having unfurled a banner opposing his arrival during a pre-season clash with Spanish minnows Numancia.

His absence is not suggested to be related but instead is training away from the squad with his fitness some way behind the rest of his teammates.

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Voodoo new to me – Waldrum

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In the aftermath of the drama that ensued between Nigeria and Cameroon during the penultimate qualifying fixture for the 2024 Olympic games, Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum, says voodoo is strange to him.

There was drama at the start of the second half inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Monday after a Cameroonian player allegedly attempted to plant ‘voodoo’ inside the Falcons goal post.

Falcons’ goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, was in fine form as she stopped every shot in her direction to prevent the Indomitable Lionesses from scoring.

However, in the closing minutes of the game, Cameroon sent Annie Enganemben on as they were about to launch a free kick into the Nigerian box with claims that the player was sent on to touch the net in a bid to give Cameroon a saving grace as they were running out of options, and had to resort to diabolical means.

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In a video, the substitute, alongside another striker, were seen trying to run towards the Nigerian goal in an attempt to touch the net, but Asisat Oshoala took it upon herself to prevent that from happening. The drama led to the player being sent off after she hit Nnadozie in the process.

When asked by our reporter about the attempt by the Cameroonians to use voodoo during the game, Waldrum said, “Yes it is true.”

“I have never seen it before but our players wouldn’t let them in our goal to use it.”

The only goal of the two-legged tie came in the early minutes of the first half, with Esther Okoronkwo tapping home from close range after Jennifer Echegini’s clever footwork on the edge of the box.

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Liverpool Win Carabao Cup Title With Late Heroics Thrilling Against Chelsea

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In a thrilling Carabao Cup final clash at Wembley Stadium, Liverpool emerged victorious with late heroics against Chelsea, clinching the coveted title in dramatic fashiion.

The match, highly anticipated by football fans worldwide, showcased the fierce competition between two Premier League giants. Jurgen Klopp’s youthful Liverpool side faced off against Thomas Tuchel’s formidable Chelsea team in a showdown that promised excitement and tension.

Throughout the game, both teams demonstrated their skill and determination, creating numerous scoring opportunities and thrilling moments for the spectators. However, as the clock ticked down towards the end of regular time, the score remained deadlocked in a tense stalemate.

As the match entered extra time, the intensity on the field only intensified, with each side pushing for a decisive breakthrough. It was Liverpool’s star defender, Virgil van Dijk, who ultimately proved to be the hero of the night. In a heart-stopping moment, van Dijk rose above the Chelsea defense to head home a crucial goal deep into extra time.

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The Wembley Stadium erupted with cheers from Liverpool fans as van Dijk’s late header secured the victory and clinched the Carabao Cup title for Klopp’s side. It was a moment of pure jubilation for the Liverpool players, staff, and supporters, marking a memorable triumph in their footballing journey.

The match’s thrilling conclusion highlighted the unpredictable nature of football and the exhilarating drama that unfolds on the grand stage. Liverpool’s triumph with late heroics against Chelsea will be remembered as a testament to their resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit in pursuit of success.

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Boniface named among Bundesliga’s most skilful stars

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Bayer Leverkusen star Victor Boniface has secured a nomination among the most skilful players in the ongoing 2023/24 Bundesliga campaign so far.

After his move from Union SG last July, the Super Eagles striker wasted no time making an impact under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso.

Boniface’s initial burst in Germany was nothing short of impressive, netting ten goals in 16 league matches.

However, his promising run hit an abrupt halt due to a groin injury, forcing him to miss the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations held in Ivory Coast.

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Despite his current injury setback, the striker’s noteworthy performances have not gone unnoticed.

The spotlight now shines on a particular display of individual brilliance during Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash against RB Leipzig at the Bay Arena in August 2023.

In that game, Boniface executed a cunning feint, deceiving his marker into anticipating a right-footed shot, only to cleverly pass the ball with his left foot. Although he didn’t find the net, Leverkusen emerged victorious with a 3-2 scoreline.

Boniface shares the skills spotlight with four other notable players: Andrej Kramaric, Jadon Sancho, Felix Nmecha, and Xavi Simons.

To participate in the voting process, fans can visit the Bundesliga’s official website and select their choice among the nominated players.

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At the time of this report, Jadon Sancho leads the polls with an impressive 75% of the votes. Xavi Simons secures the second position with 17%, while Boniface currently holds 5%. Hoffenheim’s Kramaric and Dortmund’s Nmecha trail behind with 1% and 2% of the votes, respectively.

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