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Christian Atsu fires warning at Liverpool ahead of Newcastle clash

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Christian Atsu fires warning at Liverpool ahead of Newcastle clash

Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu has fired a warning shot to Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s clash at the St James’ Park.

The Magpies, who retained their league status with a 3-1 win over Southampton a fortnight ago, will welcome Liverpool to the St James Park.

The following day, title rivals Manchester City will entertain in-form Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium as the league reaches its climax.

Both Liverpool and Manchester City are expected to face tougher tests in their respective fixtures but following the Reds slim hopes of progressing to the finals of the UEFA Champions League after their 3-0 thumping at Barcelona in midweek, many believe manager Jurgen Klopp will turn his focus on winning the league by beating Newcastle on Saturday.

However, Atsu has fired a word of caution to the Merseysiders saying they are ready to improve their position on the standings hence their opponents should not expect any favours.

“Well if Liverpool think we are just going to roll over for them to ride on then they are not ready to win the league,” Atsu, 27, told Rahman Osman of Mirror Sport.

“We might be safe but we want to finish the season on a high and, if anybody knows how the manager works, we will prepare for this game like we have prepared for all games this season – with the sole purpose of winning it.”

“We are in a good moment and we want to see it out very well.”

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

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Kwesi Appiah scores as AFC Wimbledon lose to Fleetwood

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Kwesi Appiah scores as AFC Wimbledon lose to Fleetwood

Ghana forward Kwesi Appiah was on target for AFC Wimbledon as they narrowly lost to Fleetwood Town in the English League 1 on Saturday.

The 27-year old scored his first of the season after putting the Dons in the lead on 26 minutes.

Wimbledon had to put in a resilient performance to hold their lead in the first half at the Highbury Stadium.

However, Paddy Madden pulled the level for Fleetwood after 56 minutes.

The home side then took the lead a little over the hour mark through Josh Morris.

Appiah lasted the entire duration but the Dons could not salvage a point despite a good end to the game.

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

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Thomas Partey happy to play first preseason game as Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-1

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Thomas Partey happy to play first preseason game as Atletico Madrid beat Juventus 2-1

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey is happy to have played his first preseason game which ended in a win against Italian giants Juventus at the Friends Arena in Sweden.

Atletico defeated Juventus by 2-1 in the International Champions Cup played on Saturday.

Record signing Joao Felix got the two goals for the Madrid club while Khedira pulled one back for the Italian Champions.

The Ghanaian International who missed Atletico Madrid’s tour to the USA due to his involvement with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations made his debut for the club ahead of the new season as he came off the bench in the second half.

Partey had a decent game and helped his side to secure the win.

“Great team performance, happy for my first minutes to prepare for the season ahead”, Partey indicated on his page.

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

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CAF Champions League: Kano Pillars 3-2 Asante Kotoko – Rabiu Ali inspires comeback

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CAF Champions League: Kano Pillars 3-2 Asante Kotoko - Rabiu Ali inspires comeback

Captain Rabiu Ali scored with an overhead kick as Kano Pillars came from behind to beat Asante Kotoko 3-2 in the first leg Caf Champions League preliminary round clash at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on Saturday.

Sai Masu Gida opened the scoring 11 minutes into the game through Rahaqqu Adam and held on to a 1-0 advantage until half-time.

However, the Porcupines came strong in the second half as goals from Justice Blay and then Godfred Asiamah looked like they were going to steal a famous 2-1 win in Nigeria.

Pillars are aware they still have a huge task ahead of them as they head for the second leg in Kumasi in a fortnight, having conceded two goals at home in Saturday’s thrilling encounter.

With four of his regular players not registered for this preliminary round, coach Ibrahim Musa expectedly tweaked his usual attacking set-up.

Nwagua Nyima was paired up front with Rahaqqu with captain Ali behind the two strikers.

Coach Kjetil Zachariassen also named a strong starting line-up for Kotoko having promised a solid away performance.

Justice Blay, Samuel Frimpong, Emmanuel Gyamfi and George Abege were all handed starting roles by the manager.

Pillars were dominant in the early exchanges and after a series of attacking pressure on the Kotoko defence, they got the opening goal in the 11th minute through Rahaqqu who hit a low shot from inside the box.

Despite the early opening goal, Pillars were unable to increase their advantage as they failed to utilise the other chances they created until half time.

Those missed chances by Pillars in the first half proved costly as the Porcupines came out smoking in the second half and ten minutes after the restart, the visitors got a deserved equaliser.

Blay, who had been threatening all day, kept his head down to produce a low header beyond the helpless Kano Pillars goalkeeper Suraj Ayeleso to restore parity for his team.

While Pillars tried to get back in front as fast as they could, they committed some needless fouls and they were punished in the 67th minute for one of their rash challenges.

Asiamah won a free-kick after he was illegally halted in his run towards the penalty box.

The winger dusted himself for the resulting kick and hit it straight into the net to give Kotoko a shock 2-1 lead.

From then it was Pillars all the way as their vociferous fans cheered them on and captain Ali came to the rescue with his 70th-minute bicycle kick before Gambo sealed victory with another goal moments after.

Despite Saturday’s win, Pillars are still walking a tightrope in their quest to progress to the next stage as they would be faced with a stern test in the second leg in Kumasi in a fortnight.

The winners after the two-legged tie between Pillars and Kotoko are billed to face Hafia FC of Guinea or Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel in the next stage.

Source: Goal.com

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