Pep Guardiola is reported to have locked his Manchester City players in the dressing room for 40 minutes following their defeat to Tottenham on Sunday, as their dwindling title defence took yet another blow.
City dominated for long spells at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and registered 18 shots to their hosts' three. After Sergio Aguero had spurned a number of good chances, however, a red card to Oleksandr Zinchenko turned the game on its head, and goals from debutant Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min left them ruing their earlier profligacy.
While the defeat itself was cause for concern, it's perhaps even more damning when you put it into context. It represented their sixth defeat in 25 Premier League games, and means they have now dropped 24 points with 13 games remaining - after dropping just 30 over their two previous seasons combined.
Their dramatic dip has coincided by a similarly notable improvement from Liverpool, who now sit 22 clear of City and within six wins of prying the title from their grasp. In summary, there was plenty for Guardiola to be unhappy about at the close of play on Sunday.
Guardiola’s not even done his press conference yet. That’s a hell of a talking to— Sam Lee (@SamLee) February 2, 2020
And various outlets, including Liverpool Echo, are reporting that the players were kept in the away dressing room for as many as 40 minutes following the defeat.
It's unclear exactly what was said in the extended post-match briefing, but while you might assume the players felt Guardiola's wrath, the manager himself insisted after the match that he 'wasn't angry'.
“I’m not angry," he said, as quoted by The Telegraph. "Normally I don't like it if we don't play good, if we don't run or we don't fight.
"Never when we lose do I stay away from my players because I know them. But we lost the game, so we talked about how to move forward and keep going.
"There’s a lot of months to play and try to do it.”
Liverpool have been urged by Darren Bent to consider selling Mohamed Salah if they are given the opportunity to sign either Kylian Mbappe or Jadon Sancho.
The Egyptian forward is Liverpool’s top scorer this season with 18 goals in all competitions, and looks certain to lead the club to their first-ever Premier League title in over 30 years – having played a big role in them winning the Champions League last term.
Salah has also scored three times in Liverpool’s last two matches but Bent believes that both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are more valuable to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Bent told talkSPORT: “Listen, we know he scores a lot of goals and he is a top, top player. Two Golden Boots, Player of the Season, Champions League winner, about to be a Premier League winner, the accolades are there.
“He may score more goals than Mane, but Mane’s work-rate for the team, he’s unselfish, always looks for others first, he’ll get his fair share of goals. So you can’t sell Mane, he’s so important.
“Firmino, we know he doesn’t score that many goals, but he’s the glue, he links it all together. His hold-up play is arguably one of the best in the league. He brings players in, holds on to the ball, he’s fantastic.”
The former England international then went on to state that Klopp should not think twice about selling Salah if he can bring in a worthy replacement, such as Mbappe or Sancho.
Bent added: “It’s not about selling him and getting £100million and that’s it, but if you can replace him with an Mbappe or someone like a Jadon Sancho, I think it’s worth thinking about.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool have put new contracts for Virgil Van Dijk and Alisson Becker to the top of their list of priorities, it is claimed.
The centre-back and goalkeeper have been instrumental in the Reds’ rise since joining in January and summer 2018 respectively, with Liverpool only losing once in the Premier League during the time they have been together at the club.
While Liverpool appear to have risen to a perch as the strongest club in the world, having won the Champions League and Club World Cup in 2019 and maintaining a huge lead in the Premier League this season, rumours surrounding interest in their top players has not gone away.
Recently, it was claimed that Italian giants Juventus were plotting a huge bid for Van Dijk as they looked to take advantage of the Dutchman’s apparent willingness for a new challenge in the later years of his career.
The Sun claim that the Serie A champions’ interest is real, and they would be willing to spend a club record £150m on the 28-year-old.
Two men threatened to "kill" Mesut Ozil when they confronted the Arsenal midfielder's security guards, a London court heard on Tuesday.
The alleged incident happened outside Ozil's north London home just weeks after the former World Cup winner was targeted by moped attackers while driving in the area.
Security guard Kemil Sezer told the court that he and a colleague had been protecting Ozil, who was inside the house at the time, for several weeks.
Salaman Ekinci and Ferhat Ercun deny behaving in a threatening or abusive manner outside the house.
Assisted by a Turkish interpreter, Sezer told the Magistrates Court he first saw two men on the evening of August 8 last year before they returned around three hours later when it was dark.
Sezer said the men told him: "We're going to come back in five minutes and if security don't go from here, we're going to kill Mesut Ozil and kill you'.
"We started chasing them ... we got angry because Mesut Ozil, about two to three weeks prior, was attacked and we feared that the same thing would happen."
Ozil, who played international football for Germany but is of Turkish heritage, did not appear at the hearing.
Ekinci and Ercun, both 27, were present.
Asked by prosecutor Sarah Gabay how he felt, Sezer said: "Stressed. Mesut Ozil is loved by the Turkish people.
"We have that responsibility on us to protect him."
The threats came around two weeks after Ozil and Arsenal team-mate Sead Kolasinac were ambushed by moped muggers who tried unsuccessfully to steal their £200,000 watches in an unrelated incident.
Gabay said the pair were detained by the guards, who also had protection dogs, after they returned for a third time shortly after midnight before police were called.
"In interview, both defendants denied using the language and said there had been no conversation between them and said they had been attacked by the security guards," she said.
By Babajide Awoyinfa
(Reuters/NAN) Novak Djokovic once again defeated his great rival Roger Federer at a Grand Slam on Thursday in a three straight sets of 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the Australian Open final and remain on course for a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park.
It was the 50th act of one of the greatest rivalries of the sport and the odds were heavily stacked against Federer as the Swiss had not beaten the Serb at a major since 2012 on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
Federers journey on the blue courts of Melbourne Park had been far from smooth as he was two points from losing against John Millman in the third round and then saved seven match points to get past American Tennys Sandgren in Tuesdays quarter-final.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, however, got out of the blocks briskly on a hot evening to wrest early initiative as Djokovic struggled with his service games.
Federer was up 4-1 and 40-0 on Djokovics serve, but the Serb managed to save all three breakpoints to win his first service game as his opponent made an array of unforced errors.
The Swiss, who had to take a lengthy medical timeout against Sandgren for a groin problem, was not keen on engaging Djokovic in rallies and hit an incredible 26 winners in the first set.
But the count of his errors also started creeping up as Djokovic regained control to get the set back on serve and then played and took the set with an imperious display in tiebreak.
Both players received medical attention at the end of the first set and it was once again Djokovic who raised his game up a notch to convert his fourth breakpoint chance with a forehand winner at the net to grab the second set.
Djokovic kept up the pressure on the 38-year-old Swiss in the third set and the crucial break came for him in the sixth game with a forehand groundstroke winner for a 4-2 lead.
The 32-year-old, winner of 16 Grand Slam titles, sealed his 27th win over Federer with his first match point when the Swiss found the net with a backhand for his 35th unforced error of the night.
In Sundays final, Djokovic will meet the winner of the other semi-final between Alexander Zverev of Germany and Austrian Dominic Thiem, who beat world number one Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals. (NAN)
The Fire House Church International Worship Centre, has threatened legal action against the Nation Newspaper over a report it published about an alleged miracle scam.
The report published on January 28 was titled: Drama As Man Dies In Coffin After Abuja Pastor Allegedly Paid N500,000 for Miracle Scam.
The publication had alleged that a trader who was paid N500,000 to pose as a dead man in a coffin to be brought back by an Abuja-based pastor, died before the miracle could be performed.
The man was reported by the newspaper to have passed on in the coffin before the General Overseer of the Church, located in Nyanya, Abuja, Bishop Emmanuel Esezobor could perform the alleged fake miracle.
However, Bishop Esezobor told newsmen in Abuja that the Church regarded the publication as defamatory and was going to sue the paper for damages.
He said that the report which earlier surfaced in 2016 was ignored by the church until recently when it was carried by the national newspaper and started trending.
He said that the report has caused he and his family members shame as well as caused him church members, adding that many people were beginning to lose faith in him.
He argued that there was no basis for the report to have been carried by the newspaper adding that it was totally false and that the identity of the said dead man could not be verified.
He further quoted the report as saying that the wife of the diseased got the police involved, the fake pastor was arrested, but got himself released through his influential friends; and was now back to performing strange miracles.
Esezobor said that the publication did not only link the alleged incident to his Church, but went further to mention his name as the alleged pastor, without verifying the report.
He stressed that there was no evidence to such claims: no picture of the casket or deceased trader, nor even his name.
The trader should also have a market union and fellow traders. From 2016 up till now there was no eye witness.
But, just on Jan. 28, the Nation Newspaper suddenly surfaced with the story and published the exact 2016 story on their online medium and which started trending.
Then the Church decided not to be quiet because it is defamation of character and feedimg wrong information to the public.
The Church and its legal department has taken it up to tell the Nation Newspaper that the story is false.
If I was arrested as alleged, to which police station or which Investigation Police officer (IPO), is handling the case?
I cannot travel, I cannot do anything because people are looking at me as someone who killed somebody, my family has lived with the pain, I have lost Church members. People no longer have faith in me, he said.
He said that he had called on the general public or anyone who has information about the alleged fake miracle to come up with facts and no one had come up since 2016.
An Analysis by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Some cancer patients will have only one treatment, while others will have a combination of treatments, such as surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, a procedure in which a surgeon removes the cancer from the body.
The different treatment options are Radiation Therapy, which involves the use of high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours, while chemotherapy is treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is another type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system to fight cancer, while targeted therapy focuses on changes in cancer cells that help them to grow, divide, and spread.
Hormone therapy is another treatment option that slows or stops the growth of breast and prostate cancers that use hormones to grow, while stem cell transplant is a procedure that restores blood-forming stem cells in cancer patients who have had theirs destroyed by very high doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
However, there is also precision medicine which helps doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on genetic understanding of the disease, including how genetic changes in a persons cancer are identified and used to select treatment option.
Even though there are different treatment options, the issue of decaying, obsolete, unserviceable and in some cases the lack of equipment and drugs in hospitals and clinics across the country, as well as the cost force many patients to seek for help from other sources or remain helpless.
The issue of availability, accessibility and cost of treatment are essential for the functioning of any health facility offering cancer treatment toward providing quality healthcare for patients
This is because to attend to any patient, a doctor requires basic equipment to diagnose the ailment before prescribing medication, or treatment option.
Dr Abdulrazzaq Oyesegun, an Oncologist and Clinical Consultant, Oncology, National Hospital, Abuja (NHA) told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said NHA has up-to-date equipment for cancer treatment and management, and advised anyone who noticed any unusual growth or lump to go to hospital for early detection and prompt treatment.
According to him, Federal Government is trying to provide up-to-date cancer facilities across the country.
He said we have up-to-date cancer equipment in Abuja and Lagos, the plan is for same thing to be extended to all zones in the country.
He explained that all cancer equipment in the hospital were functioning, noting thatthe availability made it possible for many people not to travel abroad for treatment.
According to him, some insurance companies are now supporting the treatment of cancer, and wants Nigerians to seize the opportunity.
He said that the only challenge was the lack of manpower, as many doctors leave the country in search of better opportunities elsewhere.
For five years now, we have been in partnership with the American and Chilean team of medical doctors from Moses Lake Foundation in America.
patients have started accessing it and are being treated successfully.
Isamotu told NAN that the state government recently receivedsome equipment from Germany and Canada, which he said had so far improved the health management system in the state.
NAN reports that there are three tertiary health institutions in the statethe Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti(FETHI) and the Afe Babalola University Multi- System Hospital, Aso Ekiti, (ABUADTH).
Some patients, who spoke to NAN in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, however lamented the dearth of medical equipment in hospitals across the state.One of the patients, Mrs Dupe Aina, said most times, the medical facilities were not enough to take care of sick patients.
It should be a referral health facility, which should be from private to teaching hospital because teaching hospital itself is a tertiary health facility, he said.
Ossai explained that the centres would be equipped with MRI machines, mammographic machines and other health facilities that would help in proper healthcare delivery services in the state.
The medical director said that the installation and test run of the equipment as well as training of personnel to man the facility were at their final stages.
Cancer, which is a debilitating disease, needs all efforts to tackle, as all hand must be on deck to stem its spread. (NANFeatures)
By Ikenna Osuoha
Mr Abdulkadiri Ibrahim, President, Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) on Monday reiterated that HIV/AIDS had no known cure in sight.
Ibrahim told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was wrong for some religious bodies, herbalists and spiritualists to deceive people with lies of cure.
He urged the people living with HIV/AIDS to disregard such claims which were utterly based on falsehood.
AIDS has no cure, anybody telling you to the contrary is just lie, Ibrahim said.
The president cautioned against carelessness and risky behaviors, adding that only regular intake of Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) in compliance medical prescription was key to achieving viral load.
According to him, as long as one continues to take his or her drugs timely, there is tendency that he or she will live a healthy and longer life.
Ibrahim, however, called for more awareness creation and sensitization on facts and management of HIV/AIDS, which he said was the way forward.
He commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) over the campaign against the scourge, stressing that effective collaboration among stakeholders was imperative to achieve a HIV free society. (NAN)
By Oluwafunke Ishola
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that eating garlic and regularly rinsing nose with saline solution will not guard against coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV).
Information obtained from WHOs website on Monday dispelled various myths and rumours surrounding the 2019-nCoV that could potentially harm the publics health.
WHO refuted some of the myths and rumours, noting that garlic was a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties.
However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from 2019-nCoV, it said.
Also, it noted that there was no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline solution has protected people from the coronavirus infection.
Also, it said that eating or putting on sesame oil does not block the 2019-nC0V from entering the body, adding that sesame oil does not kill coronavirus.
There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the infection on surface. These include bleach, chlorine based disinfectants, solvents, 75 per cent ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform.
However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin, it said.
The organisation stressed that there was no evidence that gargling mouthwash can protect people from 2019-nCoV infection.
Some brands of mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection, the world health body said.
WHO also noted that it was safe to receive packages from China, adding that such people were not at risk of contracting coronavirus through the package.
From previous analysis, we know that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as objects or packages, it said.
Also, it said that vaccines against pneumonia such as Pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine,does not provide protection against the new virus.
The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV and WHO is supporting the efforts.
These vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV. Vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health, the health organisation said.
It advised countries to prepare to communicate rapidly, regularly and transparently with their citizens.
WHO also urged countries to prepare existing public health communication networks, media and community engagement staff to be ready for a possible case and for the appropriate response if it happens.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan City, China, on Dec. 31, 2019.
According to the WHO, as of Feb.2, 2019-nCoV has been confirmed in 23 other countries, with 14,557 cases globally, 14,411 of the confirmed cases were in China.
The 2019-nCoV has resulted in 305 deaths, 304 in China, and the first reported case outside China, was in the Philippines. (NAN)
By Anita Eboigbe
Film is an interesting business and like all other businesses, it has consumers to serve all year long. It is true that there are seasons where the sales skyrockets and also times when the sales ebb low. Still, good businesses stay profitable because they figure out what to serve, when and to whom.
This last part is a disentangling process that Nollywood is yet to get a hang of and it shows in the cold way it is approaching the February audience. Some brands make a lot out of the romance/love crowd at this time of the year and the industry can tap into this.
Traditionally, the month of February is called a dump month in Hollywood parlance because this is when the studios put little efforts into releasing films and most times release films that they either do not expect to do well or are not thrilled to be contractually bound to.
So, except for a few romantic comedies and not-so-serious films, the month is empty. Typically, films that spill over from the holiday periods are left in the box office. Consumers, over time, have mirrored this schedule and thus know not to show up except that one time for a valentine movie date.
Needless to say, apart from economic reasons, the only other reason why the cinemas rake in low funds during this periods is that fans know not to expect real, quality films. To further understand this, it is important to look at the times studios took advantage of dump months and the results.
The most recent and thrilling case is Black Panther. At first, critics were unsettled about the decision to release the iconic movie in the middle of a dump month. The marketing played to every important emotional nerve in the minds of the audience and broke several records.
The success of the film, especially the timing of its release, holds lessons for Nollywood. First, it showed that the Nigerian film audience could stretch in number. By March, a little over four weeks, the film had made over 600 million naira in revenue. There was an audience and they paid that much in dump months to see the movie.
That figure is more than Nollywood raked in during the 2019 festive screenings where film is expected to sell over the roof. True, Nollywood does not have Black Panthers marketing budget but it knows now not to hide under the cloak excuse that audiences will not show up.
In that same 2018, something interesting happened and this was more close to home. EbonyLife Films released Royal Hibiscus Hotel and despite the strong marketing competition from Black Panther, it made over 59 million naira. A bulk of these earnings came from the valentine audience as the film was released on Feb. 10, 2018 making a lot before Black Panther takeover on Feb. 18.
It is important to understand the context under which Royal Hibiscus Hotel made what some people now would call a meagre 50 million Naira.
It is interesting how in the chase for the 200 million naira mark, Nollywood forgets to curate its audience all year long with good small budget films. Hollywood understands this and the movie release schedule reflects this.
By 2019, there was no serious contender at the box office for this period and Nollywood failed to use the advantage. It was a pure advantage.
Foreign studios typically release the year-long movie schedule and marketing efforts are clear to see which the studios are taking serious or not. What happens if Nollywood works with this in mind and wins over the audience with great movies?
Doing this will inevitably increase the patronage in the high performing months and profit margins too. That is, the heavy marketing, for the industry and particular holiday films, would have been spread across months of great cinema releases that build trust for the big seasons.
Backtracking to 2019, the coast was free of serious contenders, save for Alita the Battle Angel which took the audience because it was more available to watch.
As at February 14, Nollywood had 11 movies in the cinema. Only one of the new movies was manageable to watch. Seven of them were like school film projects and the other three were holiday releases that were dying down.
The holiday films were Chief Daddy, King of Boys and Up North which were in their tenth, seventeenth and eighth week respectively. The manageable film was Let Karma which earned just over seven million naira in four weeks. It will round up to over eight million at the end of its box office run but that was the end.
Apart from the fact that the films released in that period were not up to standards, at least 90 percent of the audience did not know that they were being released. The marketing efforts were next to zero. Why bother then?
February and the spill over to March is a good window for Nollywood. Black Panther, Get Out and others have shown that the audiences will come out if they are given good reasons to.
This is not the time for the industry to follow the schedules of its foreign counterparts, rather it is a moment to analyse and create industry-based schedules that work.
To do this, it is important to note that the movie might or might not be big budget. At least, one moderately budgeted film should do. It should be given the same support holiday films are given.
At the base, a good story is important. This is followed by excellent production and topped off with quality marketing. It is foolhardy to release a film you are not ready to tell the world about or are not equipped to tell it to them the right way.
Worthy of mention is that Dear Affy will premiere on Feb. 14. It is a romantic comedy and this is otherwise a smart move. But there is a problem. The marketing is non-existent as even industry stakeholders have little to no idea about the film. It seems like another flop waiting to happen except something is done fast.
There is still a two weeks period for magic to be orchestrated somehow otherwise it will tank. Looking at the numbers, if Dear Affy has a great story and is done right, marketing could make the film rake in some of the biggest numbers in Nollywood box office history. Respect is reciprocal and the February audience is whispering this to Nollywood. (NAN)