Ammon News, Sports

Super Salah hits four as Liverpool crush Watford

[3/17/2018 3:03:54 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Mohamed Salah struck four times in rampant Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford that lifted them back into third spot in the Premier League on Saturday. The unstoppable Egyptian needed only four minutes to put his side in front and he doubled his tally just before halftime. He set up Roberto Firmino for a cheeky effort early in the second half before placing a shot through a crowd of Watford defenders to complete his first Liverpool hat-trick. There was no respite for Watford at a snowy Anfield as Salah smashed in his fourth goal in the 85th minute. Salah’s majestic display moved him four goals clear of Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot with 28 and his 36 in all competitions is the most by a Liverpool player in a debut season for the club. *Reuters

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FIFA lifts 15 year ban on Iraqi football

[3/17/2018 5:41:48 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The International Football Federation FIFA has lifted a long running ban on Iraq hoisting international games in the war ravaged country. FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on Friday the decision to allow Iraq to host international matches in three cities, ending a ban that lasted since 2003. “We have decided today that three cities where we tested conditions for friendly matches for a year, Erbil, Basra and Karbala, were secure and adequate," Infantino said. The Iraqi team played against Saudi Arabia recently at the Basra International Stadium as part of an initiative to support lifting the ban on Iraqi football by the General Authority for Sport in Saudi Arabia. *Al Arabiya

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Real Madrid’s Ramos urges solidarity with the children of Syria

[3/17/2018 5:40:46 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has posted a video on his Twitter account in solidarity with the children of Syria after recent events in eastern Ghouta. "Seven years of suffering, no more murders, no more recruitment, no more attacks on schools and hospitals, children need to realize their dreams," Ramos tweeted in Spanish. Ramos’ tweet comes a day after his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo recently tweeted a video in support of the children of eastern Ghouta. The video was created by the charity organization, Save the Children, which was founded in 1919 and works on helping children around the world. *Al Arabiya

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Messi majestic as Barcelona crush Chelsea

[3/15/2018 7:40:26 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Lionel Messi scored two brilliant goals and created another for Ousmane Dembele as Barcelona thrashed Chelsea 3-0 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate. Messi opened the scoring after two minutes and eight seconds, the quickest goal of his career, slipping the ball through Thibaut Courtois’ legs from a tight angle. The Argentine forward created the second with a blistering run from the halfway line which left three Chelsea defenders stumbling in his wake, before squaring the ball for Ousmane Dembele to rifle home his first goal for the club. Marcos Alonso hit the post and Olivier Giroud was unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty for a tangle with Gerard Pique as Chelsea tried to launch a comeback, before Messi killed the tie with his 100th Champions League goal. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said his side needed a perfect display to progress but they started disastrously at a packed Nou Camp when Luis Suarez teed up Messi, who squeezed a low strike through the legs of Courtois from a tight angle. Chelsea responded well with Giroud and Willian, who scored in the 1-1 first-leg draw at Stamford Bridge, particularly bright in attack. But a mistake from Cesc Fabregas on the halfway line allowed Messi to break in again after 20 minutes and the number 10 left the Chelsea backline in tatters to set up the second goal, expertly finished by Dembele. The English side, now needing two goals, nearly got one before halftime. N’Golo Kante dragged a shot inches wide and Marcos Alonso crashed a free kick off the post. It was the third time across the two legs that Chelsea hit the woodwork and Antonio Rudiger did it again in the closing stages. Giroud appeared to be brought down by Pique in the area but referee Damir Skomina did not bow to Chelsea’s protests for a penalty, before Messi drove at the defence again and slotted home Barcelona’s third in the 62nd minute, shooting low between Courtois’ legs for the second time. *Reuters

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Manchester United’s European exit ‘nothing new’ for Mourinho

[3/14/2018 2:58:32 PM]

AMMONNEWS -Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has risked angering the club’s supporters by saying that Tuesday’s tame Champions League exit was “nothing new” for the club as he pointed to his past success against them. United suffered a shock exit in the last 16 with a 2-1 defeat by Sevilla after substitute Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice at Old Trafford. The Spaniards sealed a 2-1 aggregate victory having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Spain. Failed to progress Speaking after the match, Mourinho said United had failed to progress despite giving their best then proceeded to talk about his victories over his current club when he managed Porto in 2004 and Real Madrid five years ago. “I sat in this chair twice in the Champions League after knocking out Manchester United (in the last 16) at home, at Old Trafford,” Mourinho said. “In this chair with Porto and Real Madrid, they are out both times. It is not something new for the club... I don’t want to make a drama out of it, we don’t have time for that,” the Portuguese manager added. With their campaign in Europe’s elite club competition cut short, United will turn their attention to the FA Cup, a competition in which they host Brighton and Hove Albion in the quarter-finals on Saturday. “We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours. That’s football, it’s not the end of the world,” Mourinho said. *Reuters

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Cristiano Ronaldo tweets in support of besieged Ghouta children

[3/14/2018 6:59:07 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo recently tweeted a video in support of the children of eastern Ghouta. The video was created by the charity organization, Save the Children, which was founded in 1919 and works on helping children around the world. In his tweet, Ronaldo wrote: “be strong. Have faith. Never give up.” This is not the first time that the football star has teamed up with the organization to help children in Syria. In 2016, he tweeted a video to support them, and Save the Children announced that he had made a “generous donation”. *Al Arabiya

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Iniesta’s return key for Barcelona against Chelsea

[3/13/2018 3:49:58 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Andres Iniesta has a knack for great performances against Chelsea. His injury-time goal in the semifinals of the 2009 Champions League remains one of the most important of his career. And he also scored against the English club in the 2012 semifinals, even though Barcelona was eliminated that time. In the first leg of this year’s encounter between the two teams, it was Iniesta who set up Lionel Messi’s important away goal in a 1-1 result that gave the Spanish club an edge going into Wednesday’s return match at Camp Nou Stadium. It’s unclear, though, if Iniesta will get a chance to thrive against Chelsea again on Wednesday. The midfielder is nursing a hamstring injury in his right leg and is listed as doubtful for the second leg. The 33-year-old Iniesta had to be replaced in the first half of Barcelona’s Spanish league match against Atletico Madrid on March 4. He grabbed his right thigh before going down and requesting medical attention in the 22nd minute at Camp Nou. He returned to the match but lasted only about 10 minutes before being substituted. Iniesta was expected to be out for at least two weeks but appeared to be recovering ahead of schedule. He practiced with the rest of his teammates Monday for the first time since the injury, finishing the session without any problems. He also was on the pitch during the team’s final practice on Tuesday. “It’s a huge game, and you need to be 100 percent ready to play in games like these,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said Tuesday. “We will see how he does in the last training session and then we will make a decision. “Of course, when it comes to an elimination match, the player is more inclined to take risks,” Valverde said. “But you have to weigh how big is this risk.” Chelsea coach Antonio Conte said it would be good for football if Iniesta got to play. “We are talking about a great player. There are many great players, with great talent, but he is a football genius,” Conte said. “I don’t know if he will play, but in games like these it is right that you face the best players, so I hope he doesn’t miss out.” Iniesta’s importance for Barcelona goes beyond his past heroics against Chelsea. The team’s captain, Iniesta has been crucial for the Catalan club recently as the team’s other midfielders have struggled. “We all know what Andres adds to the team, both on the field and as the captain,” Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said. “You give him the ball and he always knows what to do with it. He always brings something positive. We have one last training and we hope that he will be fit. He will have the last word.” Picking substitute If Iniesta can’t play Wednesday, Valverde won’t have an easy time picking his substitute. Andre Gomes, who replaced Iniesta when he had to leave the match against Atletico, has been constantly jeered by part of Barcelona fans because of his lackluster performances. Paulinho started the season well but hasn’t played at the same level recently, and Denis Suarez is out injured. Philippe Coutinho could have been a viable option but he is ineligible after having already played in this season’s Champions League with Liverpool before being signed by Barcelona. “We don’t have anyone similar, because Iniesta is unique, but there are players who can play in a similar function, like Denis, Coutinho, Gomes ...,” Valverde said. “We have several options, we’ll see.” Valverde could even consider drastically changing the team’s tactical scheme by replacing Iniesta with Ousmane Dembele, who played well in the team’s 2-0 win at Malaga in the Spanish league on Saturday. It would be a much more aggressive set up, adding another forward to play alongside Messi and Luis Suarez. Messi, who is having another stellar season, is certain to return to the squad after missing the Malaga match because of the birth of his third son, Ciro. Messi scored the equalizer in the first leg after Iniesta smartly recovered a ball in attack and avoided a defender’s tackle before making a soft pass to the Argentina playmaker inside the area. In 2009, it was Messi who rolled the ball for Iniesta’s strike from outside the area in the third minute of injury time at Stamford Bridge, silencing the Chelsea crowd and putting Barcelona on track to winning another Champions League title. Iniesta was optimistic he would get another chance to thrive like that against the English club. “Getting closer,” he said, “day after day.” *AP

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