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Bayern Munich expose Barcelona’s shortcomings without Lionel Messi

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The standout encounter of the opening night of Champions League action saw Barcelona host Bayern Munich in a clash between two of European football’s heavyweight clubs.

The clash came just 13 months after the last meeting between the two sides, when Bayern humiliated the Catalan giants with an 8-2 victory at the quarter-final stage of the competition.

Despite significant upheaval at Barca in the time since, six of those starters from that defeat were in Ronald Koeman’s XI for tonight’s match at the Camp Nou.

Tuesday night saw another comfortable win for the German champions – although not by the same six-goal margin – to show that the chasm between the clubs is as great as ever.

Ronald Koeman’s team were rolled over by Bayern Munich 3-0 but worse than the result was the performance. They defended deep, they were swamped in midfield and posed almost no threat in attack.

It’s hard not to have some sympathy for Koeman. Barça lost 8-2 to Bayern two years ago and since then they have allowed Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann to leave. He has a far weaker squad than his predecessors and last night he had to turn to 17-year-old Gavi and 18-year-old Yusuf Demir after Bayern’s second goal went in.

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SPORTS

PHOTOS: Buhari receives no. 10 Jersey as FIFA President, Gianni Infantino visits Aso Rock

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the FIFA President, Mr Gianni Infantino, and CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe in State House, Abuja.

During the courtesy visit, the FIFA president presented a number 10 jersey and a football to President Buhari.

The No. 10 jersey is regarded as an iconic number in football and is usually worn by players believed to be skillful and have a great impact on a team.

According to a Facebook post by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare was also in attendance during the presentation.

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FIFA Rankings: Nigeria maintain position as Belgium, Brazil, England occupy top 10 [Full list]

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles maintained 34th position in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola world ranking that was released on Thursday.

The ranking was published on the world football governing body’s official website.

In Africa, Nigeria maintains its number five position.

Senegal is Africa’s highest-ranked team as they are in 20th place, Tunisia are in 25th, while Algeria are 30th and Morocco in 33rd position.

Guinea-Bissau moved up as they climbed to 105th, while Egypt and Sudan, dropped to 48th and 127th spots respectively.

Liberia rose to 144th, Cape Verde remained at 77th and the Central African Republic dropped to 124th.

Meanwhile, the top ten countries in the world are Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Denmark.

The next FIFA world ranking will be released on 21 October, 2021

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Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan: Jordan Henderson’s stunner seals comeback win

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Liverpool opened their Champions League campaign with an instant classic as Jordan Henderson’s stunning strike secured three points against AC Milan.

It was a memorable night at Anfield as the Reds sealed a 3-2 comeback victory over the Italians.

Trent Alexander-Arnold helped fire the Reds in front as his deflected effort, which went down as a Fikayo Tomori own goal, gave them a well-deserved lead.

But after Mohamed Salah failed to convert a spot-kick to double their advantage, the Serie A side were somehow in the lead at halftime after a quickfire double from Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz.

Salah then redeemed himself by bringing the hosts level just after the break, before Henderson’s screamer put the Reds back on top to seal the win.

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