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PSG’s front three of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar fail to shine on their first start together as Club Bruges earn a well-deserved point

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Lionel Messi failed to provide Paris St-Germain with any sparkle as the Ligue 1 team’s potent attacking trio lacked inspiration in a disappointing 1-1 draw at Club Bruges in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.

Making his first start for the French team, the Argentine forward hit the woodwork but was otherwise far from his brilliant best alongside the hugely disappointing Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who set up Ander Herrera for PSG’s first-half opener before being replaced injured after the break.

Brugge, who levelled before halftime through Hans Vanaken, were more aggressive and had the best chances against a PSG side lacking quality and defensive focus.

The result left PSG and Brugge trailing Group A leaders Manchester City by two points after the Premier League champions crushed RB Leipzig 6-3.

‘We didn’t play a fantastic game but to be fair we did enough to win, we deserved to win,’ said Herrera.

‘Maybe they had opportunities at the beginning of the second half but I think we controlled the match, we had a lot of chances.

Brugge keeper Simon Mignolet disagreed.

‘I didn’t have a lot of work, I just pulled a couple of saves. We played as a compact side, it was the right approach,’ the Belgian said.

With Messi, Neymar and Mbappe together on the pitch for the first time, PSG made a confident start but Brugge responded well.

Mbappe broke down the left flank and his low cross was met by Herrera, who opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a low finish for his fourth goal of the season – his third in his last two games.

Messi set up Mbappe, who went close in the 23rd minute with an angled shot that was deflected by Mignolet but PSG were lulled into a false sense of security.

On a sharp attack, the visitors’ defence was overwhelmed on the right side and after a late run into the box, Vanaken connected with Eduard Sobol’s cutback to beat Keylor Navas after 27 minutes.

Messi hit the woodwork with a fine curling shot from the edge of the box before Brugge threatened again as Vanaken forced Navas into a diving save with a low free kick.

The keeper was made to work again to tip Charles De Ketelaere’s rising shot over the bar before halftime.

Danilo replaced Leandro Paredes as PSG’s holding midfielder while Julian Draxler took over from Georginio Wijnaldum as roving midfielder after the break.

PSG suffered a blow six minutes into the second half when Mbappe limped off the pitch after taking a knock on his ankle and was substituted by Mauro Icardi.

Messi had PSG’s first chance of the second half 20 minutes from time with an angled shot before picking up a yellow card, but Brugge did more than enough to claim a well-deserved point. 

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PHOTOS: Fani-Kayode dines at residence of another Buhari’s Minister

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Since Thursday when his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) was made public, Femi Fan-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, has been under fire.

From Social media to traditional media, the former critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party, has been lampooned.

But FFK has waved critics aside, sharing pictures of his visit to the residences of key APC figures.

On Saturday, he released pictures of his visit to Ali Isa Pantami, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, whom he had labelled a terrorist and asked Buhari to sack a few months ago.

While the dust raised by the post is yet to settle, Fani-Kayode released fresh pictures of his visit to the residence of George Akume, Minister of Special Duties.

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Armed gang invade Lagos streets, injure many, loot shops

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Mushin area of Lagos State was yesterday, thrown into commotion as some armed gang invaded some streets, inflicting injuries on residents and destroying property worth millions of naira.

It was gathered one person died in the mayhem that forced churches within the affected communities to close for fear of being attacked.

Information had it that a notorious armed robber was arrested sometime by the police and was transferred to Abuja. But his release was allegedly facilitated by some big shots he worked for.

After his release, his loyalists from the Idi-Araba area of the state reportedly invaded some areas of Mushin to attack some persons whom they accused of being the cause of his arrest. The areas affected were Alafia, Daniel and Morgan.

A resident, who simply gave his name as Mitchy, explained that “the fight has been going on since midnight (Saturday)and the perpetrators came from Idi-Araba. This has been happening for almost six months. But last night and today’s(Sunday) were the most violent.

“Surprisingly, the armed thugs were teenagers between 16 and 19 years. They looted people’s shops and carted away goods. They were armed with machetes, guns and bottles.

“Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Alafia junction and Christ Gospel Apostolic Church on Da-Silva street could not conduct Sunday service.”

It was gathered teams of policemen from the Tactical Unit of the Lagos State Police Command were ordered by the Commissioner of Police, CP Odumosu to contain the situation.

When contacted, the command spokesman, CSP Ade Ajisebutu, said 15 suspects had been arrested in connection with the clash. He said axes, cutlasses and expended cartridges were recovered in the process.

According to Ajisebutu, “Normalcy has returned to the area. CP Odumosu has assured residents to go about their lawful businesses. At the end of an investigation, the suspects will be charged to court.”

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Ondo Govt seals off Shoprite, popular market

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The Ondo State Government has sealed off Shoprite and the neighborhood market in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The popular facilities were sealed on Monday by the Ondo State Waste Management Authority, ODSWMA, over what was described as unsanitary and unhygienic practices.

A few days ago, the agency had taken similar action against five notable buildings in the state for flouting the environmental laws of the state.

Shoprite, which is located on Igbatoro road in Akure and the Neighborhood market at NEPA axis of the State capital, were accused of ignoring a series of warnings from the agency.

The General Manager of the Authority Mrs Ayo Adeyemo, who disclosed this, said the owners of the affected facilities violated environmental laws and failed to comply with the laid down hygienic practices.

Adeyemo, who maintained that further sanctions would be taken, warned that anyone found culpable will not be spared

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