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Ter Stegen propels Barcelona to Super Cup Finals

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Ter Stegen propels Barcelona to Super Cup Finals

Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s heroics ensured Barcelona edged past Real Sociedad on penalties on Wednesday to reach the Spanish Super Cup final, without the injured Lionel Messi.

Messi was watching on as Ter Stegen did his best to fill the void in Cordoba, the goalkeeper immense both in the shoot-out and during normal time, which had finished 1-1.

Frenkie de Jong’s header was cancelled out by a penalty from Mikel Oyarzabal, who then missed in the shoot-out, one of two crucial saves made by Ter Stegen before 21-year-old Riqui Puig hit the winning shot.

“I wasn’t down to take one but we needed one more taker and I stepped forward,” said Puig.

Barca advance to meet either Real Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in the final on Sunday, when Messi is expected to be available again, although coach Ronald Koeman was cautious at full-time.

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“We have to wait,” he said.

Koeman’s team have a mountain to climb in La Liga’s title race but they are improving, now nine games unbeaten and with a trophy in their grasp.

This is the second year of the Spanish Super Cup’s new format, which has four teams playing each other in a semi-final and final.

Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad joined after reaching the final of last season’s Copa del Rey, which is still to be played, while Barcelona finished runners-up to Madrid in La Liga.

Yet while last season’s version controversially took place in Saudi Arabia, the pandemic means this year’s semis are in Cordoba and Malaga, with the final to be played in Seville.

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Barca were the better side in the first half but had Ter Stegen to thank for not conceding early as Alexander Isak sped into the area only to see his chipped finish saved by the goalkeeper.

It was De Jong’s dash to the near post that brought the first goal, an Antoine Griezmann cross hanging just long enough for the midfielder to get there first and direct a superb header in.

Yet De Jong gave Real Sociedad a way back just after half-time, the ball striking him on the hand and allowing Oyarzabal to equalise from the spot.

Barca nearly pulled ahead instantly as De Jong swivelled in the box, only to take an unnecessary extra touch. Ousmane Dembele fired just wide and Trincao, on as a substitute, also had a chance to win it before the 90 minutes were up.

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Zaldua unleashed in extra time but Ter Stegen tipped over. Dembele’s finish was saved too while Adnan Januzaj poked wide at the end of a brilliant run and then hit the post with a free-kick.

Into the shoot-out, and Jon Bautista’s first attempt was parried away by Ter Stegen, only for De Jong to hit the post.

But Oyarzabal, who had scored earlier from the spot, this time missed, Ter Stegen guessing right again. Dembele scored before Willian Jose struck the post. Miralem Pjanic tucked in and so did Mikel Merino under pressure.

Griezmann could have won it but ballooned over before Januzaj converted for 2-2, which left it up to Puig to win it for Barca, the youngster slamming home for a spot in the final.

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Smackdown Friday results 15th Jan 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Smackdown Friday results 15th Jan 2021

Here are the results for WWE smackdown

Jey Uso vs. Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown

Back on SmackDown, the match was underway and Uso had the upper hand early as he wailed on Nakamura in the corner before hitting a slam for a near fall. Nakamura locked in a chin lock and sent him into the corner with some kicks before Cesaro made his way to the ring. (Smackdown Friday results)

Nakamura drove Uso into the ring post and after a short break, Cesaro was on commentary and Uso resumed control of the match. Cesaro announced his Royal Rumble entry and said that he planned to eliminate Daniel Bryan.

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Nakamura came back in with a knee strike and took back control before taking a boot to the face. Uso hit a Samoan Drop for a near fall and then another with a neck breaker.

Shinsuke set up for the Kinshasa but Uso countered with a superkick. Uso went for a dirty pin but the referee caught him and broke the count. Shinsuke rolled Uso up and then hit the Kinshasa as he was arguing with the ref and picked up the win on SmackDown.

Result: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jey Uso (Smackdown Friday results)

Liv Morgan vs. Natalya on SmackDown

Billie Kay was now an unofficial member of the Riott Squad and came out with them before joining the commentary team.

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Natalya started off strong and taunted Liv before Morgan came back with some kicks in the corner but was driven into the turnbuckles. Natalya was about to get the pin but Morgan managed to roll her up.

Tamina was at ringside on SmackDown and Billie joined her before being chased into the ring. The distraction caused Natalya to pick up the win on Morgan with a roll-up.

Result: Natalya def. Liv Morgan

Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn on SmackDown

 

After an altercation on SmackDown with the referee, Zayn got the exploded suplex in the corner but Apollo caught him with a rollup and a handful of tights to get the pin.

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Result: Apollo Crews def. Sami Zayn (Smackdown Friday results)

 

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“I’m The Happiest Man On Earth, I Fulfilled My Dream” – Footballer, Odion Ighalo

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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The Nigerian and Manchester United Striker Odion Ighalo says he is the happiest person in the world and has also fulfilled his dream of playing for Manchester United.

Odion Ighalo has not featured for the club since this year, and he is also open to join America football league, the MLS and hinted on joining  David Beckham’s Inter Miami.

Ighalo told ESPN “It was a good one and a tough one, before I came to United I never thought I would play”.

“I’m a Reds fan.

If you ask anybody where I grew up, we fight because of Manchester United. We quarrel and argue. So when my team didn’t do well they would start to insult and argue with me and I cried. I can tell you I’m the happiest man on earth for my dream to come true, I fulfilled my dream.

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“I remember the night my agent called me to tell me Manchester United wanted me, it was 10 or 11pm. Shanghai time. I was under my bed naked, I didn’t sleep until daybreak.

“I don’t care about a pay cut, I just want go to Manchester United because this is my dream. I was under my bed shivering and walking around my room and I did not sleep until 6am.

“I’m fulfilled as a football player, if I don’t achieve anything from now when I finish my career I am fulfilled.”

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Wrestling: WWE NXT Results 14th Jan 2021

Benjamin Ukpabi

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Wrestling: WWE NXT Results 14th Jan 2021

Here are the results from yesterday’s WWE NXT matches

Blackheart vs. Candice LeRae w/ Indi Hartwell
Blackheart quickly takes LeRae down to start the match, but she misses a splash against the ropes. Blackheart counters a neckbreaker and kicks her back before connecting with a cross-body block for a one count. Blackheart applies an arm bar and rolls LeRae around the mat. LeRae fights the hold before getting a foot on the bottom rope. LeRae boots her back and goes to the second rope, but Blackheart pulls her off, snapping LeRae’s neck off the top turnbuckle. Blackheart picks up a two count. Blackheart applies a modified wristlock before transitioning to a hammerlock. LeRae fights up and drives her into the corner. LeRae takes her down and puts her on the apron. Blackheart punches her back, and they’re fighting on the apron with the ring post between them. Blackheart pulls her into the ring post, knocking LeRae onto the steps. LeRae gets up, and Blackheart hits a flying knee off the steps. (Wrestling)

Indi Hartwell gets in Blackheart’s face. LeRae gets in the ring and distracts the referee while Hartwell pulls her off the apron. LeRae hits a baseball slide followed by a springboard cross-body to the floor.

 

LeRae sidesteps Blackheart to drive her into the turnbuckle before hitting a dropkick. LeRae follows up with a low superkick for a near fall. LeRae goes to the ropes, but Blackheart kicks her feet out. LeRae quickly takes her down and applies a Gargano Escape. Blackheart counters out with a roll-up for a two count. Blackheart powers LeRae up and hits a swinging facebuster. Blackheart hits a running high knee in the corner followed by another DDT. Blackheart goes to the top rope. Hartwell gets on the apron, but Blackheart punches her away. LeRae quickly scales the ropes and hits a super spinning neckbreaker for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Candice LeRae (wrestling)

 

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Ever-Rise (Matt Martel and Chase Parker) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
Zack Gibson locks up with Matt Martel to start the match. Martel slaps Gibson in the back of the head and backs up. Chase Parker tags in, so Gibson kicks him down. James Drake tags in and hits a headlock takeover. Parker fights up and whips him off, dropping down twice, but Drake still fights back with a hip toss. They lock up, and Parker wrenches the arm. Drake rolls through, but Parker pulls him down by the hair. Parker kicks away at him and knocks him out of the ring. Parker shouts that Ever-Rise rules. Gibson holds an irate Drake back and gets him to calm down.

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Gibson tags in and locks up with Parker. Gibson takes Parker down and punches Martel on the apron. Drake tags in and dropkicks Parker in the leg. Gibson hits a low dropkick to Parker and jumps off Drake to dropkick Martel off the apron. Drake talks trash and punches Parker to the corner. Drake applies a headlock and punches him before hitting a bulldog. Drake punches Parker out of the ring and tags Gibson in. Gibson grabs Parker at ringside, and the Grizzled Young Veterans hit a plancha/backbreaker combo. Gibson gets Parker in the ring and hits a back suplex. Gibson goes for a single leg crab, but Parker fights it. Drake tags in and hits a spinning wheel kick for a two count. Gibson tags back in and kicks away at Parker. Drake tags in, but Parker fights them off. Drake stops Parker from tagging Martel and holds him back. Parker punches him, but Drake won’t let go. (Wrestling)

Martel eventually tags in and punches away at Drake. Martel knocks Gibson down and punches Drake. Martel chops Drake before sending him to the corner. Drake rolls up the turnbuckle and lands on his feet. Martel hits a belly-to-belly overhead suplex before clotheslining Gibson on the apron. Martel follows up with a big clothesline on Drake. Ever-Rise goes for a double-team on Drake, but Gibson blocks it. Ever-Rise still hits a double-team spear on Drake, but Gibson breaks it up. Ever-Rise takes Gibson down. Martel is the legal man, but Drake pulls Parker out of the ring. Martel attacks Gibson, so Drake dropkicks him. Gibson tags in, and they hit Ticket to Mayhem for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: Grizzled Young Veterans

 

Non-Title Match
NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano w/ Austin Theory vs. Dexter Lumis
Gargano angrily holds the caricature up and rips it up in Lumis’ face. Lumis coldly punches him down and boots him in the face. Lumis hits a Lou Thesz Press and punches away at Gargano. Gargano avoids an avalanche and rolls him up, but Lumis rolls through and scares Gargano with a stare. Gargano gets out of the ring, and Lumis crawls after him. Lumis avoids a kick and punches Gargano. Gargano fights back and goes for a dive off the apron, but Lumis uppercuts him into the ring. Gargano punches Lumis getting on the apron. Lumis goes to the top rope, but Gargano cuts him off and goes for a superplex. Lumis fights it and punches him down to the mat. Lumis goes for a senton bomb off the top rope, but Gargano moves. (Wrestling)

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Theory distracts Lumis again, giving Gargano an advantage. Lumis fights out of One Final Beat. Lumis then locks in Silence. Theory gets on the apron, so Lumis attacks and applies Silence. Gargano rolls Lumis up, also bringing Theory into the ring. Gargano picks up the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Johnny Gargano

Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Jake Atlas and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter)
It’ll be Nash Carter starting against Jake Atlas. They lock up, and Atlas hits a headlock takeover. Carter grapevines the head, but Atlas kips up. Atlas hits an arm bar takedown. Atlas avoids an attack and hits a back elbow for a two count. Scott tags in, but Carter quickly takes him down. Carter sends him into the ropes, drops down and leapfrogs him, and hits a springboard twisting cross-body for a two count. Wes Lee tags in and wrenches Scott’s arm. Lee takes Atlas down, but Scott distracts. (Wrestling)

 

Atals and Scott go for a double-team superplex. Carter rips Atlas off the ropes to the floor. Lee then knocks Scott to the mat. MSK hit a modified Hart Attack for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: MSK

Xia Li w/ Boa vs. a local talent
Li immediately punches the woman down and connects with a spin kick for the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Xia Li (wrestling)

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Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 1st Round Match
Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) vs. Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole and Roderick Strong) w/ Kyle O’Reilly
It’ll be Adam Cole starting against Tyler Breeze. They lock up, and Breeze applies a side headlock. Cole whips him off, but Breeze shoulder blocks him down. Breeze leapfrogs him and they both tease superkicks. They back up and regroup. Breeze’s back is covered in cupping bruises. They lock up and exchange waistlocks. Cole takes him down, but Breeze fights up. They’re at a stalemate again.

Roderick Strong and Fandango tag in. They do a test of strength, and Strong takes Fandango down. Strong wrenches the arm and cinches it in. Fandango fights up and takes Strong down. Fandango hits a back body drop and drops some knees on Strong’s shoulder. Fandango hits a spinning wheel kick for a two count.

 

Strong and Fandango tag in. Strong takes Fandango down and hits a backbreaker. Strong then attacks Breeze with forearms and slams him onto Fandango for a near fall. Cole tags in. Strong hits a gutbuster, and Cole follows up with a big knee for a near fall. Fandango ducks a Last Shot and kicks Cole away. Breeze tags in and runs into a pump kick. Cole goes for a suplex, but Breeze knees him. Breeze knees him in the midsection and hits an inverted backstabber for a near fall. Breeze dropkicks Strong, grabs Cole, tags Fandango, and hits a catapult. Fandango follows up with a slingshot elbow, but Strong breaks it up. Breeze knees Strong, and Cole superkicks him. Cole pump kicks Fandango, and Fandango turns him inside out with a clothesline. (Wrestling)

Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch assault O’Reilly at ringside. They pull him into a scaffold, but Finn Bálor runs down to cut him off. They fight Bálor off, and Dunne forearms O’Reilly in the injured jaw. Dunne then kicks O’Reilly’s head into the barricade.

Cole looks concerned. Fandango superkicks Cole and puts him on the top rope. Strong kills Breeze with a huge kick. Fandango counters out of Panama sunrise and comes off the top rope, but Cole superkicks him out of midair for the win.

Winners by Pinfall: Undisputed ERA (wrestling)

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