FT: Senegal 3-1 Equatorial Guinea; Diedhiou, Kouyate & Sarr efforts enough to send the Teranga Lions into AFCON Semis, Buyla nets for Equatorial Guinea

Many thanks for being with Apex Football’s LIVE coverage of the AFCON 2021 quarter-final stages. We now have our four semi-finalists in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Egypt and Senegal and be sure that we will bring you every bit of the action as it goes down in Cameroon. Until we come your way again….stay safe!

Arguably their best game so far at AFCON 2021! The Teranga Lions are through to the last-four where they will face the Stallions of Burkina Faso next week, after easing past the National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea 3-1 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

FULL-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Senegal 3-1 Equatorial Guinea

79′ MIN: Watford hitman Ismaila Sarr seems to have put the nail on the coffin of Equatorial Guinea. A lovely square ball by Sadio Mane finds Sarr who sidesteps into the bottom corner. Barring any major collapse, the Teranga Lions are on their way to the AFCON semi-finals.

GOOOAAALLLL!!! Senegal 3-1 Equatorial Guinea (I. Sarr)

68′ MIN:  Cheikhou Kouyate finds the back of the net, as he profits fortuitously off a defensive blunder to put Senegal ahead.

GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Senegal 2-1 Equatorial Guinea (C. Kouyate)

57′ MIN: Jannick Buyla picked the perfect moment to score his first goal for his country, as his strike puts Equatorial Guinea level in this tie. What a well-worked move!

GOOAAAALLLL!!! Senegal 1-1 Equatorial Guinea (J. Buyla)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Senegal 1-0 Equatorial Guinea

HALF-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Senegal 1-0 Equatorial Guinea

28′ MIN: Famara Diedhiou opens the scoring for the Teranga Lions of Senegal, following a teasing through ball from Sadio Mane.

GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Senegal 1-0 Equatorial Guinea (F. Diedhiou)

KICK-OFF AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Senegal 0-0 Equatorial Guinea

The line-ups for Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.

Our coverage will be centred on the match between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea. Senegal are unbeaten so far at AFCON 2021, with the Teranga Lions yet to concede a single goal at all in the tournament.

Earlier in the day, the Pharaohs of Egypt booked their place in the semi-finals of the competition via a 2-1 win against the Atlas Lions of Morocco at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde. Morocco had taken an early lead in the first half, through a penalty from Soufiane Boufal but Liverpool attacker Mo Salah notched the equalizer to send the tie into extra-time while Trezeguet scored the winner in the 100th minute, as Egypt proceeded to their 16th overall AFCON semi-final.

Hello and thanks for joining us on our CAF Africa Cup of Nations update, as the competition concludes with the last quarter-final fixture between Senegal and Equatorial Guinea.

FT: Egypt 2-1 Morocco; Salah & Trezeguet on targets as Pharaohs land AFCON semi-final ticket after extra-time, Boufal nets first half penalty for the Atlas Lions

So ends the coverage of our feature game involving Egypt and Morocco, pretty sure you must have enjoyed it. Up next is Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea, which is the last fixture remaining in the AFCON 2021 quarter-final phase.

As for Egypt, they have now set a new record as the only country to have reached the semi-finals at AFCON the most number of times. They have gotten to the last-four at the Africa Cup of Nations 16 TIMES, overtaking the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the process.

Today was probably Mo Salah’s best at the AFCON 2021 tournament in Cameroon so far, as his goal and assist have helped the Pharaohs move a step closer to claiming an eighth Nations Cup title.

The Pharaohs march on to the semi-finals after a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Atlas Lions of Morocco in their AFCON quarter-final clash at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde. Egypt’s dominance of the midfield paid dividends as the Moroccans fazed out, despite taking an early lead through a seventh-minute penalty converted by Soufiane Boufal.

END OF EXTRA-TIME (FULL-TIME) AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 2-1 Morocco

SECOND HALF IN EXTRA-TIME UNDERWAY AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 2-1 Morocco

END OF FIRST HALF IN EXTRA-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 2-1 Morocco

100′ MIN: Egypt have turned it around! Trezeguet fires the Pharaohs in front off a cross by the talismanic Mo Salah.

GOOAAAALLLL!!! Egypt 2-1 Morocco (M. Trezeguet)

EXTRA-TIME (FIRST HALF) AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 1-1 Morocco

END OF REGULATION TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 1-1 Morocco

53′ MIN: The Pharaohs are level! Liverpool forward Mo Salah is in the right place at the right time, as he turns in the rebound from an effort which was smothered by the Moroccan goalkeeper, following an Egyptian corner kick.

GOOAAAALLLL!!! Egypt 1-1 Morocco (M. Salah)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 0-1 Morocco

HALF-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 0-1 Morocco

7′ MIN: Morocco are in front!!! Sofiane Boufal converts the spot kick as he sends the Egyptian goalie the wrong way.

GOOAAAALLLL!!! Egypt 0-1 Morocco (S. Boufal)

PENALTY!!! To Morocco. The referee points to the spot after consulting with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), as Achraf Hakimi is felled in the Egyptian area.

KICK-OFF AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM IN YAOUNDE: Egypt 0-0 Morocco

The starting line-ups for both sides, as they prepare for battle at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Today’s fixture schedule will see Egypt battle Morocco (which is the biggest tie of the quarter-finals and obviously our feature game), while the Teranga Lions of Senegal will take on Equatorial Guinea. The Pharaohs have not been too convincing in this tournament, with talismanic forward Mo Salah not at his peak form but have worked their way to reach this stage despite the unimpressive displays, while Morocco are yet to lose a match in this competition thus far and will fancy their chances of reaching the last-four.

In the first of two quarter-final fixtures played on Saturday, hosts Cameroon punched their way into the last-four courtesy of a brace from Olympique Lyonnais striker Toko Ekambi as they sealed a 2-0 win over the Gambia, while in the second match of the day, the Stallions of Burkina Faso took out the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia 1-0 to reach the semis.

The 33rd edition of the AFCON tournament currently holding in Cameroon is into its quarter-final stages, with some teams having already secured their places in the semi-finals.

A great evening to you soccer fans….welcome to Apex Football’s LIVE coverage of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations knockout fixture between the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Atlas Lions of Morocco set to go down in the capital city of Yaounde in Cameroon.

Dusan Vlahovic joins Italian giants Juventus in mega €75 million Euros deal

Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic has officially joined Serie A outfit Juventus from fellow top-flight campaigners Fiorentina, following the completion of his medical.

The 22 year-old who has been a subject of interest amongst top European clubs including Premier League outfit Arsenal, finally made his dream move to the Turin giants on a permanent move from Fiorentina in a deal worth €75 million Euros including add-ons. He will pocket an annual salary of around €7 million Euros.

Vlahović began his senior career back at Partizan Belgrade, making his debut in 2016. After helping them win a league title and two Serbian Cups, he left for Florence to join Italian Serie A side Fiorentina in 2018.

During his four-year stint at Fiorentina, he made a total of 108 appearances and scored 49 goals across all competitions, while he has netted seven times in 14 caps for the Serbian national team.

Nigeria’s shock exit, Deadly stampede, Red cards, Underdogs flying high, Comoros left-back turned Goalkeeper, PUSKAS-standard goals as AFCON enters the Quarter-final Stages

After 19 days of hostilities, the 33rd edition of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations is into its quarter-final stages, with eight teams preparing to battle it out for the right to be addressed as “Kings of African Football”.

So far, we have witnessed thrilling moments and several talking points as the tournament progressed, and it was the same scenario once again as fans across the continent witnessed more drama over the past four days with the completion of the Round-of-16 phase.

Below, we at Apex Football shall make our picks and highlight the various moments of the Second Round (Round-of-16). Let’s go!!!

THE UPSETS CONTINUE TO POUR IN: At the end of the group phase, we had seen shocks and upsets of every kind as the likes of defending champions Algeria and four-time kings Ghana both exited the competition earlier than expected. Algeria had drawn 0-0 with Sierra Leone and lost 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea to bow out, while Ghana in their last group match suffered an embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Comoros who made the knockout stages at the expense of the Black Stars.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles of Nigeria were the only team with a perfect record at the tournament – nine points out of a possible nine available. They had beaten one of the traditional heavyweights in Egypt 1-0 in their opening match and secured a 3-1 success over Sudan, plus a 2-0 triumph over Guinea Bissau in their last match to top Group D. They were paired with the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia who struggled to make it out of their group – finishing with just three points to qualify as one of the four best-losers. Prior to matchday, several members of their squad plus the Head Coach had tested positive for Covid-19 and had to isolate, but that didn’t deter the Tunisians from recording a shock 1-0 win over the Super Eagles in Garoua.

Elsewhere, Equatorial Guinea faced the Eagles of Mali in their own knockout fixture and after 120 minutes of action, both teams could not be separated with scores at 0-0 and had to resort to the dreaded penalty shootout. It was Equatorial Guinea who caused an upset by triumphing over their more illustrious opponents to the last-eight.

UNDERDOGS FLYING HIGH: The group stages served us memorable moments which we will remember for a long time to come, as lesser lights proved to the rest of the continent that there are no more minnows in football. The Round-of-16 phase further proved that as Equatorial Guinea booked their place in the quarter-finals with a penalty shootout win over Mali. Also, debutantes the Gambia continued their Cinderella run in Cameroon by besting Guinea 1-0 to reach the last-eight.

The Flames of Malawi took a shock lead against Morocco through a delightful finish from Mhango but later succumbed 2-1 to the Atlas Lions as they bowed out with their heads held high, while the island nation of Comoros won hearts despite a 2-1 defeat to hosts Cameroon. Comoros had no recognised shot-stopper on the day as they were out due to Covid and injury but defender Alhadhur turned goalkeeper for the island nation and put up a commendable display. Comoros ended their AFCON campaign in fine style as M’Changama scored what could arguably be termed as goal of the tournament by unleashing a long-range free-kick from over 30 yards to beat Andre Onana in goal for the Indomitable Lions.

AVALANCHE OF RED CARDS: Just when we thought the football in the Round-of-16 stage would be pristine and tight presumably, referees had other ideas. There were a total of SEVEN RED CARDS dished out by referees in eight matches played in the Second Round.

Gabon’s Sidney Obissa received his marching orders in the 67th minute against Burkina Faso in a game the Panthers lost. Everton’s Alex Iwobi was sent off in Nigeria’s tie with Tunisia, as the Carthage Eagles won 1-0. Ibrahima Conte was given his marching orders for Guinea same as Yusuphu Nje for the Gambia when both sides met, with the debutantes (Gambia) going through to the last-eight. Comoros’ Nadjim Abdou also saw red in the 7th minute as the debutantes fell 2-1 to hosts Cameroon, while the duo of Patrick Andrade and Vozhina were sent off as Cape Verde suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Teranga Lions of Senegal.

OFFICIATING FAR FROM BEING THE BEST: While the red cards flew in from all corners, it must be said that the level of officiating at the AFCON has been well below standard. With the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), one would have thought that the level of officiating will improve but the reverse seems to be the case.

Questionable decisions have taken centre stage, some proving to be very costly to some teams results in the second round. A prime example is the fixture between Senegal and Cape Verde as the centre referee gave out TWO red cards to the Cape Verdean players, which effectively killed off the contest. The shocking thing about the second red card was that the referee awarded it after Sadio Mane of Senegal and the Cape Verdean goalkeeper had suffered a clash of heads as they both went for the ball in a 50/50 situation. Officiating really has to improve on the continent as one can only hope that governing body CAF would have taken note and made recommendations for future tournaments.

PUSKAS STANDARD GOALS: At the start of AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, goals were hard to come by during the opening round of games but the floodgates soon opened as the goals poured in – though not in huge numbers. But of those strikes which found their way into the back, we witnessed goals of beauty and incredible ingenuity.

The Round-of-16 stage also gave us goals to cherish. Top goals for this round include Bertrand Traore’s strike for Burkina Faso as the Stallions overcame Gabon via penalties, Youssef Msakni’s effort for Tunisia in their 1-0 win over Nigeria, Gabadinho Mhango’s lovely effort for Malawi against Morocco in their 2-1 loss, while PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi fired a belter of a freekick in the fixture against Malawi which they won.

Above all, Youssouf M’ Changama’s effort is our pick for this round and possibly the entire tournament (unless we see something better). M’ Changama scored a beautiful free-kick from over 30 yards as Comoros fell 2-1 to Cameroon.

DEADLY STAMPEDE: We conclude this piece on a sad note, as a deadly stampede occurred on Monday just before kick-off in the fixture involving hosts Cameroon and Comoros. At least eight persons were killed including children aged 8 and 14, while 38 others were injured as fans struggled to get access to the venue for the game at the Olembe Stadium.

FT: Morocco 2-1 Malawi; En-Nesyri effort and a delightful Hakimi freekick send the Atlas Lions to AFCON Quarter-finals, Mhango on target for the Flames

That’s all on our AFCON coverage for today! Do stay safe and we will be with you very soon, good night!

The Atlas Lions of Morocco show their supremacy over the Malawians by defeating them 2-1 courtesy of goals from Youssef En-Nesyri and a lovely freekick by Achraf Hakimi. Malawi can be proud of their outing at AFCON 2021, they weren’t expected to overcome the Moroccans but they nonetheless gave a good account of themselves.

FULL-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM: Morocco 2-1 Malawi

70′ MIN: PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi finds the top corner with a delightful free-kick, to put Morocco ahead for the first time in this tie.

GOOOAAALLLL!!! Morocco 2-1 Malawi (A. Hakimi)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM: Morocco 1-1 Malawi

HALF-TIME AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM: Morocco 1-1 Malawi

45+2′ MIN: Sevilla hitman Youssef En-Nesyri restores parity for the Atlas Lions, off an assist from Selim Amallah.

GOOOAAALLLL!!! Morocco 1-1 Malawi (Y. En-Nesyri)

7′ MIN: Malawi are in front! Gabadinho Mhango gives the Flames a shock lead as he spots and shoots a long-range effort past the Moroccan goalkeeper Yaccine Bounou who was way off his line.

GOOOAAALLLL!!! Morocco 0-1 Malawi (G. Mhango)

KICK-OFF AT THE AHMADOU AHIDJO STADIUM: Morocco 0-0 Malawi

The starting line-ups for both sides ahead of their encounter tonight at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

Morocco, who have now made it to the knockout stages for the third consecutive time, now have 14 wins from their last 15 games in all competitions. Malawi on the other hand began their AFCON campaign with a 1-0 loss to Guinea, before accounting for Zimbabwe 2-1. They drew goalless with Senegal in their final game which saw them finish third in Group B and secure a place in the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides.

On our feature game tonight, we shall be giving up updates of the fixture between the Atlas Lions of Morocco and the Flames of Malawi at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Cameroon. The Atlas Lions of Morocco got to this stage by defeating Ghana 1-0, before seeing off Comoros 2-0. They rounded off their group stage campaign with an entertaining 2-2 draw against a resilient Gabonese side to go unbeaten.

We have seen exciting games and plenty of talking points, since the second round began on Sunday. Earlier today, the Teranga Lions of Senegal marched on to the quarter-finals courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Cape Verde. The game saw two reds cards being dished out to the Cape Verdeans, as they finished the tie with nine players. Also, Liverpool forward Sadio Mane who was on the scoresheet, had to be taken off, following a clash of heads. Hopefully, he gets better and returns to the coach Aliou Cisse’s side.

A pleasant evening to you soccer fans! You are on to Apex Football’s LIVE coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon. The competition is in the knockout rounds, with the round of 16 fixtures being played.

Manchester United Forward Anthony Martial OFF on LOAN to Sevilla

Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial has joined Spanish La Liga outfit Sevilla on loan, until the end of the current season.

The 26 year-old Frenchman was said to have agreed to lower his wages in order to force the move to Seville and an agreement has been reached between the two clubs. He will now jet out to Spain to finalise the last parts of his transfer, having rejected interests from Tottenham Hotspurs and Newcastle United.

Martial joined Manchester United in the summer of 2015 from French principality outfit AS Monaco for the sum of 36 million pounds and has made a total of 269 appearances, scoring 79 goals.

Pereira, Lampard, Rooney or Martinez? The managerial options for VISIONLESS Everton

It is a familiar situation that Merseyside outfit Everton Football Club have found themselves in once again – managerless following the sacking of Spaniard Rafa Benitez after just six months into the current Premier League campaign.

The Toffees endured yet another dismal outing in the league last weekend, after succumbing 1-0 at Goodison Park to visiting Aston Villa, a result which extended their poor run to just one win in their last 13 league games. They currently occupy the 16th position on the standings and are only just four points away from the relegation zone.

Everton may have three games in hand, but with their terrible form and with the squad lacking in confidence at present, it is not a guarantee that those games would automatically transform into points on the board. One can not simply boast of saying that the Toffees can get anything out of those games – be it a win or a draw.

When Benitez was appointed last summer, some sections of the fanbase had reservations to it, owing to his previous ties with fellow Merseyside outfit and bitter rivals Liverpool but it seemed that club owner Farhad Moshiri had made a coup to get the Spaniard. But fast forward six months after, that decision by Moshiri has proven to be another one of his numerous managerial mistakes ever since he took ownership six years ago.

Rafael Benitez’s departure after just 200 days in charge was welcomed with relief by a large section of the fanbase, with the understanding that it was the club cutting their losses on a project which was doomed to fail right from the very beginning. The exit of the ex Liverpool gaffer was the hierarchy admitting it had a mistake, with the search for a new successor taking more time tyhan necessary.

For the meantime, Duncan Ferguson will be at the helm as the club goes on the hunt for a new replacement but they MUST get it right this time around. As expected, whenever there is a coaching position available, there will be names linked to that vacancy and Everton are no different. The list of those linked to the vacancy is now in double figures and, while those who are considered genuine contenders currently numbers less than half-a-dozen, the club are still canvassing prospective candidates with only three on a potential shortlist so far.

According to reports, the leading candidate to replace Benitez is Portuguese Vitor Pereira. Incidentally, he had previously been linked with the role when another Portuguese Marco Silva was dismissed at Goodison Park just over two years ago. The 53-year-old was then coach of Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG and had been in negotiations with the Toffees across a seven-day period, before excluding himself from the recruitment process.

Pereira has had some degrees of success in his managerial career, having won back-to-back Portuguese top-flight titles with FC Porto and a Greek domestic double with Olympiakos in 2015. But he also has the unwanted record of having relegated 1860 Munich to the German third-tier during his six months as manager in the 2016/2017 campaign. He had joined the team in January of that season, but could only win six of his 20 games. His appointment might be the right fit for the Toffees.

Pereira is available having recently been in charge of Turkish Super Lig outfit Fenerbahce albeit he endured an unsuccessful spell, leaving them in fifth position on the log and 14 points adrift of the leaders.

Other potential candidates are Frank Lampard but it remains to be seen if he is the right manager who will engage himself in a relegation dogfight and possibly take them to the next level. Former Manchester United player and current Derby boss Wayne Rooney revealed he is flattered to be linked with the vacant manager’s position at Everton, but says there has been no approach and his focus is with his current club in the wake of their ongoing battle to beat the drop.

Also, seasoned gaffer Jose Mourinho and former Everton boss Roberto Martinez have both been sounded out for a return to Goodison Park but moves for the pair is next to impossible – as Mourinho isn’t the right fix for a club of Everton’s stature while the Belgian FA blocked an approach for its manager.

Whatever Farhad Moshiri’s plans are, the Toffees need to do something to get them out of their current situation. Everton have the relief of the international break to organize and finalize the search for a new manager, before their next Premier League fixture against fellow strugglers Newcastle United on February 8th.

FT: Nigeria 0-1 Tunisia; Msakni strike KNOCKS OUT a lacklustre Super Eagles, Iwobi sees RED

Surprisingly, against the odds…the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia march on to the quarter-finals of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, after eliminating favourites Nigeria 1-0 courtesy of a 47th minute effort by Youssef Msakni.

FULL-TIME IN GAROUA: Nigeria 0-1 Tunisia

47′ MIN: The Carthage Eagles are in front! Youssef Msakni’s speculative long-range effort beats Maduka Okoye in goal for the Super Eagles. In truth, the Sparta Rotterdam shot-stopper should have done better!

GOOOAAAAALLLL!!! Nigeria 0-1 Tunisia (Y. Msakni)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY IN GAROUA: Nigeria 0-0 Tunisia

HALF-TIME IN GAROUA: Nigeria 0-0 Tunisia

KICK-OFF IN GAROUA: Nigeria 0-0 Tunisia

The starting line-up for both teams ahead of their Round-of-16 clash in Garoua.

Both sides recently met at the last AFCON tournament in Egypt but it was the Super Eagles who triumphed 1-0 in the third-place playoff match, courtesy of a third minute goal by Odion Jude Ighalo.

Tunisia on the other hand, managed to scrape through to this stage as one of four best-losers from the group stages. They began their campaign on a negative note, losing 1-0 to Mali before thrashing Mauritania 4-0 in their second game. They finished the group phase by succumbing to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to debutantes Gambia.

On to our feature game, the Super Eagles are red-hot favourites to make it into the next round. They are the only side to finish the group stage campaign with maximum points – three wins from three matches.

In a game filled with twists and turns, it was Burkina Faso who progressed to the quarter-finals via a 7-6 penalty shootout win, after the game had ended 1-1 at extra time. Aston Villa striker Bertrand Traore had missed a first half penalty for the Stallions but thankfully, it didn’t matter much as the Burkinabes march on to the next stage where they will face the winner between Nigeria and Tunisia in the last-eight.

The competition has entered the business end with the commencement of the knockout rounds (Round of 16), and we have just witnessed the encounter between the Stallions of Burkina Faso and the Panthers of Gabon at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon.

Hello and welcome to Apex Football’s LIVE coverage of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tie between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.

FT: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspurs; Ziyech and Silva earn Blues bragging rights in London Derby

FULL-TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspurs

55′ MIN: Mason Mount whips in a free-kick and Thiago Silva rises highest to nod into the far corner.

GOOOOAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspurs (T. Silva)

47′ MIN: What a sublime goal! Callum Hudson-Odoi finds his way down Chelsea’s left flank, before working it across the box to Hakim Ziyech who gets the ball out of his feet and casually curls into the far top corner with his left foot.

GOOOOAAALLLL!!! Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham Hotspurs (H. Ziyech)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspurs

HALF-TIME AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspurs

KICK-OFF AT STAMFORD BRIDGE: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspurs

As for Tottenham Hotspurs, no favourable news for manager Antonio Conte as Son Heung-Min is out while Lucas Moura is only good enough for a place on the bench. Meanwhile, two-goal hero Steven Bergwijn is rewarded with a starting berth for his displays in injury time against Leicester City last time out.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has named his side set to take on their neighbours from the North. Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi are in the line-up.

Chelsea should fancy their chances over their North London rivals, having overcome them 3-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup but Antonio Conte and his lads will be looking to seize their opportunity to haul themselves right into the mix for Champions League qualification.

The Blues have seen their fortunes overturned in the space of two months, from table toppers to a fight to retain their place on the Champions League slots in the Premier League. What makes this evening’s London derby more important is that Spurs can close the gap between them and the Blues to a mere five points, with four games in hand. Chelsea are condemned to win this one.

A wonderful evening to you soccer fans! You are on to our LIVE coverage of the Super Sunday fixture between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs set to go down at Stamford Bridge.

Transfer Update; Lingard linked with Newcastle Utd, Aston Villa make vital acquisitions; Chelsea RECALL Kenedy; Plus more from the rumour mill>>

As the January winter transfer window progresses, European clubsides are still very much in the business of making acquisitions to bolster their squads and secure the set targets mapped out for the season.

Generally, a sizeable number of clubs do not fancy the winter transfer window in January because players of good quality are rarely available at this time. Furthermore, players who do become available are significantly expensive and there are no guarantees that these players when bought, would become successful in their new environment.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t prevent clubs from splashing the cash if there is a good player available on the market and if that player would significantly improve the squad quality at the club.

Below, we shall explore the 2021/2022 winter transfer window and reveal the deals done by some of clubs especially in the Premier League. Plus, we shall take a peek into transfer rumours making the rounds.

Chelsea consider move for Dembele in a £3 million pounds loan deal

According to the Sun, Chelsea are one of several suitors interested in a move for Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.

The 24 year-old has been with the Catalan giants for nearly five years after moving from Borussia Dortmund, but has seen his time with the club riddled with injury concerns. Plus the breaking down of ongoing contract discussions between the player and the club means he will definitely head for the exit door before the end of the month.

Despite the strained relationship between Dembele and Barca, the Frenchman is still a sought-after player, and it now seems like his time in Spain will be coming to a close in January.

Corinthians pushing to seal capture of Newcastle and Arsenal target Diego Costa

Brazilian side Corinthians are pushing to complete the signing of Diego Costa with a verbal agreement getting closer, though they are still waiting for last details and final answer from Costa who is now a free agent.

Clubs have reportedly signalled interest in Costa’s signature, with Premier League clubs Arsenal and Newcastle United being linked with the former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid hitman.

Chelsea Misses Out On Coman’s Signing

Chelsea’s sights on acquiring France international Kingsley Coman next summer is over, as the former Juventus winger has extended his contract at Bayern Munich until June 2027 and will earn around €17m-a-year.

Arsenal and West Ham vying for Kostic

Arsenal and West Ham are vying for the signature of Eintracht Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic – according to Calciomercato. Inter, Fiorentina, Lazio, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with the 29-year-old, whose current contract is due to expire in 2023.

Chelsea recall Kenedy from Flamengo

European champions Chelsea have recalled Kenedy from his loan spell at Brazilian outfit Flamengo, following the ongoing injury crisis in the Blues squad.

With Ben Chilwell expected to be out for the remainder of the season, Marcos Alonso is Thomas Tuchel’s only option at left wing-back. Attempts to recall Emerson from his loan spell at Lyon failed, leaving the Blues with no option other than to bring Kenedy back to West London.

Kenedy played 17 times while on loan in Brazil, scoring once and providing one assist.

Haaland to decide future this month

Erling Haaland will meet with Borussia Dortmund to decide his future in the next fortnight, with Manchester City retaining pole position if the striker decides to move to the Premier League this summer.

Newcastle United table second loan offer for Lingard Everton

Newcastle United have bid a second loan offer to sign Manchester United outcast Jesse Lingard in the January transfer window. He has largely been sidelined by Ralf Rangnick and could head out this month in search of game time.

The Magpies have put in another loan bid after their initial one was rejected. However, there is still a belief that the player may well stay at Old Trafford beyond the winter window.

Lingard has entered the final six months of his contract and is interested in a move to join up with Newcastle, but he has no plans for a permanent transfer which has put the deal in a complicated situation with not much days left before the end of the transfer window.

DONE DEALS

OFFICIAL: Zamburek joins Viborg from Brentford

Brentford’s Jan Zamburek has joined Danish side Viborg FF. The central midfielder was a product of their B team and made 19 first-team appearances after the step up in 2019.

OFFICIAL: Norwich City complete Rowe new deal

Norwich prospect Jonathan Rowe has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract following his promising debut at Crystal Palace. The terms finalised also include the option of a further year to extend the deal until 2026.

OFFICIAL: Mari seals loan move to Udinese

Spanish defender Pablo Mari has joined Serie A side Udinese on loan from North London outfit Arsenal for the remainder of the 2021/2022 season.

The 28-year-old who initially joined the Gunners on loan from Brazilian side Flamengo in January 2020, made the move permanent six months later. He has made 22 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions.

OFFICIAL: Kolasinac leaves Arsenal by mutual consent

Sead Kolasinac has joined French Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille after leaving Arsenal by mutual consent.

The 28-year-old defender who joined from German side Schalke 04 in June 2017, has become a free agent after his contract was terminated with immediate effect.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international, who spent the second half of last season back on loan with Schalke, made 118 appearances in all competitions during his time in North London.

OFFICIAL: Balogun signs for Middlesbrough on loan; Maitland-Niles off to AS Roma

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season, likewise midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles who has joined Serie A outfit AS Roma on loan until the end of the current campaign.

OFFICIAL: El Ghazi joins Everton on loan

Anwar El Ghazi has completed his loan move to Everton from Aston Villa for the remainder of the 2021/2022 campaign.

The 26-year-old Netherlands international winger becomes the Toffees third signing of the winter transfer window, following the arrivals of Ukraine left-back Vitalii Mykolenko and Scotland right-back Nathan Patterson.

OFFICIAL: Olsen joins Aston Villa on loan

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Robin Olsen on loan until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old Swede joins the Midlands outfit from Italian capital side AS Roma, having spent the first part of the campaign on loan at Sheffield United.

OFFICIAL: Digne Joins Aston Villa from Everton

Lucas Digne has completed a transfer to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee. The deal is said to be worth worth up to £25 million pounds and it follows several days of negotiations in which Villa have beaten off interest from Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham.

The 28 year-old has played 127 games and scored six goals for Everton after joining from Barcelona in the summer of 2018. Digne who counts Lille and Paris Saint-Germain among his former clubs, has made 15 appearances for the Toffees this season.

OFFICIAL: Aston Villa signs Coutinho on loan

Aston Villa have confirmed the loan signing of Brazilian attacker Philippe Coutinho from La Liga giants FC Barcelona for the rest of this season.

The agreement also includes an option to buy.

OFFICIAL: Trippier seals move to Newcastle United

Newcastle United have confirm the signing of England full-back Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old agreed terms on a two-and-a-half-year deal and is the first senior signing under the club’s new owners and current head coach Eddie Howe.

OFFICIAL: Wood joins Newcastle United from Burnley

New Zealand international Chris Wood has swapped Burnley for Newcastle United after signing for an undisclosed fee.

The 30 year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year contract and becomes the Magpies’ second signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of England international full-back Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid.

OFFICIAL: Torres completes move to Barcelona

Spanish forward Ferran Torres has completed a permanent move to Catalan outfit Barcelona from Premier League campaigners Manchester City.

The 21-year-old, who spent 16 months at the Etihad Stadium, scored 16 goals in 43 appearances for City in all competitions and he departs a Premier League and Carabao Cup winner, having helped the Club lift both trophies in his debut 2020/2021 campaign.

OFFICIAL: Tuanzebe completes loan move to Napoli

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe has joined Serie A side Napoli on loan until the end of the 2021/2022 season.

The 24-year-old had signed a new contract in the summer, which would keep him at Old Trafford until June 2023 with the option to extend by another year.