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Aubameyang to Spend Two Weeks on Sidelines With Calf Injury

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Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss at least two of Arsenal’s next matches after suffering a calf strain.

The 31-year-old joined fellow African, Thomas Partey of the Ghana Black Stars, who limped off in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Swiss international Granit Xhaka and Brazil’s Gabriel Magalhaes who are serving red cards, on the sidelines.

Aubameyang missed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Everton in the Premier League and is set to be ruled out of Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Manchester City, as well as Premier League games against Chelsea on Boxing Day and Brighton & Hove Albion three days later.

“We want him back as quickly as possible but he has a small strain,” Arsenal Manager, Mikel Arteta said.

“We need a few days, I don’t know if it’s a week or two weeks. It will depend on how the injury evolves.”

Saturday’s result meant Arsenal have lost five of their last seven league games and lie in 15th place with 14 points, four points clear of the relegation zone.

It is their worst start to a season since 1974-75, raising the pressure on Spaniard Arteta, who took charge of the club in December last year.

“There is no question, the results are not good enough and not acceptable for the standards of this club, and this is the challenge and the fight that we are against,” Arteta said.

“It’s a really complicated situation, but I am very encouraged from what I see from the players to continue doing what we are trying to do.”

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Aurier, Kane, Ndombele Goals Give Tottenham 3-1 Win at Sheffield United

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Ivory Coast international, Serge Aurier, gave Tottenham Hotspurs an early lead at Bramall Lane on Sunday to set Jose Mourinho charges on their way to a 3-1 victory over Sheffield United.

With Mourinho and Spurs in desperate need of three points, Harry Kane doubled for the visitors in the 40th minute.

However, Aaron Ramsdale header for Sheffield on the hour mark put the game at 2-1 but all hopes of a fightback were dashed when Tanguy Ndombele found the net with an audacious flicked lob over Aaron Ramsdale to ensure Jose Mourinho’s visitors took back control.

The victory – their second in seven games – meant Tottenham broke back, at least temporarily, into the Premier League top four above Everton and Manchester City.

Manchester City play Crystal Palace later today.

Sheff Utd, meanwhile, sit dead last with just five points form their 19 games.

The Blades are 11 points adrift of Burnley in 17th – with the Clarets also having two games in hand.

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West Africa Sports News

CHAN: Mali Defeat Resilient Burkina Faso 1-0

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Mali kicked off their 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over a tough Burkina Faso side in Cameroon on Saturday.

The Eagles won the West African clash in Group A thanks to an amazing 70th minute header by enterprising left-back Siaka Bagayoko at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.

The defender, who plays for local giants Djoliba but previously featured for CS Sfaxien in Tunisia, settled the tie via an extraordinary long-range header after the Stallions failed to clear a corner-kick.

The victory takes Mali equal on three points with hosts Cameroon who beat Zimbabwe by a similar margin in the opening match of the tournament.

After a well-balanced contest in the first-half with several missed chances, it was Mali who made sure they pinned their opponents to get the goal and defend with a lot of caution.

Burkina Faso’s Soumaila Quattara, Illias Tiendrebeogo and Clement Pitroipa all had their attempts blocked, while Demba Diallo missed the target for Mali in what looked an easy chance to finish.

The deadlock was broken when Issaka Samake’s corner-kick was headed from behind the penalty box by Bagayoko, leaving Burkina Faso’s goalkeeper Babayoure Aboubacar Sawadogo stuck to the ground.

The Stallions team tried to push forward but failed to get the chances to even trouble the Malian defence.

With a minute remaining, Mali’s goalkeeper Cheik Abdoul Cadri blocked Claver Kiendrébéogo’s well-taken free-kick to protect his side’s lead.

The next matches will prove decisive in the group as Saturday’s winners will meet on Wednesday, while Zimbabwe will take on Burkina Faso.

The top two sides from the group will progress to the knockout stage of the competition.

The competition was initially set to be held in April 2020 but was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is Africa’s major football event since the outbreak of the deadly disease.

Speaking after the game, Mali’s coach Nouhoum Diane said the game was not an easy ride for his team.

”I think the game was not easy, especially on the technical side. This is the first game for both teams who were under pressure to win.

“In the first half, our opponents created problems for us and it was only in the second half that we corrected ourselves and created chances.

“Against Cameroon, we hope to see a good match between two teams playing good football.”

On his part, Seydou Zerbo who is the coach of Burkina Faso said they have learnt lessons and were hopeful of correcting them before their next game.

“The editions follow one another but are not alike. It’s true that we lost our first game, but the tournament is still long.

“Now it’s up to us to correct our mistakes in order to have good matches in the future and achieve our goal of qualifying to the second round.

“Now we have to think about the game against Zimbabwe which is very important to us. After that, we will focus on the last match against hosts Cameroon,” he said.

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North Africa Sports

Liverpool vs. Man United: Salah, Mane Eye Top Spot

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Liverpool’s African imports – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – will hope to steer the Reds to a victory over visiting Manchester United and reclaim the top spot.

Leicester City beat Southampton 2-0 on Saturday to go second in the ongoing 2020/2021 English Premier League (EPL).

James Maddison and Harvey Barnes scored the goals to lift Leicester City to within one point of Manchester United, who play at third-placed Liverpool on Sunday.

Brighton and West Brom both picked up vital wins in their fight for survival Saturday while Chelsea and West Ham moved up the table with wins in the day’s other matches.

Maddison fired Leicester City ahead eight minutes before half-time and Barnes added a second deep into time added on to put Brendan Rodgers’ side above champions Liverpool.

Liverpool can regain the top spot, though, if they beat leaders Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.

Fulham’s hopes of getting anything from their west London derby at home to Chelsea ended when Antonee Robinson was sent off for a nasty challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Mount scored the only goal 12 minutes from the end to secure Chelsea a 1-0 win, lifting them to seventh, but only seven points behind the leaders.

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