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FA Cup: Salah Scores Brace as Liverpool Bow Out 3-2 to Man United



English champions, Liverpool, were on Sunday knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United in a thrilling 3-2 encounter at Old Trafford.

Mohamed Salah’s chipped finish gave Liverpool a short-lived lead after 18 minutes until Mason Greenwood levelled for Manchester United eight minutes later in an even first half.

Marcus Rashford stunned Liverpool early in the second half and Salah scored again to restore equal terms until Fernandes fired a 78th-minute direct free-kick into the bottom right corner to complete the victory.

“When you go a goal down, the reaction of everyone was really good,” said Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who famously scored the winner in a 1999 2-1 FA Cup victory between the English giants.

“Great goal, good free-kick. (Fernandes) stayed about 45 minutes after training yesterday (Saturday) shooting free-kicks. So, I was pretty confident he could score one if he got the chance.”

Manchester United will host West Ham United in their fifth-round tie in early February.

Earlier, Tammy Abraham scored a hat-trick to help Chelsea advance with a 3-1 win over second-tier Championship side Luton Town in snowy conditions at Stamford Bridge.

English Premier League (EPL) sides Leicester City and Burnley are also through with Leicester coming back from a goal down to beat Brentford 3-1, while Jay Rodriguez scored twice for Burnley in a 3-0 win at Fulham.

Liverpool lost their three-year unbeaten league stretch at Anfield on Thursday against Burnley and have not won a game since securing a 4-1 success against Aston Villa in the previous Cup round.

Juergen Klopp’s men found the start they needed when Roberto Firmino threaded a pass to Salah, who flicked the ball over Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Manchester United responded moments later when Rashford picked out Greenwood with an inch-perfect ball from the middle of the field which required just two touches for the England international to score.

Greenwood returned the favour at the start of the second half when his lofted pass caught Liverpool defender Rhys Williams off guard as Rashford raced through to put Manchester United ahead.

As the hour mark approached, Salah boosted Liverpool’s hopes with a second goal when he swept home a low cross from Firmino.

But when Fabinho fouled Manchester United’s striker Edinson Cavani on the edge of the box, the tie was done.

Portugal midfielder Fernandes stepped up, picked his spot and lashed in the winner for his 28th Manchester United goal.

Abraham scored two goals in six minutes with 17 minutes played to put Chelsea in command, but Luton’s Jordan Clark gave the visitors hope on the half-hour mark.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was at fault for Luton’s goal as Clark’s low shot from a tight angle slipped through the Spaniard’s hand.

England striker Abraham completed his hat-trick in the 74th minute with an easy tap-in, before his German team-mate Timo Werner had a late penalty kick saved by Simon Sluga.

“Great to score a hat-trick and win the game so comfortably,” Abraham said. “It is always nice to get a win and play well. Hopefully we will take that confidence on.”

Frank Lampard’s men will travel to Barnsley for the next round, another Championship side who progressed on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Norwich.

Leicester City, who were without striker Jamie Vardy due to a hernia, were stunned in the seventh minute.

That was when second-tier Brentford’s Danish defender Mads Sorensen knocked in from close range when Leicester failed to clear a corner-kick.

But a second half goal from Cengiz Under, a Youri Tielemans penalty kick and James Maddison’s 71st minute strike saw them through to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the fifth round.

Rodriguez’s double, plus a goal from Kevin Long, earned Burnley a meeting with either fourth-tier League Two side Crawley Town or Bournemouth, who play their tie on Tuesday.

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North Africa Sports

Cercle Brugge Appoint Radhi Jaidi as Assistant Coach



Former Tunisia and Southampton defender, Radhi Jaidi, has been appointed as an assistant coach at Belgian Pro League side Cercle Brugge.

The 45-year-old, who also played for Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City, signed a contract with the Belgian outfit until the end of the season.

Speaking in a statement on the club’s website, Jaidi hopes his experience helps Brugge achieve its objectives.

Brugge said the Tunisia ex-international will “be specifically involved in setting up individual training programmes for the players.”

He is also expected to “prepare the squad for the training sessions and matches daily.”

Jaidi played for Southampton between 2009 and 2012, where he became assistant coach of the club’s under-21 team before progressing to head coach of the under-23.

In 2019 after his stint at Southampton he moved to the American second division to coach Hartford Athletic.

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Morocco Defeat Mali to Win Second Successive CHAN Title



It was a bout between Lions and Eagles at the Samuel Ahidjo Stadium, Cameroon at the final of the African Nations Championship.

Morocco, playing to defend their title against Mali were held for over an hour by the West Africans before scoring the much deserved opening goal.

The Malians proved their mettle and showed why they came so far with good attacking football, and sometimes resolute defending. The last laugh, however went to the North Africans who have now won their second successive CHAN title.

Two headers headers by Abdelmouna Boutouil and skipper of the side, Ayoub El Kaabi made all the difference for the Atlas Lions.

With the victory, the North Africans became the first team from Africa to win a second successive title in the tournament played by home-based players only.

Four years ago in Casablanca, the Moroccans thrashed Nigeria’s Super Eagles 4-0 to emerge champions but met a stronger opposition in Mali on a night of glamour in Yaounde.

Mali stood toe-to-toe with their more illustrious opponents but could not muster a goal from their impressive spells in the game.

“First of all I will congratulate Mali and coach Diane Nouhoum for their run in the competition. Reacjing the final is a feat. For us, we came here with a changed team by 65% and a new staff. So it was about writing our own story and winning for ourselves,’ Morocco’s coach Houcine Ammouta said after their victory.

Mali’s coach, Nouhoum congratulated the Moroccans and said they are the best team on the continent.

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North Africa Sports

Mahrez Wins as Man City Crush Salah, Liverpool 4-1



Mo Salah’s solitary goal failed to lift champions Liverpool over visiting Manchester City who went on a rampage in the second half to secure a 4-1 victory at Anfield on Sunday evening.

The Phil Foden-inspired visitors headed to their first win at Anfield since 2003, pushing them five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice after an earlier penalty miss, Raheem Sterling notched a header and the excellent Foden netted a sensational late goal crushed Liverpool’s title defence hopes.

Liverpool – who also lost at Brighton in midweek – stay fourth and are now 10 points off the top after back-to-back defeats and another hammer blow to their title defence.

Speaking after the encounter, Manchester City midfielder Foden, said: “When you beat the champions your confidence is sky high. So it can help us a lot.

“It’s brilliant, every player wants to play in big games like this and we showed that courage from minute one. They made it so difficult for us but we showed our courage to play our football and keep going, and in the end it paid off.”

A disappointed Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson, said the team got punished for their mistakes. He said, “Very disappointed with the result of course. I don’t think the end result reflected the performance to be honest but we made mistakes and got punished.

“We competed well, this was more like the performance we are used to but like I say mistakes at the wrong moments cost us.

“It is hard to take now but in football you have to move on quickly. We don’t look at the league table, just concentrate on the next game and try and win every game we can whether you are on top or fourth or fifth.”

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