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Morocco’s En-Nesyri Hat-trick Hands Sevilla Win over Cadiz



Moroccan Youssef En-Nesyri scored his second hat-trick in the space of a month to give Sevilla a 3-0 win over Cadiz.

The victory lifts the home side to third in the table and means that with 12 goals, En-Nesyri is current top goalscorer in the Spanish top-flight.

He got his first on the rebound after Suso’s shot had come off a post on 35 minutes.

He doubled the lead heading in a Suso free-kick on 39 minutes, and he nodded in the third from close range on 62 minutes.

“I have not changed anything, this is just the result of hard work and focus,” said the Morocco international, who has now scored hat-tricks in consecutive home matches.

He managed to net the second in spite of having needed treatment a moment earlier because of an eye problem.

“I couldn’t see properly out of one eye. But I knew the cross was for me and so I had to try to finish it. I scored the goal with one eye,” he said.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui said: “I’m pleased for him and I’m pleased for the team. The attitude and the mentality of the team was excellent.”

Lopetegui will also be pleased En-Nesyri, who was linked with a move to West Ham in the transfer window, has no plans to move on.

The 23-year-old striker added: “I want to finish the season at Sevilla. This is a great club and I am very happy here.”

Also on Saturday, Huesca drew 0-0 with Villarreal and Real Sociedad drew 2-2 with Betis.

Real Madrid closed the gap at the top of the Spanish La Liga to four points with a 4-1 away win at Alaves on Saturday.

Casemiro headed in the first goal on 13 minutes and Karim Benzema doubled the lead on 41 minutes.

Eden Hazard was excellent in the first half and may be credited with an assist as he tried to flick the ball through to Benzema.

But there was no doubt about his involvement in the third goal, as he scored from Toni Kroos’ assist.

Alaves were brighter in the second half and Joselu pulled a goal back with a powerful header on 59 minutes.

But Benzema raced away to get his second of the game and the fourth for Real Madrid and put the result beyond doubt.

The result was the perfect way to help Real Madrid forget the midweek Cup exit against third-tier Alcoyano.

“It was what we needed after a difficult week. We want to win every game but every game is difficult,” Benzema said.

“This will be good for confidence and there is still a long way to go in the season.”

For Alaves it was not the way they wanted to celebrate the club’s 100th birthday.

Coach Abelardo Fernandez said: “We disappeared as a team after the first goal. At least there was a reaction in the second half.”

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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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