Lionel Messi just cannot stop breaking records, can he? The forward grabbed a hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-0 win at APOEL Nicosia to become the all-time record goals scorer in the Uefa Champions League with 74 goals on Tuesday.
This record could change hands in subsequent games this season- bearing that Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is four goals shy of the new benchmark- but Messi has achieved the landmark in 91 games, 51 matches better than Raul, who scored 71 goals for both Los Merengues and Schalke.
Messi, 27, was not the only record breaker on Tuesday evening, as legendary Italian midfielder Francesco Totti, at the age of 38 years and 59 days, beat his own record as the Champions League’s oldest goalscorer after opening scores for AS Roma in their 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow.
Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick kept Manchester City’s Champions League ambitions alive against ten-man Bayern Munich after defender Mehdi Benatia was sent off for bringing down the Argentine striker in the goal area.
And most importantly, Chelsea trounced Schalke away in Gelsenkirchen to win Group G and advance into the round of 16, as Ukrainian champions Schakhtar Donetsk joined Group H winners FC Porto in the knockout stages.
As it stands Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain, Barcelona, Chelsea, Porto and Shakhtar are all through to the last 16.
CSKA Moscow 1-1 Roma
Vasili Berezutski’s last-minute equaliser earned CSKA Moscow a lifeline at home to AS Roma in one of Match Day 5’s early kick-off.
Totti fired Roma ahead with a sublime free-kick in the 43rd minute behind closed Arena Khimkhi doors, but Berezutski’s injury-time leveler secured a glimmer of hopes for the Russian champions ahead of their trip to Munich in a fortnight.
Man City 3-2 Bayern
With Roma and CSKA sharing the spoils, City were assured of remaining in the championship until the final day of the group stages but, notwithstanding did their own portion of the job by sealing a narrow win over ten-man Bayern at the Etihad Stadium.
Moroccan defender Benatia received his marching order for impeding Aguero in the goal area. The striker stepped up to bury the ball inside the net with precession.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Pep Guardiola’s men restored parity after a sustained period of coordinated passes and counter-attack.
Birthday boy Xabi Alonso drove a low free-kick past a deceived Joe Hart into the net five minutes to the break.
The Bavarians proceeded into the interval with a 2-1 advantage courtesy of a Robert Lewandowski powerful header. The Pole outmuscled the City defence, rose high to meet a right-wing cross and looped the ball over Hart; in off the post.
An Alonso error paved way for Aguero’s second on 85minutes, as Stevan Jovetic intercepted the Spaniard’s pass to release City’s highest goal scorer one on one on goal and he calmly stroke in off the far post.
Aguero completed his hat-trick five minutes later as Jerome Boateng’s poor touch on the ball allowed him beat Manuel Neuer with an enviable composure.
Group winners Bayern remain on 12 points, while the rest of Roma, CSKA, and City are tied on 5 points in that descending order.
The Premier League champions must now win their final group match at Roma and hope Bayern beat CSKA in Munich to seal their Champions League great comeback in the next two weeks.
City could also qualify, assuming CSKA lose at Bayern and they secure a score draw at the Stadio Olimpico.
APOEL 0-4 Barcelona
Messi’s hat-trick and Luis Suarez’s maiden striker for Barcelona helped already qualified Barcelona maintain their push for group dominance at APOEL.
Suarez opened his Baulgranas account on 27 minutes, squeezing the ball into a corner after a maneuvering the Cyprus club’s defence.
Messi doubled the Catalans’ lead from close range in the 37th minute to break Raul Gonzalez’s record of 71 Champions League goals with his’ 72nd strike in just 91st appearances.
He then latched on to a Dani Alves through pass and masterfully dinked the ball beyond goalkeeper Urko Pardo in the 58th minute. He finished with a flourish three minutes to the dead, when he simply tapped in Pedro’s cut-back for his 74th goal in Europe’s elite club competition.
The win increased second-placed Barca’s point haul to 12 after 5 rounds of matches, while APOEL are rock-bottom of the standings with a solitary point.
PSG 3-1 Ajax
Edinson Cavani’s brace and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s lovely effort ensured PSG retain their claim to group superiority, despite Klaassen’s 67th-minute leveler.
Group leaders PSG are just a point better than Barca. It will be a straight fight between third-placed Ajax and APOEL for the Europa league spot on Match Day 6, with both sides already out of the Champions League.
Barca will look to payback their opening day loss at the Parc des Princes, when the French champions visit the Camp Nou in a fortnight, with the battle to clinch the group on the offing
Schalke 0-5 Chelsea
Mourinho’s Chelsea “avoided crucial match” scramble by thumping Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke 5-0 in front of their home fans.
The win guaranteed the Blues’ progress to the knockout stage and also handed them an unassailable 11 points, four ahead of third-placed Schalke.
Captain John Terry headed home Cesc Fabregas corner after two minutes, Willian fired under goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann’s to double Chelsea’s lead on 29 minutes.
Jan Kirchoff beat two of his team-mates to head Fabregas’ corner past his own goalkeeper a minute to the break.
Substitute Didier Drogba grabbed his 44 Champions League goal in the 76th minute, finishing off a Willian cut-back. The Ivorian turned provider two minutes later, sending a deep cross to Ramires, who climbed to head into the net from close range.
Sporting 3-1 Maribor
Goals from Carlos Mane, Luis Nani and Islam Slimani ended Maribor’s Champions League ambition, as Jefferson Nascimento’s own goal proved too insignificant on the evening.
The home side led 2-1- through Mane and Nani strikes blighted by Jefferson’s own goal- at the interval, during which the light’s went out causing a lengthy delay.
On resumption of play, Slimani added Porto’s third to seal victory.
The result leaves Sporting second in the pool, two points ahead of Schalke with a trip to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge left.
Bate 0-3 Porto
Hector Herrera, Jackson Martinez and Christian Tello guided already qualified Porto past Belarusian champions Bate at the Borisov Arena.
Bate have now conceded 22 times- equaling the record for the most goals against in a Champions League group stage.
The win helped Porto clinch the group on 13 points with just a game to spare, while Borisov are bottom on three points.
Shakhtar 0-1 Athletic
Mikel San Jose’s solitary strike kept Athletic Bilbao’s European aspirations alive but ended Shakhtar’s hopes of topping the group.
San Hose struck on 68th minute to deflate the roaring crowd at the Arena Lviv.
The win for the Spaniard’s and Porto’s crushing victory at the Borisov Arena ensured the Portuguese will top the group with the Ukrainians second regardless of the outcome of the two side’s meeting at the Estadio do Dragao in the final round of matches.
Football Legend, Diego Maradona Dies At 60 Following Heart Attack
Argentina and Napoli legend, Diego Maradona has passed away at the age of 60 following a heart attack.
The Gimnasia coach had been hospitalised at the start of November, days after celebrating the landmark birthday, after complaining of low spirits and fatigue.
Recall that some weeks ago, it was reported that the football legend had a blood clot on the brain, which doctors later revealed was operated on successfully.
Two weeks after being discharged from the hospital and recovering at home, he reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning.
The Argentine national team’s official Twitter account confirmed the news on Wednesday.
The Contribution of Sports Betting to the Economy of Nigeria
Most of us have grown up with gambling lore that left us petrified to our core. Gambling ruins lives, gives rise to financial and legal problems.
This is all that we have grown up learning. However, this is only partly true and must not be taken too seriously. Sure, gambling has its disadvantages and evils.
However, the activity, in its entirety, is not addictive. It is what humans make out of it. Human beings give up self-control and spiral into a bottomless pit of despair due to that.
Gambling, when indulged in appropriately, does no harm. In fact, it is one of the biggest industries and contributes significantly to the global economy.
The moot point of this article is to have a look at the betting industry of Nigeria. While we do that, we shall also examine how much the industry contributes to the economy of the nation.
Therefore, let us now have a look at the industry and venture a few important points throughout
How Does the Betting Industry of Nigeria Look Like?
The gambling industry of Nigeria resides in the areas of gray. One cannot look at it in either black or white.
Gambling activities are considered illegal in Nigeria, with the exception of a few. And betting on sports happens to be one of those exceptions.
Online gambling in Nigeria is allowed only on offshore-owned and operated casinos. Locally operated casinos are not allowed to function in the land.
Now speaking of betting, one must note that the betting industry happens to be a key player in Nigeria’s economy. There are over fifty functional and legal betting sites in Nigeria.
As we mentioned before, betting is entirely legal, unlike online gambling. All those who want to gamble on sites like Usafriendlypokersites.com can do so with the use of VPNs.
Nigerians are incredibly passionate as a people about their sports. That is why the idea of making money by betting on their favorite sports has a lot of appeal.
With about 200 million people in the country, the betting industry has found a solid footing in the market. It has been estimated that over the last few decades, Nigeria has grown to become the second-largest betting market in South Africa.
Over 60 million people find entertainment through online betting sites in South Africa. Therefore, one can understand, going by the statistics that Nigeria has evolved over the last few years when it comes to betting.
Reasons for this Massive Growth in the Popularity of Online Betting:
One of the primary reasons for this massive popularity in online betting is the increase in technological innovations.
Nigeria, over the past few years, has seen technological expansion and super-fast connectivity. Almost everyone has access to smartphones now.
This is what makes it so easy for people of every age group to bet online. The constraints that the nation had in technology and connectivity are no longer an issue.
It is estimated that in the next few years, the country shall see more such innovations and expansion. This will, therefore, act further as a catalyst to the growth of the online betting industry.
The Government is Now Tightening the Noose around Online Betting to Raise Revenue:
As we already mentioned a few times before that Nigeria had strict laws related to online gambling.
The government also did not pay much attention to the betting industry. However, things have changed now and shall change further down the line.
The Nigerian government is now formulating some strict laws so that it could pull the revenue from betting into the coffers.
This is also one of the most significant reasons for the growth in Nigeria’s economy. Online betting is a lucrative industry, and we can already deduce that from we discussed.
With the government paying more attention to the industry, crime rates can be reduced, and better revenue can be raised.
If anything, the involvement of the Nigerian government shall only serve as a fresh change. Plus, with a better structure in the betting industry, more people can find jobs and livelihood.
Wrapping It Up:
We can see how the online betting industry of Nigeria has become one of the chief contributors
to its economy.
Sporty.com – The Ultimate App For Sports Fans!
For all those sports fans out there who are tired of following sports news that you do not find relevant, Sporty Group has come out with the perfect solution to this problem – Sporty.com is the ultimate sports app for all sports fans! Sporty gives access to the world’s best sports content with zero cost and zero ads. The app is available on the Google Play Store for free. Fans around the world can access the latest sports news on their handheld devices anytime and get live updates on matches.
Sporty.com offers a lot of features that can be leveraged by those who are sports enthusiasts. Here are the standout features of the newly launched application that has access to the world’s best sports content.
- Latest Sports News (SportyNews)
Get access to all the hot articles and video news in the world of sport at the tip of your fingers through Sporty. This news can be completely customized as per one’s liking. Pick your favourite sports, leagues and teams, all in one place, to be the first to know everything or just pick the option of “Popular” news.
- Live Scores and Exclusive Videos (SportyTV)
Sporty.com provides live scores of all the sports around the world, including an additional choice where one can filter out scores of just their favourites, whether it would be league scores or team scores.
- Game Stats (SportyLive)
Analyze every game in detail through this feature on Sporty. Get the most comprehensive data on any match through the app with match facts, team line-ups, minute-by-minute analysis and tracking, competition trees, live league tables and formations.
- Chat System (SportyChat)
Chat and share sports talk on Sporty with other users and friends! An incredibly unique feature on offer indeed, which can help you stay updated and also share banter with friends on the go.
Get Sporty, Live Sporty as you Follow, Like, Share, Watch & Chat on Sporty.com!
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