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Juventus face AC Milan for fourth Italian Cup title in row

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Holders Juventus booked their ticket to the Italian Cup final for the fourth year in a row to set up a meeting with AC Milan after a 1-0 win over Atalanta in a semi-final second leg tie played in the snow in Turin on Wednesday.The first leg ended 1-0 in Bergamo thanks to an early Gonzalo Higuain goal, and Juventus also won the second when Miralem Pjanic slotted in a 75th-minute penalty awarded after Blaise Matuidi was fouled in the box.

The three-time holders will play AC Milan who battled past Lazio 5-4 on penalties in the Stadio Olympico after their semi-final remained goalless after extra time.

Nikola Kalinic almost scored the winner after 117 minutes but sent the ball over the bar when alone in front of goal, sending the game to penalties.

AC Milan could thank the saves of teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma for a spot in the final in Rome on May 9 with centre-back Alessio Romagnoli scoring the winning penalty.

“It was a night of suffering. This is a very young team, we must get them back to being the team that made the fans dream,” said Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso.

The win extends Gattuso’s unbeaten streak with AC Milan to 13 games, with six straight wins.

But the former AC Milan midfielder insisted there was too much talk about him and how he has turned around the team.

“I’m not a tactical guru. I’m just a lucky guy.”

Five-time winners Milan last won the Cup in 2003, with their last final in 2016.

Earlier Juventus took on Atalanta, whose Serie A game Sunday was snowed off, with light snowfall still in the Allianz Stadium.

“Compliments to the lads for what they did tonight and are doing this season,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri.

‘Not an obsession’
It will be a record 18th final for Juventus with Allegri’s side bidding for a 13th Cup in total.

“We will play in a historical stadium, but it must not become an obsession,” continued the Juventus coach of their bid for a record fourth Cup crown.

“In the first half we had difficulty closing them down, after the break Douglas Costa started playing in a centre-forward role and that broke the game open.”

Higuain missed out as he recovers from a sprained ankle.

Atalanta had come out firing with Alejandro Gomez sending over the bar with Gianluigi Buffon tested as he latched on to Josip Ilicic’s deflected cross pushing over the top.

Gomez thought he had scored the equaliser for Atalanta after the break with Buffon off the line, lobbing the Juventus captain, only for the ball to bounce off the outside off the post.

The breakthrough came when Juventus were awarded a penalty when Matuidi went down under pressure from defender Gianluca Mancini, with Pjanic slotting in to the fury of Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

“That penalty was non-existent,” blasted Gasperini as his side missed out on their bid for just a second Cup title after 1963.

AC Milan and Lazio battled for 220 minutes in total between the San Siro and the Stadio Olympico in a tie between two ambitious sides who have rediscovered their form in Serie A and the Europa League.

Lazio threatened early with AC Milan staying in the game thanks to Donnarumma who tipped over a Ciro Immobile shot within the first five minutes and then denied Sergej Milinkovic-Savic with his legs.

Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha also did well to clear off Suso after a quarter-of-an hour, but almost created an own goal by badly clearing Hakan Calhanoglu freekick.

Both sides had their chances in the second half with Milinkovic-Savic again missing in the final minute.

After their gruelling match both sides face tough weekends in Serie A with Lazio hosting Juventus and AC Milan a derby against city rivals Inter Milan.

 

SPORTS

Victor Osimhen May Consider Saudi Arabia Move

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Victor Osimhen May Consider Saudi Arabia Move | Fab.ng

There’s a rumour swirling around Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen. It’s a tale of past success, present uncertainty, and a hefty price tag. Osimhen’s chapter at Napoli could be coming to a close. Their final game of the season ended in a disappointing draw, and rumours are swirling that the striker might be looking for new pastures.

Victor Osimhen, shining star, then a bump in the road

Osimhen has undeniably been a bright spot for Napoli. He played a key role in their 2022/23 Serie A championship win, even claiming the top scorer title that season. However, this past season wasn’t Napoli’s strongest, and Osimhen’s goal tally dipped to 15. Despite this, his talent hasn’t gone unnoticed.

A shopping list of seekers for Victor Osimhen

Victor Osimhen remains a hot asset, attracting interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and Liverpool have all reportedly expressed their desire to sign the striker.

The Premier League dream, or a lucrative detour?

According to Italian journalist Valter De Maggio, Osimhen’s ideal destination seems to be the Premier League, with Arsenal topping his list. However, his transfer fee is a staggering €130 million, which might make the Gunners hesitate. If a move to England falls through, De Maggio suggests Osimhen might be swayed by the financial muscle of clubs in the Middle East, particularly those in Saudi Arabia.

National team duty and a decision to be made

With the club season wrapped up, Osimhen is currently enjoying a well-deserved break. He’ll soon be rejoining the Nigerian national team for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. But before he steps onto the international stage again, a big decision looms – will he become an Arsenal player, or will his talents be showcased elsewhere? Only time will tell what Osimhen’s future holds.

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SPORTS

Ronaldo Breaks Saudi Pro League Scoring Record

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Ronaldo breaks Saudi Pro League scoring record | Fab.ng

In his final game of the season, playing for his team, Al Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals. These goals weren’t just any goals though! They were his 34th and 35th of the season, which achieved something remarkable.

By scoring these two goals, Ronaldo became the league’s top scorer for the entire season, breaking the previous record!

“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me,” the 39-year-old Portuguese forward tweeted afterwards.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a big night during his final game of the season for his team Al Nassr. He scored two goals. The first one came very late in the first half, just as extra time was being added on. The second one was a powerful header in the 69th minute. These two goals helped Al Nassr win the game 4-2 against Al Ittihad.

But that’s not all!

Ronaldo’s goals were even more special because they made him the league’s top scorer for the entire season. He scored a record-breaking 35 goals, beating the old record of 34 goals which was set by a player named Abderrazak Hamdallah in the 2018-19 season.

This achievement is even more impressive because Ronaldo’s team, Al Nassr, actually finished second place in the league. The champions were Al Hilal, who were far ahead with a 14-point lead.

Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in December of last year, which was the start of a trend where many famous players from other countries came to the Saudi league to play for a lot of money.

Despite playing in a new league, Ronaldo is still a star on the international stage. He was recently chosen to play for Portugal in the European Championship which will be held in Germany next month.

This will be his 11th international tournament, an incredible feat! He also holds the record for most appearances and goals scored in men’s international football, with a whopping 206 appearances and 128 goals.

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Nwabali Wants “Another Challenge” At Bigger Club

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Nwabali Wants "Another Challenge" At Bigger Club | Fab.ng

Stanley Nwabali, the goalkeeper for Nigeria’s national team (the Super Eagles), is looking to switch teams. He wants a new challenge and a chance to play for a bigger club next season.

This desire comes after Nwabali’s impressive performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, where Nigeria took home the silver medal. His strong showing has caught the attention of several teams.

One club that has been mentioned most often is the Kaizer Chiefs.

This South African team is currently undergoing a rebuilding phase. Nwabali might be the missing piece they’re looking for. The question remains: can they convince him to join their team?

“Well, everyone would love to leave because when you are in some position, you need to grow,” the 27-year-old Nwabali said.

“Like everyone in my position, I would like to grow more. I’m talking about clubs higher than this [bigger than Chippa United] because I have been giving my all to my club this season.

“I just wish to have another challenge at some other place. To be honest, this season has been one of best seasons of my football career inside Chippa and outside Chippa.”

“This season, Chippa has been nice to me and being part of this family. We found ourselves ending the season better than the previous season. This season was one of the best seasons for me,” he continued.

The potential move to Kaizer Chiefs for Stanley Nwabali is interesting because of the current situation with their goalkeepers.

Uncertain pecking order

Right now, Brandon Petersen is the backup, with Bruce Bvuma holding the starting position. This could change, however.

Veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who has been with the club for an impressive 25 years, is rumoured to be leaving soon. This unexpected opening creates a prime opportunity for a new starting goalie to step in.

Competition and a potential starting role for Nwabali

If Nwabali joins Kaizer Chiefs, he would likely be competing directly with Bvuma for the coveted starting spot. With Khune’s potential departure, Nwabali might see this as a golden opportunity to solidify himself as the main goalkeeper.

His talent and recent performance on the international stage would certainly make him a strong contender.

Adding another layer to the story, Nwabali is about to return to Nigeria to join his national team for a crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier against none other than South Africa. This upcoming match holds some extra weight.

Nwabali’s impressive performance against South Africa at the recent Africa Cup of Nations was a big reason they weren’t able to reach the finals. South Africa will likely be looking to settle the score this time around, making this qualifier an exciting clash with a bit of history repeating itself.

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