Presidency Mocks Opposition As Buhari Returns From Private Visit To London – Thisday
The presidency yesterday lashed out at online media critics and opposition politicians, who had insinuated that President Muhammadu Buhari might extend his 10-day private visit to London, and said the president’s return to the country on schedule has put them to shame. The president, who left the country from Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, on April 25, arrived in Nigeria about 8.30 pm and was received by government officials at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Announcing the president’s return in a statement, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, attacked some online media which had speculated that the president would not return to the country within the scheduled 10 days. According to him, such media outlets should eat their words and apologise to Nigerians at home and abroad whom he said had been misled by their cock and bull stories, saying press freedom does not give anyone the liberty to publish falsehood.
How To End Godfatherism In Lagos Politics – El-Rufai – Punch
The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Saturday said he defeated and retired four political godfathers in Kaduna State, saying the feat could be replicated anywhere, including Lagos State. El-Rufai, who argued that godfathers existed only on paper or in the minds of the people, said the key to defeating them was in going directly to the people. He, however, admitted that defeating godfathers required time and hard work. The Kaduna State Governor spoke in Ikoyi, Lagos, at an event organised by the Bridge Club tagged, “An evening with His Excellency Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.” In his main speech, El-Rufai had encouraged the club members, who are businessmen, not to shy away from politics, saying it was more important than making money as bad politics could mess up their businesses. El-Rufai said Nigeria had permanently remained a country of potential because good and competent people had distanced themselves from politics.
APC Begins Talks With Aggrieved Zones Over National Assembly Leadership – Thisday
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded arrangements to use the remaining leadership positions in the two chambers of the National Assembly to resolve the grievances arising from the zoning of the Senate president and the Speaker of House of Representatives. The National Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, and other top leaders of the party have, therefore, started meeting stakeholders from various zones to negotiate on the settlement deals. The ruling party has zoned the Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives to the North-east and South-west zones respectively. It followed-up by endorsing Senator Ahmed Lawan as its candidate for the Senate president and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for the speakership position. Following the development, stakeholders of the party in the South-east have decided to lobby for the positions of the Deputy Speaker and Senate Chief Whip. The South-east stakeholders are said to be making a strong case for the choice of Hon. Nkiruka Onyeojocha as deputy speaker in the ninth National Assembly.
UTME Results: JAMB Begins Biometric Verification Of 1.8m Candidates In 36 States, FCT – Nation
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has begun the biometric verification of the 1.8 candidates who sat for this year’s unified tertiary matriculation examination, it was learnt yesterday. It was further learnt that the exercise embarked upon by the board, was responsible for the delay in releasing the UTME results conducted from April 11 to April 18. The board has already carried out biometric verification of candidates in 31 states. It is presently verifying those of candidates from six other states, The Nation further learnt. JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, confirmed this to our reporter in an interview, yesterday in Abuja. He said the board was cross-checking everything pertaining to the conduct of the examination, including fingerprints of candidates. Prof. Oloyede, who did not list the states the board has so far verified the fingerprints of candidates, said: “We are cross-checking everything, including fingers. If you know that you have about 1.8 candidates multiplied by ten that is the finger we are talking about.”
Sultan Declares Today As First Day Of Ramadan – Thisday Online Page
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto has declared Monday as the first day of Ramadan fast in Nigeria. Abubakar announced the citing of the new crescent in Sokoto on Sunday in a radio and television broadcast. He said the new moon was sighted in various places across the country which indicates that Sunday is the end of 8th Islamic month of Sha’aban. The Sultan said that reports of the moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and organisations across the country. “Upon due verification and authentication by the national moon sighting committee and states committees’ confirmation, as well as routine scrutiny, the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan signifies the end of Sha’aban 1440 AH.”In accordance with Islamic law, the Muslim Ummah is to commence fasting on Monday, May 6, 2019 accordingly,” he said.
NNPC Records N15.04bn Trade Surplus In January – Thisday
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it recorded a trade surplus of N15.04 billion in January 2019, an increase of 24 per cent over the N12.13 billion surplus posted by the corporation in December 2019. NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, stated that the details of the report contained in the January 2019 edition of the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFPR) attributed the positive financial position to the improved performance of NNPC’s upstream subsidiary, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which recorded surplus, despite reduced operational activities in the month. The report showed that NPDC’s sustained revenue drive, evident from recent average weekly production of 332,000 barrels of crude oil per day, has made the 500,000 bpd production target by 2020 feasible.
NFIU: Governors May Lose Control Of Local Government Funds – Nation
Governors may lose control of local government funds from the Federation Account, going by the new Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) guidelines. The Joint Account System in place in most states will only exist for the receipt of allocations but not disbursement, according to the guidelines. Besides, each of the 774 local government areas may get N500,000 cash transactions limit per day. All financial transactions by local governments will be registered and monitored by the NFIU through e-payment module. These are some of the highlights of the new guidelines, which the NFIU will launch today in Abuja as part of steps to check mass looting of the treasury by local government officials and diversion of LGA funds by governors. It was learnt that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari floated the idea to restore the financial independence of local governments. A top source, who spoke in confidence, said the new Director of NFIU, Mr. Modibbo Hamman-Tukur is set to roll out the comprehensive guidelines which will cover government, corporate, Bureau De Change and individual financial transactions.
Army Bans Use Of Motorcycles In The Forests Of Seven Northern States – Nation
The military yesterday announced the ban on motorcycles use in the forests of six of the seven Northwest states and Niger in Northcentral. The states are: Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi and Kaduna. The army warned that those caught violating the ban would be considered as bandits and kidnappers. According to Army spokesman Col. Sagir Musa, the ban became imperative given the fact that bandits perpetrate nefarious activities with the use of motorcycles. Col Sagir, in a statement, said: “The Nigerian Army (NA) over time has observed the use of motorcycles by armed bandits, kidnappers, criminal elements and their collaborators as enablers to perpetrate their heinous crimes especially in the states within the Northwest geopolitical zone of the country. “This informed the decision and directive to ban the use of motorcycles within the hinterland particularly around the Forests where the armed bandits, criminals and kidnappers hibernate and all around where troops are conducting operations alongside other security agencies.”
Policy Critical For Digital Savings, Financial Inclusion, Says World Bank – Nation
Policy is critical for digital savings and for promoting financial inclusion, the World Bank said at the weekend. It said across the developing world, financial institutions have leveraged digital technologies and innovative business models to expand access to digital financial services (DFS), such as digital transaction accounts and payment services. These, it said, served as the gateway to financial inclusion. Providers are now diversifying their products offerings to newer DFS, such as credit, insurance, and savings, the bank said. A World Bank Group report released at the weekend, examined DFS products geared toward longer-term savings. Titled: Financial Inclusion Beyond Payments: Policy Considerations for Digital Savings, it looks at how these digital savings products—though not yet mature–have the potential to advance an important element of digital financial inclusion.
CBN: N2b Stolen As Fraudsters Target Mobile Apps Users – Nation
Going by the record of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), e-fraudsters have fleeced customers of self-initiated banking solutions, such as Mobile Apps and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) of about N2.08 billion in the last one year. CBN Director, Payment System Management, Sam Okojere, who broke the news at the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF) general meeting in Lagos, said that customers of banks, Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), digital wallets and remittance players are prime targets for cyber criminals seeking quick monetisation of stolen credentials. The apex bank’s data showed that Nigeria recorded over 38,000 fraud count with over N9 billion attempted fraud value within 12 months. An estimated N2.08 billion was lost in 2018, with mobile channel recording the highest volume and value, of 11, 492 in volume and N598.8 million in actual loss value. The loss value is 25.7 per cent higher than the 2017 figure.
Banks Make N124bn From E-Transactions – Punch
The growing adoption and investment in financial technology has earned 11 deposit money banks about N124.5bn revenue from electronic transactions in 2018. Nigerian banks have continued to introduce digital products into the financial sector and their operations, organising hackathons in order to develop tech solution to address problems in the industry, sponsoring innovation competitions and introducing chatbot and Whatsapp banking to improve user experience. All these are believed to have contributed to the growth experienced in the revenue from electronic transactions by the banks. Analyses of the audited 2018 annual reports of 11 banks showed their revenue from electronic transactions grew by 43 per cent year-on-year from the N86.72bn earned by the financial institutions in 2017. The revenue was generated from the fees and commission that the banks charged their customers when they carried out transactions through Automated Teller Machines, USSD, Internet banking, Point of Sale payments and agency banking.
CBN Intervenes In FX Market – Thisday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last Friday made interventions in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) of the foreign exchange market totaling $271.83 million and CNY 41.14million. Director, Corporate Communications at the Bank, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, also confirmed that the sum of CNY41.14 million was for payment of Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit for agriculture as well as raw materials. Friday’s transaction was in addition to the $205 million injected into the Wholesale, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Invisibles segments of the market on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Okorafor expressed satisfaction with the performance and stability of the country’s economy, noting that the country would experience more growth as the Bank has placed restrictions on the purchase of forex from the Nigerian foreign exchange market for items in the textile and cotton value chain. Meanwhile, the naira exchanged at N360/$1 on Friday, in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market.
Equities Fall Further On Profit-Taking, Weak Q1 Results – Thisday
Trading at the stock market remained bearish last week as a combination of profit-taking in bellwethers and negative reactions to financial results released by companies for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, dominated sentiments of investors. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1.78 per cent to close lower at 29,212.00, while market capitalisation shed N197 billion to be at N10.979 trillion. The year-to-date decline of the NSE ASI worsened to 7.1 per cent as last Friday. Just like the previous week, the market traded for four days and the bears and bulls controlled two days each. But the bears had the upper hand, leading to a decline of 1.78 per cent at the end of the week.Trading had started on Monday on a negative note with the NSE ASI falling 0.73 per cent following losses by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Dangote Cement Plc. The negative trend was sustained on Tuesday with a higher decline of 1.23 per cent due to sell-off in Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC among others.
BDC Rates – BusinessDay
Stock Market Report – May 3
ALL SHARE INDEX 29,212.00
EQUITY CAP N10,979,057,611,075.68
BOND CAP N10,814,295,700,996.90
EcobankPay Partners Terra Kulture To Promote African Culture – Punch
EcobankPay, the lifestyle digital payment platform of Ecobank Nigeria has entered into a partnership with Terra Kulture to promote African culture. This followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both organisations, that took place at the Terra Kulture Theatre in Lagos on Wednesday. The ceremony also featured the exclusive screening of “Queen Moremi: The Musical” which was supported by Ecobank Nigeria. Speaking on the collaboration, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan, said Ecobank is a pan-African bank which seeks to promote the African culture and heritage. “For us it’s not just about banking but also about the pride of the African. We know that unless we project ourselves, the world won’t project us. It is normal for us to look for great institutions like Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions promoting our culture with world class standard. “So, when we had the opportunity of looking at what is being done here, it came naturally to us that we should work as partners to improve the quality of lifestyles of Nigerians. “Our products interact with the lifestyle of Nigerians and we have picked EcobankPay as the flagship product for this collaboration. Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer, Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austin-Peters explained that the partnership was a delight for the cultural brand which has suffered lack of corporate sponsorship since inception. According to her, “This is exciting for us because what we do here is to promote Nigerian art and culture. We’ve done this as private initiative since 2004 and it has been like a lonely existence. In the past, people didn’t believe in what we do. Foreign culture dominated the scene. But things are beginning to shift. People are now appreciating our arts and culture.
77 Millionaires Emerge In Fidelity Promo – Punch
Fidelity Bank has said a total of 77 customers won millions of naira in its Get Alert in Millions Savings Season 3 promo which ended recently in the country. It said many others also won consolation prizes of refrigerators, generators and television sets. A statement said the winners emerged from different geo-political zones of the country, adding that during the last promo, 13 winners emerged while a winner won the grand prize of N10m. Fidelity Bank’s Executive Director Shared Services and Products, Chijioke Ugochukwu said, the bank had been able to make positive impact and added value to the customers. The Deputy Managing Director, Mohamed Balarabe, thanked the customers and winners for participating in the promo. He said, “When we started, we promised that we were going to make 77 customers millionaires and give out other consolation prizes and we have kept to that promise. We have given out N110m to our customers and 108 consolation prizes to others.”
Access Bank Disburses N1bn To SMEs In Health Sector – Thisday
Access Bank Plc has disclosed that it has provided over N1 billion towards financing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the health sector. The bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Victor Etuokwu, said Access Bank remains committed to enhancing the well-being of its customers in recognition of its role as one of the drivers of national economy. Speaking at a business workshop for health practitioners in Abuja, which was organised by the bank in partnership with Medical Credit Fund and JNCI recently, the bank’s ED stressed that the financial institution has a role to play in supporting growth of the economy through the empowerment of customers by enabling access to finance, capacity development and mentorship. He said the training session was specifically aimed at SMEs in the health sector to commemorate the World Health Day which is marked annually on April 7.
Mutual Benefits Raises N1.59b As Rights Issue – Nation
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc has raised about N1.586 billion in new equity funds from its shareholders, 20.7 per cent or N414 million below the insurance company’s target of N2 billion. Mutual Benefits Assurance had offered four billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to existing shareholders at 50 kobo per share. The rights issue was provisionally allotted on the basis of one new ordinary share of 50 kobo each for every two ordinary shares held as at the close of business on November 1, 2017. At the listing of the rights issue’s shares at the weekend, the company indicated it was able to raise N1.586 billion through subscription to about 3.173 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 50 kobo per share. The rights issue was thus 79.3 per cent subscribed. The additional shares of 3.173 billion were subsequently listed on the main board at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Sterling Bank Appoints Three New Directors – Guardian
Sterling Bank Plc has appointed three new directors to strengthen its board. The new directors are Messrs Tunde Adeola, Raheem Owodeyi and Subbaramaiah Rajapur. Prior to their appointments as executive directors, Adeola was Divisional Head, Commercial Banking while Owodeyi was the bank’s Chief Operating Officer. Rajapur was however appointed as a non-executive director to the Board. A seasoned professional with over 29 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Adeola started his career with Liberty Merchant Bank Limited, before joining Kakawa Discount House as a pioneer staff. He later moved to Trust Bank where he distinguished himself and rose to through the rank to the grade of Deputy General Manager. Following the consolidation exercise and the emergence of Sterling Bank in 2006, he was appointed Head, Telecoms and Corporate Banking Group and was later assigned to head the business of 33 branches in Lagos as the Regional Business Executive. He was promoted to General Manager grade in May 2013 and was appointed Business Executive, Commercial & Institutional Banking, Ikeja & Beyond in March 2015.
Police Nab Six, Raise Alarm Over Poisonous Ponmo In Lagos – Guardian
The Lagos State police command has raised the alarm over large quantities of poisonous cow skins popularly known as Ponmo in Lagos markets. Already, six suspects have been arrested in connection with the supply of the poisonous meat after the police recovered a truckload of the poisonous meat and the dangerous chemicals used in poisoning the skin, packed in a shop at the Igando area of the metropolis. The police spokesman in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, who raised the alarm, said: “On Saturday, at about 5:00a.m., acting on the strength of information from a credible source that a truckload of cow skins, suspected to be poisonous were heaped in a warehouse at No. 9, College road, Igando, a team of police officers led by the divisional police officer Igando, mobilised to the scene. “The huge pillage and pyramid of poisonous ponmo and the chemicals used in the preservation of the skins were recovered. One TATA truck with registration number AKD-375-XB, which was used in conveying the goods, was impounded.”
Chinese Youths Honour Police Officer – Nation
The Chinese Youths Association (CYA) has built and handed over, a 500-seater multipurpose hall at the Lagos State Model College (LSMC), Ojo. It was built in honour of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Olasoji Akinbayo, an old boy of the school. Akinbayo turned down the group’s personal appreciation for his exceptional policing and anti-corruption stance. The Nation learnt that Akinbayo, the Area ‘D’ commander in Mushin, turned down N20million gratification and declined a N5million bribe in another case. Inaugurating the hall at the weekend, Deputy Governor Adiat Adebule praised Akinbayo for his selflessness, noting that another person would have accepted the gift. Adebule, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Mrs. Olatokunboh Adeleye, said the donation was in tandem with the government’s drive to reposition education and bequeath decent environment to the pupils. The gesture, she said, would improve the bilateral relations between Lagos State and China, noting that Chinese were executing projects across the state. The association’s Secretary, Jack Zhou, said they found the police officer worthy of the honour because of his exemplary conduct.
I Make N3.6m From Selling Hard Drugs, Says Suspect – Nation
A suspected drug peddler has said he makes over N3.6 million yearly from the illicit trade. Olukoya Ayodele, 26, told operatives of the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) that he has been in the business since 2016. His colleague, Victor Godwin, 30, described factory workers as their major customers. RRS said in a statement yesterday that the duo were arrested in Alausa, Ikeja, following intelligence report by its operatives’ decoy that was mandated to uncover illicit drugs being distributed in the area. The suspects are into Indian hemp, Skunk, Tramadol, Refnol, Diazal and others. Ayodele, a graduate of Information Management and a member of the Black Axe Confraternity (Aye), was arrested with charms. RRS said Ayodele claimed that he used them for protection in his student days. He was quoted as saying: “I armed myself with these charms to protect myself from getting killed by rival cultists. I learnt charm making from my father, who is an herbalist. It makes it easy for me to prepare charms for myself and friends.”
Boutique Owner, Conductor Arrested For Selling Drugs – Punch
Operatives of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad have arrested two suspects, Olukoya Ayodele and Victor Godwin, for allegedly peddling hard drugs in the Alausa area of the state.The suspects were said to have been illegally running a distribution network of drugs. Police operatives, who reportedly got a tip-off on their activities, arrested them while posing as potential buyers of the illicit drugs. The suspects, in their confessional statements to the police, reportedly said they used to buy and sell different types of drugs, including hemp, skunk, Tramadol, Refnol, Diazal, among others, to factory workers within the vicinity. Ayodele, who claimed to be a member of the Black Axe Confraternity, was allegedly arrested with charms. The 26-year-old said he went into hard drugs because he was not making enough money as a conductor, adding that he made over N3.6m annually from peddling the drugs.
Gunmen Kidnap OAU Lecturer On Ife/Ibadan Expressway – Punch
Some armed men believed to be kidnappers Sunday evening abducted a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Yinka Adegbehingbe, on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway.According to security sources, the incident occurred between Asejire and Ikire town around 9 pm. Prof Adegbehingbe alongside his wife, it was learnt, was travelling from Lagos to Ife when armed men, stopped their vehicle and abducted him. An eyewitness, Azeez Olagunju, told our correspondent that several vehicles ran into the ambush by the gunmen. He said, “several vehicles were stopped by some men armed with guns. Many people fled into the bush because we thought it was an armed robbery attack. “Later, we were told a man had been abducted but I don’t know who the person is. Those that fled into the bush later returned after the men had left the road.” A spokesperson for Ooni of Ife, Moses Olafare confirmed the abduction of Adegbehingbe to our correspondent.
NPFL: Enyimba Ground Rangers To Narrow Lead To Three Points – Thisday
Former champions, Enyimba FC narrowed the gap between them and Rangers International FC of Enugu to just three points yesterday when the Flying Antelopes were brought down to earth in a 3-1 defeat in a Nigeria Professional Football League Oriental Derby played in Aba. Defender Ifeanyi Anaemena scored two headers in the derby Aba fans thoroughly enjoyed with relish. In between Anaemena’s headers which were the first and last goals of the game, Jean-Marie Guera doubled Enyimba’s lead in the 18th minute while Godwin Aguda halved the deficit for Rangers four minutes into the second half. Anaemena’s second in the 60th minute was timely as it ensured that the People’s Elephant inflict a priceless defeat on their table-topping opponents, their third in consecutive games while reducing the gap between both teams to three points. At the Agege Stadium, Rivers United came unstuck in Lagos as an early Chijioke Akuneto penalty handed MFM FC a 1-0 victory. Rivers United dominated the clash but failed to translate their superiority to goals.
Flying Eagles Lose To Saudis In Austria – Punch
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles suffered a 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia in a friendly encounter at the Sportschule Lindabrunn, Vienna, Austria on Sunday, reports Completesports.com.The Saudi Arabians dominated proceedings in the first half but wasted a number of goal scoring opportunities. Khalid Al-Ghannam gave the Asians the lead in the 55th minute. Henry Offia, who was on target in Nigeria’s 3-3 draw against Freiburg last week, equalised for the Flying Eagles in the 64th minute. Hamed Alghamdi netted the winning goal for Saudi Arabia 12 minutes from time. Paul Aigbogun’s charges will face German side Hoffenheim in their next game on Wednesday. They will also come up against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday May 14 and Red Bull Leipzig on Friday, May 17. The players and their officials are expected to return to Ingoladst on Monday where they will continue preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. The Flying Eagles had a disappointing outing at the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Niger early in the year where they finished in fourth position. They will face Qatar, United States of America and Ukraine in Group D at the world cup in Poland.
Mikel Ends Boro Stint With Goal, Seeks Fresh Challenges – Thisday
Super Eagles Captain John Mikel Obi waited till the last day of the regular season before netting his maiden goal for Middlesbrough in their 2-1 win against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium. The victory meant nothing to Boro and their fans as the 73 points they garnered in the Championship season could not guarantee them a place in the top six positions after Derby County defeated West Brom 3-1 in a simultaneous game. Speaking after the game, the former Chelsea stalwart strongly hinted that he was not extending his contract with Middlesbrough, stressing he has options elsewhere and wants to win trophies. ”I don’t know, you can never say never, that’s why I said they. My contract ends, if there’s a conversation, okay fine,” Mikel told BBC Sport. ”It’s a great club, it’s a big club. They will find the right players, get that dressing room back and make sure next season they are in the playoffs or automatic promotion.”
Maradona Misses Out On First Title As Coach, Says ‘I Nearly Died’ – AFP Sports
Diego Maradona’s hopes of winning his first coaching title were dashed Sunday as his Dorados team lost the Mexican second-division finals, along with their shot at promotion. Rivals Atletico San Luis scored the lone goal of the second leg in extra time to clinch the title and a spot in the first division — the second time they have left Maradona empty-handed in two consecutive finals. “I nearly died… But it’s fine. I’m sad for my boys, though,” Maradona said after the match. The Argentine great and his team faced a tough task heading into the second-leg match, having been held 1-1 in the first leg at home in Culiacan, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. They managed to hold Atletico to 90 goalless minutes playing away in the central city of San Luis Potosi. But Spanish defender Unai Bilbao slotted in the winning goal for the home team in the 103rd minute, after Dorados ‘keeper Gaspar Servio failed to clear a free kick. The loss ended a 14-game unbeaten streak for Dorados, who faced a hostile crowd of nearly 25,000 that booed Maradona relentlessly.
Chelsea Qualify For UCL Following Watford Win – Punch
Chelsea secured their place in the Champions League next season with victory over Watford at Stamford Bridge. The win, combined with Arsenal’s draw against Brighton, means the Blues are guaranteed a top-four finish in the Premier League. After a quiet first half, Chelsea scored twice within three minutes early in the second period through headers by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz. Gonzalo Higuain sealed the points with a neat finish from Pedro’s pass for his fifth goal for the club. The win moves Chelsea up to third, one point ahead of Tottenham and four points clear of the fifth-placed Gunners. FA Cup finalists Watford started brightly, going close through Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu, but were left to rue their slow start to the second half that saw Chelsea quickly take the game away from them. The Hornets, who stay 10th, have now won just one of their past five Premier League games since their FA Cup semi-final victory over Wolves last month.
Arsenal Shift Focus To Europa – Punch
Arsenal’s focus is now on the Europa League, says boss Unai Emery, after his lacklustre side’s hopes of a top-four Premier League finish were effectively ended by a draw with Brighton. The Gunners are three points behind Tottenham in fourth with one game to play but would need an eight-goal swing, as well as results going their way, to overtake their rivals. Barring that highly improbable scenario, Arsenal will need to win the Europa League to play in the Champions League next season and take a 3-1 advantage into their semi-final second-leg in Valencia on Thursday. “We knew it was going to be difficult but our focus is now the Europa League,” Emery, who won the competition three times in a row with Sevilla, told BBC Sport. “We have the opportunity in the Europa League to do something important and we will try and do that.” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal in front at Emirates Stadium with a ninth-minute penalty after Alireza Jahanbakhsh was judged to have fouled Nacho Monreal despite appearing to get the ball.
ENGLISH REMIER LEAGUE
|11||West Ham United||37||14||7||16||48||54||-6||49|
|17||Brighton & Hov…||37||9||9||19||34||56||-22||36|
SPANISH LA LIGA
|14||Celta de Vigo||36||10||10||16||50||57||-7||40|