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Thiago ends drought as Liverpool down Porto

Klopp’s side had already booked their place in the knockout stages as Group B winners, but they did not rest on their laurels at Anfield.

Thiago has endured a difficult time with Liverpool, struggling to recapture the form that made him a Champions League winner at Bayern Munich.

The Spanish midfielder gave a glimpse of his talent with a composed display capped by a blistering long-range strike to put Liverpool ahead in the second half.

Mohamed Salah sealed Liverpool’s fifth successive group victory with his 17th goal this season.

Porto are second in the group, one point ahead of Atletico Madrid and AC Milan, leaving Sergio Conceicao’s team needing to beat the Spanish champions in their last match on December 7 to advance alongside Liverpool.

The Reds do not have an empty midweek left in 2021 and face nine games in all competitions in December, so Klopp rested several stars including Virgil Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“It was hectic, which is not unusual for a team that has not played together a lot. But so many good things happened, both individually and as a team. 

“We had young players playing, players back from injury and the right players got minutes and the right players got some rest.”

Liverpool’s 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Morton made his Champions League debut, with Neco Williams, Ibrahima Konate and Takumi Minamino also coming in.

Morton made his first Premier League appearance as a late substitute against Arsenal at the weekend, but he did not look out of place on the big stage.

“If you are in our squad you are a good player, it’s as simple as that. I would not throw a player into a game if he was not ready,” Klopp said. 

“With Tyler some might have been surprised before kick off but he did exceptionally well and I am pleased he put in a performance like this.”

Moments later, Luis Diaz’s deft pass picked out Otavio’s run into the Liverpool area, but Tsimikas made a lunging last-ditch tackle that forced the midfielder to poke wide.

Sadio Mane thought he had scored in the 37th minute when he ran onto Thiago’s pass and slotted home, but a VAR check showed the Senegal forward was marginally offside.

When Mateus Uribe swivelled to fire just wide soon after half-time, it seemed Porto were beginning to take control.

But it was Klopp’s men who made the breakthrough thanks to Thiago’s moment of magic in the 52nd minute.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s free-kick was headed out to Thiago and he drilled a superb 25-yard drive past Diogo Costa.

Oxlade-Chamberlain went close with a long-range rocket before Thiago was substituted to a standing ovation from the Kop.

Thiago’s replacement Jordan Henderson set up Liverpool’s second goal in the 70th minute, picking out Salah, who shimmied inside before planting a low strike into the bottom corner from 12 yards.


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Tragedy narrowly averted at Euro 2020 final: study

A 128-page report into the chaos at the showpiece game on July 11 concluded there were real fears thousands of ticketless fans could have stormed the ground had England beaten Italy.

The author of the study called it a “near miss” that could have led to deaths or serious injury, blaming it on a reckless “horde” of 6,000 or more fans without tickets.

“The drunkenness, drug-taking, irresponsibility, criminality, and abuse of innocent people… was shocking and intolerable,” wrote Louise Casey.

“I am clear that we were close to fatalities and/or life-changing injuries for some, potentially many, in attendance,” she added, calling the trouble a “national shame”.

England’s Football Association governing body, which commissioned the study, apologised and said it accepted its conclusions in full.

As a punishment, UEFA has banned supporters from England’s next home international in their competitions.

There had been a collective failure to plan for the worst, and police were deployed too late.

She recommended the government consider the creation of a special category of matches of national significance, where security would be tighter and with curbs on alcohol.

Better stewarding in the area immediately around the stadium was needed, and harsher penalties for anyone involved in football-related disorder, she added.

Some 2,000 ticketless fans were found to have gained access to the stadium in 17 separate breaches of disabled gates and emergency fire doors to the ground.

The breaches, which began from 90 minutes before kick-off and continued up to the penalty shoot-out, “jeopardised the lives of legitimate supporters and staff”, said Casey.

One individual even impersonated a steward and hijacked a disabled child in a wheelchair, separating him from his father, as he tried to get in.

The report quoted one emergency services official as saying the consequences of an England win would have been “horrific” and led to a major incident in London.

“Thank God England lost,” an official from the Sports Ground Safety Authority added.

“If they had won you would have to open the doors to let people out and the stadium would have been stormed.”

Casey said a wider effort was also needed to stamp out hooliganism and racism in football and society, after England’s black players were abused after the defeat.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said everyone at the organisation was “appalled” by the disorder on what was England’s biggest game since the 1966 World Cup final.

“No event is set up to deal with such disgraceful behaviour from thousands of ticketless fans. Collectively we must never allow this to happen again,” he added.


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65-year-old man who confessed to raping his daughter blames it on devil

Taiwo said that the incident happened at Imomo in Ijebu-Ode, saying the suspect was arrested on Wednesday.

He noted that the suspect had confessed to have slept with his daughter, claiming it was the work of the devil.

He added that the matter would be investigated and the suspect would be prosecuted.

The suspect told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he slept with the victim only once, when her mother had travelled.

Balogun, who regretted his action, said that the victim was not his biological daughter, saying that her mother brought her to his house when she was just 10 years old.

She said that at the last attempt at having intercourse with her, he promised to give her N1,000 but she refused and he forcibly slept with her.

She said she had reported the issue to her mother several times but she never believed her.

She said it was an uncle who took her to report the case at the NSCDC.


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Judicial panel member Segalink will join Sanwo-Olu’s walk of peace

The panel’s main submission that nine people were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate while protesting on October 20, 2020 was rejected by a government white paper presented by a panel set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The white paper’s conclusion was heavily-criticised by activists and civil society organisations, and the governor’s call for a ‘walk of peace’ for closure and healing derided by many of those invited.

He said in a series of tweets that the white paper is not necessarily the conclusion of the massacre issue, and there’s no need to react to everything with hate and division.

The activist said aligning with the governor on one issue does not mean that he’d stop engaging him on others.

Many of those publicly invited by the governor have openly rejected the invitation in light of the white paper, insisting that he ensures justice is done for victims.

But the governor has ramped up his campaign for the walk to go ahead.

Students of the Lagos State University (LASU) promised to join the walk when he visited the institution on Thursday.

A date is yet to be announced.


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African Union to observe the 4th December 2021 Presidential Election in the Republic of The Gambia

It would be recalled that the AU had deployed LTOs to the Republic of The Gambia since 20th October, who were joined by STOs on 22nd November 2021. They will undergo a three-day briefing and orientation on the political context and the state of preparedness for the presidential election. The AUEOM is observing the pre-election activities which include the political environment, electoral legal framework, the transparency of the electoral process, the campaign environment, freedom of the media, and respect for popular participation. 

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Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).


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Peaky Blinders returns for sixth and final season

Created by Steven Knight [who is also recognized for writing the script for Apple Tv’s ‘See’ starring Jason Momoa and this year’s Emmy runner, Spencer] ‘Peaky blinders’ centres on the rise and fall of the true-life family of Irish immigrants in Birmingham, England, in the early 1900s. The Shelby’s rose to power from the humble streets of Birmingham, managing race tracks gambling, to becoming one of the most revered crime gang in the entire UK.

Thomas, the death of his wife, and younger brother John. Author, the eldest Shelby, has dealt with the separation from his lover and struggle with mental health. Aida, the spirited sister isn’t left out, just as the family matriarch ‘Polly’ played by (Helen McCrory) who sadly passed away due to cancer early this year.

Despite the losses that came with the victories over the villains in past seasons, the family makes it a point to stand their ground regardless of how tense the plot becomes. Recall that in season 5, Thomas failed to assassinate the newly introduced fascist villain Oswald Mosley, played by Sam Claflin. Oswald Mosley appears to be an immovable obstacle for Thomas’s grand scheme, but as we know, the Shelbys are intimidated by nothing and no one.

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Previous directors Otto Bathurst, Tom Harper, Colm McCarthy and more are also named to be involved in producing the sixth season and feature film, whose release date is undisclosed.

Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.


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Rangnick aims to improve Manchester United’s defensive ‘balance’

The 63-year-old German’s first press conference since being appointed interim manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came after United’s see-saw 3-2 win over Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday overseen by caretaker boss Michael Carrick.

Solskjaer was dismissed following a humiliating 4-1 defeat at lowly Watford, with United having already lost 5-0 at home to arch-rivals Liverpool in October — another sign of how far the once dominant club in English football had fallen.

“We are talking about six-and-a-half months, one third of the games, and we have agreed on a two-year advisory deal. If Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot turn it down,” said Rangnick.

“This is one of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest club, in the world. I am excited to work with the players we have here,” he added.

“I am well acquainted. It’s pretty obvious the team has an abundance of young, talented players and experienced players. The major target for me is to bring more balance into the team. 

“I want to bring more balance and more control. Yesterday’s game, for me as the future coach, they are not the games you need. I will try and bring these outstanding, talented players away from their own goal.”

Rangnick’s deal is set to see him move into a consultancy role at Old Trafford after the end of the current campaign.

As for the possibility he might replace Solskjaer on a permanent basis, Rangnick said: “If we do well and we stabilise, I might even recommend that we keep working with me. This is all hypothetical, we cannot speak about that.”

Rangnick added he had tried to persuade former United midfielder Carrick, who announced his departure from the club after Thursday’s victory, which left them 10 points adrift of the top three, to stay at Old Trafford.

“I had a conversation with Michael for more than an hour and tried to convince him, but he needed a break and I understand his decision,” he said.

There have been suggestions that the way star Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo plays is not suited to Rangnick’s approach to football.

“I have never seen anyone as fit at 36. But it’s not just about him (Ronaldo), it’s about developing the squad as a whole,” he explained.

Rangnick’s first game in charge will be a league match at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the new manager enthused by the “potential” shown during the win over Arsenal.

Manchester United have not won the Premier League since 2012/13, when they took the title in the final season of legendary manager Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden 27-year reign at Old Trafford.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer have all since been hired and fired as United’s full-time manager.

“It’s not unusual that after a long successful spell, the club needs to find a new path,” Rangnick said.

“The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the club’s DNA. In the future the board members and myself have the same opinion. It’s important not to have many changes in management.”


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Wike says he’ll not impose his successor on Rivers people in 2023

He assured that the leadership of the party would meet to decide who to support at the appropriate time.

Wike however said that he is obliged to ensure that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wins the 2023 governorship election in Rivers.

“One mistake I will not make is to impose somebody. From my experience as a student of history, reality has shown that it is difficult for you to say Joseph is the man I can trust.

Wike stated that God would not allow someone who will destroy all the remarkable progress the state had made over the years to be the next governor.

”God will ensure that it is only someone who is courageous, firm and ready to protect the interest of Rivers that will succeed me.

“Rivers is a state that so many people have interest in. It is a state that you have to put your feet on the ground. It is a state that you have to annoy a lot of Nigerians and a lot of Nigerians will hate you.


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Ini Edo welcomes baby girl via surrogacy

The movie star shared the big news during a chat with popular blogger, Stella Dimoko Korkus.

Yes I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The Eggs are mine and so genetically she’s my blood. I chose this path to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother,” she said.

“I still have a good number of eggs frozen in case I decide to do surrogacy again or carry my baby myself. Who knows.”

When asked why about the identity of the father of the child, the movie star revealed that she opted for a donor just to avoid the drama associated “between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums.”

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“I opted for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind. Another major reason I opted for a donor is that it scares me so much when I see banter and controversies between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums or when I see the man insisting he wants his child if things don’t work out between both parties,” she said.

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Edo said the joy of motherhood is something she’s grateful for.

“It is an awesome feeling and experience and as I watch my daughter grow every day, I am in awe of the miracles that God has sent my way and I am so thankful and grateful to be my daughter’s mother,” she said.

The movie star said she would recommend surrogacy for anyone finding it difficult to conceive.


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Appeal Court acquits ex-Oyo Gov Alao-Akala of N11.5b corruption charges

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Agboola is currently the Chairman of Advisory Council to Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

He served as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters during Alao-Akala’s administration between 2007 and 2011, while Babalola owns Pentagon Engineering Services, the engineering firm that executed some contracts during the period.

The litigation, which started 11 years ago, was concluded by a three-man panel, presided over by Justice Jimi Bada, with Justices Abba Muhammed and Abdulazeez Waziri as members.

The justices, in their unanimous judgment, set aside the ruling of the lower court.

The justices held that the trial court erred by ordering the defendants to enter defence for the three counts because the prosecution, led by EFCC, failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

While Bada read the judgment for Alao-Akala, Muhammed and Waziri read the judgments for Babalola and Agboola respectively.

NAN also reports that the three defendants/appellants were physically present at the court during the judgment.

Counsel to EFCC, Dr Benedict Ubi, however, refused to speak with newsmen after the judgment.

In his own reaction, Lead Counsel to Alao-Akala and Babalola, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), represented by Abiodun Ogunjinmi, described the judgment as “beautiful”.

“We really appreciate and thank God for giving us a beautiful judgment today.

“The justices did a marvellous job. This case started in 2012, which was about 11 years ago but ended well today.

Alao-Akala and Babalola, in their reactions, also commended the judiciary for the judgment.

“I’ve always relied on the judiciary as the last hope of the common man like me.

“So, we thank God for everything. God has settled everything, and so, let us forget about the number of years the case took,” the former governor said.

NAN recalls that Alao-Akala and the two others were arraigned before an Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan in 2012 by EFCC on an 11-count charge, bordering on N11.5 billion fraud.

The charges comprised conspiracy, awarding contract without budgetary provisions, obtaining by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal acts and concealing the ownership of such property, among others.

EFCC’s counsel had told the lower court that when Alao-Akala was the governor, he awarded a road contract worth N8.5billion between 2007 and 2009 to Babalola’s firm, Pentagon Engineering Services.

Ubi alleged further that the firm handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local government areas of the state without budgetary provision.

The counsel also said that Alao-Akala conspired with Ayoola to withdraw N2.9 billion from the Join State and Local Government Account.

He further told the court that the former governor illegally acquired some property at Old Bodija Road, Off Rotimi Williams Road in Ibadan, when he was governor.

The EFCC counsel stated that the alleged offences contravened section 22 (4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and Section 1 (18) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act.

The three defendants, however, filed a no-case submission after EFCC had closed its case before the court.

The trial court, presided over by Justice Muniru Owolabi, struck out eight out of the 11 count-charge against Alao-Akala and the two others.

Owolabi then ordered Alao-Akala to enter defence for the remaining three counts, bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and award of contract without budgetary provision.

He, however, discharged the former governor on the charges of acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing ownership of such property.

The judge said the witnesses called by the prosecutor failed to link evidence to the acquired property, adding that EFCC also failed to prove genuine ownership of the property.

Having dissatisfied with the judgment by the lower court, Alao-Akala and the two other defendants then headed for the Court of Appeal.


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Presidential aspirant Moghalu backs direct primaries in electoral bill

A final version of the bill was passed last month by the National Assembly with high-stakes amendments including electronic transmission of election results, and mandatory direct primaries for political parties to elect candidates.

Moghalu, a 2019 presidential candidate, said in a series of tweets on Thursday, December 3, 2021 that Buhari should be considered an ‘enemy of democracy’ if he fails to sign the bill into law.

The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reminded the president that he has no personal stakes in the upcoming general election, so delivering a transparent process for Nigerians should be an easy decision.

The direct primaries provision in the bill has especially caused some division in political circles, and is strongly opposed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The party said last month it violates the constitutional rights of parties to determine internal processes.

The indirect primaries mode of nomination is the most commonly used in Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999.

The direct mode involves all registered party members voting in the primary election, and has gained widespread acceptance within the All Progressives Congress (APC).

18 state chapters of the party used direct primaries to elect candidates for the 2019 general elections after they were allowed to pick between that or the indirect method that the other 18 chapters, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), choose.

President Buhari is yet to sign the bill and has been reported to be consulting all relevant agencies to reach a decision.


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Osinbajo: ‘Nigeria’s security challenges will be resolved soon and this nation will be stronger’

The vice president made the declaration while receiving the Muhammadu Buhari Osinbajo (MBO) Dynamic Support Group, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

According to Osinbajo; “A lot of the security challenges we see today, in due course, will be resolved and this country will be stronger and greater.

“We must never relent in ensuring that we keep to the ideals of the country and we don’t lose sight of what we are trying to achieve here.

“He is a steady hand, he is unflappable, he is not panicky, he is focused and looking at the security issues every day, and trying to advance the best possible solutions.”

“I think that it is important for us to recognize that when different kinds of challenges are being faced, the government itself requires support and help from support groups, friends, colleagues, and others committed to the ideals of the administration,” he added.

There’s been a rising spate of kidnapping and terrorist attacks across swathes of Nigeria in recent times.


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FG enforces COVID vaccine mandate on workers

Workers who did not have a vaccine jab certificate were held up at the secretariat entrance to ensure that they take the vaccine mandate issued by the government seriously.

The mandate is already getting a positive result as the Primary Health Care centers around the country’s capital started to experience an increase in the number of people waiting to get their jabs ever since.

Some health experts have even suggested that the country will struggle to vaccinate up to 40% of its population before the end of the year as the infection is not being taken seriously in the country.

Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.


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Lagos #EndSARS panel blames computer errors for duplications in report

The panel says the errors the state government is latching on to discredit parts of the report were in fact computer glitches.

The Lagos state government disagrees however, saying the submission of the panel that nine persons died, is “irreconcilable” with the testimony of John Obafunwa, a pathologist.

The Lagos state government and its talking heads continue to point at discrepancies in the panel’s report and the duplication of the names of casualties.

In a white paper on the report, the Lagos government accepted 11 out of the 32 recommendations of the panel, rejected one and accepted six with modifications.

“The chairperson, all panel members and indeed the secretariat of the panel were all within the reach of the LASG for clarifications if there was sincerity, other than picking holes in order to evade responsibility on account of computer errors and tabular alignments of cut and paste.

“This was a misnomer from the spreadsheet that ought to have terminated at Page 297 but mistakenly overlapped to Page 298 with the same names and same numbers.

“It was the computer error of the secretariat of the panel which could have been corrected as the secretariat of the panel was domiciled in the ministry of justice at all times.

“In any event, the mere fact of repetition of same names on a table cannot without more, nullify the uncontroverted evidence of death.

“​The panel considered that firing live bullets at unarmed, peaceful and unresisting protesters which led to the death of some of them, was cruel and atrocious on the part of the military and the police. The White Paper ignored these explanations and findings by the panel,” the statement reads.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has invited stakeholders and activists to a peace walk in a bid to lower the temperature heightened by the events of October 2020.


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LBS becomes first Nigerian academic institution to receive globally acclaimed ISO 9001:2015 certification

The milestone certification for Lagos Business School conveys it the first educational institution in Nigeria to be awarded the coveted global standard QMS certification. The ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems certification outlines a framework for improving quality and a vocabulary of understanding for any organisation looking to provide products and services that consistently meet the requirements and expectations of customers and other relevant interested parties in the most efficient manner possible.

Since its inception in 1991, LBS has maintained global standards in business education, quality management, and impacting the larger society by upskilling managers and leaders to become global champions of progressive actions in their respective careers and communities.

Speaking on the milestone achievement, the Dean, Lagos Business School, Professor Chris Ogbechie said: “Our global rankings and accreditations have been achieved due to a careful and deliberate implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS), which we have used to deliver superior participant learning experience.

”Today, our efforts have been rewarded with the award of the ISO 9001: 2015 certification. This affirms our dedication to providing quality education and service to our customers and stakeholders as well as meeting all statutory and regulatory requirements. This prestigious award is a reward for the many years of dedication to service by staff, faculty, students and stakeholders.”

“This ISO 9001:2015 certification puts LBS in a league of its own as the only academic institution with such an honour. We have always set the pace for academic excellence and this certification is another pedestal others will try to achieve,” Professor Ogbechie added.

In his remarks at the presentation ceremony, the Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, said’; “This milestone achievement in the pursuit of excellence is commendable and worthy of emulation by all academic institutions and service providers in Nigeria. This standard is specifically designed to improve the quality of educational service delivery in the world. As I join other Nigerians to congratulate the LBS on this milestone achievement, I must remind the institution that this certification is a foundation that the LBS has laid to launch the institution to the top of the World University ranking system,” he said.

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Also speaking, the President, Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA) and Publisher, Businessday Newspaper, Frank Aigbogun, said, “I am pleased that the strong ideals of LBS have brought the institution this milestone certification. I have absolutely no doubt that not only would this certification be renewed, but we also expect to receive higher certifications in the years ahead. I am happy that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has certified the great work that is being done here at Lagos Business School.”



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Ronaldo, Fernandes celebrate milestones in five-goal thriller at Old Trafford

Ronaldo scored a brace to take his tally to 801 career goals as United defeated Mikel Arteta’s Gunners 3-2 in the Premier League on Thursday.

The 36-year-old whose goals were all scored in the second half in the game has now scored 12 goals in 14 starts for Manchester United this season, taking his total goals for the Reds to 130 in two spells.

He scored an incredible 450 of the goals for Spanish giants Real Madrid, while 101 goals were scored for Italian club, Juventus and five goals for his first club, Sporting Lisbon.

Ronaldo is also the top scoring player in international football history with 115 goals scored for his country, Portugal.

But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t the only who had something to celebrate at Old Trafford on Thursday, neither was he the only scorer for the Red Devils as his compatriot, Bruno Fernandes, kick-started the comeback against Arsenal.

With their new interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, watching from the executive box at the stadium, United started on the worst possible note as a bizarre goal from Emile Smith-Rowe put the visitors ahead with David De Gea inactive and reeling in pains on the pitch.

The goal was Fernandes 79th goal contribution for the club he joined in the winter of 2020 from the Portuguese side, Sporting.

Fernandes, who created the most chances (four) in the game against Arsenal, had this to say after the match;

“(I am) really happy to celebrate my 100th appearance for this club with a win and with our fans,” he posted on his social media account. Hopefully, many more games to come.”

There was also a message for caretaker manager, Michael Carrick, who resigned moments after the game against Arsenal from Fernandes.

“Also, (I) wanted to say thank you to Michael Carrick, a great Manchester United legend,” he added.

He has scored 45 goals and assisted 34 more during his time at the club.


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