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Pernille Harder earns Chelsea Women Champions League win over Juventus

Pernille Harder

Pernille Harder earns Chelsea Women Champions League win over Juventus

Emma Hayes said Pernille Harder had taken Chelsea to “an even higher level” after the Danish forward earned the Blues all three points in a narrow victory over Juventus in Turin.

Harder scored her 27th goal in 30 UWCL games to give last season’s runners-up a valuable win after Barbara Bonansea had cancelled out Erin Cuthbert’s opener.

“She had an outstanding performance,” said Hayes of Harder, who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2020. “She came to this football club, England is a difficult country to come to, it’s already an amazing team, and she’s taken us to an even higher level because her standards day in and day out are what every young person should look up to. She takes responsibility, she’s accountable, she’s there when it really matters, she’s there for this team and I’m so delighted she’s part of this squad.”

Living up to its group of death moniker, Group A currently has Wolfsburg top, after their 5-0 defeat of Swiss side Servette FCCF, Chelsea second, level with the Germans on four points, Juventus third on three points and Servette bottom and pointless. Chelsea, though, have back-to-back games against Servette while Wolfsburg and Juventus will trade body blows.

“We’re in a strong position, four points. It’s not about away goals anymore, it’s about points on the board and our intention and our objectives are clear and we’re one step close to that,” said Hayes.

It took half an hour before the Blues took the lead at the noisy Juventus stadium, where 17,000 tickets had been distributed of the 20,000 available prior to kick-off. Cuthbert made a blistering and dogged run before cutting inside and firing low into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes after Cuthbert’s opener Juventus punished the profligacy that had gifted Wolfsburg three goals in the preceding round. A sharp cross from the left to the far post was met by Bonansea and the Italian did well to hold off Guro Reiten and weaved in front of her marker to smash the ball home. It was too easy – once again Chelsea’s back three was found wanting.

Juventus currently sit top of Serie A with six wins from six and although Chelsea had played the Italian champions only once, in a pre-season friendly in 2018, the team has come a long way since then and the manager in the dugout was far more familiar.

After leaving Arsenal at the end of last season, Joe Montemurro joined Juventus in the summer. In 12 meetings between Hayes and Montemurro while he was in north London, the Blues won nine times and Arsenal once.

In the second half Montemurro was denied the chance to take the lead over his old foe when Cristiana Girelli fell in the box after a nudge in the back from Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson, but with no VAR until the knockout stages the appeals of the Italian side were waved away.

Instead Hayes’s team restored their lead after an hour. Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby linked up and attempted to weave into the box but were crowded out by black and white shirts and the stray ball fell kindly for the ever-alert Harder, who powered in.

“I feel good, I feel like I’m in a flow,” said Harder. “I had a good pre-season, worked hard and feel like I have adapted into the team. So I just keep building and keep developing, me and the team, and I love that.”

Almost instantly Juventus went in search of a reply but Hurtig’s effort rippled the side netting. Chelsea went close to extending their lead but a drilled Kerr shot was tipped acrobatically on to the post by former Arsenal goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin before being cleared.

Eight substitutions in 23 minutes killed the momentum of both teams. In a scrappy end to the game Chelsea clung on to take all three points that has kept them well in the mix.

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I Can’t Contest For President Again; It Will Diminish Me- Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s former president, has said he will never contest for the Presidency of the country again.

The Ex-president said it would amount to diminishing himself if he should decide to begin to lobby people and campaign for election again.

Jonathan said this in an interview published in a book, ‘My Time As Chaplain In Aso Rock,” presented to the public on Tuesday.

The book written by Nathaniel Bivan contains the accounts of the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Chapel during the Jonathan administration, Obioma Onwuzurumba.

“If you wake up tomorrow and see that I am President again, that means there may have been circumstances beyond my control. But not to go and pick one form and go and start lobbying people and running for campaigns; I can’t do that again. If I do that, I will diminish myself,” the former President said.

Jonathan said he enjoyed the drama that characterised the rumour earlier in the year that he had purchased a nomination form of the All Progressives Congress to enable him to contest for the party’s presidential ticket.

Ahead of the June 2022 APC presidential primary, a group, Nomadic Pastoralists and Almajirai Community, led by Ibrahim Abdullahi, purchased the N100m nomination and expression of interest forms in Jonathan’s name.

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NMDPRA Assures Nigerians Of Steady Fuel Supply

The Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) says the queues at filling stations will soon disappear as marketers commence massive loading of petroleum products.

Mr Ahmed Farouk, Chief Executive of NMDPRA, gave the assurance during a stock monitoring exercise within depots in Lagos on Wednesday.

The NMDPRA boss led staff of the Authority to NIPCO, Total, Aiteo, OVH, Conoil, 11 Plc and HOGL depots in Apapa for on the spot assessment.

Farouk said the stock taking exercise was to ensure availability and effective distribution of petroleum products across the nation to reduce queues at filling stations.

“The essence of this exercise is to ensure that the entire states are wet with petroleum products to avoid scarcity and panic buying by commuters during this period.

“As an Authority, we are doing everything within our powers to make sure that there are enough petroleum products in the system to help alleviate the sufferings of commuters.

“With the issue of scarcity across the nation, l found it necessary that NMDPRA come and ensure that there is even distribution of petroleum products across the nation, especially petrol.

“I am comfortable with the the load-out of petrol across the depots.

“The current distribution of petrol across the nation will address the issue of tightness in the market,” he said.

The NMDPRA boss said all depots in Apapa had products and were loading massively to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other states.

He said three vessels were also discharging petrol at Apapa jetty to MOMAN, DAPPMAN and other depots.

Farouk urged Nigerians not to panic and avoid panic buying, while assuring of availability of sufficient products at filling stations across the country.

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House of Representatives Passes Bill To Establish Nigeria Peace Corps

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Bill to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps after its third reading at plenary.

Rep. Mohammed Monguno, the Chief Whip of the House who sponsored the bill, said it was to facilitate peace and ensure security in local communities and neighbourhoods across the country.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had in 2017 passed the Peace Corps Establishment Bill 2016.

However, President Muhammad Buhari withheld his assent to the Bill, citing lack of funds.

Buhari said that the establishment of such an institution was a duplication of functions of conventional security agencies.

The Bill was however, in July 2019 reintroduced and re-gazetted by the house.

The Peace Corps has been in existence since 1998 without legal backing, which led to security agencies clamping down on its activities.

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