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Ighalo Cleared For Man Utd Trip To Club Brugge

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Odion Ighalo has been told he will be able to travel for Manchester United’s Europa League clash against Club Brugge despite missing the club’s Marbella training camp amid coronavirus fears.

Ighalo was left in Manchester when the United squad left for Spain on Saturday amid concerns he would not be allowed back into the UK if border controls were tightened up this week to stem the spread of coronavirus.

United signed Nigeria striker Ighalo on loan for the rest of the season from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on transfer deadline day.

Because he travelled from China, where more than 800 people have died from coronavirus, Ighalo has to be monitored for 14 days.

However, the 30-year-old did not have to go into quarantine as he travelled from Shanghai rather than Wuhan, where the virus originated.

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Ighalo’s monitoring period ends on February 16, meaning he will be available to make his debut in United’s Premier League clash away to Chelsea the following day.

And United have also confirmed that he will be able to travel to Belgium for the first leg of United’s Europa League last-32 clash against Club Bruges, according to the Mail.

However, it is not ideal that Ighalo has had to miss the Marbella training camp, as it would have been the ideal opportunity for him to integrate with his new team-mates and learn what United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would expect from him on the pitch.

The striker will instead follow an individual programme with personal performance coach Wayne Richardson, training alongside the Great Britain taekwondo squad in Manchester.

Explaining the decision to leave Ighalo out of the Marbella trip, Solskjaer said: “Because of the situation in China, we’re not sure if he’d be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he’s staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That’s a plus.

“Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of potential border restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.”

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Man Utd Spank Chelsea 2-0 In Heartbreaking Game

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Manchester United Monday night claimed a two-nil victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The first meaningful moment of the game occurred not in either goalmouth, but in the middle of the park when Blues midfield general N’Golo Kante picked up an off-the-ball injury.

Despite receiving treatment, the French international could not continue and limped off the field to be replaced by Mason Mount after just 10 minutes.

The game burst into life in the 21st minute when Man Utd centre-half Harry Maguire appeared lucky to escape punishment after kicking out into the groin area of Michy Batshuayi.

The scene was reminiscent of the incident that saw Tottenham’s Son Heung-min given a VAR-assisted red card in December – also versus Chelsea – but no card was forthcoming.

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The deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half-time through Anthony Martial.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka marauded forward down the right flank and did well to create half a yard of space despite the close attentions of Willian.

His whipped delivery was met superbly by Frenchman Martial who guided his header inside the far post to put the Red Devils in front 1-0.

Michy Batshuayi had a chance to level the scores in added time, but his low drive from an acute angle never troubled David De Gea’s net as it flashes across the face of goal.

Chelsea thought they had found the equaliser in the 55th minute but VAR overruled a Kurt Zouma header after Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have pushed Brandon Williams in the back moments prior.

Utd’s lead was almost doubled just after the hour mark when Bruno Fernandes rattled the base of the post direct from a free-kick.

Just 90 seconds later, the second goal did come after Maguire connected sweetly with a corner to head Utd into a two-goal lead.

Chelsea thought they’d pulled one back with what would’ve been the game’s third headed goal, but Olivier Giroud was ruled by VAR to have been marginally offside.

Mason Mount crashed a free-kick against the post in a carbon copy of the Fernandes chance earlier, but it wasn’t to be Chelsea’s night with Man Utd eventually running out 2-0 winners.

TT

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Arsenal Thrash Newcastle In Second-Half Impressive Display To Earn Second Arteta Win

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Arsenal produced a fine second-half display to earn a deserved second victory under Mikel Arteta, running out 3-0 winners at the Emirates stadium.

Arsenal took a while to get going in the first half, with Newcastle enjoying time and space on the ball with the pace of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron a constant threat on the break.

And Joelinton could have given his side the lead but put a clear-cut chance wide of the post.

But the Gunners started to warm up on the half-hour mark with Mesut Ozil starting to find his passing range from the centre of midfield.

And it was the German playmaker who found Eddie Nketiah – who was making his first Premier League start – on the edge of the box, with the Arsenal youngster forcing a smart save from Martin Dubravka.

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Nicolas Pepe then drew another save from Dubravka, who tipped the winger’s long-range free-kick over the bar.

Saint-Maximin could have given the visitors the lead at the break as he powered past a laboured Arsenal defence but couldn’t get his shot on target from a tight angle.

Mikel Arteta’s side came out a different team in the second period, pushing for the opening goal, and Nketiah saw his shot clip the bar after fine combination play between Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe.

And Arsenal did get the breakthrough soon after, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang directing a wonderful header into the far corner from a floated Pepe cross.

Provider turned scorer seconds later as Arsenal’s record signing tucked away Saka’s cross after the Arsenal academy product’s audacious nutmeg on Valentino Lazaro.

Saint-Maximin hit the post on the break for Newcastle, but the visitors ran out of steam in the second half.

Mesut Ozil then scored his first goal for 10 months, as his poked shot somehow made it past Dubravka, who fluffed his lines.

And Alexandre Lacazette then came off the bench to score his first goal in nine games to put the icing on the cake for Arteta’s side.

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BREAKING: Man City Handed 2 Years Champions League Ban

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Manchester City have been banned from European competitions for the next two seasons for “serious financial fair-play breaches”, UEFA announced on Friday.

The English champions were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million), but can appeal the decision of UEFA’s adjudicatory chamber to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

More details shortly

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