Europa League : Sadiq Stars In Partizan’s Home Loss To Man United; Ibrahim Bags Assist For Bratislava

Europa League : Sadiq Stars In Partizan’s Home Loss To Man United;  Ibrahim Bags Assist For Bratislava

Nigeria forward Umar Sadiq put up a fine performance but ended up on the losing side as Parttizan Belgrade suffered a 1-0 loss to Manchester United in their UEFA Europa League clash on Thursday, reports Completesports.com.

Sadiq was on for 90 minutes in the game.

Anthony Martial netted the winning goal for Manchester United from the spot three minutes before the break.

In another game, Joe Aribo played as a substitute in Glasgow Rangers’ 1-1 away draw against Portuguese club, FC Porto.

Aribo took the place of Ryan Kent in the 76th minute.

At the Narodny Futbalovy Stadium, former Golden Eaglets midfielder, Rabiu Ibrahim bagged an assist in Slovan Bratislava 2-1 home defeat to Premier League club, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ibrahim was replaced by Aleksandr Cavric nine minutes from time.

U-23 Eagles captain Azubuike Okechukwu was introduced at the start of second half in Istanbul Basakhsehir 1-0 home win against Austrian club, Wolfsberger.

Azubuike replaced Mahmut Tekdemir in the 46th minute.

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  • Pompei 5 years ago

    The man that really got my attention today was RABIU IBRAHIM. Have not watched him for a while now. He reminded me why we all thought he was going to be the next big thing. Just some sweet, sweet balling. That assist! A lovely outside of the left foot pass from midfield. Hmmmm, na waya. With Iwobi, Eze, Aribo and co in the Naija squad already, Ibrahim would have to do a lot to get a look in. But he did himself no harm today!

    • If Rabiu Ibrahim had stayed in Trencin, he could have continued to get Super Eagles invites.

      But that move to Gent and one unconvincing display under Oliseh sealed his fate.

      I like him and think he is definitely national team material.

      But age is no longer on his side. Playing in Slovakia does not help plus the Super Eagles midfield is taking shape with some hard working midfielders.

      I think we can move pass Rabiu.

    • Rabiu’s days are over. His choice of club killed his career. He was a great midfielder back in the days. And he is already getting old. Can’t compete with the younger legs we have

  • Pompei 5 years ago

    As for UMAR SADIQ, the guy is on fire at the moment. 4 goals in his last 4 games. A real handful for Harry Maguire and co in the Man United defense. Very energetic, yet intelligent play. Came really close to scoring on two occasions. Hopefully, this fine form continues. Based on current form, he looks like he could provide good competition for Osimhen. Let’s hope he keeps the fire burning.

    • One of the ‘misses’ you alluded to was a curling shot from outside the 18 yard box that, in all honesty, deserves to be a goal.

      But the stars didn’t align for Sadiq today.

      He is young, hungry, determined and ambitious.

      As much as I truly like Sadiq Umar, can I trust him to get me the goals in the big games against the big oppositions?

      Well, he did it at the Olympics!!

      But, you have Osimhen, Maja, Akpom, Iheanacho all ahead of him, all a bit more credible in stature.

      That said, Sadiq Umar played well today. However, he has to do a whole lot more to convince Super Eagles fans that he can be trusted with goal scoring responsibilities for the national team.

      He is in the right direction, tho!

      • Honestly Sadiq needs to be invited into the eagles team. At the olympics he was a beast. Maguire will be thanking his starts that the game ended. He was a thorn in Man uniteds defense. Please Rohr if you looking for a tall striker. consider this guy

      • Pompei 5 years ago

        Indeed Deo, that curler from outside the 18 that hit the post….that would have been a beauty. Let all our strikers continue to do well. Let them give Rohr a big headache. Panadol is available if needed.

  • Though on the losing side, Mikel Agu played well today.

    I actually prefer his brand of defensive midfield play to that of Ndidi.

    Agu shields the back four, makes his presence felt with movements aimed at deterring attacks and only goes for tackles after timing it well.

    Ndidi is like a rash:he goes for almost everything which could lead to the sort of fouls and free-kicks that knocked Nigeria out of Afcon 2019 contention.

    But Ndidi is untouchable. Love for him among Super Eagles supporters knows no boundaries.

    As a back up, I think it will be nice to have Agu around the national team set up. He has a lot to offer.

    • Pompei 5 years ago

      I love Ndidi, but for me, he is not untouchable. While Ndidi is a good DM, Etebo can do that really well too. And the discovery of Aribo brings so much possiblities. I’ve been thinking of a 3-man midfield comprising Iwobi, Aribo and Eze. Aribo has the energy, intelligence and skill to excel in the DM role. And I think he is an upgrade to some of our other DMs because he is also a goal threat. In this scenario, imagine Eze and Iwobi unleashed upon our poor opponents! It will be a DISASTROPHE for them. Osimhen on the other hand, will be a really happy camper, with all the chances coming his way!
      Possible line up in a 4-3-3 formation:
      Awaziem, Ekong, Ajayi, Aina
      Iwobi, Aribo, Eze
      Chukweze, Osimhen, Ojo
      Possible line up in a 3-5-2 formation (my preference)
      Ekong, Omeruo, Ajayi
      Kalu, Iwobi, Aribo, Eze, Ojo
      Chukwueze, Osimhen
      It was tough chosing between Ojo and Saka on the left. Two gifted left footed wingers. I think Ojo just nicks it due to his experience. But Saka will be breathing down his neck for that jersey. I prefer the 3-5-2 formation because when we play 3 center backs, our defence is much stronger. So, there you have it!

      • Mr Hush 5 years ago

        Let me add my opinion to this discuss.

        I enjoy watching Mikel Agu play as a DM, I think he is more of Mikel like DM with a bit of skill to his game.like the Kondogbia,Nzonzi type of DMF etc..
        But his weakness (like the aforementioned), is he gets to tire out easily,not much of a tackler and he doesn’t really have the speed to recover if caught out of position. So his style of game would depend on the opposition we are playing.
        He would always need a partner by his side or he might be over run as the game proceed(like we saw last night when Arsenal turned up the heat).

        So I would always be Keen on tacklers like Ndidi or Etebo,mainly cause of their grit. you can actually play both Ndidi and Agu together or Etebo and Agu. And there lies the problem;
        We got an Aribo; who for me does a better DMF,CMF job than Agu( plus his goals), but similar ,in the sense that they aren’t really the best tacklers and could be over powered and over run if played alone in the holding field against a faster,mobile and technical midfield. So there must be an Aribo and Ndidi partnership or Etebo and Aribo partnership in midfield.
        Though a midfield trio of Iwobi- Eze- Aribo looks mouth watery ; it leaves us open in defence. The trio are good with ball on their feet,skill wise and a goal threats,but only Aribo can really defend. If we play that way,then we should be ready to suffer in defence in as much as we are going to enjoy in attack. There is no balance.
        That’s why Arsenal is suffering when they always play with a trio like that in midfield; compared to teams like Liverpool,Man City,who play similar game.
        The difference is,with the exception to Arsenal,the rest have DMF that is good in tackling. Fabinho,Wijnaldum,keita(Liverpool), Fernadinho ,Gundogan(Man City);

        Even Arsenal knows this and that’s why they keep sticking to Xhaka,even with him been disaster prone. There have to be a balance.

        The only reason we play the trio of Iwobi- Eze- Aribo together in midfield is maybe we are playing weaker oppositions who would sit back and defend.
        Or we are playing without our wings.(which is inadvisable at this point in time).
        Then we play Ndidi-Aribo-Eze-Iwobi with Ndidi being the holding midfielder..then we have a balance..

        That’s just my take..

        • Lord AMO 5 years ago


        • Pompei 5 years ago

          Hush, the “balance” thing is a real party pooper 🙂
          I agree with you. Players like Ndidi and Etebo bring much needed grit and balance in the midfield. However, if Aribo upskills in the DM role, the Iwobi-Aribo-Eze experiment has a better chance of succeeding. Also, Iwobi and Eze would need to upskill and become box to box midfielders, thus contributing more to the much needed balance. Also to be considered is the fact that attack is actually a great, if not the best form of defense. Case in point, Algeria at the last Afcon. Their 4-1-4-1 system comprised of a back four, and a very energetic DM in Guediora, 2 wingers, 2 AMs and a striker. For me, Guediora was their unsong hero, as he did an unbelievable job protecting his back four and mopping up in midfield throughout the tournament. Yet, against a better organised, top heavy side, Guediora COULD have been overpowered, and the Algerian midfield overrun. Yet, that never happened, even against Nigeria and Senegal. Why? Mainly because Aleria’s offensive prowess kept their opponents at bay. This is what I envisage in the use of Aribo in the DM role, and Iwobi and Eze playing as box to box midfielders. Again, for this to work, the 3 guys need to improve in the defensive arts. Otherwise, an Ndidi or Etebo will have to step in.

          • Mr Hush 5 years ago

            I can’t but agree with you more @ Pompei.
            The best form of defence is attack and generally,today football is swinging towards that trend with the high pressing starting from the attack and the keeper being a unit of an attack,thereby starting an attack by playing the ball out from the back rather than the traditional ‘goal kick ‘ .Not surprising most Gk these days are sweeper keepers,good with their feet.
            But as we both agree; there have to be balance.
            Yes. If Eze and Iwobi can build up their defensive ability maybe the idea of the trio of eze-Iwobi-Aribo would good; but my problem is why not build both to be more consistent in their attack ability and just tweak them a little to be aware of their defensive side and let’s stick to a Ndidi or Etebo for the DMF. You would agree with me that both are good at what they do,albeit harsh in some of their tackles( looking at Ndidi here),but that is something we can refine in them.
            I don’t want us to be too gluttonous to the extent we spoil our day. Point in case;Moses Simon. Ever since he was refined as a wing back ,he lost some of his attacking flare. He isn’t as exciting as he used to be attack wise.
            Let’s put round pegs in round holes,we can only go otherwise if we don’t have those round pegs for round holes,then we can reshape hexagon for that round hole instead of a square; in the sense that , a hexagon is multifaceted and could be a utility,so we seek a utility player that can fit.
            That said, I think we are blessed as a nation to have so much quality in each position that we don’t need to worry of “reshaping”.
            Let me pretend I am the Super Eagles coach for a sec.
            I would go with Leicester city’s current formation.
            It is similar to what Rohr plays only this time they defend from the attack in Vardy.

            That’s what I think….

        • Pompei 5 years ago

          Imagine a midfield trio of Xavi, Iniesta and David Silva, just to illustrate. None of them is a core DM. Yet, in addition to their offensive abilities, they bring other attributes that can help defensively. With 3 midfielders like this on the pitch, the defense will never suffer! Rather, you will control the midfield and totally dominate your opponent. Can Iwobi, Aribo and Eze pull it off? Personally, I like the potential of this combo, but in reality, it does not have to be so. Any combination of midfielders that WORKS BEST will do. The dynamic, box to box midfielder is the GOLD STANDARD nowadays for midfielders. As professionals striving to be the best they can be, our midfielders should be aiming for this as well.

          • Mr Hush 5 years ago

            Quite right.
            Xavi, Iniesta,And Sylva were wonders in their day as Spain won trophies.
            But you forget that there was a Senna by their side to do the needful in the DM position; and then Busquet too.
            That was the balance.

            And as for Algeria..
            Guediora had Bennacer by the side. He was a shield as well,doing the dirty work no one seems to notice like Garba lawal in his day.
            That is why the Algeria coach Sacrificed Brahimi. He didn’t want to be too greedy. He had to find a balance in his rhythm.

            Besides both the Spain and Algeria side had full fledged attacking full backs who are both good in attack and defence. So they are always covered in all sphere of the field.
            We can’t really say that of our full backs; Aina is not too consistent goinf forward and is prone to be forgetful in defence sometimes.
            To be honest, we know, Collins is just manageable cause we dont have better at this point in time in left back that is naturally lefty.
            Awaziem good defensively but not good attack wise,understandably so, cause he is a natuarl CB. The only full back good at this is Ebuehi. But he is just coming back from injury and hasn’t really played much.

            Besides, Iwobi and Eze are too inconsistent right now to put so mucn on their shoulder with such high level formation.

            So , though it is beautiful to have the trio ,again we should be careful what we wish for..

      • Glory 5 years ago

        Oh boy you wicked oo. Lol. That list is a pure weapon of mass destruction.

        • Pompei 5 years ago

          Lol Glory. Nowadays, football na war ooooo. If you have the weapons, you better use them!

    • Nigeria Super Eagles in a years time 2020 (post Olympics) could look like:

      Goalkeeper: Uzoho, Okoye +1 from Osigwe, Afelokhai, Adeleye

      Defence 8 from: Awaziem, Omeruo, Troost-Ekong, Ajayi, Adarabioyo, Aina, Ebuehi, Collins, Ehizibue, Akpoguma

      DM: Ndidi, Azubuike, CM Aribo, Etebo, AM Eze, Iwobi with Agu,  Azeez, Yusuf as backup/Standy

      Attack made of 6 from: Kalu, Bonaventure, Chukwueze, Osimhen, Alimi, Sunusi, Sadiq, Odey, Okereke

      Now wouldn’t that be something in the run up to AFCON 2021 and the World Cup 2022?

  • Asoko Emmanuel 5 years ago

    @Deo,do u know some people very blind and short sighted people almost killed Rohr for inviting this guy initially.According to them he was not good enough and was playing In an unrecognised club side.But majority of those critiques actually could not afford a dish which would have afforded them opportunity to see those matches involving great Nigeria players in different leagues in Europe.MeanWhile Rohr will never invite u unless u have been thoroughly scouted and conditions met,he’s the best coach we have ever had.

  • Asoko Emmanuel 5 years ago

    @Hush and BigD,i can see with all the pamutation coming from u guys that u already have selection headache even without being the coach, why cos all the options mentioned by u are all glorious players who can fit in any day any time.But come again,you will be surprise D, that before the period under review much more better players will spring up plus the resuscitation of some other off form players, such as kelechi (I feel strongly that this guy will not go down wi5hout fighting I still love him) then u will continue to guess who should be and who should not be.The truth is we r simply bless footbalicaly in this country.

    • Mr Hush 5 years ago

      @Asoko Emmanuel

      Well,aint we lucky..we are indeed blessed.

      It is always a good thing to have so much quality to chose from you got a selection headache.

      We just have to stick the right plan and pattern then our blessing wouldn’t be much of a headache but what it is; joy..

    • The sadiq i saw is better than the onuachu i saw in the champions league,stronger and more dangerous with the ball,why onuachu falls so easily is something i dont understand ,he needs to build his stamina or will soon loose his place in the team,if sadiq keeps improving.

  • Samchi 5 years ago


    This Eze Boy think that we Have time to wait after he first receives u21 call up, complicating issues as at when his switch of allegiance back to Nigeria would be ready_ what Eze Fail to understand is before that 2years when he would finally become that English Big Star!!! he’s dreaming of, Nigeria would have unearthed another Gem.
    Our Country is a Big Mess Yes we know but Football is that one Glorious Aspect we Can cling on to find succor, Reason why God has never denied us Good pain Relieving Talents scattered both Home and abroad, forget about Population.

    • @Samchi “An NFF chieftain told owngoalnigeria”. This report is a fiction of their imagination.

      “A Chieftain”: why didn’t they name their source??

      And yes, the call came out of the blue, however, Eze, alongside Iwobi and Aina trained with the Super eagles in 20017, that is 2 years to make up his mind, plenty of time.

      Could be that he wants to see if we qualify for the Olympics next month before jumping.

      Eze will be a first team regular if he comes to the Super Eagles. This means he can appear at the Olympics, two world cups (2022 and 2026) and 3 to 4 AFCONS (2021, 2023, 2025 and maybe 2027).

      This gives him a guarantee of medals. Opting for England offers no guarantees of a sustained international football.

      If he is to look at the two he trained with in 2017, Iwobi went on to be a regular with Nigeria and at club level a £40 million deal with Everton. Aina is also a SE regular and has gone on to a £10 million deal with Torino

  • Pompei 5 years ago

    Lol Mr. Hush, I am indeed greedy for goals and good football. And I think my greed is justified. I am tired of Nigeria winning games 1 nil, or worse still, drawing or even losing winnable games. I am tired of us taking the lead, and taking our foot of the gas, allowing opponents we were dominating back into the game. I remember the days when we brutalized our opponents – Burkina Faso took 7-1 in 1991, Ethiopia received 6 nil in 1993, Algeria have collected 3 nil, 4-1, and 5-2 spankings from us in the past. We need our boys to start winning matches well again! And scoring goals in football is never a bad thing. A line up that maximizes our goal scoring opportunities, with just enough defensive balance, is what we need. Consider the example of Bennacer, whom you brought up. He perfectly illustrates my point. Bennacer is a UTILITY MIDFIELDER, who is comfortable as an AM or DM. A mordern day box to box midfielder. In Algeria’s Afcon games, he was one of the 2 AMs playing behind Bounedjah, the striker. But because of his dfensive qualities, he often came deep into midfield to assist Guediora. Can Iwobi and Eze not take a page from Bennacer’s book? If they pull it off, their market value would sky rocket. Which coach would not want a midfielder who can do it all? That’s the value Xavi, Iniesta and David Silva possess. I agree with you that balance is needed in any good team. But balance can be achieved in several ways. Deploying Ndidi and/or Etebo can provide balance. Getting Iwobi and Eze to upskill defensively can provide same balance. And as can be seen in the case of Xavi and Iniesta, upskilling defensively will not necessarily impact attacking instincts and skills. It will rather make the midfielder more complete, more productive.

    • Mr Hush 5 years ago

      Your anticipation for goals is totally justified @ Pompei.
      I share same notion with you that we need to always be on the upfront and go for the jugular,especially in games we should. And that has always been my only bane with Rohr. His game play management after we take the lead is too laid back and defensive for my liking, it always allows the opposition back into the game.To think when Rohr first came into the job,he played on the front foot,albeit a pragmatic approach and it gave us goals. I don’t know why he changed his approach.

      I totally agree with your attacking ideology,but with a balance in the middle.
      My fear is that Iwobi don’t have the same defensive capability like the men you mentioned,Xavi,Iniesta,Bennacer. Atleast not now. Those men have a gift that goes beyond coaching.and they know this too; their coaches too. So it was fully harnessed in them. You can see that they all self aware in the field of play and the game play is always dictated by them and not through them. It would take a lot for Iwobi to be that. But can he be that? Yes. He just need to believe and build his mental and physical strength cause he is talented.With the right coaching.it can be.
      But for now. Let’s stick to the Leicester game plan.it would suit us well.we are already playing similar.we just need to be agressive with our approach in the attacking department. We got the attack to do just that and a midfield that can hold.especially with the addition of Aribo. In fact Azeez seems to enjoy playing such style in Granada.high up the pitch.
      But we aren’t the coach and all these are literally wishful thinking..
      Hopefully,dreams come true..

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