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Former Serbian football coach Ilija Petkovic dies



Former Serbia and Montenegro head coach Ilija Petkovic has died, allegedly from COVID-19, his former club Shanghai Shenhua confirmed on Sunday.

The club wrote on social media about the 74-year-old Serbian football coach: “We will cherish those amazing things you brought to us. RIP”.

Petkovic was hospitalized for fever and duodenum ulcer and later found to have contracted the COVID-19 in the hospital, a report from news outlet Netease said.

He spent one year with Shanghai Shenhua in 2001, coaching them to second place in China’s top league.

Petkovic coached Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 World Cup finals, where his side failed to qualify for the knockout stage.

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Rodgers slams ‘poor’ Iheanacho



Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has slammed striker Kelechi Iheanacho for his below performance  after  the Foxes were out-foxed in Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing by Bournemouth even as he ruled the substitution of the Nigerian  as tactical error.

Iheanacho, who had been heavily involved in Jamie Vardy’s opener, was withdrawn at half-time at the Vitality Stadium, with Rodgers tweaking his system to bring on Dennis Praet.

“(Iheanacho) wasn’t having one of his better games,” said Rodgers in his post-match press conference. “The issue for us defensively was on the side of the pitch, because there was a lot of space for Wilf and Youri to cover.

“So we pushed Ayo on, he was playing well, and added an extra midfielder in to help cover; but the defeat wasn’t tactical, it was about the spirit.”

He added: “I didn’t see it (the defeat) coming. We didn’t have personality in the second half.

Rodgers however charged his wards to rise to the challenge when they take on Sheffield United on Thursday.

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Michael Obafemi dents Man Utd’s top-four hopes



Manchester United missed the chance to go third in the Premier League as they hosted Southampton on Monday night.

Anthony Martial appeared to secure Manchester United a win over Southampton, but a last-gasp Michael Obafemi equalizer secured Southampton a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men went into the contest in fine form with four consecutive victories but struggled to control proceedings against resilient Saints.

Southampton pressed high all through the match which led to the visitors taking an early lead through Stuart Armstrong but United hit back, Anthony Martial teeing up Marcus Rashford for the equalizer before scoring his 50th Premier League goal to put the hosts in front.

United had chances to increase their lead but failed with Martial and Rashford missing key chances.

However, Obafemi scored from close range right near the end, leaving the Red Devils fifth in the table.

Manchester United can still achieve their Champions League target – they go to fourth-placed Leicester City on the final day of the season – but this result is a major blow for Solskjaer.

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Real Madrid may be crowned La Liga champions on Thursday



Real Madrid needs just one more win to be crowned 2019/2020 La Liga Champions, after holding off aggressive Granada, to secure a vital 2-1 win away.

The victory restored the table-toppers four-point lead over Barcelona, setting up for them the chance to be crowned LaLiga champions on Thursday if they beat visiting Villarreal.

If they were able to see off Villarreal, Madrid would win just their second La Liga title in eight seasons and their 34th overall.

The victory over Granada at Los Carmenes on Monday was hard-fought and hard-won.

Goals from Ferland Mendy – his first for the club – and Karim Benzema gave Madrid a first-half advantage.

Mendy slammed home a brilliant finish from a tight angle to become the 21st Madrid player to score in LaLiga this season.

Benzema increased his top-flight tally this term to 19 as he made it 2-0.

Although Darwin Machis pulled one back five minutes into the second half, Madrid survived a couple of late scares to make it nine straight victories and edge closer to LaLiga’s title.

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