Arsenal kept their European hopes alive with a dramatic first-half comeback as they battled back to hand Liverpool a surprise 2-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
Sadio Mane’s early strike looked to have set the tone for the evening, but goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson ensured Arsenal claimed the first win in 10 games against the Premier League champions.
Mikel Arteta opted for rotation with one eye on this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester City, with Reiss Nelson replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in one of five changes for the Gunners.
Jurgen Klopp brought Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Trent Alexander-Arnold back into the side after a 1-1 draw with Burnley last time out, while Virgil Van Dijk took the armband with Jordan Henderson to miss the remainder of the season through injury.
The home side were lucky not to be behind early on after a dallying Emi Martinez cannoned the ball straight into a charging Roberto Firmino – but the ball rebounded off the post and out for a goal kick.
Liverpool were in front before the first drinks break, however, Mane tapping home after Andy Robertson’s low cross evaded David Luiz and Rob Holding at the back.
But an uncharacteristic Van Dijk howler allowed the home side to level. The Dutch defender failed to see Lacazette as he complacently passed back to Alisson Becker while under pressure from Nelson, with the Frenchman capitalising to round the keeper and slot home.
It was then Alisson’s turn to provide a costly mistake, as Lacazette (yes, again) was alert to intercept his lackadaisical pass to Robertson before squaring to Nelson, who controlled, steadied himself and fired into the far corner.
Liverpool regained control following the break and pushed for an equaliser, with Mane and substitute Takumi Minamino threatening for the visitors in particular.
But Arsenal stood firm, showing some real defensive resolve as they held out for the win.
A crucial three points keep Arsenal alive and fighting in the race for a European place, elevating them to ninth place, just three points off sixth-placed Wolves – who held to a draw by Burnley earlier in the evening.
Defeat for Liverpool means they can no longer beat Manchester City’s record total of 100 Premier League points in a single campaign, with their somewhat flat run since the restart continuing.
The win for the Gunners was the first in the Premier League since April 2015 while the defeat was also Jurgen Klopp’s first that he suffered against the Gunners in the competition after five wins and three draws.
Uduaghan Dumps APC, Returns to PDP
Electoral College Appoints Rate Your Leader Founder, Joel Popoola As Member, Board of Directors
By Eric Elezuo
The Electoral College, Nigeria, has appointed the Founder, Rate Your Leader, Mr Joel Popoola, into its board of trustees as director to oversee International Mobilisation.
Popoola’s appointment was contained in two letters addressed to the technology entrepreneur and digital democracy campaigner as well as the board members of the college and signed by its Executive Director, Mr Kunle Lawal.
The Electoral College observed that the democracy campaigner, who has made headlines in recent times with reference to his technological innovations and writeups has been a great ally of the college while expressing utmost happiness and pride to have him on the board of the College.
“We are sure the board would be proud with the impact he can bring,” Kunle Lawal noted.
While expressing the best wishes of the College, and acknowledging that Popoola’s appointment is with immediate effect, Mr Lawal added that the award winning techpreneur is ‘valued as an asset addition and most of all for his love for country (Nigeria).’
“I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between us all and the expansion of the college,” Lawal stressed.
Responding to his appointment, Popoola noted that the reward for hard work is more work, stressing that the appointment is not just a recognition of his efforts, but an opportunity to do a lot more for humanity.
“I see the appointment to the board of Nigerian Electoral College as not just a recognition of efforts, but an opportunity to do a lot more to raise the bars of the Nigeria’s electoral system and serve humanity for the good,” he said.
It would be recalled that Mr. Popoola was earlier in the month welcomed on board of the UK Tech Nation Founders’ Network as a full fledged member.
Among many other honours trailing his humble contributions to the digitalization of democratic process around the world, he is an advance member of the Institute of Directors Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Also appointed is Hakeem Condotti, a well seasoned entrepreneur and African player in business and diplomacy. He would serve as Director: External Relations.
Wike Locks Horns with Amaechi in War of Words at Justice Karibi-Whyte’s Funeral
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
Amaechi, who is the Minister of Transportation, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented what he term the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state, saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom, a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.
“You have lost your voice. The sage (the late justice) has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices.
“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody could speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak.
“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed. I have stopped travelling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.
“If you knew Justice (Karibi-Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him. I was one of the few people he mentored,” Amaechi stated.
Wike on his part described the late Karibi-Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity, civility and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.
Responding to Amaechi, Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke, said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state, adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration, the security situation had improved greatly.
Wike said, “It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.
“I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi-Whyte, a man he (Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor.”