After our absence last week, the Weekend File is back with a full package featuring two Premier League sides, Manchester United, Arsenal and former Nigerian champions, Enyimba.
Today, we review United’s brilliant fight back against Newcastle United, Arsenal’s incredible push for the PL title and then, how two-time African champions, Enyimba, were totally dismantled in the Nigerian FA Cup.
Let’s Vib into it then!!
SANCHEZ SAVES MOURINHO’S BLUSHES
Alexis Sanchez scored his first PL since March 31 and that goal could prove very decisive at the club after it completed a remarkable comeback for United against Newcastle at Old Trafford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 6, 2018
With so many on and off the pitch issues bedeviling the club in recent times, things went over board when the Red Devils went into that game with the future of their manager, Jose Mourinho, said tp be over irrespective of what happened in the game against the Magpies.
Then came the game, with the host playing like the really wanted to get their manager sacked. Within the opening ten minutes, United capitulated in superb fashion as two goals from Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto had Newcastle in dreamland.
2-0 to Rafa Benitez, OT crowd stunned, Ed Woodward confused and probably already called his secretary to prepare the sack letter. But after the restart, it was a different United side on the pitch, led by Juan Mata, who had replaced Eric Bailly in the 20th minute.
"He deserved to give us the win and and I am really happy for him.” #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 8, 2018
Mata curled in a well taken free kick, with 20 minutes left on the clock, to pull one back for the home side, before the much maligned Anthony Martial combined wonderfully well with compatriot, Paul Pogba, to equalise for United six minutes later.
The comback was completed when Sanchez jumped higher than anyone to head in an Ashley Young cross on the stroke of the 90 to hand United their first home win since they defeated Leicester City 2-1 back in August.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 8, 2018
The Chilean first goal of the season bringing reprieve to his club and manager at a time when all associated with the club needed it the most. Can it be the start of something beautiful for Mourinho and the Red Devils?
ARE ARSENAL TITLE CONTENDERS?
Following those defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City in their opening two games of the season in the PL, conceding five times in the process, one would have been forgiven for writing the Gunners and their new manager, Unai Emery off.
But nine (9) games later, Emery’s men are in cloud 9 and there seems to be no stopping them, at least for now. Nine consecutive wins mean the Gunners are England’s most in form team, and have seen them reduce the gap between them and PL leaders, City, to just two (2) points after eight matches.
The team move and @aaronramsey backheel for our third is compulsive viewing 💫
You'll wanna watch it again, and again, and again – and now you can 👇
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 7, 2018
Are they genuine title contenders or just pretenders? What do you make of life under Emery so far especially after that shaky start? Looking at their fixtures list will reveal that we may be in for more Arsenal wins with eight of their next ten games looking very winnable. On;y the games against Liverpool in November and the North London derby against Tottenham, seem game that could prove just difficult for them.
Let's keep progressing and keep moving forward 👍 pic.twitter.com/NsDVv61Qg6
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 8, 2018
A wonderful time to be an Arsenal fan, i must say and the transition from Arsene Wenger to Emery looks to be going very smooth, What can possibly go wrong now?
PILLARS UNDRESS ENYIMBA
The venue for this big clash in the Aiteo Cup quarterfinal was the Pantami stadium in Gombe, as two of Nigeria’s biggest teams, Kano Pillars and Enyimba battled each other for glory.
While on paper this game is as big as the come, the question was, how many knew about it? Publicity for it was zero both from the organisers of the FA Cup and the clubs themselves. However, the game was played and there was also a winner and for the second time in a matter of four days. the People’s Elephants will end up on the wrong side of things.
Pillars came from behind to inflict a serious injury on the Aba giants, who had Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa in goal, though he did not finish the game due to an injury.
Stephen Chukwude gave Enyimba a 1-0 lead but that was quickly erased by goals from Rabiu Ali and Chris Madaki to turn the match in favour of Sai Masu Gida. It turned out to be a game for the full backs, as right back, Ifeanyi Nweke doubled Pillars’ advantage when he made it 3-1.
Nwagua Nyima ensured that whatever hopes the Aba side had for a fight back evaporated like steam as he added a fourth before Sunday Adetunji’s penalty goal for Enyimba saw the match end at 4-2 in favour of the Ibrahim Abubakar men.
A difficult week indeed for Enyimba whose attention will now shift to the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal second leg away at Raja Casablanca. Enyimba lost the first leg 0-1 in Aba and must now turn it around away from home.
For Pillars, it is Katsina United next for them in the Aiteo Cup semifinal, which means a return to the Agege stadium where they played their round of 16 tie.
FT: Enyimba 2-4 Kano Pillars#AiteoCup18
— Kano Pillars FC (@pillarsfc) October 7, 2018
There you go, the events that caught our eyes from the weekend, but we know there are things that also caught your eyes. So, share with us in the comment section.
See you next week when we focus on the Super Eagles all-important clash against Libya in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.