Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah named Arab Player of the Year

Updated 02 January 2018
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Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah named Arab Player of the Year

LONDON: Mohamed Salah’s super season continued after he was named Arab Player of the Year for 2017 in a poll of around 100 sports journalists from across the Middle East.
The midfielder is enjoying his best-ever season having lit up the Premier League since his $48 million transfer to Liverpool last summer.
Salah, 25, has been an instant success at Anfiled since joining from AS Roma, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League already and 23 in all competitions. No Reds player has scored more goals before the new year than Salah, who equalled Roger Hunt’s record of 23 from 1961-62 with a brace against Leicester City on Saturday.
“The record is remarkable and the goals themselves are remarkable as well,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.
Not only has he shone on the club stage but the forward has also starred for Egypt as they made it to the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Salah was the driving force behind the The Pharaohs’ march to Russia, a star turn encapsulated in his last-minute penalty winner against the Congo in October which secured qualification.
Syrian winger Omar Khribin, who plays for Riyad giants Al-Hilal, came second and another Syrian, Omar Al-Soma, who plays for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahli, was third.
Salah is also favorite to win the African Player of the Year title which will be announced in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Thursday.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed he will show respect by allowing Salah and Sadio Mane to attend the awards ceremony, just 24 hours before the FA Cup third round tie with Everton at Anfield.
"Yes, they will go. We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect," said the German.
"If it had been a matchday they wouldn't have asked, but the night before is fine. We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference, the modern world.
"If Mo is not fit, it will not be for that. For our side, it is just a sign of respect.


Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

Updated 24 October 2018
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Juventus too good for Man Utd on Ronaldo’s return

  • Paulo Dybala scored the winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H
  • The hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time

MANCHESTER: Cristiano Ronaldo emerged victorious again on his second return to Old Trafford, but this time did not get on the scoresheet as Juventus outclassed Manchester United to win 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Instead Ronaldo played a supporting role by helping set up Paulo Dybala’s winner on 17 minutes as the Italian champions opened up a five-point lead over United at the top of Group H.
Jose Mourinho’s men were handed a break before kick-off as Valencia’s 1-1 draw away to Young Boys means United still hold a two-point lead over the Spaniards, but a fourth defeat of the season will see speculation over Mourinho’s future increase once more.
But for a series of excellent saves from David de Gea, the margin of defeat could have been far greater too as any momentum United gained from fightbacks against Newcastle and Chelsea in recent weeks in the Premier League faded away against one of the favorites to win the Champions League.
Ronaldo was given a hero’s welcome on his previous visit to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in 2013 after scoring 118 goals for United in six seasons between 2003 and 2009 to help the Red Devils win three Premier League titles and the first of his five Champions Leagues.
The Portuguese’s early days as Juventus player since making the move to Italy from Madrid this summer have been overshadowed by a rape allegation made against him in the United States.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has strongly denied the allegation and been backed by his new club, who paid 112 million euros ($129 million) for the 33-year-old in July.
But the reception he received from the United faithful this time was far more muted with only a mild cheer raised when his name in the Juventus line-up was announced.
Ronaldo scored the winner in a contentious Champions League last-16 tie for Madrid five years ago, but this time played the role of provider for Dybala to be the match-winner.
His cross intended for Juan Cuadrado ricocheted kindly off Chris Smalling into the path of Dybala to sweep the ball past De Gea for his fourth goal in two Champions League games.
As Juventus dominated the rest of the first half, only De Gea stood in their way of killing the game off before the break.
The Spaniard flew to his right to save Joao Cancelo’s fiercely-struck shot then produced a fine double save to parry Ronaldo’s free-kick and swat away Blaise Matuidi’s follow-up effort.
Top scorer in this competition for the past six seasons, Ronaldo is still searching for his first Champions League goal for Juventus having been sent off after just 30 minutes of his European debut against Valencia and subsequently banned for a 3-0 victory over Young Boys.
He couldn’t have done much more with an effort that soared toward De Gea’s top corner seven minutes into the second half only to see the United ‘keeper produce a miraculous right-handed save.
Going behind brought out the best in Mourinho’s side against Newcastle and Chelsea to help ease the pressure on the manager.
But the hosts failed to threaten until Paul Pogba’s curling shot from outside the box hit the post 15 minutes from time.
Anthony Martial also tested Wojciech Szczesny late on but Juventus held out for a deserved victory.