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Sports News of Wednesday, 20 September 2023


Nigerians in the UCL: Chukwueze fires blanks with AC Milan; Yusuf, Ejuke helpless in Antwerp’s mauling at Barcelona

Samuel Chukwueze Samuel Chukwueze

Super Eagles forward Samuel Chukwueze failed to help his AC Milan side to victory despite a dominant display in their 0-0 draw against Newcastle United in their opening game of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League season.

Soccernet reports that the Champions League season started on Tuesday, with Nigerian players in action for their various clubs.

In the early kickoff, Chukwueze made his UCL debut for AC Milan. He saw 60 minutes of action but could not help his side alter the scoreline. The former Villarreal man lacked the cutting edge and was replaced by Christian Pulisic after the half-hour mark. Chukwueze had 36 touches and two goal attempts.

In the late kickoffs, it was a rough ride for the Nigerian players involved. Chidera Ejuke watched from the bench while Alhassan Yusuf was a second-half substitute in Antwerp’s 5-0 bashing at Barcelona.

Goals from Joao Felix, Robert Lewandowski, Gavi, and an own goal from Jelle Bataille ensured that the Blaugrana ran out 5-0 winners. Yusuf got 30 minutes of action while Ejuke was on the bench throughout the fixture.

Meanwhile, in Manchester, Peter Olayinka and his Red Star Belgrade side submitted to Manchester City’s superiority. The Cityzens dominated the game and registered 22 attempts on goal in the first half, but the Serbian club took the lead against the run of play.

However, a spirited second-half performance ensured that they won 3-1. Osman Bukari scored for Red Star Belgrade, while Julian Alvarez and Rodri did the business for the reigning champions. Olayinka got 22 minutes of action, but he did not do much.

Finally, in Ukraine, it was a night to remember for Zaidu Sanusi and his Porto side, as they claimed a 3-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk. The Nigerian defender played 45 minutes of action before getting subbed off at halftime. All the goals were also scored in the first half.

Galeno opened the scoring for Porto, but Kevin Kelsy pulled one back for the Ukrainian giants. However, Galeno scored again, while Mehdi Taremi scored the third.