Barcelona’s Lionel Messi inspires Barca victory, Real win at home

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored twice in a 3-0 win over Las Palmas on Sunday in a Liga match played without fans following clashes between police and voters in Catalonia over a banned independence referendum. In the late game, Real Madrid earned their first home league victory of the season by beating Espanyol 2-0 with a goal in each half by midfielder Isco, while Valencia moved up to third in the standings after beating visitors Athletic Bilbao 3-2.League leaders Barca tried to have their game postponed, but the request was turned down by La Liga and the Catalan club announced 25 minutes before kickoff that the game would be played behind closed doors. Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the stadium was closed to show opposition to police violence against voters in Catalonia’s independence referendum, which was banned by the national government, and not over safety concerns.Spanish riot police on Sunday burst into polling stations across Catalonia to try to halt the referendum on a split from Spain and Catalan officials said more than 800 people were injured in the crackdown. Barca’s Sergio Busquets scored for the first time in the league in three seasons to give the hosts the lead in the 49th minute, leaping to head in a curling corner from Messi.Argentine Messi then struck his 10th league goal of the season to double Barca’s advantage in the 70th.He barely celebrated the strike, adding to an atmosphere more akin to a training ground exercise than a league game. Messi then latched onto a pass from fellow forward Luis Suarez to pounce again in the 77th, sealing Barca’s seventh straight domestic league win this season and maintaining their 100 percent start in La Liga and the Champions League. Barcelona lead the standings on 21 points, five clear of Sevilla in second, while Real are fifth on 14. Valencia, with 15, climbed above Atletico Madrid on goal difference. BIZARRE CIRCUMSTANCES The bizarre circumstances of the Barcelona game appeared to affect the home side in the first half as they lacked energy and imagination, mustering only two shots on goal – an early strike from Sergi Roberto and a wayward header from Paulinho.”It was very strange, of course it’s not normal, but today’s events overshadowed the game,” Busquets said on playing behind closed doors. “Today was a special day, we had to focus on the sporting part, which wasn’t very nice for us, and we were affected by everything as other things were on our minds,” he added.In Madrid, Isco made the most of a through ball from Cristiano Ronaldo to coolly fire under Pau Lopez and put Real ahead on the half-hour mark. A lapse from Madrid captain Sergio Ramos in the second half allowed Espanyol a chance to level but his blushes were saved by teammate Nacho, and moments later Isco killed off the Catalans. Ronaldo again played an important role in the move, driving forward and slipping the ball out to Asensio, who cut it back for Isco to ram home low into the far bottom corner.”Isco is playing with a lot of confidence, he knows he’s a more important player now, even though he always has been important, and he plays like he is on the street, he doesn’t have a care in the world and I like that” said Zidane.The French coach also praised Ronaldo for his performance and said the Portuguese, who missed four league games through suspension, is desperate to get off the mark in La Liga. “He’s not tired. He’s missed a lot of games and he’s very disappointed because he hasn’t scored in La Liga yet, but that’s football,” Zidane added. “His pass to Isco was phenomenal, and I hope things change in the next game.” For a better society

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Activities resume at corporate bond market on Fidelity Bank debt issuance


Activities have continued in the corporate Eurobond market on the back of Fidelity Bank debt issuance. In a press release posted on the website of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Fidelity Bank plans to launch up to $500m senior unsecured medium-term debt notes (Eurobond) and a tender offer for the bank’s outstanding $300m 6.875% notes due […]

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Slide Safe: Innovation changing Nigeria’s healthcare sector


Florida Uzoaru is the founder of Slide Safe, a digital health start-up that provides self-health test kits for Nigerians. Florida also provides water-based lubricants, Hepatitis B health test kits, pregnancy test kit, morning after-pill and other products for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Like most modern start-ups, the customer base of Slide Safe is mostly online. […]

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Lucas Ocampos brace helps Ten-man Marseille stun Nice

Ten-man Marseille moved up to third in Ligue 1 after Lucas Ocampos hit a brace in a thrilling come-from-behind 4-2 win at Mediterranean rivals Nice on Sunday. Players joined fans in a minute’s applause in memory of the two victims of a knife attack in Marseille earlier on Sunday, after which the south coast rivals put on a sparkling show.In an entertaining first half, Marseille hit back from two goals down to head into the break leading 3-2.Mario Balotelli opened the scoring with a close-range header from a Pierre Lees-Melou corner after just four minutes while Jean Michael Serri doubled Nice’s advantage with a heavily deflected shot from outside the area. Ocampos bagged his first soon before the half hour mark, prodding in from close range after Nice’s defence failed to deal with a cross.Allan Saint-Maximin blazed over when one-on-one with goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Nice were made to pay.Five minutes from the break, a sliding Lees-Melou deflected a Florian Thauvin cross past his own goalkeeper.And in the final minute of the half, Nice imploded again as captain Dante gave away the ball and goalkeeper Yoann Cardinale parried Luiz Gustavo’s shot weakly into the air for Ocampos to nod over the line. Two minutes into the second period, more sloppy play handed Gustavo a shooting opportunity the Brazilian gleefully accepted to find the bottom corner. Midway through the half, though, Gustavo was shown a straight red for following through studs up on Lees-Melou.There was still time for Mandanda to save an Alassane Plea penalty after Saint-Maximin was tripped in the box but Marseille held out.”It’s a great victory, we showed that we had character,” said Ocampos. “We wanted to show that the 6-1 loss to Monaco was an accident, that it wasn’t fair.” Earlier, Marcelo was controversially sent off as Lyon’s winless streak extended to five matches after letting a two-goal lead slip in a 3-3 draw at Angers. With Bruno Genesio’s visitors leading 3-1 in the 50th minute, defender Marcelo was booked for a foul on the edge of the box.The Brazilian then accidentally knocked the yellow card out of the referee’s hand with a dismissive gesture, earning a straight red card just seconds after his booking. ‘GESTURE OF FRUSTRATION’ Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said that he hoped Marcelo’s suspension would be rescinded.”I had the video, so I asked that the referee watch it,” he said.”It’s not a question about trying to change this match, I was thinking about the next match against Monaco and I wanted him to see the images to show that Marcelo does not make a gesture against him, it’s simply a gesture of frustration.” Lyon started quickly as former Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz scored his sixth league goal of the season in the fifth minute.Rafael put through his own net to draw Angers level on the half-hour mark, but goals from Mouctar Diakhaby and former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay put the away side in control at the break. After Marcelo’s bizarre dismissal, Angers roared back with goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Ismael Traore.World-record signing Neymar scored twice, including from a penalty, as PSG moved three points clear of champions Monaco at the top by thrashing Bordeaux 6-2 on Saturday. Despite Radamel Falcao’s 12th goal of the season, Monaco were held 1-1 by Montpellier on Friday. For a better society

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Bag, suitcase makers invest N400bn into Nigerian economy


Manufacturers of bags and suit cases in Nigeria say they have so far invested N400 billion into the economy, attaining 85 percent technology transfer in the industry. In a statement obtained by Real Sector Watch, the manufacturers say to encourage the viable economic sub-sector, the Federal Government should retain items on prohibition list, which include […]

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iSON Group shortlisted in two categories for AABLA’s 2017 finalist


iSON Group, one of Africa’s largest IT and ITeS companies with presence in about 25 countries in Africa has been shortlisted as finalist in two categories of the much anticipated 7th All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) in Partnership with CNBC. In the finalist list recently released by AABLA, Ramesh Awtaney, Founder/Chairman of iSON Group, […]

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Momoh urges SMEs to tap $50bn opportunity in broadcast industry

John Momoh, founder and chief executive officer of Channels Television, has called on owners of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to tap into the enormous opportunities in Nigeria’s $50 billion broadcast industry. Momoh, made this assertion on Wednesday during his keynote address at Fate Foundation’s second annual alumni conference held in […]

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VIO boss debuts on Traffic Radio programme today

Today, October 2, ‘All About Vehicle Inspection’ will debut on the number one automobile programme on radio, Automedics on 96.1, Traffic Radio, which will air every Monday and Wednesday from 11a.m. to 12noon.