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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was ‘a bit annoyed’ by Barcelona earlier this month – but Lionel Messi did not put it quite so politely in 2006.

 

The Camp Nou legend, in no uncertain terms, described an incomparable hatred between the two clubs – and one that has been reignited this summer.

 

Kounde looked set to join Chelsea but now appears to have changed his mind and picked Barca

“There are players here who hate Chelsea more than Real Madrid,” Messi told the News of the World when he was 19.

 

‘I never thought I would hear myself say that.

 

“I also never thought I would see something worse than the Boca and River Plate rivalry or Brazil v Argentina – but this is.

 

“We would rather play Arsenal, Manchester United or anyone else than be on the pitch with Chelsea.”

 

When it comes to negotating transfers, the Blues must be feeling that way about the Catalans right now.

 

Spanish outlet SPORT ran with the headline ‘Barcelona 5-0 Chelsea’ after the LaLiga giants emerged as the favourites to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

 

This is despite Chelsea agreeing a £55million deal – and it is not the first time that has happened this summer.

 

The Blues thought they had secured the signing of Raphinha from Leeds for £60m, only for Barca to hijack that deal as well.

 

They also snapped up free agent Andreas Christensen, who opted for the Camp Nou instead of a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

 

Chelsea were hoping Ousmane Dembele might head in the opposite direction when his Barca contract expired, but the France forward eneded up agreeing fresh terms.

 

 

Chelsea have lost out to Barca in numerous races this summer

 

Chelsea have lost out to Barca in numerous races this summer

The Blues also missed out on Robert Lewandowski – no prizes for guessing where the Poland superstar ended up.

 

And just to twist the knife, Barca are trying to lure Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and fellow defender Marcos Alonso to Spain.

 

It is understood Chelsea are blocking those deals as a result of the Kounde hijack – and it is beginning to feel like 2006 all over again.

 

Bad blood between the two sides appeared to have simmered down, with just two meetings in the last ten years.

 

 

It all started with a red card for Drogba in 2005

 

It all started with a red card for Drogba in 2005

However, between 2005 and 2012, they featured in four Champions League knockout ties which went down in history.

 

Although it is unusual for rivalries in football to travel across borders, familiarity breeds contempt, as does a totally different belief system.

 

It all started during Jose Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge – and Didier Drogba was at the centre of it – when they travelled to the Nou Camp for a last-16 clash in 2005.

 

Mourinho’s men were leading the first leg at half-time, before Anders Frisk gave Drogba a controversial red card which turned the game on its head.

 

 

This tackle on Messi infuriated the Argentine in 2006.

 

This tackle on Messi infuriated the Argentine in 2006

The Chelsea manager sensationally (and wrongly) accused Frisk of meeting with Barca boss Frank Rijkaard at half-time – and the referee later received death threats from angry fans, forcing an early retirement aged 42.

 

And Mourinho didn’t rest there when it came to his mind games.

 

Before the second leg, Mourinho named the Barcelona starting XI as well as his Chelsea XI, getting Rijkaard’s team spot on – but deliberately getting his own wrong.

 

One of the all-time great Champions League clashes followed, as the Blues raced into a three-goal lead inside 20 minutes – with Damien Duff among the scorers, even though Mourinho said Eidur Gudjohnsen would start over the Irishman.

 

Chelsea 4-2 Barcelona, 8 March 2005

 

This was one of the all-time great European clashes

They were pegged back by some Ronaldinho brilliance, featuring that iconic toe-poke, before John Terry capitalised on Ricardo Carvalho’s tug on Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes to send the Blues through.

 

It can’t get any more dramatic than that, right? Wrong. Mourinho’s comments about Frisk got him in hot water with UEFA, who banned the Chelsea boss from the dressing room and the touchline for two upcoming quarter-final legs against Bayern Munich.

 

However, in classic Mourinho style, the Portuguese manager snuck into Stamford Bridge in a laundry basket.

 

But back to the Barca rivalry. The Catalans would have their revenge in 2006 after another ill-termpered tie saw Asier del Horno sent off for a brutal tackle on Messi in the first leg – which sparked the Argentine’s comments.

 

Messi and Drogba have been at the centre of the rivalry

Momentum shifted to Spain as Barca eliminated Chelsea – but the Blues did not have to wait long to get their own back.

 

They edged Barca to top spot in the group stage in late 2006, with Drogba at the heart of it once again.

 

He scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge and equalised in the last minute in a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.

 

Amazingly, the two rivals had not yet played their most iconic ties, and this was all just scene-setting for what was to come.

 

This still haunts Blues fans

With Chelsea chasing an elusive European crown in 2009, they were denied by Barca in the most horrible circumstances.

 

The Blues were denied four clear peanlties by referee Tom Henning Overbo – who has since admitted his errors – and got knocked out by a last-gasp Andres Iniesta volley.

 

As Drogba famously ranted and swore at the TV cameras, it was arguably the most sickening moment in Chelsea history, made all the worse for the fact it was Barca going wild in front of the Shed up.

 

But it was also what made 2012 so much sweeter for Blues fans.

 

Drogba imfamously shouted ‘it’s a f****** disgrace’ live on TV

 

Drogba imfamously shouted ‘it’s a f****** disgrace’ live on TV

Another semi-final against the Catalans awaited, but few gave Chelsea a chance.

 

Even still, with a parked bus against the greatest team on earth, the Blues edged the first leg thanks to a goal from – yes, him again – Drogba.

 

Then Roberto Di Matteo’s side went to the Camp Nou and pulled off one of the most extraordinary triumphs in modern football.

 

Down to ten men after losing John Terry and needing a goal after Barca scored twice, Ramires popped up with a sumptuous chip from nowhere to hand Chelsea the advantage on away goals.

 

This moment has gone down in Chelsea folklore

This moment has gone down in Chelsea folklore

Not only did they hold on for an entire half without the ball, the Blues went and won the tie outright when Fernando Torres ran up the other end and sealed the deal in stoppage time.

 

You can imagine what the Spanish press thought of Chelsea’s tactics.

 

The nature of the win and what went before it made Chelsea feel like stars had alligned to right their wrongs – and it was only fitting Drogba scored the equaliser and winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the final that year.

 

Six years passed and things were square between the two sides – until 2018 and Barca wiped the floor with Chelsea as Messi finally scored against them after numerous attempts.

 

Now that Chelsea’s entire summer has been ruined by Barca in the transfer market, those at the Camp Nou can probably claim the upper hand.

 

But Blues fans would not swap that night in Spain ten years ago for any player – not even Messi.

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Business

3SC Shock Rangers in 2:2 Draw on Monimichelle Turf in Awka

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Shooting Stars of Ibadan last Saturday afternoon stunned the mammoth crowd at the Awka Township Stadium with a dramatic comeback to a 2-2 draw with Rangers Int’l of Enugu in the Match Day 36 encounter.

 

The two sides played out a goalless draw in the first 45 minutes with Rangers also Flying Antelopes having a number of near goal situations with no much anxious moment in their goal area.

 

Rangers FC broke the deadlock in the 46th minute through Shedrack Asiegbu, just at the resumption of play in the second half and in the 55th minute later through Chidiebere Nwobodo.

 

The Ibadan based side popularly known as Oluyole Warriors fought back through Moses Omoduemuke who scored in the 73rd and 88th minutes.

 

The comeback sent the excited Awka fans into a sudden chill while some of them had to leave the stadium before the final whistle.

 

The enraged fans including some veteran Rangers int’l said the way the team surrendered a comfortable 2-0 lead within 15 minutes called the technical judgment of Coach Abdul Maikaba to question.

 

Nwakaibeya Anene said, the Rangers spirit was already building up in Awka but the draws from their last two games especially when they were winning was a bad to pay fans for their loyalty.

 

“First half was good, we defended very well even when we lost chances to score but the game changed after we scored, our defense collapsed, that was why we conceded the goals.

 

“We even told the coach to play one of our best defenders but he sent him back, the draw was unnecessary, our players were uninspiring,” he said.

 

Reacting to their performance in the game, Isiaka Mutiu said it was a product of determination and belief in God.

 

“It is God, I must be honest with you because we can’t explain; all we know is that we put in every effort we could.

 

“Our general manager told us to believe in ourselves, that everything is possible and thank God we got that all important point.

 

Agoye Olumide, coach of Shooting Stars said the draw was a product from their game in Ibadan last week when Abia Warriors who came back from 0-2 to draw level.

 

He said the Awka stadium pitch also brought out the best in his players as it made for free flowing football.The Stadium was built by popular facility Manager,Monimichelle led by Ebi Moni-luv Egbe.

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Entertainment

COVID-19: Stanbic IBTC Outlines Strategies for Companies to Stay Afloat

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As businesses across the globe continue to adapt to the new normal as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has identified strategic decisions that companies need to make in order to keep their businesses afloat.


The leading full-service financial services organization advised companies and business owners to take advantage of opportunities such as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s COVID-19 Intervention Fund while also exploring digital transformation options. Other solutions proferred include engagement of legal counsels to review key issues as well as the development of customer-focused strategies to ensure the preservation of customer loyalty and brand value, amongst others.

Folake Ademiluyi, Head, Power and Infrastructure, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC made this known during the Stanbic IBTC Blue Talks Webinar. She stated that the companies can ensure the sustainability of their business processes by taking proactive measures needed to thrive in these uncertain times.
Ademiluyi further stated that companies to go back to the drawing board and come up with fresh ideas to sustain their businesses to avoid being adversely affected by the pandemic.
“Business owners must tap into the various stimulus packages that the CBN has provided to resuscitate their businesses” she said.
Similarly, Nnenna Okoro, Head, Consumer Sector, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, implored companies to leverage on digitalization to serve customers better. She noted that despite the impact of coronavirus on the nation, Stanbic IBTC has been using digital channels to serve its customers better.


She said: “Stanbic IBTC has been engaging clients constantly using digital channels. We understand the benefits of leveraging Information Technology to engage and serve customers, especially in a time such as this. Therefore, we implore companies to take advantage of digitalization to reach their customers

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