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EPL: Lampard reveals why he dropped Pulisic for 4-0 defeat to Man Utd

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Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has said he plans to be patient with Christian Pulisic, after the American winger was only named as a substitute, for their season opener at Manchester United.

With the Blues currently serving a transfer ban, Pulisic is the only new signing at Chelsea this summer, after his £58million switch from Borussia Dortmund was agreed in January.

Lampard opted against handing Pulisic a start in his first competitive match in charge of the club on Sunday, choosing instead to field Pedro and Ross Barkley in the wide areas, with England youngster Mason Mount in support of forward Tammy Abraham.

Pulisic was eventually introduced in the 58th minute when he replaced Barkley.

Chelsea were already 1-0 down at that stage, thanks to a first half penalty from Marcus Rashford.

Pulisic had little time to make an impact on the game before United doubled their lead through Anthony Martial on 66 minutes.

Further breakaway goals from Rashford and debutant Daniel James, added more misery to Lampard.

Speaking after the game, Lampard revealed his reasons behind his team selection and his plans for Pulisic going forward.

“Christian Pulisic is 20 years old and he’s come across from Dortmund. He will be a fantastic player for the club. He has got great ability. You saw little moments with his acceleration on the ball.

“But I have also got other options in midfield and in those areas, and I don’t want to stick Christian straight into the fire without trying to help him along the way. It was one of those games where I felt it was better to start with Ross [Barkley] and Mason [Mount], who have been very strong in pre-season, and bring Christian on.

“If the game had carried on at 1-0, or we were back in the game as we should have been, he would have been a great injection. In the end, it was difficult for him because the game went quickly away from us,” Lampard told reporters.

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News

AfroBasket: D’Tigress to face Mali in final

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Nigeria’s senior national women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, have qualified for the final of the ongoing 2019 AfroBasket Women’s championship in Dakar, Senegal.

D’Tigress, defending champions of the competition, defeated their Malian counterpart 79-58 on Friday to advance to the final as they strive to retain the trophy they won in 2017.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the team won the semis against Mali.

Nigeria’s Ezinne Kalu was the star player with 19 points, while Mali’s Meiya Riders had 14 points.

D’Tigress had earlier thrashed DR Congo 79-46 in the quarter-finals, demolished Cameroon 106-39 and crushed Tunisia 75-26 in the group stage.

The championship, which began on August 10 will end on Sunday.

Nigeria will now face winner of the Senegal versus Mozambique match in the final on Sunday.

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Crime

Pirates abduct three Russian sailors in Cameroon

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Three Russian crew members of a cargo ship have been abducted by pirates near the port of Douala in southern Cameroon, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday said.

The cargo ship “Marmalaita” belonging to the Danish company, Ultrabulk, carrying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, was attacked by unknown people on Thursday.

According to the Russian Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroonian authorities and representatives of the ship-owner company are taking steps to clarify the incident, the statement said.

Russian diplomats are actively working with Cameroonian authorities and the ship-owner to facilitate the quick release of the Russian citizens, a report by Xinhua, said.

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Education

Chinese government offers scholarship to 58 Nigerians

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The Chinese Government has awarded scholarships to 58 Nigerians among whom were 16 doctorate degree students, 39 masters’ degree and three undergraduates, according to a report byPUNCH.

The beneficiaries received their university admission notices from the Counselor, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda, in Abuja on Friday.

Addressing the awardees during a pre-departure briefing, the Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, encouraged them to work hard in fulfilling their dreams and to observe and learn what brought China to where it is today.

He said, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“In these years, China has always placed education as fundamental to its pursuit of national rejuvenation.

“Every year, hundreds of Nigerian students get scholarships and chase their dreams in China; some of them are sponsored by Chinese companies.

“Last year at the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, the body of Chinese investors announced the award of scholarships to 63 students of the university to study in Chinese institutions.”

The envoy added that 6,845 Nigerian students were studying in China with 512 covered by Chinese government scholarship.

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