BY JOE APU
Last weekend, Nigerian stars in the English Premier League had a fine run, as Kelechi Iheanacho made history in the Manchester derby by scoring the winner.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s tap-in proved to be the winner, as Manchester City defeated rivals, Manchester United, 2-1 at Old Trafford to continue their perfect start under Pep Guardiola.
The goal meant that he became the first Nigerian to appear and score in the Derby. The 19-year-old also became the youngest ever player to score in the fixture.
Will this trend continue? This is the million Naira question to ask as the Gunners take the EPL battle to Hull City. Hard fighting Alex Iwobi will bank on Arsene Wenger to give him a starting shirt to go for Hull’s jugular.
Reigning EPL Champion, Leicester City will attempt to take a second win at the King Power Stadium against Visiting Burnley that held Hull City to a 1-1 draw last weekend.
Rooted at the 16th position of the table, Musa Ahmed will have a big task at hand to help his side to a win that would see the club take the three points at stake.
Tomorrow, Odion Ighalo would be up against Manchester United. It promises to be an encounter that will see the home side ready to upset Mourinho’s big spending outfit. Following their success in the summer transfer window, with Mourinho masterminding the arrivals of Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, United made a strong start to the Premier League season before suffering defeat to Manchester City in Saturday’s derby.
While warning against expectations reaching unrealistic levels, Mourinho admitted to being already impressed with the attitude of the squad at his disposal.
“I have a very positive feeling,” he said. “Rome was not built in one day and a football team is probably more difficult to build than Rome was.
“The feeling is that they want to work for me, they have the same level of ambition and commitment that I have and step by step, by a tactical and mental point of view, I have great feelings with the answers they are giving. So yes, I am very positive.”
Mourinho was known to be interested in the United job when Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, but instead joined Chelsea for a second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge. However, the Portuguese was now enjoying life in the home dugout at Old Trafford following visits as an opposing manager for more than a decade.
“It feels like I am at home,” he said. “I didn’t feel strange or under pressure. I am enjoying the situation very, very much so I think we can both – me and the club – enjoy this professional relationship.
“For me I played so many times at Old Trafford as an opponent and – winning or not winning – I enjoy so much the atmosphere and the stadium.