Launchpad to a billion consumers

first_imgInside a branch of Jumbo Cash ‘n Carry, one of the many big box range of stores operated in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent by Massmart, the company Wal-Mart has offered to buy for $4.2-billion. (Image: Massmart) This article originally appeared on page one of South Africa Now, a six-page supplement to the Washington Post produced on behalf of Brand South Africa. (Click to enlarge.) MEDIA CONTACTS • Brunswick Group LLP, Strategic Communications Advisors: Massmart + 27 11 502 7300 massmart@brunswick.co.zaRELATED ARTICLES • Brewing up a global brand • SA possible new BRIC member • Fortune 500 head to Cape Town • SA-China trade ties strengthen • SA best for regulation of exchangesBy offering to acquire South African retailer Massmart for an estimated US$4.2-billion (R28.5-billion), Wal-Mart in late September 2010 joined the parade of global companies looking to South Africa as a springboard into what is increasingly seen as the world’s last great investment frontier.“What better evidence can there be of Africa’s burgeoning potential as a consumer market than Wal-Mart’s desire for a foothold on the continent?” the Financial Times‘ Beyondbrics blog asked.Wal-Mart’s move followed hard on the heels of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone‘s $3.2-billion (R21.5-billion) bid for Dimension Data, HSBC‘s expressed interest in acquiring 70% of Nedbank, and DuPont‘s decision to seek a majority stake in Pannar Seed.Andy Bond, chairman of Asda, Wal-Mart’s UK operation, said, “South Africa presents a compelling growth opportunity and offers a platform for growth and expansion in other African countries. South Africa possesses attractive market dynamics, favorable demographic trends and a growing economy.”Headquartered in Johannesburg, Massmart operates 232 stores in South Africa stores and 32 in other African countries including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana, according to its website. The company is known for its big box chains, which include Makro, Game and Builders Warehouse. Other South African retailers with growing African footprints include Shoprite and Pick n Pay.The acquisition would be Bentonville, Arkansas, giant’s largest since 1999 when it purchased Asda. Wal-Mart has already been sourcing fruit from South Africa. It buys 500 000 cartons of citrus for its US stores each year, 2.4-million boxes of apples and pears for the UK and 50 000 boxes of grapefruit for Japan.“Africa’s economic pulse has quickened, infusing the continent with a new commercial vibrancy,” McKinsey and Co concluded in a widely read report released in June, titled Lions on the Move (PDF, 2.8 MB). The report singled out the three sectors represented in the latest series of acquisition moves as “flourishing” – retail, banking and telecoms.McKinsey reckons that by 2020 Africa’s consumer spending will reach $1.4-trillion (R9.5-trillion) up from $860-billion (R5.8-trillion) in 2008, and there will be 128-million Africans with discretionary income.  “Africa’s long-term growth will increasingly reflect into related social and demographic trends that are creating new engines of domestic growth. Chief among these are urbanisation and the rise of the middle class African consumer.”Wal-Mart’s initial offer of R148 ($23) a share for Massmart, a 10% premium on the previous close, reflected in part the solid track record South African companies have established in the rest of the continent. That record, the Financial Times commented last April, gave “weight to government aspirations to occupy a place at the table of the BRICs, the big emerging markets whose rise has begun to transform the shape of the world economy.”Download South Africa Now in PDF format (2.2 MB), or read selected articles online:Powering towards a green economySouth Africa plans to build a massive $21.8-billion, 5 000 MW solar park in its semi-desert Northern Cape province as part of an aggressive push to grow its highly industrialised economy without increasing its carbon footprint.The everyday beauty of SowetoSouth African photographer Jodi Bieber has a special ability to bring out the beauty in the ordinary, even the disfigured. On the cover of Time magazine she made a mutilated Afghani girl look beautiful, and in her latest book Soweto she makes everyday township life shine.Launchpad to a billion consumersBy offering to acquire Massmart for some $4.2-billion, Wal-Mart has joined the parade of global companies looking to South Africa as a springboard into what is increasingly seen as the world’s last great investment frontier.A trek to the start of timeIt will probe the edges of our universe. It will be a virtual time machine, helping scientists explore the origins of galaxies. It’s the Square Kilometre Array, and South Africans are at the heart of its development.Brewing up a global brandMiller Lite. Tastes great. Less filling. And brought to you by world-beating South African company SABMiller.Looking south and east for growthAs the shift in global economic power gains momentum, South Africa’s trade is moving eastwards and southwards in a pattern that both reflects the worldwide trend and helps drive it, writes John Battersby.More than just a celluloid Mandela There is a special bond between Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman and the man he played in the Clint Eastwood movie Invictus, South African statesman Nelson Mandela.Africa in the new world orderKgalema Motlanthe, South Africa’s deputy president, looks at how African economies’ resilient performance during the global financial crisis points to the continent’s new place in a changing world.Mining history for new solutionsMark Cutifani, CEO of the multinational AngloGold Ashanti mining company, examines why South Africa’s past is key to successfully doing business here in the future.Turning up the media volumeSince 1990, South Africa has been a noisy place. After decades of apartheid censorship, the lifting of restrictions on the media led to a cacophony of debate. For the first time in centuries, everyone could be heard, and it was sometimes deafening, writes Anton Harber.A joule of an energy-efficient carSouth Africa, which builds BMWs and Mercedes Benzes for the US market, is in the thick of the race to deliver a truly practical – and stylish – electric car. Meet the Joule.South Africa: Time to believeThe forgiving philosophy of “ubuntu” helps explain how South Africa managed to transcend its turbulent apartheid past and create a unified democracy, writes Simon Barber.Finding sound real estate investmentSouth Africa’s post-apartheid transformation and new middle class are fuelling demand for affordable homes. For private equity fund International Housing Solutions, that means opportunity.My normal, crazy, mixed-up countrySouth African hit movie White Wedding is now showing in the US to rave reviews. Jann Turner, who directed and jointly wrote and produced the film, writes about the place that inspired it – South Africa.Bring on the braaiAll South Africans love it – including Nobel peace prize-winning Desmond Tutu – and its rich, smoky smell floats over the country every Sunday. Celebrate the braai with our great recipe for making boerewors, traditional South African farmer’s sausage.last_img read more

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It’s Time to Kick It Up a Notch — Apollos pool with the million dollar view (GC13VNK) —Geocache of the Week

first_imgPart of what makes geocaching so great is the variety of ways to play. As you’ve probably seen in past Geocache of the Week posts, some geocaches are incredible and creative containers, some are epic puzzles, and some—like this week’s—are arduous journeys with big rewards.The pool and the view. Careful, there’s a 200 foot drop off that ledge. Photo by geocacher stretch.kerrAs you might gather from the title, Apollos pool with the million dollar view (GC13VNK) is all about the amazing vista at ground zero. However, to make it to the final location and earn your smiley, you’re going to have to negotiate 4.5 difficulty and terrain ratings. The geocache owner, glyn(the only one), said “The place of the cache was suggested by a good friend of mine Alex who lives close by. He suggested that this would the “ultimate” geocache, given the isolation, difficulty and the stunning place to visit…It’s a real mission to get in and out, hence the difficulty rating.” He goes on to say, “I have a creative streak and want visitors to enjoy my creations or discover the places that I have found in the same way I’ve been enjoying others in lots of locations here and overseas.”Despite the difficulty, the payoff is totally worth it. If the photos aren’t enough proof, just read some of the Found It logs. Geocacher -OGP- said, “One solid bush bash of a slog that took us to a spectacular place. It’s that much more fun with a good group. As the bush was drawing evermore blood I had to keep reminding myself this is fun and part of the adventure. The pool dropoff and view are worth every bit.”When you find the geocache, don’t forget to celebrate. Photo by geocacher keeweechrisAnother awesome part of this geocache is the owner’s dedication to keeping it maintained. He says, “Our local cachers are good at helping maintaining caches and this helps me out. I also spend more time in maintenance than in finding caches myself.” And of course, the positive logs and favorite points help keep him motivated, “I guess I “feed” on the comments that I get back, drives me on.”Some finds are worth celebrating. What’s your favorite (family-friendly) way to celebrate completing a geocaching adventure? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.The pool and the view, again. Photo by geocacher Rumo and Rala Share with your Friends:More SharePrint Related[Chrismod75] US Army base (GC3J2M4) — Geocache of the WeekJuly 23, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”Post-Apocalyptic geocaching — Red Sands Fort (GC1DVNY) — Geocache of the WeekJune 11, 2015In “Geocache of the Week”350 miles, all for a smiley. — Munich – Venice (GC1FPN1) — Geocache of the WeekJune 12, 2013In “Community”last_img read more

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La Salle seniors take leadership mantle in Fajardo’s absence

first_imgFajardo was an integral part of La Salle’s three championships from Seasons 75 through 79, a span of time when they faced Ateneo for five straight years.Dy, who was the Season 78 Finals MVP, echoed Baron’s statements that filling in for the role Fajardo left will require not just one person.“We handle things differently, let’s say this person is more vocal, and this one leads by example,” said Dy in Filipino. “I think that’s something good that we’re not all the same. We have our own strengths, and we have different ways to lead.”“And now that we’re the seniors, when we’re on the court we should be the last ones to give up especially now that a lot of the players on the team are young,” added Dy.Macandili, La Salle’s defensive dynamo, added that Fajardo’s departure isn’t just a positional vacancy.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Read Next “It’s not just a setter that was gone, but a leader,” said Macandili in Filipino. “So us seniors we’re trying to be as good as a leader as Ate Kim. Right now we’re all helping each other out to guide our younger teammates.” 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH For the better part of her five-year stay in La Salle, Kim Fajardo was one of the team’s undisputed leaders not only on the matted floor but also off of it.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Amid Ginebra’s injury woes, Cone expects more from Ferrer, Mariano And now that the wily setter has left the Lady Spikers’ camp, it’s up to the remaining seniors to fill in the void Fajardo left.Season 79 MVP Mary Joy Baron is aware of Fajardo’s importance in the team, but she’s confident that, together with Kim Kianna Dy and Dawn Macandili, the team’s senior players are capable of guiding the team in Season 80.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Of course this will be a big adjustment for us since Ate Kim is no longer with us,” said Baron in Filipino. “Although I think we can still compensate for her absence.”“I think the leadership role will fall to me, Kianna [Dy], Dawn [Macandili] and Des [Cheng] because we’re the seniors in the team.” View commentslast_img read more

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Wilshere hints at new Arsenal contract

first_imgArsenal Wilshere’s New Year’s resolution hints at new Arsenal contract Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 02:24 1/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jack Wilshere Arsenal Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Transfers The England international is among those heading towards free agency at Emirates Stadium, but he has reiterated his desire to remain with the club Jack Wilshere has hinted that he will commit to a new contract at Arsenal while airing his hopes for 2018.The England international midfielder is among those heading towards free agency at Emirates Stadium.But while Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have offered no indication that they wish to commit to fresh terms, Wilshere has publicly stated his desire to stay on. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He has also admitted that his situation will be assessed now that the January transfer window has been reached, but the 26-year-old is living the dream in north London and has no desire to leave.In stating “long may it continue” in regards to his ongoing presence at Arsenal, Wilshere would appear to be hoping for an extension to his stay in north London.Talks are planned, with Arsene Wenger admitting that discussions are in the pipeline after seeing the all-action midfielder star in a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace.He said: “We need to sit down with [Jack]. Beginning of January, it’s planned. There is no delay.”The Gunners boss had previously stated that financial issues would need to be overcome in order to reach an agreement, with both sides looking for a compromise.Wilshere, though, is clearly happy at the club and if he can steer clear of injury and nail down the regular role he has held of late, then fresh terms should be a formality.last_img read more

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Baker Mayfield’s Girlfriend Was the Punch Line for Some Great GameDay Signs

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. You guys all know the story by now. Baker meets OSU soccer player. Baker falls in love with OSU soccer player. OSU soccer player roots for OSU in Bedlam. The whole thing is quite funny and great.And it turned out to be the source of some terrific College GameDay signs which Baillie Burmaster (Baker’s girlfriend) embraced with a smile. Well done all the way around.Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 1.09.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 1.09.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 1.09.00 PMAdChoices广告When helping out @CollegeGameDay and you become the joke of @CollegeGameDay signs… pic.twitter.com/unlyi6xpvf— Baillie Burmaster (@bayburmTV) November 28, 2015last_img read more

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‘Ronaldo only wanted to play for Juventus’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo “only wanted to play for Juventus”, claims his agent Jorge Mendes, with the decision taken to leave Real Madrid for Serie A in January.A big-money move for the Portuguese had been mooted for several years before a deal was finally done over the summer.Few clubs boasted the ambition and financial muscle to put an agreement in place, but Italian giants Juve formed part of an exclusive club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ronaldo has made no secret of his admiration for the Bianconeri since joining their books, with the Turin outfit one he always hoped would form part of his illustrious career.Mendes was able to make that dream a reality, with there only one destination considered once a five-time Ballon d’Or winner made it clear that he wanted out of the Santiago Bernabeu.“In January 2018, I and the few people who knew what was happening thought it would be very difficult to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to Juve,” Mendes told Rai Sport.“However, I want to make it clear that the idea started with the player himself. Ronaldo told me he only wanted to play for Juventus.“That’s where it began and I was in talks with the Bianconeri directors for months, so we all know how those negotiations ended up.“Now Cristiano is happy with the club and his team-mates, he is satisfied with Serie A and truly happy at Juventus.”Ronaldo has contributed 12 goals to the Juve cause this season, across 21 appearances in all competitions.Those efforts have helped to establish a standing back at the top of Serie A, while also progressing through to the last 16 of the Champions League.“Many have asked me about Juve and the Champions League. It will take a bit of luck to win it too, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival has certainly made Juventus stronger,” added Mendes.“I’d say all of Italian football has benefited from his presence.”Ronaldo will be back in action on Saturday against Roma, with Massimiliano Allegri having revealed that plans to rest the 33-year-old continue to be pushed back.last_img read more

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Win I’m a genius, lose not so good – Guardiola

first_imgPep Guardiola has defended his decision to start Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero on the bench as Manchester City fell further behind Premier League leaders Liverpool with a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace.De Bruyne came on to score a fortuitous 85th-minute goal on Saturday, but the damage had already been done. Jeffrey Schlupp’s first-half goal cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s opener and an Andros Townsend wonder strike was added to by Luka Milivojevic’s penalty.The result means City are four points behind Liverpool at the summit, with back-to-back trips to Leicester City and Southampton to come before they host Jurgen Klopp’s side on January 3. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Aguero, who replaced Nicolas Otamendi as Guardiola chased the game at 2-1, and De Bruyne started the midweek Carabao Cup triumph at Leicester City following recent lay-offs, while Guardiola watched John Stones turn in a mixed performance at the base of his midfield in Fernandinho’s injury-enforced absence.”When you win I am a genius, when you lose I am not good,” City’s manager told a post-match news conference.”I don’t know what would happen if Kevin starts or Sergio starts. Dinho is injured, yesterday he felt that problem. John played so good in Leicester [in the unfamiliar position] so I wanted to give another option for [defending] long balls.”He played good except for one ball. I admire and give credit to people who try and adapt to positions they are not used to.”With a hectic and now pivotal period to come in his team’s title defence, Guardiola denied he was being overly cautious with two of his prized assets.”Of course he could have played – I decide to play the other ones,” he said of De Bruyne, whose action has been limited by a pair of medial knee ligament injuries this season, although the Belgium star now has two goals in as many appearances.”Gabriel [Jesus] scored two goals in the last game here versus Everton. Sergio needs more time to get rhythm.”Kevin’s condition is better. We put in six or seven players with fresh legs. That is going to happen in the future.”When you have a lot of games, everyone has to play. The guys who played did absolutely everything.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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Modric shows Messi & Ronaldo that 2018 was his year

first_imgSoftly spoken and self-effacing almost to a fault, not even being crowned the world’s best player could inflate Luka Modric’s ego.The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner ended a decade of tyrannical domination of the award by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who had shared out equally – if not always uncontroversially – the last 10 awards. Modric, however, saw his triumph as a win for the ‘little guy’.“Nobody has the right to compare themselves to [Messi and Ronaldo] the Real Madrid star told France Football upon receiving his new prize. “They are the best in the history of this sport. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “I am happy that someone normal is able to win the Ballon d’Or.”Do not be fooled by Modric’s diffidence, however. Beneath that unassuming exterior is a truly magnificent playmaker who fully deserves to have finished ahead of two footballing behemoths – a fact he underlined with a match-winning performance to crown Madrid world champions on Saturday.Santiago Solari’s men could have been forgiven for taking the Club World Cup final rather lightly. On the opposite side of the pitch were unheralded Al Ain, the local heroes in Abu Dhabi who had ejected Wellington, Esperance de Tunis and River Plate on the road to the decider but who were surely outmatched against the winners of the last three Champions League titles.Part of River’s downfall was underestimating that rival, though, and Madrid almost paid for the same mistake early on. A dreadful error from Marcelo just 12 minutes into the final sent Hussein El Shahat bursting through on goal and only Sergio Ramos’ miraculous stop on the line stopped the favourites going behind after Al Ain’s dangerman had danced past a flailing Thibaut Courtois.That near-miss was a show of the absent-mindedness and apparent lack of focus that has hurt Madrid time and again in this desperately disappointing start to the season. Luckily for the Liga side, they had an ace up their sleeve in the shape of their Croatian genius.Minutes after Ramos’ intervention Modric was given an inch of space on the edge of the Al Ain box. He does not need much more. The midfielder whipped the ball past goalkeeper Eisa with an unstoppable effort, a near-mirror image of the strike that finished off Argentina in this summer’s World Cup as this time round he opted to use his left boot.Luka Modric Real Madrid Al Ain CWC finalReal MadridFrom that point onwards, and despite another scare when the brilliant Caio scooped over Courtois’ head only to be called back for a marginal offside, the game was Madrid’s to lose.In the second half Marcos Llorente stepped up to take a leaf out of Modric’s and fire home a cracking volley, his first-ever Madrid goal effectively ending the final as a contest. Modric stepped up once again with a perfect corner to allow Ramos to extend the scoreline, before Al Ain grabbed a late consolation. An even later own goal meant that Madrid ran out 4-1 winners.After all the strife of the last few months, the Merengue received some welcome breathing space in the shape of silverware as Solari takes his first trophy in the hotseat. What is clear is that this team, dishevelled as it has been recently, still depend heavily on their No. 10, who once more has responded when it most counts.Perhaps Modric does not have the scintillating natural talent of Messi (but then who does?) or Ronaldo’s irrepressible eye for goal. But the facts speak for themselves. At 33 he continues to pull the strings in the team that have been crowned European and world champions for the last three years. He shows no sign of slowing down.When his heroics in leading unfancied Croatia to the World Cup final are taken into consideration there can be no doubt that he was the right man for the Ballon d’Or, a feat only made more exceptional by the fact he overthrew those two monsters to take the prize. Those who gripe and moan about the decision, often on social media with avatars depicting one of the pair above, miss the point about what these awards are supposed to signify.To put it simply, Modric was the outstanding star of the past 12 months, bringing his game to new heights to lead Madrid to further silverware and Croatia to the brink of glory. Like Andres Iniesta before him, he cannot be judged solely on goals, assists and other dry statistics; watching him glide across the pitch and making his side tick is a work of art that needs no numerical support.Perhaps one can only fault his own perceptions of himself, particularly when it comes to speaking to reporters. Normal? There is absolutely nothing normal about Modric and his marvellous 2018.last_img read more

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Report: Chievo 1 Inter 1

first_imgInter missed the chance to significantly strengthen their grip on a Champions League place as a stoppage-time equaliser saw them held to a 1-1 draw at Serie A’s bottom club Chievo.Luciano Spalletti’s men were presented with an opportunity to increase the gap between themselves and fifth-placed AC Milan, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Fiorentina earlier on Saturday.The visitors were never at their best, but looked set to claim all three points thanks to Ivan Perisic’s close-range 39th-minute strike, which marked his first league goal since September. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? However, a Chievo side that offered scant resistance provided a late sting in the tail thanks to Sergio Pellissier as the captain dinked over Samir Handanovic, meaning third-placed Inter are just six points clear of Milan in the fifth.112 & 33 – Ivan #Perisic has found the net in Serie A after 112 days and 33 shots his previous one. Recover. #ChievoInter pic.twitter.com/J7OuWfV38f— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 22, 2018Chievo forced Handanovic into action in the first minute, the Inter goalkeeper dealing with an awkward bounce after Riccardo Meggiorini let fly with a long-range volley.Inter slowly took control of the game and only a fine reaction save from Stefano Sorrentino prevented him from turning home Danilo D’Ambrosio’s left-wing cross.Mauro Icardi and D’Ambrosio were involved as Inter broke the deadlock, though, combining down the left to set up Perisic to lash Inter into a lead that should have been doubled when Joao Mario shot wide from the Croatia international’s low delivery.Excellent build-up between Perisic and Icardi ended with the latter thwarted again by Sorrentino at the near post before a rare threatening Chievo attack saw Handanovic brilliantly turn Pellissier’s effort behind.It was Perisic who appeared the most likely to add to Inter’s tally in a game that always looked in hand, but his inability to do so proved costly as Mariusz Stepinski headed on for Pellissier to earn Chievo’s fifth point of a miserable season.| FT Chievo 1-1 InterIt ends all square here in Verona. #ChievoInter pic.twitter.com/n69wqUgLaN— Inter (@Inter_en) December 22, 2018What does it mean? Inferior foe again troubles Inter An inability to beat inferior opposition was Inter’s undoing in the Champions League as a 1-1 draw with PSV saw them knocked out, and that failing reared its head again as their defence was breached at the last. Worryingly for Spalletti, who saw penalty claims for a challenge on Borja Valero rejected by VAR late on, a much tougher test lies in wait.D’Ambrosio a delight Inter’s main threat came down the left from full-back D’Ambrosio, whose lack of a test defensively gave him the freedom to create the opener and set Icardi up for his first-half chance, which would have been decisive had it been taken.Joao Mario makes a meal of it Joao Mario had to stretch to meet Perisic’s centre on the stroke of half-time, but he still had the goal at his mercy from close range and should have found the net. Instead, his miss was one of many chances Inter will reflect on after dropping points to Serie A’s worst team.Key Opta Facts- Inter have failed to win any of their last four away Serie A games (2D 2L).- Chievo are unbeaten under Di Carlo in Serie A current season (5D).- Ivan Perisic found the net in Serie A some 112 days and 33 shots after his previous one.What’s next? An enticing and crucial clash awaits Inter at San Siro on Wednesday when Napoli are the visitors. Chievo travel to take on Sampdoria on the same day. read morelast_img read more

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Report: Barcelona 2 Celta Vigo 0

first_imgLionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo as Ernesto Valverde’s side restored their three-point lead at the summit of LaLiga.With Atletico Madrid having won earlier in the day to move level at the top, Barca reasserted their authority as first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Messi paved the way for a routine victory at Camp Nou.Messi was again at the heart of the hosts’ best play, his shot being parried to the feet of the grateful Dembele to apply the finish inside the opening 10 minutes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Argentina star got in on the act himself in the final minute of the first half as Barca all but sealed the points before the interval.Barca quickly seized the initiative as Dembele pounced to nutmeg Ruben Blanco after the goalkeeper had kept out Messi’s low drive. The visitors narrowly escaped further punishment when Blanco rushed out to thwart Dembele, with Jordi Alba turning the loose ball towards goal where Nestor Araujo was on hand to intervene. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was finally called into action in the 24th minute and the Barca keeper proved equal to Maxi Gomez’s effort. Messi doubled Barca’s lead late in the half, calmly finishing from the edge of the box after Alba’s searching pass had left Celta exposed. Telepathy The Messi-Alba Connection!#BarçaCelta pic.twitter.com/uKYPPnN2WE— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 22, 2018Luis Suarez proved uncharacteristically wasteful when presented with a glorious chance to put the game to bed just past the hour mark, the forward shooting wide of the target with only Blanco to beat.Blanco had stay sharp to deny Messi a second in a brief goalmouth scramble while Celta, despite enjoying more of the ball, continued to struggle in the final third.Brais Mendez’s effort had Ter Stegen diving low to his left, but that save was as comfortable as Barca’s whole evening had been. What does it mean? Barca go clear againBarca did not seem to take too kindly to having company at the top of the table after being joined there by Atletico, but this win restored their cushion and provided a fitting end to the year. Celta, meanwhile, remain mid-table.Magnificent Messi does it againHaving played a significant role in the opener, Messi got himself on the scoresheet before the break in a display that highlighted just what a threat he is, cementing his spot at the top of the LaLiga scoring charts.Suarez outshoneSuarez was as industrious as he always is, but while Dembele and Messi both found the back of the net, the Uruguay international’s finishing was wayward, failing to find the target with two attempts at goal. Key Opta Facts:- Messi has reached 15+ goals in LaLiga for each of the last 11 seasons.- Barcelona have scored 102 league goals in 2018, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.- Messi has scored 47 goals in 49 games in 2018 in all competitions, more than any other player from those five divisions.- Barcelona have kept four consecutive clean sheets in LaLiga for the first time since January.- Valverde has not lost any of his 16 games as a head coach against Celta in LaLiga (W11 D5).What’s next?The two sides can enjoy a festive break now and will return to action in January, with Barca heading to Getafe in their first game of 2019, while Celta host Athletic Bilbao. read morelast_img read more

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