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Three things we learned from Chelsea v Real Madrid

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LONDON, United Kingdom, May 6 -Chelsea beat Real Madrid 2-0 to clinch a 3-1 aggregate success in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg.

Goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount booked an all-Premier League showdown with Manchester City in the final in Istanbul on May 29.

AFP Sport looks at three things we learned from the Stamford Bridge clash:

Tuchel’s Midas touch

Since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard in January, Thomas Tuchel has overseen a remarkable revival in Chelsea’s fortunes and this was his finest moment yet.

Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge with a solid CV after leading Paris Saint-Germain to the French title and last season’s Champions League final.

But few expected him to have such an immediate impact on under-performing Chelsea.

Mired in ninth place in the Premier League when Tuchel took charge, Chelsea have won 16 of their 24 games under the German, rising back into the top four and reaching the finals of the Champions League and FA Cup.

Defensive excellence has been the trademark of Tuchel’s reign and once again he organised Chelsea superbly as they kept Real at bay and posed a sustained threat on the counter.

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Thanks to Tuchel’s tactical excellence, Chelsea are in their third Champions League final and their first since winning the competition for the first time against Bayern Munich in 2012.

Tuchel has already masterminded a victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final and a repeat in Turkey would cap an incredible debut season.

Redemption for Werner

After a turbulent first season at Chelsea, Timo Werner finally exorcised his demons with the goal that put Chelsea on course for the final.

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An ever increasing litany of high-profile misses had raised serious doubts about the decision to sign Werner from RB Leipzig for £45 million ($62 million) last year.

Werner even received social media criticism from the wife of his Chelsea team-mate Thiago Silva after his close-range effort was saved by Real keeper Thibaut Courtois in the first leg.

It looked like being another frustrating night for Werner when the German striker allowed himself to be needlessly caught offside before slotting home Ben Chilwell’s low cross.

But, for all his travails this season, Werner has refused to hide and his honest endeavour was rewarded in the 28th minute.

N’Golo Kante slipped a pass to Kai Havertz and when his chip rebounded off the bar, Werner was perfectly placed to grab the easiest goal of his career, heading into the empty net from virtually on the line.

The 25-year-old’s 12th goal for Chelsea was only his second in his last 18 games.

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It was also Werner’s first Champions League goal in open play since September 2019, but the wait was worthwhile as he became the toast of the King’s Road at last.

Hazard flops

Eden Hazard helped Chelsea win the Premier League twice in his seven-year spell with the club, but the Real Madrid forward’s first return to Stamford Bridge was one to forget.

Making just his 18th appearance of another injury-ravaged campaign, Hazard looked a shadow of the player who dazzled in Chelsea blue.

When the 30-year-old left the Bridge in 2019, he was ranked among the world’s best players after scoring 110 goals in 352 games for Chelsea.

Real had to pay £89 million to land the Belgian star, who was expected to succeed Cristiano Ronaldo as the new king of the Bernabeu.

Instead, Hazard turned up overweight for his first pre-season with the club and has been on a steep decline ever seen.

Given a chance to change the narrative against his former club, Hazard was completely anonymous.

Real boss Zinedine Zidane stuck with Hazard for 89 minutes, but he produced just one shot on goal when his low drive was blocked by Edouard Mendy as Madrid bowed out with a whimper.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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