Portugal got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track with goals from William Carvalho, Goncalo Guedes, Cristian Ronaldo and Bernardo Silva in a pulsating 4-2 victory in Belgrade on Saturday.
The victory over Serbia lifted the European champions to second place in Group B on five points from three games, eight behind runaway leaders Ukraine.
Ukraine have 13 points from five matches after their 3-0 win in Lithuania earlier on Saturday.
Third-placed Luxembourg and Serbia in fourth both have four points from as many games while Lithuania are bottom with one point from four matches.
Portugal dominated the opening half and Carvalho fired them ahead in the 42nd minute when he poked the ball into an empty net from three metres.
Serbia goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic had spilled a Bruno Fernandes cross from the right.
Cristiano Ronaldo looked subdued in the opening half.
He was given a hostile reception at Red Star stadium as Serbian fans jeered him every time he touched the ball, but he twice came close early in the second half.
He fired inches wide from the edge of the penalty area after cutting in from the left and then curled a free-kick narrowly off target.
Forward Guedes then doubled Portugal’s lead with a fine individual effort.
He capped a flowing move as he sidestepped a defender and rifled in an unstoppable shot past Dmitrovic into the far corner from 12 metres to silence the raucous home crowd.
Centre-back Nikola Milenkovic pulled one back for Serbia in the 68th minute, heading a Dusan Tadic corner past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Taunted by chants of “Messi” from Serbia’s die-hard fans, Ronaldo demonstrated his class in the 80th minute.
He took a Bernardo Silva pass in his stride and coolly dinked the ball over the advancing Dmitrovic.
Serbia refused to roll over as Aleksandar Mitrovic drove a shot from inside the penalty area into the roof of the net after a defensive blunder in the 85th minute.
But Silva sealed the contest with a clinical finish barely 60 seconds later.
Super Eagles drop in FIFA ranking
The Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles, have dropped one place in the latest FIFA world rankings released on Thursday by the world football governing body.
According to the August/September 2019 edition, the Super Eagles are now placed 34th in the world, down from last time’s 33rd position.
The team recently played 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly game at the Dnipro Stadium, their first game after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where the team finished third.
Coach Gernot Rohr’s men, however, gained one point, cumulating 1482 points from the previous 1481 points.
In the African ranking, Nigeria maintained its third-place despite the drop in the world ranking, with Senegal and Tunisia also maintaining their first and second positions respectively.
Algeria climbed two places in the world rankings and are fourth on the African ranking behind Nigeria, while Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo DR, and Cote D’Ivoire occupy the fifth to tenth positions respectively.
Meanwhile, Belgium remained top of the world ranking, with France, Brazil, England, and Portugal making up the top 5.
Belgium continues to hold its place as the topmost country on the FIFA world ranking.
Uruguay, Spain, Croatia, Colombia and Argentina are the other countries who make up the top 10 of the latest FIFA rankings.
Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Unai Emery lists strong squad for Europa League clash
Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has left out Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from the squad that has travelled to Eintracht Frankfurt, for their Europa League group game.
Rob Holding makes the trip, having not yet made an appearance on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.
Also featuring in Emery’s 19-man squad are youngsters Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe.
Thursday’s game in Germany kicks off at 5.55pm UK time, with Group F rivals Standard Liege and Vitoria facing off in Belgium the same night.
Goalkeepers – Leno, Martinez.
Defenders – Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac.
Midfielders – Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Xhaka, Ceballos, Smith Rowe.
Attackers – Martinelli, Nelson, Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang.
Chelsea vs Valencia: Livescore from Champions League clash
Frank Lampard takes charge of his first Champions League tie at Chelsea, when they welcome Valencia to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Lampard will be without Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Emerson Palmeri due to injuries, while the LaLiga side arrive with a full squad.
Chelsea and Valencia have met six times previously in European competition, with the Spanish club not winning any of these matches
Kick off is 8pm West African time.
Chelsea XI vs Valencia: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Willian, Mount, Abraham
Valencia XI vs Chelsea: Cillessen, Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Kondogbia, Parejo, Coquelin, Cheryshev, Rodrigo, Gameiro
Tuesday, September 17
First half: No goals.
Second half: Rodrigo scores for the LaLiga club. 0-1.
Full time: Chelsea have lost 1-0 to Valencia.
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