Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Sampdoria on December 29, 2018 at the Juventus stadium in Turin. PHOTO: Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace as Italian champions Juventus finished 2018 on a high with a 2-1 win over Sampdoria giving the Italian champions a new record of 53 points before the winter break.
Ronaldo curled in the opener after just two minutes in Turin adding a second from the penalty spot after 66 minutes, putting the Portuguese top of Serie A’s scoring charts with 14 goals.
Fabio Quagliarella pulled Sampdoria level with a penalty after 33 minutes, with the visitors having a late Riccardo Saponara goal ruled offside after consultation with the video assistant referee.
Juventus open up a 12-point lead at the top of Serie A ahead of Napoli who can reduce the gap when they host Bologna later on Saturday.
The seven-time reigning champions also have a record number of points before the three-week winter break with 53 from 19 games.
“The team is doing very well, we had an excellent first half to the season, now we have to keep working to ensure we keep this form in the second half of the season,” Ronaldo told Sky Sports Italia.
“I like VAR because these are difficult decisions for a referee and we should welcome anything that makes his job easier.”
The reigning champions have dropped points just twice this season, being held by Genoa at home and 2-2 against Atalanta midweek, and are firmly on track for an eighth consecutive Scudetto.
Ronaldo had come off the bench to score in Bergamo but returned to the starting line along with Miralem Pjanic.
And the Portuguese striker found a way through early picking up a Paulo Dybala cross to fire in past Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero.
But Sampdoria pulled level following a penalty awarded when Emre Can handball with Quagliarella making no mistake past Mattia Perin in the Juventus goal.
The 35-year-old became the first player to score in nine consecutive Serie A games since David Trezeguet for Juventus in 2005.
Audero denied Dybala before the break with Mario Mandzukic missing a chance to finish off a Ronaldo cross.
The Sampdoria goalkeeper again deflected over a Ronaldo header on the hour but the hosts went ahead when the referee awarded a penalty for an Alex Ferrari handball off a corner after a VAR viewing.
Substitute Saponara looked to have grabbed a point in injury time but VAR ruled he was in an offside position and the goal was disallowed as Sampdoria stay fifth two points behind Lazio who occupy the final Champions League spot.
Inter Milan, in third, travel to Tuscany side Empoli later on Saturday without their fans after racism and violence overshadowed Christmas football in the Italian league.
This is an examination of some of the top controversies that rocked the Yoruba film industry in the year 2018.
What controversy rocked the Yoruba film industry the most in 2018? Was it Adeniyi Johnson begging his ex-wife Toyin Abraham to sign their divorce papers? Or was it Mercy Aigbe’s controversial red dress? We’re not sure.
But, what we do know is that 2018 was drama-filled as usual with celebrity controversies keeping fans entertained all year long. Here, we present just a few of them.
1. Mercy Aigbe’s controversial red dress
Mercy had worn a red dress made by popular Lagos-based fashion designer, Maryam Elisha of Rikaoto by Me, for her 40th birthday photo shoot. But a bride would later come out to say it was hers.
The controversy began on January 4 and lasted nearly two weeks. The bride said the designer had lied to her that a logistics challenge had stalled its transportation to her in Benin.
The bride said she was supposed to wear the dress on her wedding day. There was n apology by the designer and a statement by Mercy Aigbe’s stylist, StyledBySeun, absolving her of any fault. The actress claimed it was all the designer’s fault.
2. Bose Alao announces break-up with hubby on WhatsApp
In June, Yoruba actress and movie producer, Bose Alao, announced that her 10-year marriage to football star, Rasaq Omotoyosi, was over. The actress disclosed this on WhatsApp.
She claimed that her marriage ended due to domestic violence. A week after, she apologised to her husband, Rasaq Omotoyosi, on Instagram claiming that they were both guilty of domestic violence and were undergoing therapy.
3. Adeniyi Johnson begs ex-wife Toyin Abraham to sign divorce papers
Actor Adeniyi Johnson took to Instagram to plead with his ex-wife, Toyin Abraham, to sign their divorce papers and let him go.
The actor revealed that Toyin had been stalling their divorce for the past three years and he is fed up with it.
4. Seun Egbegbe’s never-ending trial
The trial of an embattled Nollywood filmmaker, Olajide Kareem, popularly called Seun Egbegbe, which has lingered on for nearly a year was again stalled in November.
This was because the trial judge, Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, insisted that the case could not go on except the prosecutor, Innocent Anyigor, paid a fine of N50,000. The police charged Egbegbe and four others with alleged serial frauds involving N39,098,100, $90,000 and £12,550 since 2017.
They were accused of fraudulently obtaining the money from no fewer than 40 Bureau De Change operators in Lagos over a period of two years – 2015 to 2017.
5. Mercy Aigbe, Toyin Abraham’s cat fight
Yoruba actresses, Toyin Abraham and Mercy Aigbe, slugged it out on Instagram in June. Trouble began after Toyin accused Mercy of being the reason for her crashed marriage with her ex-husband, Adeniyi Johnson.
Toyin stormed Mercy’s Instagram page to blast her, accusing her of being a ‘big for nothing hypocrite’ who only knows how to ‘write epistles’ when two people are fighting.
This was after Mercy sent a congratulatory message to Adeniyi’s (Toyin’s ex-husband) fiancée, Seyi Edun. They made up a few days after.
6. Toyin Abraham’s crashed engagement
Toyin Abraham got engaged to a faceless lawyer on May 16 only to announce six months after that there won’t be wedding after all. According to her publicist, there’s no bad blood between the former lovers.
He added that they have also chosen to remain friends but there would not be a wedding in the nearest future as hoped by family and friends.
7. Iyabo Ojo tags colleagues as fake, full of envy
Iyabo Ojo, during the year, described her colleagues as fake and full of envy. She failed to mention names but criticised her colleagues for living fake lives and not being supportive.
Iyabo’s tirade against her colleagues further confirmed the rivalry that exists in her industry. The actress claimed the industry is filled with gossips, backstabbing, envy, hatreds and all sorts of unfriendly acts.
She also maintained that the male actors are not left behind and majority of the stakeholders in the industry are more concerned about their colleague’s shortcomings.
8. Nkechi Blessing slams Seyi Edun over arrest attempt
Nkechi Blessing slammed her colleague Seyi Edun over her alleged attempt to get her arrested. According to reports, Seyi filed a police report against Nkechi for cyber bullying and threatening to release her sex tape.
Nkechi hit back by opening a can of worms. She claimed Niyi was deported from the U.S.
9. Yetunde Akilapa reportedly caught stealing a third time
Embattled actress, Yetunde Akilapa, was reportedly caught while attempting to burgle a home in Lagos in December. The 32-year-old actress was apprehended at Ajao estate, Oluwalogbon in Ketu, while trying to break into a house with a bunch of keys.
A video surfaced online showing the actress being apprehended and whisked away while pleading for mercy. She was later taken to a police station in the area to prevent a mob action.
After the news went viral, the actress deactivated all her social media handles and went underground.
The arrest came six months after she was arrested and charged to court for burglary and stealing valuables to the tune of N7 m. The latter occurred at an apartment in Mutairu Street, Shangisha, Ketu, Lagos. In July, she was brought before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court where she stood trial on a three-count charge bordering on burglary and stealing to which she pleaded not guilty.
10. Lola Margaret returned to social media after alleged credit card fraud in U.S.
Actress, Lola Magaret, who disabled her social media handles, after she was allegedly deported from the U.S. over a credit card fraud, returned to Instagram in October.
She was arrested in 2016. Lola, whose mugshot appeared online, was initially granted bail on the condition that she revealed the identities of the characters she was working with on the illegal withdrawals, and she did.
She has remained underground ever since her ‘quiet’ return to Instagram.