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Europa: Chelsea, Arsenal progress to round of 32.

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Arsenal booked a place in the Europa League knockout stage and extended their unbeaten run to 15 matches despite a 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, while Olivier Giroud’s first goal of the season sent Chelsea through.



But Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck, given a rare start just hours after being named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, had to be stretchered down the tunnel with what looked a nasty ankle injury in the first half.

“It is mentally challenging (playing after a teammate is injured) but sometimes it comes with the game, and Danny has had a lot of injuries,” winger Alex Iwobi told BT Sport.

“We wish him the best and will keep on encouraging and motivating him to get back.”

Unai Emery’s Gunners were the better side for long periods at the Emirates against a team who have already had three different managers this term, but were forced to settle for a point despite Sporting being reduced to 10 men late on when former Barcelona centre-back Jeremy Mathieu was sent off.

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But Arsenal did secure a last-32 spot regardless, as Vorskla Poltava lost 1-0 at home to Azeri outfit Qarabag in the other Group E game.

Chelsea made it four wins from four matches in Group L by edging out a spirited BATE Borisov 1-0 in Belarus.

Giroud ended his 11-game goal drought this season by giving Chelsea a 53rd-minute lead, and the Premier League giants held on despite BATE striking the woodwork three times in the match.

The Londoners moved six points clear of Hungarians Vidi at the top of the group and have not tasted defeat in 17 matches since losing the Community Shield to Manchester City in August.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers saw their 11-game unbeaten run in this year’s Europa League come to a dramatic end as they threw away the lead three times in a 4-3 defeat at Spartak Moscow.

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Both sides were the beneficiaries of comical own goals in a crazy first half which ended with Glenn Middleton putting the Scots 3-2 ahead, but Luiz Adriano and Sofiane Hanni both scored in the space of 71 seconds to snatch Spartak victory.

Rangers are now level on points with Spartak in an incredibly tight Group G, one point behind leaders Villarreal after the Spaniards’ goalless draw with Rapid Vienna in Austria.

Reigning Scottish champions Celtic gave themselves a lifeline in Group B, as Odsonne Edouard’s 79th-minute strike saw them beat RB Leipzig 2-1 in their must-win clash at Parkhead.

Salzburg, semi-finalists last season, qualified for the next round with a 5-2 thrashing of Rosenborg in the group’s other match, as Japanese forward Takumi Minamino scored a hat-trick.

Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt reached the last 32 with their fourth win from as many group games by beating Apollon Limassol 3-2 in Cyprus, while Lazio joined them in progressing from Group H as goals from Marco Parolo and Joaquin Correa secured a 2-1 win over Marseille to eliminate last season’s runners-up.

AC Milan stayed just a point adrift of Group F leaders Real Betis after Suso’s second-half equaliser grabbed a 1-1 draw in Spain.

Record five-time winners Sevilla needed a late penalty from Ever Banega to claim a 3-2 victory at Akhisar Belediyespor, after having a man sent off, losing a two-goal lead and seeing the Turks miss a spot-kick of their own.

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Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane part ways with Republic of Ireland team.

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Manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane have parted company with the Republic of Ireland.




The pair took over the reins in 2013 and guided the Republic to the last 16 of the 2016 European Championships.

However, they did not win a competitive game in 2018 and were relegated from Uefa Nations League Group B4.

“I thank Martin, Roy, and the management team for the impact they had,” said Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief John Delaney.

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“There have been many highlights during Martin’s reign – none more so than Euro 2016 in France, which will live long in the memory of all Irish supporters.”

O’Neill, who leaves alongside his backroom team of Keane, Steve Guppy and goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh, signed a contract extension in January to remain as manager until 2020.

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Crime

Uganda: Rakai District councilor apprehended for defiling 13-year-old girl

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Police in Rakai District have arrested a councilor representing one of the Sub Counties to Rakai District council on allegations of defiling a 13-year-old girl.



According to the girl’s aunt, the girl who was a day scholar at Buyamba Senior Secondary School in Rakai District, did not return home on Friday last week and was discovered by police in one of the trading centres on Monday this week.
“We started looking for this girl on Friday evening and reported the matter to Police. We were so bothered until Police contacted us on Monday that they had got her in the trading centre,” the aunt said.

It is reported that the girl spent three days with the councilor in one of the lodges in the trading centre until Police found them on Monday.

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The councilor has been on the education committee at Rakai District local council since 2016. 
“I can’t believe a leader whom our children could emulate is the one behaving this way. I pray authorities do their work without fear or favour so that we get the right judgment,” the girl’s father said.

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Dr Herbert Kalema, a medical lab officer at Masaka referral hospital said the results from the tests confirmed that the girl had been defiled and was yet to release results of HIV tests as at the time of filing the report.

Mr Grace Mutono, the Kyotera District Police Commander confirmed the councilor’s arrest, saying they have already commenced investigating the matter.

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