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The Hat-trick | Halicharan Narzary Stars as Hyderabad Arrest Winless Run by Steamrolling Chennaiyin; Two Staff at FC Barcelona Test Positive for Covid-19; Klopp Critical of Mentality after Southampton Loss

The Hat-trick (Top Football News of the Day): Halicahran Narzary scored a brace in the second half to seal a 4-1 victory for Hyderabad FC against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) | FC Barcelona cancel training after Covid-19 positives | Liverpool’s loss to Southampton means Manchester United can go top of Premier League if they win their game in hand.
Halicharan Narzary of Hyderabad FC against Chennaiyin

Halicharan Narzary celebrates after scoring against Chennaiyin FC in their Indian Super League match on Monday (Pic: ISL, Twitter).

Hyderabad FC ended their three-match losing streak in the Indian Super League (ISL) with an emphatic 4-1 win over Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium on Monday. A brace by Hyderabad's Halicharan Narzary in the second half sealed Chennaiyin’s fate, who were caught unawares by a rampaging second half performance from Hyderabad, whose players were on the boil right from the start.

Hyderabad FC climbed up two spots to sixth after the victory. They have 12 points in the kitty from nine matches. Chennaiyin, meanwhile, slipped down to eighth.

Hyderabad stamped their authority in the first half but that did not translate to goals. Things changed in the second half. And they scored twice in succession. 

The first goal was a gift to Hyderabad thanks to confusion between defender Eli Sabia and ‘keeper Vishal Kaith, who was rushing out to clear a long ball from Aridane Santana. Sabia's poor clearance saw the ball ricochet off Joel Chianese and as it rolled towards goal, while the Aussie applied his finishing touch.

For the second, Halicharan drilled one onto the crossbar and into the net with a powerful strike after Santana’s shot was saved by Kaith.

Chennaiyin then got one back with Anirudh Thapa taking advantage of a blunder by Hyderabad ‘keeper Laxmikant Kattimani. Reagan played in a low cross across the face of goal where Kattimani knocked it into the path of Thapa, who Thapa didn’t have to do much but get a touch on the ball.

Hyderabad soon restored their two goal cushion via Joao Victor. Mohammad Yasir squared the ball to Victor, whose side-footed strike from the edge of the box gave no chance to Kaith.

Halicharan then sealed the victory margin with a solo effort after receiving a through ball from Fran Sandaza near the halfway line. Hyderabad coach Manue Marquez Roca was a happy man after the match.

"Yes, finally we can be happy. I think the team played a very good game. First half we failed with very good chances. After the first goal, Chennaiyin had to risk and we took advantage of the chances and space we had at their back,” said Roca.  

Barcelona Cancel Training After Covid-19 Cases

Two members of staff at FC Barcelona have tested positive for Covid-19, causing training to be cancelled ahead of their La Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao. The Catalans are preparing for a trip to San Mames on Wednesday, but their morning training session on Tuesday was halted. All players and staff were tested for the virus after that.

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"After PCR tests carried out today (Monday) two members of the football first-team staff have returned positives for Covid-19,” Barcelona said in a statement on the club’s official website. "The club has informed the relevant sports and health authorities. Furthermore, the whole squad will undergo further PCR testing on Tuesday morning local time in line with La Liga protocol.

“As a result the training session planned for tomorrow [Tuesday] at 10:00am (11:00am CET) has been postponed. The new time for training and the subsequent press conference ahead of Athletic Club vs FC Barcelona will be announced tomorrow.”

Ronald Koeman’s side beat Huesca over the weekend by a single goal and are on a run of six games without defeat in La Liga. Two of those though have been home draws against Valencia and Eibar.

Klopp Critical of Liverpool's Mentality

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp demanded a reaction from his players following their shock loss to Southampton last night. Danny Ings’ early goal, a deft lob over Alisson, was enough to seal the 1-0 win for a Saints side who had to withstand some second-half pressure from Liverpool but never looked threatened.

“What was disappointing? How long have we got? The start, obviously,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “Not only the goal but the start in general. Congratulations to Southampton, they deserved it.

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“You know exactly what you are going to get from them, you cannot be surprised - but we looked surprised. At the beginning, how we played, where we lost the balls, it's not rocket science. We should have done much better. We played into their hands with the start.”

All in all it was a disappointing performance display from the champions, who summoned only one shot on target — a tame effort from Sadio Mane that did not trouble Fraser Forster in the Saints goal. Liverpool surrendered the initiative in the title race, with the defeat at Southampton meaning Manchester United can move clear at the top if they win their game in hand.

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