Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic reacts during his side's loss in Serie A on Sunday to Udinese. Marco Bertorello / AFP / August 23, 2015
Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic reacts during his side's loss in Serie A on Sunday to Udinese. Marco Bertorello / AFP / August 23, 2015

In Juventus stumble, a signal that Serie A may just be more open this season



Champions Juventus and last season's runners-up AS Roma were left licking their wounds as free-scoring Sampdoria seized command of Italy's top flight on the opening weekend of Serie A.

Defending league and cup champions as well as beaten Champions League finalists last season, Juventus' bid for a record-equalling fifth scudetto was kept in check by a stunning 1-0 defeat to Udinese on Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men had dominated throughout a one-sided encounter in Turin but paid the price for a string of missed chances when Frenchman Cyril Thereau was left unmarked to beat Gianluigi Buffon at his far post in the 78th minute.

It was Juve’s first reverse at home on the opening day of the season, having suffered a rare opening day defeat in 2010 away to then top flight side Bari.

Juventus sold Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo over the summer and Allegri said:

“You have to remember we are at the start of the season and a lot of our new players have yet to settle in.

“For 70 minutes we completely controlled the game, we just couldn’t find the opening. But we should have defended much better on their goal.

“Still, compliments to Udinese. We tried to win the game with our attacking spirit and on their first real chance they got the goal that settled the game.”

Juventus were not alone in suffering opening day jitters.

Roma, runners-up the past two seasons, drew at Verona on Saturday (1-1), and were outdone by city rivals Lazio, who cruised to a 2-1 win over new boys Bologna with new signing Ricardo Kishna, 20, hitting his first goal only months after signing from Ajax.

Napoli and AC Milan, meanwhile, fell to defeats at Sassuolo and Fiorentina respectively while Inter Milan's blushes were only saved in the third minute of injury time when on-loan Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic produced a fine goal to give the team a 1-0 home win against Atalanta.

An Alessandro Florenzi leveller secured that point for Roma on Saturday, but he admitted: “We could have won it if we’d just been a bit more clinical.

“If we carry on like this, we’re sure to have our say in matters this season.”

That hope, however, will be tested next week when Roma host Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico looking to hand the champions their second successive reverse.

“It’ll be a great game and it will be tough, but we want to win it and we have what it takes to do that,” added Florenzi.

Napoli got off to the perfect start at Sassuolo when Marek Hamsik hit their opener after three minutes, but the Emilia-Romagna outfit are a notoriously stubborn side at home.

Floro Flores levelled just after the half hour after some fine individual skill yards from goal and Nicola Sansone stunned Napoli with the winner six minutes from time.

Milan’s bid for a first win under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic at Fiorentina was dented in the 37th minute when Rodrigo Ely saw red for a challenge from behind on Nikola Kalinic.

Marcos Alonso stepped up to curl a superb free kick inside Diego Lopez’s far post and Josip Ilicic doubled Fiorentina’s lead before the hour from the spot after he was fouled by Alessio Romagnoli.

Compounding Mihajlovic’s woes was former side Sampdoria’s 5-2 home win over new boys Carpi, thanks to a double each for Eder and Luis Muriel.

Elsewhere, Chievo – in spite of losing Thereau to Udinese – claimed a deserved 3-1 win away at Empoli and Palermo beat Genoa at home thanks to a late winner by defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari.

Torino claimed a deserved three points at new boys Frosinone thanks to Daniele Baselli’s second-half winner after Fabio Quagliarella had cancelled out Danilo Soddimo’s seventh-minute opener for the hosts.

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Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 80,000 (Turf) 1,400m. Winner: Al Ajeeb W’Rsan, Pat Dobbs (jockey), Jaci Wickham (trainer).

5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh 80,000 (T) 1,400m racing. Winner: Mujeeb, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel.

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh 90,000 (T) 2,200m. Winner: Onward, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

6.30pm: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Prep Rated Conditions (PA) Dh 125,000 (T) 2,200m. Winner: Somoud, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle.

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000 (T) 1,600m. Winner: AF Arrab, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh 90,000 (T) 1,400m. Winner: Irish Freedom, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Qureos
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2021
Number of employees: 33
Sector: Software and technology
Funding: $3 million

The biog

Alwyn Stephen says much of his success is a result of taking an educated chance on business decisions.

His advice to anyone starting out in business is to have no fear as life is about taking on challenges.

“If you have the ambition and dream of something, follow that dream, be positive, determined and set goals.

"Nothing and no-one can stop you from succeeding with the right work application, and a little bit of luck along the way.”

Mr Stephen sells his luxury fragrances at selected perfumeries around the UAE, including the House of Niche Boutique in Al Seef.

He relaxes by spending time with his family at home, and enjoying his wife’s India cooking. 

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Yeepeey

Started: Soft launch in November, 2020

Founders: Sagar Chandiramani, Jatin Sharma and Monish Chandiramani

Based: Dubai

Industry: E-grocery

Initial investment: $150,000

Future plan: Raise $1.5m and enter Saudi Arabia next year

BACK TO ALEXANDRIA

Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

The major Hashd factions linked to Iran:

Badr Organisation: Seen as the most militarily capable faction in the Hashd. Iraqi Shiite exiles opposed to Saddam Hussein set up the group in Tehran in the early 1980s as the Badr Corps under the supervision of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The militia exalts Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei but intermittently cooperated with the US military.

Saraya Al Salam (Peace Brigade): Comprised of former members of the officially defunct Mahdi Army, a militia that was commanded by Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr and fought US and Iraqi government and other forces between 2004 and 2008. As part of a political overhaul aimed as casting Mr Al Sadr as a more nationalist and less sectarian figure, the cleric formed Saraya Al Salam in 2014. The group’s relations with Iran has been volatile.

Kataeb Hezbollah: The group, which is fighting on behalf of the Bashar Al Assad government in Syria, traces its origins to attacks on US forces in Iraq in 2004 and adopts a tough stance against Washington, calling the United States “the enemy of humanity”.

Asaeb Ahl Al Haq: An offshoot of the Mahdi Army active in Syria. Asaeb Ahl Al Haq’s leader Qais al Khazali was a student of Mr Al Moqtada’s late father Mohammed Sadeq Al Sadr, a prominent Shiite cleric who was killed during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Harakat Hezbollah Al Nujaba: Formed in 2013 to fight alongside Mr Al Assad’s loyalists in Syria before joining the Hashd. The group is seen as among the most ideological and sectarian-driven Hashd militias in Syria and is the major recruiter of foreign fighters to Syria.

Saraya Al Khorasani:  The ICRG formed Saraya Al Khorasani in the mid-1990s and the group is seen as the most ideologically attached to Iran among Tehran’s satellites in Iraq.

(Source: The Wilson Centre, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation)

MATCH INFO

Fixture: Ukraine v Portugal, Monday, 10.45pm (UAE)

TV: BeIN Sports

Mia Man’s tips for fermentation

- Start with a simple recipe such as yogurt or sauerkraut

- Keep your hands and kitchen tools clean. Sanitize knives, cutting boards, tongs and storage jars with boiling water before you start.

- Mold is bad: the colour pink is a sign of mold. If yogurt turns pink as it ferments, you need to discard it and start again. For kraut, if you remove the top leaves and see any sign of mold, you should discard the batch.

- Always use clean, closed, airtight lids and containers such as mason jars when fermenting yogurt and kraut. Keep the lid closed to prevent insects and contaminants from getting in.

 

ON TRACK

The Dubai Metaverse Assembly will host three main tracks:

Educate: Consists of more than 10 in-depth sessions on the metaverse

Inspire: Will showcase use cases of the metaverse in tourism, logistics, retail, education and health care

Contribute: Workshops for metaverse foresight and use-case reviews

Notable cricketers and political careers
  • India: Kirti Azad, Navjot Sidhu and Gautam Gambhir (rumoured)
  • Pakistan: Imran Khan and Shahid Afridi (rumoured)
  • Sri Lanka: Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan (rumoured)
  • Bangladesh (Mashrafe Mortaza)
The specs: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

Price, base / as tested: Dh259,000

Engine: 6.4-litre V8

Power: 475hp @ 6,000rpm

Torque: 640Nm @ 4,300rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km


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Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

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