Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2014 Contents A59
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
finishes from Robin van Persie
gave Manchester United a 2-1 vic-
tory against Southampton in the
Premier League yesterday, despite
the visitors being pegged back for
much of the game at St Mary s.
Van Persie scored with United s
only two efforts on target to give
Louis van Gaal s side its fifth win
a row and overtake Southampton
in third place. Southampton
dropped to fifth behind West Ham
after its third straight loss against
the teams it hopes to challenge for
a top-four spot---Manchester City,
Arsenal and United.
Van Persie punished a wasteful
performance from the home side,
which created enough chances to
win the game comfortably.
He took advantage of a defensive
blunder to put United ahead after
12 minutes, and went unmarked
to meet Wayne Rooney s free kick
at the far post to poke in the win-
ner after Graziano Pelle had levelled
for Southampton in the 31st.
"I don t think we played our
best football today," Van Persie
said. "In the end, it s a fifth straight
victory. We re on the way up."
United s opener came when
Southampton captain Jose Fonte
hit a poor backpass to goalkeeper
Fraser Forster and Van Persie ran
through, waited for Forster to dive
and stroked the ball through his
legs and into the far corner.
But United was unable to build
any momentum from its goal, as
Southampton relentlessly attacked
in search of an equaliser.
It finally came after Marouane
Fellaini gave the ball away in mid-
field, and Dusan Tadic initiated a
quick attack. He played the ball
out to Shane Long on the edge of
the area, who returned it with a
high cross. Tadic s effort was
blocked by Paddy McNair, but the
ball fell to Pelle who converted
from close range.
Long could have put Ronald
Koeman s side ahead in the 34th
but blasted high and wide from
close range after McNair failed to
clear a touch from divert a touch
from Sadio Mane.
Southampton s dominance was
so strong that Van Gaal felt com-
pelled to take off the struggling
McNair in the 39th and replace
him with Ander Herrera.
But it was Southampton that
continued to threaten in the second
Tadic floated an inviting ball
across the penalty area toward
Long, who was only able to head
straight at David De Gea.
Southampton missed another
chance in the 57th when the Serbia
international threaded the ball into
Pelle, only for the Italy striker to
lift his shot over.
Eventually, a chance fell United s
way and Van Persie punished
Southampton in the 71st.
Rooney whipped an inviting free
kick into Southampton s area and
Van Persie ran unmarked to the
back post to prod in United s win-
ROME---Sampdoria moved with-
in one spot of the Champions
League places with a 3-1 win at
ten-man Hellas Verona in Serie A
Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic s club is
fourth, one point behind city rival
Also, Chievo Verona climbed out
of the relegation zone by scoring
twice in the opening ten minutes
for a 2-0 win at Cagliari.
In Verona, defender Rafa Mar-
quez was sent off for tripping Eder
inside the area and the speedy
Brazilian forward converted the
ensuing penalty midway through
the first half to put Sampdoria
Luca Toni equalised in the 37th
by knocking in a rebound but Sam-
pdoria dominated the second half.
Stefano Okaka broke the deadlock
in the 57th with a header following
a perfect cross from Manolo Gab-
biadini. Then Gabbiadini finished
off a counterattack five minutes
Okaka, who scored on his Italy
debut last month, nearly scored
another but hit the post.
Earlier, Chievo stretched its
unbeaten streak to five matches.
Riccardo Meggiorini put Chievo
ahead four minutes in with a bicycle
kick and Alberto Paloschi doubled
the lead five minutes later from the
center of the area.
Chievo moved into 16th place in
the 20-team Italian league, while
Cagliari fell into the drop zone, third
from the bottom. (AP)
visitors Almeria 5-2 yesterday as
the Spanish league debutantes
continued their impressive first
season in the topflight division.
Striker Federico Piovaccari got
Eibar going with a goal in the third
minute and Saul Berjon and Raul
Albentosa scored before Almeria
substitute Francisco Soriano pulled
one back two minutes before half-
Raul Navas and substitute Ander
Capa then struck twice more for
the hosts before Edgar Mendez got
Almeria s second goal.
The promoted Basque club rose
into ninth place, just five points
from sixth place and the last Europa
Eibar had played better away
than at home. This was just its sec-
ond win on home soil this season.
Almeria in 17th place, and level
on points with three teams at the
bottom of the table, are winless in
Getafe also earned a 1-1 draw at
Levante, leaving both in the lower
half of the standings but out of
immediate danger of the drop.
Real Madrid leads the league after
14 rounds. Barcelona trails by two
points, with defending champion
Atletico Madrid another two points
Sampdoria nears Champions League places
Eibar thrashes Almeria 5-2
Man United edges
Manchester United's Robin Van Persie, rear, scores the opening goal
past Southampton's goalkeeper Fraser Forster during their English
Premier League football match at St Mary's stadium in Southampton,
England, yesterday. Manchester won 2-1. AP PHOTO
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