Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2014 Contents A59
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e apologise for any inconvenience
by UEFA for stunt
NYON---Tottenham has been fined
15,000 euros ($18,500) after three
spectators ran on the pitch in an am-
bush marketing stunt during a Europa
UEFA's disciplinary panel ruled on the
Play was stopped for ten minutes and
the Tottenham and Partizan teams left
the field after the third invasion in the
first half on November 27.
All three spectators wore T-shirts
promoting a company which makes offi-
cial Tottenham merchandise.
Tottenham apologised to fans for the
"totally unacceptable behaviour."
All three were arrested.
The London club has advanced to the
Espindola for 6 games
NEW YORK---DC United forward
Fabian Espindola has been suspended
by MLS for six games and fined because
he shoved a game official following a
playoff game last month.
Espindola missed a header in the 54th
minute that would have tied the No-
vember 8 game that DC later lost 2--1,
eliminating them from the playoffs.
After the game, Espindola came into
contact with assistant referee George
The red card carried a two-game au-
tomatic ban, and the MLS disciplinary
committee added on four more.
Espindola will miss the first six
games of the regular season.
Australian to remain
DORTMUND---Mitch Langerak will re-
main Borussia Dortmund's starting
goalkeeper ahead of Germany World
Cup player Roman Weidenfeller, at least
until the winter break.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said
yesterday that Langerak will be in goal
for the next three Bundesliga matches,
and his decision to promote the Aus-
tralian is not "forever."
Langerak has played the last two
matches, including the 1--1 draw with
Anderlecht in the Champions League.
Weidenfeller was Germany's World
Cup backup. He was demoted after
Dortmund fell to last place in the Bun-
desliga, as it won only once in ten
Langerak was in goal when Dortmund
beat Hoffenheim to jump up.
Klopp says he has had "a very good
talk" with Weidenfeller, and that "noth-
ing else" was to be expected since
"we've been working very well together
for more than six years."
charged for abusing fan
LONDON---Leicester manager Nigel
Pearson has been charged by the Eng-
lish Football Association for verbally
abusing a spectator during a Premier
The FA said yesterday that Pearson is
alleged to have used "abusive and/or in-
sulting words" toward a fan during the
3--1 loss to Liverpool on December 2.
Pearson, who has not apologised to
the fan, has until Tuesday to respond to
MANCHESTER---With nine dif-
ferent winners in the last 11 years,
no one could ever accuse the
Champions League of being pre-
It does appear, however, that an
established "Big 4" has been cre-
ated in Europe s premier club com-
petition---and this year s group
stage backs up the theory.
Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern
Munich and Real Madrid, the last
four winners of European soccer s
top prize, were the top teams in
group play, which finished
Wednesday. In each of the last
three seasons, at least three of that
quartet has reached the semifinals
of the Champions League. Madrid
and Barcelona did so in 2011, too.
So, heading into the knockout
stage that kicks off in February, it
would be a big surprise if this sea-
son s champion didn t come from
this small pool of juggernauts---
teams who currently are playing
football at another level to the rest.
"Everybody s there, so the
Champions League starts now,"
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
said of a last-16 line-up that con-
tains 11 of the teams who advanced
in the 2013-14 season.
No club has ever successfully
defended the Champions League
title since the competition s incep-
tion in 1992. Could Madrid be
about to end that jinx?
At top of the Spanish league, a
team boasting the attacking talents
of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale,
James Rodriguez and Karim Ben-
zema was the only one to pick up
a maximum 18 points in the group
stage. Madrid has won its last 19
games in all competitions and
Ronaldo, the reigning world player
of the year, has already reached 30
goals for the season.
"I know I ve got an extraordinary
team," Madrid coach Carlo
Ancelotti said after Tuesday s 4--0
win over Ludogorets Razgrad. "I
don t tire from saying this."
Any side that contains Lionel
Messi will always have a great
chance, and Barcelona will be
expected to reach the semifinals
after missing out last season.
Barcelona s defence remains a con-
cern---although it has only con-
ceded seven goals in 14 games in
the Spanish league---but Wednes-
day s 3--1 win over Paris Saint-
Germain at Camp Nou gave a
taster of what to expect from its
expensively assembled, all-star
Messi---with his record-extend-
ing 75th Champions League goal---
was on the score sheet along with
Neymar and Luis Suarez.
The trio is six weeks into its new
partnership and when the last 16
comes around it could be unstop-
"We know that together we can
go places," Suarez said Wednesday
after Barcelona sealed first place
in its group for the eighth straight
Bayern s only defeat in a tough-
looking Group E came at Man-
chester City after playing more
than 70 minutes with ten men and
conceding twice in the last five
minutes to lose 3--2. The German
champions have few weaknesses
in their team, with their attack
looking even stronger with the
addition of Robert Lewandowski,
and have a coach in Pep Guardiola
who has gone all the way before
in the Champions League, with
Barcelona in 2009 and 11.
Chelsea, meanwhile, has found
a cure to its attacking frailties of
last season with the signing of
Spain striker Diego Costa and was
the top-scoring team in the group
stage, with 17 goals in six games.
Traditionally strong in defence,
Eden Hazard is developing into
one of the world s best wingers
and Cesc Fabregas has brought
more creativity into the team s
"Last season, for sure we were
not one of the top four and we
played in the Champions League
semifinals," Mourinho said. "Let s
see what we can do this season."
Mourinho said there will be
some "sharks in the ocean" in
Monday s draw for the last 16. He
was probably referring to Man City,
PSG and Italian champion Juven-
tus, who appear to be the strongest
teams among the runners-up.
Europe has been waiting for big-
spending City, English champions
twice in the last three seasons, to
find its feet in the Champions
League. And a 2--0 win at Roma
on Wednesday that sealed
advancement was viewed by some
as a coming-of-age result, secured
without arguably its four key play-
ers in Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure,
David Silva and Vincent Kompa-
ny.City s flaws and tactical limita-
tions in Europe were exposed pre-
viously in the group stage, though,
and it is unlikely to infiltrate the
'Big 4' will be
hard to topple in
Messi reacts after
scoring the first goal
of his team during a
Group F Champions
League soccer match
Barcelona and PSG at
the Camp Nou
stadium in Barcelona,
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