Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 29th 2014 Contents LONDON---Chelsea retained its
three-point lead at the midpoint
of the Premier League season on
Sunday despite being held to a
draw by Southampton, thanks to
Manchester City collapsing
against struggling Burnley.
After Eden Hazard recovered
a 1-1 draw for Chelsea at fourth-
place Southampton, defending
champion City threw away a 2-
0 lead at home to draw 2-2 with
teams were in action less than
48 hours after playing on Friday
in this traditionally packed
Christmas fixture program, the
top four all drew.
Manchester United missed an
opportunity to make ground on
the pacesetters, remaining seven
points behind City in third place
after being held 0-0 at Totten-
But Arsenal dislodged West
Ham from fifth place by winning
their London derby 2-1 after Santi
Cazorla earned and converted a
penalty and Danny Welbeck
scored the second.
At the other end of the stand-
ings, Leicester remains bottom
but raised its hopes of survival
by beating Hull 1-0 for its first
victory since September.
Hull is only out of the relega-
tion zone due to its superior goal
difference over Crystal Palace,
which drew 0-0 with fellow
struggler Queens Park Rangers.
The most goals of the day came
in a clash of mid-table teams at
St James' Park, with Jack Colback
scoring his first Newcastle goal
to clinch a 3-2 win over Everton.
The remaining fixture from
round 19 is on Monday when Liv-
erpool hosts Swansea. Unlike last
season, Liverpool is out of the
title race as it sits in 10th place.
A big surprise looked possible
at Southampton when Chelsea
conceded in the 17th minute as
Sadio Mane raced onto a pass
from Dusan Tadic and lifted the
ball over goalkeeper Thibaut
But Southampton was pun-
ished for a defensive lapse just
before halftime. Hazard ran onto
a pass from Cesc Fabregas, cut
inside a defender and shot across
goal and into the far corner. It
was Fabregas' 13th assist of the
season, equaling the league-lead-
ing total by Steven Gerrard in
Even the dismissal of
Southampton midfielder Morgan
Schneiderlin in the 89th for a
second booking couldn't prevent
another memorable result in this
unexpected campaign for the
"Southampton defended with
everything and they defended a
lot," Chelsea manager Jose Mour-
inho said. "We tried everything
and we dominated, we created a
Unlike Chelsea, City did score
twice---but conceded as many.
David Silva scored his fourth
goal in three appearances after
being set up by Jesus Navas mid-
way through the first half and
Fernandinho curled in a shot off
the underside of the crossbar
But George Boyd began Burn-
ley's comeback two minutes after
the break after Danny Ings shot
across the face of goal. And Ash-
ley Barnes grabbed the equaliser
in the 81st minute by reacting
quickest to connect with the ball
in a crowded penalty area.
In east London, Arsenal did
manage to hold on to its lead.
Cazorla was tripped in the area
and converted the penalty in the
41st to put Arsenal ahead. Danny
Welbeck doubled the lead three
minutes later after a pass from
Although Cheikhou Kouyate
pulled one back for West Ham
with a header at the start of the
second half, Arsenal held on for
its second 2-1 win in three days
to nudge close to the top four.
"We look to be more stable,"
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
said. "We have a big game in front
of us now against Southampton
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 29, 2014
Southampton's Jose Fonte, right, tries to tackle Chelsea's Eden Hazard, centre, during the English Premier
League soccer match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, England,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
past West Ham
.....as Chelsea, Man City, United held to draws
Even the dismissal of
Morgan Schneiderlin in
the 89th for a second
memorable result in this
for the south-coast
Jose Mourinho claims there is a
"clear campaign" against Chelsea and
labelled the booking handed out to
Cesc Fabregas for a supposed dive
against Southampton a "scandal."
Sadio Mane and Eden Hazard scored
in an entertaining, hard-fought 1-1 draw
at St Mary's but afterwards the Blues
manager's only focus was only on what
he believes is a growing movement
against his side.
Chelsea have found themselves at
the heart of the simulation debate in
recent weeks, with Diego Costa and
Willian booked for supposedly taking
a tumble in the win against Hull---after
which Steve Bruce described a Gary
Cahill dive as "like something out of
The west Londoners came under
scrutiny again on Boxing Day when
Branislav Ivanovic appeared to take a
tumble against West Ham---the kind
of incident Mourinho believes is being
wrongly hammed-up and denied his
side three points at St Mary's.
Fabregas looked to have won a penal-
ty early in the second half after being
caught by Saints teenager Matt Targett,
yet referee Anthony Taylor instead
deemed it a dive and booked the infu-
riated Spanish midfielder.
"In other countries where I worked
before, tomorrow in the sports papers
it would be a front-page scandal
because it is a scandal," Mourinho said
of the yellow card.
"I think it is a scandal because it is
not a small penalty---it is a penalty like
"In this country---and I am happy
with that, more than happy with that---
we will just say that it was a big mistake
with a big influence in the result.
"I am happy that it is this way, with
respect for the referee. He made a big
mistake like I make, like the players
Asked if recent incidents involving
Cahill and Ivanovic had been an influ-
ence, Mourinho retorted: "They are
not incidents, they are not incidents.
"Of course (it has influenced the ref-
eree). That's a campaign, that's a clear
"People, pundits, commentators,
coaches from other teams---they react
with Chelsea in a way they don't react
to other teams.
"They put lots of pressure on the
referee and the referee makes a mistake
like this. We lose two points, Fabregas
earns a yellow card."
Mourinho made those comments to
the BBC and let loose again in the post-
match press conference.
The Portuguese said this has been
an issue since the first day of the season,
when Costa was wrongly booked for a
dive against Burnley, and called for a
change to the system.
"The double punishment is some-
thing unbelievable," Mourinho said.
"Anthony [should go to a] screen,
see that he has made a mistake--- he
is a good guy, an honest guy.
"He writes I made a mistake, let's
clean the yellow card for Cesc'. It should
be a simple process."
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Southampton manager Ronald Koe-
man understood the anger of his former
Barcelona colleague, but philosophically
concluded "it's part of football."
"If the referee thinks it's simulation
then you have to give the player a yellow
card, but you will have always the deci-
sion if it's simulation or really a fault
in the box," he said.
Louis van Gaal described the sec-
ond half of Manchester United s
goalless draw at Tottenham as "a
struggle for life" after outlining his
frustrations with a fixture schedule
which demanded two Premier
League matches in fewer than 48
The visitors, who had not lost at White
Hart Lane since May 2001, swept New-
castle aside in 53 minutes in the 3-1 win
on Boxing Day.
Had it not been for Tottenham goal-
keeper Hugo Lloris United would have
been out of sight at the interval after
what Van Gaal believes was the best
first-half showing by his team this term.
Lloris saved twice from Radamel Fal-
cao and denied Robin van Persie and
Ashley Young and was complimented
by opposite number David de Gea as
the teams left the field at half-time.
The one time Lloris was beaten Juan
Mata's deflected free-kick hit the post
and Vlad Chiriches cleared the rebound
off the line ahead of Van Persie.
"When you play your best first half
of the season as Manchester United, at
White Hart Lane, a top six club of the
Premier League and you play like that,
create six to eight chances, open chances,
you have to finish that," Van Gaal said.
"If you don't reward yourselves then,
normally the opponent wins.
"You could see also the difference in
the second half---it was not football any
more, it was a struggle for life. Tottenham
won the second balls and that's why
they were more dominating than Man-
chester in the second half.
"You need also a little fortune. Tot-
tenham could score also in the second
half. I'm happy that they didn't."
Van Gaal believes football's authorities
are culpable for intensity of the contest
"It's scientifically proven that the body
cannot recover within 48 hours," he said.
"When you, as an FA, allow that to
play matches, you see what it's like.
"The second half was much different
from the first half. And not only for
Manchester United, also for Tottenham
"I think Tottenham Hotspur can play
much better than today. Also my team
could've played in the second half much
better. You cannot do that."
United named an unchanged starting
XI for the first time since November
2012, in 85 Premier League games, but
it was out of necessity, according to Van
The Dutchman made three defensive
substitutions, but insisted Luke Shaw
and Chris Smalling could not have played
from the start having recently returned
Mourinho says clear
campaign against Chelsea
Van Gaal frustrated with schedule
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