Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 11th 2015 Contents LONDON---Chelsea overcame a
difficult start to beat Newcastle 2-
0 at Stamford Bridge yesterday,
moving two points clear of Man-
chester City at the top of the Pre-
mier League after Manuel Pelle-
grini s side was held to a 1-1 draw
Oscar led Jose Mourinho s team
to victory, putting Chelsea ahead in
the 43rd minute against the run of
play after a quickly worked corner
by Willian and Branislav Ivanovic.
Oscar then set up Diego Costa s
second-half goal by controlling Eden
Hazard s chipped pass and flicking
it into the path of the onrushing
Costa, all in one movement, before
the striker slotted in his 15th goal
of the season to make the game safe.
Newcastle had started well and
Chelsea had goalkeeper Petr Cech
to thank for keeping out a fierce
drive by Remy Cabella. Cech was
standing in for regular stopper
Thibaut Courtois, who dropped to
the substitute s bench with a finger
"In the first half, they caused us
some problems but (it was) a much
improved performance in the second
half and in the end we were good
value for a 2-0 win," Chelsea assis-
tant manager Steve Holland said.
"Jose was quite clear in what he
wanted the team to do at halftime.
We had to show more personality
with and without the ball."
At Goodison Park, City took the
lead through Fernandinho s strike
in the 74th, but Steven Naismith
headed an equaliser for Everton four
minutes later to end its slide of four
City introduced Sergio Aguero in
the 67th for his first appearance
since sustaining a knee injury in
December, but the Argentina striker
was unable to find a winning goal
for the Premier League champions.
"If you said at the beginning you
are going to draw at Everton away,
maybe it is not so bad," City man-
ager Pellegrini said. "Everton grew
in the second half and it was a very
close game in the last 35 minutes.
We had a lot of chances but were
maybe missing the last pass."
Earlier Saturday, Liverpool won
1-0 against 10-man Sunderland
thanks to Lazar Markovic s first-
half strike. Brendan Rodgers side
produced an impressive first-half
display but Sunderland went close
to equalizing when Adam Johnson
hit the crossbar from long range in
the 52nd, three minutes after team-
mate Liam Bridcutt had been sent
off for two yellow cards.
"Their sending-off probably
threw us a little bit more than them
for about 10 minutes," Rodgers said.
"But once we regained the ball,
started to move and get good posi-
tions on the field to pass it, we start-
ed to create chances again."
Liverpool is only four points away
from the top four, though 17 points
In the late game of the day, new
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew
began with a 2-1 comeback victory
Harry Kane continued his formi-
dable scoring form when he put
Mauricio Pochettino s side ahead in
the 49th. He received a low pass
from Nacer Chadli, turned into
space and drilled a low shot across
Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni and
into the far corner of the net.
But Pardew s team equalized
through Dwight Gayle s penalty,
after Joe Ledley was felled by a chal-
lenge from Benjamin Stambouli.
And substitute Wilfried Zaha then
weaved beyond Tottenham defender
Kyle Walker and teed up Jason Pun-
cheon, who curled his shot low into
the left corner of Hugo Lloris goal.
Elsewhere, Swansea fought back
to earn a point at home to West
Ham. Andy Carroll put the London
club ahead with his fourth goal of
the season before an own goal from
Mark Noble brought Swansea level.
West Bromwich Albion took all
three points in its first Premier
League game under new manager
Tony Pulis with a 1-0 triumph
against Hull, courtesy of a strike in
the 78th from Saido Berahino.
Burnley consigned Queens Park
Rangers to a record 10th straight
league defeat away from home with
a 2-1 win. QPR replaced Burnley in
the bottom three of the league
Last-place club Leicester, mean-
while, continued its resurgence with
a 1-0 victory at home to Aston Villa.
Paul Konchesky put Leicester
ahead on the stroke of halftime,
before a clash in the final minutes
between Leicester s Matty James
and Villa s Ciaran Clark resulted in
both players being shown red cards.
coach Laurent Blanc lambasted his
players for not respecting Bastia,
after blowing a 2-0 lead in a 4-2
loss to the Corsican side in the
French league yesterday.
PSG dropped to fourth in the
standings, after having the chance to
move level at the top with Marseille.
Blanc s side looked well set after scor-
ing twice inside 20 minutes. But its
defensive frailties were yet again
exposed as Bastia roared back to level
"We eased up in terms of our con-
centration and our rigor. The team
forgot certain things, let certain things
go in the last five minutes of the first
half," Blanc said. "Maybe we thought
the match was easy. You have to
respect these teams. We showed a
lack of respect toward this Bastia
team after the first 35 minutes and
they made us pay."
Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic,
who is still struggling for fitness since
returning from a troublesome heel
injury and has scored only once in
his past four games, was stunned by
PSG has failed to win any of its
past three league games, losing two
and drawing one.
It remains three points behind
Marseille, and---under the concerned
gaze of club president Nasser Al-
Khelaifi---this latest sloppy perform-
ance increases the pressure on Blanc
ahead of Tuesday s League Cup quar-
terfinal at Saint-Etienne.
"Yes, we were complacent at
times," Blanc said. "You get taught
a good lesson when you don t do
To make matters worse, Saint-Eti-
enne s 2-1 win at Reims saw it
leapfrog over PSG and into third place.
Saint-Etienne moved to two points
behind Marseille, level with Lyon,
which has a better goal difference
and can move to the top of the league
if it beats Toulouse at home today.
Saint-Etienne s goals came either
side of halftime from wingers Yohan
Mollo and Romain Hamouma.
Before the winter break, Blanc
lamented his team s lack of aggres-
sion, particularly when defending
set-pieces---and two of the goals con-
ceded came from corners and two
stemmed from crosses.
"Conceding four goals is inexpli-
cable," Blanc said.
After PSG s bright start, midfielder
Ryad Boudebouz converted a penalty
for a handball by Gregory van der
Wiel, and set up the equalizer on the
stroke of halftime when his cross was
headed home by veteran defender
Bastia took the lead soon after the
break when defender Julian Palmieri
struck the best of his two goals. Rabiot
cleared Boudebouz s corner from the
left, the ball fell to Palmieri some 20
meters out, and his volley made it
3-2 in the 56th.
After PSG center half Thiago Silva
struck the crossbar, Palmieri sealed
an impressive win when he rifled in
Abdoulaye Keita s cross from the
In other matches, it was Evian 1,
Rennes 1; Guingamp 2, Lens 0; Lille
1, Caen 0; and Nice 3, Lorient 1.
A minute s silence was held before
all matches this weekend in memory
of the 17 people killed in Paris this
week, following three days of blood-
shed in a rampage by terrorists linked
to al-Qaida in Yemen.
Also today, Nantes hosts Metz and
Monaco faces Bordeaux. (AP)
January, 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
PSG coach Blanc lambasts
players after 4-2 loss at Bastia
Chelsea's Diego Costa, right heads the ball under pressure form Newcastle
United's Vunon Anita during the English Premier League football match
between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge stadium in
London, yesterday. Chelsea won 2-0. AP PHOTO
Chelsea moves 2 points
clear of Man City
MILAN---AC Milan was held to
1-1 at Torino in Serie A yester-
day, after playing half the match
with 10 men and surviving sev-
eral misses by the home side.
Kamil Glik atoned for giving
away an early penalty by equal-
ising with nine minutes remain-
Milan remained a provisional
seventh, while Torino moved into
Milan s top goalscorer, Jeremy
Menez, got his side off to a fan-
tastic start with a powerfully
struck penalty in the second
minute, after he was brought
down by a shirt-tug by Glik.
Torino fought back and Fabio
Quagliarella was denied by a fan-
tastic save from Diego Lopez with
his foot at point-blank range.
The home side went even clos-
er shortly after the half hour
when Matteo Darmian headed
onto the left upright when all
alone in front of Lopez. Emiliano
Moretti ballooned the rebound
over the bar.
Milan defender Mattia De
Sciglio was sent off deep into
first-half stoppage time after
receiving a second yellow card.
Torino had numerous chances
to level and its pressure paid when
Glik headed home a corner.
Earlier, Sassuolo drew 1-1 at
home to Udinese.
Sassuolo was looking to build
on Tuesday s victory at Milan
and took the lead in the 14th
minute as Simone Zaza got above
his marker to head in Sime
Vrsaljko s splendid cross from the
right for his third goal in as many
Udinese was struggling with
injury absentees, including star
striker Antonio Di Natale, who
was out with flu, and it was hit
by another blow when Alexander
Geijo limped off with a hamstring
problem and, with no other for-
wards, he had to be replaced by
midfielder Bruno Fernandes.
However, Udinese levelled
when Cyril Thereau controlled
Allan s pass before firing a low
effort into the bottom far corner.
10-man AC Milan
draws 1-1 at Torino
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