Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 26th 2015 Contents A63
April 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
BARCELONA---Lionel Messi and
Neymar kept front-runner
Barcelona on pace to reclaiming
the Spanish league title after scor-
ing in a 2-0 win at Espanyol to pro-
visionally increase its lead over Real
Luis Suarez, the third member of
the star-studded attack, played a
part in both goals against Barcelona s
Messi s incisive pass started a
move that Neymar finished off in
the 17th minute after Suarez coolly
let the ball run between his legs.
Suarez then crossed for Messi to
double the visitors advantage in the
25th with his 47th goal in 48 games
Barcelona leads the league by five
points from second-place Madrid,
which visits Celta Vigo today.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who
has also guided the team into a
Champions League semifinal against
Bayern Munich and the Copa del
Rey final, called his side s first half
"the best" of the season.
"We are feeling good vibrations,
but good vibrations don t mean any-
thing. Points and wins count," Luis
Enrique said. "We have five rounds
left, and our attitude must remain
the same. I m not worried about my
Barcelona lost left back Jordi Alba
to back-to-back bookings in the 54th
after he continued to protest, but
the leaders didn t miss a beat, and
three minutes later Messi hit the
Espanyol also finished with 10
men after referee Mateu Lahoz
showed two yellow cards just
moments apart to Hector Moreno
for complaining in stoppage time.
Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid for-
ward Antoine Griezmann recorded
his third brace in as many league
games as last season s champions
brushed aside Elche 3-0 at home,
strengthening their hold on third
Griezmann headed in a rebound
for his 21st league goal in the 55th,
and added a 22nd after Raul Garcia
struck from long range.
Levante also edged away from the
relegation zone with a 1-0 victory
at Getafe from Victor Casadesus
headed goal in the 35th, while sixth-
place Villarreal drew 0-0 at Real
Sociedad as both failed to break win-
Sociedad remained in 12th just
ahead of Getafe, while Levante
moved into 15th at five points above
With Messi in fine form, Barcelona
dominated the derby from the start.
He fell back into midfield where
he picked Espanyol with his passes
over the defense, and only goalkeeper
Kiko Casilla prevented the hosts from
suffering a bigger defeat.
Messi had already spotted runs
by Neymar and Alba that ended in
saves by Casilla before his long pass
was squared by Alba and fell to Ney-
mar to drive home after Suarez let
it run past. It was Neymar s fourth
goal in five matches, and his 31st in
all competitions this season.
"Messi is one of a kind," Espanyol
manager Sergio Gonzalez said.
Suarez also continued to excel as
a playmaker when he interchanged
passes with Andres Iniesta before
finding Messi alone at the far post
to slot a shot under Casillas from a
Down 2-0, Espanyol finally
emerged from its half, but that left
its defense only more exposed. Casil-
la was called on to parry Neymar s
strike after Suarez set him up before
halftime, and block the Brazilian s
chip shot just after the break.
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Her-
nandez went on as a second-half
substitute to make his 500th league
appearance, the eighth most in the
history of the competition.
Espanyol took advantage of its
extra man only in the final 20 min-
utes with a series of corner kicks
that Barcelona defended without
problems, before goalie Claudio Bravo
denied substitute Christian Stuani
four minutes from time. (AP)
FC Barcelona's Lional Messi from Argentina, left, duels for the ball against Espanyol's Lucas Vazquez during a
Spanish La Liga football match at Cornella-El Prat stadium in Cornella Llobregat, Spain, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Messi scores in Barca's 2-0 win at Espanyol
ROME---Mauro Icardi scored in
added time as Inter Milan beat vis-
iting Roma 2-1 in Serie A yesterday
to signal a late charge for a spot in
Roma remained level second with
Lazio, which hosts Chievo Verona
today. Also, AC Milan s four-match
unbeaten run was halted by a 2-1
loss at Udinese.
Today, Juventus can clinch its
fourth straight title if it beats Torino
in a derby and Lazio loses.
At the San Siro, midfielder Her-
nanes put Inter ahead 15 minutes in
with a spectacular shot from beyond
the area after creating some space
amid several defenders.
Four minutes later, Roma forward
Victor Ibarbo hit the post.
Roma s Radja Nainggolan equal-
ized in the 63rd, finishing off a coun-
terattack with a long angled shot
that left goalkeeper Samir Han-
Icardi wasted a golden chance to
win it for Inter when he shot high
in the 84th but he made up for it
a few minutes later, finding the target
through the legs of defender Jose
Holebas after being set up by Lukas
Inter moved up to seventh, five
points from the Europa League
places. "Now we re doing what the
coach is asking of us," Icardi said.
"We re fighting."
Earlier, Udinese scored twice in
the second half to end a six-game
Giampiero Pinzi was left
unmarked to score from the center
of the area through a crowd of
defenders following a corner in the
58th, and Emmanuel Badu doubled
the lead in the 75th from close range,
redirecting a cross following a
Filippo Inzaghi s side was com-
pletely dominated until Giampaolo
Pazzini pulled one back in the 88th
with a leaping header on Milan s
only on-target attempt of the match.
Udinese moved up to 12th.
"We played a very ugly match,"
Inzaghi said. "I m very, very angry.
There are no excuses. When a squad
plays like that the coach is more
responsible for it than anyone else.
"I want to apologise to the pres-
ident and fans," added Inzaghi, a
former standout striker for Milan
who is having a difficult first season
as a top-level manager. (AP)
Inter tops Roma 2-1
with late strike
...AC Milan loses
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz
Raja has described the national
team as a "rudderless ship" after
they were whitewashed 0-3 in
the ODI series and beaten con-
vicingly in the only T20I on their
ongoing tour of Bangladesh.
Ramiz said he was disappointed
by the "lack of direction" and the
lack of "fresh ideas" from the
"They have gone to the players
who have put a mute button on
Pakistan cricket for a long time,"
Ramiz said. It s the same old logic
to keep wickets in hand and then
go hard in the last 10 overs. This
is a throwback to the 80 s and 90 s
stuff. I was hoping that the situ-
ation would improve but there is
hardly any new direction given by
the new coaching staff."
Ramiz, who is currently in India
as a commentator for the IPL,
believes Pakistan need to urgently
set up a T20 league on similar lines
as that "environment will help the
players understand the game bet-
"That (a T20 league) will really
help them to concentrate on the
game and play the game in the
way that it should be played," he
said. "I hope the Pakistan Cricket
Board works on it and somehow
makes it happen. If not in Pakistan,
then in the middle east. It s not
about money, it s about the envi-
ronment that Pakistan cricket so
badly needs to share that experi-
ence and to learn from the greats
of the game."
Describing the series in
Bangladesh as "embarrassing" and
the "lowest point in our interna-
tional history", Ramiz said the out-
come was the culmination "of a
badly thought out strategy."
DHAKA---Pakistan s problem-
filled tour of Bangladesh was hit
by another injury as frontline
paceman Rahat Ali was yesterday
ruled out of the Test series, the
fifth injury case related to the
The 26-year-old left-arm pace-
man played the first two of the
three one-day matches before suf-
fering a hamstring injury which
was initially thought to be minor.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
said he was out of the two-Test
series, which starts in Khulna from
"Rahat is out of the Test series
due to hamstring injury. Replace-
ment, if any, will be announced
in due course," the PCB said in a
Batsman Sohaib Maqsood (arm
fracture) and paceman Sohail Khan
were ruled out ahead of the tour
while leg-spinner Yasir Shah
(thumb) and paceman Ehsan Adil
(hamstring) were injured on the
Shah, however, recovered and
will be available for the Tests.
Another Pakistan paceman,
Mohammad Irfan, is recovering
from a hip injury sustained during
the World Cup held in Australia
and New Zealand in February-
On the field, a new-look Pak-
istan team suffered their worst-
ever 3-0 whitewash in the one-
day series---their first against
They also lost the only Twenty20
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan
has said he will review the poor
performance of the team as well
as the frequent injuries to players.
The second and final Test will
start in Dhaka from May 2.
Pakistan have won all of the eight
Tests played against Bangladesh.
Ramiz: Lowest point in
Pakistan international history
Rahat Ali out of Bangladesh Tests
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