Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 24th 2015 Contents LIVERPOOL---Pedro Rodriguez
was signed by Chelsea to inject
some life into the English cham-
pions after their lacklustre start
to the season.
He took 30 minutes to do just
The Spain forward scored one
goal and set up another in his first
half-hour of Premier League foot-
ball, setting Chelsea on its way to
a 3--2 win over West Bromwich
Albion and a first victory of its
"How many top players come
to England and don t perform
immediately," Chelsea manager
Jose Mourinho said of Pedro, who
joined for $33 million from
Barcelona. "People ask if he is the
right player, can he adapt? ... It s
very nice for him to perform the
way he did."
Crisis averted for Chelsea, which
had opened with one point from
two games, but there s still a way
to go to catch first-place Man-
City earned its third straight win
this season---and a club record-
equalling ninth victory in a row---
by beating Everton 2--0 thanks to
second-half goals by Aleksandar
Kolarov and Samir Nasri. With
eight goals scored and none con-
ceded, it is an ominous start by a
team looking for a third title in
"You see a team that are at their
very, very best," Everton manager
Roberto Mancini said of City,
"when they only need half a
chance to hurt you. They are really
enjoying their moment."
Liverpool is the only other team
with a 100 per cent start, ahead
of its match at Arsenal today that
wraps up the third round of games.
Watford drew 0--0 with
Southampton in yesterday s other
Pedro s bright display overshad-
owed another tough afternoon for
his new captain, John Terry. A week
after getting substituted---for the
first time in 177 matches under
Mourinho---during a 3--0 loss at
Man City, Terry was sent off
against West Brom for a profes-
sional foul in the 54th minute when
his side was 3--1 ahead.
Chelsea conceded almost
straight away but held on com-
fortably at The Hawthorns, restor-
ing some order after drawing 2--2
at home to Swansea and getting
overwhelmed by City.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut
Courtois saved James Morrison s
14th-minute penalty before Pedro
scored the opener in the 20th,
trading passes with Eden Hazard
and sending in a shot that deflected
inside the near post.
Ten minutes later, Pedro turned
provider by driving in a cross-shot
that was bundled in by a sliding
Diego Costa at the far post.
West Brom reduced the deficit
through Morrison, only for Cesar
Azpilicueta to restore Chelsea s
two-goal cushion by racing onto
Costa s lay-off and slotting in a
low finish for his first Premier
League goal. Spain internationals
scored all of the visitors goals.
City finished last season with
six straight wins, perhaps keeping
coach Manuel Pellegrini in a job,
and has carried that run into this
campaign after spending more than
$150 million this summer.
Raheem Sterling---signed for 49
million pounds ($76 million)---has
added an extra dimension to City s
attack and is providing a different
problem for opposition defenses,
which is allowing others like David
Silva and Yaya Toure to shine.
Silva and Sterling were involved
in the build-up to Kolarov s 60th-
minute opener, with the left back
charging upfield and running onto
Sterling pass to beat American
goalkeeper Tim Howard at his near
Nasri exchanged a one-two with
Toure before chipping Howard
from close range for the second in
"What other teams think about
our team is not our problem," Pel-
legrini said when asked if City was
making a statement to its rivals.
"The important thing is to be a
consistent team until the end."
Pedro stars for Chelsea
but City stays ahead
MADRID---Lionel Messi missed a
penalty kick but Luis Suarez scored
in the second half to give Barcelona
a 1--0 victory over Athletic Bilbao in
its Spanish league opener yesterday.
That gave the defending champion
a small gap on archrival Real Madrid
right away, as Rafa Benitez started his
stint in charge with a 0--0 draw at pro-
moted side Sporting Gijon.
Suarez netted the winner from close
range after a left-flank cross by Jordi
Alba in the 54th minute at Bilbao s San
Mames Stadium. Messi had a chance
to open the scoring in the first half
after a disputed foul on Suarez inside
the area, but the Argentine playmaker
had his low shot from the spot saved
by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
"We won the game and that s what s
important," Suarez said.
A disappointing result in the opener
would have raised more questions about
Barcelona after an unusually difficult
start to the season. The club was
stunned by Bilbao last week in the
Spanish Super Cup final, losing the
title 5--1 on aggregate.
Bilbao presented the Super Cup tro-
phy to the nearly 50,000 fans that
packed the San Mames on Sunday, but
the team could not keep its momentum
going against the Spanish powerhouse.
Barcelona played just well enough to
earn the victory, and had most of the
significant scoring opportunities. Sergi
Roberto hit the crossbar with a right-
footed shot in the 60th, and Messi
made one of his traditional runs past
several defenders near the end of the
game but his shot came out weak for
an easy save by Iraizoz.
Messi s best chance was the 32nd-
minute penalty kick, when his left-
footed shot was deflected wide as
Iraizoz dived to his right to tip the ball
Bilbao players loudly complained at
the penalty call as it appeared there
was only light contact by defender
Gorka Elustondo on Suarez. Replays
also showed that the Uruguayan striker
appeared to be offside at the time of
the pass from the back field.
Luis Enrique s team began its season
with a depleted squad because of
injuries and suspensions, and it only
got worse yesterday when right back
Dani Alves had to be substituted in the
first half and Sergio Busquets in the
second because of apparent injuries.
Star striker Neymar was recovering
from the mumps and fellow Brazilian
Adriano was injured, while Gerard Pique
and Jeremy Mathieu were suspended.
Madrid, trying to end a three-year
title drought in La Liga, dominated at
the El Molinon Stadium but couldn t
capitalize on its scoring chances, includ-
ing a few good ones involving Cristiano
Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. Sporting
Gijon goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar made a
great save on Ronaldo s shot in the 84th
to keep the deadlock intact.
Newly signed Croatia midfielder
Mateo Kovacic made his debut in the
second half but wasn t able to spark
Madrid to victory.
Madrid held 0--0
Monday, August 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, centre, jumps and heads the ball by Sporting's Sergio
Alvarez, centre right, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real
Madrid and Sporting de Gijon at the El Molinon stadium in Gijon, Spain,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta, right, and West Brom's James Morrison
battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match
between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at the Hawthorns, West
Bromwich, England, yesterday. AP PHOTO
AMSTERDAM---Ajax kept up its
perfect start to the Dutch Eredi-
visie season yesterday, beating
NEC Nijmegen 2--0 to make it
three wins from three matches
without conceding a goal.
Ajax s archrival Feyenoord also
made it three from three by beating
Vitesse Arnhem 2--0 to go second
on goal difference.
After a dour first half in
Nijmegen, Poland striker Arek
Milik broke the deadlock with a
long-range shot three minutes after
Ajax kept pushing forward, but
did not manage to double its lead
until the 86th, when defender
Rens van Eijden deflected a cross
from Daley Sinkgraven into his
In Rotterdam, Dirk Kuyt con-
verted a 77th-minute penalty and
Bilal Basacikoglu scored his first
Feyenoord goal two minutes later.
Defending champion PSV drew
1--1 Saturday at Heerenveen.
Ajax gets perfect start in Dutch Eredivisie TURIN---Juventus chief executive
Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed the
club is on the verge of signing Colom-
bia winger Juan Cuadrado on loan
Speaking before Juventus opening
Serie A match against Udinese yes-
terday, Marotta told Sport Mediaset
"Cuadrado will arrive on loan. It could
be made official as soon as tomor-
Cuadrado moved to Chelsea from
Fiorentina on the final day of the Pre-
mier League transfer window in Feb-
ruary for around $40 million, signing
a four-and-a-half-year contract.
The deal saw Mohamed Salah---now
at Roma---move the other way on loan.
However, the 27-year-old Cuadrado
failed to settle at Stamford Bridge, and
made only four league starts last sea-
Juve on verge of
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