Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 4th 2016 Contents A44
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, January 4, 2016
Chelsea wins in style
MANCHESTER--- Chelsea signaled its
intent to surge up the Premier League by
crushing Crystal Palace 3-0 yesterday in a
stylish display that had shades of last sea-
son s cruise to the championship.
Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa scored for
Chelsea, which is out of realistic title con-
tention following a dismal start to its defense
but could still challenge for a Champions
League spot on the evidence of its perform-
ance at Selhurst Park.
The champions are unbeaten in four
matches under caretaker manager Guus Hid-
dink since firing Jose Mourinho a week before
Christmas, but are still languishing in 14th
place --- 13 points behind fourth-place Tot-
Spurs lost ground in the title race by draw-
ing 1-1 at Everton in yesterday s other game,
with Dele Alli s superb volley earning Spurs
a point after canceling out Aaron Lennon s
But Spurs domination at Goodison Park
shows they are genuine challengers for the
trophy. Only six points separate Tottenham
and its north London rival Arsenal in first
place, and Spurs have only lost twice all sea-
son in the league.
Tottenham ended the busy festive period
with 10 points from a possible 12, more than
any other side in the league.
"The way we played today, we can achieve
what we want," Tottenham manager Mauricio
The belief appears to be back at Chelsea,
which looks a different side to the one that
struggled under Mourinho. Its attacking play-
ers are playing with more freedom, with
Spain internationals Cesc Fabregas and Costa
excelling against Palace.
Costa ran onto Fabregas through-ball, cut
in and squared a pass for Oscar to sidefoot
home into an empty net for the opening goal
in the 29th. Willian struck a rising shot into
the net from long range to make it 2-0 in
the 60th and then played a part in the third
goal, sending in a shot that was parried out
to the feet of Costa inside the six-yard box.
Costa couldn t miss.
"That was the Chelsea of last year, I think,"
Chelsea captain John Terry said.
The only negative for Chelsea was the sight
of Eden Hazard hobbling off with a groin
injury. The Belgium winger has failed to
reproduce his fine form from last season,
when he was voted player of the season in
Alli has been one of the success stories of
this season, establishing himself as a regular
for Tottenham and also breaking into the
England squad in his first year in the Premier
League. Last season, he was playing in the
third tier with MK Dons.
His goal against Everton was another
example of his talent, controlling on his chest
a long pass forward from Toby Alderweireld
and burying a first-time volley from just
inside the area in first-half injury time.
Lennon put Everton ahead against his for-
mer club in the 22nd, against the run of play.
Harry Kane and Ben Davies struck shots
against the goal frame either side of Lennon s
goal, as Spurs drew for the ninth time in 20
games this campaign.
...as Spurs come from behind to draw at Everton
Chelsea's Oscar, left, hugs Diego Costa and Pedro as he celebrates scoring a goal during the English
Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park stadium in
London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
BARCELONA---Real Madrid squandered a
great opening goal and a chance to catch
Barcelona in the Spanish league standings when
it slipped to a 2-2 draw at Valencia in a match
it ended with 10 men yesterday.
Karim Benzema finished off a superb move in
the 16th minute, but Valencia s Dani Parejo leveled
from the penalty spot just before halftime.
Gareth Bale headed Madrid back in front in
the 82nd despite his team playing a man down
after Mateo Kovacic saw a direct red card, only
for Paco Alcacer to strike right back for the hosts
a minute later.
Coach Rafa Benitez will face even more scrutiny
after Madrid fell four points behind provisional
leader Atletico Madrid and remained two behind
Barcelona, which has a game to play.
Meanwhile, Bruno Soriano scored his second
of two goals deep into stoppage time to grab a
2-1 victory for Villarreal at Deportivo La Coruna
yesterday, strengthening its hold on fourth place
and the last Champions League berth.
Soriano got his first goal in the 36th minute
when the midfielder was left unmarked to fire
in Mario Gaspar s squared pass, before Deportivo
equalized when Lucas Perez assisted Luis Alberto
three minutes after halftime.
The match was heading toward a draw when
a rash foul by Fernando Navarro on Matias Nahuel
gave Soriano a spot kick that he converted five
minutes into injury time to secure Villarreal a
fifth straight win.
Soriano continued his superb week after he
also scored a free kick to earn a victory over
Valencia on Thursday.
"We were right there at the end, when tension
was the highest," Soriano said. "We worked hard
to get this win at a very tough place to play."
Deportivo s loss was just its third all season
through 18 rounds, and it ended a 10-game
unbeaten run in all competitions as it slid into
Athletic Bilbao inched into sixth after it drew
2-2 at home with Las Palmas, despite going ahead
twice from goals by Aritz Aduriz and Inaki
Eibar cruised to a 4-0 win at Real Betis as the
tiny Basque team recorded its biggest win in its
second season in the top flight. Ander Capa,
Sergio "Keko" Gontan, Adrian Gonzalez and Borja
"Baston" Gonzalez all scored for Eibar.
Eibar climbed into eighth place, while Sevilla
slipped to ninth after losing 2-1 to a Granada
side that moved out of the relegation zone.
Granada s goals came from young strikers Isaac
Success and Adalberto Penaranda, who made a
superb solo run to double the lead, before Sevilla s
Victor "Vitolo" Machin pulled one back right
Elsewhere, Real Sociedad fought back to salvage
a 2-2 draw at relegation-threatened Rayo Val-
PARIS---Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed
home the winner as Paris Saint-
Gemain started the defence of its
French Cup title with a scrappy 1-0
win over fourth-tier side Wasquehal,
while Monaco scored 10 goals to
Playing its first match of 2016 in the
northern city of Lille in rainy conditions,
PSG was in control throughout and
created plenty of scoring chances. But
it lacked a cutting edge until the Swe-
den international connected with Marco
Verratti s long ball on the hour mark.
"We d like to have played better
today, to be safe earlier in the match
and play with more serenity," PSG coach
Laurent Blanc said. "But this afternoon
we were unable to achieve this."
Having opened up a 19-point lead
over second-place Monaco at the top
of the French league standings in just
19 games, PSG is looking to reproduce
the domestic treble Laurent Blanc s
side achieved last season when it won
the league title, the League Cup and
Facing amateur club Saint-Jean-
Beaulieu, a team playing in the seventh
tier of French football, Monaco took
advantage of its opponents attacking
style of play to catch them on the break
and score goals galore in a 10-2 vic-
Both teams finished with 10 men
following an altercation early in the
second half between Monaco striker
Lacina Traore --- who scored four goals
before being sent off --- and Yann Mar-
Among the top-tier teams also
advancing to the round of 32 were Lille,
Lorient, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Lyon
Lyon s new coach Bruno Genesio,
who replaced Hubert Fournier during
the winter break, celebrated his first
game in charge with a 7-0 thrashing
of fifth-division Limoges after Maxwell
Cornet and Rachid Ghezzal each scored
Montpellier, which also changed
coach during the festive period and
appointed former player Pascal Baills
following Rolland Courbis resignation,
defeated fifth-tier Epernay 1-0.
Bordeaux came close of suffering a
shock exit at the hands of third-tier
Frejus-Saint-Raphael, coming twice
from behind before Diego Rolan sealed
a 3-2 win in added time with a fine
Two matches between top-tier teams
see 10-time winner Marseille traveling
to Caen later yesterday, and Nice host-
ing Rennes today. (AP)
Real Madrid stumbles again
in 2-2 draw with Valencia
Links Archive January 3rd 2016 January 5th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page