Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 18th 2016 Contents A51
Monday, January 18, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LIVERPOOL---Manchester United relied on
brilliant goalkeeping by David de Gea and a
late, opportunistic finish by Wayne Rooney to
snatch a 1-0 win at great rival Liverpool yes-
terday, sparking talk of an unlikely run at the
Premier League title.
With Arsenal only drawing 0-0 at Stoke a
few hours later to return to first place on goal
difference above Leicester, United trimmed the
gap to the leaders to seven points --- with 16
matches still to play in one of the most erratic
title races in years.
Talk of United even challenging for the title
would been dismissed as fanciful at the end of
2015, when the team was on an eight-game
winless run and manager Louis van Gaal's future
Things look very different now.
Finishing in the top four and qualifying for
the Champions League is the minimum require-
ment for United, and Tottenham is only two
points away in fourth place.
With Rooney back in the scoring groove, things
look much brighter for the 20-time champions.
The England captain took his tally for 2016
to five goals in four games by smashing home
a volley from close range in the 78th minute
after Marouane Fellaini's header rebounded
off the bar. It was United's first shot on target,
with the team indebted to De Gea for keeping
the score at 0-0.
De Gea produced two excellent saves to deny
Emre Can, one with his feet and the other a
diving, one-handed stop to his right.
Liverpool started without a recognized striker
--- playing Roberto Firmino alone up front ---
and while that helped the team dominate mid-
field, it left them short of firepower. In 19 shots,
only four were on target.
Ninth-place Liverpool dropped eight points
behind Spurs in a damaging blow to its Cham-
pions League aspirations.
"A lot of the things we did today were good,"
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. "Our
finishing wasn't good."
Goalkeepers were on top at Britannia Stadium,
too, with Stoke's Jack Butland and Arsenal's Petr
Cech getting most of the plaudits after a tight,
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud had early chances
in each half but Butland reacted well to stop an
angled shot and then a powerful header.
Though chasing possession for much of the
second half, Stoke could have taken all three
points if not for a superb double save by Petr
Cech midway through the second half. Aaron
Ramsey also cleared a shot from near the goal-
line as Stoke mounted late pressure.
Arsenal, missing injured playmaker Mesut
Ozil, failed to capitalize on Leicester's 1-1 draw
at Aston Villa on Saturday, and dropped four
points this week after also drawing at Liverpool
on Wednesday. However, a draw at Stoke was
welcome to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger,
whose team hasn't won at the Britannia since
Arsenal and second-place Leicester both have
44 points. Manchester City is a point behind in
third after beating Crystal Palace 4-0 on Sat-
MILAN---Juventus beat 10-man Udinese 4-0 to
move back into second spot in Serie A yesterday,
while Luciano Spalletti s second spell in charge of
Roma began with a 1-1 draw against bottom side
Paulo Dybala scored twice, including a 25th-minute
penalty after Udinese defender Danilo was sent off
for bringing down Mario Mandzukic. Dybala also pro-
vided two assists for Sami Khedira and Alex Sandro
as Juventus dominated the first half.
With its 10th consecutive league win, Juventus
moved two points behind Napoli after the Serie A
leader's 3-1 win over Sassuolo on Saturday. Inter Milan,
which drew at Atalanta on Saturday, was two points
Elsewhere, Lazio fought back from two goals down
to draw 2-2 at Bologna after home defender Adam
Masina was sent off, while relegation-threatened Carpi
beat Sampdoria 2-1 for a second successive win.
Chievo Verona drew 1-1 against Empoli and Genoa
beat 10-man Palermo 4-0 in the lunchtime kickoff.
Udinese had beaten Juventus on the opening day
and was looking for a similar result to celebrate the
inauguration of the Nuovo Stadio Friuli, where all
25,000 seats were sold out.
However, Juventus took the lead in the 15th minute
when Dybala curled a free kick over the wall and
matters grew worse three minutes later. Udinese failed
to clear a corner and Dybal nodded the ball across the
six-yard box for an unmarked Khedira to head home.
Any hope Udinese had of rescuing something from
the match evaporated in the 25th. Stephan Lichtsteiner
sent Mandzukic clear and he was brought down by
Danilo, who was duly sent off.
Dybala converted for his 11th goal of the season.
Alex Sandro netted his first in Serie A three minutes
from halftime, firing into the far corner from the edge
of the area to complete the embarrassing rout.
Udinese almost got a consolation in the second half
but Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon fingertipped
Francesco Lodi's free kick onto the post.
Spalletti, who first coached Roma from 2005-09,
returned to the club this week after Rudi Garcia was
sacked following just one win in its last 10 matches
in all competitions.
De Gea, Rooney give hope to Man United
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, right, evades Liverpool's Kolo Toure during their English Premier
League match against Liverpool at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Links Archive January 17th 2016 January 19th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page