Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 10th 2016 Contents Arsenal needed a flawless
finish to the English Pre-
mier League season to
stand a realistic chance of reeling
in surprise leader Leicester.
Thanks to West Ham striker
Andy Carroll, that won t be hap-
Carroll scored an eight-minute
hat-trick as West Ham came from
two goals behind and drew 3-3
with Arsenal in a wild match at
Upton Park that summed up the
visitors season---a strong start, a
collapse, and then a recovery that
was too little, too late.
Surely only second-place Tot-
tenham can stop Leicester now.
Arsenal is 10 points behind the
leaders and three adrift of Spurs,
with the top two in action today.
Arsenal is not yet assured of
securing a top-four place and
Champions League football for next
season, with Manchester City only
two points back in fourth after ral-
lying to a 2-1 victory over West
Bromwich Albion thanks to Samir
Nasri s second-half winner. City
played a weakened team ahead of
the second leg of its Champions
League quarterfinal against Paris
Saint-Germain, which is 2-2 after
the first leg on Wednesday.
Manchester United is four points
behind City, with its game in hand
coming against Tottenham today.
Confirmation of Aston Villa s
inevitable relegation was delayed
at least another week, despite the
last-place team losing 2-1 at home
to Bournemouth for a 23rd defeat
in 33 league matches this season.
Fourth-to-last Norwich could have
relegated Villa by picking up a point
at Crystal Palace, but lost 1-0.
It was Palace s first win since
December 19, virtually preserving
its Premier League status for
Newcastle looks likely to be join-
ing Villa in the second tier after
losing 3-1 at Southampton to stay
six points behind Norwich, with
only six matches left.
"It s important that everybody
continues to believe," said New-
castle manager Rafa Benitez, who
is still to earn a victory in four
matches since taking over. "The
anxiety is killing us sometimes."
Swansea beat Chelsea 1-0 thanks
to Gylfi Sigurdsson s 25th-minute
goal, while Watford and Everton
drew 1-1 in a match between two
FA Cup semifinalists.
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez
put Arsenal 2-0 ahead against West
Ham, both scoring off passes from
young Nigerian Alex Iwobi, before
Carroll single-handedly brought
the home side back into the game.
Staking his claim for a place in
England s squad for the European
Championship, the tall striker
planted home a powerful header
in the 44th, equalised with a
deflected volley in first-half injury
time, then rose above Arsenal s
defense to complete his hat trick
in the 52nd.
Arsenal defender Laurent
Koscielny poked home a 70th-
minute equaliser, but a point isn t
enough at this stage in the title
"We ve made it far more difficult
for ourselves to have a chance to
win the championship," Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger said. "We
have to keep going and hope, you
never know what can happen."
City trimmed the gap to Arsenal
after recovering from going behind
to Stephane Sessegnon s goal in
the sixth minute.
Sessegnon brought down Alek-
sandar Kolarov to allow Sergio
Aguero to score from a penalty and
Nasri scored the winner for City
from close range in the 66th.
Atletico, Real Madrid win to
put pressure on Barcelona
Ronaldo reached the 30-goal mark
in the Spanish league for a sixth
consecutive season in Real Madrid s
4-0 rout of Eibar, while Atletico
Madrid fought back 3-1 at Espanyol
Atletico provisionally closed to
within three points of leader
Barcelona---with Real another point
behind---to keep the pressure on
the defending champion before its
match at Real Sociedad, an outing
it hasn t won in nine years.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane rest-
ed several first-choice players for
his team s critical Champions
League match on Tuesday, when
Madrid will need to overturn a 2-
0 deficit to Wolfsburg to make the
Little did it matter against mod-
est Eibar as James Rodriguez
opened the scoring at the Santiago
Bernabeu with a free kick in the
Ronaldo then set up goals for
Lucas Vazquez and Jese Rodriguez
on either side of his own strike to
decide the result before halftime.
Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Toni
Kroos never left Madrid s bench
while Karim Benzema, Luka Mod-
ric and Keylor Navas weren t on
the squad ahead of the visit by
Wolfsburg that Zidane has
described as key to the season.
Bayern beats Stuttgart 3-1
away to stretch Bundesliga lead
BERLIN---Bayern Munich ground
out a 3-1 win at Stuttgart and pro-
visionally opened an eight-point
lead to move closer to an unprece-
dented fourth straight Bundesliga
"We need another three wins
and a draw to achieve something
very special, something no team
in Germany ever achieved," Bayern
coach Pep Guardiola said.
An own goal from Georg Nie-
dermeier got the defending cham-
pions underway in the 31st minute
and David Alaba made it 2-0 in
Daniel Didavi pulled one back
in unorthodox fashion in the 63rd,
scooping the ball while on the
ground over the helpless Manuel
Neuer. Didavi did not have time
to get up from his previous
Bayern substitute Douglas Costa
sealed it in the 89th with a shot
inside the left post.
Borussia Dortmund can restore
the five-point gap Sunday with a
win at Schalke in the Ruhr derby.
Five rounds remain after the week-
end s games.
Visiting Mainz held Wolfsburg
to a 1-1 draw in the late game,
extending the home side s league
run without a win to four games.
Hoffenheim defeated Eintracht
Frankfurt 2-0 to climb four points
above the home side in the rele-
gation zone, and Darmstadt won
2-1 at Hamburger SV to boost its
chances of avoiding an immediate
return to the second division.
"It was an incredibly important
game, but we still have a few (left).
Nothing s decided yet," said Darm-
stadt midfielder Konstantin
Rausch, whose side is one point
above 14th-place Hoffenheim.
Augsburg came from behind to
win at Werder Bremen 2-1 and
move to 15th --- two points above
Bremen in the relegation playoff
Mourinho rejects offer to
coach Syria soccer team
LISBON, Portugal---Jose Mourinho
has politely declined the Syrian foot-
ball federation s offer for him to
coach the war-torn nation s team,
his agent says.
In an email to The Associated
Press, Jorge Mendes company
Gestifute confirms that the Por-
tuguese coach received the offer.
The former Chelsea manager has
replied that "while he felt honoured
to receive the invitation, he cannot
at the moment accept it," the email
Mourinho has been without a
team since leaving Chelsea in
Syria s national soccer team,
which has never qualified for the
World Cup, is to play in Asia s third
round of qualifying, scheduled to
begin in August. (AP)
April 10, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Arsenal's slim EPL title hopes
dashed by Carroll hat-trick
West Ham's Andy Carroll celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham United and
Arsenal at Upton Park stadium in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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