Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2016 Contents A42 sports
guardian.co.tt Sunday, December 18, 2016
Leipzig beats Hertha Berlin 2-0
Dietrich Mateschitz watched
from the stands as his Leip-
zig side returned to the top of
the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win
over visiting Hertha Berlin
Mateschitz, who made his
fortune through energy drink
Red Bull, made a rare visit to the
stadium to see the side before its
clash with defending champion
Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
Bayern, three points behind Leip-
zig, still had to play its 15th-round
game at Darmstadt on Sunday.
Leipzig started strongly and
had Hertha's defence under
pressure from the off.
The home side needed pa-
tience, however, before Timo
Werner finally made the break-
through four minutes before the
break. Naby Keita played the
20-year-old Werner through to
elude two Hertha defenders and
fire inside the far post.
Defender Willi Orban headed
in the second from a corner after
an hour played.
"I expected a reaction after the
1-0 defeat against Ingolstadt and
my team did not disappoint,"
coach Ralph Hasenhuettl said,
referring to previously unbeaten
Leipzig's slip last weekend. "We
were there on the pitch from the
start today, the belief was there."
Hertha, outplayed for most of
the game, dropped to fourth after
its second successive loss.
It was the first eastern derby
between the sides, though neither
is from the former East Germany,
with Hertha based in West Berlin
and Leipzig founded only in 2009
when Mateschitz bought a local
fifth-tier team, SSV Markran-
staedt, and rebranded it with
the company's livery under a
new name, before financing its
steady promotion through the
lower leagues. (AP)
to move 7
MILAN---No one seems capable of
stopping Juventus from winning
an historic sixth successive Serie
A after it beat second-place Roma
1-0 to move seven points clear at the
top of the table yesterday.
Once again, Gonzalo Higuain fired his
side to the win, netting his fourth goal
in three matches in the 14th minute.
"It wasn't a fundamental victory be-
cause the season is still long, but one
which gives us conviction and which
creates a little gap," Juventus goalkeeer
Gianluigi Buffon said. "It allows us to
get to Christmas with the best feelings."
Since Serie A was founded in 1929,
no club has won more than five straight
Torino won five in a row from 1943-
49 (including a season that was canceled
due to World War II), Inter Milan from
2006-10, and Juventus in 1931-35, and
"We need to be really good to close the
gap again," Roma coach Luciano Spal-
letti said. "We were good in stopping
their attacks but then we made errors
in certain decisions and they controlled
Juventus fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat
at Genoa at the end of November and
Buffon believes that has sparked his
side into life.
"In the last three matches, after the
Genoa game, I saw a team with identi-
ty, the doggedness from before," Buffon
said. "But we mustn't think that the ad-
vantage in the league allows us to focus
more on the Champions League. That
would be a mistake. A team like Juve
must never feel satisfied."
Within 30 seconds of kickoff, Kostas
Manolas barged Mario Mandzukic over
the advertising boards to set the tone.
Higuain opened the scoring with a
fantastic solo effort, as he shrugged off
challenges from Daniele De Rossi and
Manolas and muscled his way into the
area before curling into the left side of
It was Higuain's 10th league goal for
Juventus since transferring from rival
Napoli for 90 million euros ($99 mil-
lion) after scoring 36 goals last season
to break a 66-year-old Serie A record.
Roma strove for the equalizer but
never really tested Juventus goalkeeper
The only negative note for Juventus
was former Roma midfielder Miralem
Pjanic going off early in the second half
Roma can cut the gap back to four
points before the Christmas break as
it hosts Chievo Verona on Thursday, the
day before Juventus plays AC Milan in
the Italian Super Cup in Doha, Qatar.
Ibrahimovic, Costa light
up misty day in EPL
LONDON---As fog engulfed
English stadiums, Zlatan Ibra-
himovic and Diego Costa illu-
minated the Premier League
And the 35-year-old Ibrahimov-
ic is fast catching the striker sev-
en years his junior on the scoring
leaderboard with only two goals
Ibrahimovic provided both goals
at the Hawthorns as Manchester
United rolled over West Bromwich
Albion 2-0 for a third consecutive
At Crystal Palace in south Lon-
don, Chelsea clocked up an 11th
consecutive win for the first time
in a Premier League season. Costa
secured a 1-0 victory for Antonio
Conte's side with his 15th goal of
the league campaign.
And Costa is far ahead of Ibrahi-
movic on a more significant table.
Costa's Chelsea tops the Premier
League, still 13 points ahead of
Ibrahimovic's sixth-place United.
That's an unsettling gulf for Unit-
ed manager Jose Mourinho, who cel-
ebrated a third consecutive victory
on the first anniversary of being
fired by Chelsea for a second time.
Returning United to the top four
Champions League places, let alone
challenging for the title, is a tough
mission for Mourinho.
Three of the teams ahead of Unit-
ed are in action on Sunday. There's a
meeting of Arsenal and Manchester
City---third versus fourth--- at the
same time fifth-place Tottenham
Here's the rest of yesterday's
Stoke 2, Leicester 2
Struggling champion Leicester
conceded twice after Jamie Vardy
was sent off before staging a late
comeback but still slipped to 15th
Vardy saw red in the 28th minute
for a tackle on Mame Diouf. Danny
Simpson's hand ball then gave Stoke
a penalty that Bojan Krkic convert-
ed, and Joe Allen sent the hosts into
a two-goal lead at halftime.
Leonardo Ulloa began the recov-
ery in the 74th and Daniel Amartey
headed in his first Leicester goal in
the 88th to give Leicester only its
second point on the road.
Middlesbrough climbed four
points clear of the relegation zone
while Swansea is only off the bottom
on goal difference.
Alvaro Negredo scored two first-
half goals and Marten de Roon add-
ed a third in the 58th. Bob Bradley's
Swansea has conceded 11 goals in its
last three away games in the league
and scored only once.
"When I came here I knew what I
was getting into and I'm not back-
ing down from it now," Bradley said.
"That's the challenge---when the
team has put itself in a tough spot
everybody has got to stick together
during the toughest times and fight
West Ham 1, Hull 0
West Ham has five league wins
this season and all were achieved
with 1-0 scorelines.
Mark Noble, who clinched
Wednesday's win over Burnley af-
ter missing a penalty, netted from
the spot at the Olympic Stadium as
Hull slipped to the bottom of the
Sunderland 1, Watford 0
Sunderland moved off the bot-
tom thanks to Patrick van Aanholt
tucking the ball in off the far post
four minutes into the second half.
A fourth league win in seven
games took Sunderland a point
from safety. Watford is seven points
ahead in 12th place.
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his side's first
goal of the game, during the English Premier League soccer match
between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United, at The
Hawthorns, in West Bromwich, England, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen, left, and Hertha
Berlin's Allan Souza, right, challenge for the
ball during the German Bundesliga soccer
match between RB Leipzig and Hertha BSC
Berlin in Leipzig, Germany, yesterday.
AC MILAN 0, ATALANTA 0
EMPOLI 2, CAGLIARI 0
SEVILLA 4, MALAGA 1
SPORTING GIJON 1, VILLARREAL 3
GRANADA 0, REAL SOCIEDAD 2.
MAINZ 3, HAMBURGER SV 1
WOLFSBURG 1, EINTRACHT
AUGSBURG 1, BORUSSIA MO-
SACALKe 1, COLOGNE 1
victory in its final game of 2016
in the Spanish league allowed
coach Diego Simeone to over-
look the team's struggles and
focus on the positives of a "fan-
Atletico beat Las Palmas 1-0
yesterday to snap a three-game
winless streak and avoid losing
more ground to the leaders ahead
of the winter break.
"It was an extraordinary year,"
Simeone said. "We have to improve
in the league, it's true, but our fans
should be proud of the year that we
In the first half of the year, Atlet-
ico reached the Champions League
final, losing to Real Madrid for the
second time in three seasons, and
contended for the Spanish league
title until the final rounds, even-
tually finishing behind champion
Barcelona and Madrid.
This season hasn't started so
well. It remained sixth in the
league, having won half of its 16
matches. It was nine points behind
Atletico will play its last game
of the year on Tuesday against
third-division club Guijuelo in the
Copa del Rey. Atletico won the first
leg 6-0 in the round-of-32 match-
Atletico Madrid edges Las Palmas 1-0
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