Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2017 Contents sports A39
Monday, January 2, 2017 guardian.co.tt
LONDON---Olivier Giroud scored an
exquisite goal from an overhead
back-heeled strike as Arsenal beat
struggling Crystal Palace 2-0 yes-
terday to rise to third in the English
"I have maximum luck," Giroud said
of his "scorpion" kick. "It's just about
luck." Such a moment of exceptional
quality could help Giroud convince man-
ager Arsene Wenger to play him more.
Opportunities don't come often for the
France forward since dropping down the
But with Mesut Ozil ill in bed, Wenger
had little choice but to start Giroud for the
second consecutive game in the packed
Giroud, who netted on his first league
start of the season against West Brom-
wich Albion on Monday, beat Palace
goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey after 18
minutes. Alexis Sanchez whipped in a
cross from the left flank and Giroud con-
nected with a back-heeled flick that sent
the ball up against the underside of the
bar and into the net.
"It was the only thing I could do," Gi-
roud said. "The ball was behind me and
I tried to hit it with a back-heel."
Giroud had also played a role in the
sweeping counterattack that started in-
side Arsenal's own half and ended with
the opening goal.
Few goals will be as eye-catching
all season. Scoring again, though, was
important at the chilly Emirates Stadi-
um to prevent Palace from mounting a
It took until the 56th minute when
Nacho Monreal's cross was scooped in
the air by Scott Dann's interception and
Alex Iwobi headed past two Palace play-
ers on the goal-line. Palace remains two
points from the relegation zone with Sam
Allardyce winless in his two matches in
Arsenal's victory, combined with Tot-
tenham's success at Watford, ensured
Manchester City dropped out of the top
four Champions League places.
Arsenal, which travels to Bournemouth
on Tuesday, is nine points adrift of leader
Chelsea and three behind Liverpool.
Spurs beat Watford 4-1
to move into top 4
WATFORD, ENGLAND---Harry Kane
and Dele Alli both scored twice yes-
terday, sending Tottenham into the
English Premier League's top four
with a 4-1 victory over Watford.
moved into third
place ahead of
on goal difference
and Arsenal, which
was hosting Crys-
tal Palace later
seeking a route
back into the Champions League next
season, through a top-four finish, after
being eliminated in the group stage on
its return to the competition after a five-
year absence. Totttenham's four-match
winning run comes ahead of Wednes-
day's home match against Chelsea,
which is 10 points ahead of the north
London club in top spot.
Chelsea ended Tottenham's title chal-
lenge last season when Kane and Alli's
combined attacking force was so devas-
tating in scoring and assisting 50 goals
in the league.
Their chemistry was on display against
a fragile Watford side on New Year's Day.
Watford, which was hamstrung by in-
juries, contributed to its own downfall
with poor defending. Watford, which
dropped to 13th, has kept only three
clean sheets in its last 24 league games.
Watford hassled Arsenal but looked
exhausted after half an hour, with Spurs
finally making their pressure pay in the
form of three goals in 14 minutes.
Moments after Alli had rattled the
crossbar with a fizzing shot from 25 yards
(meters), Kieran Trippier promptly slid
Kane in behind a dozing Jose Holebas .
Kane lifted the ball over former Totten-
ham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes at the
near post in the 27th.
Tottenham doubled its advantage six
minutes later with the same trio com-
bining again. Alli looped a pass out wide
to Trippier, who whipped a half-volleyed
cross to the back post where Kane beat
Craig Cathcart to side-foot home.
Son Heung-min, unmarked at the near
post, should then have steered in Chris-
tian Eriksen's free kick but Alli did find
the net four minutes before the inter-
val. Kaboul scuffed a clearance into the
unsuspecting Cathcart, who was then
outmuscled by Alli and the midfielder
sent the ball into the bottom right-hand
corner. The halftime whistle was greeted
by boos from Watford supporters and
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris ap-
peared almost apologetic as he hung an
arm around fellow Frenchman and for-
mer teammate Etienne Capoue.
The home fans' discontent, however,
had little impact. A minute after the re-
start, Spurs hit their fourth. Sebastian
Prodl gifted the ball to Kane, who crossed
to the back post where Alli had time to
control and slide under Gomes.
The only consolation for Watford was
Younes Kaboul bundling the ball in from
close range in stoppage time.
...in Arsenal victory
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