Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 3rd 2017 Contents sports A39
Monday, April 3, 2017 guardian.co.tt
filled in for the suspended Li-
onel Messi by scoring one goal
and participating in three more
to ensure Barcelona stayed
close to Spanish leader Real
Barcelona's 4-1 victory at ten-
man Granada kept the defending
champions two points behind
Madrid, which won 3-0 at home
against Alaves earlier in the day.
Madrid still has a game in hand.
Suarez imposed himself on the
match from the start, hitting the
bar and forcing two good saves
from Guillermo Ochoa before he
chipped the ball over the goalkeep-
er a minute before halftime.
Suarez's goal was his 23rd in the
league this season, leaving him
second to Messi with 25. Messi was
serving a one-game suspension for
accumulating five yellow cards.
After Granada levelled through
substitute Jeremie Boga, Suarez
turned playmaker by muscling off
his marker and passing for substi-
tute Paco Alcacer to beat Ochoa
in the 64th.
The little-used Alcacer made
the most of his limited time, com-
ing on in the first half after Rafinha
injured his right knee.
A shot by Ivan Rakitic was de-
flected in by Matthieu Saunier in
the 83rd, shortly after Granada's
Uche Agbo picked up a second
booking. Suarez played a part in
this goal too, when he tried to drib-
ble past a defender who knocked
the ball into Rakitic's path.
Neymar capped the victory in
stoppage time after Suarez passed
for Alcacer, who then found the
Brazilian alone to tap home. Ney-
mar also hit the upright with the
final kick of the match.
Granada stayed in second-to-
REAL MADRID 3, ALAVES 0
Karim Benzema continued his
strong scoring form with a fourth
goal in as many rounds to keep Ma-
drid atop the table.
Madrid dictated the first half
and Benzema's opener in the 31st
came from a one-two with Dani
Carvajal, who had gone on as a
substitute after Raphael Varane
picked up an early leg injury.
But in its first match since a long
international break, Madrid fad-
ed in the second half and Alaves
threatened to snatch a draw.
The win wasn't secure until the
85th when Francisco "Isco" Alar-
con fired in a second goal from a
pass by Cristiano Ronaldo. De-
fender Nacho Fernandez then
headed in the rebound after Gareth
Bale's free kick came off the bar.
Edgar Mendez had the best shot
for Alaves in the 60th when he was
left all alone in the six-yard box,
only for the forward to drive the
ball back past the far post. (AP)
LONDON---Arsenal twice fought
back to hold Manchester City 2-2 in
the Premier League yesterday after
the attacking resilience of Arsene
Wenger's side was undermined by
Although goals from Theo Walcott
and Shkodran Mustafi prevented Ar-
senal from sinking to a fifth loss in six
league games, the failure to collect three
points further damages the team's bid
to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal remains seven points behind
fourth-placed City, albeit with a game
in hand over Pep Guardiola's side. For
City, which led through Leroy Sane and
then Sergio Aguero, it is now about
locking down a Champions League spot
rather than winning the league trophy
for the first time since 2014.
After a third consecutive league
draw, Guardiola complained that his
team "forgot to play" in north London.
"We missed a little bit, forgot a little
bit to attack," he said. "Of course, we
had the chance to make the counter-
attacks, but we missed easy balls and
when this happens, you cannot control
Chelsea gave title rivals a glimmer
of hope by losing to Crystal Palace on
Saturday, but City is 11 points behind
the leaders with nine games left.
Guardiola has time to turn it around
at City with the Spaniard in his first
season in charge. Patience is wearing
thin at Arsenal, though, with the title
drought in its 13th year.
Arriving at the Emirates Stadium can
now resemble attending a political pro-
test movement. There are street rallies
against the long-standing immovable
leader and trucks carrying campaign
Gauging how deep the feelings run
against Wenger is hard to assess. One
supporters' trust published a survey
earlier in the week that showed a clear
majority of fans want the manager to
leave in May rather than sign a new con-
tract, but it yielded only a few hundred
"I am here for 20 years and if I have
shown one thing it is complete loyalty to
this club," Wenger said. "I will continue
that and I will always support this club
and wish after me it goes very well and
even much better."
Inside the 60,000-capacity stadi-
um, there was more apathy than an-
ger throughout the game in the spring
sunshine---even after conceding within
five minutes of kickoff.
Kevin De Bruyne picked out the run
of Sane with a long ball and the German
outpaced Hector Bellerin, then rounded
goalkeeper David Ospina before slotting
in his eighth goal of the season.
This should have been a game when
City was more susceptible in defence
with Jesus Navas deployed as a make-
shift right back but Arsenal was pro-
ducing little to unsettle goalkeeper
It took a defensive muddle for Arsenal
to equalise five minutes before halftime.
Nicolas Otamendi's poor clearance
was seized on by Mustafi who headed
high over the defence and, as Gael Cli-
chy dithered, Walcott knocked in the
Parity only remained for 131 seconds
before City was back in front. Once
again, Arsenal was too open at the back
and made to pay for it. David Silva laid
the ball off to Aguero and the Argentina
forward slotted into the bottom corner.
"We started with quite a high level of
anxiety and we are punished straight
away," Wenger said.
"It was a mental test and overall you
could see that the team was touched
on the confidence front. The fluency in
our game suffered, but as well we have
shown great mental resources, because
we are twice down and one time at the
worst moment in a football game, just
Arsenal did draw level again eight
minutes into the second half. Mesut
Ozil was the provider, and Mustafi
rose above Otamendi to head in the
In the other match, Swansea was held
by Middlesbrough to a goalless draw.
Manchester City's Jesus Navas, left, fights for the ball with Arsenal's Alexis
Sanchez during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and
Manchester City at the Emirates stadium in London, yesterday. The match ended
tied 2-2. AP PHOTO
behind to hold City
With Messi suspended, Suarez
leads Barca to win at Granada
SEVILLA 0, SPORTING GIJON 0
VALENCIA 3, DEPORTIVO
LA CORUNA 0
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