Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2013 Contents LONDON---For the final time as
Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez will
face old adversary Alex Ferguson
at Manchester United on Sunday
with the team s Champions League
prospects on the line against the
new Premier League champions.
The feud between Ferguson and
Benitez stretches back to the
Spaniard s time as Liverpool man-
ager, and the pair engaged in a dis-
pute over handshakes when Chelsea
played at United in the FA Cup in
The season is effectively over for
United, but Ferguson s side can
stymie Chelsea s attempts to stay in
the top four---Benitez s main mission
before leaving his temporary job at
Immediately after Benitez was
hired by Chelsea in October, Fergu-
son wasted little time in reigniting
his feud with him. The United man-
ager said Benitez had been "very
lucky" to be handed the Chelsea job
after nearly two years out of man-
agement since being fired by Inter
The pair often clashed during Ben-
itez s time at Liverpool from 2004-
10, with their most spectacular con-
flict coming in 2009 when Ferguson
suggested Liverpool would be affect-
ed by nerves late in the Premier
League title chase.
Benitez retorted by reading out a
hand-written list of "facts" to back
up his claim that Ferguson wasn t
punished enough for verbally using
referees and match officials.
When Benitez and Ferguson next
meet in opposite dugouts after Sun-
day is not clear. Regardless of how
the season ends for Chelsea, Benitez
has already said he would leave the
club at the end of the season.
"When I signed I wanted to do a
professional job," Benitez said. "And
I think that we have done this from
the first day, so we will try to stay
as high as possible in the table."
Chelsea is currently third with a
one-point advantage over Arsenal
with a game in hand. Arsenal s top-
four bid, however, was stymied by
its draw with United last weekend
at Emirates Stadium.
"Rafa is a manager who has had
great seasons in every club that he
has worked," Chelsea midfielder Juan
Mata said. "Since he came he just
tried to do his best for the team. For
me and for the players, he s a great
"We re now at the end of the sea-
son trying to be in third position."
Arsenal is playing another team
on Saturday whose season is over.
Queens Park Rangers relegation to
the second tier, along with Reading s,
was confirmed last weekend.
With Olivier Giroud suspended,
Arsenal could be relying on Theo
Walcott to score in the London
As the club s leading scorer with
19 goals this season, Walcott is estab-
lishing his credentials as a center
forward to manager Arsene Wenger.
"I played a few games there and
I would like a few more towards the
end of the season," Walcott said. "I
scored a lot of my goals this season
when playing up front, so I have
the manager to do what he sees is
best. I am sure another chance will
"I set a 20-goal target for the sea-
son, but the biggest goal for me is
to help Arsenal finish third or fourth."
Tottenham, though, is hot on
Arsenal s heels---sitting only two
points behind its London rival in
fifth with a game in hand heading
into Saturday s match against
Securing a top-four finish for
Champions League qualification
could be the key to retaining Gareth
Bale. The Wales attacker added the
English Football Writers Associa-
tion s player of the year title on
Thursday to the same honor he won
from his fellow professionals on Sun-
But manager Andre Villas-Boas
is hopeful of keeping him, regardless
if Tottenham has to settle for a
Europa League spot.
"The player is here to remain,
independent of the objectives of
Champions League qualification
being achieved or not," Villas-Boas
said. "I would be extremely surprised
(if he left). (But) in football, anything
At the bottom of the standings,
just one relegation place is still to
be determined and it is currently
occupied by Wigan, which is at West
Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Newcastle, Aston Villa and Sun-
derland sit five points ahead of
Wigan and they are only separated
by goal difference.
Tomorrow, Newcastle is at West
Ham and Villa travels to Norwich.
Sunderland doesn t play until hosting
Stoke on Monday. Also tomorrow,
Fulham takes on already-relegated
Reading and second-place Man-
chester City is at Swansea, while the
other Sunday fixture pits Liverpool
at home against Everton in the
Merseyside derby. (AP)
CAIRO---The Confederation of African
Football fined the Liberian Football Asso-
ciation $10,000 and banned its president
for six months yesterday because he used
the minutes from a CAF executive com-
mittee meeting without permission.
CAF said the punishment against Has-
san Bility was decided at a meeting of
its disciplinary board on April 25 after
he accessed "confidential documents"
without the body s "prior approval."
Liberia clashed with CAF s hierarchy
recently after the West African country
appealed to the Court of Arbitration for
Sport over election rule changes that
appeared to be engineered to favor
incumbent CAF president Issa Hayatou
by limiting who could challenge him.
Liberia failed in its appeal against CAF s
new ruling that only executive committee
members could stand against longtime
leader Hayatou, and the Cameroonian
was elected unopposed in Morocco in
CAF didn t give any more details on
Bility s use of the documents or say if
it was related to Liberia s legal challenge
against Hayatou s re-election. Bility is
banned from any involvement in football
for six months.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Liberia FA president banned for using meet minutes
Juventus needs only one point
against struggling Palermo on Sun-
day to clinch a 29th Serie A title,
and put its darkest period even fur-
ther behind it.
The Italian team last won back-
to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 but
was then stripped of both and rel-
egated to Serie B in a wide-ranging
match-fixing scandal that rocked
"Now we just need one point and
winning the Scudetto with three
games remaining would be extraor-
dinary," Juventus coach Antonio
Conte said. "However, I ll continue
to hammer away at the players until
we ve won the title, and they re fully
aware of that."
It won t be easy against a Palermo
side desperate for the points to avoid
Five matches without a loss have
seen Palermo move out of the bottom
three. It is level on points with 18th-
place Genoa, but has a better head-
Also, second-place Napoli hosts
Inter Milan sitting 11 points behind
Juventus with four matches remain-
In the battle for third spot and the
final Champions League place, AC
Milan welcomes Torino and Fiorenti-
na entertains Roma.
"We re going to Turin to win,
knowing that we have about a two-
per cent chance," Palermo president
Maurizio Zamparini said. "But the
only useful result is a win, it s a des-
perate match. There will be 11 against
11 on the pitch. We re going there to
fight, but everyone says that.
"The fight for survival is wonderful
if it s done rightly. What Palermo has
managed to do in its past few games
is down to the passion and ardor it
didn t have before."
Genoa faces a relegation dogfight
when it hosts bottom club Pescara,
which knows that anything but a win
would officially condemn it to Serie
B. Pescara is 10 points behind Genoa
Siena is just two points behind and
it visits Catania.
Torino also needs a result at San
Siro to avoid being dragged into a
relegation scrap. It is just four points
off the drop.
However, Milan is only a point
above Fiorentina in the battle for
"The win at the weekend gave us
three valuable points," Milan defender
Mattia De Sciglio said. "We moved
back into third place and demon-
strated we are not going to give up
a top three finish easily.
"With four games left we know
what we have to do, keep a distance
on fourth place and give our best to
keep picking up three points. There s
no point thinking about what
Fiorentina will do, we need to focus
Fiorentina hosts Roma on the Sat-
urday, with the capital club fighting
for a Europa League spot.
It is in fifth place, a point above
Udinese, which is looking for its fifth
consecutive win when it welcomes
Inter Milan is a point further back,
but things are looking bleak for
Andrea Stramaccioni s side, as its
injury crisis deepened when captain
Javier Zanetti tore his Achilles tendon
in Sunday s 1-0 defeat at Palermo.
Lazio also still has hopes of qual-
ifying for Europe and it hosts Bologna.
Elsewhere, it s: Chievo Verona vs
Cagliari and Parma vs Atalanta. (AP)
Juventus looks to clinch title against Palermo
Benitez faces Ferguson for last time
as he stand
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