Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 18th 2013 Contents A57
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LONDON---On the final day of
last season, Arsenal narrowly
held off fierce rival Tottenham
to claim third place in the Pre-
mier League---which proved more
important than either team knew
at the time.
A year later, with the title fight
decided and the three relegation
spots already settled, the two
North London neighbors are fight-
ing it out again for a place in the
top four and lucrative Champions
Tottenham squandered a ten-
point lead over Arsenal last year
to drop to fourth, which ended up
costing Tottenham a place in
Europe s premier tournament
because Chelsea grabbed England s
fourth spot as defending cham-
Now, with one match left to
play, Tottenham is facing the same
After beating Arsenal 2-1 at the
beginning of March, Tottenham
held a seven-point lead over its
closest rival with only nine games
Tomorrow however, it is Arsenal
which is in control.
Since its defeat to Tottenham,
an unbeaten run of seven wins in
nine matches has Arsenal in fourth
place, one point ahead of Totten-
ham and knowing a win away to
Newcastle will guarantee a top-
Tottenham s goal difference is
significantly worse than Arsenal s,
which means to finish fourth,
Spurs has to beat Sunderland and
hope Arsenal drops points.
"I know for a long time that for
us, when we were seven points
behind, we would all be happy
that it goes to the last day," Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger said. "We
are in a position where nobody
expected us to be. We have our
destiny in our hands, our fate in
our hands and that s what you
fight for in the game. It is a game
that we will now want to win, but
at least we fought back to be in
a position where we master our
If Tottenham beats Sunderland
it will finish on 72 points and could
miss out on the Champions
League despite recording its high-
est total in the Premier League
"In the past it would have been
enough to make it," Tottenham
head coach Andre Villas-Boas said.
"It would have been enough apart
from the 2007-08 season when
the fourth-placed team finished
with 76 points."
Sunderland and Newcastle both
avoided relegation last weekend
but Tottenham is relying on New-
castle to keep focus and continue
a strong record, which has seen
it lose only once at home to Arse-
nal in the last ten league match-
es.Missing out on the Champions
League for a third consecutive sea-
son would be a major blow for
Tottenham, which is desperate to
use the competition and its huge
financial benefits to keep its best
players and attract new signings
in the summer.
Gareth Bale has been Totten-
ham s stand-out player this sea-
son, scoring 25 goals for the team,
and while Tottenham hopes the
Wales winger will stay even with-
out Champions League football,
qualification may prove decisive.
"Whatever is happening, the
idea is for the player to be here
next season," Villas-Boas said. "I
have said this numerous times.
We are pretty confident we will
be able to keep him."
Europa League champion
Chelsea all but guaranteed its place
in the top four by beating Aston
Villa, but is still playing to secure
third place, which means a direct
berth in the Champions League
group stage without qualifying.
Chelsea is two points ahead of
Arsenal, but should Arsenal win
and Chelsea lose at home to Ever-
ton, Arsenal would finish third. If
Chelsea draws, Arsenal must win
by at least a two-goal margin.
The statistics are so close how-
ever, that an unprecedented playoff
match may be needed to separate
the teams if Chelsea draw and
Arsenal win by a single goal while
also scoring two more than
"I would fancy a playoff," said
Wenger. "A playoff exists only if
we win the game at Newcastle,
so let s win the game and see what
Manchester United manager
Alex Ferguson will lead his team
out for the last time after
announcing his retirement from
The Premier League champions
are away to West Bromwich
Albion, which will be Ferguson s
1,500th game in charge of the
Manchester City, which lost to
Wigan in the FA Cup final last
weekend, will be hoping to end a
disappointing season on a high
note when it hosts Norwich.
Liverpool will finish sixth
regardless of its result against bot-
tom-place QPR while Wigan, rel-
egated after losing to Arsenal on
Tuesday, plays Aston Villa.
Southampton is at home to
Stoke, Swansea plays Fulham and
West Ham hosts Reading. (AP)
in top-4 fight again
NEW DELHI---A fourth player has
been suspended by the Board of
Control for Cricket in India after
authorities said yesterday he was
among the bookmakers arrested by
police along with three other cricketers
for alleged spot-fixing in a domestic
Twenty20 league tournament.
"Mr Amit Singh, a registered player
with the Gujarat Cricket Association,
who has also been arrested by the Delhi
Police, has been suspended by the BCCI,
pending inquiry," the cricket board said
in a statement. Test player
Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet
Chavan and Ajit Chandila were also
barred after their arrest on Thursday.
Amit, who has previously played for the
same Rajasthan team the other three
represent, is among 14 people being
kept in police custody for five days. The
spot-fixing case is being investigated by
Delhi police, who claim they have phone
records to prove the players conceded
more than a set number of runs per
over for money given by bookmakers.
The accused face charges of cheating
and criminal conspiracy. (AP)
Another cricketer suspended in spot-fixing case
PARIS---Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser
Al-Khelaifi wants David Beckham to carry on
working with the club after his retirement and
is hopeful of reaching an agreement with the for-
mer England captain within the next two weeks.
The 38-year-old midfielder announced Thursday
that he will retire from football after PSG s last
game of the season. The big-spending club remains
hopeful he will have a part to play in PSG s future,
possibly in an ambassadorial role.
"I met him yesterday, actually, and he s very
interested to continue being involved with the big
project of Paris Saint-Germain," Al-Khelaifi said
at a news conference yesterday. "He believes in the
project, he believes in the club, he loves the club.
"He enjoyed the last six months, so we are in
discussions now. Just yesterday he announced he
was going to retire so we have time to discuss (it),"
Al-Khelaifi added. "In the next two weeks we are
hopefully going to announce if we re going to reach
an agreement together. I hope we will, because
honestly I want him. "
Coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday that Beck-
ham will start PSG s final home game against Brest
today. PSG s last game is away to Lorient on May
26, although it is uncertain whether Beckham will
play in that one.
"He s taken this decision. We have to respect
his decision," Ancelotti said, speaking about Beck-
ham s decision to retire. "He thought it was the
right decision to stop. Not just PSG but the football
world lost a fantastic player a professional player,
a good man."
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United
star joined PSG in a surprise move on the last day
of the transfer window and has played 13 games
so far---most of them as a substitute---and clinched
a league title with a fourth different club, having
also won two championships with the Los Angeles
"Football will lose a player who had a very good
image. So in that sense we can t be happy," Ancelotti
said. "I will remember him as a fantastic passer.
He was one of the best in the world at passing.
His career was fantastic he played for the best clubs
in the world, Real Madrid, Manchester United,
Milan, Paris Saint-Germain. He went to America
and won the championship. He was a fantastic
midfielder who could play in any position."
Against Brest at Parc des Princestoday, Beckham
will have a chance to say farewell to PSG s fans,
who only knew him for a short time, before pulling
on a jersey for the final time in Lorient.
Ancelotti s future with the club is uncertain and
he has yet to confirm whether he will be staying
next season---and he has no idea if Beckham will
continue working with the club.
"It s not my business to find a role for David,"
he said. "He s going to speak to the club (to see)
if he decides to have a new position." (AP)
PSG pres wants
to keep working
Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates after scoring a goal against Wigan Athletic during their English
Premier League football match at Arsenal's Emirates stadium in London, Tuesday. Arsenal won 4-1.
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