Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 28th 2013 Contents A60
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 28, 2013
Edin Dzeko was Manchester City s hero
once more as Manuel Pellegrini s men beat
Sunderland 1-0 to lift the Barclays Asia
Just as he had done in the semi-final tri-
umph over South China, Dzeko scored the
only goal to give the Blues a deserved vic-
It was not quite a trouble-free victory
for City as key defender Matija Nastastic
was stretchered off in the second half, but
they were the better side and only two goal-
line clearances from Craig Gardner kept
the score down.
It has been a productive few days for
Dzeko. Expected to be on his way out of
the Etihad Stadium this summer, the Bosn-
ian remains and until reinforcements are
brought in to compensate for the departure
of Carlos Tevez and, last season, Mario
Balotelli, so he is destined to remain.
Yaya Toure created the opportunity with
a flick-on intended for Pablo Zabaleta. Wes
Brown got there first, but the former Man-
chester United man could only turn the
ball into the path of Dzeko, who duly
rammed home a brilliant half-volley which
flew in off a post.
Alvaro Negredo should have made it two
after being played in by David Silva but the
Spaniard blasted disappointingly over.
Negredo did no better when he was
picked out by Dzeko later on, this time bal-
looning the ball over from a central posi-
City keeper Costel Pantilimon did not
have much to do and even when Emanuele
Giaccherini had a chance, his shot went
straight at the Romanian.
Sunderland had a lucky escape just before
the break when Gardner headed Silva s free-
kick against his own post, then clattered
into the upright himself as the Black Cats
With heavy rain falling on an already sat-
urated surface, an area of approximately 50
yards either side of the halfway line resem-
bled a bog.
Dzeko was certainly looking suspiciously
at it when he skied a penalty high over the
bar midway through the second half.
On this occasion, though, the surface did
not seem to be any more responsible than
Dzeko s poor finishing.
City suffered a blow 17 minutes from the
end when Nastastic was stretchered off fol-
lowing an innocuous-looking incident
Following his earlier heroics, Gardner
went one better after Samir Nasri had pre-
sented Jesus Navas with a shooting chance,
sliding back to make a brilliant goal-line
Pantimilon s save from Sebastian Lars-
son s free-kick ensured there was no late
reprieve for Sunderland.
City clips Sunderland
1-0 in Asia Trophy
Gareth Bale was again
missing as Jermain Defoe
grabbed a hat-trick in Tot-
tenham s comfortable 6-0
win over South China in
the Barclays Asia Trophy
in Hong Kong.
Bale s future has been the
subject of intense scrutinty
in recent days, with Real
Madrid obviously keen to
sign the Wales star.
But his absence this
evening had been predicted
as Andre Villas-Boas con-
firmed yesterday Bale was
still struggling to shake off
a buttock injury.
In his absence, Tottenham
cruised home on a pitch that
looked more like an aquatics
centre at times.
Manchester United have
to play here on Monday,
although at least there was
no rain as the Red Devils
coaching staff, including
David Moyes and Ryan
Giggs, saw Defoe profit from
some woeful defending, Tot-
tenham also netting through
a Tse Sean Ka Keung own
goal, a close-range effort
from Clint Dempsey and
Andros Townsend s late
What with the speculation
over Bale s future, the injury
to Jan Vertonghen and con-
cerns over the pitch so great
Andre Villas-Boas would
have been happy for the
game to be called off, Spurs
will probably be glad to get
on the plane home.
They left with a flourish
though, completely outclass-
ing a South China outfit who
had run Manchester City
close on Wednesday.
By half-time, Tottenham
had three goals and could
well have scored twice as
Defoe probably scored the
easiest goal of his entire
career 10 minutes after the
re-start when Zhang rolled
an attempted clearance
straight to him.
With a gaping goal to aim
at, Defoe was not likely to
And his hat-trick duly
arrived when the South
China defence disintegrated
once more and Andros
Townsend completed the
rout late on.
Celebrations for Tottenham
Liverpool has denied the club has been put
up for sale by its American owners.
Fenway Sports Group, headed by Liverpool s
principal owner John W Henry, was reported on
Saturday to be ready to consider offers for the
Barclays Premier League club.
The group completed its purchase of Liverpool
in October 2010, after a turbulent period under
previous owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Liverpool have been unable to play their way
into the Champions League places since the new
owners moved in, despite heavy investment in
the playing staff, with manager Brendan Rodgers
guiding his side to seventh place last season.
The Sun newspaper claims Liverpool is "unof-
ficially" on the market with a price tag of £350mil-
lion, however Liverpool and their owners state
that is not the case.
A club spokesperson said in a statement: "Fen-
way Sports Group has made its position clear,
Liverpool Football Club is not for sale. There is
no truth in this story."
A spokesperson for Fenway Sports Group said:
"Like so many rumours in the past about a sale
of Liverpool Football Club, there is absolutely no
truth in this. We have had no meetings with any-
one about a sale, we don t know who the source
of the rumour is."
The Sun reports that Fenway Sports Group
received a takeover proposal from Saudi Arabian
oil firm Saudi Aramco recently, and states that
City banking sources claim two American bil-
lionaires could also be potential buyers.
Tottenham slams South
China 6-0 in Hong Kong
Napoli has completed the signing of Argen-
tinian striker Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid
for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old, who passed a medical with
the ambitious Serie A club last week, has signed
a reported five-year contract at the Stadio San
Paolo with reports in Italy suggesting Real have
received 40million euros (£34.5million) for the
A statement published on Napoli s official website
read: "Napoli have made the signing of Gonzalo
Higuain official. The Argentinian striker arrives
from Real Madrid."
Higuain, who scored 107 league goals in six sea-
sons with Real Madrid, becomes the latest addition
to Rafael Benitez s Napoli squad, with the former
Liverpool boss now focusing on ratifying a sea-
son-long loan deal for Reds goalkeeper Jose Reina.
Reina passed a medical at Rome s Villa Stuart
sport clinic in the hours that followed Higuain s
arrival to a rapturous reception at Fiumicino airport
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has prom-
ised "a big party" to present the Argentinian ahead
of a friendly match against Galatasaray on Monday
Benitez knows Reina well, having brought the
Spain international to Anfield from Villarreal in
2005, but he is particularly excited to work with
Benitez told the Corriere dello Sport last week:
"We were looking for a quality player. We were
looking for someone playing at the highest level.
"We have signed a player who comes from Real
Madrid and we have signed a striker who has
scored a hatful of goals and who will adapt very
well to our system---an attacking system. We needed
a player like this.
"We are all working together to ensure the players
we want arrive. We have to sign players who will
do well for Napoli for the next three or four years."
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