Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 9th 2013 Contents A46
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 9, 2013
LONDON---Arsenal s Premier League
momentum was halted when the Gunners
allowed a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with
Everton yesterday, while Fulham ended its
losing streak by beating Aston Villa to give
new manager Rene Meulensteen his first
Arsenal failed to take full advantage of
its main rivals' stumbles on Saturday as
substitute Gerard Deulofeu leveled with a
hard shot from a tight angle in the 84th
minute to give Everton a deserved point.
Ahead of a crucial fortnight that will see
them play against Napoli in the Champions
League, Manchester City and Chelsea, Arse-
nal leads by five points ahead of Liverpool
"Not bad to take, ideally wanted seven
but at least we've got five," Arsenal manager
Arsene Wenger said about his team's margin.
"It gives a little bit of a cushion to play in
a serene way against other teams."
After Chelsea lost 3-2 at Stoke and Man-
chester City was held 1-1 at Southampton
on Saturday, Arsenal will certainly rue striker
Olivier Giroud's shot that hit the crossbar
in stoppage time.
Seeking their first title since 2004, the
Gunners got off to a strong start this season
but some critics continue to cast doubts
over their title credentials, despite their
impressive combination of speed and flair.
"As long as we are five points ahead you
cannot rule ourselves out even with the best
desire," Wenger said. "So let's keep that
cushion. It shows you that it will be a tough
Premier League and the consistency in the
end will be rewarded. The consistency for
us is down to us to keep this attitude until
the end of the season."
Everton followed up their victory at Old
Trafford midweek with another impressive
performance, playing with determination
and a high tempo during the first half to
With Ross Barkley bossing the midfield,
Everton was a constant threat on the flanks
during the first half but lacked the finishing
Failing to produce its usual sharp passing
game, Arsenal started playing better in the
closing stages of the first half and should
have scored with two minutes remaining
when referee Howard Webb decided to play
the advantage following Gareth Barry's rough
tackle on Ozil.
But Howard was quick off his line to deny
Giroud's effort from close range. The United
States goalkeeper was again decisive in the
45th minute to block Aaron Ramsey's
attempt from Giroud's assist.
Arsenal played with the same intensity
after the interval and went ahead after Ever-
ton wasted two good chances, as Theo Wal-
cott headed a ball across the goal and Giroud
failed to hit it before Ozil fired it into the
roof of the net.
Everton fought back to equalize after
Romelu Lukaku failed to connect with an
overhead kick and Deulofeu slotted home
from 10 meters, before Giroud almost
grabbed the three points with his powerful
strike that hit the woodwork.
"The performance, I couldn't be happier,"
said Everton manager after the club remained
fifth in the standings, seven points behind
Arsenal. "The only bit of criticism is you
need to take your chances, in the final third
we were not ruthless enough. But I am really,
really pleased. The character is really strong."
Earlier, Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov
scored first-half goals to give Fulham a 2-
0 win over Villa to end a six-game losing
streak in the league.
The result marked Meulensteen's first
win as Fulham manager as his players ended
Aston Villa's five-match unbeaten run.
The visitors were kept at bay from the
start and were never a real threat on a sunny
afternoon at Craven Cottage.
After a minute's applause for former South
African President Nelson Mandela who died
Thursday, Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan
pushed Berbatov's header onto the bar but
was powerless when Sidwell flicked the ball
from a tight angle to open the scoring in
the 21st minute.
Berbatov then calmly scored from the
penalty spot for his second league goal this
season after Alexander Kacaniklic was fouled
by Leandro Bacuna in the box.
"I couldn't be more delighted and the
players should be delighted with themselves,"
Meulensteen said. "We were quality going
forward in an attacking sense. It's a massive
boost. Although we lost, we got the feel
good factor back against Tottenham Hotspur
on Wednesday and it was about backing
that up with three points today. The fans
can see we're back on track."
MADRID---While the eyes of the
football world were focused on
Brazil for the World Cup draw,
Cristiano Ronaldo caught up on
his beauty sleep.
Ronaldo didn't watch Friday's
draw, when his native Portugal was
placed alongside Germany, Ghana,
and the United States in Group G,
because he was "sleeping," he told
a news conference yesterday.
When he did awake to see his
country's positioning, he felt con-
fident about their chances.
"It's a very difficult group. Ger-
many is always a candidate to win
it, Ghana and the United States are
great teams, so it's difficult," Ronaldo
"But from my point of view, we
can get through. It depends on how
confident the team is. The team's
training camp will be very impor-
Six Real Madrid internationals
who will be at next year's tourna-
ment shared their views of the draw
yesterday, including Spain captain
Casillas said the defending cham-
pion faces a tough task with the
Netherlands, Chile, and Australia in
Spain opened the 2010 World Cup
with a loss to Switzerland, but went
undefeated the rest of the way to
win the trophy for the first time in
the country's history.
There will likely be no coming
back from a slow start on June 13
in Salvador against the Dutch this
"I can understand why a player
can see Spain as favorite after what
we have achieved over the last years,"
said Casillas, also referencing Spain's
back-to-back European Champi-
onship triumphs. "Everyone is going
to be motivated to play us so we've
got to do the best possible from the
Brazil fullback Marcelo doesn't
see Spain as a direct rival, although
the pair could meet in the second
Marcelo said Brazil is not over-
estimating its chances despite being
drawn against Croatia, Mexico, and
Cameroon in Group A. Brazil opens
against Croatia on June 12 in Sao
Croatia midfielder Luca Modric
said the pressure will be solely on
the hosts, who are overwhelming
favorites in the group.
"(People) they have the right to
say what they want but I would
never underestimate Croatia because
we always play well in major com-
petitions," Modric said.
"It's a special for us, it's the open-
ing game of the World Cup. Hope-
fully we can give them a tough time.
We want to show (people) are wrong
(to dismiss us)."
BERLIN---Defending champion Bayern Munich
was drawn yesterday to play at Bundesliga rival
Hamburger SV in the German Cup quarterfi-
Borussia Dortmund will travel to Eintracht
Frankfurt, Hoffenheim was drawn at home against
Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen will host sec-
The games will be played on February 11-12,
with the semifinals scheduled for April 15-16 and
the final in Berlin on May 17.
SAO PAULO---A key Brazilian league match
has been stopped after fans started fighting in
the stands and a helicopter had to land on the
pitch to airlift a seriously injured man. Another
fan was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
Supporters from Atletico Paranaense and Vasco
da Gama charged against each other during yes-
terday's match in the southern city of Joinville
and it took several moments for police to inter-
vene. Groups of fans punched and kicked each
other several times until police arrived and fired
rubber bullets to contain the altercation.
The match is important for both teams as
Atletico Paranaense is trying to secure a spot in
next year's Copa Libertadores and Vasco da Gama,
a four-time Brazilian champion, is trying to avoid
Fan violence has been rampant in Brazil this
year and is a concern ahead of the World Cup.
halted by Everton
Ronaldo caught up on beauty sleep during WCup draw
because of violence
Bayern to travel to
Hamburg in German Cup
LONDON---Premier League leader Arsenal will
host north London rival Tottenham in the stand-
out game of the FA Cup s third round following
yesterday s draw.
Arsenal's last title was its 10th FA Cup in 2005,
while Spurs have lifted the trophy eight times.
Record 11-time winner Manchester United,
which last triumphed in 2004, hosts Swansea.
Other all-Premier League matches are: Norwich
vs. Fulham; Newcastle vs. Cardiff; and West
Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace.
Chelsea travels to Derby and Manchester City
is at Blackburn. Derby and Blackburn both play
in the second-tier League Championship.
Liverpool hosts third-tier Oldham or fourth-
tier Mansfield, and defending champion Wigan
hosts third-tier MK Dons.
The matches will be played in the first weekend
Arsenal, Tottenham to
meet in FA Cup 3rd round
Everton's Gerard Deulofeu, left, celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier
League soccer match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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