Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2014 Contents A59
Saturday, January 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LILLE---Lille extended a poor
run of form in the French league
by drawing 1-1 at home with
Rennes yesterday to stay third.
Salomon Kalou opened the scor-
ing for the hosts with a close-range
header in the 34th minute before
Rennes midfielder Abdoulaye
Doucoure volleyed home the
equalizer in the 41st.
Lille earned 14 clean sheets from
its first 16 league games to look
like a potential title contender. But
it has dropped 10 points and con-
ceded seven goals in its last four
league games to trail leader Paris
Saint-Germain by nine points.
"We must try to create more
chances, we can't always rely on
our defense," Kalou said.
Lille forward Nolan Roux
charged down the right wing to
provide a low cross for Kalou, who
controlled the ball with a poor first
touch but reacted quickly enough
to head in from five yards (meters)
for his seventh goal in the league
The hosts dominated the first
half and should have reached half-
time with a bigger lead as Rennes
poorly defended set pieces.
Lille paid the price when
Doucoure converted a pinpoint
cross from Romain Alessandrini
to level against the run of play and
Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil
pulled off a string of brilliant saves
in the second half to secure a point.
"In our situation, we could have
given up quickly, but that was not
the case," Rennes coach Philippe
Montanier said. "We showed a
Rennes sits in 15th place, seven
points above the relegation zone.
Today, it's: Guingamp vs Paris
Saint-Germain; Ajaccio vs
Sochaux; Montpellier vs Nice;
Nantes vs Reims; Toulouse vs Bas-
tia; and Valenciennes vs Lorient.
Tomorrow, Monaco hosts Mar-
seille, Saint-Etienne visits Bor-
deaux and Lyon faces Evian. (AP)
BERLIN---Bayern Munich won 2-0
at Borussia Moenchengladbach yes-
terday as the Bundesliga resumed after
a five-week winter break.
Mario Goetze opened the scoring in
the seventh minute, when he was left
in space to dispatch the ball first time
inside the far post after Thomas
Mueller's cut-back from the right.
Goetze had grazed the outside of the
post just a minute before.
Mueller made it 2-0 from the penalty
spot in the 54th, after Granit Xhaka
was penalised for using his arm in a
Bayern stretched its league unbeaten
run to 42 games, and opened up a 10-
point lead over Bayer Leverkusen. (AP)
Three years after being sold by
Chelsea as a cheap makeweight in a
transfer, Serbia midfielder Nemanja
Matic made his return to the Premier
League club for a fee of 25 million
euros (US$34 million) yesterday in
what could be one of the biggest deals
of the January window.
Matic was valued at a reported £3
million (now US$4.9 million) when he
joined Portuguese club Benfica from
Chelsea in January 2011 as part of the
deal that saw Brazil defender David
Luiz move the other way in the final
minutes of deadline day.
The 25-year-old Matic matured as
a player in Portugal, gaining Champions
League experience and winning the
country's Player of the Year award last
The performances enticed Chelsea
to buy him back for a big premium.
"I am very pleased that Nemanja is
returning to Chelsea," Chelsea manager
Jose Mourinho said. "He has grown as
a player in Portugal and has become a
fantastic all-round midfielder."
Chelsea is third in the Premier
League, two points behind leader Arse-
nal, and through to the last 16 of the
Benfica revealed the fee in a state-
ment to the Lisbon stock exchange.
Chelsea said Matic has signed a 5 1/2-
A tall, composed, ball-playing mid-
field anchorman, Matic will provide
competition for John Obi Mikel,
Ramires, Frank Lampard and Michael
Essien as Chelsea looks to win silver-
ware in Mourinho's first season back
at the club after an initial three-year
spell from 2004-07.
Matic should see more game time
than he did in his first stint in London.
After joining from MSK Kosice in Slo-
vakia in 2009, Matic made just three
substitute appearances in his first season
before being sent on loan to Dutch side
Vitesse Arnhem to gain more first-team
At Benfica, he played in both legs
against Chelsea in the Champions
League quarterfinals in 2012 and again
against the London club in last season's
Europa League final, which Chelsea
won in Amsterdam.
Matic is back playing for Serbia after
spending time out of the international
scene following a fall-out with former
national-team coach Sinisa Mihajlovic
He will link up with Chelsea defender
and Serbia international teammate
Branislav Ivanovic at Stamford Bridge.
Matic's first start for Chelsea could
come against Manchester United in the
Premier League tomorrow. (AP)
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, left, takes the ball past the outstretched foot of Coventry's Frank Moussa during
their fourth round English FA Cup football match between Arsenal and Coventry City at the Emirates stadium
in London, yesterday. Arsenal won 4-0. AP Photo
Matic to Chelsea
scored a brace in the first half
yesterday to help give Arsenal a
routine 4-0 victory over third-
tier Coventry in the fourth round
of the FA Cup.
In a game that Arsenal domi-
nated from the start, Podolski put
the hosts ahead in the 15th minute
by slotting home a cool finish after
being set up by Mesut Ozil. He
then doubled the lead with a close-
range header from a corner in the
The win was never in doubt after
that and Arsenal added two late
goals as substitute Olivier Giroud
struck in the 85th after replacing
Podolski five minutes earlier, before
Santi Cazorla slotted in the fourth.
In yesterday's only other FA Cup
game, Nottingham Forest was held
to a 0-0 draw at home against
Playing in a steady drizzle in
north London, it was the kind of
comfortable victory Arsenal had
hoped for as it looks ahead to fac-
ing Bayern Munich in the Cham-
pions League knockout round,
while trying to protect its slim lead
atop the Premier League.
Despite playing at home against
third-tier opposition, manager
Arsene Wenger named a surpris-
ingly strong starting lineup with
both Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere
in midfield --- perhaps worried
about another upset after going
out to Blackburn last season.
And with Wenger contemplating
buying a striker in the January
transfer window, Podolski showed
off his scoring touch by deciding
the game in the first half.
Podolski was first sent clear by
Ozil on the left side of the area
and calmly rounded goalkeeper Joe
Murphy before slotting a left-foot-
ed shot into an empty net.
The second came from a corner
that Per Mertesacker met at the
near post and headed on across
the goal, with Podolski waiting at
the far post to nod it into the net.
"Podolski can score goals and
when you have a goal chance you
want him to have it," Wenger said.
"He is very accurate in his finish-
Coventry was more enterprising
after the break, enjoying several
spells of pressure, but Leon Clarke
wasted the team's two best chances
for a goal.
Clarke raced clear down the right
flank in the 50th but got too close
to the byline before firing a low
shot from a tight angle that Fabi-
He then hit the right post with
a first time effort from just inside
the area as Arsenal seemed content
to sit back and protect its lead.
"I know it was 4-0 but when
you consider the difference in
resources of both clubs, I know
it's a hard luck story, but my play-
ers should take so much confidence
from that performance," Coventry
manager Steven Pressley said.
Giroud took his only chance in
front of goal by slotting in a finish
inside the near post and Cazorla
continued his scoring streak from
a similar position for his third goal
in two matches. (AP)
Arsenal beats Coventry 4-0
in FA Cup 4th round
Lille draws 1-1 with Rennes
Bayern wins 2-0 at M'bach in Bundesliga
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