Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 21st 2014 Contents A40
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, February 21, 2014
LONDON --- Having been brought
down to earth by Bayern Munich in
the Champions League, Arsenal does-
n t have time to lick its wounds as
Arsene Wenger s team prepares for a
tricky English Premier League match
against relegation-threatened Sun-
Manchester City also saw the limits
of its European ambitions with a 2-0
home loss to Barcelona and is expected
to bounce back at home against Stoke.
Third-place City is unbeaten in its last
nine games against Stoke in all com-
Leading Arsenal by one point at the
top of the standings, Chelsea hosts
Everton. Here are five things to know
about the upcoming games:
WHAT S WRONG WITH OZIL?
Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil had
an immediate impact when he became
Arsenal s most expensive player last
summer. Arguably the best passer in
European football, Ozil got off to a
strong start in London, delighting the
Emirates crowd with displays of sheer
class. But his form over the past three
months has been disappointing and
he reached his nadir on Wednesday,
missing a spot kick with a feeble shot
as Arsenal was crushed 2-0 at home
by Bayern. After his missed penalty,
Ozil was constantly overrun. "He was
affected by (the penalty)," Arsenal coach
Arsene Wenger said. "He wanted to
do so well that it affected him. You
could see even five or ten minutes later
on the pitch he still was shaking his
head. It had a huge impact on his per-
formance." Ozil is a world-class player.
But at the moment, he looks out of
his depth, bereft of an ounce of self-
VIDIC SET FOR INTER MOVE:
Since joining the club at the start of
2006, Nemanja Vidic has been a key
element of Manchester United s tri-
umphs, winning the Premier League
five times as well as the Champions
League. With United s defence too
often exposed this season, manager
David Moyes has plans to rebuild his
back four and Vidic will leave at the
end of the season when his contract
expires. His next stop is likely to be
Italy. Inter Milan president Erick Thohir
confirmed yesterday the Serie A club
is very close to completing a deal for
the 32-year-old Serb. "Vidic? I can t
say anything even if the deal is 90 per
cent done," Thohir said.
TALKING TOO MUCH?
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho,
always keen on playing mind games,
has managed to anger both Arsenal
and Barcelona in the space of a week.
After labelling his old foe Wenger a
"specialist in failure," Mourinho also
said Barcelona was the "worst in
many, many years," then Barcelona
beat Manchester City 2-0.
Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas asked
the Portuguese coach to mind his own
business: "He should talk about Chelsea
and their tie. I don t think he should
talk about anything else. It is not his
business. Some people want us to fail
all the time, some people have been
talking a bit too much, for a few days
they will have to shut up." Chelsea
faces Everton, which needs a result at
Stamford Bridge after being cut adrift
eight points behind Liverpool in the
race for the fourth Champions League
MAGATH UP FOR RELEGA-
TION FIGHT: New Fulham manager
Felix Magath is convinced his team will
avoid relegation. Ahead of tomorrow s
game at West Brom, the Cottagers are
bottom of the league, four points adrift
of safety. But the former Bayern Munich
coach believes hard work will ultimately
pay off. "In the next months we will
have a lot of work to avoid relegation
but in the first days here the work
we ve achieved has been very good,"
Magath said. "I m sure we will avoid
relegation with this team as the players
are willing to avoid relegation." Fulham
appointed Magath on an 18-month
contract on Friday after firing Rene
Meulensteen. A strong disciplinarian,
Magath has won three Bundesliga titles
as a coach.
UNDER PRESSURE: With 12
games remaining, Mourinho has
played down the Blues chances of
winning the title. Defender David
Luiz is feeling the pressure mounting
on the leaders, though. And he loves
it. "We are not afraid, we are top of
the league now, we are happy with
this," the Brazil international said. "I
love pressure, you don t need to take
pressure off me because I love pres-
sure and that s why I play for a big
club --- that s why I am here."
PARIS--- Forward Pablo Osvaldo
and midfielder Paul Pogba each
scored as Juventus beat Trabzon-
spor 2-0 in the first leg of their
round-of-32 Europa League tie yes-
Osvaldo, starting his first game
following a loan move from
Southampton, scored early on and
the highly rated Pogba put Juventus
in control for the return leg with an
English Premier League side Tot-
tenham goes back to White Hart
Lane with a defeat after winger
Yevhen Konoplyanka --- a transfer
target by Liverpool last month ---
scored with a late penalty to give
Dnipro a 1-0 win.
A minute of silence was held
before that match for the victims
this week of violent anti-government
protests in Kiev, where more than
100 people have died.
Both teams in Dnipropetrovsk
wore black armbands, as they did
elsewhere in Ukraine, where
Chornomorets Odessa drew 0-0
with Lyon, which fielded mainly
inexperienced homegrown players.
Meanwhile, Dynamo Kiev s home
match against Valencia was moved
to Nicosia, Cyprus, where the Span-
ish side won with late goals from
striker Eduardo Vargas and midfielder
Elsewhere, Fiorentina was in a
strong position after winning 3-1 at
Danish side Esbjerg.
Striker Alessandro Matri, on loan
from AC Milan, gave the Italian team
an early lead. Forward Martin Pusic
replied soon after for Esbjerg, but
midfielders Josip Ilicic and Alberto
Aquilani added further goals for
Fiorentina before halftime.
Portuguese side Benfica, last year s
runner-up to Chelsea, secured a 1-
0 win at Greek side PAOK thanks
to a goal from Brazilian forward Lima.
MADRID--- The Copa del Rey final between Barcelona
and Real Madrid will be played at Valencia s Mestalla
Stadium, three days earlier than originally scheduled.
The domestic cup final was originally scheduled for
April 19 but has been moved to the 16th since there is
a chance both clubs could have Champions League
semifinals the following week.
Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 after extra time the last
time the pair met in the Copa del Rey final, also at
Mestalla, three years ago. The Spanish giants have split
their six appearances against each other in the cup final.
Each team will be allotted nearly 20,000 tickets for
club members, with prices ranging from 45 euros to
240 euros. (AP)
NYON--- UEFA opened an investigation yesterday
following Manchester City manager Manuel Pelle-
grini s outburst against the referee who oversaw his
team s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona
Pellegrini said after the first leg of their round of
16 tie that referee Jonas Eriksson "decided the game"
when he sent off Martin Demichelis for a foul on Lionel
Messi, who then scored from the penalty spot. Pellegrini
also questioned the referee s partiality and compe-
UEFA said in a statement that a disciplinary inspector
has been appointed to examine the case.
"Based on the outcome of this investigation, a deci-
sion will be taken on whether disciplinary proceedings
will be opened," the governing body said.
Barcelona has history with Eriksson, who was crit-
icised by then-coach Pep Guardiola for not awarding
his team penalties in 2012 in a 0-0 draw at Milan in
Pellegrini, who faces a fine or touchline ban, said
he felt Eriksson was trying to make amends for "an
important mistake against Barcelona in a previous
Pellegrini also confronted Eriksson after the game,
which saw Dani Alves add a late second goal.
"He did not have any control of the game," Pellegrini
said. "It was not a good idea to put a referee from
Sweden in (charge) of such an important match. ...
Maybe that kind of game needs a referee with more
MADRID--- A Spanish court charged Spanish league
champion Barcelona with tax fraud of 9.1 million euros
over the transfer of Brazil forward Neymar.
In a decision released yesterday, Judge Pablo Ruz stated
there was enough evidence to merit charges over Neymar s
57 million-euro move from Santos last summer.
"The economic quantities paid by FC Barcelona to
Santos for the sporting rights of the player and paid to
other entities associated to the player means the player
could have profited from the deal (...) and should be taxed
on that income," the statement from the Madrid court
"Contracts between the signatories of the agreement
may have been simulated, which would contradict the
actual cause and purpose to the commitments and obli-
gations set forth in these documents regarding the eco-
nomic and formal aspects of the signed contracts."
The decision comes a day after public prosecutor Jose
Perals charged Barcelona with fabricating contracts and
using "financial engineering" to defraud the Spanish
Ruz is also investigating former Barcelona president
Sandro Rosell over the deal, which came to court after
club member Jordi Cases, a pharmacist from the town
of Olesa near Barcelona, filed a lawsuit.
Rosell quit soon after it emerged 40 million euros of
the transfer was paid to a firm operated by Neymar s
father, who has been called on to present documenta-
Barcelona has denied the charges, while Neymar took
to social media before the judge s decision to vent about
the situation his family finds itself in.
"I m tired of this crap. I m a fan of my father and I ll
always be grateful for having taken me to where I am
today," Neymar wrote on his official Instagram page, "and
if he made millions over that, what s the problem?
"It worked, the money was not expected to just fall
from the sky."
Neymar s father, who also goes by Neymar, has denied
any wrongdoing and said all of his companies --- four are
listed in the court documents --- are legally set up to pay
taxes in Brazil.
Rosell resigned in January after the court decided to
hear the lawsuit brought by Cases alleging misappropriation
of funds and using false contracts to hide the true cost
of Neymar s transfer to the club.
Neymar has 11 goals in 26 appearances since his move
to Barcelona, which is top of the Spanish league, in the
last 16 of the Champions League, and through to the
Copa del Rey final. (AP)
with tax fraud over
Barca-Madrid cup final
at Mestalla on April 16
Arsenal looks to bounce back vs Sunderland
Osvaldo & Pogba score as
Juve beats Trabzonspor
Juventus forward Pablo Osvaldo scores a goal during the Europa League,
Round 16th, football match between Juventus and Trabzonspor at the
Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, yesterday. Juventus won 2-0. AP PHOTO
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