Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2014 Contents A47
March 16, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Chelsea threw the Premier League title
race wide open by losing 1-0 at Aston Villa
yesterday, ensuring Manchester City
trimmed the gap to the leaders to six points
with a battling 2-0 win at Hull.
Chelsea saw Willian and Ramires sent
off, and manager Jose Mourinho sent to the
stands, in a wild end to a match settled by
Fabian Delph s impudent 82nd-minute goal
at Villa Park.
City leapfrogged Arsenal and Liverpool
into second place by overcoming the tenth-
minute sending-off of captain Vincent Kom-
pany to win at Hull thanks to goals by David
Silva and Edin Dzeko.
City has three games in hand over
Chelsea, while Liverpool and Arsenal are
seven points back having played two fewer
The battle to avoid relegation also heated
up, with the bottom seven teams separated
by just five points after last-place Fulham
beat Newcastle 1-0 for the team s first victory
under new manager Felix Magath.
Cardiff conceded a goal three minutes
into injury time to lose 2-1 at Everton and
is now just a point above Fulham along with
Sunderland, which drew 0-0 with Crystal
West Bromwich Albion won 2-1 at
Swansea to move three points clear of dan-
ger, Norwich remained in trouble by losing
4-2 at Southampton and Stoke beat West
Ham 3-1 in a match between two mid-table
Chelsea looked to be marching to the title
in Mourinho s first season back at Stamford
Bridge, but a first defeat in 15 league matches
offers plenty of encouragement to its title
rivals. Arsenal and Liverpool will look to
take full advantage on Sunday when they
play Tottenham and Manchester United,
Willian had already been sent off for two
bookings, the second coming in the 68th
for a slight tug of an opponent s jersey, when
Delph ran onto Marc Albrighton s cut-back
and flicked a left-footed finish from behind
his right foot and into the corner.
Ramires was then dismissed for a lunging
tackle on Karim El Ahmadi that was
described by Villa manager Paul Lambert
as a "leg-breaker." In the ensuing melee,
Mourinho was ordered from the dugout by
referee Chris Foy.
Doubts were suddenly swirling around
Man City s title bid after a slump in form
that saw the team lose to second-tier Wigan
in the FA Cup quarterfinals, eliminated from
the Champions League by Barcelona, and
slip nine points off the pace in the Premier
Hull City 0, Manchester City 2
Everton 2, Cardiff 1
Fulham 1, Newcastle 0
Southampton 4, Norwich 2
Stoke 3, West Ham 1
Sunderland 0, Crystal Palace 0
Swansea 1, West Brom 2
Aston Villa 1, Chelsea 0
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Chelsea loss throws
open title race
Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi, left, is
tackled by Chelsea's Willian during
the English Premier League football
match between Aston Villa and
Chelsea at Villa Park, Birmingham,
England, yesterday. Chelsea lost 1-0.
BARCELONA---Cristiano Ronaldo scored his
Spanish league-leading 25th goal to give Real
Madrid a lacklustre 1-0 win at Malaga yesterday,
when the pacesetters extended their unbeaten
run to 30 consecutive matches in all competi-
Ronaldo netted the winner in the 23rd minute,
and a tired Madrid was fortunate Malaga failed to
muster a comeback after pushing the visitors into
their area for the final ten minutes.
Madrid s victory increased its lead over Atletico
Madrid to six points before its closest chaser hosted
Third-place Barcelona will enter today s match
against Osasuna seven points behind Madrid with
the two powerhouses set to clash in the Spanish
capital next weekend.
The opening stage of the match at La Rosaleda
Stadium saw a vibrant back-and-forth exchange
before Ronaldo put Madrid ahead with a wonderful
The Ballon d Or winner looked to be hemmed
in by two defenders on the edge of the area, but
he took three touches to his right and lashed a
bouncing strike beyond goalkeeper Willy Caballero.
Ronaldo s goal gave him 39 goals in 36 games in
all competitions this campaign.
Madrid, so dominant in the first half, lost control
of the ball and Malaga tilted the match in its favour
led by tireless forward Nordin Amrabat. But defender
Sergio Sanchez blasted his team s most promising
opportunity to level high in the 76th.
Madrid next hosts Schalke on Tuesday with one
foot in the Champions League quarterfinals after
winning their first meeting 6-1. (AP)
VERONA---Inter Milan boosted its chances
of qualifying for Europe with a 2-0 win at
direct rival Hellas Verona in Serie A yester-
Inter also hit the woodwork twice as it
moved into fourth spot, two points above
Fiorentina which hosts relegation-threatened
Chievo Verona on Sunday.
Hellas Verona remained seventh, and was
seven points behind Inter after just one win
in its past six matches.
Inter took the lead in the 14th minute fol-
lowing Jonathan s mazy run and cross, which
Rodrigo Palacio slotted home from close range.
Jonathan sealed the result after an hour in.
He burst into the right of the area and although
his initial effort was saved, the rebound came
back to the Brazilian defender off a Verona
player and he scored.
Inter took until February to pick up its first
win of 2014 but has not lost since then, a run
of six matches.
Inter started brightly and Mauro Icardi
headed Fredy Guarin s cross off the bar in the
Verona struggled to carve out chances but
went close to leveling in the 25th when Mar-
quinho fired narrowly wide of the left post.
The home team and fans appealed strongly
for a penalty moments later, after Luca Toni
went down under a challenge by Andrea
Ranocchia, but the referee booked Massimo
Donati for dissent and waved play on.
Hernanes almost doubled Inter s lead ten
minutes into the second half but curled a free
kick onto the crossbar from a tight angle. (AP)
Inter wins to boost European hopes
PARIS---Valenciennes and Sochaux kept their
safety hopes alive by beating Evian 1-0 and Lori-
ent 2-0, respectively, in the French league yes-
Valenciennes striker Majeed Waris converted a
rebound in the 62nd minute to help his team pull
within two points of Evian, in the 17th and safe
In Sochaux, midfielder Roy Contout capitalised
on a poor clearance from the Lorient defense to
score in the seventh before defender Stoppila Sunzu
doubled the lead with a header in the 79th. Sochaux
remained in 19th, five points behind Evian.
Meanwhile, third-place Lille performed poorly
in splitting the points with lowly Nantes from a
Lille trails second-place Monaco by six points
while Nantes is five points clear of the relegation
Paris Saint-Germain tops the league with an
eight-point lead over Monaco. PSG hosts Saint-
Etienne today while Monaco visits Lyon and Bor-
deaux faces Montpellier.
Elsewhere, Toulouse earned a third straight win
by edging Rennes 3-2 to climb to eighth place.
Levante 0, Celta Vigo 1
Vallecano 3, Almeria 1 Malaga 0, Real Madrid 1
Atletico 1, Espanyol 0
Marseille 1, Reims 1
Nice 2, Bastia 0
Lille 0, Nantes 0
Ajaccio 1, Guingamp 2
Evian 0, Valenciennes 1
Nice 2, Bastia 0
Rennes 2, Toulouse 3
Sochaux 2, Lorient 0
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