Suarez ‘scores like no other’

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

KINGSTON UPON HULL — Jose Mour­inho be­lieves Chelsea are firmly on course to win the Pre­mier League af­ter ex­tend­ing their lead at the top to six points with a bat­tling 3-2 victory at Hull.

The Blues, chas­ing their first English league crown since 2010, re-es­tab­lished their stran­gle­hold on the ti­tle race thanks to Loic Remy’s late win­ner at the KC Sta­dium on Sun­day. And with Chelsea hold­ing a game in hand on sec­ond-placed Manch­ester City, Mour­inho says they are now firm favourites to lift the tro­phy.

“The ti­tle race should be over,” Mour­inho said. “The ti­tle race in nor­mal con­di­tions, Chelsea should have eight, 10, 12 points more than we have - ti­tle race over.

“But foot­ball is un­pre­dictable and the real-

BARCELONA — El Cla­sico match-win­ner Luis Suarez can de­cide im­por­tant games like few other play­ers in the world, says Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

The ex-liver­pool striker, 28, drilled in the win­ner as the Span­ish lead­ers beat ti­tle ri­vals Real Madrid 2-1.

“Very few play­ers can score a goal like he did, and that is why we signed him,” said Enrique af­ter the Nou Camp win.

Suarez added: “It is my most im­por­tant goal for Barca. It has ex­tra mean­ing given the op­po­nents it was against.”

The Uruguayan, who ar­rived in a £75m deal last sum­mer, struck in the sec­ond half to move Barca four points clear of their arch-ri­vals Madrid with 10 matches left.

“He can de­cide games. He’s a pure scorer, who needs very lit­tle to fin­ish,” added Enrique.

“This was a nice win tonight and some­thing for the fans to en­joy. But although it was im­por­tant, it was not de­ci­sive.

“We are where we wanted to be, but we can’t re­lax be­cause we could drop points in any game.”

Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Madrid had held a four-point ad­van­tage of their own over Barcelona on 27 ity is we have a six-point lead which is our best sit­u­a­tion for the whole sea­son.

“The max­i­mum lead we had was eight but when we had eight we had more matches to go.

“At this mo­ment, we have a six-point lead, one match in hand, that can help us have a big­ger dis­tance with eight matches to go to our op­po­nents.

“They (City) can make 24 points, if they can make 24 points for us it is a ques­tion of math­e­mat­ics to see how much we need

“I’m pretty con­fi­dent. I be­lieve in my play­ers, I be­lieve that we can do it.”

Chelsea had to work for their win at Hull, de­spite mak­ing a fly­ing start.

Goals from Eden Haz­ard and Diego Costa put Mour­inho’s team two goals ahead in Fe­bru­ary.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side equalised in Barcelona through Cris­tiano Ron­aldo in the first half, can­celling out French de­fender’s Jeremy Mathieu’s header.

But Suarez’s 14th goal in all com­pe­ti­tions hands the ini­tia­tive to the Cata­lan club, who are aim­ing to re­gain La Liga fol­low­ing Atletico Madrid’s tri­umph last sea­son.

“There is still an eter­nity to go and also we have the Cham­pi­ons League to think about. It would be a mis­take to take any­thing for granted,” said Barca mid­fielder Javier Mascher­ano.

“Against a team like Madrid you al­ways have to give your all as they push you to the lim­its both phys­i­cally and men­tally.

“We put a lot into this game es­pe­cially when you con­sider we played in mid­week against Manch­ester City.”

Mean­while, coach Carlo Ancelotti says Real Madrid were pun­ished for re­vert­ing to long balls in Sun­day’s de­feat by Barcelona. “We played well for the first hour, but the last half hour was ter­ri­ble,” said Ancelotti.

“It is a blow, but we won’t give up. We lacked a cool head to try to equalise rather than play­ing long balls.”

He con­tin­ued: “We played a lot bet­ter un­til the sec­ond goal. Af­ter that it was very dif­fi­cult.

“In the first half we played very well, we had con­trol, were danger­ous up front and solid at the back.”

Euro­pean cham­pi­ons Real, who were four points clear on 27 Fe­bru­ary, have 10 games left to over­haul Barca’s lead.

To do so, they will have to re­dis­cover their form, hav­ing dropped eight points in the last four league games.

“It’s more dif­fi­cult, but we’re not go­ing to pri­ori­tise the Cham­pi­ons League,” said Ancelotti. “The pri­or­ity is La Liga and the Cham­pi­ons League.

“Cris­tiano Ron­aldo played a very com­plete match. He worked hard and was al­ways danger­ous up front. He shot dan­ger­ously, he hit the wood­work... It was the same Cris­tiano as al­ways.”

Real de­fender Ser­gio Ramos said: “We gave our all but we lacked luck in the first half, and they con­trolled the game bet­ter af­ter that.

“The dif­fer­ence is only four points and we are go­ing to keep fight­ing in the league. We will not ease up.” — BBC

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez.

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