Chelsea take an­other step to ti­tle; Ar­se­nal, Manch­ester United win

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY ROB HAR­RIS

With a sev­en­point lead and a game in hand, Chelsea’s ti­tle tri­umph seems as­sured. What made the English Pre­mier League ac­tion so thrilling on Satur­day were the won­der goals.

The most au­da­cious came at Stam­ford Bridge from the vis­i­tors. Stoke mid­fielder Char­lie Adam beat goal­keeper Thibaut Cour­tois from in­side his own half but it couldn’t pre­vent Chelsea win­ning 2-1 to strengthen its grip on top spot with eight matches to go.

“I saw the keeper off his line, had an ef­fort and it has gone in,” Adam said of the goal, which evoked mem­o­ries of David Beckham’s strike for Manch­ester United in 1996. “I al­ways have a look at the goal­keeper be­cause th­ese balls move so much.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mour­inho rated it as a po­ten­tial goal of the sea­son, say­ing: “It is the goal that ev­ery top player in the world would love to score.”

Adam’s goal can­celed out Eden Haz­ard’s penalty, and Chelsea’s win­ner was more mun­dane, with Loic Remy slot­ting into an empty net in the sec­ond half.

Ar­se­nal rose to sec­ond by over­whelm­ing Liver­pool 4-1, with a three-goal burst com­ing in eight min­utes. And Manch­ester United climbed pro­vi­sion­ally to third with a 3-1 victory that fea­tured an ex­quis­ite vol­ley on the turn from cap­tain Wayne Rooney.

Manch­ester City was dragged down to fourth place with­out play­ing, though the cham­pi­ons can re­turn to sec­ond on Mon­day by win­ning at Crys­tal Palace.

The sen­sa­tional strikes weren’t just the pre­serve of the lead­ing teams. Bobby Zamora lobbed the goal­keeper suc­cess­fully as Queens Park Rangers stunned 10-man West Bromwich Al­bion 4-1.

QPR re­mains in the drop zone, while Le­ices­ter is still bot­tom de­spite beat­ing West Ham 2-1 for its first victory in three months.

Hull is level with Villa, three points above the drop zone, af­ter los­ing 3-1 with 10 men to Swansea, with Bafe­timbi Gomis’ over­head kick the pick of his two goals.

Southamp­ton’s col­lapse from be­ing a Cham­pi­ons League con­tender con­tin­ued with Ever­ton cap­tain Phil Jagielka clinch­ing a 1-0 win.

At Emi­rates Sta­dium, three goals in eight min­utes just be­fore half­time se­cured Ar­se­nal’s victory af­ter a string of saves from goal­keeper Simon Mig­no­let res­cued Liver­pool.

Me­sut Ozil and Aaron Ram­sey com­bined with a flow­ing move to set up Hec­tor Bel­lerin to curl the ball past Mig­no­let in the 37th minute.

Two min­utes later Ozil bent a free kick around the wall into the net, and Alexis Sanchez re­sisted Kolo Toure’s slid­ing chal­lenge be­fore dis­patch­ing the ball high past Mig­no­let be­fore the break.

Although Liver­pool cap­tain Jor­dan Hen­der­son pulled one back from the penalty spot, Emre Can was sent off in the 84th minute. Ar­se­nal used its man ad­van­tage to en­sure the victory was even more em­phatic, with Olivier Giroud scor­ing in stop­page time.

“We were fo­cused and clin­i­cal,” Ar­se­nal manager Arsene Wenger said. “We had the killer in­stinct.”

The same in­stinct United seems to have again, fol­low­ing up its victory at Liver­pool be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break with suc­cess over Villa.

There was a dou­ble from An­der Her­rera — a half-vol­ley from Da­ley Blind’s pass in the first half and a late side-footed shot — but Rooney’s eye-catch­ing goal came be­tween them.

The cap­tain used his out­stretched left foot to bring down An­gel Di Maria’s cross and made a sharp turn be­fore us­ing his other boot to vol­ley the ball into the net in the 79th.

United goal­keeper David de Gea made a rare mis­take a minute later, al­low­ing Chris­tian Ben­teke’s shot to go through his legs, but it was only a con­so­la­tion for Villa.

AP

Manch­ester United’s Wayne Rooney, sec­ond left, scores dur­ing the English Pre­mier League soc­cer match be­tween Manch­ester United and As­ton Villa at Old Traf­ford Sta­dium, Manch­ester, Eng­land, Satur­day, April 4.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.