Week­end foot­ball re­view

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

IT was a yel­low week­end for foot­ball in South Africa as Mamelodi Sun­downs hoisted the coun­try’s flag high in the Africa con­ti­nen­tal club cham­pi­onships.

Arse­nal con­tin­ued with their glide to the sum­mit of the ta­ble as Manch­ester City dropped points once again, while Le­ices­ter City’s down­ward spi­ral in the Premier League hit another new low.

The La Liga trio of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona racked up 17 goals com­bined in their re­spec­tive matches at the week­end to keep the ti­tle race closely con­tested.

Bid­vest Wits and High­lands Park re­mained in­vin­ci­ble in the Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge, while Plat­inum Stars recorded their first win of the sea­son in the tour­na­ment.

Bayern Munich’s win­less streak con­tin­ued in the Bun­desliga while new-boys RB Leipzig are up to third on the stand­ings after claim­ing another big-name scalp in Ger­many’s top flight.

MAMELODI SHINE-DOWNS Mamelodi Sun­downs of South Africa moved closer to a fairy tale Caf Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle with a 3-0 home vic­tory over Za­malek of Egypt on Satur­day in the first leg of the fi­nal.

Liberian An­thony Laf­for and Te­bogo Langer­man scored in the first half of a lively match watched by a ca­pac­ity 30 000 crowd at Lu­cas ‘Master­pieces’ Sta­dium on the out­skirts of Pre­to­ria.

The home team moved three goals ahead less than a minute into the sec­ond half when Is­lam Ga­mal con­ceded an own-goal on an un­com­fort­ably hot af­ter­noon for the play­ers.

Should Sun­downs be crowned cham­pi­ons after the re­turn match in Alexan­dria next Sun­day, they will be­come only the sec­ond South African win­ners of the com­pe­ti­tion after Or­lando Pi­rates 21 years ago.

His­tory favours Sun­downs as only one club, Mouloudia Al­ger of Al­ge­ria in 1976, have over­come a three-goal first-leg deficit in a fi­nal. The sec­ond-leg is sched­uled to take place at the Borg El Arab Sta­dium in Alexan­dria on Sun­day.

CITY SLIP, LE­ICES­TER CRASH Manch­ester City twice missed penal­ties in a 1-1 draw with Ever­ton on Satur­day as Arse­nal went level with them on points at the top of the Premier League ta­ble after see­ing off Swansea 3-2.

Arse­nal leapfrogged Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur after their north Lon­don ri­vals also dropped points in a 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Al­bion.

Chelsea ham­mered cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter City 3-0 at Stam­ford Bridge thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Eden Haz­ard and Vic­tor Moses. De­feat meant the Foxes had won just two of their eight league games this sea­son.

Stoke won in the league for the first time this sea­son as Wales in­ter­na­tional Joe Allen made it four goals in his last three games by scor­ing twice in a 2-0 win at home to base­ment club Sun­der­land.

Mean­while, West Ham climbed out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone with a 1-0 win away to Lon­don ri­vals Crys­tal Palace. Else­where, Bournemouth thrashed Hull 6-1 as Mike Phe­lan’s first game in full­time charge of the Tigers ended in a thump­ing de­feat.

LA LIGA TRIO RACK UP THE GOALS Lionel Messi took just three min­utes to score on his re­turn from in­jury as Barcelona thrashed De­portivo la Coruna 4-0 on Satur­day, but Barca re­main two points adrift of free-scor­ing Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

Yan­nick Carrasco’s hat-trick and Ni­co­las Gai­tan’s first two goals for Atletico in­spired a storm­ing fight­back by Diego Sime­one’s men to flat­ten Granada 7-1 after fall­ing be­hind early on. Real kept pace with their city ri­vals with four first-half goals of their own in a 6-1 win at Real Betis to snap a streak of four straight draws.

On Sun­day, for­mer Italy na­tional team coach Ce­sare Pran­delli en­joyed the per­fect start to life in charge of Va­len­cia as Mario Suarez’s dou­ble lifted Los Che out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone with a 2-1 win at Sport­ing Gi­jon.

Vil­lar­real’s un­beaten start con­tin­ued with a 5-0 thrash­ing of Celta Vigo, while Ath­letic Bil­bao’s 3-2 win over Real So­ciedad in the Basque derby means the top six are sep­a­rated by just three points.

Else­where, Sevilla are just a point be­hind in third after end­ing a 17-month wait for an away league win in a 3-2 tri­umph at Le­ganes. CHIEFS, AR­ROWS JOINT TOP Kaizer Chiefs’ fourth suc­ces­sive win sees them con­tin­u­ing to lead the way in the Absa Pre­mier­ship, while Or­lando Pi­rates have dropped four points be­hind their arch ri­vals after play­ing to a third suc­ces­sive draw.

The Amakhosi were much too strong for Ajax Cape Town at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium on Satur­day evening, with sec­ond-half goals from Lorenzo Gordinho and Ge­orge Lebese tak­ing them back to the sum­mit of the log.

Ear­lier in the day, Golden Ar­rows had leapfrogged into pole po­si­tion thanks to a nar­row 1-0 home win over Chippa United, while Fis­ton Ab­dul Razak scored the only goal as Bloemfontein Celtic beat Plat­inum Stars away for their first win of the sea­son, and Free State Stars were held 1-1 at home by Mar­itzburg United, who needed a late equaliser from Kurt Len­tjies.

In Tsh­wane, Su­perS­port United claimed their first home win of the sea­son as a brace from Jeremy Brockie wrapped up a 4-1 vic­tory over High­lands Park. The PSL new­com­ers have now lost three of their last four matches and are find­ing life in the top flight tougher than they an­tic­i­pated.

BAYERN, BVB SLIDE CON­TIN­UES

Mamelodi Sun­downs of South Africa moved closer to a fairy tale Caf Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle with a 3-0 home vic­tory over Za­malek of Egypt on Satur­day

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