Ranieri work­ing his magic again Le­ices­ter le­gend off to flier at Ful­ham in event­ful week­end of English Premier League ac­tion

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 11 Sports - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A stir­ring fight­back. A first win in nearly three months. An at­tack­ing part­ner­ship al­ready click­ing.

Wel­come back

English Premier

Clau­dio Ranieri.

The Ital­ian coach who mas­ter­minded the most im­prob­a­ble ti­tle tri­umph in English soc­cer his­tory, with lit­tle Le­ices­ter City in 2016, is back in the Premier League as the new man­ager of Ful­ham, and made an im­me­di­ate im­pact in his first game in charge.

Ful­ham beat Southamp­ton 3-2 on Sat­ur­day to climb off the bot­tom of the stand­ings with only its se­cond vic­tory of the sea­son, and its first since Aug 26.

First, this vic­tory. Next, the ti­tle?

Maybe not. Ful­ham won’t be repli­cat­ing Le­ices­ter’s un­likely feat — achieved at odds of 5,000-1 — this sea­son any­way, but his ar­rival has at least brought some op­ti­mism to a club owned by Amer­i­can bil­lion­aire Shahid Khan, who also runs the NFL’s Jack­sonville Jaguars.

Ranieri called for to­geth­er­ness at Ful­ham when he was pre­sented as man­ager last week and there were cer­tainly early signs of that, with his play­ers fight­ing back after go­ing be­hind at Craven Cot­tage in the 18th minute and then get­ting pegged back to 2-2 early in the se­cond half.

There is also the mak­ings of an ex­cit­ing com­bi­na­tion up front, which Ranieri will hope ri­vals the one he pro­duced at Le­ices­ter with Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Winger to the League, Ryan Sesseg­non set up Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic for the win­ner in the 63rd minute, the Ser­bia striker’s se­cond goal of the match.

Sesseg­non, one of the most highly rated young­sters in the English game, also set up An­dre Schur­rle for Ful­ham’s other goal in pos­si­bly his best dis­play of the sea­son.

While there was change at the bot­tom of the Premier League, it was more of the same at the top as Man­ches­ter City and Liver­pool picked up where they left off be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break with big wins to stay un­de­feated after 13 games.

There was, how­ever, a first loss of the sea­son for Chelsea.

Blues beaten

Blues boss Mau­r­izio Sarri ex­pe­ri­enced his first loss in English soc­cer as Chelsea was beaten 3-1 by Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Wem­b­ley, end­ing one of the league’s three un­de­feated records.

Spurs jumped above

its Lon­don ri­val in the stand­ings thanks to goals by Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Son He­ung­min in a ram­pant per­for­mance by Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side.

The sight of Chelsea mid­fielder Jorginho clutch­ing at thin air as Son out­paced him to score Spurs’ third goal was a fit­ting image, with Tot­ten­ham quicker to ev­ery­thing in a one-sided derby.

Chelsea, which scored a late con­so­la­tion through sub­sti­tute Olivier Giroud, dropped seven points be­hind leader City.

City cruises

Pep Guardi­ola’s City swept to a 4-0 vic­tory at West Ham, with wingers Leroy Sane and Ra­heem Ster­ling be­tween them in­volved in all the goals at Lon­don Sta­dium.

Ster­ling set up David Silva for the opener, scored him­self off Sane’s cross, then re­turned the fa­vor for Sane to net the pick of the goals, leav­ing City 3-0 ahead after 34 min­utes. Sane drove home a fourth in se­cond-half stop­page time.

The win kept City top by two points and took its goalsper-game av­er­age in the league this sea­son to above three.

Firmino fires

Roberto Firmino net­ted for the first time since Sept 15 and Mo Salah scored his sixth goal in seven games in Liver­pool’s 3-0 win at Wat­ford.

The high­light, how­ever, was sand­wiched be­tween those strikes — a bril­liant free­kick from Eng­land right­back Trent Alexan­der-Arnold.

Liver­pool, which stayed two points be­hind City, will be with­out Jor­dan Hen­der­son for next week­end’s Mersey­side derby with Ever­ton after the mid­fielder was sent off for two book­ings — the se­cond com­ing just after he’d been warned by the ref­eree.

United booed

With City and Liver­pool scor­ing freely, Man­ches­ter United’s strug­gles were put firmly into fo­cus as Jose Mour­inho’s team stut­tered to a 0-0 home draw with Crys­tal Palace.

It dropped United seven points off the top four and 14 points be­hind City.

Boos greeted the fi­nal whis­tle at Old Traf­ford, such was the host’s list­less per­for­mance against a rel­e­ga­tion-bat­tling Palace side with­out a league win for 10 weeks. United has failed to score in four of its nine home games in all com­pe­ti­tions this term.

AC­TION IM­AGES VIA REUTERS

Ful­ham goal­keeper Ser­gio Rico jumps for joy after see­ing Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic equal­ize for the host in Sat­ur­day’s English Premier League game against Southamp­ton at Craven Cot­tage in Lon­don. Ser­bian striker Mitro­vic later scored a se­cond goal for the Cot­tagers to help them to a 3-2 vic­tory in new man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri’s first game in charge.

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