Bale rescues Spurs, Wigan boosts survival hopes



AGENCIES

Published — Sunday 5 May 2013

Last update 5 May 2013 2:40 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MANCHESTER, England: Gareth Bale produced yet another moment of magic to keep Tottenham on course for a return to the Champions League, while Wigan boosted its survival hopes in the English Premier League with a come-from-behind win at West Bromwich Albion.
Playing his first match since being named English football’s player of the year, Bale cut inside from the right in the 86th minute and smashed a long-range strike into the corner to earn Spurs a 1-0 win over former club Southampton.
“I saw the space open up and got a good strike away,” said Bale, who has emerged as one of the world’s top players this season. “It is a massive three points and keeps our Champions League hopes alive.”
The Wales winger’s 20th league goal kept the pressure on top-four rivals Arsenal, which plays Queens Park Rangers later, and Chelsea, which is at Manchester United on Sunday and hosts Spurs on Wednesday.
“It was a game decider, a great moment of individual brilliance to win the game,” Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said. ““He is in a great run of form.”
Wigan set up its trademark late rally to avoid relegation with a 3-2 victory at The Hawthorns, keeping the team third-from-bottom but provisionally reducing the gap to Sunderland to two points.
Callum McManaman scored in the 80th minute to complete Wigan’s comeback after Arouna Kone and James McArthur had netted equalizers.
“We have worked really hard for two months to get us in the position where, with two weeks of the season left, we are still involved in two competitions,” said Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, whose team will contest the FA Cup final against Manchester City next Saturday. “If we stay up it would be like winning the title.”
Aston Villa took a giant step to safety as Gabriel Agbonlahor’s double earned a 2-1 win at Norwich, which is only three points clear of Wigan having played a game more. Newcastle is level on points with Norwich after drawing 0-0 at West Ham.
Man City dropped points in its bid to finish second by drawing 0-0 at Swansea, missing golden late chances through Edin Dzeko and David Silva late on. The deposed champions are now seven points clear of Chelsea after playing a game extra.
Already-relegated Reading earned some respite by winning 4-2 at mid-table Fulham, with Hal Robson-Kanu scoring twice for the visitors in Nigel Adkins’ first win as Reading manager.
Bale was having a quiet game by his high standards until he burst into life with four minutes remaining, arrowing in a low shot that saw White Hart Lane erupting and adding more value to his price tag.
It was Bale’s eighth winning goal this campaign and he is almost carrying Spurs on his own as they jostle with Arsenal and Chelsea for the two Champions League spots behind the Manchester clubs. Bale also won the young player of the year as well as the football writer’s Player of the Year award — the first time a player has won all three accolades since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007.

Gignac scores twice as OM delays PSG’s title celebrations

Olympique Marseille made a giant step toward a Champions League spot on Saturday as Andre-Pierre Gignac’s double earned them a 2-1 home win against Bastia and delayed arch rivals Paris St. Germain’s Ligue 1 title celebrations.
Second-placed OM have 67 points with three games left and trail PSG, who play their game in hand against Valenciennes on Sunday, by six points.
Marseille, who had Mathieu Valbuena to thank for two assists, lead third-placed Olympique Lyon by seven points before the seven-times champions travel to Nancy on Sunday, while fourth-placed St. Etienne lag eight points behind OM. The top two Ligue 1 teams qualify directly for the Champions League group stage while the third-placed team go into the third preliminary round.
At the Stade Velodrome, OM got off to a brilliant start as Gignac collected Valbuena’s through ball and chipped the ball past Mickael Landreau in the 12th minute.
Bastia equalized one minute into the second half when Florian Thauvin beat Steve Mandanda with a fine 25-meter shot.
Landreau tipped away Morgan Amalfitano’s rising shot over the bar and denied Jordan Ayew from just inside the box as the visitors held firm.
Nine minutes from time, however, Gignac was again at the receiving end of a Valbuena long pass and fired past Landreau.

Leverkusen clinch Champions League place, drama for Bremen Bayer Leverkusen made sure of a top-three Bundesliga finish and a place in next season’s Champions League group stage with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg yesterday.
Werder Bremen’s troubles continued as they squandered a two-goal lead in the last five minutes and were held 2-2 at home by Hoffenheim in a relegation battle.
Aaron Hunt converted a penalty awarded after only 25 seconds and Kevin de Bruyne made it 2-0 in less than half an hour for 14th-placed Bremen, only for two late goals from Sven Schipplock to stun the home crowd.
Greuther Fuerth, already relegated, won 2-0 at VfB Stuttgart. Hanover 96 and Mainz 05 drew 2-2 and fifth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-1.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rec...
RIYADH: The Cooperative Health Insurance Council said it had suspended operations of six medical insurance companies for violating health insurance regulations by issuing insurance policies without completing the required documentation and violating...
JEDDAH: A local survey found that almost half of Saudis abide by rules and laws in public places outside the Kingdom more than they do inside the country.More than one-third of the respondent sample said they violate road traffic signs and directions...
DAMMAM: A 50 percent decline in the prices of some types of fish in the Dammam Central Market was noted compared to the previous month.Fish sellers attributed this decline to an increased fish supply and fall in demand from hotels and consumers durin...
RIYADH: In a two-day operation, police arrested 343 beggars including women and children during the holy month of Ramadan.A police officer said the raid was carried out in the Salehiya district and 220 of those arrested were women from Ethiopia. “Mos...
RIYADH: The Civil Defense has rescued 105 pilgrims trapped in vehicles and buildings for various reasons since the start of Ramadan. During the first 10 days of the month, it also had to deal with 255 complaints, which included 150 accidents due to f...
RIYADH: Hotels in the capital have made special arrangements by setting up Ramadan tents, where diners can visit to begin and break their fast with special suhoor and iftar meals during the ongoing fasting month.As the Ramadan tent is a popular pheno...
JEDDAH: Kaddadin, or unlicensed transporters, say there is good money to be made during Ramadan especially in transporting Umrah pilgrims from Jeddah to Makkah and back.During this month the number of visitors doubles or triples which means the price...
RIYADH: The holy month of Ramadan is lively at night following Taraweeh prayers. Nights are turned into days during the month in the industrial area where there is a large concentration of automobile workshops.The industrial areas are well illuminate...
RIYADH: The Saudi man behind the green project that ensured 3,400 trees in Khurais in the Eastern Province for a government firm has been approached by a Kuwaiti oil company for a similar project. “After learning about the project in the Eastern Prov...
RIYADH: A total of 1,300 Gambian pilgrims will come to the Kingdom to perform Haj this year, Ambassador Omar Gibril Sallah said on Thursday.“We hope that the pilgrims will observe the fifth pillar of Islam in peace and harmony and may Allah accept th...
RIYADH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) and the Disabled Children’s Association (DCA) have launched a traffic safety campaign, to reduce the number of accidents that cause disability.Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH...
JEDDAH: The holy month of Ramadan is a period when non-Muslim expatriates too abstain from eating, drinking or smoking during the daytime out of respect for Muslims who fast from dawn to dusk and also because it is healthy. The expatriates are also...
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman opened the new Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah on Thursday night.He was met at the airport by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman and Suleiman bin Abdullah Al-Ham...
JEDDAH: The Interior Ministry said on Friday that it thwarted a plot by terrorists to attack targets in the Kingdom.Officers from the ministry raided a house in Taif where the suspects were staying and arrested three men, seized Daesh flags, gun sile...

Stay Connected

Facebook