Sissoko stuns Chelsea; Fellaini rescues Everton

Updated 03 February 2013
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Sissoko stuns Chelsea; Fellaini rescues Everton

LONDON: New signing Moussa Sissoko claimed a second half brace to give Newcastle United a 3-2 win at home to Chelsea yesterday that prevented the visitors from making ground on the Premier League’s top two.
Chelsea striker Demba Ba endured a torrid return to St. James’ Park, getting jeered by the fans of his former club and taking a kick to the face from one-time team-mate Fabricio Coloccini before being replaced by Fernando Torres. By then, Newcastle had taken a 41st-minute lead through a Jonas Gutierrez header, but Frank Lampard equalized 10 minutes into the second half with a thumping strike from 25 yards.
A curling effort from Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead for the first time six minutes later, but Newcastle came back again and drew level when Sissoko finished after Petr Cech saved from Yoan Gouffran.
To Chelsea’s cost, there was more to come from the former Toulouse man, who crashed home a low shot from Santon’s pass in the last minute to give Newcastle consecutive victories for the first time this season.
Defeat left Chelsea six points behind second-place Manchester City and 13 points shy of leaders Manchester United, who could go 10 points clear with victory at Fulham later on Saturday.
Arsenal left it late to beat Stoke City 1-0 and move to within a point of the Champions League places.
Lukas Podolski claimed the game’s only goal in the 78th minute with a low free-kick that deflected off Geoff Cameron to wrong-foot goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
At Goodison Park, Marouane Fellaini netted an injury-time equalizer to earn Everton a 3-3 draw at home to Aston Villa, who once again failed to defend a lead and remain firmly ensconced in the bottom three.
Christian Benteke put the visitors ahead in the second minute after surging past Jonny Heitinga, with Victor Anichebe equalising in the 21st minute.
Gabriel Agbonlahor’s header restored Villa’s lead three minutes later and Benteke dispatched a Matthew Lowton cross in the 61st minute to make it 3-1, only for Fellaini’s late double to give Everton a share of the spoils.
Villa are now two points below fourth-bottom Reading, who won 2-1 at home to Sunderland to keep themselves above the bottom three.
Jimmy Kebe scored both goals for the hosts, netting an 85th-minute winner after Craig Gardner had canceled out his early opener with a 29th-minute penalty.
Southampton were denied a precious victory after conceding a last-minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Wigan Athletic.
Gary Caldwell’s 25th-minute header put Wigan in front, with second-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin giving the visitors a lead they relinquished when Shaun Maloney snatched a goal at the death.
Elsewhere, on-loan Liverpool striker Andy Carroll scored only his second goal of the season to give West Ham United a 1-0 win at home to Swansea City.
Adel Taarabt had a second-half penalty saved as Queens Park Rangers were held to a 0-0 draw by Norwich City that left them four points adrift at the foot of the table.
Victory would have taken Harry Redknapp’s side to within a point of safety, but Taarabt saw his 56th-minute spot kick parried by Mark Bunn to leave QPR six points from safety.
“That’s how it goes. Adel was outstanding again,” said QPR manager Redknapp.
“It’s just one of those things. If we score, then we win the game, there’s no doubt.”


River edge out Boca after extra time to win Copa Libertadores

River prevailed 5-3 on aggregate after the first leg finished 2-2. (AFP
Updated 10 December 2018
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River edge out Boca after extra time to win Copa Libertadores

  • River Plate came from behind to beat bitter Argentine rivals Boca Juniors 3-1 in extra time
  • The fixture postponed on three occasions and then relocated from Buenos Aires to Madrid

MADRID: River Plate won the Copa Libertadores by beating their fiercest rivals Boca Juniors 3-1 after extra time on Sunday, bringing an end to a final tainted by violence and moved more than six thousand miles away from Argentina.
Boca took the lead through Dario Benedetto but Lucas Pratto equalized before Juan Quintero and Gonzalo Martinez scored in extra time, aided by Wilmar Barrios being sent off, to win a fittingly dramatic contest for River.
It means River prevailed 5-3 on aggregate after the first leg finished 2-2 and the club reclaim the trophy they had last won in 2015, lifting it for the fourth time in their history.
“The only thing I feel is sadness for not winning the cup and giving it to the people of Boca,” Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said.
“It is difficult to say to people that we haven’t won, especially those that made so much effort to come from Argentina.”
Postponed on three occasions and then relocated from Buenos Aires to Madrid, the supporters of these two great clubs showed in the Santiago Bernabeu why this fixture had been billed as one of football’s greatest ever.
Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin were among the 62,200 in attendance.
But, despite the bouncing huddles in the streets, the plumes of blue and red smoke, the swinging scarves, fluttering flags and fans that were chanting in their seats three hours before kick-off, there was nothing to extinguish the lingering sense of regret.
There was no repeat of the scenes that cast a shadow over Argentinian football and saw the original game at River’s El Monumental on November 24 postponed, when around 50 fans attacked Boca’s team bus and left some of their players injured.
Madrid, which will also host the Champions League final in June, was chosen in part because of its record of hosting major events and the security, which included around 2,500 police officers, did its job before kick-off.
Fans were separated into zones either side of the stadium and had to go through checks even to enter the area immediately surrounding it.
The shame was only that the operation was not as thorough 15 days ago and that a minority decided to take advantage.
Both clubs were allocated 25,000 tickets, with 5,000 of those reserved for residents of Argentina. The fear had been most of those buying would be tourists and neutrals, but the atmosphere suggested different.
Both teams had initially refused to play in Spain’s capital but as the losers, Boca’s sense of grievance will now become more entrenched.
They felt River were responsible for the chaos two weeks ago and should have forfeited the trophy. They took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the appeal was rejected on Saturday.
When the players shuffled out two hours before kick-off to inspect the pitch, they held up their phones to capture the thousands already inside and the view of a stadium most of them had never played in before.
The cheers grew louder when they came out for kick-off. Then there were whistles as the teams swapped ends and each were greeted by their opponent’s fans behind the goal.
Jonatan Maidana was playing for Boca when they last won the Copa Libertadores 11 years ago and, now in the red and white of River, he almost gave his former club an early lead, slicing just over his own crossbar.
The game lacked quality but came alive one minute before half-time. Nahitan Nandez’s superb pass split two River defenders and Benedetto kept a cool head, guiding into the corner, before taunting the beaten Gonzalo Montiel.
River had been inferior but improved. Their first real attacking move was also a brilliant one as Leonardo Ponzio and Quintero exchanged passes before the latter pulled back for Pratto to sweep home.
The game meandered toward full-time and seemed destined for penalties until Barrios was shown a second yellow card for a tackle on Exequiel Palacios and soon after, Quintero struck.
It was a goal worthy of winning the tournament, as he collected 25 yards out, glanced up and whipped the ball in off the underside of the crossbar.
Leonard Jara almost snatched a late Boca goal but his shot nicked the outside of the post. Then, with Boca’s goalkeeper Esteban Andrada up for a corner, River added the final touch.
Martinez ran the ball into the empty net and River’s substitutes and staff were already pouring onto the pitch to begin the celebrations.