Southampton stun Leicester as Chelsea, Man Utd cruise

Chelsea’s English midfielder Ross Barkley controls the ball during Saturday’s match against Burnley at Stamford Bridge in London. (AFP)
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Updated 12 January 2020

Southampton stun Leicester as Chelsea, Man Utd cruise

  • Chelsea put their struggles at Stamford Bridge behind them with a 3-0 win over Burnley

LONDON: Southampton gained revenge for a 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester in October to continue their resurgence with a 2-1 win at the Foxes, while Chelsea and Manchester United secured comfortable wins in the race for the top-four on Saturday.

The Saints claimed their fifth win in six games at the King Power Stadium as they came from behind against the side second in the table.

Dennis Praet fired the hosts into an early lead, but Stuart Armstrong’s deflected effort quickly pulled Ralph Hassenhuttl’s men level.

Danny Ings then scored his 10th goal in 11 games eight minutes from time and the visitors survived a late scare when Jonny Evans’s header was ruled out by VAR for offside.

Chelsea put their struggles at Stamford Bridge behind them with a 3-0 win over Burnley, who slide ever closer to the bottom three.

Jorginho opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Willian had been felled inside the area.

Tammy Abraham gave Frank Lampard’s men breathing space before half-time as Nick Pope let his downward header through his grasp.

Callum Hudson-Odoi then scored his first Premier League goal by converting Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross at the back post.

United ended a three-game winless run in style with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial once again leading the way for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in a 4-0 rout of bottom-of-the-table Norwich.

Rashford marked his 200th appearance for the club with a brace as the England international opened the floodgates by meeting Juan Mata’s perfectly measured cross at the back post.

Both Martial and Rashford had penalties saved by Tim Krul in United’s 3-1 win at Carrow Road earlier this season, but this time the Dutchman was beaten by Rashford from the spot early in the second half.

Martial then glanced home the third with his head from Mata’s cross and Mason Greenwood came off the bench to round off United’s biggest league win since the opening day of the season to remain five points adrift of Chelsea in fifth.

Arsenal are now 11 points off the Champions League places as their revival under Mikel Arteta was halted by a red card for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Aubameyang finished off a flowing move including Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette to give the Gunners a deserved first half lead.

However, the Eagles levelled thanks to Jordan Ayew’s deflected effort before a VAR review turned a yellow card for Aubameyang into a red for a reckless challenge on Max Meyer. Arsenal could still have own all three points in the closing stages as Nicolas Pepe hit the post and Vicente Guaita made a brilliant save to deny Lacazette on the rebound.

“The first 35 minutes is exactly what I want our Arsenal team to play like,” said Arteta. “We switched off completely for the goal and that’s unacceptable.”

Wolves bid for a return to European football next season is also faltering as they were held 1-1 at home by Newcastle. Both goals came inside the first 14 minutes as Miguel Almiron fired the Magpies in front before Leander Dendoncker levelled for Wolves. Wolves have now taken just one point from their last three league games to slip to seventh and eight points behind Chelsea.

Everton bounced back from an embarrassing FA Cup exit to a much-changed and youthful Liverpool side last weekend thanks to a moment of magic from Richarlison to beat Brighton 1-0.

The Brazilian danced round Adam Webster inside the box before curling into the far corner to give Carlo Ancelotti a third win in four league games since taking charge.


Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.