Ziyech hits first Chelsea goal in rout of Krasnodar

Ziyech joined from Ajax for a reported £37 million. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 October 2020

Ziyech hits first Chelsea goal in rout of Krasnodar

KRASNODAR, Russia: Hakim Ziyech scored on his first start for Chelsea as Frank Lampard’s side powered to a 4-0 victory away to Champions League debutants Krasnodar in Russia on Wednesday.
Jorginho missed a penalty for Chelsea but Callum Hudson-Odoi put the Blues in front before half-time after a mistake by Krasnodar goalkeeper Matvei Safonov.
Timo Werner smashed in a spot-kick on 76 minutes to double Chelsea’s lead, with Moroccan international Ziyech and Christian Pulisic adding late goals.
Chelsea move up to four points at the top of Group E after two matches. Sevilla host Rennes later on Wednesday in the other game in the pool.
Thiago Silva stayed in London to rest as Antonio Rudiger made his first appearance of the season for Chelsea, lining up alongside Kurt Zouma in central defense.
Ziyech joined from Ajax for a reported £37 million ($48 million) in the summer but missed the beginning of the season with a knee problem.
The 27-year-old had made three cameos as a substitute before earning his first start in Krasnodar — a journey of some 3,500 kilometers from London.
Krasnodar drew their opening game of the group in Rennes last week, and Daniil Utkin forced Edouard Mendy to dive full-length to tip behind his curling shot inside five minutes.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Werner was clipped by Brazilian defender Kaio, but Jorginho’s effort hit the post and bounced off Safonov before Krasnodar scrambled clear.
Hudson-Odoi made the most of his opportunity playing behind Werner, and benefitted from a goalkeeping error to break the deadlock on 37 minutes.
The England international’s low drive looked routine for Safonov, who was excellent in Krasnodar’s opening game, but the Russia Under-21 ‘keeper allowed the ball to slip through his grasp.
Yuri Gazinski struck the bar for Krasnodar as he volleyed into the ground at a corner 10 minutes into the second half.
Chelsea then earned a second penalty when Aleksandr Martynovich was harshly penalized for a handball as he sought to block an attempt from Pulisic.
With Jorginho having been substituted, Werner took over spot-kick duties and lashed the ball beyond Safonov.
Krasnodar were only able to name five outfield players on the bench, Magomed Suleymanov the oldest among them at just 20.
The visitors took advantage of their tiring opponents as some Pulisic trickery allowed Werner to lay off to Ziyech, who tucked a neat finish beyond a crowd of defenders.
Pulisic delivered a fourth in the final minute when he combined with Tammy Abraham before shooting through the legs of Safonov.


Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

Updated 27 November 2020

Doctors warn over Delhi’s ‘suicidal’ half-marathon

  • Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
  • Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix

NEW DELHI: Top doctors have warned elite runners are taking a major health risk by competing in Sunday’s New Delhi half-marathon in the midst of a major coronavirus outbreak and soaring air pollution.
Women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei from Kenya and Ethiopia’s two-time men’s winner Andamlak Belihu are among the 49 elite athletes running the 21-kilometer (13.1 mile) race, while thousands of amateurs are taking part virtually.
Organizers say the “highest level of safety-standards, with bio-secure zones” have been laid on for the race starting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
But with New Delhi recording more than 500,000 virus cases, and air quality in the world’s most polluted capital hovering between ‘unhealthy’ and ‘hazardous’, health experts said the athletes should think twice.
“It will be suicidal for runners to run the race this time. We have such high levels of pollution, we have the risk of coronavirus,” Arvind Kumar, founder trustee of the Lung Care Foundation, told AFP.
“With the presence of this twin threat if people are still running despite knowing everything, well, I have no words to express my anguish.”
“Whether you are an international elite runner or you are a small boy from a village, the damaging potential of a damaging agent remains the same,” said the doctor.
Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the country’s top research body, told AFP that “in an ideal situation” the race should not be run.
“Because of high levels of air pollution, exercising outside in this weather sometimes can lead to aggravation of underlying lung problems,” he said.
“Even if you are an elite runner the air pollution would still affect your lung.”
Normally thousands of amateurs would also take part, but because of the coronavirus they have been told to run their chosen route between Wednesday and Sunday and chart their time on an app.
Delhi has been hit by a winter pollution crisis each year for the past decade when crop-stubble burning from nearby states, cold temperatures and car and industrial pollution produce a toxic mix.
This year, the Indian capital is also a major concern in the battle against the coronavirus. India is the world’s second worst-hit country behind the United States, with about 9.3 million cases.
The city is considering imposing a night-time curfew because of the rising number of cases, according to media reports.
Kosgei, who is visiting India for the first time, acknowledged her concerns about traveling for the race.
“We have definitely been affected by Covid-19. I had to convince my parents and family back home to allow me to visit Delhi for the half-marathon,” she said.
“The virus has affected most of the sporting events. But it is important for us to take care of ourselves.”
As in other countries, nearly all sport in India has been canceled.
After repeated delays, the Indian Premier League cricket went ahead in the United Arab Emirates and the Indian Super League football is being held in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa.