IMPROVING SEASON Bournemouth’s first season in the top flight is starting to get better and better. The little coastal club that almost dropped out of the country’s professional leagues six years ago beat Chelsea 1-0 away last weekend for what ranked as the biggest win in its 116-year history. Other results: Norwich 1 Everon 1; Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 0; Sunderland 0 Watford 1; West Ham 0 Stoke City 0. MANCHESTER, England (AP): First it was criticism of Manchester United’s playing style. Then came the team’s limp exit at the Champions League group stage. Yesterday, it was a loss to tiny Bournemouth in one of the Premier League’s biggest-ever mismatches. The problems are stacking up for under-pressure United manager Louis van Gaal in his second season in charge of England’s biggest club. United – depleted by a wretched run of injuries to senior players – conceded directly from a corner in the second minute on their way to a humbling 2-1 loss at Bournemouth, the latest shock result in a season of surprises in the Premier League. Earlier yesterday, Manchester City had needed a huge deflected goal just to get a 2-1 home win over Swansea, who are without a manager and on one of the worst run of results in the league. City went top on goal difference, for one day at least.
Reigning Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions, Arnett Gardens FC, are planning to keep Waterhouse on the canvas when both teams meet in the secondpreliminary stage at Waterhouse Stadium tomorrow.Arnett are currently in third position on 32 points, while Waterhouse are at the bottom on 15 points after 18 games in the 12-team league.With a gap of 17 points, Arnett Gardens have no intention of giving Waterhouse a chance to crawl up from last position.As far as the man in charge of the ‘Junglists’ is concerned, it is simply a case of, ‘when a man is down, keep him down’.”We will try to keep them down as they are a dangerous team,” coach of Arnett Gardens, Jerome ‘Jerry’ Waite told The Gleaner at the RSPL weekly press conference at Red Stripe last Thursday.”In previous games, Waterhouse dominated Arnett. We beat them in the first round and we are looking forward to continue this on Sunday,” added Waite, who guided Arnett to three national titles.Arnett will be without hard-tackling midfielder Renae Lloyd, as well as Damari Deacon due to red cards issued in their encounter against Tivoli Gardens two weeks ago, but Waite remains confident that the team will leave Drewsland with a positive result.”Lloyd will be a loss, but if you notice this season started without Renae Lloyd, the other player (Jason Moore), who will fill the slot had been doing well before Lloyd returned to the team,” the veteran coach noted before sharing his anticipation of the game.”Yes, you always have to look forward to a clash of this magnitude, despite where the teams are in the standings. And, it is always a fierce rivalry. We will not underestimate Waterhouse, although they are having a bad season, so far,” Waite maintained.”In their last game, they scored four goals but gave up the same, so there are loopholes in their defensive system, which we aim to exploit. We (Arnett) have won three games in a row and are aiming at four straight,” he concluded.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) continued their impressive run in the Red Stripe Premier League with a 1-0 win against ten-man Tivoli Gardens FC at Edward Seaga Stadium yesterday.Girvon Brown netted for UWI in the 82nd minute, three minutes before Tivoli Gardens were reduced to ten players, when Rodico Wellington was shown a red card by referee Kevin Morrison.Tivoli started the game with hard running and good passes but failed to get past goalkeeper Amal Knight, who made some wonderful saves.Knight gave away a penalty in the first half when he fouled Tivoli’s Javanie Mitchell inside the area. The goalkeeper would, however, redeem himself, diving to his right to block Junior Flemmings’ effort from the spot.INCISIVE SKILLUWI picked up the pace, and the introduction of Keammar Daley and Anthony Grant in the second half certainly lifted their play. Both players immediately got involved and were influential with some incisive passing and skill on the ball.In the closing moments, Brown found the winning goal to push his tally to eight goals so far for the season.UWI’s assistant coach, Andrew Peart, praised his team for the win that pushed them onto 30 points in the league.”It was not only the players that came off the bench, but the entire team performed very well today (yesterday),” Peart told The Gleaner.”We made some adjustments from the first time we played Tivoli. They try to kick the ball long from the back, so we put some pressure on them, and it worked,” he reasoned.Although UWI are picking up the points in their first season, Peart says the first aim is to be safe. He predicted that two more wins from 11 games to be played in the preliminary round would make the team stay up.”Well, our first objective is to stay in the league, and mathematically, when we are safe, we can re-adjust our ambition. The semi-finals is a possibility, but we are not looking at that right now. Maybe another two more wins and we are safe for the next season,” Peart added.DROP IN RANKSMeanwhile, Tivoli, who fired coach Christopher Bender following a 1-0 defeat to leaders Portmore United last Thursday, dropped to 11th position on 19 points in the 12-team league.”Well, unfortunately, we lost by a simple goal. We got our chances and did not make any use, and UWI got one chance and won the game. Congratulations to UWI,” manager of Tivoli Brian Rose said.”Right now we are in a very desperate situation, so we have to dust ourselves off and come back,” he said.Rose confirmed that Bender was asked to resign.”When a team is not getting the desired results, the first person you look at is the coach. He was asked to resign,” Rose informed.
ROME (AP):Cristiano Ronaldo ended his away scoring drought with an impressive second-half goal as Real Madrid won 2-0 at Roma yesterday in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League.The victory also marked a successful debut for Zinedine Zidane as Madrid’s manager in the elite competition, with the 10-time champion taking a big step towards the quarter-finals.It was Ronaldo’s first goal on the road since November 29 when he scored a penalty against Eibar.”Everyone expects (Ronaldo) to score, and today, he was able to,” Zidane said. “I’m happy for these two away goals and that we didn’t concede any goals.”Shortly before the hour mark, Ronaldo collected a pass up the left flank from Marcelo, rapidly cut inside moving the ball with a deft flick of his legs and launched a powerful shot that deflected off Roma fullback Alessandro Florenzi.”He’s a player against whom you can’t concede anything. He can go right or left. It doesn’t matter which way,” Florenzi said. “I was also unlucky because I deflected the shot and the ball went in right under the crossbar.”After scoring, Ronaldo ran towards Zidane and hugged the French great, who replaced Rafa Benitez last month.Substitute Jese then sealed the victory with an angled shot four minutes from the end after Roma failed to take advantage of several opportunities for an equaliser.At the final whistle, Zidane congratulated each of his players one by one, including those who didn’t play.”I do it because the team is the most important thing,” said Zidane, who scored the winning goal for Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen. “It’s the players who make the difference, and today it was Ronaldo – it’s often him – but everyone’s contribution is important, even those who don’t play much. We win all together.”The night’s other first-leg match saw Wolfsburg beat AA Ghent 3-2 in Belgium.
KOLKATA, India (CMC):Captain Darren Sammy courted controversy here yesterday when he hit out at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for its lack of support following his side’s capture of the Twenty20 World Cup.Speaking after West Indies stunned England by four wickets to clinch the title at Eden Gardens, Sammy told post-match presenter Nasser Hussain that while the team had been inspired by the professionalism of the management staff and messages of support from Caribbean nation grouping, CARICOM, they had heard nothing from board officials.”I really want to thank the heads of CARICOM. Throughout this tournament, they have been supporting the team. We’ve got e-mails, we’ve got calls,” Sammy said.”Prime Minister (Keith) Mitchell (from Grenada). I know what he is trying to do and I really want to thank him. He sent a very inspiring message for the team this morning … and I’m yet to hear from our own cricket board. That is very disappointing.”CELEBRATEHe continued: “For today, I’m going to celebrate with these 15 men and coaching staff. I don’t know when I’m going to be playing with these guys again because we don’t get selected for one-day cricket.”We don’t know when we’re going to be playing T20. So, this win, I want to thank you, my team, I want to thank you, coaching staff … everybody knows West Indies are champion!”The comments come against the backdrop of the players’ contracts dispute with the WICB before the start of the tournament back in February, which threatened the side’s participation.Sammy acted as the players’ representative during the brief impasse and while he assured the Caribbean then that West Indies would commit to playing the tournament, he also hinted that the issues were far from settled.Yesterday, he once again alluded to the impasse, noting that the “disrespect” shown to the side by the WICB, along with other criticisms from media personalities, had helped to fire up the team.”We started this journey … we all know we had (issues). People were wondering whether we would play this tournament,” he explained.”We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas (cricket analyst) described our team as a team with no brains (in a pre-tournament preview). All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.”I really want to thank these 15 men. The ability to just put all those adversities aside and to come out and play this type of cricket in front of such passionate fans, it’s just tremendous.”DIFFICULTIESSammy also praised newly installed manager Rawl Lewis, who, he said, went to extraordinary lengths to sort out some administrative difficulties during the pre-tournament camp in Dubai.”I personally also want to thank the coaching staff. Coach Phil (Simmons), he’s been through a lot, and to come here and the way he’s coached the team, he’s just brilliant,” Sammy noted.”All the other coaching staff who have done their part. We had a new manager in this tournament in Rawl Lewis. He had never managed any team before. He came here, we were at a camp in Dubai, but we had no uniforms, no printing.”He left Dubai, went to Kolkata. That’s where we started. The trouble he went to, to get us in this uniform, I’ve got to give credit to the entire team here. It was us in our own little circle. This win we dedicate it to all our fans in the Caribbean.”West Indies became the first side to win two T20 World Cups when they defeated England by four wickets in the final at Eden Gardens here on Sunday.