World Sports News in Brief

Man City drop more points, Norwich get lifeline

Sunday, 2020-01-19 09:35:30
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - January 18, 2020 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha celebrates with teammates after Manchester City's Fernandinho scored an own goal and Crystal Palace's second. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
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Even when Liverpool are not in action, they continue to bolster their seemingly impregnable Premier League lead and it happened again on Saturday as second-placed Manchester City could only draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Fernandinho’s 90th-minute own goal robbed them of victory and left Pep Guardiola’s side 13 points behind Liverpool who have played two games less and who can stretch their advantage to 16 if they beat Manchester United on Sunday. On a big day at the bottom of the table, bottom side Norwich City gave themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 defeat of free-falling Bournemouth in a match in which both sides had a man sent off.

* Watford’s revival continued as they took their points tally in new manager Nigel Pearson’s seven games in charge to 14, although Troy Deeney missed a penalty in their 0-0 home draw with Tottenham Hotspur who have stalled under Jose Mourinho. Tottenham are in eighth spot after a four-game winless run, two places higher than Arsenal who could only draw 1-1 at home to Sheffield United, who continue to impress in seventh place.

* Chelsea had chances to snatch victory in a tight affair at St James’ Park, but their profligacy in front of goal proved costly, as Isaac Hayden headed a dramatic stoppage-time winner to earn his side a first win in five league games. Southampton’s surge hit the buffers as they surrendered a 2-0 lead at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers to lose 3-2. Mexican striker Raul Jimenez struck twice after the break for Wolves who moved into sixth spot.

* David Moyes’s West Ham United drew 1-1 at home to his old club Everton to remain in the thick of the relegation dogfight while Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion drew 1-1 with Jack Grealish equalising for Villa who stay third from bottom.

* Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro produced a performance worthy of a top striker by scoring twice in a 2-1 win for Zinedine Zidane's side over Sevilla on Saturday that took them top of La Liga for at least 24 hours. Casemiro’s towering header took Real first in the standings on 43 points after 20 games, three ahead of champions Barcelona who host Granada on Sunday.

* Atletico Madrid's hopes of getting back into the Spanish title race faded even further with a 2-0 defeat away by struggling Eibar in La Liga on Saturday. Eibar's first victory in 12 top-flight games against Atletico took them seven points clear of the relegation zone. Atleti, meanwhile, are third on 35 points, eight behind leaders Real Madrid and five behind champions Barcelona who play at home to Granada on Sunday.

* Fiorentina moved above Napoli in Serie A and consigned coach Gennaro Gattuso to a fourth defeat in five games with a 2-0 victory at Stadio San Paolo on Saturday. The result lifts Fiorentina up to 12th place on 24 points, level with Napoli but above them on head-to-head record, while continuing Gattuso’s wretched start since replacing Carlo Ancelotti as coach last month.

* Teenager Rayan Cherki scored two and set up another as Olympique Lyonnais avoided a last-gasp slip-up to advance into the French Cup last 16 with a 4-3 win at Nantes on Saturday. St Etienne dug deep to beat Ligue 2 team Paris FC 3-2 in the capital after being behind 2-1 until the 71st minute. Lille left it late to down fifth division Gonfreville 2-0 with goals by Loic Remy and Victor Osimhen in the 69th minute and in stoppage time.

* Borussia Dortmund's new signing Erling Haaland scored a sensational hat-trick in 23 minutes on his debut to help his team come from two goals down and beat Augsburg 5-3 on Saturday as the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break. The 19-year-old talent sealed Dortmund's win to live up to heightened expectations and completed his memorable hat-trick in the 79th minute to put fourth-placed Dortmund on 33 points. Leaders RB Leipzig, on 37, host Union Berlin later on Saturday. Bayern Munich, third on 33, travel to Hertha Berlin on Sunday. Borussia Moenchengladbach are second on 35 after Friday's 2-0 loss at Schalke 04.

* Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has reignited his feud with Antonio Conte after the Italian coach discussed Christian Eriksen's proposed transfer from the North London club to Inter Milan. Danish playmaker Eriksen will be out of contract at Spurs at the end of the season, and Italian media reports have linked him to a move to Conte's Inter in the January transfer window.

* Petra Kvitova took a while to come to terms with her heartbreaking defeat in last year's Australian Open final but the Czech says she can now look back on the experience as one of the top achievements of her career. Kvitova was down a set and a break to Naomi Osaka and facing three match points when she fought back to level the final and force a decider before the two-time Wimbledon champion eventually fell 7-6(2) 5-7 6-4.

* Naomi Osaka has learned to appreciate her victories more after enduring the "toughest" year of her fledging career and the Japanese world number three says mentally she is in a better place to launch her Australian Open title defence. Osaka started 2019 by winning her second straight Grand Slam title in Melbourne following her success at the 2018 US Open but suffered early exits at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

* A late goal gifted Saudi Arabia a 1-0 win over Thailand in the last eight round at 2020 AFC U23 championship Saturday. On the same day, with a goal in the extra time, Australia secured a berth in the semifinals.

Reuters, Xinhua