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Daily Nation : January 31st 2014
DAILY NATION Friday January 31, 2014 ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE | Evidence mounting Manchester City is the cream of the crop Champions elect? Pellegrini warns Man City not to dream of glory yet Visitors tear Tottenham to shreds in ruthless fashion at White Hart Lane to sail to the top of the table London Premier League glory after they swept to the top of the table with a 5-1 demolition of 10-man Tottenham. Pellegrini’s side moved one point clear M of second placed Arsenal thanks to the latest in a growing list of vibrant attacking displays. City, who have now scored five or more goals in a match eight times this season, tore Tottenham to shreds in ruthless fashion despite losing Argentina striker Sergio Aguero to a suspected hamstring injury just before half-time. Aguero had already opened the scoring and Yaya Toure’s controversial penalty, awarded after a challenge which led to Tottenham’s Danny Rose being dismissed, was followed by further strikes from Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany. City’s imperious display at White Hart Lane on Wednesday extended their unbeaten run to 20 matches in all competitions and took their goal tally for the season to 115. Majestic run of form Remarkably 21 of those goals have come in City’s last five matches, a majestic run of form which has prompted many pundits, as well as Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood, to hail Pellegrini’s team as champions elect. But Pellegrini knows there is still a long way to go before the destination of the title is decided and the Chilean is determined to keep his players’ feet on the ground. “We are not thinking about the title,” Pellegrini said. “It’s always very important to be top but we have to play 15 more games. “It depends what we do in every match, we have to fight for 45 more points. “We don’t have such a big advantage that we can think the Premier League is finished. “Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool also have chances of fighting for the title.” Pellegrini’s caution is understandable, but the evidence is mounting that City are the cream of the crop in the Premier League this season. They enjoyed 66 percent of possession against Spurs. (AFP) Mourinho fumes at ‘16th-century’ West Ham London Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (left) angrily accused West Ham United of playing “football from the nineteenth century” after they secured a hard-fought 0-0 draw against his side. Chelsea dominated a one-sided game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, but were unable to find a way through the obdurate defence of Sam Allarydce’s West Ham. That meant they missed out on the chance to move second in the Premier League table, leaving them three points behind new leaders Manchester City, who they face next at the Etihad Stadium on Monday. “It’s very difficult to play a football match where only one team wants to play,” said Mourinho. “Very difficult. A match is about two teams playing. This match was only one team playing, and another team not. “I told Big Sam (Al- lardyce), and I repeat my words, that they need points. Because they need points, to come here and not play and do it the way they did, is it acceptable? Maybe yes. Maybe yes. “I cannot be too critical because if I was in this position, I don’t know if I would do the same. Maybe I would. So I don’t want to criticise that. “But at the same time, this is not Premier League. (AFP) ANDREW DENNIS & CARL COURT | AFP Tottenham Hotspur’s defender Vlad Chiriches vies for the ball with Manchester City’s striker Edin Dzeko (right)) during their English Premier League match at White Hart Lane on Tuesday. City won 5-1. Below left: Tottenham Hotspur’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after conceding the fifth goal. Below right: Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (right) takes on Mark Noble of West Ham during their EPL tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. anuel Pellegrini has warned Manchester City’s stars not to be distracted by dreams of Sport 67 BRIEFLY BERLIN Guardiola welcomes tough Stuttgart test Coach Pep Guardiola has said Bayern Munich needed the challenge of a dramatic win in Stuttgart to maintain their record unbeaten league run, with the Bundesliga title race effectively over. Bayern went 13 points clear in the table on Wednesday with a dramatic 2-1 win as Thiago Alcantara’s stunning 93rd-minute volleyed bicycle-kick saw off a spirited Stuttgart challenge and extended Bayern’s record unbeaten league run out to 43 matches. MADRID Atletico, Madrid into Cup semi-finals Holders Atletico Madrid set up a mouthwatering Copa del Rey semi-final with city rivals Real Madrid after beating Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Wednesday to win 3-1 on aggregate. Barcelona also assured their place in the last four with a 5-1 victory over Levante at the Camp Nou to seal a 9-2 rout on aggregate. In Bilbao, Aritz Aduriz had powered the hosts into a deserved lead four minutes before half-time and Athletic were only denied a bigger advantage at the break by two outstanding saves from Thibaut Courtois. However, Atletico regrouped at the break and levelled. PARIS Ribery and Benzema cleared on sex charges Frank Ribery and Karim Ben- zema were yesterday acquitted of charges of having sex with an under-age prostitute that have been hanging over the two France stars for four years. The decision by a Paris court ends legal proceedings that had threatened to end in prison terms that could have prevented one or both of them from playing in this year’s World Cup in Brazil. Ribery’s brother-in-law was also cleared of the charges against him in what had become known as the “Zahia affair” after the former prostitute involved, Zahia Dehar. The judge however convicted five other men linked to Ribery and Benzema of pimping and handed down prison sentences to four of them. BLOEMFONTEIN Ghana, Libya through to CHAN final Ghana and Libya reached the final of the African Nations Championship on Wednesday by winning their respective semifinals on penalties when their matches ended 0-0 after extratime. The Ghanaians will seek to go one better tha the 2009 tournament where they lost in the final to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Black Stars stunned Ni- geria as their players held their nerve better than their opponents to win the penalty shootout 4-1. The Ghanaians had done well to hold the Nigerians scoreless as they pounded Ghana’s goal.
January 30th 2014
February 1st 2014