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.

A decade after Lord’s scandal, match-fixing still haunts Pakistan cricket

Updated 23 min ago

A decade after Lord’s scandal, match-fixing still haunts Pakistan cricket

  • Three Pakistani players were tried in a London court under Gambling Act and jailed in November 2011
  • Another two cases in 2017 have led to calls for the country to criminalize fixing

KARACHI: When Mohammad Amir bowled a no-ball against England on the opening day of the 2010 Test at Lord’s, no one could have imagined his long stride past the crease marked the first step in a historic fixing scandal.
Two days later it was revealed that three no-balls — two by Amir, and one by his pace partner Mohammad Asif — had been part of a shady betting deal.
Pakistan’s captain Salman Butt had orchestrated the deliberate no-balls in return for money offered by undercover journalist Mazhar Majeed posing as a bookmaker.
The scandal, exposed in the sting by Britain’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, rocked the cricketing world, and aftershocks can still be felt a decade on in Pakistan.
Not only did that dark morning at the revered ‘home of cricket’ derail the careers of three players who were banned and jailed, the saga also led to calls for Pakistan to be booted from international cricket.
Butt, Amir and Asif were tried in a London court for offenses under the Gambling Act and were jailed in November 2011.
Announcing the sentences, the judge underscored the severity of the crime.
“The image and integrity of what was once a game, but is now a business, is damaged in the eyes of all, including the many youngsters who regarded three of you as heroes,” Justice Jeremy Cooke said.
It marked a new low for Pakistan cricket, already reeling from the aftermath of terror attacks in Lahore on the Sri Lankan team a year before, which triggered the suspension of home internationals.
Because he pleaded guilty earlier than his two teammates, and on account of his youth, the 18-year-old Amir received worldwide sympathy.
He was allowed to play international cricket again in 2016 and, now 28, has been successfully reintegrated into the Pakistan team.
Asif, who received a seven-year ban and a one-year prison sentence, is now 37 and in the twilight of his career.
Butt, 35, still harbors hopes of an international comeback after consistent domestic performances.
As the orchestrator of one of the darkest episodes in the cricket-mad country’s history, that seems unlikely, especially with match-fixing still haunting the game.
Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were banned after a Pakistan Super League spot-fixing case in 2017.
And in April this year, the talented-yet-maverick Umar Akmal was banned in April for three years for failing to report fixing offers.

The cases have led to calls for the country to criminalize fixing, a campaign taken up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“We need to make match-fixing a criminal offense... I have talked to the government to bring in this change and make a law related to match-fixing,” PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said.
Former Pakistan captain-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja went a step further, recommending tainted players should not play again for the national team, as Pakistan contemplate the return of Sharjeel after serving his ban.
“We have suffered numerous times from bringing back tainted players yet we continue to welcome them just because of their talent,” Raja told AFP.
“We should avoid being desperate and rather give new talent a chance to prosper.
“Cricket cannot condone such behavior and fans need to realize that rooting for tainted players is actually harming Pakistan cricket and its image.”
On the field at least, Pakistan have managed to lift the clouds.
They found an astute skipper to replace Butt in Misbah-ul-Haq, who had been contemplating retirement after being left out for infamous England tour.
He led Pakistan to number one in the Test rankings in 2016.
A tentative return of international touring sides has followed, culminating in Azhar Ali having the honor of leading Pakistan in their first Test on home soil in 10 years when Sri Lanka played in Rawalpindi in December.