Chelsea beat Liverpool 1-0 to maintain its five-point lead in the Premier League on Saturday, while Arsenal and Manchester United stayed in touch with victories as the top three sides all won away from home. \nChelsea substitute Joe Cole scored with 10 minutes left, while Freddie Ljungberg scored twice and Robin van Persie added the other in Arsenal's 3-1 defeat of Charlton. \nManchester United defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 in the late match with goals from Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs. \nThe Red Devils were also given a boost when Everton, which started the day below Manchester United on goal difference, was hammered 5-2 by Tottenham. \nWest Bromwich Albion remains at the bottom of the standings, with Southampton and Crystal Palace also in the relegation zone. \nfeeling defensive \n"I think we won because of a fantastic defensive performance and because we were a bit lucky," said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, whose club is chasing its second-ever league title -- and its first in 50 years. \n"A draw would have been a fair result. But at the right moments, we had a bit of luck that normally champions need to have in crucial moments." \nLiverpool was angry referee Mike Riley turned down two first half penalties, one when Claude Makelele fouled Florent Sinama-Pongolle and the second when Tiago appeared to handle the ball. \nLiverpool, already without injured strikers Milan Baros and Harry Kewell, also lost Xabi Alonso to a broken right ankle midway through the first half after a challenge by Frank Lampard. \nAt the Riverside, Fletcher scored his first goal for Manchester United in the ninth minute by tapping in a rebound after Giggs' shot was parried by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Giggs scored for the third game in succession in the 79th as United won a fourth consecutive match. \n"We're in a great vein of form at the moment," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said. "If we get the results, things can change. We're patient, we can wait. We just have to keep playing the way we are." \nconsistant play \nAt the Valley, Ljungberg's two goals were sandwiched by an impressive free kick from Charlton's Talal El Karkouri. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said consistency was the key to overtaking Chelsea. \n"The spirit and unity are great, the belief is high," Wenger said. \n"We had some average performances last season but now we've come back down to earth, every display is under even more scrutiny. But I feel we are getting better and better in every match, and we are winning some very difficult games." \nTottenham midfielder Dean Marney made his White Hart Lane debut one to remember with two goals and two assists in the 5-2 win over Everton. The 20-year-old was only playing because of injury to Michael Brown. \n"It's his first home game for the club and scoring two goals and make another one is amazing, it's a real achievement for a young boy," Tottenham coach Martin Jol said. \nReto Ziegler, Robbie Keane and Pedro Mendes also scored for Spurs, while Tim Cahill netted just before halftime and James McFadden added another near the end for the Toffees. \n"We're sore and we know we haven't done as well as we should have done, but we're still lying healthy and we'll plough on and try to get some more points," Everton manager David Moyes said. \nClubs have already played three matches in seven days and are in action again on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. \nIn the Football League Championship, Ipswich stayed top despite a 2-0 loss at home to West Ham. \nWigan beat Sheffield United 2-0 while Sunderland lost 3-2 to Preston and Reading drew 0-0 with Gillingham. \nIpswich has 52 points, Wigan 50, Sunderland 49 and Reading 48. \nRangers needed a last minute goal from substitute Hamed Namouchi to draw 1-1 with struggling Dundee United on Saturday. \nRangers moves top of the league above Celtic on goal difference despite the draw. Celtic plays Livingston on Sunday. \nDundee United took the lead after 11 minutes through David McCracken, who headed a Derek McInnes cross past Rangers goalkeeper Stefan Klos. Namouchi scored the equalizer from close range. Rangers and Celtic have 50 points, Hibernian 36, Aberdeen 35 and Motherwell 29. \nIn Saturday's other match, Dunfermline beat Dundee 3-1.
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova