Tue, Nov 10, 2015 - Page 18 News List

City, Arsenal held, Klopp’s Reds lose

ANFIELD ADVERSITY:While the top two were held by Villa and Spurs, Juergen Klopp suffered his first defeat as Liverpool manager to Crystal Palace

AFP, LONDON

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, center, scores past Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech, right, in their Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday.

Photo: AP

English Premier League leaders Manchester City and nearest challengers Arsenal were both held to draws on Sunday as Liverpool suffered their first defeat in seven games under new manager Juergen Klopp.

City could only manage a goalless draw away to bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa, the Birmingham club marking new French manager Remi Garde’s first match in charge with a point that owed much to a fine display by goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Arsenal, who kicked off later on Sunday, knew that if they beat archrivals Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby they would leapfrog City, but instead they had to make do with a 1-1 draw and are second in the table on goal-difference.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini lost the services of Wilfried Bony to a hamstring injury and then watched in frustration as his team failed to make their second-half domination count in a match where Villa ended a dismal run of seven successive defeats.

City had to operate without a recognized forward for more than an hour, although Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Fernando all wasted gilt-edged chances to secure victory in the closing stages at Villa Park.

A delighted Garde, appointed after Villa sacked former manager Tim Sherwood, told the BBC: “It was a nice experience and a fantastic atmosphere.”

“It was a tough game. Making sure we were well organized defensively was my priority,” the former Arsenal and France midfielder added.

City were left ruing their missed chances and the continued absence of Sergio Aguero.

“Of course we’re frustrated,” Pellegrini said.

“We deserved to win the game. They [Villa] had one shot in the whole game,” he said.

At the Emirates, Arsenal fell behind to a 32nd-minute goal from Spurs’ Harry Kane, who beat the Gunners’ offside trap before shooting past Petr Cech.

At that stage, Arsenal had not managed a single shot on target and they had to wait until the 77th minute to equalize when substitute Kieran Gibbs bundled in a volley at the far post from Mesut Ozil’s cross, although Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris should have saved the shot.

“Tottenham bossed the first half,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports. “I must give credit to players, they refused to lose the game. We now gain two weeks’ treatment for 10 players who are not available and I hope that we do not lose more.”

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose side moved up to fifth, was proud of the visitors’ display.

“The level we showed and the commitment was fantastic. It’s the way we want to carry on,” Pochettino said.

Before kickoff, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party and the lawmaker for the local constituency of Islington North, joined a protest outside the Emirates calling on soccer clubs to pay all their employees the National Living Wage.

“We think, by the way, the players already get the living wage,” joked firebrand left-winger Corbyn, wearing an Arsenal scarf.

In the midtable clash at Anfield, visitors Palace went ahead when Yannick Bolasie scored in the 21st minute.

Liverpool equalized shortly before the interval through Brazil international Philippe Coutinho’s close-range effort.

Palace bounced back to score the winner eight minutes from time when Liverpool-born Scott Dann saw his header from a corner blocked by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, only for the Eagles defender to nod in the rebound.

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