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.
“Today is a bad feeling — it was not necessary to lose this game,” Klopp said.
“This was not enough for us — we can do more. We have to learn from this,” he said.
For boyhood Liverpool fan Dann, getting a goal at Anfield was the realization of a cherished ambition.
“I have had dreams of scoring here — and I had a feeling before the game that I was going to score,” Dann said.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very