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Driving forward

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Palace upset title hopefuls Chelsea

first_img Bolasie and Jason Puncheon made life difficult for Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta, whose fine cross might have resulted in the opener. The Spain full-back made an overlapping run and drilled a low cross into the six-yard box, but a fine Ward interception saw Schurrle beaten to the ball. A goal kick followed as a first-half decision went Palace’s way. Chelsea struggled to unlock the Palace defence and repeatedly looked to Fernando Torres early, only for the hosts to crowd out the striker. Bolasie dragged a shot wide before missing a glorious opportunity after neat interplay on the right by Adrian Mariappa and Puncheon. Palace had two legitimate penalty claims in quick succession denied by Mason. Mariappa pulled the ball back towards Jerome, who was challenged from behind by Cahill, who then showed an injection of pace to deny Bolasie a shooting chance, taking man and ball in another challenge which saw Palace pleading for a spot-kick. The Palace onslaught continued as Terry brought down Ledley cynically, while also handling the ball, to concede a free-kick and receive a yellow card, but Mile Jedinak’s shot was comfortably saved by Petr Cech. Chelsea, in need of invention, replaced David Luiz with Oscar at half-time, but it was Palace who resumed on the attack and, after Jerome was unable to direct a header from a Bolasie cross on goal, the hosts scored. The overlapping Ward crossed from the Palace left and Terry climbed above Ledley, only to head into his own net. Hazard tried to spark Chelsea, as he has so often this season, and made space to shoot from the edge of the area through a crowd of bodies, but Speroni turned the effort around the post. Mohamed Salah replaced Frank Lampard as Mourinho sought a further injection of creativity, but it was Palace who went close again, Puncheon firing narrowly wide across goal after Jerome’s direct run. Terry, whose lack of pace was being tested on the counter-attack, headed an Oscar free-kick over at the other end. Mourinho turned to Demba Ba for the final 20 minutes as Chelsea laid siege on the hosts’ goal. Hazard found himself through one-on-one, but Speroni pulled off a miraculous save to deny the Belgium forward. It was one of Chelsea’s few genuine chances. Chelsea’s forward focus left the defence further exposed and Palace’s pace again troubled the visitors, with Jerome going through to beat Cech with a shot which hit the post. Ledley shot wide and Puncheon had an effort saved by Cech, who then had to tip substitute Stuart O’Keefe’s drive over. A poor O’Keefe back-pass presented Torres with an opportunity, but the striker could only lob the ball over as Chelsea slipped to a fifth loss of the season and Pulis danced down the touchline in celebration of a potentially crucial victory. It was the Blues’ second successive away loss following the controversial defeat at Aston Villa, which left Mourinho questioning referee Chris Foy’s performance. Only Palace could have cause to complain at Lee Mason’s officiating, as twice in the space of two first-half minutes the referee rejected penalty claims when Gary Cahill challenged Cameron Jerome and then Yannick Bolasie. Both might have been given in other circumstances, but Palace, who were organised, resilient and dangerous on the counter-attack, put the incidents behind them to earn victory. Tony Pulis’ men had chances before and after Terry rose above Joe Ledley to divert Joel Ward’s cross into his own net early in the second half. Bolasie – and Andre Schurrle at the other end – were unable to convert menacing crosses, while Jerome hit a post. Julian Speroni twice denied Eden Hazard, the second a stunning save when the Belgium forward was through one-on-one, as Palace ended a five-match winless streak with a much-needed victory. Mourinho had cause to speak to a ball-boy in stoppage time after feeling the ball was being returned slowly as his side slipped to defeat ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris St Germain. The ball-boy incident showed Mourinho’s frustrations as his Chelsea side were second best throughout in front of a raucous Eagles support. Press Association Chelsea suffered a blow to their Barclays Premier League title challenge as Crystal Palace boosted their survival chances with a stunning victory over Jose Mourinho’s men at Selhurst Park. Chelsea entered the weekend as leaders, having played more games than their title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, and with an unbeaten record in London derbies this term. The Blues beat Arsenal 6-0 last weekend for a sixth capital success of the season, but in their 10th London derby a John Terry own goal saw Palace claim a 1-0 win for a first league victory over Chelsea in nearly 24 years. last_img read more

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Stephney calls for ECB to honour its heroes

first_imgFORMER Essequibo Senior inter-county captain and WICB-accredited Level 11 coach Elroy Stephney is appealing to the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) to honour its heroes.He is of firm conviction that many are deserving of being inducted into a Hall of Fame for their outstanding contributions to the sport and the joy that they have brought to the hearts of their supporters across the country.Stephney alluded to Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), which recently celebrated its 80th Anniversary with the induction of a number of its former great players including Clayton Lambert, Narsingh Deonarine and Mahendra Nagamootoo.“I am convinced that our own cricketers from the past had a tremendous impact in how they played the game and the serious influence they had on young cricketers like myself growing up at the time,” posited Stephney.“As a youngster growing up, I would love going to watch players like Trenton Peters, Ramcharran Singh, Berchmore Reid, Mark Stephney, James Chattergoon and Jaimini Singh bat. Later I would eventually play with these guys and they were phenomenal athletes who would never retreat from a battle.“They actually inspired me to appreciate and believe in my ability since there weren’t many opportunities back then.” Stephney noted that while he did not get the opportunity to witness some of the older cricketers in action, he was told of a few who played for Essequibo and made the county proud.He listed the late former national fast bowler Courtney Gonsalves, Alfred Maycock, John Floyd, Jeff Jones, Fitz Garraway, Lennox Alves and Keith Cameron among others, who were as good as any player in their time.Stephney singled out Jeff Jones as scoring Essequibo’s first inter-county four-day century; a record that was only eclipsed by Ramcharran Singh, Dinesh Joseph, Troy Cornelius and Ramesh Narine.“The late Courtney Gonsalves was as quick as Colin Croft in his time I was told, and he claimed several 5-wicket hauls against Demerara and Berbice, while only a few could have ferociously smash a cricket ball better than Trenton Peters, who had many famous encounters with the likes of Linden Joseph, Kevin Darlington, Reon King and Colin Stuart.“It is really sad indeed that we do not have a formal record of these stalwarts from Essequibo and I’m suggesting that the ECB Hostel should be renovated and should house the portraits of these wonderful players of the past.“I’m therefore suggesting that the ECB should begin the process of identifying our first batch of heroes to be inducted into a Hall of Fame and I’m proposing those to be Courtney Gonsalves, Alfred Maycock, John Floyd and Jeff Jones. “The ECB should also honour the late Kayman Sankar and Beni Sankar for their priceless contributions to the sport both developmentally and administratively.“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Sankars for bringing cricket to us in a massive way, not only in terms of the resources they provided including the ground, gear and transportation, but also in enabling us to see first class cricket at the Hampton Court ground. Many of us would have never been able to witness the likes of Brian Lara, Carl Hooper, Jimmy Adams, Ian Bishop, Richie Richardson among others live in action.“Let’s get this started, ECB, to preserve our rich legacy so we can always remember and pay our humble tributes to our deserving heroes.” acknowledged Stephney.last_img read more

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PL on Citi: Martial, Maguire power Man United to 2-0 win at Chelsea

first_imgManchester United breathed new life into their quest for Champions League football with a very useful 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.Headers from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire secured the win, although the Red Devils captain arguably shouldn’t have been on the pitch to score his goal.Man United legend Roy Keane said the visitors needed to win if they have any ambitions to qualify for next season’s Champions League.And Solskjaer’s men responded with a professional display in west London, but they did get some luck on the way.Chelsea started the better and almost took the lead inside the first six minutes when Reece James’ shot whistled just wide of the post.Referee Anthony Taylor then had a decision to make with just after 20 minutes on the clock with as Maguire clashed with Batshuayi, who was in for the injured Tammy Abraham.Maguire won a 50-50 ball but slid off the field of play. Batshuayi’s momentum carried him towards the England player and Maguire appeared to kick out at the Belgian.Taylor didn’t even give Maguire a yellow card, although the likes of Keane and Jamie Carragher believe the Man United skipper got away with it.Willian was then given a yellow card for simulation although it looked like Bruno Fernandes had slightly tripped the Chelsea winger just outside the box.And then the visitors who drew first blood with Martial’s glancing header on the stroke of half time, the forward getting in front of Andreas Christensen and putting Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s inviting cross beyond the despairing Willy Caballero.Frank Lampard’s side came rushing out the blocks in the second half and thought they were level when Kurt Zouma volleyed home a corner from the right. The goal was disallowed by VAR though, which spotted a foul on Red Devils youngster Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta.And to add insult to injury, Chelsea found themselves two-down with Maguire, who arguably shouldn’t have been on the pitch, heading home Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint corner.Maguire’s centre-back partner, Eric Bailly then made an excellent last ditch challenge to deny Mateo Kovacic but couldn’t do anything to stop Olivier Giroud heading the ball in.But VAR came to Man United’s rescue again as the Frenchman was offside by a foot and the goal was chalked off.Frank Lampard’s side came rushing out the blocks in the second half and thought they were level when Kurt Zouma volleyed home a corner from the right. The goal was disallowed by VAR though, which spotted a foul on Red Devils youngster Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta.And to add insult to injury, Chelsea found themselves two-down with Maguire, who arguably shouldn’t have been on the pitch, heading home Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint corner.Maguire’s centre-back partner, Eric Bailly then made an excellent last ditch challenge to deny Mateo Kovacic but couldn’t do anything to stop Olivier Giroud heading the ball in.But VAR came to Man United’s rescue again as the Frenchman was offside by a foot and the goal was chalked off. Source: talkSPORTlast_img read more