Mwaruwari still without a goal


LONDON - Zimbabwe’s Benjani Mwaruwari, Portsmouth’s

record £4.1 million signing from French club Auxerre, fired another blank as his relegation-threatened side raced to a controversial 4-2 Premiership win at West Ham.

The Football Association is under mounting criticism for forcing West Ham to play three key matches in just six days. Manager Alan Pardew responded by resting six players, much to the dismay of struggling Birmingham and West Bromwich who both lost at home.

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, facing the club that sacked him five years ago, was all smiles after a first back-to-back victory this season. Congo star Lomana LuaLua opened the scoring, but co-striker Mwaruwari is still without a goal after eight appearances. Redknapp described the FA’s decision as “scandalous.”

Champions-elect Chelsea suffered a rare defeat, going down 1-0 to a Luis Boa Morte goal at Fulham whose third-choice goalkeeper Mark Crossley pulled off a terrific save from John Terry late on. William Gallas, the Chelsea defender, was red-carded in an 89th-minute melee and after the final whistle fans of both clubs clashed in ugly scenes on the pitch.

Second-placed Manchester United closed the gap to 12 points as Louis Saha, again preferred to Ruud van Nistelrooy up front, scored twice in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich. Peter Crouch headed third-placed Liverpool’s opening goal in a 3-1 win at Newcastle, while Robbie Keane clinched fourth-placed Tottenham’s 2-0 success at Birmingham. Craig Bellamy, the Wales frontman, rifled in two crackers for Blackburn in a 3-2 home win over Middlesbrough, despite teammate Robbie Savage’s sending-off for two debatable bookings.

Sheffield United, once seemingly certain of automatic promotion, stumbled again, a 2-1 defeat at Norwich making it just one win and six points from eight matches. Leeds moved to within three points in third place when substitute David Healy rescued a 1-1 draw at Coventry with an 88th-minute penalty.

In League One, bottom beat top with MK Dons’ 2-1 home win over Southend, while joint League two leaders Wycombe crashed 1-0 as visitors Torquay climbed out of the relegation zone.

· Celtic, runaway table-toppers in the Scottish Premier, are set for a domestic double after brushing aside Dunfermline 3-0 in the CIS Cup Final at Hampden Park, veteran Dion Dublin completing the scoring. All the Celtic players wore No. 7 on their shorts in tribute to Jimmy Johnstone, the ex-Scotland winger who died recently at the age of 61 after a long illness. Voted the club’s greatest player of all time, Johnstone starred for Celtic in 1967 when they became the first British club to win the European Cup.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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