Touchline rumpus as Chelsea win again


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LONDONChelsea manager Jose Mourinho, known as “The Special One,” became embroiled in an ugly touchline rumpus as his all-conquering team closed in on a second successive Premiership title with a 2-1 win at relegation-threatened West Bromwich.

The Portuguese and his opposite number Bryan Robson had to be separated amid a slanging match, initially instigated by Mourinho keeping the opposition waiting for three minutes out on the pitch for the second half to start while he completed his half-time talk in the dressing-room. Arjen Robben, Chelsea’s Dutch winger, was then shown a straight red card for a wild two-footed tackle before Didier Drogba, his Ivory Coast teammate, was openly accused by Robson of “diving” in an unsuccessful attempt to get an opponent sent off. The two managers failed to exchange the customary handshake at the final whistle.

No controversy at Fulham as two-goal Thierry Henry produced a vintage display in Arsenal’s cruise to a 4-0 victory. Instead, Fulham manager Chris Coleman showed good grace in saying: “That was one of the best individual performances I’ve ever seen.”

Mido, the burly Egypt frontman, scored the 70th-minute decider as Tottenham, having lost a 2-0 lead secured by Robbie Keane, tightened their grip on fourth place—and boosted their bid for Europe—with an exciting 3-2 win over battling Blackburn in North London. Alan Shearer, the ex-England striker, returned from injury with a headed goal as Newcastle’s revival continued with a 3-1 home win over Bolton, but Robbie Fowler’s late goal disallowed for a tight offside decision meant Liverpool had to settle for a goalless draw against visitors Charlton.

The three relegation places remain unchanged. Sunderland, stranded at the bottom, lost 2-1 at Manchester City where Greek newcomer Georgios Samaras scored twice, 19th-placed Portsmouth went down 1-0 away to Aston Villa and third-from-bottom Birmingham were beaten 1-0 by Mark Viduka’s slick finish at Middlesbrough.

Championship leaders Reading are still seemingly certain of promotion after winning 3-0 at Burnley, but closest challengers Sheffield United are looking anxiously over their shoulder in the race for the second automatic promotion place. United’s sudden stutter continued with a 0-0 home stalemate against bottom team Crewe, while Leeds, their big Yorkshire rivals, won 2-1 at Crystal Palace to move to within six points. Leeds, for whom Robbie Blake opened the scoring on his 30th birthday, have a match in hand and still have to play the Sheffield side.

Three second-half goals gave Celtic a 3-0 home win against Aberdeen and maintained a 13-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier. Hearts, lying second, won 3-2 at bottom-of-the-table Livingston, Roman Bednar snatching the decisive goal three minutes from time.

· Peter Osgood, a former England centre-forward and one of Chelsea’s all-time greats, has died suddenly at the age of 59. An FA Cup Final winner with Chelsea and then Southampton, the charismatic “Ossie” was known as the “King of Stamford Bridge” where the Chelsea fans used to chant “Osgood IS Good.”

· West Ham veteran Teddy Sheringham, 40 next month, has signed a new one-year contract. Derby right-back Lewin Nyatanga, a 17-year-old with a Zimbabwean father, became the youngest player ever to represent Wales when he scarcely put a foot wrong in a 0-0 draw with Paraguay in Cardiff.

· This Saturday, Chelsea host Tottenham in a major London local derby, while Birmingham are at home to near-neighbours West Bromwich in a vital relegation six-pointer. In the Championship, first meets fourth when Watford visit Reading, the runaway leaders.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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