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Chelsea extends lead to 7
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 04 - 2015

LONDON — Chelsea increased its lead at the top of the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at QPR Sunday as Manchester United added to Manchester City's woes in a come-from-behind 4-2 derby victory at Old Trafford.
Cesc Fabregas's late goal sealed Chelsea's win at Loftus Road as Jose Mourinho's side went seven points clear of second-placed Arsenal with seven games to play.
But there was no shortage of goals in Manchester, where Sergio Aguero gave defending champion City the lead only for United to hit back through Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling.
Aguero scored his and City's second — his 100th goal for the club — in the 89th minute but it was too little too late to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Manuel Pellegrini.
This result saw third-placed United move four points in front of fourth-placed City as it strengthened its bid for direct entry into next season's Champions League.
“It's three points! We are four points ahead of fourth in the table and I am very happy for the fans,” United manager Louis van Gaal told Sky Sports. “We started very badly. It was not Manchester United, we were very nervous. I don't know why,” the Dutchman added.
Meanwhile Pellegrini was left bemused by his side's slump after going ahead.
“We started very well and in the first 20 minutes we could have controlled the game,” he said. “After the second goal we lost the way we were playing and United scored more goals.”
In west London, Chelsea didn't break down a stubborn QPR defense until the 88th minute when Fabregas scored with their only on-target shot of the match in a move initiated by a poor clearance from home goalkeeper Robert Green.
Victory left Chelsea seven points in front of second-placed Arsenal, with QPR remaining in the relegation zone.
“It is one step closer (to the title),” Chelsea manager Mourinho said. “Our situation is good. Pure mathematics. We need 11 points.”
There was a nasty edge to the closing minutes when Chelsea players were pelted with a variety of objects thrown at them from the stands after Fabregas scored.
“We don't want objects thrown on the pitch. These rivalries can sometimes go too far,” said QPR manager Chris Ramsey.
At Old Trafford, United ended a run of four straight derby defeats with their sixth succesive league win against all opponents.
Prior to kick-off, Pellegrini accused his side of throwing their season “into the garbage” in recent months following the club's elimination from the FA Cup and Champions League.
But it was City which went ahead when Aguero tapped in from close range in the eighth minute.
However, City's lead lasted just six minutes, Young finishing from Ander Herrera's cross.
And the host was 2-1 in front come the 27th minute when Fellaini headed in Young's center.
Mata added a third goal midway through the second half when, played in by Wayne Rooney, he slotted the ball between the legs of England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
More poor City defending then ensured United center-back Smalling was left completely unmarked to head in a Rooney free-kick in the 73rd minute.
The result left United eight points behind Chelsea, with City 12 adrift of the leader.

Lazio takes 2nd spot
Lazio beat Empoli 4-0 to take over second spot in Serie A as city rival Roma was held 1-1 at Torino Sunday.
Stefano Mauri, Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva and Felipe Anderson scored to send Lazio to an eighth consecutive win. The capital side played the last 32 minutes with 10 men after defender Diego Novaretti was sent off following a second booking.
Lazio moved a point above Roma after Torino substitute Maxi Lopez cancelled out Alessandro Florenzi's penalty.
Napoli climbed to fourth after beating Fiorentina 3-0 to leapfrog above its opponent, but could be overtaken by Sampdoria, which visits AC Milan later. Elsewhere, German Denis scored a spectacular overhead kick to help Atalanta beat Sassuolo 2-1, Palermo won 3-1 at Udinese and relegation-threatened Cesena lost 1-0 to Chievo Verona.
10-man Stuttgart downs Bremen
Ten-man VfB Stuttgart climbed off the bottom of the Bundesliga on Sunday with a dramatic 3-2 win at home to Werder Bremen thanks to striker Daniel Ginczek's double.
Earlier, Nigeria striker Anthony Ujah and Germany's Jonas Hector produced some individual brilliance to seal 10-men Cologne's 3-2 win over Hoffenheim to pull away from the relegation places.
On Saturday, Robert Lewandowski scored twice as injury-hit leaders Bayern Munich romped to a 3-0 league win over Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final at Porto.
Bayern are now only three wins from claiming a third straight German league title. — Agencies


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