Arsenal will look to get their Premier League title challenge back on track when they host London rivals Chelsea on Monday night. But Chelsea face their rivals while short of their best form, as shown in recent defeats to Stoke in the Premier League and Sunderland in the Capital One Cup. And manager Jose Mourinho suggested in the wake of the latter defeat that he may need to tighten up his side’s approach, even if it is something he would not necessarily be keen on doing. He said: “If I want to win 1-0, I think I can. One of the easiest things in football is to win 1-0. ‘It’s not so difficult. You structure your team from the back, you organise your team from the defensive idea, you don’t give freedom to your players to express themselves. ”The dynamic of the team is defensive and what you do is you recover the ball and try to punish the opponent on the counter-attack. ‘To win 1-0 is not the most difficult thing in football.” He added: ”I don’t want to because we are going in a direction which is the right direction in terms of the quality of football we want to play, and it’s quite frustrating that you have to change that and go one step back and go in another direction just because you want better results.” Liverpool can go top of the table for at least a couple of days if they beat troubled Cardiff at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are flying high after their 5-0 hammering of Tottenham, while the Welsh club have been rocked by the latest disagreement between manager Malky Mackay and owner Vincent Tan, this time over January transfer plans. Rodgers worked with Mackay at Watford and admits he has been “astonished” by events at the Bluebirds. ”I find it incredible all the talk about Malky, who I know well from working with him at Watford,” said the former Swansea boss. ”I find it astonishing what he has had to go through. ”This is a guy who walked into Cardiff and transformed the mentality of the club.” Basement side Sunderland, meanwhile, will look to build on their shock cup win over Chelsea when they host Norwich at the Stadium of Light, while fellow strugglers Fulham face the daunting task of hosting in-form Manchester City. Crystal Palace, recently resurgent under Tony Pulis, will look to climb out of the relegation zone but will face a stiff test from a Newcastle side flying high in the top six. Manchester United boss David Moyes will look to build on a run of three-straight wins in all competitions when the Red Devils host lowly West Ham. Keith Downing will be in interim charge of West Brom as the Baggies host Hull, while Tim Sherwood will hope to still be in charge of Tottenham when they travel to Southampton on Sunday. The weekend’s other game sees Roberto Martinez take his in-form Everton side back to south Wales to face his former club Swansea. The Gunners have seen their lead at the top of the table cut to two points after being held to a draw by Everton and then being beaten 6-3 by free-scoring Manchester City. A defeat against Chelsea at the Emirates would see the Blues leapfrog Arsene Wenger’s side and their cause will be helped with Jack Wilshere set to miss out for the hosts after his Football Association charge for a gesture towards Manchester City fans. Press Association
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Returning home, the No. 5 USC men’s tennis team (10-1, 0-0) played as close to perfection as realistically possible in its 7-0 sweep of San Diego State (1-6, 0-0).In recent matches, the Trojans have been in search of consistency throughout the lineup, and yesterday they gave a consistent effort by not dropping a single set throughout the match.“I’ve said that we will keep working toward being perfect, and today we played closer to perfect,” USC coach Peter Smith said.Against the Aztecs — who had recently won two out of three doubles matches against No. 6 UCLA — the USC doubles lineup gained some confidence.Senior Robert Farah and freshman J.T. Sundling started the day off with an 8-4 victory, coming off a tough doubles loss against Pepperdine last Friday.Juniors Jaak Poldma and Peter Lucassen continued to show off their winning ways in pulling away from juniors Andre Feliz and Tim Schulz van Endert during their 8-6 victory.Soon after, sophomores Steve Johnson and Daniel Nguyen defeated their counterparts 8-5 to seal the doubles whitewash.USC used a new singles lineup as Lucassen took Johnson’s No. 2 spot in the order, and Sundling returned to the singles lineup after sitting out the singles portion against Pepperdine.Johnson took the opportunity to rest his back before the start of play against Pac-10 opponents this upcoming weekend.“I don’t think it will be an issue,” Johnson said of his nagging back stiffness. “I felt this was a good time to take the day off before Pac-10 play starts.”Lucassen was bumped up in the lineup to test him out against some tougher competition, Smith explained.Lucassen was indeed tested, as his match against senior Juan Gomez was the last to finish because of a lengthy second-set tiebreaker. Lucassen took the lead in the tiebreaker but was eventually forced to fight off set point multiple times. He eventually grabbed the last set for the Trojans, 6-2, 7-6 (14-12).At the No. 1 position, Farah seemingly had the match sealed with a 5-2 lead in the second set. His opponent fought back to force a tiebreak but fell short as Farah won 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).Poldma was the first to finish his singles match, winning 6-2, 6-4 over Feliz.Next, sophomore Matt Kecki extended his singles winning streak to six consecutive matches by defeating Giovanni Vaglietti 6-4, 6-2.Nguyen bounced back after losing his singles match at Pepperdine during his straight-set triumph over sohpomore Luis Rattenhuber 6-2, 6-4.In another promising performance, Sundling controlled his No. 6 match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Schulz van Endert.The importance of this home match could not be overstated as the Pac-10 season starts this weekend with two matches against No. 15 California and No. 14 Stanford and many of the players are busy with schoolwork that takes up much of their time.“It is tough to play and study, as many of the players are in the middle of midterms,” Smith said.With a lot on the players’ plates at this point and the team heading into a crucial juncture of the season, the sweep of the Aztecs is a big aid to the entire team’s confidence.“Right now we are playing well, we just have to keep things rolling,” Johnson said.As the team heads up to the Bay Area this weekend, it feels that its recent performance has built a solid foundation in the hopes of compiling victories against conference foes.“This win creates momentum, and momentum is huge heading into Pac-10 play,” Smith said.
The Liberian government announced last weekend the resumption of academic activities, beginning Monday, January 12, 2015. The Ministry of Education (MOE) said registration of students would commence that day, followed by teacher orientation and other preparatory activities. Classes will commence on Monday, February 2.This announcement immediately received mixed reactions from school authorities, especially in Monrovia. Some for various reasons expressed un-readiness. They cited teacher availability, as some have resigned and moved on. Others wondered about money for buckets, Clorox and thermometers to enforce Ebola-preventive measures; and other emergencies associated with school reopening. Still others argued that the notice was too short. Many school authorities also raised the burning issue of transportation. But two leading Liberian educators, both of them women and heads of private institutions, reacted differently. Sister Mary Laurene Browne, head of the Roman Catholic-run Stella Maris Polytechnic, told our Education Correspondent C.Y. Kwanue that yes, times are tough, but Liberians and their partners should make the sacrifice and proceed with school reopening. She gave two primary reasons: first, waiting any longer for the resumption of academic activities would cause the country’s education system to “go from bad to worse.” The longer we took, she reckoned, the more difficult and more expensive it would be to reopen schools. Secondly, she feared that should we wait until Liberia is declared Ebola-free “our school-going children would become over-aged for their current classes.”The renowned educator suggested that all of us—government, schools, including all staffs and the students— “should ensure strict observance of the preventive measures . . .” Madam Hesta Katakaw, probably the nation’s leading education entrepreneur, lamented that many of the school authorities were behaving like “foolish virgins.”Remember the story Jesus told about the bridegroom’s coming, and how the Kingdom of Heaven would be like unto that? There were ten virgins who were told to prepare for the bridegroom’s coming. Five of them were wise, five were foolish. While the bridegroom tarried (delayed), all of the virgins slept. But before then, the wise virgins prepared themselves by filling their lamps with oil. The foolish five, however, never bothered to prepare themselves or their lamps. When at midnight it was announced that the bridegroom was arriving, the foolish virgins rushed to the wise ones saying, “Give us some oil, for our lamps are gone out.” But the wise replied, “No, lest there be not enough for ours. Go ye therefore to the shops and buy oil.” By the time the foolish virgins returned, the bridegroom had arrived and the door had been shut. They cried to him to open the door, but it was too late. Jesus then told his disciples, “Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.” Surely, like Sister Laurene and Madam Katakaw, there is not a single school principal or authority that did not know that it was only a matter of time when all schools would be declared reopened. So while the government waited for the deadly Ebola virus to go away, all educational authorities, beginning with MOE, and even the parents, should have been preparing for school reopening.Alas! The hour has come when President Sirleaf has declared the time ripe for our students to return to school. Which MCSS school is there that has not, during all these months of waiting, cleaned its yard and building, repaired its broken benches, refurbished its bathrooms and made ready its classrooms, laboratories and libraries for school reopening?In the Ebola interim, which commenced in March 2014, the Ministry of Education itself should have been engaging all public school authorities and helped them get ready for the eventual school reopening. We hope that has been the case, and that MCSS and all other government educational institutions in Monrovia and around the country are ready. And as Sister Laurene has reminded us, every school should be equipped with all the utensils, buckets, thermometers, etc., and materials—Clorox and other needed chemicals and soap for the bathrooms—to ensure that all the measures are strictly observed.School authorities may reject the notion of being foolish virgins; but surely in times of crisis—any crisis—no one should sit supinely and do nothing. If it is no more than keeping the surroundings clean or repairing the broken benches, that would have been something.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
2 Duke 67, at Ga. Tech 59 Wanisha Smith scored 13 points, and the Blue Devils (15-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) survived their closest game of the season. The Yellow Jackets (11-4, 0-3) held Duke to its fewest points of the season, far below its 97-point average. at 5 Baylor 57, at TCU 76, 18 New Mexico 67 Adrianne Ross scored a career-high 24 points to help the Horned Frogs (7-6, 1-1 Mountain West) get the win. Ross went 10 for 19 from the field and also had five assists and four steals. Dionne Marsh led the Lobos (12-4, 2-1) with 20 points. at George Washington 58, 19 Temple 41 Freshman forward Jazmine Adair scored 11 points and set career-highs with 11 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Colonials (10-4, 3-0) to their fourth straight win. The Owls (10-4, 2-1) had 19 turnovers, 17 field goals and shot 23 percent. 24 Missouri 64, at Nebraska 58 Carlynn Savant scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and the Tigers won their 12th straight game. LaToya Bond led Missouri (13-2, 3-0 Big 12) with 21 points. Kelsey Griffin scored 16 points for the Cornhuskers (10-4, 2-1). 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Oklahoma St. 26 Jessica Morrow scored 11 points and Sophia Young added 10 to lead the Bears (12-1, 2-1 Big 12), who opened the second half with an 11-2. The Cowgirls’ 26 points represented the lowest offensive output for a Baylor opponent in school history. 10 Rutgers 66, at S. Florida 65 Cappie Pondexter scored a career-high 40 points, including a jumper with 8 seconds left to give the Scarlet Knights (11-2, 3-0 Big East) to break a 64-64 tie. Jessica Dickson had a career-high 37 points for South Florida (11-5, 1-2).