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Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Spurs beat Swansea to end winless slide
LONDON — Tottenham moved level on points with third-place Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, beating Swansea 3-1 to end a five-match winless run and keep Chelsea and Newcastle at arm's length in the battle to finish in the Champions League spots.
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored two headed goals in the final 17 minutes at White Hart Lane as Spurs maintained the gap to their rivals below them to five points with seven rounds left.
"We hit a little blip but we feel like we're back now and hopefully heading onto a good run-in towards the end of season," said Tottenham winger Gareth Bale.
Newcastle's surprise push for European soccer next season gathered momentum with a 2-0 win over struggling Liverpool, keeping Alan Pardew's side on the same number of points as Chelsea and condemning the visitors to a sixth loss in seven league games.
In-form Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse grabbed a double for the second straight match for Newcastle, with Liverpool finishing with 10 men following the late sending-off of goalkeeper Jose Reina for a headbutt.
The Spain international faces a three-match ban that will culminate with his team's F.A. Cup semifinal against Merseyside rival Everton, which is now above Liverpool in the league table by a point.
Tottenham hadn't won a league game since Feb. 11 prior to the arrival of Swansea, which has received plaudits from neutrals for its free-flowing style of play and even led to its highly rated manager Brendan Rodgers being linked with a move to Spurs should Harry Redknapp eventually take the vacant England job.
Swansea typically enjoyed more possession than its opponents but Tottenham had the cutting edge in Adebayor, who increased his team-high tally to 13 goals this campaign.
His first goal, a header from Rafael van der Vaart's fine, inswinging corner in the 73rd, put Spurs back in the lead after Gylfi Sigurdsson equalized in the 59th with a fierce drive from outside the area for his fifth goal in four away games.
Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, sealed the win in the 87th with another header, this time from a cross by substitute Aaron Lennon from the right.
Van der Vaart had given Spurs the lead with a powerful sidefooted finish after a cross from Bale, who tormented Swansea's defense all match, was only half-cleared.
"It was a harsh scoreline, I think," Rodgers said. "I am so proud of my players today. We've come to White Hart Lane (and) I thought for big parts we dominated."
Chinaglia passes away
ROME — Former New York Cosmos star Giorgio Chinaglia died of complications from a heart attack Sunday. The Italian soccer great was 65.
Chinaglia died at his home in Naples, Florida, his son, Anthony, said through family friend Charlie Stillitano, who was Chinaglia's cohost on a Sirius XM radio show.
Chinaglia was the all-time leading scorer in the North American Soccer League after starring with the Italian club Lazio. He scored 262 goals in his eight seasons with the Cosmos that began in 1976.
Lazio also announced the death. Chinaglia lived in the U.S. since facing accusations in Rome of involvement in an organized crime group that allegedly tried to buy Lazio in 2006.
Chinaglia helped Lazio win its first Italian title in 1974 and later became the club's president. He played for Italy at the 1974 World Cup.
With the Cosmos, he played alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. He was the power scorer in a lineup that featured the finesse of Pele and the calculating play of Beckenbauer.
"I am a finisher. That means when I finish with the ball, it is in the back of the net," Chinaglia said in 1978.