Laurie Foster: Mass exodus

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Stewart
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Christone Day runs at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, in August 2015.
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Foster’s Fairplay is still basking in the afterglow of the XV IAAF Beijing World Championships. Starting with the new paradigm that branded the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jamaica’s lovers of sports were spellbound by the superlative performances in five world-standard showcases of track and field up to and including the Moscow World Championships two years ago.

At every call, the supporters swelled to proportions that were once again to lose valuable sleep, and possibly jobs, as the viewing vigil at times meant early to mid-morning shifts.

Many of the thrilling moments of the second stint in the Chinese city were predictable – the Usain Bolt recurring phenomenon; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s now-cemented upper hand on the world’s best female sprinters; and Elaine Thompson’s emergence, with thoughts of a ‘three the tough way’ clash in Rio – and brought added moisture to the palate.

What did not appear in the crystal ball was what coach Lennox Graham would pull from his magician’s bag in Danielle Williams.

Having warmed to all those thrills, now safely tucked away, the cooling-down opportunity was to be embraced just to reflect. As mentioned last week, putting the 2016 Olympics in proper perspective and willing our amazing athletes to greater effort and glory would be the sole focus. Perish that thought at the womb stage! Here comes a mass exodus from the two top clubs whose athletes had sweetened the pot a mere few weeks ago in Beijing.

 

News scanty

 

News coming from the MVP camp is scanty, and not unsurprisingly, non-committal. All that was revealed equalled “I’ll tell you at month end – October”.

Over at Racers, sources, who asked to remain anonymous, say that the problem is efforts to upgrade their female portfolio were falling short. The all-encompassing picture first is that national champion and World Champs 400m fourth-place finisher Christine Day and Beijing 100m finalist Natasha Morrison, both with gold medals in the mile and sprint relays, respectively, have headed out the MVP exit door.

Of lesser quality and impact, back-to-back 200m silver medallist at the World Juniors (2002/2004) Anneisha McLaughlin, later Whilby, has also waved her hand in retreat from her MVP teammates.

Almost simultaneously coming to this columnist, Beijing 2008 Olympics joint 100m silver medallist Kerron Stewart has also packed her bags and said goodbye to Racers. Accompanying her on the move were the too-long-promising duo of sprinter Schillonie Calvert and 400m hurdler Ristananna Tracey. The grapevine, and understandably so, reveals that the club’s bosses were spared the trauma of letters of dismissal – their threatening reaction to below-par performances.

There is no difficulty in saying to the Dr Glen Mills-conditioned trio “that is the end of that” and “wish you well elsewhere”.

Stewart, it must be concluded, has had her time, her most productive days seemingly behind her, although thoughts of that pair of silver medals, being at the time transformed to gold, must be a bothersome factor.

Calvert, despite global sprint relay gold medals in 2013 (Moscow, WC) and 2015 (Nassau, World Relays Championships), has not realised early promise shown at the individual level. And Tracey, who it is claimed has taken on major distractions, qualifies for what the horsemen call “in and out running”. They seem all to have been in the Racers departure lounge.

The University of Technology-based athletes, if they considered their less than impressive high school past, should have been happy, even under the coaching whip of an uncompromising, no-nonsense Stephen Francis.

Day’s WC personal best of 50.14 and Morrison’s similarly described 10.96 in her semi-final show remarkable improvement from the ranks of ‘Miss Nobodys’. Whispers are that their enthusiasm and willingness to compete in Beijing took a nosedive when they resumed the circuit several thousand dollars richer. Given safe landing and embraces in another camp, they could soar to even greater heights.

Foster’s Fairplay is reluctant to take an unnecessary swipe at athletes who brought satisfaction from Beijing. However, the label attendant to the charge of post-World Champ attitude suggests ingratitude for the goodwill extended to escort them there. Be careful now! This exit has revealed a few things previously kept ‘beneath the sheets’. So the heat can ‘tun up’ anytime.

High schools show support for special needs

Contributed
Students of the St George’s College, along with their Guidance Counsellor, Mrs Colleen Yee Sing Mitchell, pose with symbolic bibs to mark their participation in the Digicel 5K Imagine Run. St George’s College is one of several schools that will participate in this year’s run, which is in aid of 12 special needs institutions.

KINGSTON:

Support for the Digicel 5K Imagine Run 2015 continues to increase since its launch over a month ago, with over 200 high-school students signed up to participate in the annual event on Saturday.

This includes students from Campion College, Camperdown High School, Mavis Bank High, AISK and St George’s College.

Digicel extended a special invitation to schools within the Corporate Area to drive further awareness of the special-needs community, while educating the students about the cause during their morning assemblies.

Now in its fourth staging, the annual event has maintained its mandate of using the funds raised to develop special-needs institutions in Jamaica.

“At St George’s College, we do a number of charities as we believe it is important for our students to give back to the community,” shared Colleen Yee Sing-Mitchell, guidance counsellor at the North Street-based institution.

“Special needs is not necessarily one of the areas to which the gentlemen of the school have been exposed, so we think the Digicel 5K Run is an ideal opportunity for them to learn about Jamaica’s special-needs community and play a part in supporting them,” she added.

 

Deadline extension

To facilitate the growing number of participants, the deadline was extended and will close today.

Interested persons may sign up for the Run online at www.runningeventsja.com for $1,200 or make a contribution to the cause through the Digicel Foundation.

In addition to the traditional run, walk and wheelchair options, persons will also be able to sign up for the ‘Fun’ route, which is an obstacle course filled with challenges, including pillow fights, neon light, paint and other interesting diversions.

“Our aim at Digicel Foundation is to not only improve the lives of our special needs friends, but to also educate more persons about special needs so that they can be

better integrated into our society,” said executive director of the Digicel Foundation, Samantha Chantrelle.

She added: “With increased awareness, we will eventually see Jamaicans making more effort to help these persons, whether it is through a simple act of helping a blind person to cross the road or to volunteer their time at one of the 12 beneficiary institutions of the run.”

High schools show – support for special needs – Deadline extended for Digicel 5K Imagine Run

Contributed
Students of the St George’s College, along with their Guidance Counsellor, Mrs Colleen Yee Sing Mitchell, pose with symbolic bibs to mark their participation in the Digicel 5K Imagine Run. St George’s College is one of several schools that will participate in this year’s run, which is in aid of 12 special needs institutions.

KINGSTON:

Support for the Digicel 5K Imagine Run 2015 continues to increase since its launch over a month ago, with over 200 high-school students signed up to participate in the annual event on Saturday.

This includes students from Campion College, Camperdown High School, Mavis Bank High, AISK and St George’s College.

Digicel extended a special invitation to schools within the Corporate Area to drive further awareness of the special-needs community, while educating the students about the cause during their morning assemblies.

Now in its fourth staging, the annual event has maintained its mandate of using the funds raised to develop special-needs institutions in Jamaica.

“At St George’s College, we do a number of charities as we believe it is important for our students to give back to the community,” shared Colleen Yee Sing-Mitchell, guidance counsellor at the North Street-based institution.

“Special needs is not necessarily one of the areas to which the gentlemen of the school have been exposed, so we think the Digicel 5K Run is an ideal opportunity for them to learn about Jamaica’s special-needs community and play a part in supporting them,” she added.

deadline extension

To facilitate the growing number of participants, the deadline was extended and will close today.

Interested persons may sign up for the Run online at www.runningeventsja.com for $1,200 or make a contribution to the cause through the Digicel Foundation.

In addition to the traditional run, walk and wheelchair options, persons will also be able to sign up for the ‘Fun’ route, which is an obstacle course filled with challenges, including pillow fights, neon light, paint and other interesting diversions.

“Our aim at Digicel Foundation is to not only improve the lives of our special needs friends, but to also educate more persons about special needs so that they can be

better integrated into our society,” said executive director of the Digicel Foundation, Samantha Chantrelle.

She added: “With increased awareness, we will eventually see Jamaicans making more effort to help these persons, whether it is through a simple act of helping a blind person to cross the road or to volunteer their time at one of the 12 beneficiary institutions of the run.”

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Simmons' suspension was harsh – Hendriks

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Jackie Hendriks

Former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director, Jackie Hendriks, believes the regional governing body was wrong in its decision to suspend West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, for recent comments he made regarding team selection.

Hendriks, a retired president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, is of the opinion that what should have been done instead was for Simmons to be reprimanded with a warning.

“I can understand the frustration that Simmons may have felt with him going and talking to (Dwayne) Bravo and (Kieron) Pollard, and wanting them to play, and his frustration of not getting them to be a part of the one-day squad,” said Hendriks.

“However, it’s rather unfortunate the comments he made. They were totally out of place, and temperate, and, should have been kept to himself,” added Hendriks. “However, having said that, I don’t believe the action of the board to suspend him was the right one.”

“I think it was a bit harsh, given that it is the head coach we are dealing with, and, could have been handled in a much more diplomatic manner,” Hendriks said.

Continued Hendriks: “He (Simmons) should have been called in, and be asked to explain the reason behind his outbursts.

“Thereafter, a stern warning should have been issues that such utterances are unacceptable, and a repeat of would lead to his ultimate dismissal.”

Simmons, said he believed there were outside “interference” in the selection of the one-day team for Sri Lanka.

According to the 52-year-old Trinidadian, who was this summer offered the reigns of the regional side, he along with chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd, was of the opinion that Bravo and Pollard should be included in the team, however, other selectors disagreed.

Former West Indies players Courtney Walsh, Courtney Browne, and Eldine Baptiste, are the other voting members on the selection panel.

Meanwhile, Hendriks, who represented the West Indies in the 1960s as a wicketkeeper, said he found it rather “peculiar” that Bravo and Pollard are good enough for the Twenty20 team and not the one-day side.

He said, while not exceptional, the duo remain two of the region’s best limited overs players, and deserved a place in both regional squads.

“I find it peculiar that they are selected for the Twenty20 team, and not the one-day team,” he said.

“They are two of the players we have in limited overs cricket, and as such I am still struggling to see why they were not in the World Cup squad to begin with, and now not in the one-day squad for Sri Lanka.

The West Indies are down to play two Tests, three one-dayers, and two Twenty20s, respectively, while on tour of Sri Lanka.
 

Goalie Scott grabs headlines in TG win

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Tivoli's Junior Flemming (left) also got in on the goal action.
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Heroics by Tivoli Gardens’ outstanding goalkeeper and captain Edsel Scott led his team to a 2-0 win against Harbour View in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at the Edward Seaga Complex yesterday.

Scott displayed his usual determination and ensured his team’s first victory of the new season after former Jamaica College schoolboy star Junior Flemmings, handed Tivoli a 34th minute lead when he easily beat Harbour View’s custodian Devon Haughton in goal.

Scott however, grabbed the headlines, stepping up to the responsibility after Tivoli Gardens were awarded a penalty with uncertainty as to who should take the kick caused delays. Scott eventually left his goal area and confidently scored in the 71st minute.

However, Harbour View were also awarded a penalty 16 minutes later giving the goalkeeper another shot at the bright lights. He duly obliged, extending himself to his right to make a remarkable save against Harbour View’s captain Nicholas Beckett.

Beside those highlights, the game was dull for the most part as the players focused on hard tackles and individual plays.

“Well coming into the season we needed a win, so although we were in a 1-0 lead at the time, the players wanted me to take the kick.

“We had a good talk about the situation having two losses and two drawn results previously. Now we need to move forward,” Scott said.

The veteran goalie also revealed that he has been playing in the nation’s top-flight football league for 23 years and that was his first goal.

 

FIRST GOAL

 

“This is my first goal since I start playing for Hazard in the 1991-92 season,” the 38-year-old said.

Coach of Tivoli Christopher Bender was satisfied with his first win of the new season.

“It was a sense of relief. We played better in the four previous games but failed to win. Now, we need to continue working hard in training,” Bender pointed out.

When quizzed as to why the penalty was taken by the ‘keeper, Bender responded that,” he is the team’s penalty taker. “We wanted to give Flemmings the kick as a young player, but changed.”

Losing coach Ludlow Bernard, says Tivoli must be commended for their fighting spirit.

“Well, clearly we have to correct the situation. There were players out there who did not show commitment, so we will investigate and try to come up with the right team for the next game.” Bernard said.

The win pushed Tivoli to five points, while Harbour remained on six, after five sets of games.

Powered by 'Tuffy' – Anderson's brace gives Waterhouse first RSPL win

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Anderson

Waterhouse registered their first win of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) season after scoring a convincing 3-0 win over the University of the West Indies (UWI) at the Drewsland mini-stadium yesterday.

Jermaine ‘Tuffy’ Anderson (38th and 81st) led the way with a goal in each half, sandwich by another strike from captain Damarley Samuels (45+2).

However, the game ended on a sour note for the hosts as midfielder Romario Campbell was shown the red card in time added.

Although not satisfied with the performance, Waterhouse coach Calvert Fitzgerald said the players showed they wanted the ‘monkey off their back’.

“I am feeling good (for win) … but I am not pleased with how the team performed. We were a bit lazy, and the coordination wasn’t what I want.

“But I credit them for endeavour. They wanted to win, and they showed the ambition to get the monkey off their back, so I am happy for that but not totally happy with how the team performed,” he insisted.

The home team took a while to control a spirited UWI team and get the game under their control. They almost took the lead on the half-hour, but Evan Taylor, who had a Man of the Match performance, saw his shot hit the post and roll across the face of the goal.

Anderson also came close but Amal Knight was equal to his low strike moments later.

They eventually broke the deadlock when Anderson’s header squeezed through Knight’s legs and over the line.

The home team continued to dominate, and Samuels made it 2-0 in added time with a low, fierce drive from 20 yards.

Waterhouse were again the better team after the break, and they sealed the win nine minutes from time when Anderson got on to the end of Kemar Seivwright’s cross and fired under Knight to make it 3-0.

In added time, Campbell was shown the red card for a retaliatory tackle on a UWI player.

UWI’s coach, Marcel Gayle, was making his first return as an opposing coach to the club where he coached for more than 15 years.

 

Yesterday’s Results

 

– Rivoli 3-4 Boys’ Town

– Tivoli Gardens 2-0 Harbour View

– Montego Bay 1-1 Humble Lion

– Portmore 1-0 Cavalier

 

Today’s Game:

 

8:30 p.m. – Arnett Gardens vs Reno at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

Barclays premier league review

AP
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates stadium in London yesterday. Arsenal won 3-0.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3

AFC BOURNEMOUTH 1

WATFORD 1

GOALS:-BOURNEMOUTH: MURRAY 28. WATFORD: IGHALO 45.

Glenn Murray scored his first goal for Bournemouth and wasted the chance to secure a victory for the Cherries. Murray headed in from a Matt Ritchie cross, but an error by Bournemouth keeper Artur Boruc gifted an equaliser for Odion Ighalo. Etienne Capoue’s foul on Adam Smith offered Murray another chance but his spot-kick was pushed away by Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes.

ASTON VILLA 0 STOKE CITY 1

GOAL: STOKE: 55.

Aston Villa dropped into the relegation zone after extending a poor run that has produced just one point from a possible 21. Their sixth loss in that spell was delivered by Marko Arnautovic, who also had an effort ruled out for offside. The Stoke midfielder exploited a huge gap in the Villa defence to claim the winner early in the second half.

CHELSEA 1 SOUTHAMPTON 3

GOALS: CHELSEA: WILLIAN 10. SOUTHAMPTON: DAVIS 43;

MANE 60; PELLE 72.

The crisis at Stamford Bridge continues after Southampton came from behind to win there for the first time since 2002. The Premier League champions took an early lead through Willian’s free-kick – his fourth in four games. But Steven Davis equalised before Sadio Mane added a second. Graziano PellÈ’s angled finish sealed victory for Southampton.

CRYSTAL PALACE 2 WEST

BROMWICH ALBION 0

GOALS: PALACE: BOLASIE 68; CABAYE PEN 89.

Crystal Palace continued their impressive start to the season with a comfortable victory over West Bromwich Albion. Yannick Bolasie opened the scoring midway through the second half when he headed home Yohan Cabaye’s inviting curling cross. Cabaye added the second from the spot after Wilfried Zaha, a constant menace on the right wing for Alan Pardew’s side, was tripped by Chris Brunt.

MANCHESTER CITY 6

NEWCASTLE UNITED 1

GOALS: CITY: AGUERO 42, 49, 50, 60, 62; DE BRUYNE 53.

NEWCASTLE: MITROVIC 18.

Sergio Ag¸ero scored five goals in the space of 20 minutes as Manchester City demolished Newcastle. Newcastle were ahead through Aleksandar Mitrovic but Ag¸ero’s brilliant burst of goals began when he headed City level. It continued after the break when his deflected shot made it 2-1 and he ran through soon after for his hat-trick. Kevin de Bruyne’s volley made it 4-1 before Aguero struck again with a curling shot and close-range finish.

NORWICH CITY 1 LEICESTER CITY 2

GOALS: NORWICH: MBOKANI 68. LEICESTER: VARDY PEN 28; SCHLUPP 47.

Leicester moved up to fourth in the Barclays Premier League. Norwich had most of the possession in the first half, but Leicester went ahead through striker Jamie Vardy’s penalty. Jeffrey Schlupp put the Foxes in control by slotting in a second before Norwich’s Dieumerci Mbokani scored. Nathan Redmond struck the post with a rising, angled drive in the closing minutes, but Leicester held on.

SUNDERLAND 2 WEST

HAM UNITED 2

GOALS: SUNDERLAND: FLETCHER 10; LENS 22. WEST HAM: JENKINSON 45; PAYET 60.

Sunderland are yet to win in the Premier League this season after blowing a 2-0 lead to draw against West Ham at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats raced 2-0 ahead, Steven Fletcher firing home from Yann M’Vila’s free-kick before Jeremain Lens’s sublime chip doubled the advantage. Carl Jenkinson led the fight back after Victor Moses’ cutback before Lens was sent off for a second yellow card.A mistake by Costel Pantilimon allowed Dimitri Payet to equalise.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4

ARSENAL 3 MANCHESTER

UNITED 0

GOALS: SANCHEZ 6, 19; OZIL 7.

Arsenal leap-frogged Manchester United to move into second place in the Barclays Premier League thanks to a remarkable start in which the Gunners scored three goals in the opening 19 minutes. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil scored twice in 74 seconds before the former added a third from the edge of the penalty area to beat United for just the second time in 14 league meetings. Arsenal were denied a fourth when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit the crossbar late on.

EVERTON 1 LIVERPOOL 1

GOALS: EVERTON: LUKAKU 45. LIVERPOOL: INGS 41.

Everton’s run without a win against Liverpool was extended to 10 games as the Merseyside rivals fought out a derby draw at Goodison Park as Romelu Lukaku equalised Danny Ings’ opener for Brendan Rodgers’ side. Ingsheaded James Milner’s corner pass Tim Howard, but Lukaku pounced on Emre Can’s poor clearance to level just before half-time.

SWANSEA CITY 2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2

GOALS: SWANSEA: AYEW 16; KANE OG 31. SPURS: ERIKSEN 27, 65.

Tottenham came from behind twice with a brace from Christian Eriksen at the Liberty Stadium. AndrÈ Ayew’s header gave the Swans the lead before Eriksen levelled with his first set-piece finish from 25 yards. Tottenham’s Harry Kane sliced the ball into his own net, but Eriksen came to the rescue again by finding the top corner from range to make it seven games unbeaten for Spurs.

Wolmer's face Bridgeport

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Reynolds

Wolmer’s Boys will face Bridgeport High in a top Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup football competition Group E clash at Dunbeholden field in St Catherine, today, starting at 3:30 p.m.

St Jago and Wolmer’s are locked on 13 points apiece in the group, however, St Jago have a superior goal difference. Bridgeport occupy third position on nine points, followed by Mona (6) and Kingston High (0).

With that picture, the Wolmer’s camp is fully aware that a win would put them in a better position for one of two automatic spots in the group to advance to the next stage.

 

IMPORTANT GAME

 

“This game coming up against Bridgeport is very important. We knew that the games against the St Catherine teams (Bridgeport and St Jago) are key to us advancing from the group. We had a draw against Jago on Friday, and now we face Bridgeport,” coach of Wolmer’s Vassell Reynolds told The Gleaner yesterday.

“We are most definitely looking for a win, but that won’t be easy playing away to a team that is still in contention,” the veteran schoolboy coach reasoned.

Alphanso Gooden is Wolmer’s top scorer with four goals, and he should get good support from Delano Smith on two goals and captain Kashaun Smith.

Meanwhile, Bridgeport will also be coming all out for a victory that would improve their slim hope of qualifying for the next round.

Bridgeport’s new coach Garnett Lawrence is looking forward to this return fixture after losing the first game 2-0 at Wolmer’s last month.

“We have been saying to the team all week that this is the game that could make or break us. It is important to secure all three points to stay in contention for a place in the next round,” Lawrence who took over as coach this season, said.

In another game, defending champion Jamaica College is highly expected to easily beat Clan Carthy, and cement a spot from Group A to the next round.

– M. S.

 

Today’s games

 

Group A:

– Clan Carthy vs Jamaica College

– Tivoli vs Calabar at Edward Seaga Stadium

Group D:

– Penwood vs St Mary’s College at Cling Cling Oval

Group E:

– Bridgeport vs Wolmer’s at Dunbeholden field

– Kingston High vs St Jago

Group G:

– Campion College vs Kingston College

– Jose Marti vs Camperdown

(Home teams are named first and all games start at 3:30 p.m.)

Coach Broderick calls for Vauxhall focus

Jermaine Barnaby
Spanish Town High school’s Jerome Francis (right) commits a foul on Vauxhall High school’s Junior Lywood during second-half action in their ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup fixture at Vauxhall playing field on Saturday October 3, 2015. Vauxhall won 4-0.

Vauxhall High school’s Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Flow Manning Cup football coach, Keon Broderick remains buoyed by the East Kingston school’s gutsy performances so far this season, and believes that with focus and discipline a second-round berth is certain.

The Vauxhall team has been no pushover so far, with their latest, and biggest win over Spanish Town High on Saturday (4-0), at the Vauxhall field, satisfying their loud supporters.

“I am feeling very good. We base our team off getting clean sheets and being well organised defensively, and they did just that. Once the boys remain disciplined tactically, and also off the field, I am sure we will get enough points to reach the second round,” he told The Gleaner.

The win took Vauxhall to a table-topping 16 points from seven games, while Jonathan Grant is a close 15 from their six matches.

 

UNDERESTIMATING US

 

“We feel very good. One thing for sure, that is what we want, we want people to underestimate us because we know exactly what we have and once you underestimate us you are going to come out sorry for us and, then they will see exactly what we have,” he outlined Saturday when asked if his team is a football minnow.

Former champions Excelsior High also fell 2-0 to the current Group F front runners, in a game played at Vauxhall.

Admitting his team is Group F underdogs, Broderick notes they will be looking to remain disciplined and try to peak at the right time.

“We can get much better, because in the preparation phase of the season we lost about two weeks and so we are not at 100 per cent like we wanted to be. Definitely as the season goes along I am sure we will get better, ” he stressed.

Gunners shoot down United – Sanchez scores two as Arsenal beat Man United 3-0

AP
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez (left) celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal of the game during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates stadium in London yesterday. Arsenal won 3-0.

LONDON (AP):

Alexis Sanchez’s superb first-half double helped give Arsenal a 3-0 win over Manchester United yesterday in a dominant display that propelled the London club into second place in the Premier League.

Arsenal decided the game in the opening 20 minutes after a furious start at the Emirates. Sanchez’s sublime backheel-flick at the near post opened the scoring in the sixth minute, and Mesut Ozil doubled the lead a minute later when he coolly curled the ball home after being set up by Theo Walcott.

Sanchez’s second was a fierce shot from the edge of the area in the 20th after a quick Arsenal passing move. It was Sanchez’s fifth goal in two league matches after his hat-trick against Leicester last week.

“That 25-minute period, no one could have dealt with us,” said striker Theo Walcott, who set up Ozil’s goal and was a constant threat with his pace up front. “That sends a message to the Premier League that we’re here to be reckoned with.”

GUNNERS IN SECONDPLACE

The Gunners leapfrogged United into second place with 16 points, two behind leading Manchester City. United are just behind Arsenal on goal difference.

United entered the weekend as the league leaders but couldn’t cope with Arsenal’s quick passing and high tempo as the Gunners looked like a completely different team to the one that lost 3-2 to Olympiakos at home in the Champions League in midweek.

“We were good because we decided to start strong, to press high,” Arsenal manager ArsÈne Wenger said. “When we do that, we can score goals. We know that.”

All three goals came after well-worked passing moves. For the first one, Ozil received a pass near the byline and cut the ball back to Sanchez, who, with his back to goal, flicked it inside the near post. Less than a minute later, Ozil set Walcott free on a run down the left. Walcott drew the attention of four defenders in the box before passing back to the unmarked Ozil, who curled in with his left foot.

The third came after Aaron Ramsey combined with Walcott to feed Sanchez, who ran across the edge of the area and cut on to his right foot before firing into the far-right corner.

“When you start a game like that, you can never win a game,” United manager Louis van Gaal said. “We lost every duel, every second ball. … And they can play. They’re a fantastic team!”

Ramsey missed a chance to net a fourth before Petr Cech had to make his first real save just before half-time. Anthony Martial spun around Per Mertesacker inside the area and fired low, forcing Cech into a first-class save with his left foot.

Van Gaal made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia for the ineffective Matteo Darmian, who struggled at right back against Sanchez’s pace, and Memphis Depay.

“When you give a team such as Arsenal so much space to play, you know you will lose,” Van Gaal said.

Van Gaal said United lacked aggression at the start and that he was “amazed and disappointed” at his team’s approach to the match in the first half.