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Monday verdict: Draw with Spurs could have long-term implications for Chelsea


first_imgAfter an encouraging couple of weeks under Roberto Di Matteo’s leadership, the past few days have seen Chelsea brought back down to earth – and could end up having a significant impact on the club’s longer-term fortunes.Four straight wins, including that memorable victory over Napoli, had brought some smiles back to Stamford Bridge – on and off the pitch.But we fans knew deep down that matches against Manchester City and Tottenham would be more of a test than cup ties against lower-division opposition and the home game against Stoke. And so it has proved.The defeat in Manchester and, perhaps more crucially, the failure to beat Tottenham, have probably ended our chances of finishing in the top four.A win over Spurs would have left us just two points behind them and poised to pounce on any more points dropped by an out-of-form side.But a five-point gap with only eight games left to play is probably too much to overturn, especially when our own form is not great.So it looks like fifth place could be the limit of Chelsea’s league expectations this year, which would mean a worst finish for a decade.The Europa League next year could actually make a bit of a change – a few different away trips – but we all know it’s not where Chelsea want to be.If the four wins had begun to spark a small clamour for Di Matteo to get the job permanently, the City and Spurs games have perhaps brought that to an end.He’s a Chelsea man through and through and I hope he keeps a job at the club.But will a lack of Champions League football put off potential suitors? I’d love to see Jose Mourinho back, but would he want to manage a club that isn’t in the Champions League? I’m not sure hewould.And if we can’t get him or somebody comparable, we could look back and feel that a 0-0 draw with Spurs – so uneventful it was featured last on Match of the Day – actually shaped the future of Chelsea for years to come.James Clarke is the author of Moody Blues: Following the second-best team in EuropeFollow James on Twitterlast_img read more


Global fare forecast brings good news for business travellers


first_imgBusiness airfares in the US and Canada are expected to fall next year while ticket prices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific will stay largely flat, according to the latest prediction by American Express Global Business travel.But the annual forecast by the corporate travel manager warns business travellers using economy class to expect rising charges for extras as airlines try to boost revenue through ancillary fees.Amex sees the shifting geopolitical landscape, overcapacity and fierce competition generally keeping a lid on fare growth after limited increases in 2016.“The business travel outlook for next year looked to be similarly subdued with flat to moderate rate increases expected globally across air, hotel and ground transportation,’’ the forecast says.While demand for global air travel remains at a record high, Amex predicts persistently low fuel prices and strong competition will help keep airline fares in check.In North America, overcapacity is combining with fierce competition between legacy carriers and low-cost airlines on heavily travelled routes to produce fare decreases.The forecast predicts US short-haul economy fares will fall by about 3 per cent while international  business fares in the market will fall by about 1.5 per cent. Canada is expected to see a fall of 3.8 per cent on short hall economy flights and 3 per cent on long-haul business.“However, lower fares will be offset by higher ancillary fees as airlines continue to look for new sources of revenue,’’ it says.Flyers in Latin America will also see moderate falls in airfares with Argentina topping the short-haul economy table with a reduction of about 6.5  per cent followed by Brazil at 4 per cent.The forecast expects European fares to stay level with 2016 as airlines face significant headwinds because of the lacklustre economy, security concerns, continued aggressive expansion by low-cost carriers  and pressure from Gulf carrier.Countries expected to see rises include Germany , up 3 per cent in short-haul economy and 1.5 per cent in international  business,  and Poland, up 4 per cent in economy and 3 per cent in business.Fares in the UK are expected to fall 2 per cent on short-haul economy routes and 3 per cent in international business despite the impact of Brexit in devaluing the currency.Business fares in the United Arab Emirates are expected to remain flat on international routes.There will also be only limited growth in the Asia-pacific with Australian business fares showing no growth on international routes  and just 0.3 per cent in short-haul  economy and Singapore expecting a 1 per cent fall in business fares.There is no growth expected for Japan and the massive China market should see a 1.5 per cent rise in short-haul economy fares and just 0.8 per cent international business despite surging demand.  Business fare growth in another fast growing market, India, will also be small.“Airfares will stay flat across much of the Asia-Pacific region, with slight increases depending on route and fare class,’’ the forecast says. “Despite high demand and relative political stability, overcapacity is keeping rates in check.’’last_img read more


Lyceum stays unbeaten, cruises to 10th straight win


first_imgLYCEUM 96 – Perez 22, Jc. Marcelino 19, Ayaay 10, Tansingco 10, Caduyac 8, Pretta 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Liwag 5, Nzeusseu 5, Marata 3, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0, Ibañez 0, Santos 0.MAPUA 90 – Gabo 21, Buñag 18, Victoria 16, Aguirre 11, Nieles 9, Orquina 7, Pelayo 6, Raflores 2.Quarters: 20-21, 48-43, 73-58, 96-90. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lyceum lost hold of its 17-point lead, 71-54 in the third quarter as Laurenz Victoria and Leo Gabo willed Mapua to get to as close as six late in the game.Robinson said that it’s something his team needs to work on as the Pirates gear up for tougher foes ahead.“That’s the challenge for us. If we want to stay on top, there’s a lot of responsibilities that come with it. We’re the barometer. Hopefully, this will be a wake up call for us that any team can beat us if we let our guards down,” he said.Gabo paced Mapua (1-9) with 21 points and five assists, while Christian Buñag had 18 markers and 14 rebounds in the loss.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity.center_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MOST READ Africa champion Cameroon misses out on World Cup Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side CJ Perez paced the Pirates with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Jaycee Marcelino got 19 markers, six boards, and two dimes.MJ Ayaay and Ralph Tansingco both chimed in 10 points apiece in Lyceum’s 10th straight win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingCoach Topex Robinson, though, was dissatisfied with how his side reacted to the Cardinals’ challenge, as the cellar dwellers gave the Pirates everything they could handle.“I guess we didn’t play our usual game. We didn’t honor the game and it almost backfired on us. Credit to coach Atoy (Co) for preparing his team well for us,” the youthful mentor said. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Lyceum didn’t look like it missed a beat as it sustained its hot streak to the second round of the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament with a 96-90 victory over Mapua Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelolast_img read more