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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Newcastle Shoots Down Arsenal, Opens Gap to 7 Points

NEWCASTLE, England -- French forward David Ginola fired home a 25-meter shot in the opening minute as Newcastle reopened a seven-point gap atop the English Premier League standings by downing sixth-place Arsenal 2-0.


Tuesday's result at St. James Park made Manchester United's 4-1 loss at Tottenham on Monday look even more damaging to the second-place Reds because Newcastle still has a game in hand.


In another Premier League game, a last-minute goal by Paul Furlong, his first of the season, earned Chelsea a 2-1 victory at struggling Queens Park Rangers.


Abnormally cold weather across Britain forced the postponement of 20 games in the English first, second and third division. No Premier League games were put off.


In frigid Scotland, 12 of 14 games were postponed. In the day's only Premier Division game, Hibernian defeated Hearts 2-1.


Fifty games were postponed across England on Saturday, with only three possible in Scotland.


On a misty Tuesday night in Newcastle, Ginola had some 36,000 Magpies fans roaring with his strike after just 56 seconds.


Even though the Gunners had first choice center backs Tony Adams and Steve Bould back for the first time in four games, they could do nothing to stop the Frenchman shooting Newcastle ahead after Paul Kitson had chested the ball down to him.


Goalkeeper David Seaman got a hand to the shot but could only palm in onto the inside of the post and it went in.


Two minutes into the second half it was 2-0 with Les Ferdinand beating Adams to a long ball forward and powering in his 22nd goal of the season.


French international William Prunier has turned down the chance of a second trial period at Manchester United.


The 28-year-old central defender, whose short-term contract with United was to end Wednesday after two first-team outings, has decided to return to France.


His agent Alain Migliascio said Tuesday: "Manchester United were due to give us a definite answer but they have offered William another trial period.


"With more than 350 French first division appearances and 35 European matches under his belt, he is no longer an apprentice."


Prunier, who quit French club Bordeaux last month after a disagreement with a leading official, played in United's 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers and the 4-1 defeat at Tottenham because of injuries to central defenders Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce. But United manager Alex Ferguson was not prepared to offer him a long-term contract because he felt Prunier needed more time to become used to his side's style of play.


The managers of England's leading soccer clubs are in favor of introducing a month-long mid-season break next year so their players can shake off injuries.


According to Gordon Milne, chief executive of the League Managers' Association, the move would make it easier for teams to field full-strength lineups and give the fans better value for money.


"Our argument has nothing to do with the weather, it is the amount of injuries players pick up over the Christmas and New Year period,'' said former Coventry and Leicester manager Milne.


Most clubs play four games over a tough eight-day holiday period.


"Everyone connected with the game, managers, coaches and players, need a chance to recharge their batteries," Milne said.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)


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Languishing last in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the other 19 teams, Bolton fired co-manager Roy McFarland on Tuesday.


McFarland, a former England center back, was jointly in charge of the team with Colin Todd, who will remain in sole charge of the team.


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FIFA chief Joao Havelange has said that during a visit to South Africa he will tell Nelson Mandela next week that the 2006 World Cup soccer finals will be held in Africa.


African soccer "is the football of the future," Havelange said in an interview in the newspaper Jornal do Brasil.


"I will tell president Nelson Mandela on Jan. 10 that the 2006 World Cup will be on their continent." (Reuters, AP)