EVERTON WIN Romelu Lukaku struck twice in the first half and Ross Barkley added a late third as Everton beat Southampton 3-0 for their first win of the season. Swansea joined Everton on four points after winning 2-0 at home to Newcastle, with Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew scoring. Newcastle played the second half with 10 men after Daryl Janmaat was sent off in the 41st for two yellow cards. Watford drew 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s other game. Man United won 1-0 at Aston Villa on Friday and are the other team on six points alongside Leicester, ahead of Manchester City’s game against Chelsea and Crystal Palace hosting Arsenal today. Leicester were in the headlines for the wrong reasons during the week, with striker Jamie Vardy fined after he was filmed using racist language towards a Japanese man in a casino. Vardy spoke to Okazaki, who joined Leicester in the off season, about the situation and the pair started together up front. They combined for the 27th-minute opener, with Vardy crossing for Okazaki to score at the second attempt after his initial shot was saved. Mahrez doubled the lead in the 38th. West Ham couldn’t replicate its performance from last weekend, when they beat Arsenal 2-0 away, and their hopes of a comeback ended when goalkeeper Adrian was sent off in injury time for a kick on Vardy. No team has scored more points than Leicester (28) in the Premier League since the start of April, yet Ranieri is remaining grounded. “We want to achieve 40 points to maintain the Premier League (status),” the Italian coach said. “That’s our goal.” The season hasn’t started so well for another team that narrowly avoided the drop last season. Sunderland were booed by their own fans during a 3-1 home defeat to Norwich and have lost both their games, conceding seven goals. “It was even worse than last week,” Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat said. “We have to go back to the basics.” Stoke scored twice in the final 12 minutes through Marko Arnautovic, from the penalty spot, and Mame Biram Diouf to salvage a 2-2 draw at Tottenham, keeping both teams without a win after two rounds. REMAINING GROUNDED MANCHESTER, England (AP): After being relegation candidates for most of last season, Leicester could be spending more time at the other end of the Barclays Premier League table this time around. A 2-1 win at West Ham yesterday gave Leicester a second straight victory to open the season and moved the team to top of the fledgling standings, on goal difference above Manchester United. Japan striker Shinji Okazaki and winger Riyad Mahrez, with his third goal already this season, scored for Leicester in the first half to take their tally to six goals in two games after a 4-2 win over Sunderland. Leicester won seven of their last nine games to escape relegation in their first year back in England’s top division and the good form is continuing under new manager Claudio Ranieri, who replaced Nigel Pearson in the off season.
Eight out of 10 Greeks are pessimistic about the short-term future of the debt-ridden economy but one in two are hoping for a return to growth in three years, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday. Some 42.8 percent of people asked do not believe Greece will achieve the goals set.About 79.6 percent of the 1,600 survey participants, conducted for Mega television channel by research company GPO, said they believed the economic situation in Greece, which has been dealing with an acute debt crisis since late 2009, is not going to improve dramatically in the near future. However 54.9 percent were optimistic that Greece could solve the crisis by 2014 through its austerity and reform program. The program is supported financially by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which fear a domino effect across Europe. Some 42.8 percent of people asked do not believe Greece will achieve the goals set. Despite reassuring statements by Greek government officials, 48.5 percent of Greek citizens fear more austerity measures will be implemented by the socialist government under pressure from the EU and IMF, which pledged 110 billion euros (138.97 billion US dollars) in aid over a three-year period in May. In exchange, Greece has started implementing drastic efforts to slash its budget deficit from 13.6 percent of GDP to less than 3 percent by 2014 and has proceeded with bold and harsh structural reforms that have caused strong opposition from Greek labor unions. After a break for the summer holidays, labor unions plan a new wave of strikes and demonstrations this autumn over painful cutbacks in salaries, increases in taxes and changes in the pension system. According to the survey, four out of 10 Greeks do not have confidence that a single political party can pull the country out of the economic crisis. About 31 percent of respondents trust the now ruling PASOK party, while 13.4 percent trust the centre-right main opposition New Democracy (ND) party. Three out of 10 believe the two major parties who have led all governments in Greece since the restoration of democracy in 1974, are responsible for the crisis. If general elections were held today in Greece, PASOK and ND would get record low votes, according to the results of the poll. Twenty-seven percent of Greeks said they would not know who to vote for, 28.6 percent would vote for PASOK and 21.1 percent for ND. The Greek Communist Party would receive 9 percent of the vote, the far-right populist LAOS party 6.8 percent and the Left SYRIZA coalition less than the 3 percent threshold to enter parliament. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram