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Chelsea, Liverpool stroll, while Man Utd crash again in Premier League******
LONDON, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chelsea remain clear leaders of the Premier League after a convincing win away to Leicester City on Saturday lunchtime.。
Thomas Tuchel's side produced a clinical performance against Leicester and had the game all but wrapped up inside the first half hour thanks to goals from Antonio Rudiger and N'Golo Kante.。
Former Leicester defender Ben Chilwell had already shot against his old team's crossbar before Rudiger headed in his 14th minute corner, and Kante, another former Leicester player, doubled Chelsea's lead in the 28th minute with a powerful left-foot shot.。
Christian Pulisic made it 3-0 on 71 minutes, with the only disappointment for Chelsea being an injury to key midfielder Jorginho, who was replaced with 13 minutes left to play.。
Liverpool remain three points behind in second place after giving Arsenal a reality check and ending the recovery of Mikel Arteta's side with a 4-0 thrashing of Arsenal.。
Jurgen Klopp's men dominated virtually from start to finish, with Sadio Mane opening the scoring in the 37th minute after a cross from Trent Alexander Arnold.。
Diogo Jota scored an excellent individual goal in the 52nd minute as Liverpool upped the pressure and their dominance led to further goals from Mohamed Salah, after good work from Mane, and Minamino who finished the tout in the 77th minute, just moments after coming on as a substitute.。
Things got worse for Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his side were beaten 4-1 away to struggling Watford, to give Claudio Ranieri his second win since taking over at Vicarage Road.。
It started to go wrong for Solskjaer before kick-off when Mason Greenwood was ruled out with Covid-19 and they could have been down in the opening minutes only to be saved by David de Gea, who twice blocked Josh King's twice-taken penalty.。
King put Watford ahead from close range in the 28th minute and Sarr doubled Watford's lead on the stroke of halftime.。
Donny Van de Beek pulled a goal back for United in the 50th minute, but Harry Maguire's sending off made things harder for them and Watford completed Solskjaer's misery with two goals in injury time from Pedro and Emmanuel Bonaventura to again put Solskjaer on the brink.。
Steven Gerrard got off to a winning start at Aston Villa as his side won 2-0 at home to Brighton to end a five-game losing streak.。
Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings scored the goals in a much-improved Villa performance, although the fans were made to wait with the goals coming in the 84th and 89th minutes.。
Gerrard's predecessor at Villa Park, Dean Smith also got off to a winning start at bottom of the table Norwich as his new side beat Southampton 2-1.。
It was defeat to Southampton a fortnight ago that cost Smith his job at Aston Villa, but goals from Teemu Pukki and Grant Hanley turned the game around for Norwich and gave Smith some revenge after Che Adams had put Southampton ahead.。
Raul Jimenez 56th minute goal decided a tight game between Wolves and West Ham United, who pressed hard after falling behind, but failed to create enough clear chances.。
Burnley and Crystal Palace shared six goals in a topsy-turvy game at Turf Moor, where the lead swapped hands twice before both sides settled for a point. Christian Benteke netted twice for Palace along with Marc Guehi, while Ben Mee, Chris Wood and the impressive Cornet hitting the target for the home team.。
There was no winning start at Newcastle for Eddie Howe, whose side were held to a 3-3 draw by Brentford.。
Howe missed his first game in charge after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday and it was another chaotic and entertaining affair with Jamaal Lascelles putting Newcastle ahead in the 10th minute, only for Ivan Toney to equalize a minute later.。
Rico Henry then gave Brentford the lead, only for a rare Joelington strike to bring Newcastle level. An own goal from Lascelles then put Brentford back in front, but Allan Saint Maximin saved a point with 15 minutes left to play, although Newcastle are now bottom and remain without a win all season. Enditem。
Countdown to Beijing 2022******
by sportswriter Dong Yixing
BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- 17 is an age old enough for Shaun White to become the first person to win medals in both the Summer and Winter X Games, and for Chloe Kim to become the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal.
But for Chinese snowboarder Zhang Jiahao, it was the age when he first took up snowboarding. Now 26, Zhang is fighting to stand on the Big Air ramp at the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Born in Beijing in 1995, Zhang dreamed of becoming a policeman when he was little. But in fact, he was something of a troublemaker as a boy, playing with video games, his Game Boy, yo-yo, crickets, dragonflies, tadpoles... Anything but studying was Zhang's favorite thing to do.
After graduating from junior high school, Zhang enrolled at a vocational high school for culinary education, following in the footsteps of his father - a baker.
Having tried swimming, basketball and other sports, Zhang fell in love with rollerskating after receiving a pair of skates from his aunt when he was five. It was not until his second year of high school that he was dragged to Nanshan Ski Resort near Beijing by some friends and tried snowboarding for the first time.
Zhang admitted that he was "young and bold" as first - no mask, no helmet, no gloves. But perhaps it was his experience in rollerskating that helped him slide down the hill smoothly. After only two days of practise, Zhang went straight to the jumping hill, adding "I was not afraid at all."
From then on, Zhang has been snowboarding for nine years without taking any breaks longer than one month, except for injuries.
At first, Zhang could only go snowboarding at weekends, as he had to work at hotel restaurants during the week. After a rotation of Japanese, Italian and pastry, he opted for the bakery simply because it had only night shifts, allowing him to snowboard during the day.
In his first year of work, Zhang received only 1,200 yuan (about 188 U.S. dollars) per month as an internship subsidy, almost all of which he spent on snowboarding, mobile phone bills and transportation expenses, but he was "really enjoying it and made rapid progress."
In order to hit the slopes as much as possible in his limited time, Zhang neither ate at the resort nor went to the bathroom just to save time for one more run, earning him the nickname of "the snowboard machine."
During his toughest time, Zhang only slept four hours a day as he would go snowboarding for two and a half hours after work in the morning, and then go home to sleep. Then he would wake up, work the night shift at the hotel, and go back to the ski resort after work in the morning.
Zhang participated in his first competition in January 2014. A backflip followed by a 360 earned him ninth place in the Nanshan Open and a contract with his first sponsor. "Very happy," Zhang said. "It just lifted me up and made me more confident. There was an inner force that drove me forward and it was completely different afterwards."
At the end of 2016, Zhang quit his hotel job and relied on several part-time jobs while snowboarding. It was not enough to afford his expenses and he had to rely on family support. But by 2017, he was able to pay for himself.
During these years, Zhang suffered a variety of injuries, including broken hands, a ligament fracture in his right leg, spiral fibula fracture, concussion and collapsed lung, but his love for and faith in the sport kept him going.
"In fact, I never thought of giving up in the first five years of snowboarding," said the 26-year-old. "But later, the pressure became heavier. All the competitions, injuries, and other things made me hesitate, but it was only a fleeting thought."
"I may be talented and hardworking, but it was the faith that made me who I am today."
As Beijing won the bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Zhang learned that snowboarders could have a chance to qualify for the Games if they competed in certain international events and achieved a certain level of points and rankings during the Olympic qualifying cycle.
Looking at his daily progress, the thought of competing at Beijing 2022 started to grow in his mind. "I wanted to do my best. For me, it's not about the results, it's all about the process."
"I was not sure what was going to happen at that time," Zhang noted. "I just felt that I was progressing very fast and could have a chance to compete." Zhang has been competing in Canada and Sweden since 2020, hoping to earn enough points to qualify for Beijing 2022.
Zhang had planned to go to South America for competitions in August this year but the COVID-19 pandemic, visa applications and other difficulties got in the way. But fortunately, the competition he had planned to attend was postponed, and he was granted a last-minute entry permit.
As Zhang finally hit the road, a 10-day snowfall ahead of the competition made the trail conditions better, allowing the competition to proceed as scheduled. Zhang won one gold and one bronze in the Big Air and Slopestyle events respectively.
With the points earned in Chile, Zhang now ranks third among all Chinese athletes in the two events on the Olympic provisional quota list.
After many ups and downs, Zhang said he is still happy but less excited than before. At the age of 26, Zhang admitted that he was no longer at his best. But even if there was only a 1 percent chance, he would fight for it. "In Chile, I didn't expect to win at all. Just step by step, one after another."
Zhang will travel to Europe for more competitions as he fights for his Winter Olympic dream. "If you have a passion for something, a dream, you must try. Because right now is your best moment, the youngest version of yourself." Enditem
Scholz pledges support for stronger Europe during first trip abroad as German chancellor******
New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a press conference with NATO Secretary General after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on December 10, 2021.。
After a long day of discussions in Paris and Brussels on Friday, new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country is ready to work closely with the European Union and other member states to make Europe "strong and sovereign."
Scholz, who was sworn in on Wednesday as the successor of Angela Merkel, followed in his predecessor's footsteps in making France the first stop during his first-ever trip abroad as chancellor.。
During his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Scholz pledged to work with France on the major challenges confronting the EU. The two leaders discussed the future of the EU with regard to immigration, new sources of energy, border protection and relations with third countries.。
Macron told a press conference after the meeting that he had seen "a convergence of views, a desire to have our countries work together, and a firm and determined belief in Europe, which I knew already, which we will need in the months and years ahead."
Scholz said their talks focused on "making Europe strong and sovereign" in terms of economy, security, and foreign policy. "What is important there is that we work together," he said.。
The meeting took place a day after Macron had laid out the agenda for a "Europe that is powerful in the world" during France's turn as the rotating president of the 27-member Council of the European Union in the first half of 2022.。
Stonger Europe, multipolar world。
Then the chancellor arrived in Brussels, where he met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.。
At a joint press conference with von der Leyen, Scholz emphasized the importance of strengthening the EU's security and defense policy. He also spoke about his vision of a "strong, sovereign European Union" that will be able to respond to foreign policy challenges in a coordinated way. "Any threat against any EU country will not be tolerated," he stressed.。
Scholz leads a coalition of his Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens. The German government works together in a united way, he said. "All three parties are pro-European," he said.。
Germany, as one of the strongest economies in the EU, bears the responsibility to take the role to ensure progress and a bright future in Europe, the chancellor said.。
Von der Leyen, a German politician herself, said Germany played an important role in shaping the EU. "The European Commission is ready for intensive cooperation with the new German government," she said, highlighting the fight against the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action in the framework of the European Green Deal, and large-scale digitalization as key areas for cooperation between the European Commission and Germany.。
At another press conference with European Council President Charles Michel, Scholz stressed that the EU should live peacefully with other countries when it seeks strategic sovereignty in the multipolar world of today.。
The world will not be bipolar as some people speculate, but a multipolar one with "many powers," including the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India as well as many other rising economies, he said.。
The former German finance minister and vice-chancellor in the Merkel government won 395 of the 707 votes cast in the Bundestag lower house on Wednesday, and pledged broad "continuity" with Merkel's policies while striving to make Germany greener and fairer.。