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EPL: Swans fire 2 past Gunners as they blank; Weekend’s action review

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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EPL: Swans fire 2 past Gunners as they blank; Weekend’s action review | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Manchester United moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League after an extraordinary 4-3 victory at Reading on Saturday in which all seven goals arrived in the first 34 minutes of the match.

Defensive manuals were ripped up as United trailed 1-0 and 3-2 but once again they showed their trademark resilience as two goals from Wayne Rooney, one from Anderson, and Robin van Persie’s 10th league strike of the season sealed the points.

Champions Manchester City needed a Carlos Tevez penalty to draw 1-1 at home to Everton – their 37th home league match without defeat – but they lost ground to their rivals in what is already looking like a two-horse title race.

Third-placed Chelsea surrendered a halftime lead to lose 3-1 at West Ham United to leave under-fire interim manager Rafael Benitez still without a win while Arsene Wenger was the target of jeers as his Arsenal side were humbled 2-0 by Swansea City.

Juan Mata gave Chelsea a well-deserved lead but West Ham roared back to pile pressure on Benitez with former Chelsea striker Carlton Cole levelling just past the hour before substitutes Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga struck late on.

Benitez, whose appointment in the wake of Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking has proved unpopular among fans, is the first Chelsea manager not to win any of his first three matches in charge since Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich bought the club.

“In the second half we didn’t start well, they got on top of us and we couldn’t manage,” former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose first two matches in charge ended in 0-0 draws against Manchester City and Fulham, told Sky Sports.

The European champions, now without a win in seven league matches having topped the table, are joined on 26 points by Tottenham Hostpur, who won 3-0 at Fulham with England striker Jermain Defoe scoring twice.

West Bromwich Albion slipped to fifth, also on 26 points, after a 1-0 defeat at home by Stoke City.

Defensive fragility
Manchester United have now conceded 21 league goals this season, managing just three clean sheets.

Their defensive fragility was exposed again by Reading, who took the lead after eight minutes through Hal Robson-Kanu.

Anderson equalised five minutes later after combining with Ashley Young before Jay Tabb bundled over Jonny Evans in the box and Wayne Rooney fired United ahead from the spot.

Two goals in four minutes from Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison put Reading 3-2 ahead after 23 minutes but Rooney turned in Patrice Evra’s cross to make it 3-3 before Van Persie kept his head to slot home what turned out to be the winner.

“It was agony. The worst defending of this season and we needed to do something about it,” United manager Alex Ferguson, who hauled off defender Rafael in the first half, said.

“We’re needing to rescue the situation all the time. Fortunately we have players who can do that.”

Looking ahead to next week’s derby with Manchester City, Ferguson quipped: “If we defend like that against Manchester City, I might need to play myself.”

Arsenal were booed off at the Emirates as they slipped to 10th following Michu’s late double for Michael Laudrup’s impressive Swansea side.

“Of course you can understand the fans when we lose a match the way we did today,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

“We were maybe lacking a bit of maturity to keep it 0-0. It’s a big blow because the games are coming very quickly. Today was not the way we want to play football.”

Liverpool were 1-0 winners at home to Southampton and bottom club Queens Park Rangers drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa as their search for a first league win of the season continues under new manager Harry Redknapp.

In control
Banners protesting about Benitez’s shock appointment were still in evidence at Upton Park, yet for 45 minutes Chelsea looked in total control and heading for victory.

When Fernando Torres cut the ball back from the byline for Mata to shoot Chelsea in front after 13 minutes, it seemed that Benitez could silence his critics, at least for a day.

West Ham were far more adventurous after the break and deservedly drew level when Cole nodded past Cech from close range after appearing to climb over Branislav Ivanovic.

Mata nearly restored Chelsea’s lead with a superb free kick that thudded against the woodwork and Chelsea looked the more likely winners as the game entered its closing stages.

However, West Ham roused themselves to beat Chelsea for the first time in nine years.

With four minutes of normal time remaining Diame smashed a low shot past Cech and with isgruntled Chelsea fans already heading for the exits Maiga converted a rebound for the third after Cech had saved Matt Taylor’s shot.

Manchester City extended their unbeaten league run at home to 37 matches but they were given a scare when Marouane Fellaini scored for Everton after 37 minutes.

Argentine Tevez levelled just before halftime when Fellaini was adjudged to have dragged down Edin Dzeko.

“If teams come here and get soft penalties awarded against them it’s going to be hard to get a result,” Everton manager David Moyes told Sky Sports after his sixth-placed side’s eighth draw in 15 league games.

— Reuters

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Phuket

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | The Thaiger

A female prisoner is on the run after escaping from Vachira Phuket Hospital during a doctor appointment. 58 year old Siri Phodam allegedly escaped after asking her convoy officer to use the toilet, in which after she took a long time to come back, was found to have escaped. CCTV cameras caught her dressed in a blue hospital patient shirt and a sarong leaving the hospital quickly. A Phuket prison officer says the woman is 158cm tall and has dark skin.

“Some of our own officers are searching for her, and we have also sent the prisoner’s description to all Phuket police stations. However, at this stage we have not found any clues.

Female prisoner on the run after escaping from Phuket Hospital | News by The Thaiger

“If anyone finds a person matching the prisoner’s appearance, please inform us by calling 076 212 104.”

Siri was imprisoned after being charged with posessing illegal drugs and lived in Moo 2, Rawai.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival gets the green light – VIDEO

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival gets the green light – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

WARNING: The content below contains photos and videos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

Somehow Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival is to go ahead next month, but officials say they will ask participants to strictly observe social distancing. Good luck with that! For those who don’t know, the festival isn’t exactly known for the food. It’s known for blood, body mutilation and more blood.

During street processions for the weeklong event, also known as the Nine Gods Festival, so called “mah songs” are known to practice self-mutilation and are said to enter a trance-like state, channeling spirits through their body. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and many suggest the mah song acts like a horse for the spirit to ride.

Many mah songs pierce their checks, ears and lips, some with large swords and thick needles. Some slice their tongues continuously for hours, blood dripping down on the street. Others appear to be in a trace walk barefoot as firecrackers explode on the ground.

Mah songs march down Phuket’s streets for hours with a team of devotees to help tend to their wounds, adjust the piercings, wipe away drool and blood, and keep them hydrated. It’s understood that devotees wear white as a symbol of purity. It’s also reported that they abstain from eating meat, drinking alcohol and having sex during the weeklong festival.

It seems gruesome, but it’s actually very spiritual. Business owners and locals line the street, some setting up altars. Mah songs stop at each one and do a quick ritual. Some mah songs carry a black flag, waving it over onlookers who bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position. Some spend time blessing the elderly and handing out bracelets to children. During a procession last year, a woman held up a bracelet as said “the ‘Spirit’ gave this to my mother.”

This year, the festival will have to be a little different to abide by coronavirus prevention measures. The Bangkok Post says it’s the first festival since the outbreak. The head festival organiser Prasert Fukthongphol says “we will seriously enforce social distancing measures and require all participants to wear face masks.”

The grotesque piercings, noisy parades and visits to the shrine, are good news for Phuket’s tourism and bad news if you’re a vegetable. Many adherents to the Chinese-heritage local festival will go without sex, alcohol and meat for the week of so of the festival. The week of events and ceremonies hopes to scare away the bad gods again but, especially this year, attract some extra visitors to the festival.

Another Vegetarian Festival in Chon Buri has also been given the green light. The event is planned for October 16 to the 26. This year’s main event for the festival will be in Naklua at Sawangboriboon Thammasathan Foundation at the Sein Sua Chinese Temple, but many other events will be around the city throughout the week.

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Phuket's annual vegetarian festival gets the green light - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Pattaya News

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Phuket

Officials says no illegal land encroachment at Phuket’s Sri Panwa resort

Maya Taylor

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Officials says no illegal land encroachment at Phuket’s Sri Panwa resort | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sri Panwa Phuket Resort - Sri Panwa Phuket

After coming in for some negative online attention recently, the land title deeds of the Sri Panwa Phuket resort have been investigated and found “to be in order”. The 5-star hotel first attracted the attention of netizens when its owner, Vorasit Issara, publicly criticised anti-government activist Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, calling for her arrest. He also claimed she wasn’t Thai, a factually wrong and inflammatory statement.

His Instagram tirade prompted outrage from those who support the current protest movement, with netizens calling for a boycott of his property and leaving several negative comments on various review sites. Trip Advisor suspended the hotel’s account due to the online attack.

Shortly after, the Civil Society for State Welfare called on the Social Security Office to clarify its investment in the resort’s trust fund. This was echoed by at least one opposition MP and anti-corruption activists.

Responding to the land rights issue, the Phuket Land Office has issued a statement to say the hotel does not occupy state land. The resort stands on 56 rai of prime real estate, overlooking Phuket’s south-eastern coast. The land office has confirmed its paperwork is all in order.

Meanwhile, it’s understood Charn Issara Development, owners of the property, have threatened to sue the resort’s critics for defamation.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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