Weekend Developments From Europe's Top Leagues
Manchester United lost their grip on top spot in England, while the strange Serie A campaign continued, althoug it was business as usual in Germany and Spain.
English Premier League
Weekend Results, Saturday; Liverpool 1 Manchester United 1, Manchester City 4 Aston Villa 1, Norwich City 3 Swansea City 1, QPR 1 Blackburn 1, Stoke City 2 Fulham 0, Wigan 1 Bolton 3, Chelsea 3 Everton 1, Sunday; West Bromwich 2 Wolverhampton 0, Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1, Newcastle 2 Tottenham 2
Manchester City moved into top spot in England after a comprehensive 4-1 win over Aston Villa, with Mario Balotelli’s acrobatic effort getting them off the mark. Manchester United had keeper David de Gea to thank for helping them to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool, while Chelsea kept up the pressure, although they didn’t totally convince as they got past Everton 3-1.
Bolton moved out of bottom spot with an important 3-1 win at Wigan, which condemned the Latics to five consecutive defeats and left Roberto Martinez in a precarious position. Blackburn managed a 1-1 draw at QPR while Wolverhampton slipped down to 16th after their fifth consecutive defeat, losing 2-0 to West Bromwich.
Topscorers, Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 9 goals, Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 8 goals, Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) 6 goals, Demba Ba (Newcastle) 5 goals, Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 5 goals
Spanish La Liga
Weekend Results, Saturday; Real Mallorca 1 Valencia 1, Getafe 0 Villarreal 0, Real Madrid 4 Real Betis 1, FC Barcelona 3 Racing Santander 0, Granada 0 Atletico Madrid 0, Sunday; Rayo Vallecano 0 Espanyol 1, Real Zaragoza 2 Real Sociedad 0, Levante 3 Malaga 0, Sevilla 2 Gijon 1, Monday; Athletic Bilbao 3 Osasuna 1
Lionel Messi hit a double while Xavi got the other as Barcelona cruised past Racing Santander 3-0 on Saturday, while surprise packets Levante kept up their fine start to the campaign with a stunning 3-0 win over big-spenders Malaga. Gonzalo Higuain fired again as Real Madrid smashed Real Betis 4-1.
Sporting Gijon’s awful run continued with a 2-1 loss to Sevilla on Sunday, while Racing’s big loss to Barca has them entrenched in the bottom three. Athletic Bilbao were the only winners down the bottom, claiming a 3-1 win over Osasuna on Monday which moves them up to 11th.
Topscorers, Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 10 goals, Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) 8 goals, Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 7 goals, Roberto Soldado (Valencia) 5 goals, Radamel Falcao (FC Sevilla) 5 goals,
Weekend Results, Friday; Werder Bremen 0 Borussia Dortmund 2, Saturday; Bayern Munich 4 Hertha Berlin 0, FSV Mainz 0 FC Augsburg 1, VfB Stuttgart 2 Hoffenheim 0, Wolfsburg 2 Nurnberg 1, Moenchengladbach 2 Leverkusen 2, Schalke 1 Kaiserslautern 2, Sunday; SC Freiburg 1 Hamburg SV 2, FC Koln 2 Hannover 96 0
Champions Borussia Dortmund made a statement on Friday night with a 2-0 victory over Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion which moved BVB back into the top three after their slow start to the campaign. However, leaders Bayern Munich responded in kind with a 4-0 trouncing of Hertha Berlin. Stuttgart’s 2-0 win over Hoffenheim moved them into fourth.
Bottom-club Hamburg SV claimed an important 2-1 win at SC Freiburg but they remain rooted to the foot of the table after FC Augsburg ended their winless start to the season by claiming a 1-0 win at FSV Mainz. All four clubs look like they might struggle this term, while Kaiserslautern’s 2-1 victory at Schalke is a huge boost for them.
Topscorers, Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) 10 goals, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke 04) 8 goals, Papiss Demba Cisse (SC Freiburg) 7 goals, Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) 6 goals, Mohammed Abdellaoue (Hannover 96) 6 goals, Lukas Podolski (FC Koln) 6 goals
Italian Serie A
Weekend Results, Saturday; Catania 2 Internazionale 1, AC Milan 3 Palermo 0, Napoli 1 Parma 2, Sunday; Cesena 0 Fiorentina 0, Atalanta 0 Udinese 0, Cagliari 0 Siena 0, Chievo 0 Juventus 0, Genoa 0 Lecce 0, Novara 0 Bologna 2, Lazio 2 AS Roma 1
It was a strange Sunday in Italy and the title race is shaping up in an odd way altogether. Juventus remain top despite their fail to score in front of goal, in a 0-0 draw with Chievo Verona. Udinese also are still second after a goalless draw at Atalanta, while Lazio moved up to fourth after an impressive 2-1 win over AS Roma in the derby with Miroslav Klose the hero with a late winner.
Inter’s woes worsened after a 2-1 loss to Catania on Saturday. The Italian giants had led thanks to Esteban Cambiasso’s strike, but Catania hit back with two second-half goals. Bologna claimed a much-needed 2-0 win over newly-promoted Novara, while Cesena managed a goalless home draw with Fiorentina.
Topscorers, Rodrigo Palacio (Genoa) 5 goals, Sebastian Giovinco (Parma) 5 goals, Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) 4 goals, German Denis (Atalanta) 4 goals, Miroslav Klose (Lazio) 4 goals, Pablo Osvaldo (AS Roma) 4 goals
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