Weekend Developments From Europe's Top Leagues
Manchester United pulled off a miraculous comeback but dropped two points in the process in England, while everyone was dropping points in Italy’s Serie A.
English Premier League
Saturday; Arsenal 7 Blackburn 1, Norwich 2 Bolton 0, QPR 1 Wolverhampton 2, Stoke City 0 Sunderland 1, West Bromwich 1 Swansea City 2, Wigan 1 Everton 1, Manchester City 3 Fulham 0, Sunday; Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 1, Chelsea 3 Manchester United 3, Monday; Liverpool v Tottenham*
Manchester City cruised past Fulham 3-0 on Saturday night to open up a three-point buffer at the top and it could’ve stayed that way, however Manchester United had other ideas coming from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Chelsea. Still the Red Devils did drop two points. Tottenham, meanwhile, face Liverpool on Monday, while Newcastle continued their fine season.
Wolverhampton claimed a much-needed three points when they won 2-1 at QPR. Djibril Cisse’s red card was the turning point for Mark Hughes’ side who can’t move away from the drop. Blackburn’s 7-1 mauling at Arsenal has been back in the mire, while Wigan drew 1-1 with Everton which arguably isn’t enough for the struggling Latics.
Topscorers, Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 22 goals, Demba Ba (Newcastle) 16 goals, Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 15 goals, Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 15 goals
Italian Serie A
Weekend Results, Sunday; Genoa 3 Lazio 2, Palermo 2 Atalanta 1, Lecce 0 Bologna 0, Novara 0 Cagliari 0, AS Roma 4 Internazionale 0, AC Milan 0 Napoli 0, Chievo Verona 1 Parma 2, Juventus 0 Siena 0, Fiorentina 3 Udinese 2
The leading pair Juventus and AC Milan both missed the chance to move well clear in the hunt for the Scudetto after being held to goalless draws. However, Udinese lost at Fiorentina, Lazio went down at Genoa and Internazionale were stunned 4-0 by AS Roma who had Franco Borini in stellar form. That result severely dents Inter’s title hopes after their recent resurgence.
Most of the bottom clubs in Serie A managed draws over the weekend which in effect does little for their survival hopes. Cesena’s clash with Catania was postponed, while Siena claimed the most impressive result, with a 0-0 against leaders Juventus. Parma’s 2-1 win at Chievo Verona moved them well clear of the drop and up to 11th.
Topscorers, Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) 16 goals, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) 15 goals, German Denis (Atalanta) 12 goals, Edinson Cavani (Napoli) 12 goals, Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina) 12 goals, Diego Milito (Internazionale) 12 goals, Rodrigo Palacio (Genoa) 12 goals
Spanish La Liga
Weekend Results, Saturday; Real Mallorca 1 Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2 Real Sociedad 1, Getafe 0 Real Madrid 1, Levante 1 Racing Santander 1, Athletic Bilbao 3 Espanyol 3, Sunday; Atletico Madrid 0 Valencia 0, Real Zaragoza 1 Rayo Vallecano 2, Sevilla 1 Villarreal 2, Sporting Gijon 1 Osasuna 1, Monday; Granada v Malaga
As per usual, the top two in Spain won, however the next five clubs all drew, enhancing the gap. Real Madrid snuck past Getafe thanks to Sergio Ramos’ early goal, while Barcelona got the job done against Real Sociedad with youngster Cristian Tello shining. Valencia dropped 11 points behind Barca, after being held to a goalless draw with Atletico Madrid.
Bottom club Zaragoza’s predicament got worse after succumbing to a 2-1 home loss to Rayo Vallecano as they conceded twice in the final 15 minutes to blow a lead. Javier Camunas was the hero for Villarreal who claimed a much-needed and somewhat surprising 2-1 victory at Sevilla. Nine-man Real Mallorca also enjoyed a good 1-0 win over 10-man Real Betis to move away from danger.
Topscorers, Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 24 goals, Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 23 goals, Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) 14 goals, Radomel Falcao (Atletico Madrid) 14 goals, Roberto Soldado (Valencia) 12 goals
Weekend Results, Friday; FC Nurnberg 0 Borussia Dortmund 2, Saturday; Bayer Leverkusen 2 VfB Stuttgart 2, Schalke 04 1 FSV Mainz 1, Hoffenheim 2 Augsburg 2, Wolfsburg 0 Borussia Moenchengladbach 0, Hertha BSC 0 Hannover 96 1, Hamburg SV 1 Bayern Munich 1, Sunday; SC Freiburg 2 Werder Bremen 2, Kaiserslautern 0 FC Koln 1
Champions Dormtund moved into top spot in Germany after a 2-0 win at Nurnberg on Friday night and somehow it remained that way for the remainder of the weekend with all the next five sides drawing. Bayern were held 1-1 by Hamburg SV, while Schalke drew 1-1 at home with FSV Mainz.
Hertha Berlin’s poor recent run extended to three straight defeats after they went down 1-0 to Hannover 96. Luckily for them, none of the bottom few managed to win, although Augsburg and Freiburg both picked up draws. FC Koln’s 1-0 win at Kaiserslautern was a big result for them, shotgunning them up to ninth on 24 points.
Topscorers, Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) 17 goals, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Hamburg SV) 16 goals, Lukas Podolski (FC Koln) 15 goals, Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) 15 goals
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