Weekend Developments From Europe's Top Leagues 12/3
Manchester United moved into top spot in England, Lionel Messi scored more goals in Spain and AC Milan moved clear in Italy on another big weekend.
English Premier League
Weekend Results, Saturday; Bolton 2 QPR 1, Aston Villa 1 Fulham 0, Chelsea 1 Stoke City 0, Sunderland 1 Liverpool 0, Wolverhampton 0 Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 1 Tottenham 0, Sunday; Manchester United 2 West Bromwich 0, Swansea City 0 Manchester City 1, Norwich City 1 Wigan 1, Monday; Arsenal v Newcastle
It was a big weekend in the Premiership as Manchester United went top after Manchester City slipped up 1-0 at Swansea City with Luke Moore netting a late goal. The Red Devils got past West Bromwich 2-0 thanks to Wayne Rooney’s double. Meanwhile, Tottenham lost yet again, going down 1-0 at Everton for their third consecutive defeat.
Blackburn Rovers claimed a huge victory in their bid to avoid the drop after Junior Hoilett’s double in the 2-0 victory at Wolverhampton which leaves Terry Connor’s side in real trouble. Bolton also secured a vital three points with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers QPR although there was plenty of controversy in the game. Wigan grabbed a handy point at Norwich on Sunday.
Topscorers, Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 25 goals, Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 20 goals, Demba Ba (Newcastle) 16 goals, Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 16 goals
Spanish La Liga
Weekend Results, Saturday; Real Sociedad 3 Real Zaragoza 0, Malaga 1 Levante 0, Sporting Gijon 1 Sevilla 0, Real Betis 2 Real Madrid 3, Sunday; Atletico Madrid 2 Granada 0, Espanyol 5 Rayo Vallecano 1, Valencia 2 Real Mallorca 2, Racing Santander 0 FC Barcelona 2, Osasuna 2 Athletic Bilbao 1, Monday; Villarreal v Getafe
Cristian Ronaldo hit a brace to keep Real Madrid on track for the title with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Real Betis. Lionel Messi maintained his goalscoring ways with a double too, as Barcelona won 2-0 at Racing Santander. Big-spending Malaga moved into the Uefa Champions League spots with a 1-0 win over Levante who dropped to fifth.
Sporting Gijon were the only one of the strugglers to pick up points over the weekend, as they got past Sevilla 1-0. Real Sociedad continued their resurgence as they move well clear of danger with a 3-0 thrashing of bottom-placed Real Zaragoza who appear doomed. Villarreal and Getafe meet on Monday, in a crucial relegation battle.
Topscorers, Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 32 goals, Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 30 goals, Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) 17 goals, Radomel Falcao (Atletico Madrid) 15 goals
Italian Serie A
Weekend Results, Friday; Napoli 6 Cagliari 3, Saturday; Chievo Verona 0 Inter Milan 2, Sunday; Palermo 0 AS Roma 1, Catania 1 Fiorentina 0, Genoa 0 Juventus 0, AC Milan 2 Lecce 0, Atalanta 1 Parma 1, Cesena 0 Siena 2, Lazio 1 Bologna 3, Novara 1 Udinese 0
AC Milan moved four points clear on Sunday as they eased past struggling Lecce 2-0 with Antonio Nocerino and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netting the goals. Elsewhere, Juventus allowed them to move clear after a goalless draw away to Genoa. Lazio’s 3-1 home loss to Bologna has left their title hopes in tatters, while Napoli continue to push up the table after a stunning 6-3 win over Cagliari with Edinson Cavani staring.
Siena made it three wins in a row, with a 2-0 victory at bottom club Cesena to move well clear of the drop. However Cagliari’s 6-3 loss to Napoli has left them in some trouble with manager Davide Ballardini sacked on Sunday. Novara, who recently replaced their boss, won 1-0 over Udinese to boost their remote survival hopes.
Topscorers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) 19 goals, Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) 18 goals, Edinson Cavani (Napoli) 16 goals, German Denis (Atalanta) 15 goals, Rodrigo Palacio (Genoa) 14 goals, Diego Milito (Inter Milan) 14 goals
Weekend Results, Friday; Stuttgart 0 Kaiserslautern 0, Saturday; Bayern Munich 7 Hoffenheim 1, FSV Mainz 2 FC Nurnberg 1, FC Koln 1 Hertha Berlin 0, VfL Wolfsburg 3 Bayer Leverkusen 2, Borussia Moenchengladbach 0 SC Freiburg 0, FC Augsburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 0, Sunday; Werder Bremen 3 Hannover 96 0, Schalke 04 3 Hamburg SV 1
Borussia Dortmund were held to a goalless draw at struggling Augsburg, which allowed Bayern Munich to close within five points after a relentless 7-1 thrashing of Hoffenheim. Mario Gomez hit a hat-trick while Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery looked the goods too. Moenchengladbach failed to win for the third straight game meaning they fall further off the pace, as Schalke closed in on the Uefa Champions League spots witih a win over Hamburg.
Augsburg moved out of the bottom three with their resilient and impressive point against leaders Dortmund, while FC Koln moved well clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 triumph over Hertha Berlin who dropped down. Freiburg and Kaiserslautern both claimed goalless draws on the road which will help their causes.
Topscorers, Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) 21 goals, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Hamburg SV) 19 goals, Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), 16 goals, Lukas Podolski (FC Koln) 16 goals, Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) 16 goals
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