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Monday, October 28, 2013

European Leagues Review: Barca Edge out Madrid in El Classico, Chelsea Pip Man City while Roma Set Serie A Record


ENGLAND
Arsenal continued to lead the standings following a hard-fought 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday evening. The Gunners were held back by Palace for the whole of the first half and only got the breakthrough two minutes after the interval via a Mikel Arteta Penalty. Olivier Girourd’s header in the 87th minute put the result beyond doubt. Liverpool continued to pile pressure at the top with a 4-1 mauling of West Brom. Luis Suarez netted a sublime hat-trick and Daniel Sturridge’s delicate lob ensured the Reds collected maximum points against the Baggies. Manchester United looked destined to share a 2-2 draw with Stoke City until Javier Hernandez struck in the 80th minute to give David Moyes a thoroughly needed victory at Old Trafford. On Sunday, Sunderland collected their first 3 points of the season with a 2-1 win over Newcastle in the Tyne Wear Derby, Liverpool’s on-loan forward Fabio Borini riffling in the winner after coming in as a second half substitute. Fernando Torres created Chelsea’s opener and then went on to tap the winner for Chelsea in their 2-1 win over Manchester City, a victory that lifted them to 2nd on the log while Roberto Soldado’s 2nd half penalty helped Tottenham overcome Hull City 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

SPAIN
Barcelona edged out Real Madrid 2-1 in the first El Classico of the season to open up a 6-point cushion on their bitter rivals. A goal each either side of the half from Neymar and Alexis Sanchez gave the Catalans the victory while Real Madrid’s consolation goal was scored by Jese Rodriguez in the first minute of added time. The win ensured Gerardo Martino’s men remained on top of the Liga BBVA, one point above Atletico Madrid who thrashed Real Betis 5-0. Villareal cemented their 4th place position with a 4-1 win against visiting Valencia while Almeria remained rock bottom following their 3-0 loss away to Real Sociedad. Malaga’s season continued to deteriorate after going down 5-0 against visiting Celta Vigo.

GERMANY
The Bundesliga top three, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Munchen all won their weekend matches to keep up to pace with each other as the fight for the Bundesliga title increasingly looks like a 3-horse race. Leaders Bayern were pushed to the end by Hertha Berlin who took the lead at the Allianz-Arena through Adrian Moses with only four minutes on the clock. But Mario Mandzukic leveled in the 29th minute before putting the Bavarians ahead early in the 2nd half. Mario Gotze headed in Bayern’s 3rd but Anis Ben Hatira made drew one back for Hertha to set up a tense finish but Pep Guardiola’s men weathered the storm to take home the 3 points. Emre Can’s 83rd minute goal helped Leverkusen to a 2-1 win over Augsburg with Sami Hyypia’s men having to come from behind. Henrikh Mhkitaryan provided two assists for Nuri Sahin and Jaukb Blaszczykowski’s goals as Dortmund cruised 3-1 against Schalke 04 in the Revierderby. Gabonese Pierre Emerick Aubameyang netted the other goal for Dortmund with Max Meyer scoring the consolation for Jens Keller’s Schalke.

ITALY
AS Roma beat Udinese 1-0 and in doing so set a new Serie A record of nine consecutive wins at the start of a season. American Michael Bradley scored the only goal of the match for Rudi Garcia’s men who had been reduced to 10 men after Maicon saw red for a second bookable offence. But Roma, who have conceded only one goal in nine matches, were undeterred as they pushed for the winning goal which came in the 82nd minute. Napoli continued to pile pressure on the Rome outfit with a 2-0 win Torino, Gonzalo Higuain converting two controversial penalties to ensure Rafael Benitez’ men kept the gap from the top to 5 points. Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez were both on target for defending champions Juventus in the 2-0 win over Genoa at the Juventus stadium while Parma stunned visitors AC Milan. Inter Milan won a 6-goal thriller against Hellas Verona 4-2 to stay 4th, level on points with Fiorentina who won 2-1 away to Chievo.

FRANCE

Edison Cavani and Blaise Matuidi’s 2nd half goals helped Paris Saint Germain come from two goals down and salvage a 2-2 draw against Saint Etienne on Saturday. Benjamin Corgnet and Romain Hamouma had given the hosts a first half two-goal lead and they looked on course to grab an unlikely victory over the moneybags until Matuidi struck in the 68th minute and Uruguayan Cavani hit the leveler in the third minute of added time. Monaco moved level on points with PSG at the top after their 2-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais. Lille consolidated 3rd spot with a 1-0 win at Nantes while Lorient’s 2-1 win over Sochaux moved them off the relegation zone.

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