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Monday, November 4, 2013

European Leagues Review: Roma Drop 1st Points, Arsenal Open up 5-point Lead as Dortmund Cruise in Germany

Arsenal opened up a 5-point gap at the top of the Premier League table following a 2-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday. The Gunners scored either side of half time through Santi Carzola and Aaron Ramsey to ensure they collected maximum points against Liverpool who could have gone top had they won the match. Chelsea remained second in spite of going down 2-0 a St. James’ Park against Newcastle while Manchester United survived a second half scare from Fulham to register their second win in a row for the first time this season. Manchester City registered a 7-0 win over Norwich City, their biggest win in Premier League history but still remained 5th, one point behind Tottenham who drew 0-0 away at Everton. Cardiff City got the better of Swansea in the Wales derby, Steven Caulker netting the only goal in the game 2 minutes after the hour mark to give The Bluebirds a win that moved them above their rivals.

Defending champions Barcelona collected their third win on the trot but were starved of goals against Espanyol at the Nou Camp. The Catalans scored through Alexis Sanchez in the 68th minute to give them a 1-0 win over Javier Aguirre’s outfit in the Derbi Barceloni. David Villa and Diego Costa both found the back of the net in Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid. Both goals were scored before the interval to ensure Atletico remained second in the Liga BBVA, just a point behind league leaders Barcelona. Real Madrid survived a 2nd half onslaught from Rayo Vallecano to nick a 3-2 win while Almeria’s 2-0 win over Real Valladolid saw them climb into 18th replacing Real Betis who lost 2-3 at Malaga.

Bayer Leverkusen were the biggest casualties amongst the top three in the German Bundesliga. After Borussia Dortmund had hit Stuttgart for six on Friday, Bayern Munich responded with a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim, results that put pressure on Sami Hyypia’s men who needed a win to keep up to pace with the two German league top dogs. However, they could not breach promoted side Eintracht Braunschweig’s rearguard and it was in fact Torsten Lieberknecht’s men who netted the winner through Dominick Kumbela’s 81st minute strike that left Bayer reeling from only their second loss of the Bundesliga season. Robert Lewandowksi’s hat-trick helped Dortmund to a 6-1 thrashing of Stuttgart while Franck Ribery assisted Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller’s goals in their 2-1 win over Hoffenheim who had taken the lead through Niklas Sule. Wolfsburg moved to within a point of Champions League play-off position with a 2-1 victory away at Eintracht Frankfurt while Schalke also moved up after a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin.  


AS Roma dropped their first points of the season after being held 1-1 at Torino. The Rome outfit took the lead through Kevin Strootman in the 28th minute but failure to add more goals saw them drop two points after Allesio Cerci turned in a Riccardo Meggiorini assist to ensure the spoils were shared at the Stadio Olimpico. Juventus and Napoli closed the gap between them and Roma, Juve beating Parma through a Paul Pogba solitary goal while Marek Hamsik’s screamer was enough for Napoli who pipped troubled Catania 2-1. Inter Milan surged to 4th place with a 3-0 mauling of Udinese while there was heartbreak for AC Milan who lost 2-0 against Fiorentina.