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Monday, December 16, 2013

European Leagues Review: Man City Rout Arsenal, Liverpool Thump Tottenham, as Monaco Piles Pressure on PSG in French Ligue 1


ENGLAND
Liverpool and Chelsea both collected wins that saw them close the gap at the top to only two points. With Arsenal being the latest team to get a proper hiding at the Eitihad against Manchester City, the Eastlands outfit winning 6-3, Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool and Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea won against Tottenham and Crystal Palace respectively to close the gap on Arsenal. The Blues survived against a determined Crystal Palace side to collect a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridger while a Liverpool side lacking the services of their engine, Steven Gerrard, destroyed Tottenham 5-0 at White Hart Lane. Luis Suarez netted twice with Jon Flanagan scoring his first senior goal for the Reds. Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling were also on the scoresheet. Meanwhile Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win at Aston Villa. Danny Welbeck scored twice while Tom Cleverly also netted in a game won in the first half. Everton continued their impressive form beating visiting Fulham 4-1 to keep up to pace with the top four. West Brom lost 1-0 at Cardiff City, a result that lost Steve Clarke his job at the Hawthorns. Relegation threatened Sunderland and West Ham played to a barren draw.

SPAIN
Real Madrid lost ground on leaders Barcelona after fighting to a 2-2 draw at Osasuna. Los Blancos came from 2-0 down to nick a point with Isco pulling one back before Pepe headed in the equalizer for Madrid who played as 10 men following Sergio Ramos’ red card. Neymar scored twice for Barca in a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp against Villareal to open a 5 point gap between them and nemesis Madrid but Atletico Madrid joined the Blaugrana at the top after trouncing Valencia 3-0. Seville moved to 7th in spite of a 1-1 draw against Athletico Bilbao who consolidated fourth position. Bottom side Real Betis were thumped 5-1 by Champions League chasing Real Sociedad while Almeria shared a point with Espanyol.

GERMANY
Bayern Munich made it 14 wins in 16 Bundesliga matches after trouncing Hamburger SV 3-1 at the Allianz Arena. Marion Mandzukic put the Bavarians ahead 3 minutes before the interval before Mario Gotze turned in an assist from Thiago Alcantara. Pierre Michel Lasogga pulled one back for Hamburg to set up a tense finale but a Xherdan Shaqiri goal in the third minute of added time extinguished the fire out of Bert Van Marwijk’s side. Borrusia Dortmund fell further behind the Bundesliga leaders as they could only muster a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim. Jurgen Klopp’s side were trailing 2-0 when Pierre Aubemayang found the back of the net just before the interval to halve the deficit. Lucasz Piszczek made it 2-2 in the 67th minute but the Westfalenstadiom side could not find the winning goal as they dropped 12 points behind Bayern. Sami Hyypia’s Bayer Leverkusen also failed to pile pressure on the league leaders after they suffered a shock 1-0 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt at the Bay Arena in Leverkusen. Marco Russ scored the only goal of the match for Die Adler who collected only their third win of the season.

ITALY
Seria A leaders Juventus continued with their fine winning run dismissing promoted side Sassuolo 4-0 in Turin on Sunday. Carlos Tevez plundered in a hat-trick and also assisted Federico Peluso’s goal as the defending champions collected their 8th win in a row to open a 6-point cushion between them and second placed AS Roma who travel to Milan on Monday night. Inter Milan’s poor took a turn for the worse when they shipped in four goals against Napoli. Gonzalo Higuain, Dries Mertens, Blerim Dzemali and Jose Callejon all found the back of Inter Milan’s net in a 4-2 win that dropped the Nerazzurri to 5th, two points behind 4th placed Fiorentina who beat Bologna 3-0 in Firenze. Lazio and Torino both had an identical 2-0 win over Livorno and Udinese respectively while bottom side Catania collected their first point in four matches with a barren draw against Europa League chasing Hellas Verona on Saturday.  

FRANCE

The top 3 in French Ligue 1 had successful outings winning their matches against sides that are on the bottom half of the table. League leaders Paris Saint Germain won 3-1 at Rennes Thiago Motta opening the scoring in the 19th minute before a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty made it 2-0 for the Ligue 1 financial behemoths. Romain Alessandrini drew one back for the hosts but Edison Cavani netted in stoppage time to give PSG the victory. James Rodriguez assisted Antony Martial and Layvin Kurzawa’s goals as Monaco made it five straight wins in a 2-0 triumph at Guingamp. Lille got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Bastia as Olympique Lyonnais and Marseille played to an entertaining 2-2 draw.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!