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Monday, February 24, 2014

European Leagues Review: Bayern Cruising in Bundesliga, Real Madrid Move to La Liga Summit as EPL Race Heats up with Wins for Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool


ENGLAND
Chelsea and Manchester City both left it late in their solitary goal wins over Stoke City and Everton on Saturday. Yaya Toure popped in a 70th minute winner for the Citizens in a frustrating evening at the Eitihad while John Terry’s goal in stoppage time settled the nerves at Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea who continue to lead the log, one point above Arsenal who thumped Sunderland 4-1. Liverpool edged out Swansea 4-3 in a 7-goal thriller at Anfield to keep up to pace with the top three. The Reds commanded a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes of the game courtesy of Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson only for Jonjo Shelvey and Wifried Bony to draw level within six minutes.  Sturridge put the Reds ahead again before half time but Bony drew level just after the restart from a spot tick.  Liverpool however would have the last laugh when Henderson pounced for their fourth which proved to be the winning goal as the Merseysiders netted their 70th goal of the Premier League season and moved to within 4 points off leaders Chelsea. Robert Snodgrass’ 47th minute goal saw Norwich City beat Tottenham 1-0 while Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney netted in Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Crystal Palace, a victory that saw the Red Devils finally move up the table to 6th at the expense of Everton who have a game in hand.

SPAIN
Real Madrid moved to the top of the La Liga standings after beating Elche 3-0 while Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both lost. The Los Blancos had a comfortable win with Asier Illarramendi, Gareth Bale and Isco all finding the back of the net in the Saturday match. After the victory, the onus was now with Barca and Atletico who traveled to Real Sociedad and Osasuna respectively but they both lost, the former 3-1 and the latter 3-0. The defeat to Gerardo Martino and Diego Simeone’s men left them three points adrift of Real Madrid.

GERMANY
Bayern Munich extended their lead in Bundesliga to 19 points after they beat Hannover 96 4-0 while the chasing pack of Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund both lost. The Bavarians found the back of the net twice in both halves, Thomas Muller netting a goal either side of Thiago Alcantara and Mario Mandzukic’s second and fourth for the champions elect. Dortmund’s fall from grace continued after they went down 3-0 at Hamburg SV while Leverkusen suffered their second defeat in a row in a 3-1 loss away at Wolfsburg. Schalke squandered a chance to move into second place after they could only muster a barren draw against Mainz as Nurnberg’s fight against relegation took a sweet turn when they beat bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig 2-1 to go 4 points clear of the drop.

ITALY
Carlos Tevez’ strike at the half hour mark was enough for Juventus to ward off the challenge of Torino as they cemented top spot in Serie A. The Argentine struck from a Kwadwo Asamoah assist to ensure the Old Lady’s 9-point advantage over Roma remained intact. Roma did their slim title hopes favor with an away win at Bologna to open a 7-point gap between them and Napoli who play Genoa on Monday. AC Milan recorded a second victory in a row as Adel Taarabt and Adil Rami netted either side of the interval. There was frustration however for Inter Milan who had Rolando to thank for their equalizer against Cagilari with the match ending in a 1-1 stalemate. Lazio held their nerves to beat bottom side Sassuolo 3-2 while Chievo were the only team in the bottom 10 to collect three points in their 2-0 win over Catania.

FRANCE

With Monaco dismissing Reims 3-2 two days earlier, the pressure was on Carlo Ancelloti’s PSG to deliver the three points in their assignment at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse. And it was down to top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic who delivered the goodies with a virtuoso performance that saw him grab a hat-trick in a cagey 4-2 win. Highly rated 23-year-old Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice for the hosts but Ibra and co were just too good as they collected the win which kept the gap at the top to 5 points. Saint Etienne beat Bastia 2-0 to move to within a point of Champions League chasing Lille who were held 0-0 by Olympique Lyonnais. Ajjacio remained rock bottom after going down 2-0 at Montpellier.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!