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Rediff.com  » Sports » Weekend round-up of Leagues around Europe

Weekend round-up of Leagues around Europe

Last updated on: October 26, 2009 15:16 IST

Torres strikes in Liverpool win over Man Utd

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Liverpool peeled away the gloom enveloping their season with a 2-0 home win over Premier League champions and fierce rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

Spanish striker Fernando Torres held off Rio Ferdinand to lash Liverpool in front after 65 minutes and David Ngog added a second goal in stoppage time to spark celebrations at Anfield after four morale-sapping defeats on the spin.

The deserved victory revived Liverpool's hopes of a title challenge, taking them to fifth place on 18 points from 10 games, four behind United and six adrift of leaders Chelsea who went top on Saturday with a 5-0 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers.

"It was a disappointing performance in the first half. We didn't handle the atmosphere or the decision against us," Ferguson told Sky Sports.

"Liverpool were the better team and created the better chances. They... deserved their victory."


Image: Liverpool's Fernando Torres (left) and Manchester United's VIdic are involved in an ariel duel during their Premier League match on Sunday
Photographs: Reuters
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West Ham hold Arsenal

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Arsenal edged above Tottenham Hotspur ahead of next week's north London derby into third place on goal difference although their defensive fragility returned to haunt them as they let a two-goal lead slip at West Ham United to draw 2-2.

Robin van Persie and William Gallas had put the Gunners ahead by halftime but West Ham replied through Carlton Cole and Alessandro Diamanti's penalty at Upton Park.

Manchester City's hopes of moving into the top four were frustrated when they also surrendered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 home draw against Fulham and Everton lost 3-2 at Bolton Wanderers, another source of pleasure for Liverpool's supporters.


Image: West Ham's Alessando Diamanti celebrates with James Tomkins after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against Arsenal at Upton Park in London on Sunday

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'Trickster' Keita takes Barca three points clear

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Seydou Keita hit a hat-trick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted twice to lead Barcelona to a 6-1 thrashing of Real Zaragoza and send the La Liga champions three points clear of Real Madrid on Sunday.

Real and Barca had both lost in Europe in midweek but after a depleted Madrid side drew 0-0 at Sporting Gijon on Saturday, Pep Guardiola's team grabbed their chance to pull emphatically away at the top of the standings.

Barca have 22 points from eight matches to Real's 19, and Sevilla remain in third, three points further back, after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Espanyol on Saturday.

Deportivo Coruna missed a chance to climb above Sevilla into third when they were thumped 4-0 at Real Valladolid, while mid-table Athletic Bilbao lost 2-0 at Getafe.

Osasuna conceded a goal in added time to draw 1-1 at lowly Racing Santander and Tenerife enjoyed a 1-0 home win over fellow promoted side Xerez who are second-bottom a point above Malaga.


Image: Barcelona's Seydou Keita celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Zaragoza during their La Liga match at Camp Nou in Barcelona on Sunday

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Valencia surge ahead

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David Villa netted his seventh goal of the season to remain La Liga top scorer and Pablo Hernandez scored with a superb lob as Valencia climbed to fourth with a 3-0 victory at Almeria, who had goalkeeper Diego Alves sent off in the 63rd minute.

Valencia took the lead at the Juegos Mediterraneos stadium in the 54th minute when winger Hernandez raced clear and crossed for Villa to nod past Alves.

Alves was shown a straight red card after he chopped Hernandez down outside his area and Hernandez then caught his replacement, Esteban, off his line with a perfectly weighted lob from distance to double Valencia's lead.

Juan Mata made sure of the points with a well-struck shot three minutes from the end of normal time.

Villa's Spain team-mate Joan Capdevila swept in a free-kick to give Villarreal a 2-1 home win over Malaga for a first La Liga victory this season that lifted them off bottom spot.

Striker Nilmar slid in at the far post to clip Damian Escudero's low cross high into the net.

Albert Luque equalised in first-half added time with a powerful downward header before Capdevila curled a left-foot strike around the wall into the bottom corner of the net just before the hour.

Villarreal are now 18th on six points while Malaga have taken over as the bottom side on four.


Image: Valencia's Herandez celebrates after scoring against Almeria during their La Liga tie in Almeria on Sunday

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Juventus beat Siena

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Juventus laboured to a 1-0 win at struggling Siena to end a barren four-match run in Serie A on Sunday.

Juve's Brazilian-born forward Amauri rose between two markers to head home a Diego freekick in the 72nd minute to break the deadlock after the visitors had struggled to pose a threat for much of the match.

The Turin side are third with 18 points from nine games, four behind Inter Milan and two shy of second-placed Sampdoria, after the leading duo beat Catania 2-1 and Bologna 4-1 respectively on Saturday.

"It was fundamentally important for us to get back to winning," Juve coach Ciro Ferrara, who made a number of changes to the side who beat Maccabi Haifa 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, told Rai television.

"We managed to do that even though we had problems. I think it bodes well for Wednesday's match (against Sampdoria)."


Image: Juventus's Amauri celebrates at the end of their Italian Serie A match against Siena on Sunday

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Nesta double seals it for Milan

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A late Alessandro Nesta double earned resurgent AC Milan a stunning 2-1 comeback triumph at Chievo Verona.

Milan are three points further back in joint fourth after Nesta's headers in the 81st minute and in injury time wiped out Giampiero Pinzi's seventh-minute strike for the hosts.

They share fourth spot with Fiorentina, who suffered their first home defeat of the season by going down 1-0 to Napoli, and Palermo, who beat Udinese 1-0 thanks to Cesare Bovo's deflected late volley.

Milan left it late in Verona but they had laid siege to the Chievo goal in the second half and deserved to continue their revival from a shaky start after comeback wins over AS Roma and Real Madrid.

Goalkeeper Dida, guilty of a terrible blunder in Wednesday's 3-2 win in Madrid in the Champions League, was one of the heroes of the night with a pair of excellent saves.

Livorno moved off the bottom by beating AS Roma 1-0 away thanks to former Roma forward Francesco Tavano's 40th-minute strike to give new coach Serse Cosmi a win in his first game in charge despite having goalkeeper Alfonso De Lucia sent off in the 64th.


Image: AC Milan's Alessando Nesta celebrates after scoring against Chievo during their Serie A encounter at Bentegodi stadium in Verona on Sunday

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Kuranyi brace earns Schalke late draw

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Schalke 04 forward Kevin Kuranyi headed a last-minute equaliser to complete a double strike and salvage a 3-3 draw with Hamburg SV in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Hamburg squandered a two-goal first half lead and were reduced to 10 men just past the hour after a red card for David Rozehnal. The visitors still thought they had the game won when Marcus Berg got his second to make it 3-2 with 10 minutes left.

However, Kuranyi, who had already scored with a header in the 50th minute, dashed their hopes with his second goal to leave Schalke in fourth place on 20 points.

Bayer Leverkusen, who drew 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund on Friday, have 22 points and lead Hamburg on goal difference. Werder Bremen moved into third spot on 21 after a 4-1 win at VfL Bochum, with Bayern Munich fifth on 18.

"We deserved to win because the team showed character," Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia said. "We could have decided the game then and there," he said of a missed chance by Jonathan Pitroipa for a 3-0 lead early in the second half.


Image: Schalke 04's Kevin Kuranyi celebrates his goal against Hamburger SV during their Bundesliga tie on Sunday

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Twente thrash Groningen to stay atop Dutch league

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Twente Enschede hammered 10-man Groningen 4-0 to stay top of the Dutch league on Sunday after their shock midweek Europa League loss in Moldova.

Early goals by Miroslav Stoch and Dwight Tiendalli put Steve McClaren's men ahead before Groningen goalkeeper Brian van Loo was sent off for fouling Blaise Nkufo on the hour.

The Switzerland striker converted the penalty himself and Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz added a fourth for the home side after 80 minutes.

Nkufo and Ruiz both took their tallies to seven this season.

Twente are top with 29 points from 11 matches, two more then PSV Eindhoven who won by the same score at NEC Nijmegen.

Ajax Amsterdam, a further point behind in third, got three second-half goals in eight minutes to win 4-2 at AZ Alkmaar.

Alkmaar went ahead through Mounir El Hamdaoui after 28 minutes. Urby Emanuelson equalised when he surprised goalkeeper Sergio Romero from 30 metres before Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, with a double, and Gregory van der Wiel sealed the win.


Image: Miroslav Stoch scored the first goal to help Twente Enschede down 10-man Groningen 4-0 on Sunday

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Paris St Germain team quarantined after Swine Flu scare

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Olympique Marseille and Paris St Germain supporters clashed on Sunday after their Ligue 1 game was postponed and the whole PSG team quarantined when three players were diagnosed with H1N1 flu.

Police officers said several people had been injured and one person would undergo leg surgery after being hit by a car. There was no serious damage.

Paris St Germain said their three contaminated players were former France winger Ludovic Giuly, defender and France Under-23 captain Mamadou Sakho and midfielder Jeremy Clement.

The national commission of medical experts also decided that all PSG players and staff members would be quarantined for the next 72 hours to stop all risk of contagion.

Marseille asked for the game to be played on Wednesday but PSG replied it would not be possible.

Marseille are fifth on 17 points in Ligue 1 while Paris are 13th on 13 points.

Auxerre climbed to seventh, behind Marseille on goal difference, with a 3-2 victory at home against Lille on Sunday.

Toulouse moved up to 11th thanks to a 2-0 win at second from bottom Lens, who have not won in the league in their last seven games.

Bordeaux lead the table on 22 points after their easy 3-0 win at home against Le Mans on Saturday. Former leaders Olympique Lyon slumped 4-1 at strugglers Nice and stayed on 20 points.

Monaco are second, one point off the pace, after Ligue 1 top scorer Nene netted twice to help them to a 3-1 win at Boulogne.


Image: Paris Saint Germain's coach Kombouare (far left, without mask) sits with staff as they leave their hotel in Marignane on Sunday

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Fenerbahce down Galatasaray 3-1 in Super Lig

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Fenerbahce defeated arch-rivals Galatasaray 3-1 in Istanbul on Sunday, to move clear of the chasing pack at the top of the table.

A double from midfielder Alex had put Fenerbache clear, before Hakan Balta pulled one back.

Kader Keita was red carded for the visitors, and Daniel Guiza clinched a deserved victory the in the dying moments.


Image: Alex de Souza and Gokcek Vederson (top) of Fenerbahce celebrate after scoring against Galatasaray during their Turkey Super League derby match at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul on Sunday

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