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Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: European soccer weekend roundup

Images: European soccer weekend roundup

Last updated on: February 1, 2010 13:00 IST

Superb Manchester United humble Arsenal

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Champions Manchester United delivered a devastating statement of Premier League title intent by beating rivals Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

United produced a superb attacking display, taking the lead when Nani's cross was turned into his own net by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia after 33 minutes before Wayne Rooney started and finished a stunning counter-attack before halftime.

Chelsea, who won 2-1 with a late goal at Burnley on Saturday, top the standings on 54 points, one ahead of United and five clear of Arsenal.


Image: Manchester United's Nani celebrates after scoring a goal
Photographs: Reuters
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We were well beaten, says Wenger

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Park Ji-sung got the third seven minutes after the interval and Arsenal had only the minor consolation of Thomas Vermaelen's deflected volley 10 minutes from time.

"We delivered a completely off-the-mark performance and that's why we were well beaten," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"We gave them too much room, we were naive and that's why we have to stick together and produce a much better performance next Sunday when we go to Chelsea."


Image: Park Ji-Sung (centre) scores the third goal for Manchester United

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Terry brushes aside problems to give Chelsea win

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Chelsea skipper John Terry, whose personal troubles made newspaper headlines on Saturday, ensured he would also dominate the back pages when he headed Chelsea's late winner in a 2-1 win at Burnley.

The England captain was named on Friday as the player behind a gagging injunction involving his private life following a High Court hearing in London.

After the order was lifted newspapers published pages of details about his alleged extramarital relationship with a "famous" woman.

The controversy did not seem to affect his performance on the pitch, though, and when he was left unmarked at an 82nd minute corner he powerfully headed home the winning goal.


Image: Chelsea captain John Terry

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Pedro strike gives Barcelona victory

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Pedro's clinical finish fired Barcelona to a 1-0 victory against Sporting Gijon at a rain-lashed Molinon stadium.

Barca took control from the start, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta providing the creative spark in midfield and Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Pedro, starting on the left instead of Thierry Henry, threatening up front.

Gijon battled bravely to keep the visitors at bay but were caught out on the half-hour when Messi tapped a quick freekick to Iniesta.

With the home defence on their heels, the Spain midfielder released Pedro who sprinted through the centre to finish coolly past goalkeeper Juan Pablo with a low, left-foot strike.


Image: Barcelona striker Lionel Messi

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Benzema double lifts Real Madrid

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Real Madrid trimmed the gap with leaders Barcelona back to five points after a Karim Benzema double fired them to a 3-1 win at Deportivo Coruna in La Liga.

Undefeated Barca have 52 points from 20 matches, Real are on 47 and Valencia, who play at sixth-placed Sevilla on Sunday, are third with 39.

Villarreal went down 2-0 at home to Osasuna, a defeat that cost coach Ernesto Valverde his job.


Image: Karim Benzema celebrates his goal

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AC Milan held 1-1 by Livorno

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AC Milan could only draw 1-1 at home with struggling Livorno, meaning leaders Inter Milan, whose game at Parma was postponed because of snow, hold an eight-point advantage.

Substitute Stefano Okaka scored with a stunning backheel two minutes from time to give flying AS Roma a 2-1 Serie A win over bottom side Siena, that put them level on points with second-placed AC Milan.

New Juventus caretaker coach Alberto Zaccheroni, who replaced the sacked Ciro Ferrara on Friday, got off to a mixed start with a 1-1 home draw against former club Lazio.


Image: AC Milan's Ronaldinho controls the ball

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Leverkusen cruise past Freiburg to top table

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Bayer Leverkusen struck three times in four minutes to ease past Freiburg 3-1 and reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga on Sunday, two points ahead of Bayern Munich.

Stefan Kiessling, the league's top scorer, netted his 13th goal of the season when he headed in a Tranquillo Barnetta cross in the 36th minute. Eren Derdiyok made it 2-0 and Sami Hyypia added a third on 40 minutes with a powerful header.

Leverkusen restored their two-point lead over Bayern, who had briefly gone top on Saturday after their 3-0 win over Mainz. Schalke 04 remained in third place, a further point behind, following their 2-0 victory over Hoffenheim.


Image: Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling (centre) scores a goal against Freiburg

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