Monday, October 26, 2009

European Recap

English Premier League
The teams currently occupying the top two spots in the Premiership swited spots over the weekend, as Chelsea regained the top spot in the league.

Chelsea did its part on Saturday, as a brace by Frank Lampard helped the blues to a 5-0 rout of Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea also got help from Liverpool, as they defeated Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

The win not only stalled Manchester United, but brought a sigh of relief to Liverpool, whish was sliding down the standigs prior to Sunday'a match. Manchester United found itself behind the eight ball towards halftime, as Nemanja Vidic recieved two yellow cards in the first half, and Liverpool finally capitalized with a Fernando Torres goal in the 64th minute. David Ngog sealed the match with a stoppage time strike.

La Liga
FC Barcelona returned to form and in the process, put some distance between them and Real Madrid.

Barca routed Real Zaragoza 6-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday. Barcelona was carried by Seyduo Keita's hat trick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace. Lionel Messi added an 80th minute strike to the tally. The win along with Real Madrid's 0-0 result against Sporting Gijon now puts Barcelona (22 points) three points ahead of Real Madrid (19 points).

Serie A
Inter Milan is still atop the Serie A standings, though shaking off Juventus and Sampdoria still remains a tough task.

The first half was the key for Inter Milan (22 points) in its 2-1 win over Catania on Saturday. Sulley Muntar scored in the 13th minute and Wesley Sneijder scored the eventual game winner in the 31st minute. Sampdoria (20 points) remained two points back of Inter thanks to Daniele Mannini's brace in Sampdoria's a 4-1 rout of Bologna. Juventus meanwhile got a 72nd minute strike from Carvalho De Oliveira Amauri and held on for a 1-0 win over Siena.

AC Milan is showing some life. Milan grabbed three points for a second straight week, as it came from behind to defeat host Chievo Verona 2-1. Chievo's Giampiero Pinzi scored seven minutes into the match and seemed headed for a big win, but Alessandro Nesta rescued the Rossoneri from another embarrasing defeat. Nesta equalized in the 81st minute, then won the match for Milan with a strike in stoppage time.

Milan (15 points) is now part of a three-way tie with Fiorentina and Palermo for fourth place in Serie A.

Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg SV went into the just-concluded weekend tied for first in the Bundesliga table, and nothing has changed since.

Bayer Leverkusen (22 points) had to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund. Lucas Barrios struck in the eight minute to give Dortmund the lead, but Leverkusen got the equalizer from Manuel Friedrich in the 65th minute, and Leverkusen got out of BayArena with a point.

Hamburg SV however was the team that saw an opportunity lost, as it played to a 3-3 draw with Shcalke 04 (20 points). Hamburg lead 3-2 and seemed certain for victory, but Kevin Kuranyi scored for Schalke 04 in stoppage time to not only split the points, but also prevent Hamburg from seizing the top spot in Bundesliga.

Third-place Werder Bremen (21 points) kept its spot in the Bundesliga standings with a 4-1 rout of VfL Bochum, while Bayern Munich climbed up to 18 points and fifth place with a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

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