Monday, November 2, 2009

European Look-Back

English Premier League

Not much changed in the Premiership standings this past weekend. Chelsea still remains atop the table with 27 points folwing a 4-0 drilling of Bolton Wanderers. Manchester United though remained close to the blues by defeating Blackburn Rovers 2-0, allowing United to remain two points back of Chelsea.

One result that did stand out over the weekend was Fulham defeating Liverpool 3-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday. Bobby Zamora got Fulham going with a 23rd minute strike, but Fernando Torres equalized for the reds in the 42nd minute. Fulham persisted, and Erik Nevland put the home side back in front in the 73rd minute and it went downhill for Liverpool from there on, as two players were red-carded and US midfielder Clint Dempsey sealed the match for Fulham with a 87th minute goal.

La Liga
Real Madrid gained some ground on FC Barcelona over the weekend. Real Madrid did its part by beating Getafe 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Madrid was lifted by Gonzalo Higuain's brace. Higuain scored his two goals in the second half in a three-minute span (53rd and 56th minute).

Meanwhile, Barcelona let three points slip away, as it played to a 1-1 draw with host Osasuna on Saturday. Seydou Keita scored for Barca in the 72nd minute and the visitors seemed headed for victory, but Barca shot itself in the foot, as a bad clearence attempt by Gerard Pique resulted in an own goal.

Barcelona's lead over Real Madrid (22 points) in the standings is just one point now. Sevilla remains close to the two Spanish giants with 19 points. One team that is climbing up the La Liga table is Valencia, who has only lost once this season. Valencia picked up its third win in its last five matches with a 1-0 win over Malaga. Valencia is currently fourth with 18 points.

Serie A
One Milan club is starting to take control of the Serie A standings while the other Milan club is climbing up the table.

Inter Milan increased its lead over Juventus and Sampdoria to seven points, though Palermo made them work for it, as Inter outlasted the hosts 5-3 on Thursday. Inter Milan scored four first half goals, but Palermo erupted with three second half goals to close the gap. Inter though weathered the storm, and Alberto Diego Milito's 83rd minute strike sealed the three points for Inter Milan (28 points).

AC Milan meanwhile is starting to regain its form after a 2-0 win over Parma. The Rossoneri were carried by Marco Borriello's brace. Borriello scored 12 minutes in, then sealed the win with a stoppage time goal that gave Milan its third win in its last four Serie A matches, leaving with 19 points, two behind Juve and Sampdoria.

Someone finally decided to seize first place in the Bundesliga table.

That someone was Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen (23 points) needed an 88th minute strike by Stefan Kiebling to salvage a 2-2 draw against Schalke 04 on Saturday, but Leverkusen got some help from Borussia Monchengladbach, as it defeated host Hamburg SV 3-2. Hamburg SV (22 points) led 2-1, but Dante equalized for Monchengladbach in the 76th minute and Rob Friend's 82nd minute strike gave the visitors a shocking win.

Hamburg's loss not only knocked them out of first place, but also enabled Werder Bremen to catch them for second place in the table. Werder Bremen did its part with a 2-2 draw against Nurnberg. Bayern Munich (19 points) lost ground in the Bundesliga table, as its 0-0 draw against VfB Stuttgart combined with TSG Hoffenheim's 1-0 win over SC Freiburg left Munich in sixth place, one point behind Hoffenheim.

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