Monday, November 9, 2009

European Look-back

English Premier League

The match of the week occured at Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea (30 points) put some distance between them and Manchester United with a 1-0 win over ManU on Sunday. John Terry was the man responsible for the match's lone strike, as he guided a Frank Lampard free kick into the back net, even as United made a case for Chelsea striker Didier Drogba being offside during the play.

However, Manchester United (25 points) heads into the international break not only bemoaning the loss but also the fact that they are now equal to Arsenal for second in the Premiership standings. Arsenal saw to that by routing Wolverhampton Wanderes 4-1 at Molineux.

Liverpool's struggles continued, as they had to come from behind to draw with Birmingham City 2-2 at Anfield on Monday. The Reds broke the scoring ice thanks to a superb left foot volley by David Ngog in the 12th minute. Birmingham however rose to the occasion, as Christian Benitez equalized with a header following a scramble in the box and Cameron Jerome gave the visitors the lead with a strike from about 30-35 yards out. Liverpool however caught a break in the 71st minute when Birmingham keeper Joe Hart was caught handling a ball outside of the penalty box, thus awarding Liverpool a penalty shot, which Steven Gerrard buried for the equalizer.

La Liga
Barcelona remains at the top of the table while Real Madrid just hung on for the three points in the Madrid Derby.

Barcelona (26 points)kept themselves in first with a 4-2 win over Ream Mallorca. Pedro was the main man for the Catalan giants, as his brace was complemented with goals from Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi. Mallorca had the match tied at one, but Pedro's second goal in the 40th minute along with Henry's strike in the 44th minute put the match out of reach.

Real Madrid meanwhile jumped out to a 3-0 lead against In-city rival Athletico Madrid, but had to hold on for dear life, as Diego Forlan got Athletico on the score sheet in he 79th minute and Sergio Aguero brought Athletico to within a goal of Real in the 81st minute, but in the end, Real Madrid (25 points) held on and remained one point back of Barcelona.

Sevilla kept the third spot in the La Liga table with a 3-2 win over Villareal and Valencia made it four wins in its last six matches with a 3-1 win over Real Zaragoza.

Serie A
Inter Milan still holds a sizable advantage in the Serie A standings, though it did lose a bit of ground in the table.

Inter had to come from behind to salvage a point against Roma on Sunday. Mirko Vucinic gave Roma the lead thirteen minutes in, but Inter Milan (29 points) got the equalized just three minutes into the second half thanks to Samuel Eto'o.

Juventus (24 points) capitalized on the opportunity, routing Atalanta 5-2 to pull within five points of Inter Milan. AC Milan meanwhile continued its run of form with a 2-1 win over Lazio that pulled them into third place with 22 points. Sampdoria (21 points) meanwhile is slipping fast, as its 1-0 loss to Cagliari leaves them tied with Fiorentina for fourth in Serie A.

Bayer Leverkusen built a little bit of distance between them and Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga standings over the weekend.

Leverkusen (26 points) did it's part with a 4-0 rout of Eintracht Frankfurt at BayArena on Friday, but Werder Bremen saw the full three points slip away in the second half of its match against visiting Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Mesut Ozil gave Werder Bremen the lead in the 36th minute, but Dortmund got the equalizer courtesy of Lucas Barrios in the 54th minute, thus preventing Bremen from staying tied for first with Leverkusen. Werder Bremen (23 points) is not only in second place, but they have to share with Hamburd SV for the next couple of weeks.

Bayern Munich is falling behind in the Bundesliga table, as its 1-1 draw against Schalke 04 left them tied with TSG Hoffenheim for seventh place. Schalke 04 is fourth in the table with 22 points and VfL Wolfsburg and Mainz are tied for fifth with 231 points apiece.

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