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World Sports: Manchester City top EPL; European football review

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PHUKET: Manchester City topped the Premier League for the first time this season after thrashing Aston Villa while Barcelona stayed three points clear in La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a win over Real Zaragoza.

Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to eight points with a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg while leaders Juventus stayed four clear of Inter Milan in Serie A after both drew and Olympique Lyonnais top Ligue 1 after beating Stade Reims 3-0 at home.

England
Champions Manchester City went top of the Premier League for the first time this season after demolishing Aston Villa 5-0 with Argentines Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero scoring twice.

City moved to 28 points from 12 games, one more than Manchester United who slipped to second after a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Norwich City. Chelsea are third on 24 after their surprise 2-1 loss away to West Bromwich Albion.

The highest scoring match was at the Emirates where Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 for the second successive season. Arsene Wenger’s side took control after ex-Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, who put Spurs ahead, was sent off in the 18th minute.

Spain
Unbeaten leaders Barcelona secured their 11th win in 12 games when La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi struck twice in a 3-1 home win over Real Zaragoza before second-placed Atletico Madrid kept the gap at three points with a 1-0 win away to Granada.

Messi’s 16th and 17th league goals of the campaign took his tally for club and country in 2012 to 78 and the Argentina forward is closing in on the record of 85 in a calendar year set by Bayern Munich’s Germany striker Gerd Mueller 40 years ago.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico side have a club best 31 points from their 12 matches, one more than when they last won the title with the combative Argentine in the side in 1996.

Champions Real Madrid are third on 26 points, still eight adrift of great rivals Barca, after thrashing Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu.

Levante climbed above Malaga into fourth on 20 points thanks to a 2-0 win at Deportivo Coruna after Malaga drew 0-0 at struggling Osasuna.

Germany
Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to eight points despite a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg.

Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic’s ninth goal of the campaign looked to have put Bayern on track for their 11th win in 12 games. But a Markus Feulner long-range effort drew the hosts level right after the restart.

Bayern, in action against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday, move up to 31 points while second-placed Schalke 04 are stuck on 23 after losing 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.

Champions Borussia Dortmund eased past Greuther Fuerth 3-1 to make the most of Bayern’s slip and move up to 22 points in fourth place, one behind Eintracht Frankfurt in third.

Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier struck twice to join Mandzukic on nine goals at the top of the scoring charts in a 4-2 victory over bottom side Augsburg.

Italy
Leaders and champions Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw by visitors Lazio but stayed four points clear of Inter Milan, who needed a late Davide Astori own goal to draw 2-2 at home to Cagliari.

Alberto Aquilani scored twice to held Fiorentina thump Atalanta 4-1, their fifth league win in a row, and move into third, one point behind Inter and ahead of Napoli on goal difference.

Napoli drew 2-2 after squandering a 2-0 lead at home to AC Milan. Serie A top scorer Stephan El Shaaraway scored both Milan goals to take his tally to 10.

France
Olympique Lyonnais moved top of Ligue 1 by one point with a game in hand after beating mid-table Stade Reims 3-0 at home.

The seven-times champions have 25 points from 12 games ahead of Girondins Bordeaux who beat Olympique Marseille 1-0.

Bordeaux extended their successful home run against their rivals, who have failed to win at the home of the Girondins since 1977 and finished the game fielding a 27-year-old amateur called up to strengthen a decimated squad.

Marseille slipped to fourth and remain level on 23 points with Paris St Germain who dropped to third after a shock home defeat by nine-man Stade Rennes who are seventh on 22.

Netherlands
PSV Eindhoven extended their lead at the top of the Dutch league to three points after their 6-1 thrashing of ADO Den Haag was followed by Twente Enschede’s 1-1 draw at Utrecht.

Vitesse Arnhem are two more points back in third following 4-1 home win over NEC Nijmegen who finished with eight men after Victor Palsson, Remy Amieux and Ryan Koolwijk were sent off.

— Reuters

 

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