By NICK IUELE
Chelsea continued to show their dominance in the English Premier League with a 4-2 win over Tottenham. Juan Mata led the way with two goals, scoring in the 66th and 69th minute respectively. The second goal put the table toppers in the lead, and Daniel Sturridge’s tap in at the far post was the final blow. The win puts Chelsea four points clear of Manchester United and Manchester City.
In Spain, Barcelona survived a challenge from Deportivo La Coruna, winning a high-scoring 5-4 match. The three points earned by Barca are due in large part to Lionel Messi’s hat trick. Messi’s third goal in the 77th minute to put his side up 5-3 proved huge as Jordi Alba suffered an own goal just a minute later. With the win, Barca maintains a share of first place in La Liga.
Juventus took sole possession of first place in Serie A with a convincing 2-0 win over second place Napoli. The Old Lady did not take all three points easily, however, as it took goals from Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba in the 80th and 82nd minute respectively to down a feisty Napoli side. It seemed that Juve was challenged for the first time this season.
Here are the results from this weekend’s European action:
Title holders Manchester City needed a late brace from Edin Dzeko to stay in the top three, downing upstart West Bromwich Albion 2-1. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international had goals in the 80th and 91st minute, pulling City from a 1-0 deficit and earning his side all three points.
Manchester United also kept pace, winning 4-2 over Stoke City at Old Trafford. The Potters found themselves up 1-0 after a Wayne Rooney own goal in the 11th minute, but United fought back getting a double from Rooney and a goal each from Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck.
Arsenal suffered a set back, losing to Norwich City 1-0. Despite being in very good form coming into the match, Grant Holt’s 20th minute goal sunk the Gunners and pushed Arsene Wenger’s club down in the table.
English Premier League scoreboard:
Chelsea 4, Tottenham Hotspur 2
Fulham 1, Aston Villa 0
Liverpool 1, Reading 0
Manchester United 4, Stoke City 2
Swansea City 2, Wigan Athletic 1
Manchester City 2, West Bromwich Albion 1
West Ham United 4, Southampton 1
Norwich City 1, Arsenal 0
Sunderland 1, Newcastle United 1
Queens Park Rangers 1, Everton 1
Lazio remained in striking distance of the top spot with a 3-2 win over still-sputtering AC Milan. Lazio held a 3-0 lead provided by Hernanes, Antonio Candreva and Miroslav Klose late into the game, but Milan goals from Nigel De Jong and Stephan El Shaarawy late made the match close.
Inter Milan did not let Lazio out of their sight, keeping pace by earning all three points in a 2-0 win against Catania. Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio scored the goals for Inter giving them 18 points on the season, good for a tie for the third position in the table.
Serie A scoreboard:
Juventus 2, Napoli 0
Lazio 3, AC Milan 2
Cagliari 1, Bologna 0
Atalanta 2, Siena 1
Chievo Verona 1, Fiorentina 1
Inter Milan 2, Catania 0
Palermo 0, Torino 0
Parma 2, Sampdoria 1
Udinese 1, US Pescara 0
AS Roma 4, Genoa 2
Atletico Madrid kept pace with Barcelona with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad. Falcao’s 90th minute goal made the difference as Madrid remained hot. They are now tied with Barca for the top spot in the table with 22 points.
Malaga kept three points ahead of Real Madrid for third place with a 2-1 win over Valladolid. The match was tied at ones until Joaquin bagged the winner in the 87th minute. Malaga has only lost once this season while allowing a league-low five goals against.
La Liga scoreboard:
Malaga 2, Valladolid 1
Real Madrid 2, Celta Vigo 0
Valencia 3, Athletic Bilbao 2
Barcelona 5, Deportivo La Coruna 4
Levante 1, Getafe 0
Espanyol 3, Rayo Vallencano 2
Real Zaragoza 2, Granada 1
Osasuna 0, Real Betis 0
Atletico Madrid 1, Real Sociedad 0
Monday: Sevilla FC v Mallorca
Schalke made its Champions League intentions clear with a 2-1 win over title holders Borussia Dortmund. Ibrahim Affellay and Marco Hoger had a goal each in the first and second half respectively. Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski attempted to bring the champs back with a 55th minute goal, but the comeback fell short.
Eintracht Frankfurt held on to the second position in the table with a 3-1 win over Hannover. Karim Matmour, Sebastian Jung and Alexander Meier had the goals for Frankfurt. The club is five points shy of first place Munich and two points up on Schalke.
Bayer Levekusen 2, Mainz 2
Schalke 04 2, Borussia Dortmund 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 3, Hannover 96 1
Bayern Munich 5, Fortuna Dusseldorf 0
SC Freiburg 2, VfL Wolfsburg 0
Werder Bremen 4, Borussia Monchengladbach 0
Nurnberg 0, FC Augsburg 0
VfB Stuttgart 1, SV Hamburg 0
TSG Hoffenheim 3, SpVgg Greuther Furth 3
Marseille lost soul possession of first place in Ligue 1 with a shock 1-0 loss to lowly Troyes. The match seemed destined for a draw when Troyes’ Benjamin Nivet secured all three points with an 88th minute goal. Marseille is now tied at the top with Paris Saint-Germain.
Paris Saint-Germain moved into a tie for the top spot with a 1-0 victory over Stade de Reims. After Diego missed a penalty in the 40th minute, Kevin Gameiro beat the keeper in the 65th to earn PSG the victory. The Paris club now has a share of the league lead for the first time this season.
Ligue 1 scoreboard:
AC Ajaccio 0, Bastia 0
Lyon 1, Brest 0
Troyes 1, Marseille 0
Paris St-Germain 1, Stade de Reims 0
AS Nancy Lorraine 1, Sochaux 1
Toulouse 4, Evian Thonon Gaillard 0
Nice 1, St. Etienne 1
Stade Rennes 2, Montpellier 1
Valenciennes 6, Lorient 1
Bordeaux 1, Lille 1