European roundup-Ronaldo on song, Nani scores freak goal

Reuters

Sun, 31 Oct 22:48:00 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo's rich vein of form continued with two goals as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Hercules 3-1 and stay top of La Liga.

In England, Nani's bizarre goal in Manchester United's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur was the hot topic of debate and surprise Italian leaders Lazio went four points clear.

SPAIN

It was a good weekend for Real Madrid and Barcelona and a poor one for the teams with a realistic chance of challenging the La Liga giants for the title. Leaders Real came from behind to win 3-1 at promoted Hercules with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring two late goals to take his league tally to 10 in four games and 13 in nine matches in all competitions in October.

Barca routed Sevilla 5-0 thanks to two goals each from Lionel Messi and David Villa and one from former Sevilla full back Daniel Alves.

Real are top with 23 points, Barca have 22. Villarreal (20) and Valencia (17) slipped further behind the leading pair when they were held to 1-1 draws by Sporting Gijon and Real Zaragoza respectively.

ENGLAND

Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United secured victories to maintain their places at the top but Manchester City lost ground with a second successive defeat.

Leaders Chelsea grabbed a 2-1 victory at Blackburn Rovers with a late header by Branislav Ivanovic while Alex Song's 88th-minute header secured a 1-0 home win for Arsenal over West Ham United.

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 with Nani's late goal the talking point. The Portuguese nicked the ball from Heurelho Gomes as the Spurs keeper was about to take a free kick he thought had been given for a handball but the referee had waved play on and Nani took full advantage.

City were disjointed in their second successive defeat, 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Liverpool's second victory in a row, 1-0 win at Bolton Wanderers, lifted them out of the bottom three.

ITALY

Lazio shot four points clear after their 1-0 win at Palermo and AC Milan's 2-1 home defeat by Juventus, where Alessandro Del Piero became Juve's all-time record Serie A scorer.

Champions Inter Milan went second following a 1-0 victory at Genoa where Sulley Muntari netted his first goal in over a year with help from bumbling goalkeeper Eduardo.

Sampdoria dropped Antonio Cassano, possibly for good, after the Italy forward insulted the club president but they still won 1-0 at Cesena thanks to Giampaolo Pazzini's stoppage-time goal.

Napoli celebrated Diego Maradona's 50th birthday with a 1-0 success at Brescia with Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi fittingly grabbing the winner.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund reclaimed top spot after beating Mainz 05 2-0 to set a new Bundesliga record with their fifth successive away win since the start of the season.

Goals from teenager Mario Goetze and Lucas Barrios made sure Dortmund went a point clear at the top on 25 from 10 games, one ahead of Mainz.

Gylfi Sigurdsson struck twice to help Hoffenheim crush Hanover 96 4-0 and move into third place on 18 points while injury-plagued champions Bayern Munich showed signs of recovery, beating Freiburg 4-2 to move up to seventh.

Schalke 04's troubled season took a turn for the worse when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen that left the Champions League competitors in 17th spot, level on six points with bottom-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach.

FRANCE

Promoted Brest claimed top spot in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 home win against St Etienne on Saturday as the Olympique Marseille v Stade Rennes clash was postponed because of heavy rain.

Bad weather in southeastern France also forced the postponement of Monaco v Girondins Bordeaux.

Olympique Lyon, French champions from 2002 to 2008, revived their campaign with a 2-1 home victory against Sochaux on Saturday with youngster Alexandre Lacazette netting the winner in his third top flight appearance.

Paris St Germain's season was stalling after a 1-1 draw at Montpellier, a week after they were beaten at home by AJ Auxerre.

NETHERLANDS

Dutch champions Twente Enschede went top of the table after beating 10-men PSV Eindhoven 1-0, their first away win over their opponents for 37 years.

Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz set up Nacer Chadli on the hour to seal victory for unbeaten Twente, a result which pushed PSV down to second place.

Twente have 28 points from 12 matches, one ahead of PSV and Ajax Amsterdam, who cruised to a 4-1 win at Heracles Almelo.

PORTUGAL

Leaders Porto and second-placed Benfica posted wins ahead of their encounter in next weekend's "classico".

Benfica beat Pacos de Ferreira 2-0 at home, with Argentine playmaker Pablo Aimar opening the scoring in the 14th minute after a solo run past three defenders. Brazilian forward Alan Kardec added the second with a 65th-minute penalty.

A Silvestre Varela volley two minutes before halftime gave Porto a 1-0 away win over Academica on a rain-drenched pitch. GREECE

Djibril Cisse scored twice as Panathinaikos came from behind to overcome Olympiakos Pireaus 2-1 in a pulsating Athens derby and close to within a point of their rivals at the top of the Super League.

AEK Athens lost ground on the top two after slipping to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Panionios. They are in third, five points adrift of leaders Olympiakos.

AEK were reduced to 10 men in the 36th minute when Uruguay defender Claudio Dadomo was sent off for an off-the-ball kick at Andreas Samaris. The goal came five minutes after halftime when Lorenzo Riera, whose first-half penalty was saved by AEK keeper Sebastian Saja, headed home Yiannis Maniatis' cross.

 

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account