Liverpool beats Chelsea 2-1 in Premier League

AP
Liverpool's Glen Johnson, left, is hugged by Dirk Kuyt, centre, after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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Liverpool's Glen Johnson, left, is hugged by Dirk Kuyt, centre, after scoring during the English Premier …

LONDON (AP) — Glen Johnson consigned Chelsea to a second straight home defeat in the English Premier League with a late winner at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Liverpool took a 2-1 victory to reignite its chances of finishing in the top four.

Galloping onto Charlie Adam's raking pass in the 87th minute, the England right back cut inside international teammate Ashley Cole, burst into the area before curling home left-footed into the bottom corner.

Not only did Johnson's superb solo goal extend Liverpool's unbeaten run in the league to seven matches and lift the team above Arsenal into sixth place, it also dealt a major blow to Chelsea's hopes of reeling in unbeaten leader Manchester City.

City is 12 points clear of Chelsea after nearly a third of the season, which will pile the pressure on the London club's inexperienced manager Andre Villas-Boas, especially given the notorious impatience of Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich.

"The situation in the league isn't good for us but it's not impossible to turn it around," said Villas-Boas, whose team has lost three of its last four matches.

Former Argentina midfielder Maxi Rodriguez had given Liverpool a deserved lead in the 33rd minute on his first league start of the season, before Daniel Sturridge equalized from close range 10 minutes after coming on as a halftime substitute and adding some urgency to Chelsea's sterile attacking play.

If either side looked likely to nick a winner in the dying stages, it was Chelsea. But up popped Johnson to decide the game against the team he played for between 2003-07.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal are all level on 22 points, as is Tottenham, which has two games in hand starting with a home match against Aston Villa on Monday.

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Athletic Bilbao beat Sevilla 2-1 on Sunday to extend its unbeaten run to eight games in the Spanish league.

Andoni Iraola gave Bilbao an early lead in the sixth minute with a sharply taken strike from outside the area to put the visitors on their way to their first win at Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in 18 years.

Jesus Navas equalized for Sevilla in the 15th, but Bilbao never lost its attacking verve and Oscar de Marcos put the Basques back ahead for good in the 71st when the left back stole the ball, raced onto Iker Muniain's through pass and rolled home his own rebound.

Earlier, Sporting Gijon rallied to beat 10-man Getafe 2-1, while Osasuna-Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad-Espanyol both ended in scoreless draws.

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ROME (AP) — Juventus showed no signs of rustiness after a three-week layoff on Sunday, reclaiming the Serie A lead with a dominating 3-0 win over Palermo, as previous leader Udinese lost 2-0 at Parma.

Simone Pepe put Juventus in front with a header in the 20th minute following a well-placed cross from Giorgio Chiellini, and then celebrated by imitating a golf putt into the corner flag.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo hit the post in the 31st but Alessandro Matri doubled the lead with a sharply angled shot that went under Palermo goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas in the 48th.

Claudio Marchisio sealed the victory in the 65th after Matri faked a shot to leave him wide open, as the Bianconeri remained unbeaten — with a game in hand.

Juventus and Lazio are level with 22 points each but Juventus holds the edge on goal difference ahead of the two clubs' meeting next weekend — with head-to-head results being the first tiebreaker in the Italian league.

AC Milan and Udinese are next with 21 points each.

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BERLIN (AP) — Hamburger SV beat Hoffenheim 2-0 Sunday to climb out of the Bundesliga relegation zone and give coach Thorsten Fink his first win since taking over.

"We believed in it and we fought for it," Fink said.

Jose Paulo Guerrero scored against the run of play in the 25th minute, when the Peru striker was lucky to receive the rebound after his initial shot hit the right post.

Hamburg kept pressing in the second half and Marcell Jansen added the second goal in the 65th, when he ran at the visiting defense before unleashing a low shot past Tom Starke at the near post.

Hamburg players danced before fans at the final whistle after claiming their first win at home in 10 attempts since a 6-2 win over Cologne in March.

"It's a fantastic feeling, of course, but I must say it was just a question of time," said Hamburg sporting director Frank Arnesen. "Today was just reward for all the guys work over the last four of five weeks. If we keep playing like we did today we'll have many more wins."

Hamburg, which spent several weeks bottom of the Bundesliga, is unbeaten since Fink took over on Oct. 17.

Earlier, Martin Harnik scored twice to give Stuttgart a hard-fought 2-1 win at home over Augsburg.

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PARIS (AP) — Brest beat 10-man Sochaux 2-0 in the French league on Sunday to move away from the relegation zone.

Bruno Grougi converted a penalty in the 68th minute after Sochaux defender Mathieu Peybernes had fouled Eden Ben Basat — earning himself a red card in the process. Striker Nolan Roux pulled the ball back for substitute Romain Poyet to double the lead from close range in the 80th.

Elsewhere, Valenciennes rallied from a goal down to beat Auxerre 2-1.

Auxerre midfielder Alain Traore beat goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau in the 34th to notch his seventh goal this season. But Valenciennes defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin leveled by heading in a cross from Renaud Cohade in the 59th and forward Mamadou Samassa fired the winner in the 79th.

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AMSTERDAM (AP) — John Guidetti scored twice to guide Feyenoord to a 4-0 win at Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch league on Sunday, while leader AZ Alkmaar was hit by thick fog which forced officials to abandon its game at Excelsior Rotterdam.

Sekou Cisse and Jordy Clasie netted the other two for Ronald Koeman's side as Feyenoord moved up to fifth in the standings with 21 points from 13 games.

Alkmaar has 31 points from 12 games after its match was called off at halftime following a goalless 45 minutes.

"The assistant referees couldn't see anymore," referee Kevin Blom said. "The players and the coaches gave their consent to this decision."

PSV Eindhoven, which beat De Graafschap 3-1 on Saturday, is second on 28 points. FC Twente is two points further back after a 1-1 draw at Heracles Almelo.

Ajax, which drew 2-2 against NAC Breda in another Saturday fixture, is fourth on 21 points.

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