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European Roundup: United held, Messi and Ronaldo hit hat-tricks

25 Sep 2011 23:05:34

European Roundup: United held, Messi and Ronaldo hit hat-tricks

Manchester United lost their 100 percent record in the English Premier League with a 1-1 draw at Stoke, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo lit up Spain with a hat-trick apiece.

ENGLAND

- Manchester United dropped their first points after Peter Crouch's first goal for Stoke secured a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

United had looked on course to maintain their 100 percent start to the season -- and a two-point lead at the top of the table -- after Portuguese winger Nani fired them ahead on 27 minutes.

But former Tottenham striker Crouch soared high to head home a corner on 52 minutes.

The result left United top on goal difference from arch-rivals Manchester City, with both clubs on 16 points after six games.

City had maintained the pressure at the top of the table after second half goals from substitutes Mario Balotelli and James Milner gave them a 2-0 win over Everton.

Fernando Torres was sent off for the first time in his Premier League career as Chelsea bounced back from defeat at Manchester United with a 4-1 win over Swansea.

Torres had rifled home a superb opener to put Andre Villas-Boas's side ahead at Stamford Bridge. The win leaves Chelsea three points behind United and City.

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie brought up a century of goals for the London club after scoring twice in the Gunners 3-0 win over Bolton.

Liverpool bounced back from their 4-0 thrashing at Spurs with a 2-1 win over Wolves at Anfield.

SPAIN

- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both hit hat-tricks as Barcelona and Real Madrid went on a Spanish goal rampage.

Argentine magician Messi registered his 12th career hat-trick in a Barcelona shirt in a 5-0 mauling of Atletico Madrid as the defending champions moved into second place.

Messi, who also hit three in the 8-0 rout of Sporting Gijon last weekend, leads La Liga goalscoring charts with eight, one in front of Portuguese star Ronaldo whose hat-trick came in the 6-2 defeat of Rayo Vallecano.

Real are in fourth place, one point behind Barcelona and third-placed Sevilla.

Messi has 192 goals for Barcelona, just two behind the club record held by Laszlo Kubala.

ITALY

- Turin giants Juventus share the Serie A lead with Udinese after both earned a point from away fixtures.

Juve are top on goals scored following a 1-1 draw at Catania while Udinese were held 0-0 away to Cagliari.

AC Milan and Inter Milan both earned their first wins of the season.

Claudio Ranieri's Inter reign began successfully after two goals in the last 10 minutes secured a 3-1 victory at Bologna.

And neighbours Milan also secured three points as veteran midfielder Clarence Seedorf scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to rock-bottom Cesena who are still without a point.

For Ranieri it was the ideal start since replacing Gian Piero Gasperini, who was fired in midweek after losing four out of five games, and drawing the other.

GERMANY

- Bayern Munich strolled past Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 to stay clear in the Bundesliga, having been temporarily dislodged three hours earlier when Borussia Moenchengladbach clinched a 1-0 win over Nuremburg.

Bayern's opening goal came on five minutes from Thomas Mueller, with Belgian defender Daniel van Buyten netting the second on 19 minutes to effectively put the match to bed.

Arjen Robben put his name on the scoreboard in the final minute on his return from injury.

Peru striker Claudio Pizarro scored a brace, including a last-gasp winner, as Werder Bremen went joint-second in a 2-1 victory over nine-man Hertha Berlin.

FRANCE

- Lyon, PSG and Toulouse all have 17 points at the top. Lyon put their mid-week 1-0 loss to Caen behind them when they overwhelmed Bordeaux 3-1, with Bafetimbi Gomis on target twice.

A well-worked Umut Bulut goal saw Toulouse edge Nancy 1-0, while PSG confirmed their title credentials with an impressive 3-0 victory at former leaders Montpellier. Record signing Javier Pastore found the net twice.

NETHERLANDS

- Australian international Brett Holman scord a late goal to give AZ Alkmaar a 2-1 win over 10-man Feyenoord and top spot in the Eredivisie. Otman Bakkal opened the scoring for Feyenoord, but AZ Alkmaar equalised on the hour mark with a Rasmus Elm free-kick.

FC Twente are second, two points behind AZ, after a 1-1 draw at champions Ajax, who are third, a further point back. PSV Eindhoven were the weekend's top scorers, hammering Roda 7-1.

PORTUGAL

- Champions Porto drew 2-2 with Benfica but they stay ahead of their Lisbon rivals on goal difference. Porto twice led before Nicolas Gaitan levelled with the night's fourth goal in the 82nd minute.


AFP

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