European Round up

19 December 2011 05:46

Real Madrid recovered from their El Clasico defeat to Barcelona to stun Sevilla 6-2 while Manchester City stayed top in England.

ENGLAND

- Manchester City remained two points in front of champions Manchester United after a 1-0 win at home to Arsenal thanks to a 53rd-minute winner from David Silva.

United saw off Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at Loftus Road with Wayne Rooney on the scoresheet in the first minute before Michael Carrick made the game safe for the visitors in the 56th minute.

Tottenham are third, leapfrogging Chelsea, after a 1-0 win at home to strugglers Sunderland with Russia striker Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring the only goal.

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Wigan while Liverpool are sixth, just behind Arsenal, after a 2-0 win away to Aston Villa.

SPAIN

- Cristiano Ronaldo smashed a hat-trick as 10-man Real Madrid crushed Sevilla 6-2 to storm back to the top of La Liga and a three-point lead over Barcelona.

Jose Callejon, Angel Di Maria and Haltin Altintop were also on target in a match where Jose Mourinho's team were reduced to 10 men just before half-time when defender Pepe was red-carded.

Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo grabbed consolations for Sevilla while Madrid were also indebted to goalkeeper Iker Casillas for a wonder save when the advantage was only one goal.

Real will finish 2011 on top as Barcelona were involved in the Club World Cup in Japan where they defeated Santos 4-0.

GERMANY

- Bayern Munich went into the winter break with a 3-0 win over Cologne despite having Franck Ribery sent-off. They are three points ahead of champions Borussia Dortmund who crushed Freiburg 4-1.

Spanish veteran Raul issued third-placed Schalke 04 a timely reminder of his considerable talent with a hat-trick in the 5-0 rout of Werder Bremen to boost his hopes of a new deal with the club.

Hertha Berlin sacked coach Markus Babbel with former Eintracht Frankfurt coach Michael Skibbe, currently in charge of Turkish side Eskisehirspor, tipped to replace him.

ITALY

- Juventus returned to the top of Serie A following a 2-0 victory at home to Novara, while Inter Milan's revival continued as they won 1-0 at Cesena to climb to fifth place.

Juve's win enabled them to leapfrog AC Milan, who had taken over at the top by beating Siena 2-0 on Saturday.

Udinese missed the chance to draw level with Antonio Conte's side when they were held to a 2-2 draw at Lazio and remain in third place, two points off the pace.

Novara defended valiantly but were always chasing the game after Simone Pepe converted a low cross in the fourth minute to claim his fifth goal of the season.

Fabio Quagliarella made the game safe with Juve's second goal in the 75th minute.

Inter's winner came from Andrea Ranocchia as the 2010 champions moved into the European places, but they are still 10 points off Juve's pace.

FRANCE

- Paris Saint-Germain were prevented from regaining top spot in Ligue 1 after being held to a 0-0 draw by defending champions Lille.

Pre-match attention had focused on the rumoured presence in the capital of David Beckham, but in his absence, PSG were unable to break down Rudi Garcia's side in the last major head-to-head clash before the winter break.

The draw took PSG level on points with leaders Montpellier, who drew 1-1 with Toulouse, but they are in second place on goal difference. Lille -- unbeaten in 16 league games -- crept above Lyon into third place via the same criteria.

HOLLAND

- Leaders AZ Alkmaar had their lead cut to one point after losing 2-1 at NAC Breda where Milano Koenders grabbed a last-minute winner.

PSV Eindhoven are second after a 5-1 romp at Heerenveen with Ola Toivonen scoring twice.

Ajax are fourth, just behind Twente, after an easy 4-0 win over Den Haag but the Amsterdam side are still five points off the pace.

PORTUGAL

- FC Porto and Benfica remain locked at the top on 33 points with 10 wins and three draws apiece. Porto needed two late goals to beat Maritimo Funchal 2-0 while Benfica came back from a goal down to rout Rio Ave 5-1.

Source: AFP