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European soccer roundup - Barcelona''s lead cut, Chelsea power on

Monday, 2 November 2009 - 1:59pm IST | Place: London | Agency: Reuters

Barcelona''s lead at the top of La Liga was cut to one point over Real Madrid after the champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna.

Barcelona''s lead at the top of La Liga was cut to one point over Real Madrid after the champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Osasuna.                                           

Chelsea stayed top in England with a 4-0 win at Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 but Liverpool suffered a sixth loss in seven games when they went down 3-1 at Fulham after having two players sent off.                                                                                   


Barcelona''s Gerard Pique put the ball in his own net in the last move of the game after in-form Seydou Keita had given the visitors the lead.                                           

Real had Raul Albiol sent off in the first half against Getafe but Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain scored a quick-fire brace to give them a 2-0 win.               

Liverpool''s season plumbed new depths as they lost for the fifth time in the league and had defenders Philipp Degen and Jamie Carragher sent off during the 3-1 defeat at Fulham. The duo were two of nine players to be sent off in the 10 Premier League games.                                           

Liverpool are nine points behind leaders Chelsea, who won 4-0 at 10-man Bolton Wanderers.                                          

Manchester United are second two points adrift on 25 following a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers with Arsenal third on 22 after beating north-London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-0.  


Second-half goals from Diego Milito and Maicon helped Inter Milan win 2-0 at Livorno and move seven points clear at the top of Serie A after just 11 games. The champions were boosted by rivals Sampdoria drawing 0-0 at home to Bari, who missed a late penalty and had a goal controversially ruled out.   

Juventus, joint second with Samp, were 2-0 up at home to Napoli before substitute Jesus Datolo combined three times with Marek Hamsik to give the Naples club a remarkable 3-2 victory.                                                                                   


Leaders Girondins Bordeaux geared up perfectly for their Champions League trip to Bayern Munich with a clinical 1-0 win over Monaco. Defender Marc Planus poked the ball home after Marouane Chamakh''s header from a Wendel free kick was parried away by Stephane Ruffier.

Monaco dropped to third in the standings after Olympique Lyon, who entertain Liverpool on Wednesday, won at arch-rivals St Etienne 1-0 with a Bafetimbi Gomis goal.                                                                                   


Bayer Leverkusen went a point clear at the top of the Bundesliga on 23, despite conceding two late goals to draw 2-2 at Schalke 04. Toni Kroos' unstoppable volley and a Stefan Kiessling header had put them 2-0 before a Kevin Kuranyi tap-in and Vicente Sanchez''s 88th-minute header levelled the match.

Werder Bremen needed a last-gasp equaliser by Aaron Hunt to salvage a 2-2 draw against Nuremberg and move up to second place on 22 points.

Borussia Moenchengladbach ended Hamburg SV''s unbeaten run this season with a 3-2 win, leaving the hosts in third place level on points with Bremen.                                                                                   


Dutch international Demy de Zeeuw scored twice in Ajax Amsterdam''s 5-1 thrashing of arch rivals Feyenoord, who finished the match with nine men. Midfielder Stefan Babovic was sent off for elbowing Jan Vertonghen at the end of the first half and goalkeeper Rob van Dijk followed in the final minute for a professional foul on Luis Suarez, who converted the penalty for his 16th league goal of the season. 

Twente Enschede, 2-1 winners at Roda JC Kerkrade, are top with 32 points from 12 matches, two above PSV Eindhoven who beat Vitesse Arnhem 1-0. Ajax remain third with 29 and Feyenoord are fourth on 23 points.


Braga maintained their unbeaten record with a 2-0 win over Benfica which took them back to the top of the league but both teams had a player sent off as the teams brawled at the start of halftime. 

Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo and Braga''s Alonso Leone were shown red cards. Hugo Viana opened the scoring with a free kick in the seventh minute and Paulo Cesar netted the second on 78 minutes. Braga have 25 points from nine games, followed by Benfica on 22 and Porto, who drew 1-1 with Belenenses, on 20   

Djibril Cisse scored both goals for Panathinaikos as they secured a 2-1 win over Panionios to re-join Olympiakos at the top of the Greek Super League. Cisse put Henk ten Cate''s side in front from the penalty spot after nine minutes and two minutes later, the France striker slotted home again.   

Pana and Olympiakos are level on 25 points with both teams also having the same goal difference following Olympiakos'' 1-0 win over Atromitos. PAOK climbed to third, 10 points behind the leaders, after a 1-0 win over Xanthi courtesy of Vladan Ivic''s last-minute header.                                                                                  


Rangers' hopes of closing ground on Celtic in the Scottish Premier League were washed away by a deluge that forced the abandonment of their game at Dundee United. Rangers were leading 1-0 at Tannadice after a goal by Steven Davis but the referee decided at halftime that conditions had become too dangerous to continue.

Celtic beat Kilmarnock 3-0 to move to 23 points with Hibernian climbing to second on 20 following their 2-0 win over Aberdeen. Rangers, now with a game in hand, are third on 19.     


Champions Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow both enjoyed emphatic home wins to continue their neck-and-neck title race, set to go down to the wire with three games remaining. Two goals from Alexander Bukharov and one each by Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Christian Noboa handed Rubin a 4-1 victory over Krylya Sovietov Samara, keeping them in pole position with 56 points from 27 matches.

Spartak, looking for their first league title since 2001, have 55 after a brace from Brazilian midfielder Alex as well as a goal apiece by compatriot Welliton, Pavel Yakovlev and Jano Ananidze steered them to a 5-1 rout of Rostov.  


Champions and front-runners Dinamo Zagreb went down 2-1 at Hajduk Split in their derby, allowing second-placed Sibenik to close the gap to two points with a 1-0 win over Karlovac. Hajduk, 11 points behind Dinamo and boycotted by their die-hard fans who did not turn up for the derby, eased the pressure off their Italian coach Eduardo Reja with a rare win over bitter foes Dinamo.

A Dejan Lovren own-goal fired Hajduk ahead and Ivan Strinic tapped in the winner after Ilija Sivonjic had equalised in front of just 4,000 fans.


With one eye on their Champions League clash against Inter Milan on Wednesday, leaders Dynamo Kiev took their foot off the gas pedal and were held to a 1-1 home draw by Karpaty Lviv. Sergei Zenjov gave the visitors an early lead before Serbia midfielder Milos Ninkovic struck on the hour for Dynamo, who have 32 points from 12 matches.

Traditional rivals Shakhtar Donetsk cut the deficit to four points with a 1-0 win at Chernomorets Odessa, courtesy of a second-minute effort by Jadson.


Leaders Red Star Belgrade maintained their four-point advantage after first-half goals from defender Milan Vilotic and striker Dejan Lekic helped them to a 2-0 win at Javor Ivanjica. Champions and city rivals Partizan stayed in touch with a 3-1 home success against Napredak Krusevac, after Mladen Krstajic curled in a free kick and teenager Adem Ljajic, on loan from Manchester United, headed in the second.


Champions Wisla Krakow stretched their lead to six points with a 3-2 win at Korona Kielce as closest rivals Ruch Chorzow suffered a 2-0 setback at Legia Warsaw. Wisla raced to a 3-0 led before the hour but had to defend desperately in the closing stages, while a Marcin Miecel double in the first half gave third-placed Legia the win.  

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