Saturday, September 28, 2013
United, City lose as Arsenal marches on
MANCHESTER, England -- The two Manchester clubs lost and Arsenal opened a two-point lead with a win at Swansea on Saturday, extending the unpredictable start to the English Premier League.
Five months after capturing a 20th English league title, Manchester United (2-3-1) languished in 12th place in the 20-team standings after losing 2-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion in the latest setback to hit David Moyes' troubled first season as manager.
Morgan Amalfitano scored in the 54th minute for the visitors, and Wayne Rooney tied the score on a free kick three minutes later. Saido Berahino put West Brom ahead for good in the 67th.
"I'm concerned after today's result, but only because we didn't play well," said Moyes, whose team lost to City in last weekend's Manchester derby. "But there are a lot of games to go and I'll try to put it right."
Amid its worst six-game start since 1989, United slipped eight points behind Arsenal (5-1), which won 2-1 at Swansea on goals by Serge Gnabry in the 58th minutre and Aaron Ramsey in the 62nd.
The only solace for United on an action-packed day was neighbor Manchester City (3-2-1) lost 3-2 at Aston Villa. City built a 2-1 lead when American goalkeeper Brad Guzan was beaten by Yaya Toure in the 45th and Edin Dzeko in the 56th around Karim El Ahmadi's goal for Villa. The hosts then got goals from Leandro Bacuna in the 73rd and Andreas Weimann in the 75th.
Tottenham (4-1-1) is two points behind in second after drawing 1-1 at home against third-place Chelsea (3-1-2).
Gylfi Sigurdsson put Spurs ahead in the 19th, John Terry tied it in the 65th and the Blues' Fernando Torres was ejected by referee Mike Dean in the 81st for his second yellow, given for an aerial collision with Jan Vertonghen.
Even promoted teams Cardiff and Hull are above United after six games. Cardiff won its first away match of the season, 2-1 at Fulham, and Hull edged West Ham 1-0. Another newcomer, Crystal Palace, lost 2-0 at fourth-place Southampton.
BARCELONA, Spain -- Lionel Messi injured a leg for the second time this season in Barcelona's 2-0 win at Almeria, and Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid 1-0 for its first league victory in the capital derby since 1999.
Diego Costa scored in the 11th minute for Atletico (7-0), which ended a 23-match league winless streak against Real is second to Barcelona in the league on goal difference. Gareth Bale made his home debut for Real (5-1-1), which dropped five points off the pace.
Barcelona said on Twitter that "Messi has a muscle injury in his right thigh" and he will undergo more tests Sunday. He is doubtful for Tuesday's Champions League match at Glasgow Celtic.
The four-time FIFA Player of the Year put Barcelona ahead in the 21st minute with his eighth league goal this season and 11th overall. Eight minutes later, Messi asked coach Gerardo Martino to take him out after making a long sprint to pressure the goalkeeper.
Messi walked off the field and was replaced by Xavi Hernandez. Messi spent the rest of the match on the bench and watched Adriano score in the second half.
Messi missed Barcelona's second league game this season after bruising his left thigh. He missed several games at the end of last season with a right hamstring pull.
AMSTERDAM -- American forward Aron Johannsson scored the tiebreaking goal in the 57th minute, giving AZ Alkmaar a 2-1 win over first-place PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch league.
Johannsson lopped the ball over goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton for his fifth league goal of the season and eighth overall.
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski each scored twice for Borussia Dortmund in a 5-0 win over Freiburg, while Bayern Munich labored past Wolfsburg 1-0 in the Bundesliga .
Bayer Leverkusen beat Hannover 2-0 as the trio of leaders opened a significant gap seven games into the season.
Dortmund leads on goal difference over Bayern (both 6-0-1). Leverkusen (6-1) is a point behind them, six ahead of Hannover (4-3).
In other matches, Hoffenheim rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Schalke, and Hertha also came from behind for a 3-1 win over Mainz, which lost its fourth straight.
In Bert van Marwijk's first game as coach, Hamburg came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.
MILAN -- Napoli eased to a 2-0 win at Genoa to move provisionally top of the Serie A standings on Saturday, thanks to a double from Goran Pandev.
The Macedonia striker nabbed his first in the 14th, latching onto a poor pass from Juraj Kucka, racing forward and firing into the bottom right corner. Pandev doubled his tally 10 minutes later as Lorenzo Insigne lifted a superb ball into the area for Pandev to smash across goal into the bottom left corner, with his weaker right foot.
Napoli, which lost its perfect record in Wednesday's 1-1 draw at bottom club Sassuolo, moved a point ahead of Roma, which hosts Bologna on Sunday.
Genoa has now lost four of its opening six games, raising speculation its young coach Fabio Liverani could be the first Serie A manager to be fired this season.
MILAN -- Napoli (5-0-1) moved into first place in Serie A with a 2-0 win at Genoa behind two goals from Goran Pandev.
AC Milan (2-2-2) beat visiting Sampdoria 1-0 on Valter Birsa's first goal since he signed from Genoa in the offseason.
Second-place Roma (5-0) hosts Bologna on Sunday, when Inter Milan (4-0-1) is at Cagliari and defending champion Juventus (4-0-1) is at crosstown rival Torino.
PARIS -- Goals from teenage defender Marquinhos and striker Edinson Cavani helped Paris Saint-Germain beat Toulouse 2-0 at home.
Monaco (5-0-2) is one point behind PSG (5-0-3) and can reclaim top spot if it wins at Reims on Sunday.
Third-place Marseille (5-1-2) won 2-0 at Lorient as Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew scored their first goals of the season.