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Champions dictate pace in top European leagues
October 03, 2005 11:08 IST
The champions of Italy, England, France and Germany continued to dictate the pace in the major European leagues at the weekend.
Barcelona, however, are coming under increasing threat from arch-rivals Real Madrid in Spain while Hamburg SV continue to stalk Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Real Madrid's Brazilian contingent, with England midfielder David Beckham outstanding and setting up three of the goals, overwhelmed Real Mallorca 4-0 in the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Ronaldo, defender Roberto Carlos who struck twice and Julio Baptista scored to lift Real to third in the Primera Liga.
Celta Vigo missed out on the chance to return to the top of the standings when they were held to a 1-1 draw in Cadiz.
Getafe remain top with 14 points after they beat Valencia 2-1 on Saturday, a point ahead of Celta and two in front of Real Madrid.
Champions Barcelona, who are fifth with nine points, had to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday.
Serie A leaders Juventus beat title challengers Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to open up a five-point lead at the top of the table and deal a heavy psychological blow to Inter.
First half goals from David Trezeguet and Pavel Nedved secured the win for the champions in the first major clash of title contenders this season and made it six wins out of six for Fabio Capello's side.
AC Milan are in second place on 13 points after two first-half goals from captain Paolo Maldini, his first brace in a 20-year career, gave them a 2-1 victory over Reggina.
Fiorentina are level on points with Milan thanks to a 3-2 home victory against fellow Tuscans Livorno who scored both their goals in the final four minutes.
Rampant Chelsea thrashed European champions Liverpool 4-1 at Anfield on Sunday to charge nine points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Goals by Frank Lampard, Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Geremi gave the English champions their eighth win out of eight in the league and left Liverpool a staggering 17 points behind them in 13th place with less than a quarter of the season gone.
Another of Chelsea's chief rivals, Arsenal, secured a much-needed 1-0 victory over 10-man Birmingham City at Highbury thanks to a late, deflected shot by substitute Robin van Persie.
However, they still trail Chelsea by 11 points. The leaders have 24, followed by Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur on 15. Manchester United have 14 points and Arsenal 13, although both have a game in hand on Chelsea.
Hamburg SV stayed hard on the heels of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich with a 3-0 victory at Kaiserslautern on Sunday thanks to fine performance and two goals from Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.
Bayern beat Wolfsburg 2-0 on Saturday to get back on the winning track one week after they were beaten by Hamburg.
Hamburg dominated Kaiserslautern from start to finish and secured their grip on second place with 20 points from eight matches, one point behind Bayern before a two-week break for international matches.
Ligue 1 leaders Olympique Lyon recovered from a goal down to win 3-1 at Stade Rennes on Sunday and extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.
The victory kept the champions, who are chasing an unprecedented fifth successive title, four points clear of second-placed Paris St Germain, who beat Nantes 2-0 with 10 men on Saturday.