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Rediff.com  » Sports » Footballers of the weekend: Sturridge, Bale take honours

Footballers of the weekend: Sturridge, Bale take honours

Last updated on: February 24, 2014 12:57 IST

Footballers of the weekend: Sturridge, Bale take honours

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Daniel Sturridge led Liverpool to a great victory over Swansea, while Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid to go top of the La Liga table, after shock defeats of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, with a 3-0 win over Elche at the weekend.

Chelsea clung to top place in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Everton, while Bayern Munich opened a 19-point lead in the Bundesliga with their 14th successive league win and closest rivals Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund lost.

Read on to find out Rediff.com's footballers of the weekend...

In Spain, Real Madrid moved three points clear at the top after they cruised to a 3-0 win at home to promoted Elche, and Barcelona and Atletico Madrid slumped to surprise defeats.

Asier Illarramendi gave Real the lead before the break, but it took them until the 72nd minute to score again with a rocket of a long-range drive by Gareth Bale.

Isco added a third goal with nine minutes left.

Champions Barca were beaten 3-1 at fifth-placed Real Sociedad on Saturday as coach Gerardo Martino's decision to rest key players backfired.

Martino's Argentine compatriot Diego Simeone also started without several regulars at Osasuna on Sunday and his Atletico side conceded three goals in the first half for the first time since he took over at the end of 2011 in a 3-0 reverse.

Real, who play at Atletico next Sunday, have 63 points with 13 matches left, with Barca in second ahead of Atletico on goal difference.


Image: Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (right) celebrates with teammate Alvaro Arbeloa after scoring against Elche CF during their La Liga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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Terry to Chelsea's rescue; Sturridge shines for Reds

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English Premier League leaders Chelsea remained one point clear of Arsenal and three ahead of ManchesterCity after captain John Terry's late goal sunk Everton 1-0.

The Gunners defeated Sunderland 4-1 at home while City, who have a game in hand on Chelsea, accounted for StokeCity courtesy of Yaya Toure's strike.

Seven goals flowed in Liverpool's 4-3 win over Swansea at Anfield, with Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson both scoring a brace to keep Brendan Rodgers' side in fourth, four points behind Chelsea.

Wayne Rooney, fresh from signing a new four-year deal at Manchester United, was on the score sheet as the reigning champions beat CrystalPalace 2-0 to go five points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur who lost 1-0 at NorwichCity.


Image: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (left) celebrates scoring his team's third goal with teammate Luis Suarez on Sunday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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Mueller double gives Bayern 14th win in a row

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Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of Bundesliga to an impressive 19 points by winning 4-0 at Hanover 96, while chasing teams Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund both lost.

Thomas Mueller scored twice while Thiago Alcantara and Mario Mandzukic shared the other goals as Bayern, who have 62 points from a possible 66, chalked up their 14th successive league win.

Second-placed Leverkusen remained on 43 points after losing 3-1 at VfL Wolfsburg, while Dortmund, one point further back in third, were beaten 3-0 at Hamburg SV, who won on coach Mirko Slomka's debut ending a run of seven consecutive league defeats.

Hamburg, the only ever-present team in the Bundesliga's 51-year history, moved up to 16th, the relegation playoff spot.


Image: Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller celebrates after scoring during the German Bundesliga match against Hanover 96 in Hanover on Sunday
Photographs: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

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Juve's Tevez scores in controversial derby vs Torino

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Juventus stayed nine points clear at the top of Serie A when a goal by Carlos Tevez gave them a 1-0 win over neighbours Torino, maintaining their 100 percent home record after 13 games.

Second-placed AS Roma also won by a single goal scored by Radja Nainggolan at Bologna.

Inter Milan, in fifth, were held 1-1 at home by Cagliari while Clarence Seedorf's AC Milan, who are ninth, won 2-0 at Sampdoria.

Juventus have 66 points from 25 games while Roma have 57 and a game in hand.


Image: Carlos Tevez celebrates after scoring
Photographs: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

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Ibra magic continues to mesmerise PSG fans

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hat-trick earned Paris St Germain a 4-2 win at battling Toulouse to restore the champions' five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1.

Second-placed AS Monaco had cut the gap to two points with a 3-2 win over Stade de Reims on Friday, but that did not worry PSG who remain on track for back-to-back titles.

Lille clung to third place, now 15 points behind PSG, with a 0-0 draw at home to Olympique Lyon, while St Etienne crept up on them in fourth a point behind after a 2-0 win at Bastia. 


Image: Paris St Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic challenges Toulouse's Steev Yago (right) during their French Ligue 1 match at the stadium in Toulouse
Photographs: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

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