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Barcelona, Juventus maintain lead

January 16, 2006 11:45 IST
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Following is a roundup of weekend action in the main European leagues:

SPAIN

Barcelona notched up their 17th consecutive victory in all competitions, coming from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at home in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

Bilbao led through Fernando Llorente early on before World Player of the Year Ronaldinho scored from the penalty spot in the 36th minute. Argentine forward Leo Messi scored the winner six minutes after the break.

Barca, who had Portugal midfielder Deco sent off in the final minute, have 46 points from 19 games, seven ahead of Osasuna who lost 2-0 to third-placed Valencia in the Mestalla on Saturday.

Uruguayan winger Mario Regueiro fired home the opener and Spain striker David Villa headed the second goal six minutes after the restart, his 11th of the season.

Frenchman Zinedine Zidane hit his first hat-trick for Real Madrid as the capital side moved up to fourth on 33 points after beating Sevilla 4-2 in a pulsating match at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

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ENGLAND

Chelsea had to overcome stubborn resistance from bottom side Sunderland to grind out a 2-1 victory and stretch their Premier League lead to 16 points on Sunday.

Sunderland took a shock lead through Liam Lawrence, with Hernan Crespo replying for the misfiring champions. Dutchman Arjen Robben scored a deflected winner in the 69th minute but was immediately shown a second yellow card for celebrating in the crowd.

The 145th Manchester derby went the way of Stuart Pearce's City who rounded off a miserable week for Alex Ferguson and United with a 3-1 win at Eastlands on Saturday.

Goals by Trevor Sinclair and Darius Vassell put City in control. United's Portuguese winger Ronaldo was sent off on 66 minutes and although Ruud van Nistelrooy pulled one back substitute Robbie Fowler sealed victory with a sweet strike.

A superb volley from Australian midfielder Harry Kewell after an hour handed Liverpool a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United are second on 45 points with Liverpool a point further back.

Thierry Henry scored a hat-trick as Arsenal ran riot at Highbury in a 7-0 demolition of injury-hit Middlesbrough. The France striker's third, after 68 minutes, took him level with 1930s winger Cliff Bastin as the club's leading league scorer with 150 goals.

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ITALY

Alessandro Del Piero maintained his record-breaking form when he struck the winner in Juventus's laboured 1-0 win over Reggina on Sunday.

The striker, who hit a hat-trick in midweek against Italian Cup rivals Fiorentina to surpass Giampiero Boniperti as the club's all-time top scorer, struck just before halftime to maintain Juve's 100 percent winning record at home.

The result gave Juventus 52 points from 19 matches, 10 points ahead of second-placed Inter Milan, who edged out Cagliari 3-2 with Brazilian Adriano scoring twice.

AC Milan slipped back one place to third on 40 points after losing 1-0 to AS Roma in the Italian capital. Midfielder Mancini, playing his first Serie A game after a two-month injury layoff, picked up Francesco Totti's pass on the edge of the area and fired in a shot that deflected off Jaap Stam to beat Dida at his near post.

Fiorentina stayed fourth, also on 40 points, after the division's leading scorer Luca Toni hit a stoppage-time winner to sink Chievo Verona 2-1.

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FRANCE

Olympique Lyon, chasing a record fifth successive title, maintained their huge advantage in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 win at in-form Nancy on Saturday.

Claudio Cacapa and Fred scored Lyon's goals in a win that took them on to 53 points from 22 games, 14 more than their closest rival, Girondins Bordeaux.

In the battle for second place Bordeaux stayed one point ahead of AJ Auxerre after defeating Monaco 1-0 in the principality. Former Brazil midfielder Denilson secured their win with his first Ligue 1 goal since arriving in France at the start of the season.

Peguy Luyindula hit AJ Auxerre's winner in a 1-0 defeat of Lens.

Paris St Germain needed a stoppage time winner from striker Fabrice Pancrate to defeat visiting Troyes 2-1. PSG are fourth on 37 points.

 

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