Soccer 24-7

November 30, 2009 5:09 PM

European lookback

First off, sorry for the long break. Work and the move to Real Clear has kept me from posting, but I will definitely be looking to post more from here on.

Now let's look back and reflect.

English Premier League

Chelsea maintained it's lead atop the Premiership table with a convincing 3-0 rout of Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Sunday. Chelsea was carried by Didier Drogba's brace, with the first goal being set up by Ashley Cole's perfect cross into the box, which Deogba shot off the right post across the goal line.

Chelsea's defeat of Arsenal enabled Tottenham Hotspur to maintain third place in the Premiership. Tottenham needed a 77th minute strike from Michael Dawson to salvage the point against Aston Villa and thus keep it's position in the standings. Villa meanwhile saw Liverpool, who defeated Everton 3-0, catch them for fifth place in the Premiership. Manchester United was carried by Wayne Rooney's hatrick, two of them coming on penalties, in its 4-1 win over last-place Portsmouth.

La Liga

The anticipation to the 2009-2010 edition of the El Clasico has been brewing since June.

Real Madrid went on a off-season spending spree that saw them land Kaka from AC Milan and Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester for record fees, while reigning Champions League winner FC Barcelona swaped strikers with Inter Milan, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic going to Barcelona and Samuel Eto'o heading off to Italy.

It was Barca's off-season acquisition that paid off in the first leg at Camp Nou on Sunday, as Ibrahimovic's strike in the 56th minute was all the Catalans needed to out-last its nemisis. The match was evenly contested, but Barca won the possession battle, controlling the ball 62 percent of the time in the match. Real Madrid did out-shoot Barcelona 16-9, but only two of those shots were directly at goal.

Of course, it wasn't all about the El Clasico in Spain. Sevilla FC stayed in third place in the La Liga standings, as they played to a 2-2 tie against Malaga, while Deportivio La Coruna's 1-0 win over Racing Santander combined with Valencia's 1-1 draw with Mallorca allowed La Coruna to pull into a tie with Valencia for fourth place.

Serie A

Don't look know, but here comes AC Milan

The Rossoneri are unbeaten in its last nine Serie A matches. Milan's latest collection of points occured at the expense of Catania, which Milan defeated 2-0 at Angelo Massimino Stadium on Sunday. The match wasn't an easy one for Milan though, scoreless heading into stoppage time, Milan seemed headed for a draw, but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came in as a substitute and scored two stoppage time goals to rescue the full three points for the Rossoneri.

Milan's win enabled them to overtake Juventus for second in the Serie A standings. Juve suffered a 2-0 setback against Cagliari on Sunday. Nene struck for Cagliari in the 30th minute and Alessandro Marti sealed the win with a goal in the 89th minute. AC Milan (28 points) as well as Juventus (27 points) still have quite a way to go in order to catch Inter Milan (35 points). Inter though didn't have it easy against Fiorentina, as Inter needed a penalty by Alberto Diego Milito in the 85th minute to escape Giuseppe Meazza with the three points.



Bayer Leverkusen opened up a little more space between them and Werder Bremen atop the Bundesliga table.

Leverkusen did its part with a 4-0 win over VfB Stuttgart at BayArena on Sunday mostly due to Stefan Kiebling's hatrick, but Leverkusen got some help from Vfl Wolfsburg, which played to a 2-2 draw with Werder Bremen a day earlier. Wolfsburg had Werder Bremen on the ropes, holding a 2-1 lead until Per Mertesacker equalized in the 85th minute to salvage the point for Werder Bremen.

Schalke 04 remained in third place after losing to Borussia Monchengaldbach 1-0 at Borussia Park on Saturday, while Bayern Munich climbed into fourth place in the standings by increasing its unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 3-0 win over Hannover at AWD Arena.

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