European Rewind: City held by Stoke, Rangers win Old Firm and more

Stoke City v Manchester City - Premier League

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Manchester City are back atop the English Premier League but it came in less-than-convincing fashion with a 1-1 draw away to Stoke.

Peter Crouch scored one of the goals of the season to give the home side a second-half lead. A long ball from deep inside Stoke's half was headed by Crouch to Jermaine Pennant who then returned a pass to the 6'7 striker. Crouch kept the ball in the air and rifled a shot from 30 yards out past Joe Hart. The ball didn't touch the ground from the time it left goalkeeper Asmir Begovic's foot to when it crossed the goal line. 

Yaya Toure answered with a long-range effort of his own which found the back of the net after taking a deflection. City are equal with Manchester United on points but boast a superior goal difference. United can retake the lead in today's matchup with Fulham. Roberto Mancini refused to shake hands with Stoke manager Tony Pulis and didn't speak with the media after the game due to anger over Stoke's physical play.

In Scotland, Glasgow Rangers fans finally had something to cheer about as a 3-2 victory in the Old Firm Derby denied Celtic a title celebration. Sone Aluko, Andy Little and Lee Wallace scored the first three goals at the Ibrox as even Celtic fans cheered when their embattled rivals found the back of the net. Carlos Bocanegra was sent off in the waning minutes and Celtic scored twice very late to make the scoreline respectable.

Celtic still hold an 18-point lead at the top of the table and will likely clinch the title next weekend against St Johnstone.

Here are the results from the rest of Europe's top leagues.

ENGLAND

The race for fourth place is squarely between Tottenham and Chelsea as the two sides battled to a dull 0-0 draw in Saturday's early kickoff. Juan Mata hit the post while Gary Cahill cleared Emanuel Adebayor's goalbound shot off the line in the game's biggest chances. Arsenal's seventh-straight league victory moves the Gunners eight points clear of Chelsea and three points ahead of North-London rivals Tottenham.

Liverpool's season went from bad to worse with a 2-1 loss to Wigan at Anfield. If the season started on Jan. 1, Liverpool would be 19th in the table. Gary Caldwell scored in the 63rd minute to give a significant boost to Wigan's survival hopes. Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers lost as they look prime candidates for the drop.  

PREMIER LEAGUE SCOREBOARD

Chelsea 0, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Arsenal 3, Aston Villa 0
Bolton Wanderers 2, Blackburn Rovers 1
Liverpool 1, Wigan Athletic 2
Norwich City 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Sunderland 3, Queens Park Rangers 1
Swansea City 0, Everton 2
Stoke City 1, Manchester City 1
West Bromwich Albion 1, Newcastle United 3

MONDAY

Manchester United vs. Fulham, 3 p.m.

SPAIN

Real Madrid got back to winning ways with a 5-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad and maintain a six-point cushion over Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each bagged braces while Gonzalo Higuain added a goal of his own. Barcelona kept pace with a straight-forward 2-0 win over Mallorca.

Villarreal's survival is looking more likely after a 2-0 win moves them six points clear of the drop. Levante dropped out of a Champions League spot with a 2-0 loss to Osasuna.

LA LIGA SCOREBOARD

Mallorca 0, Barcelona 2
Real Madrid 5, Real Sociedad 1
Getafe 3, Valencia 1 
Real Zaragoza 1, Atletico Madrid 0
Espanyol 1, Malaga 2
Levante 0, Osasuna 2
Athletic Bilbao 1, Sporting Gijon 1
Rayo Vallecano 0, Villarreal 2
Real Betis 1, Racing Santander 1

MONDAY

Granada vs. Sevilla FC, 3 p.m.

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund emphatically reminded the rest of Germany that they are still the league leaders with a six-goal outburst against FC Cologne. Milivoje Novakovic put Cologne up early before Dortmund rattled off six unanswered goals. The leaders retained their five-point advantage at the top but must face the rest of the top four in their final seven games. 

Bayern Munich were more subdued with a 2-1 win over Hannover 96. Toni Kroos and Mario Gomez scored for Bayern Munich. 

BUNDESLIGA SCOREBOARD

VfL Wolfsburg 2, Hamburg SV 1
Bayern Munich 2, Hannover 96 1
Borussia Monchengladbach 1, TSG Hoffenheim 2
Mainz 1, Hertha Berlin 3
SC Freiburg 2, Kaiserslautern 0
Werder Bremen 1, FC Augsburg 1
Schalke 04 2, Bayer Leverkusen 0
VfB Stuttgart 1, Nurnberg 0
FC Cologne 1, Borussia Dortmund 6

ITALY

Juventus added to Inter Milan's humiliation with a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon. The undefeated Juventus side remains four points behind AC Milan in the race for the Scudetto. Martin Caceres and Alessandro Del Piero provided the scoring for Juve.

Milan needed a second-half brace from Zlatan Ibramhimovic to dispatch AS Roma 2-1. Roma's Champions League hopes are all but gone as they are now seven points off third.

SERIE A SCOREBOARD

AC Milan 2, AS Roma 1
Palermo 1, Udinese 1
Atalanta 2, Bologna 0
Cesena 2, Parma 2
Chievo Verona 1, Siena 1
Genoa 2, Fiorentina 2
Lazio 1, Cagliari 0
Napoli 2, Catania 2
Novara 0, Lecce 0
Juventus 2, Inter Milan 0

FRANCE

Paris Saint-Germain stumbled once again as a 1-1 draw with Bordeaux allowed Montpellier to go top of Ligue 1. Guillaume Hoarau scored late to earn PSG a point but Montpellier is in first thanks to goal difference and a 1-0 win over St Etienne.

Lille maintained their hold on third with a 3-0 win but Toulouse is nipping at their heels with a 1-0 win over AJ Auxerre.

LIGUE 1 SCOREBOARD

AC Ajaccio 1, Lorient 1
Brest 0, AS Nancy Lorraine 1
Evian Thonon Gaillard 0, Lille 3
Lyon 2, Sochaux 1
Montpellier 1, St Etienne 0
Nice 1, Marseille 1
Valenciennes 1, Stade Rennes 0
Dijon FCO 2, Caen 0
Toulouse 1, AJ Auxerre 0
Paris Saint-Germain 1, Bordeaux 1

NETHERLANDS

PSV Eindhoven's title hopes are on life support after a 2-0 loss to Ajax leaves them five points off the lead and in fourth place. Ajax retained their hold on second place while AZ Alkmaar stay top with a 1-0 win. Johann Gudmundsson scored the only goal for the league leaders.

EREDIVISIE SCOREBOARD

Excelsior 0, FC Groningen 1
Roda JC Kerkrade 3, Vitesse Arnhem 1
Heerenveen 4, VVV Venlo 1
NAC Breda 1, NEC Nijmegen 1
ADO Den Haag 1, FC Twente, 1
AZ Alkmaar 1, RKC Waalwijk 0
De Graafschap 0, Feyenoord Rotterdam 3
SC Heracles Almelo 3, FC Utrecht 1
Ajax Amsterdam 2, PSV Eindhoven 0

—————————

What do you think of the weekend's fixtures? Can Spurs stop their slide? Will Juventus keep pace in Italy? Do you foresee a team breaking free in the Eredivisie?

Share your thoughts below.

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to European Rewind: City held by Stoke, Rangers win Old Firm and more

  1. Brendan says:

    How can you say the race for fourth is between Spurs and Chelsea? That’s just not numerically true. Tottenham are one game behind third place, while Newcastle are tied with Chelsea on points.

    When Arsenal drop points at home to City and Chelsea, & away to Stoke at the Brittania, Spurs can easily make up three points. It would be much more accurate to characterize Tottenham in the fight for third and to include an impressive Newcastle in the battle with Chelsea.

    Did you even look at the table for posting this?

  2. Jeff says:

    Let me guess. A Spurs fan?

  3. johnnycougar says:

    Doesn’t make it not true. Brendan is right about the table, and Spurs have a ridiculously easy run-in: Swansea, @Sunderland, Norwich, @Bolton, @QPR, Blackburn, @Villa, Fulham. 2 games against the Top 10 (8th & 10th), one on the road, and 4 games against relegation-threatened teams.

  4. Dinho says:

    While I don’t necessarily disagree, please keep in mind that games against relegation-threatened teams aren’t necessarily easy. They have (A LOT) more to play for than a team lying 11th.

    The difference between finishing 11th and 13th is not going to hurt your club’s financial future like finishing in the bottom 3.

  5. K Bone says:

    For all their impressive play this season, City really are starting to crack under the pressure, especially Mancini. Silva isn’t the player he was, Dzeko looks down right terrible, etc. They are a completely different team away from home as well, and if they don’t beat Arsenal, I think United can run away with the title. I don’t want to be too optimistic of course, and United need to continue to win every game, but I could not have realistically hoped for a better situation for United right now. Watch them lose to Fulham now…