By NICK IUELE
A wild weekend in Europe had three of the top five leagues see new leaders.
With Manchester United falling to Norwich 1-0 on an Anthony Pilkington goal and West Bromwich Albion upsetting Chelsea 2-1 thanks to a 50th minute goal from Peter Odemwingie, all Manchester City had to do what take all three points to become the new table-toppers. City obliged with a 5-0 beat down of Aston Villa that included braces from Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez. City is now in the EPL drivers seat by a single point.
While Juventus and Inter Milan settled for draws in Serie A play, Fiorentina jumped over Napoli and up to third place in the table with a 4-1 thrashing of Atalanta. il Viola was led by Alberto Aquilani’s double in the 42nd and 45th+2 minute, respectively. The club is only one point back of Inter for second place and five points out of first.
Ten-man Atletico Madrid kept pace in La Liga after holding on for a 1-0 win over lowly Granada. With Barcelona and Real Madrid both winning, Arda Turan’s 61st minute goal saved Atletico from dropping out of the second position. The club is three points back fo Barca for the league lead.
Here’s a look at the rest of this weekend’s action in Europe’s top leagues
Arsenal made a statement with a 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners had five different goal scorers as Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker, Theo Walcott and Santi Carzola all put one in the net. The win puts Arsenal one point out of the Europa League spot.
Everton suffered a setback in the form of a 2-1 loss at the hands of Reading. Adam Le Fondre’s double in the second half gave Reading their first league win of the season. With the loss, the Toffees slip to fifth in the table.
English Premier League scoreboard:
Sunderland 3, Fulham 1
Arsenal 5, Tottenham Hotspur 2
Liverpool 3, Wigan Athletic 0
Manchester City 5, Aston Villa 0
Swansea City 2, Newcastle 1
Southampton 3, Queens Park Rangers 1
Reading 2, Everton 1
West Bromwich Albion 2, Chelsea 1
Norwich City 1, Manchester United 0
Monday: West Ham United v Stoke City
AC Milan stole a point from Napoli in a 2-2 draw. Stephan El Shaarawy’s brace, including a match-deciding 82nd minute goal, allowed Milan to get a positive result, which they are always desperate to get these days. The three points would have given Napoli a Champions League place, but the draw drops them to fourth.
Juventus was slowed down a bit with a scoreless draw with Lazio at home. Despite 21 shots, four of which were on goal, Juve could not find the winner. Even without all three points, The Old Lady remains four points ahead of the field.
Serie A scoreboard:
Bologna 3, Palermo 0
Catania 2, Chievo Verona 1
Fiorentina 4, Atalanta 1
Inter Milan 2, Cagliari 2
Siena 1, US Pescara 0
Udinese 2, Parma 2
Sampdoria 3, Genoa 1
Juventus 0, Lazio 0
Napoli 2, AC Milan 2
Monday: AS Roma v Torino
Real Madrid kept pace with the top two with a 5-1 comprehensive victory over Athletic Bilbao. Jon Aurtenetxe, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema had goals in the first half, while Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil scored in the second. Madrid still has a ways to got before catching Barcelona.
Barcelona remained undefeated with a 3-1 win over Real Zaragoza. Leonel Messi was at the double with a goal in each half, while Alex Song had the club’s third goal in the 28th minute. Barca is three point ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid.
La Liga scoreboard:
Levante 2, Deportivo La Coruna 0
Celta Vigo 1, Mallorca 1
Getafe 2, Valladolid 1
Atletico Madrid 1, Granada 0
Seville FC 5, Real Betis 1
Osasuna 0, Malaga 0
Valencia 2, Espanyol 1
Barcelona 3, Real Zaragoza 1
Real Madrid 5, Athletic Bilbao 1
Monday: Real Sociedad v Rayo Vallecano
Table-topping Bayern Munich settled for a 1-1 draw with Nurnberg. Mario Mandzukic scored for Bayern in the third minute, but Markus Feulner equalized in the 46th minute and the score would stick. Bayern us still up eight points on the field.
Second-place Schalke also fell 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen. Andre Schurrle and Stefan Kiebling scored in the second half to cool down a hot Schalke club. Because Frankfurt won, the two clubs are tied on points in the table.
Werder Bremen 2, Fortuna Dusseldorf 1
VfL Wolfsburg 3, TSG Hoffenheim 1
Borussia Dortmund 3, SpVgg Greuther Furth 1
VfB Stuttgart 2, Borussia Monchengladbach 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 4, FC Augsburg 2
Hamburg SV 1, Mainz 0
SC Freiburg 2, Hannover 96 1
Nurnberg 1, Bayern Munich 1
Bayer Leverkusen 2, Schalke 04 0
The top two teams fell in Ligue 1. Stade Rennes sprang the 2-1 upset over Paris Saint-Germain on Julien Feret’s 34th minute goal. Marseille was downed 1-0 by Bordeaux on Yoan Gouffran’s 52nd minute goal. The loss dropped PSG to third and Marseille to fourth.
Lyon moved up to the top spot in the league with a 3-0 win over Stade de Reims. Lisandro Lopez and Bafetmbi Gomis had goals for Lyon and the third of the game was an Anthony Weber own goal at the end of the first half.
Ligue 1 scoreboard:
Lyon 3, Stade de Reims 0
Nice 1, Toulouse 0
Bordeaux 1, Marseille 0
Stade Rennes 2, Paris Saint-Germain 1
Sochaux 1, AC Ajaccio 0
Brest 3, Bastia 0
Evian Thonon Gaillard 2, St. Etienne 2
Troyes 3, AS Nancy Lorraine 3
Valenciennes 1, Montpellier 1
Lorient 2, Lille 0