BY NICK IUELE
With a few of Europe’s top leagues still on holiday, Italy and Spain got back to league action, while England had it’s third round of the FA Cup. Although there were a few surprises, most matches ended with the expected result.
In Italy, Napoli climbed their way back into a UCL spot with a 4-1 win over Roma. Edinson Cavani had a hat trick, while Christian Maggio added a fourth for good measure in the 90th minute. Pablo Osvaldo was the lone scorer for Roma. Napoli has now moved into third position, just two points back of the top two.
Atletico Madrid slipped a few more points back of Barcelona after being held to a 1-1 draw at Mallorca. It took Atletico 72 minutes, but Raul Garcia finally opened the scoring and hit what appeared to be the winner. However, Mallorca’s Kevin Garcia equalized in the 87th and the away side left without the estimated three points. Atletico is now nine points back of the leaders.
Here’s a look at the rest of the results from the FA Cup, Italy and Spain:
The holiday did not seem to cure Inter Milan’s woes, as the fifth-place club was shut out 3-0 by Udinese. The home side got all three goals in the second half, including a brace by Antonio Di Natale and a goal from Luis Muriel in the 75th minute. Inter finds themselves slipping down the table and is almost out of the Europe conversation.
Table-topping Juventus started the home stretch off the season with a 2-1 loss to 10-men Sampdoria. Juve’s Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a converted penalty kick, but Samp scored two goals in the second half to earn all three points against the defending champs. The Old Lady is now only five points ahead of the competition.
Serie A Scoreboard:
Udinese 3, Inter Milan 0
AC Milan 2, Siena 1
Chievo Verona 1, Atalanta 0
US Pescara 2, Fiorentina 0
Genoa 2, Bologna 0
Sampdoria 2, Juventus 1
Parma 2, Palermo 1
Napoli 4, AS Roma 1
Catania 0, Torino 0
Lazio 2, Cagliari 1
Malaga didn’t get off to the best of starts to the second half with a 1-0 loss to Deportivo La Coruna. Pizzi hit the winner for Deportivo, who has not won since November, in the 57th minute. Malaga remains in fourth, but with Real Betis and Levante coming for them, they cannot afford any more back losses.
Barcelona picked up right where they left off before the break, downing Espanyol 4-0. Pedro was at the double, while Lionel Messi and Xavi had a goal each. The victory helps to continue their undefeated season and they are nine points ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid, who is the only club close to them.
La Liga Scoreboard:
Celta Vigo 3, Real Valladolid 1
Real Madrid 4, Real Sociedad 3\
Barcelona 4, Espanyol 0
Mallorca 1, Atletico Madrid 1
Levante 3, Athletic Bilbao 1
Valencia 2, Granada 1
Deportivo La Coruna 1, Malaga 0
Sevilla FC 1, Osasuna 0
Real Betis 2, Real Zaragoza 1
Monday: Rayo Vallecano v Getafe
Newcastle was the only Premier League side to fall in the third round, dropping their fixture 2-0 at hands of League Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion. Andrea Orlandi opened the scoring in the 33rd minute and Will Hoskins sealed a trip to the fourth round with a goal in the 87th.
Liverpool survived a strong effort from Mansfield Town, advancing to the fourth round with a 2-1 win. Daniel Sturridge opened his Liverpool account with a goal in the ninth minute, while Luis Suarez scored a controversial goal in the 59th. Mansfield never quit though, scoring 79th minute to get back into the match. The Reds held them off, however, and their FA Cup dreams are still alive.
Both West Ham United v Manchester United and Arsenal v Swansea ended in 2-2 draws and a replay will have to take place. United needed a goal from Robin van Persie in the 90th+1 to avoid the upset by the Hammers, while Danny Graham’s 87th minute goal denied the Gunners an advancement into the next round.
American International Clint Dempsey scored twice in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win over Coventry City.
FA Cup Scoreboard:
Swansea City 2, Arsenal 2
Liverpool 2, Mansfield Town 1
Brighton & Hove Albion 2, Newcastle 0
Aldershot Town 3, Rotherham United 1
Aston Villa 2, Ipswich Town 1
Barnsley 1, Burnley 0
Blackburn 2, Bristol City 0
Bolton Wanderers 2, Sunderland 2
Huddersfield Town 1, Charlton Athletic 0
Reading 3, Crawley Town 1
Crystal Palace 0, Stoke City 0
Derby County 5, Tranmere Rovers 0
Fulham 1, Blackpool 1
Hull City 1, Leyton Orient 1
Leeds United 1, Birmingham City 1
Leicester City 2, Burton Albion 0
Luton Town 1, Wolverhampton 0
Macclesfield 2, Cardiff City 1
Manchester City 3, Watford 0
Middlesborough 4, Hastings United 1
Millwall 1, Preston North End 0
Oldham Athletic 3, Nottingham Forrest 2
Sheffield United 3, Oxford United 0
Norwich City 3, Peterborough United 0
Queens Park Rangers 1, West Bromwich Albion 1
Sheffield Wednesday 0, Milton Keynes Dons 0
Chelsea 5, Southampton 1
Southend United 2, Brentford 2
Tottenham Hotspur 3, Coventry City 0
Wigan Athletic 1, AFC Bournemouth 1
West Ham United 2, Manchester United 2
Macclesfield Town 4, Barrow 1
Monday: Cheltenham Town v Everton