EUROPEAN FOOTBALL ROUND-UP - Nov 27
Another come from behind victory
EPL: On Saturday, title contenders Manchester United recorded yet another come-from-behind victory in their 3-1 scalp of Queen's Park Rangers. Jamie Mackie's strike after 51 minutes meant that Man U trailed for the ninth time thus far into the season but strikes from Johnny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Chicarito were enough to give them all three points.
Tottenham Hotspurs recorded a similar 3-1 win, this on Sunday, as they cruised past West Ham United. Jermain Defoe extended his league tally to seven goals courtesy of a brace with the speedster Gareth Bale providing the other. West Brom extended their fairytale run 13 games into the season as a 4-2 away win over Sunderland lifted them to third place in the league, just four points behind leaders Man U on 30 points.
There were disappoints for a number of big teams as Chelsea and Manchester City played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw in Rafa Benitez's first game as interim coach of the Blues, Arsenal failed to get past Aston Villa in their 0-0 stalemate and it was a similar score line for the encounter between Swansea City and Liverpool.
La Liga: Already forced to play 'catch up' because of poor results early into the campaign, Real Madrid's hopes of retaining the league title suffered further delay after their 1-0 loss to Real Betis. Benat, a player being scouted by many of Europe's elite clubs, provided the all-important strike from Betis. Atletico Madrid maintained their pressure on Barcelona by hammering Sevilla 4-0 on Sunday. Radamel Falcao opened the scoring for the victors in the 22nd minute and the Europa Cup champions never looked back.
The Argentine Javier Saviola continues to revel in the 'Malaga revolution' as he played a part in their 4-0 whipping of the struggling Valencia. Saviola scored in the 75th minute shortly before being substituted and his overall performance back in Spain shows that he may just yet have a few more years under his belt.
Rayo Vallencano climbed into the top half of the table as two late strikes helped them to a 2-0 win over Mallorca while it was a similar story for Getafe and Valladolid whose elevation came through a 2-0 and 1-0 win over Espanyol and Granada respectively.
Palermo pull from the bottom
Serie A: A well needed 3-1 victory over Catania helped Palermo to lift their point tally to 14 points and away from the drop zone as they climbed to 15th in the league. Creative midfielder Josep Ilicic led the way with a brace and a 'Man of the Match' performance that will surely provide a confidence boost. Another team that climbed from the rubble (if just temporarily) is Genoa, who notably were the worst-placed team of the league. Goalkeeper Sebestian Frey delivered a standout performance as Genoa beat Atalanta 1-0 through a 40th minute strike from Adrea Bertolcci.
Mattia Destro scored in the fifth minute of play as AS Roma edged past the promoted Pescara 1-0. With the win Roma climbed to fifth in the league, putting them in prime position to push for a place in next season's Champions League.
Dortmund now second
Bundesliga: Two-time defending champions Borussia Dortmund make strides in tracking runaway leaders Bayern Munich through a 2-1 away win over Mainz. Though trailing early into the encounter, Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski provided the goals that ensured that they leapfrogged Schalke for second in the group and remained nine points behind Bayern.
While Dortmund are chasing, Bayern are still living comfortably at the top and signalled this comfort with a 5-0 thrashing of Hannover 96. As with many of their performances, there were five different scorers for the victors but the most notable was Mario Gomez's 67th-minute strike to mark his long-awaited return with a positive feat. Toni Kroos delivered a brilliant overall performance with a goal and two assists to his name.
Two first-half strikes helped Bayer Leverkusen to a 2-1 away win over TSG Hoffenheim and lifted them level on points with Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt, capitalising on the 1-1 draw between the two.