Teenage

City's league form blooming

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL ROUND-UP

Michael Thompson

Tuesday, February 28, 2012    

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EPL: Championship pretenders Manchester City kept the train a rolling with an easy 3-0 win over Blackburn. Goals from Mario Balotelli, Kun Aguero and Edin Dzeko secured all three points for the Citizens. Peter Odemwingie led the way with a brace for West Brom as they recorded a big 4-0 home victory over Sunderland. QPR were edged out 1-0 at home to Fulham while Wigan spurned their home advantage in a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

After a stop-start first half, Chelsea rallied to defeat Bolton 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Brazilian centre back David Luiz got the ball rolling with a wonderfully taken goal before Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard rounded off the scoring. In a North London derby that was full of goal-mouth action, Arsenal came back from two goals down to record a stunning 5-2 victory over their bitter rivals. Tottenham went ahead through Luis Saha before doubling their lead through an Adebayor penalty but Arsenal rallied through Bacary Sagna and captain Robin Van Persie to go in the half at 2-2. In the second half, Arsenal blew away their opponents with Theo Walcott claiming a brace. Manchester United needed the heroics of Ryan Giggs to claim all three points in their 2-1 home victory.

Carling Cup: Liverpool claimed domestic silverware in the form of the Carling Cup after defeating Championship side Cardiff 3-2 in penalties. Both team played out to a battling 2-2 draw in full and extra-time before the class of the Reds shun through.

Mr Reliable

La Liga: Christiano Ronaldo's trademark brilliance saw Real Madrid claiming all three points in their match against Rayo Vallecano. Vallecano were left to rue their missed chances as Ronaldo's backheel earned Madrid a 1-0 victory. Second-placed Barca won 2-1 away at Atletico Madrid to remain 10 points behind Madrid.

Gary Medel and Jesus Navas were the heroes as Sevilla came from behind to beat Valencia 2-1. Osasuna also claimed a narrow 2-1 victory Granada while Villarreal and Bilbao played out to a 2-2 draw. Real Sociedad climbed to 13th in the tables with a narrow 1-0 victory over Real Mallorca.

Big spending Malaga came from behind to hammer Real Zaragoza 5-1. Real Betis and Getafe remain clear of the relegation threat with a battling 1-1 draw while on the other hand Racing and Sporting Gijon remain in the bottom three with their 1-1 draw.

Controversial draw

Serie A: AC Milan were robbed of all three points as controversy reigned in their 1-1 draw with Juventus. Milan took the lead through Antonio Nocerino and should have been home and dry with a second goal but Sully Muntari's effort was adjudged not to be a goal as the referee and his assistant failed to see that the ball had crossed the line. The decision proved crucial as Juventus struck the leveller just seven minutes from time.

German Denis struck a hat-trick as Atalanta crushed Roman 4-1. Catania and Udinese both a convincing 3-1 wins over Novara and Bologna respectively. Lecce claimed a narrow 2-1 win over Cagliari while Davide Moscardelli hit the winner in Chievo's 1-0 win over Cesena. German striker Miroslav Klose struck the winner in Lazio's slim 1-0 win over Fiorentina while Ezequiel Lavezzi and Napoli heaped more misery on Inter as they clipped them 1-0.

Second-half surge

Bundesliga: Last season's Bundesliga runners-up Bayer Leverkusen brushed aside Cologne 2-0 to move Bayer into fourth place. Lars Bender struck twice as he continues to stake a claim for inclusion in Germany's Euro 2012 squad. Mainz continued their impressive form with a crushing 4-0 victory over Kaiserslatern meanwhile Augsburg brushed aside Hertha Berlin 3-0.

Stuttgart are now up to eight as they blew away cellar-dwellers Freiburg 4-1. Werder Bremen had their five-game unbeaten streak broken as they were shocked 1-0 at home by Nurnberg.

Borussia Dortmund stretched their lead atop the Bundesliga with with a 3-1 win over Hannover. Robert Lewandowski struck a brace to secure all three points for the champions. Bayern Munich defeated Schalke 2-0 to climb back into second place and four points behind Dortmund. French winger Frank Ribery struck a brace to lead the Bavarians to victory.

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