European football round-up

Sport360 staff 10/12/2016

PREMIER LEAGUE

Mesut Ozil’s crafty header inspired Arsenal to a 3-1 comeback victory over Stoke City on Saturday as Arsene Wenger’s side supplanted Chelsea at the Premier League summit.

Charlie Adam’s penalty put Stoke ahead at the Emirates Stadium, but Theo Walcott equalised before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teed up Ozil to float a header over Lee Grant in the 49th minute.

Alex Iwobi completed victory to lift Arsenal top on goal difference above Chelsea, who go in search of a ninth consecutive win against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Arsenal went into their meeting with Stoke on the back of one-sided wins over West Ham and Basel, but the first half hour of the match suggested their luck might be about to turn.

Italian striker Stefano Okaka scored his first Watford goals as Walter Mazzarri’s side came from behind to beat Everton 3-2, leaving Ronald Koeman’s men with one win from their last 10 league games.

Romelu Lukaku netted twice for Everton, bookending the scoring, but Okaka’s double — the first a brilliant volleyed flick — and a Sebastian Prodl header earned the hosts victory.

Watford leapfrog Everton to seventh place, level on points with Manchester United, who host fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Swansea City climbed off the foot of the table at Sunderland’s expense with a 3-0 home win over David Moyes’ side in which Spain international Fernando Llorente scored twice.

Gylfi Sigurdsson broke the deadlock with a 51st-minute penalty, awarded for handball against Jason Denayer.

Sigurdsson’s corner set up Llorente to add a second and the former Athletic Bilbao striker made the game safe from Jefferson Montero’s cross to propel Bob Bradley’s men clear of the bottom three.

Wilfried Zaha starred as Crystal Palace rescued a point in a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at fellow strugglers Hull City.

Robert Snodgrass’s 27th-minute penalty put Hull ahead, but Zaha won a spot-kick that Christian Benteke converted before dancing past Tom Huddlestone and Sam Clucas and slamming home to give Palace the lead.

Adama Diomande equalised and Jake Livermore gave Hull an 78th-minute advantage, only for Zaha to tee up Fraizer Campbell for a headed 89th-minute equaliser.

Jeff Hendrick’s brilliant 13th-minute volley set Burnley on the path to a 3-2 home win over Bournemouth.

The Irishman netted from 25 yards and further goals from Stephen Ward and George Boyd secured victory despite Benik Afobe and Charlie Daniels netting for the visitors.

LA LIGA

Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona recorded their first win in four La Liga games to close to within three points of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 3-0 win at Osasuna.

Barca should have killed the game off in the first half as Luis Suarez and Messi missed two big chances each against La Liga’s bottom side.

However, Suarez rounded off a fine team move to break the deadlock just before the hour before Messi’s double in the final 17 minutes moved him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo as La Liga’s top scorer with 11 for the season.

Real can extend their lead once more and set a new club record unbeaten run of 35 games when they host Deportivo la Coruna later on Saturday.

BUNDESLIGA

Robert Lewandowski netted twice as Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Wolfsburg after RB Leipzig lost their unbeaten record.

Leipzig’s shock 1-0 defeat at bottom side Ingolstadt, who finished with ten men, ended their three-week stint as leaders after Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern cut the three-point gap and regained top spot on goal difference with both teams on 33 points.

Second-placed RB had their 13-match unbeaten run ended, a record for a club at the start of their first Bundesliga season, as coach Ralph Hasenhuettl was stunned on his return to Ingolstadt, who he left after last season.

Bayern will host Leipzig at Munich’s Allianz Arena on December 21.

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WATCH the best hat-tricks from last weekend's games

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Alexis Sanchez.

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ALEXIS SANCHEZ (Arsenal v West Ham)

Alexis Sanchez extended his goal scoring record to thirteen for the season as the in-form Chilean bagged another three goals in Arsenal’s game against West Ham United.

Sanchez’s hat-trick showed the range of the newly-turned striker’s abilities. His final goal embodied his confidence as he cheekily dummied and then chipped the goalkeeper in the dying moments of the game.

The Chilean is crucial to Arsenal’s title challenge and if he can keep scoring hat-tricks of this ilk, the Gunners will have half a chance this season.

ADAM MORGAN (Curzon Ashton v AFC Wimbledon)

National League North side Curzon Ashton were involved in a heartbreaking FA Cup second round match as they conceded four goals in the last ten minutes and lost 4-3 to League One side AFC Wimbledon, who sit 50 places above them in the English football pyramid.

Still, Curzon striker Adam Morgan, who has previously  played for Liverpool alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez, had a memorable afternoon as he helped himself to a hat-trick.

The first of his goals showed his Anfield roots, as 27 seconds into the game he leathered a 35-yard screamer into the top right hand corner. Morgan’s opener was the fastest goal to be scored in the FA Cup this season. He went onto to score two more goals, either side of half-time, but sadly it wasn’t enough to secure Curzon Ashton a third round tie.

ALI MABKHOUT (Al Jazira v Al Shabab)

Ali Mabkhout scored four goals, two either side of half time, as his Al Jazira side cruised to a 7-3 victory against Al Shabab. The UAE striker has 63 goals to his name in 127 appearances for the club.

The Emiriati’s four-goal haul was sublime, demonstrating his finesse and excellent control; the best of the bunch came with his second strike, as he audaciously rounded the keeper and slotted home from 10 yards.

Al Jazira now sit at the top of the UAE Arabian Gulf League and Mabkhout’s goals will prove important if they are to stay there.

TOMAS DE VINCENTI (Al Shabab vs Al Jazira)

Tomas De Vincenti ended up on the losing side of this extraordinary match, sealing his third goal in the 93rd minute. His first was a deflected shot which looped over the head of the onrushing Al Jazira keeper, while for his second the Argentine stole the ball from the defenders and drilled the ball low and hard in the bottom right-hand corner. The attacking midfielder slotted another goal home in the dying stretches of the game, but it was to be mere consolation.

LUKE BERRY (Cambridge United v Coventry City)

Cambridge’s Luke Berry was the star of the show as he scored all of the goals in his side’s 4-0 win over Coventry City.

The first of the towering midfielder’s four goals was scored in the 7th minute after a nice flick on in the box. He doubled his tally from the penalty spot, but the best of the bunch was scored towards the end of the first half as he drilled a shot into the bottom left hand corner after a darting run into the box. His fourth was the cherry on the cake with a side-foot finish from five yards sealing Cambridge United’s place in the third round.

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LA LIGA

Sergio Ramos’s stoppage-time equaliser maintained Real Madrid‘s six-point lead at the top of La Liga as the European champions salvaged a 1-1 draw at Barcelona in Saturday’s El Clasico.

Luis Suarez looked to have breathed new life into the title race when he headed home the opener from Neymar’s free-kick eight minutes into the second half.

Neymar and Lionel Messi then passed up huge chances to add to Barca’s advantage, and the hosts were made to pay when Ramos met Luka Modric’s free-kick with a powerful header to stretch Madrid’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 33 games.

PREMIER LEAGUE

Diego Costa starred as Premier League leaders Chelsea roared back to win 3-1 in an ill-tempered game at Manchester City, who had Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho dismissed.

Gary Cahill’s own goal gave City the lead, but Costa equalised and teed up substitute Willian before Eden Hazard struck to send Antonio Conte’s men four points clear of City at the summit.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane finished off a special week in style by scoring a brace in Spurs’ 5-0 victory over Swansea at White Hart Lane

Jermain Defoe’s eighth goal of the season condemned Premier League champions Leicester to yet another defeat as improving Sunderland won for the third time in four attempts.

SERIE A

Marek Hamsik hit his 104th goal for Napoli to tie Uruguayan Edinson Cavani’s tally for the Italians in a defiant 3-0 win over Inter Milan at the San Paolo on Friday.

BUNDESLIGA

Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern Munich moved back top of the Bundesliga on Friday after coming from an early goal down to win 3-1 at Mainz.

Freiburg stalled their recent slide down the Bundesliga standings and frustrated Bayer Leverkusen with a 1-1 draw at the BayArena.

Borussia Dortmund got back to winning ways with a 4-1 win over Borussia Monchengladbach which increases the pressure on the Foals’ coach Andre Schubert.

Bundesliga top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled further away at the top of the scoring charts with a brace while Lukasz Piszczek and Ousmane Dembele were also on target in a convincing win.

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