Surprise Spanish League leader Real Sociedad kept hold of the top spot for the seventh straight week by beating FC Barcelona 2-1. Undefeated Sociedad, which last won the league championship in 1982, got a pair of goals from Darko Kovacevic. Patrick Kluivert scored for Barcelona, which has won just two league games in its last nine. Barcelona's Thiago Motta and Marc Overmars were sent off in the second half. Meanwhile, Juventus failed to retain control in Italy as Lazio moved into the top spot in the Serie A after downing Piacenza 3-2 on Sunday. Defending Italian champion Juventus, which drew 2-2 at AS Roma, dropped into fourth place as Francesco Totti and Antonio Cassano scored for the Roman team. Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved hit for Juventus. Lazio, which won its sixth straight game on the road, got goals from Bernardo Corradi, Diego Simeone and Claudio Lopez after Enzo Maresca and Nicola Caccia had given host Piacenza a 2-0 lead. Spain Second-place Mallorca let Deportivo de La Coruna come back to draw 2-2 while defending champion Valencia could only muster a 0-0 draw with Alaves. League scoring leader Roy Makaay got both goals for Deportivo, taking his tally to 10, while Walter Pandiani and Samuel Eto'o scored for Mallorca. Sociedad leads the league with 26 points, three ahead of Mallorca. Valencia is next with 22 points, followed by Celta de Vigo with 21. FC Barcelona is in 10th place with just 16 points. Real Madrid's scheduled match against Sevilla was postponed until January 2 due to the club's Toyota Cup showdown with Paraguay's Olimpia de Asuncion in Tokyo on Tuesday. Italy AC Milan had a chance to move into first place, but Empoli held the Italian powerhouse to a 1-1 draw. Andriy Shevchenko equalized for Milan after Tommaso Rocchi had given the hosts a first-half lead. Inter Milan is in third place after beating Brescia 4-0 behind four goals from Christian Vieri. Lazio has 27 points, one more than AC Milan, Inter and Juventus. Chievo and Bologna are next with 22 points each. England Arsenal jumped to a four-point lead in the English Premier League after topping Aston Villa 3-1, while Manchester United downed second-place Liverpool 2-1. Thierry Henry scored two goals for Arsenal and French countryman Robert Pires added the other. Thomas Hitzlsperger scored for Villa. Manchester United got a pair of goals from Diego Forlan, the first coming after a horrendous blunder by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. Sami Hyypia replied for Liverpool. Arsenal leads the league with 35 points, followed by Liverpool with 31 and Chelsea with 30. Manchester United and Everton are next with 29 points. Germany Bayern Munich moved six points clear in the Bundesliga after beating Hertha Berlin 2-0 on a pair of Michael Ballack goals while Werder Bremen stayed in second place after topping Stuttgart 3-1. Brazilian forward Ailton scored his league-high 11th and 12th goals for Werder while Kevin Kuranyi netted for Stuttgart. Borussia Dortmund got back on track and moved into third place after beating FC Nuremberg 2-1. Bayern has 35 points while Werder has 29. Dortmund is next with 27. Netherlands Rafael van der Vaart scored his second goal of the match three minutes into injury time as Ajax's desperate onslaught gave the Dutch premiership leaders a 2-1 victory over FC Twente Enschede. Sjaak Polak converted a penalty for Twente. PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord also got 2-1 wins. Ajax leads the league with 36 points, followed by PSV with 33 and Feyenoord with 29. Scotland Celtic remained atop the Scottish Premier League with a 3-1 win over Motherwell, while second-place Rangers kept pace by thrashing Hearts 4-0. Henrik Larsson and Joos Valgaeren scored for Celtic, and Fernando Ricksen, Barry Ferguson and Stephen Hughes got the goals for Rangers. A Scott Leitch own-goal provided Celtic with its third. Celtic now has 46 points, one point ahead of Rangers. Dunfermline, which drew with Hibernian 1-1, is in third place with 27 points. France Defending champion Lyon took the lead in the French league after beating Strasbourg 2-1, while Nice dropped to second following a 3-0 loss to lowly Sedan. Third-place Marseille fell to Bastia 2-0. Lyon leads with 31 points, followed by Nice with 30 and Marseille with 28. Greece PAOK Thessaloniki moved into first place in the Greek league after beating AEK Athens 4-3 while defending champion Olympiakos was held to a 0-0 with Aris. PAOK leads crosstown rival Iraklis on goal difference with 18 points, followed by Olympiakos with 17. Panathinaikos, which beat Ioannina 1-0, is fourth with 16. Portugal Defending champion Sporting Lisbon and Benfica each won in Portugal to keep pace with league leader FC Porto, which plays on Monday. Second-place Sporting beat Beira Mar 3-1 while Benfica toppled Braga 3-0. Porto is in first place with 27 points, followed by Sporting with 25 and Benfica with 23. Argentina Independiente won the Argentine Apertura after beating San Lorenzo 3-0 while second-place Boca Juniors beat Rosario Central 3-1. Independiente finished with 43 points while Boca managed 40. River Plate, which beat Racing 4-1, took third with 36 points. Brazil Veteran striker Romario scored the game-winning goal as Fluminense defeated three-time champion Corinthians 1-0 in the semifinals of the Brazilian championship. In the other semifinal, Alberto netted two as Santos routed Gremio 3-0.
Topics : Football