Juventus beat Palermo 3-0 to return atop Italian soccer’s Serie A on goal difference as its three nearest rivals failed to win at the weekend. Levante fell to its third straight loss in Spain.
Simone Pepe, Alessandro Matri and Claudio Marchisio scored in Turin for Juventus, the record 27-time Italian champion, which remains undefeated through 10 matches.
Juventus, which has played one game fewer than its challengers, has 22 points along with Lazio, which drew 0-0 at Napoli two days ago. AC Milan and Udinese have 21 points.
Defending champion Milan was held to a scoreless draw by Fiorentina two days ago, when Inter Milan beat Cagliari 2-1. Udinese lost 2-0 at Parma yesterday. Cesena stays bottom of the 20-team league even after posting its first win, 1-0 at Bologna.
Madrid beat third-place Valencia 3-2 two days ago to keep its three-point advantage over Barcelona, which won 4-0 against Real Zaragoza. There were also wins for Villarreal and Sporting Gijon, while last night’s match between Granada and Mallorca was abandoned during the second half after an assistant referee was struck by an umbrella thrown from the crowd. Racing Santander hosts Malaga today.
In Germany’s Bundesliga yesterday, VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg had wins over Augsburg and Hoffenheim, respectively. Bayern Munich’s lead atop the standings was cut to two points after a 1-0 home loss against Borussia Dortmund two days ago. Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach are on 26 points.
The match between Cologne and Mainz two days ago was postponed after referee Babak Rafati was earlier found in his hotel room following what police say was a suicide attempt.
French league leader Paris Saint-Germain lost 1-0 at home to Nancy last night and now tops Ligue 1 on goal difference from Montpellier, which beat Marseille 1-0 two days ago.
Defender Jean Calve’s second-half goal secured the three points that lifted Nancy out of the relegation zone.
In the Netherlands, Eredivisie leader AZ Alkmaar’s game at Excelsior was abandoned yesterday because of fog, reducing its lead to three points after second-place PSV Eindhoven won 3-1 at De Graafschap. FC Twente is two points further back after drawing 1-1 draw with Heracles.
WEEKEND RESULTS =============== Italy: Inter Milan 2-1 Cagliari, Fiorentina 0-0 AC Milan, Napoli 0-0 Lazio, Bologna 0-1 Cesena, Catania 1-2 Chievo, Genoa 1-0 Novara, Juventus 3-0 Palermo, Parma 2-0 Udinese, Siena 2-2 Atalanta, Roma 2-1 Lecce. Spain: Villarreal 1-0 Real Betis, Barcelona 4-0 Real Zaragoza, Valencia 2-3 Real Madrid, Real Sociedad 0-0 Espanyol, Osasuna 0- 0 Rayo Vallecano, Sporting Gijon 2-1 Getafe, Sevilla 1-2 Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid 3-2 Levante, Granada vs Real Mallorca (abandoned). Monday: Racing Santander vs Malaga. Germany: Kaiserslautern 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Moenchengladbach 5-0 Werder Bremen, Cologne vs Mainz (postponed), Freiburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin, Schalke 4-0 FC Nurnberg, Wolfsburg 4-1 Hannover 96, Bayern Munich 0-1 Borussia Dortmund, Stuttgart 2-1 FC Augsburg, Hamburg 2-0 Hoffenheim. France: AC Ajaccio 2-2 Caen, Dijon 2-0 Bordeaux, Evian 2-1 Lorient, Lyon 1-2 Rennes, Nice 0-2 Saint-Etienne, Toulouse 0-0 Lille, Montpellier 1-0 Marseille, Brest 2-0 Sochaux, Valenciennes 2-1 Auxerre, Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Nancy. Netherlands: De Graafschap 1-3 PSV Eindhoven, Heerenveen 1-1 RKC Waalwijk, Heracles Almelo 1-1 FC Twente, NEC Nijmegen 1-2 Roda JC, Ajax 2-2 NAC Breda, ADO Den Haag 2-2 FC Utrecht, Vitesse Arnhem 0-4 Feyenoord, Groningen 2-1 VVV, Excelsior vs AZ Alkmaar (abandoned).
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