Man City goes top, Messi nets double

Updated 20 November 2012
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Man City goes top, Messi nets double

LONDON: Manchester City topped the Premier League for the first time this season after thrashing Aston Villa while Barcelona stayed three points clear in La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a win over Real Zaragoza.
Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead to eight points with a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg while leaders Juventus stayed four clear of Inter Milan in Serie A after both drew and Olympique Lyonnais top Ligue 1 after beating Stade Reims 3-0 at home.
ENGLAND
Champions Manchester City went top of the Premier League for the first time this season after demolishing Aston Villa 5-0 with Argentines Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero scoring twice.
City moved to 28 points from 12 games, one more than Manchester United who slipped to second after a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Norwich City. Chelsea are third on 24 after their surprise 2-1 loss away to West Bromwich Albion.
The highest scoring match was at the Emirates where Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 for the second successive season. Arsene Wenger’s side took control after ex-Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, who put Spurs ahead, was sent off in the 18th minute.
SPAIN
Unbeaten leaders Barcelona secured their 11th win in 12 games when La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi struck twice in a 3-1 home win over Real Zaragoza before second-placed Atletico Madrid kept the gap at three points with a 1-0 win away to Granada.
Messi’s 16th and 17th league goals of the campaign took his tally for club and country in 2012 to 78 and the Argentina forward is closing in on the record of 85 in a calendar year set by Bayern Munich’s Germany striker Gerd Mueller 40 years ago.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico side have a club best 31 points from their 12 matches, one more than when they last won the title with the combative Argentine in the side in 1996.
Champions Real Madrid are third on 26 points, still eight adrift of great rivals Barca, after thrashing Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the Bernabeu.
Levante climbed above Malaga into fourth on 20 points thanks to a 2-0 win at Deportivo Coruna after Malaga drew 0-0 at struggling Osasuna.
GERMANY
Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to eight points despite a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg.
Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic’s ninth goal of the campaign looked to have put Bayern on track for their 11th win in 12 games. But a Markus Feulner long-range effort drew the hosts level right after the restart.
Bayern, in action against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday, move up to 31 points while second-placed Schalke 04 are stuck on 23 after losing 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.
Champions Borussia Dortmund eased past Greuther Fuerth 3-1 to make the most of Bayern’s slip and move up to 22 points in fourth place, one behind Eintracht Frankfurt in third.
Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier struck twice to join Mandzukic on nine goals at the top of the scoring charts in a 4-2 victory over bottom side Augsburg.
ITALY
Leaders and champions Juventus were held to a 0-0 draw by visitors Lazio but stayed four points clear of Inter Milan, who needed a late Davide Astori own goal to draw 2-2 at home to Cagliari.
Alberto Aquilani scored twice to held Fiorentina thump Atalanta 4-1, their fifth league win in a row, and move into third, one point behind Inter and ahead of Napoli on goal difference.
Napoli drew 2-2 after squandering a 2-0 lead at home to AC Milan. Serie A top scorer Stephan El Shaaraway scored both Milan goals to take his tally to 10.

FRANCE
Olympique Lyonnais moved top of Ligue 1 by one point with a game in hand after beating mid-table Stade Reims 3-0 at home.
The seven-times champions have 25 points from 12 games ahead of Girondins Bordeaux who beat Olympique Marseille 1-0.
Bordeaux extended their successful home run against their rivals, who have failed to win at the home of the Girondins since 1977 and finished the game fielding a 27-year-old amateur called up to strengthen a decimated squad.
Marseille slipped to fourth and remain level on 23 points with Paris St. Germain who dropped to third after a shock home defeat by nine-man Stade Rennes who are seventh on 22.
NETHERLANDS
PSV Eindhoven extended their lead at the top of the Dutch league to three points after their 6-1 thrashing of ADO Den Haag was followed by Twente Enschede’s 1-1 draw at Utrecht.
Vitesse Arnhem are two more points back in third following 4-1 home win over NEC Nijmegen who finished with eight men after Victor Palsson, Remy Amieux and Ryan Koolwijk were sent off.


As it happened: Saudi Arabia 2 Egypt 1 - Green Falcons bow out of World Cup in style

Updated 45 min 40 sec ago
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As it happened: Saudi Arabia 2 Egypt 1 - Green Falcons bow out of World Cup in style

  • Al-Dawsari's late winner gives Saudi Arabia first World Cup victory in 24 years
  • Green Falcons finish third in Group A ahead of Mohamed Salah's Egypt

FULL-TIME: And that is that, what a great ending to this World Cup for Juan Antonio Pizzi and his side, and all the Saudi fans in the ground - especially after the Russia game. Green Falcons finish third in the group, ahead of Egypt who go home without a point.

6.54PM: GOAL - SAUDI ARABIA - Late drama for the Green Falcons! Salem Al-Dawsari has scored with the last kick of the game to give Saudi Arabia a 2-1 win and their first in a World Cup for 24 years! What a celebration, too!

6.45PM: Great camaraderie between the Egypt and Saudi Arabian fans in the stands. The Mexican Wave is going round the stadium, which is never usually a good sign. But this has been a solid performance from both teams.

6.40PM: The Green Falcons have had a couple of free-kicks in promising positions in the last 5 minutes...both have been wasted, however. 10 minutes left...

6.30PM: That early bright start to this half is fading for Saudi Arabia as Egypt look to take control of the game, and Hector Cuper urges them on.

But what's this? Another two top saves from El-Hadary keeps Saudi Arabia at bay. They're not done just yet...

6.24PM: That's the end of the World Cup for Mohsen as the Egyptian No. 9 is replaced by Ramadan Sobhi.

Meanwhile, Aburadeah Aseri comes on for Bahebri for the Green Falcons.

25 minutes left.

6.21PM: Both of Egypt's goals at this World Cup have been scored by Salah, but Trezeguet came awfully close to joining the party as his towering header flashes just past the post with Al-Mosailem in the Saudi goal well beaten.

6.15PM: The intensity has just dropped out of this game now, and is beginning to look like the "dead rubber" we thought it would be. Saudi Arabia seem content to knock it around the middle just now, and Egypt are happy to let them.

6.08PM: Much better from Saudi Arabia who are attacking with a lot more intent at the beginning of the second half, they're pinning Egypt back into their own half at the moment.

5.45PM - HALFTIME: What a story for Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who pulled off a fantastic save to keep Egypt ahead. Magical moment. But the second penalty gives Saudi Arabia hope for the second half. 

The Salah goal opened the game up much more, and the Green Falcons produced some much better football to create opportunities. 

One last push in the second half could see them claim a famous victory.

5.48PM: After VAR review, the penalty is confirmed and Salman Al-Faraj buries it! GOAL FOR SAUDI ARABIA! At last...

5.45PM: A SECOND PENALTY TO SAUDI ARABIA...

5.40PM: PENALTY TO SAUDI ARABIA - And Fahad misses it...the wait for a goal at this World Cup goes on for the Green Falcons!

5.36PM: Salman has a glorious chance for Saudi Arabia, but his shot inside the box is blocked on the line and goes out for a corner. Green Falcons' best chance of the game.

5.30PM: That's given the thousands of Egyptian fans in this Volgograd Arena something to cheer about, and they're the ones making all the noise now.

5.22PM: GOAL - Who else? Mohamed Salah with a wonderful touch chips it into the net to give the Pharoahs a 1-0 lead...

5.20PM: As we've seen for the majority of this tournament, Saudi Arabia keep the ball reasonably well in the first two-thirds ... but they are just lacking that quality needed in the final third to turn possession into goals.

5.12PM: There's one glimmer of hope about this World Cup for Saudi Arabia - according to the statisticians, they boast some one of the best passing accuracy figures at the tournament. Having made 1,107 passes in their two games before today, they boasted an accuracy of 83.9%, just behind Spain on 91.3%. Iran were at the bottom with 61.3%.

5.07PM: Saudi Arabia win their first corner of the match... and it is comfortably cleared by the Egyptian defense. But that was better from the Green Falcons.

5.00PM: Here we go, Saudi Arabia and Egypt's final game of the 2018 World Cup is under way...

4.50PM: Al-Ahli's Alexis Ruano is watching the game and is hoping for a Saudi Arabia win by the looks of it...

Meanwhile, the Egypt fans are in good voice in the stands too...

4.40PM: Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi spoke before the match: "It's very easy with hindsight, after the results that we have had, to come up with situations that you'd like to change. But unfortunately we coaches have to take most of our decisions before things pan out.

"We've seen that certain concepts work, we've seen alternatives, we've tried to bring in new players as well, and this experience that we have had specifically in the run-up to this World Cup has been very important."

4.15PM: This must be some sort of record because there is 45 minutes to go until kick-off and we have not spoken about Mohamed Salah yet. The news El-Hadary will start and enter the record books has taken the spotlight away from the "Egyptian King". We reckon that both for him and the rest of the squad that will come as a huge relief. Cominginto this match there were reports Salah was ready to quit international football, such was the circus that his playing/non-playing created — the latest episode of which saw both player and team management deny that rumor.

4PM: EL-HADARY SET TO MAKE HISTORY —  So the last matches of Group A have arrived and while hosts Russia will be battling it out with Uruguay to see who goes though as group winners, the Green Falcons and Egypt have little but pride to play for in Volgograd.

The big team news that has come out so far is that Hector Cuper has had a heart and will start Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary. That means El-Hadary will become the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup. Aged 45 years, five months and 12 days he will smash the record currently held by Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who was aged 43 years and three days when he played against Japan in Brazil in 2014.

This may be a dead rubber, however, both sides will be keen to get a win. Saudi Arabia are looking for their first World Cup victory since 1994, while the Pharaohs are searching for their first win in the tournament ever.