United goes top; Juve’s unbeaten run ends

Updated 06 November 2012

United goes top; Juve’s unbeaten run ends

LONDON: Manchester United moved to the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 win over Arsenal, a match that saw striker Robin van Persie face his old side for the first time.
Juventus lost their first Serie A match since their penultimate game of the 2010/11 season when Inter Milan came from a goal down to beat them 3-1 in Turin.
Elfsborg were crowned Swedish champions for the sixth time on Sunday.

Manchester United went top of the Premier League when they beat Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford and European champions Chelsea could only manage a 1-1 draw with Swansea City.
Robin van Persie, playing against his old club for the first time since his big-money move in the close season, scored United’s opener, while Patrice Evra doubled the advantage before Santi Cazorla scored a late consolation for the Gunners.
United are top on 24 points, one ahead of Chelsea, who saw Swansea’s Pablo Hernandez score in the 88th minute to cancel out Victor Moses’ strike.
Manchester City are third on 22 points, but missed the chance to move level on poins with their city rivals after being held to a 0-0 stalemate by West Ham United.

Juventus stayed top despite having their 49-match unbeaten run in Serie A ended by second-placed Inter Milan in a 3-1 home defeat.
Arturo Vidal put Juve ahead after only 19 seconds but Inter hit back in the second half with three goals, two from Diego Milito and one from fellow Argentine Rodrigo Palacio.
Juventus, last beaten in the penultimate match of the 2010/11 season, lead with 28 points from 11 games, followed by Inter on 27, Napoli with 23 and Fiorentina on 21.
Napoli led for 85 minutes at home to Torino after Edinson Cavani gave them a sixth-minute lead only to be held 1-1 after Gianluca Sansone pounced on a defensive blunder to equalize in stoppage time.

Barcelona equalled the La Liga record for the most points after 10 games and moved three clear of Atletico Madrid at the top thanks to a 3-1 win at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday before Atletico lost 2-0 at Valencia.
Tito Vilanova’s Barca side, who have nine wins and a draw this season, moved on to 28 points, matching the previous best set by arch rivals Real Madrid, after Adriano, David Villa and Jordi Alba all found the net.
Atletico’s long undefeated run ended at the Mestalla after Roberto Soldado’s 20th-minute volley and a clever finish from substitute Nelson Valdez in the fifth minute of added time.
Champions Real, recovering from a shaky start to their title defense, climbed above Malaga into third place after a 4-0 home win over Real Zaragoza.
Real, far from their best despite the scoreline, have 20 points, five behind city rivals Atletico, while Malaga are on 18 after suffering their first home defeat of the campaign when they lost 2-1 to Rayo Vallecano.

Bayern Munich continued their near perfect start to the Bundesliga campaign, crushing hosts Hamburg SV 3-0 to go seven points clear at the top.
Goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos sealed their ninth win in 10 league games as rivals Schalke 04 and champions Borussia Dortmund stumbled.
Bayern set a Bundesliga record of five straight away wins from the start of the season, without conceding a goal.
Schalke stayed in second place on 20 points after conceding a stoppage-time goal to lose 3-2 at Hoffenheim, while Borussia Dortmund were held to a goalless draw by visitors VfB Stuttgart, dropping one place to fifth on 16 points.
Eintracht Frankfurt joined Schalke on 20 points after drawing 1-1 with visiting Greuther Fuerth on Friday.

Paris St. Germain suffered their first Ligue 1 defeat of the season when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off in a 2-1 home reverse against St. Etienne on Saturday.
Sweden striker Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a high kick on goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
PSG have 22 points from 11 games and lead Olympique Marseille, who have a game in hand, on goal difference.
Marseille beat AC Ajaccio 2-0 away on Sunday with goals from brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew while Olympique Lyon moved up to third on 21 points with a 5-2 home win over Bastia.

Twente Enschede recovered from their shock midweek Dutch Cup elimination by second division Den Bosch with a 3-0 win over Feyenoord to move back to the top of the league.
Steve McClaren’s side were unconvincing but they were helped by early goals from Nacer Chadli and Luc Castaignos, before Dusan Tadic scored from a freekick.
Twente are top with 28 points after 11 matches, one ahead of PSV Eindhoven who beat Heracles Almelo 4-0 on Saturday.
Vitesse are third with 24 following their 2-0 win at Ajax Amsterdam, who slipped to fifth with 18 points on goal difference ahead of Feyenoord.

Elfsborg sparked wild celebrations after they were crowned Swedish champions following a 1-1 draw with Atvidaberg on Sunday.
Elfsborg finished on 59 points, two ahead of surprise runners-up Haecken who beat Sundsvall 2-1.
Malmo finished third on 56 points, with AIK narrowly missing out on European football as they finished fourth with 55.

Essam El-Hadary set to make history as Hector Cuper plays down Egypt criticism

Updated 7 min 21 sec ago

Essam El-Hadary set to make history as Hector Cuper plays down Egypt criticism

VOLGOGRAD: Essam El-Hadary looks set to become the oldest footballer to play at a World Cup today when his Egypt side face Saudi Arabia in their last match of the tournament. Although coach Hector Cuper refused to reveal his line-up, the selection of El-Hadary to appear alongside him in the pre-match press conference yesterday suggests the goalkeeper is in line to break Faryd Mondragon’s four-year-old record.
“Obviously I would be very happy if I participate in the match, but this is not certain,” said El-Hadary, who is 45 years, five months and 12 days old today.
“This decision, though, remains with the management of the team.”
With both Egypt and Saudi Arabia unable to usurp Uruguay and Russia in Group A for a place in the knockout stages, the match is a dead rubber. That has led to much speculation that Cuper, who had preferred Al-Ahly’s Mohammed El-Shenawy in their opening two defeats, might make a sentimental gesture by selecting Saudi Arabia-based El-Hadary.
If he plays, El-Hadary will comfortably beat the record of Colombia’s Mondragon, who made a substitute appearance in Brazil four years ago aged 43 years and three days.
“Obviously for any player to be involved, especially in a World Cup, is a high achievement. Even if it is a record set by myself, Essam El-Hadary, it will also be an achievement for Egypt,” said the Al-Taawoun goalkeeper, who made his debut for Egypt 22 years ago.
Egypt’s preparation for today’s match with the Green Falcons has been carried under a cloud of speculation after rumors emerged that players — including El-Hadary — had clashed with Cuper. Both coach and keeper dismissed such suggestions, with the Argentine manager insisting that he would not entertain questions unless evidence could be provided. El-Hadary added: “If I was making trouble in the team then I don’t deserve to be in the team.”
The final Group A match against Saudi Arabia offers both teams a chance to finish their respective World Cup campaigns on a positive note. While Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side lost 5-0 on the opening night to the hosts and were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Uruguay, Egypt endured similar defeats in reverse, losing in the last minute to the South Americans
before being made to pay for a period of poor concentration against Russia to lose 3-1.
Egypt, making their first appearance on the world stage since 1990, are chasing a first World Cup win. While Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is expected to be passed fit having featured in the Pharaohs’ last game, Cuper was coy when asked if he would ring the changes. He has used only 14 players across 180 minutes of football so far.
“For us, this is an important match because we want to end this participation in the World Cup with a good result,” he said.
“We’re playing for all the people in Egypt and want to give them joy. We want to end this World Cup with a triumph, even though this might be only a footnote in the future. For Egypt to win a first World Cup match would be something very important. What we want to do, then, is bow out in style in the next match.”
Cuper, who may also be bowing out of his time at the Egypt helm after today’s match, has come in for criticism in recent weeks. The 62-year-old, however, insists he is not listening to the critics and is focused on the job.
“Somebody who’s a critic is a critic, that’s his job,” Cuper said. “It’s very difficult to convince everyone. I want to convince my players, link up with them in a way that brings results.
“Criticism really doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t anger me. We have to see individually what our reality is. You look at it, analyze the situation, then you choose a certain line of action to achieve results. But making everybody happy? It’s impossible.”