United goes top; Juve’s unbeaten run ends

Updated 06 November 2012
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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.

ENGLAND
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.

ITALY
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.

SPAIN
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.

GERMANY
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.

FRANCE
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.

NETHERLANDS
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.

SWEDEN
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.


Ahmed defends Pakistan squad as ‘best of the best’

Updated 20 min 41 sec ago
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Ahmed defends Pakistan squad as ‘best of the best’

  • Fawad Alam is a seasoned player, but the players we selected are also equally good and have been scoring continuously as well, says Pakistani skipper
  • Former test opener Ramiz Raja claims there are flaws in Alam’s batting technique

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has defended the 16-man national squad for tours of Ireland and England as the “best of the best” despite criticism over the omission of batsman Fawad Alam.
“It’s not like I voted him (Alam) out,” Ahmed said on the last day of Pakistan’s training camp in Lahore on Saturday, adding that “I would have picked all the 25 ... but we had to pick the best of the best 16 players.”
Wasim Akram was among several former Pakistan test players who have criticized selectors for ignoring Alam in the middle order — especially since Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have now retired.
Alam was among 25 players called up for the camp after scoring consistently on the domestic circuit, but he failed to make the final squad.
Former test opener Ramiz Raja claimed there were flaws in Alam’s batting technique and that he would not have considered the left-hander, considering the tough conditions in England.
Ahmed played down the dispute.
“People can make as much reasons to talk, but there is nothing like flaws in anyone’s batting technique,” Ahmed said. “If you look back, Fawad had played a test in 2009 and he is a seasoned player ... (but) the players we selected are also equally good and have been scoring continuously as well.”
Ahmed said it had been a “unanimous decision” by coach, captain and selectors.
Pakistan has included uncapped batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali in the final 16, as well as Fakhar Zaman, who has done well in limited-overs cricket but is yet to play a test match.
Misbah and Younis will be missed on a tour of England where Misbah scored a century at Lord’s in 2016 and Younis made 218 at The Oval in the fourth test to draw the series 2-2.
Pakistan has two four-day matches against Kent and Northamptonshire before meeting Ireland in a one-off test at Dublin, starting May 11. It plays two tests against England, starting May 24.
Pakistan will also play Scotland on June 12-13 in two Twenty20 Internationals.
Pakistan faced a major blow when its premier legspinner Yasir Shah was ruled out due to injury. However, Ahmed said he wasn’t sure that Shadab Khan, who has played just one test match, would make it to the final team with the English conditions more suitable for pace.
“The weather will be much cooler and I am not even sure if we are going to play a spinner,” Ahmed said.