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United take flight, Inter clip Juve's wings

Published: Monday 5 November 2012, 0.20CET
Manchester United FC moved to the front of the pack in England on a weekend that brought Juventus' long unbeaten record to an end and spelt woe for Paris Saint-Germain FC.

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Published: Monday 5 November 2012, 0.20CET

United take flight, Inter clip Juve's wings

Manchester United FC moved to the front of the pack in England on a weekend that brought Juventus' long unbeaten record to an end and spelt woe for Paris Saint-Germain FC.

Manchester United FC made their move to the top of the standings in England on a weekend that featured a first loss in 50 Serie A games for leaders Juventus. Paris Saint-Germain FC also suffered a first defeat this term in France, while Club Atlético de Madrid failed to keep pace with FC Barcelona in Spain and FC Bayern München moved further clear in the Bundesliga. recaps the action.

Manchester United enjoyed the weekend more than most as they eased to a 2-1 win against Arsenal FC to hit the Premier League summit early on Saturday afternoon – a position they maintained when Chelsea FC could only draw 1-1 at Swansea City AFC. "It was a special day; it was quite a game," said United forward Robin van Persie, who registered against his old side in just the third minute. "We had a few chances, we should have scored two or three more, but in the end we're happy with the three points." There was more delight for the Red Devils when champions Manchester City FC were held 0-0 at West Ham United FC, while fourth-placed Everton FC drew 2-2 at Fulham FC.

Barcelona extended their Liga lead courtesy of a 3-1 defeat of RC Celta de Vigo in which full-back Adriano scored and suffered an adductor tear that will keep him out for around three weeks. The win was Barcelona's ninth in ten league outings and took them three points clear of Atlético, who succumbed 2-0 at Valencia CF, with Real Madrid CF another five points back following their 4-0 dismantling of Real Zaragoza. José Mourinho celebrated his 100th victory as Madrid coach in the game and afterwards said: "I can barely believe that I've reached 100 victories. There were a lot of times when I applauded Zaragoza. We were tight in defence but not up front." As for Málaga CF in fourth, they lost 2-1 to Rayo Vallecano de Madrid.

FC Internazionale Milano finally brought Juventus' 49-game unbeaten Serie A run to an end as two goals from Diego Milito helped the Nerazzurri close the gap at the top to a single point. Arturo Vidal scored with less than 20 seconds gone, but that was as good as it got for Juve as Milito's double and Rodrigo Palacio's late strike engineered a 3-1 win. "This can be seen as the start of the road to the Scudetto," said Inter midfielder Esteban Cambiasso. "We don't know how long that road will be but we are determined to reach our final objective." SSC Napoli failed to take advantage of the leaders' loss, being held 1-1 by Torino FC, while S.S. Lazio were displaced in fourth by ACF Fiorentina after suffering a 4-0 loss at the hands of Calcio Catania.

After their perfect start to the season came to an end with defeat last weekend, Bayern rediscovered winning ways as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos earned a 3-0 win at Hamburger SV. The victory stretched their lead at the top to seven points over second-placed FC Schalke 04 after Sven Schipplock's added-time goal condemned Huub Stevens' men to a 3-2 loss at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. "It is very exasperating," said Schalke's Dutch coach. "If you don't take your opportunities, you get punished. That is football, unfortunately." Meanwhile, third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt and defending champions Borussia Dortmund both drew to fall further off the pace. "It is obviously good for us when we win and our main rivals drop points," said Bayern's Kroos.

It is tight at the top in France after Paris Saint-Germain experienced their first Ligue 1 reverse this term on Saturday, Zlatan Ibrahimović seeing red in a 2-1 home loss to AS Saint-Étienne. "Our attitude was not good," explained PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti afterwards. "It's maybe a good lesson for us for the future, so that we can go into games differently than we did tonight." The capital club now find themselves level with Olympique de Marseille, who returned to winning ways by triumphing 2-0 at AC Ajaccio, and one point ahead of Olympique Lyonnais following their 5-2 handling of SC Bastia. Toulouse FC had the chance to climb alongside PSG and OM but slipped to a 1-0 loss at FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

Silverware was settled in Sweden as the final day of the campaign ended with IF Elfsborg claiming their sixth crown despite a 1-1 draw with Åtvidabergs FF, closest rivals Malmö FF losing 2-0 at AIK. There was trophy joy for FC Daugava Daugavpils too as they clinched their maiden Latvian title, while Derry City FC lifted the Irish FAI Cup in Dublin. In Belgium, meanwhile, SV Zulte Waregem triumphed 1-0 at Club Brugge KV to remain top alongside RSC Anderlecht, and the big game in Russia produced a 3-1 home success for FC Anji Makhachkala against derby rivals FC Terek Grozny – though Anji still trail pacesetters PFC CSKA Moskva by a point. FC Shakhtar Donetsk made it 14 wins from 14 games this term as they saw off FC Metalurh Zaporizhya 2-0, and AFC Ajax are ten points shy of leaders FC Twente in the Eredivisie following a 2-0 home loss to Vitesse.

Last updated: 05/11/12 0.19CET

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