Tue, Nov 26, 2002 - Page 19 News List

Top European clubs struggling

HIGH FLIERS FALL Both Arsenal and Liverpool lost, although they stayed at the top of the Premiership, while Spanish leader Real Sociedad was held goalless


Leeds United's Jason Wilcox, left, clears the ball away from Tottenham Hotspurs' Gustavo Poyet during Spurs' 2-0 win over Leeds at White Hart Lane in London on Sunday.


It was tough at the top in Europe's major soccer leagues at the weekend.

Arsenal and Liverpool were both beaten, but maintained their top two spots in England. A draw for leaders Juventus and second-placed Inter Milan's 1-0 loss to AC enabled their city rivals to go top of Italy's Serie A.

Spanish leader Real Sociedad was held to a goalless draw -- the same result in the big game between Barcelona and Real Madrid, while in France leaders Nice was also goalless and second-placed Olympique Lyon was beaten.

Only in Germany, where Bayern Munich stretched its lead to six points, and the Netherlands, where Ajax Amsterdam won 3-0, did the leaders impress.


Teddy Sheringham and Robbie Keane made life even more miserable for former manager Terry Venables on Sunday with the two goals in Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Leeds.

With Venables new team languishing in 14th place in the Premier League instead of being among the title contenders, the two strikes lifted his old club up to seventh.

Sheringham, signed by Venables 10 years ago at White Hart Lane, fired Spurs ahead after 11 minutes from the edge of the area. And Keane, sold to Spurs by Venables in the summer, hit the second four minutes before half time.

The result means that Venables' team, which has also lost five times at home, is only four points above the relegation zone while Spurs jumped three places although nine points behind leader Arsenal.

"It is justified in as much as we are not getting the results we would like," Venables said. "You are going to get criticism, you expect it in the game. I have had it before and it is justified because I believe we should be doing better."

In Sunday's other game, lowly Charlton downed Blackburn 3-1 to climb to 15th, one place behind Leeds and level on points.

Arsenal and second place Liverpool both lost their games on Saturday, the Gunners going down 3-2 at Southampton and Gerard Houllier's team beaten by the same scoreline at Fulham.

Arsenal was hampered by the fact that England defender Sol Campbell was sent off early in the second half while Liverpool's didn't take advantage of the ejection of Fulham defender Alain Goma 20 minutes from the end.

Everton moved up to third after its sixth win in a row -- a 1-0 victory over last place West Bromwich Albion -- Canadian striker Tomasz Radzinski netting the only goal.

Chelsea slipped to fourth despite a last minute equalizer by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in a 1-1 tie at second from last Bolton.

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored three as Manchester United revived its title chances by beating Newcastle 5-3 in an Old Trafford thriller. Alan Shearer netted his 100th Premier League goal for the Magpies with a thunderous 30-yard free kick but his team was repeatedly torn apart at the back.


The big game between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp was a bad-tempered and disappointing goalless draw. The teams were forced to leave the pitch for 13 minutes after Real's former Barcelona favorite Luis Figo was pelted with missiles as he tried to take a corner. Another Barcelona old boy, Ronaldo, missed the match with flu.

Leaders Real Sociedad also drew 0-0, away to Rayo Vallecano, but Real Mallorca missed the chance to go top when they also drew, 1-1 at Villarreal.

Sociedad have 23 points, Mallorca, who had been seeking an eighth straight victory, 22 and Valencia, 2-0 winners over Valladolid, 21.

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