Chelsea loses as Man United extends lead over City


Associated Press

Posted on December 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea's troubles deepened Saturday when Rafa Benitez's team lost 3-1 at West Ham in the Premier League. Manchester United extended its lead to three points.

United twice came from behind to win 4-3 at Reading after Manchester City had drawn 1-1 at home to Everton.

Chelsea is 10 points behind United and the European champions are without a win in seven league matches, three since Benitez replaced the fired Roberto Di Matteo as manager.

Tottenham is now behind Chelsea on goal difference in fourth place after beating Fulham 3-0. Arsenal dropped to 10th after Michu's two goals gave Swansea a 2-0 victory at Emirates Stadium.

For Tottenham, Clint Dempsey assisted on Jermaine Defoe's second goal, the final score in Spurs' 3-0 win. Dempsey was jeered repeatedly by Fulham fans in his first game at Craven Cottage since leaving Fulham in August for Tottenham.

Queens Park Rangers remains winless and last after being held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa. West Bromwich Albion dropped to fifth after being beaten 1-0 by Stoke. Liverpool defeated Southampton 1-0.

Liverpool's former manager, Benitez, is enduring a miserable return to the league he left in 2010 with the fans against him and the team not performing.

Chelsea took the lead in the 13th minute when Juan Mata scored his eighth goal of the season. The hosts fought back in the second half, with former Chelsea striker Carlton Cole tying the score in the 63rd minute after taking the place of the injured Andy Carroll.

Cole set up Mohamed Diame's decisive goal for West Ham in the 86th before being replaced by Modibo Maiga, who added a third goal in stoppage time.

"We could have finished the game in the first half, but it was totally different in the second half," Benitez said. "We didn't start well, they were on top of us and we couldn't manage ... we gave the ball away easily, weren't comfortable in possession."

Fans made their opposition to Benitez clear with "Rafa Out" banners and chants backing Di Matteo.

At Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger also faced jeers from his fans and the team's title hopes faded further. This is Arsenal's worst start to a league season since Wenger arrived in 1996.

"It is a good moment to stick together," Wenger said. "I am not so much worried about (league) places, even if that is not the place you want to be. But I believe what is important is we get the quality of our game back. Then the places change."

American defender Zak Whitbread scored his first goal when he headed in a corner kick in the sixth minute of Leicester's 4-1 win over Derby.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored twice, helping Barcelona make the best start in Spanish league history with a 5-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao, while Real Madrid extended its dominance over Atletico Madrid with a 2-0 victory.

The leader has 13 wins and a draw in the opening 14 rounds to surpasses Real Madrid start of 12 wins and two draws in 1991-92.

Messi's 11th double of the season leaves him one goal shy of Gerd Mueller's record of 85 for club and country in one year, set in 1972.

Barcelona led 3-0 by halftime thanks to goals by Gerard Pique, Messi and Adriano. Cesc Fabregas and Messi scored after halftime.

Madrid's ninth straight win in the Spanish capital's biggest derby kept alive its run of not losing to Atletico in 24 straight games, dating to 1999.

Atletico entered the game on its best start ever with 11 wins in 13 rounds. But any hopes of ending years of misery were crushed when Cristiano Ronaldo scored an exquisite free kick in the 16th minute. The match at the Santiago Bernabeu featured more hard fouls, petty scuffling, and bad tempers than beautiful play.

Atletico remained in second place with its second loss of the season. But Barcelona is six points clear, as third-place Madrid closed to within five of its city rival.

After Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas saved Radamel Falcao's only clear chance to score, Atletico winger Arda Turan conceded a free kick outside his area by handling the ball.

Ronaldo stepped up and struck an unstoppable dipping blast that left the diving Thibaut Courtois with no chance in goal.


MILAN (AP) — Juventus extended its Serie A lead by beating 10-man Torino 3-0 in the Turin derby.

Claudio Marchisio, who was born in Turin, scored twice, and Sebastian Giovinco added a goal.

Torino played more than 50 minutes at a numerical disadvantage after Kamil Glik was sent off following an horrific challenge with the score still 0-0.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo blazed a penalty over the bar at the end of the first half.

The result will serve as a timely boost ahead of Juventus' key Champions League match at Shakhtar Donetsk.

It also was the final Serie A match of a four-month ban for Juventus head coach Antonio Conte, inflicted for failing to report match-fixing when he led Siena two seasons ago.

Torino hasn't scored against Juve since February 2002 and hasn't won the derby since April 1995.


PARIS (AP) — Lyon extended its lead at the top of the French league with a 1-0 win over defending champion Montpellier.

In-form Lyon forward Bafetimbi Gomis beat his marker to fire Clement Grenier's pass beyond goalkeeper Jonathan Ligali in the 26th minute.

The leaders are now five points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, which lost 2-1 at Nice.

Gomis had a hat trick as Lyon beat Marseille 4-1 in midweek.

PSG dominated against Nice but struggled to carve out any opportunities. Eric Bautheac gave Nice the lead in the 76th, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic leveled from a free kick just four minutes later.

Valentin Eysseric scored what was to prove the winner in the 86th. PSG player Blaise Matuidi was sent off in stoppage time after picking up a second booking to cap a miserable night for his team.

Bordeaux is one point behind PSG, Saint-Etienne and Marseille after drawing 2-2 against struggling Sochaux.


BERLIN (AP) — Mario Goetze scored for Borussia Dortmund in a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich that still leaves the defending champions 11 points behind the Bundesliga leaders.

Goetze tied the score in the 74th minute shortly after Toni Kroos broke the deadlock.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Steven Doris' late goal from a free kick for Arbroath means Celtic will have to replay its Scottish Cup fourth-round fixture against the third-tier club.

With an eye on Wednesday's final Champions League group stage match against Spartak Moscow, Celtic manager Neil Lennon made nine changes to his lineup.

But the Scottish champions still went ahead in the 35th minute when Arbroath defender Stewart Malcolm sent a clearance off teammate Alex Keddie's back and into the net. With four minutes remaining, Doris' deflected drive beat Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska.


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Djamel Abdoun and Vassilis Torossidis scored first-half goals and Olympiakos won 2-1 against visiting Platanias to extend its Greek league lead to 11 points.

Asteras and Atromitos managed 1-1 away draws against Xanthi and Aris.

Olympiakos holds an 11-point lead over Asteras and PAOK. PAOK visits Veria on Sunday.


VIENNA, Austria (AP) — American forward Terrence Boyd scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute, starting Rapid Vienna to a 4-3 win over visiting Reid in the Austrian league.

Boyd has 12 goals this season, including eight in the league.