Atletico pulls ahead of Barca, Madrid in Spain

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm •  Published: February 2, 2014
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For once neither Lionel Messi's Barcelona nor Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid is leading the way in Spain.

Atletico Madrid took sole possession of first place for the first time this season by routing Real Sociedad 4-0 Sunday.

David Villa, Diego Costa, Miranda and the newly arrived Diego scored the goals that put Atletico three points ahead of Barcelona, taking full advantage of a rare slip-up by the champions.

Barcelona lost 3-2 to Valencia on Saturday, boosting Atletico's bid to break the Barca-Madrid monopoly on the trophy with a first championship since 1996. Madrid is tied with Barcelona after drawing 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao in a game that saw Ronaldo get sent off with 15 minutes left for swiping his hand across Carlos Gurpegi's face following a shove from his opponent.

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LONDON (AP) — In the Premier League's top-four shuffle, it is Arsenal leading the way again — for now.

After slipping from the summit during the week, the Gunners overcame struggling Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's second-half brace.

Now the focus turns to Monday night when Manchester City, which is two points behind Arsenal, hosts Chelsea, which is three points further back in third.

Liverpool remained in fourth place, but its 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion was a missed opportunity to strengthen its pursuit of Champions League qualification.

Having led through Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool defender Kolo Toure sloppily gave the ball away to allow Victor Anicheb to equalize for West Brom.

Although Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still talks of United as a rival, an eighth loss of the title defense — at Stoke on Saturday — means the champions are seven points behind Liverpool.

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MILAN (AP) — Juventus eased to a comfortable 3-1 win over bitter rival Inter Milan in the Italian league to extend its lead at the top of the table to nine points.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Giorgio Chiellini and Arturo Vidal scored for Juventus before Rolando grabbed a consolation for Inter in the match known as the derby d'Italia.

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