Juventus, Alexis Sanchez top AP football poll

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2014 at 11:16 am •  Published: January 7, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Juventus tops this week's Associated Press global football poll after handing rival Roma its first defeat of the season and moving eight points clear at the top of Serie A after the emphatic 3-0 victory.

Arturo Vidal gave Juventus the lead in the 17th minute and his display earned him fourth place in the player vote with 68 points. His Chilean counterpart, Alexis Sanchez, is the top player this week on 161.

Sanchez scored a hat trick in Barcelona's 4-0 triumph against Elche which saw his team return to joint top of the Spanish league alongside Atletico Madrid.

"It was a great weekend for Chile's finest players," Richard Jolly of ESPN said. "Alexis Sanchez scored a hat-trick against Elche and the winger is Barcelona's unlikely top scorer in La Liga. Arturo Vidal showed why he may be the best midfielder in Italy by overpowering Roma."

The gap between Juventus and Roma was highlighted by Ubiratan Leal of Brazil's trivela.com.

"Juventus beat Roma in a very convincing way, exposing to all Roma fans that the Turin team is some levels above all in Italy."

Barcelona is second in the team ranking, 22 points behind Juventus while Villarreal striker Ikechukwu Uche is second in the player vote after also scoring three in a 5-2 victory against Rayo Vallecano.

Atletico has polled fourth after a 1-0 win at Malaga saw it keep up pace with Barcelona. Midfielder Koke, who scored the decisive goal, is eighth in the player vote on 40.

Kaka polled third highest of the players, a point ahead of Vidal on 69, after scoring his 100th and 101st goals for AC Milan as it beat Atlanta 3-0. Arsenal is in the same position in the club vote after beating Tottenham 2-0 in a north London derby in the FA Cup.