Liverpool, Arsenal tighten Premier League race

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm •  Published: March 16, 2014
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LONDON (AP) — The Premier League title race is shaping up to be a tight four-way fight after Liverpool and Arsenal both earned away wins at their main traditional rivals on Sunday.

Liverpool convincingly beat Manchester United 3-0 while Arsenal won 1-0 at Tottenham, taking full advantage of leader Chelsea's loss at Aston Villa a day earlier to tighten the gap.

In Spain, Messi appeared to be back to his best as he netted a hat trick to set another scoring record for Barcelona in a 7-0 win over Osasuna.

Here is a look at the action from the leading leagues in Europe on Sunday:

ENGLAND

Liverpool routed soon-to-be-deposed champion Manchester United in a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford, with Steven Gerrard converting two penalty kicks and Luis Suarez also scoring in a one-sided match that highlighted the gulf that has emerged between the two opponents.

United striker Wayne Rooney called it "a nightmare" and "one of the worst days I've ever had in football."

Tomas Rosicky's goal after 72 seconds sent Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Tottenham. Arsenal and Liverpool are four points behind Chelsea, and both have a game in hand. Manchester City is six points behind, but with three games in hand.

SPAIN

Lionel Messi set another scoring record by netting a hat trick to pace Barcelona's 7-0 rout of Osasuna in the Spanish league, ensuring the defending champions stayed in striking distance of leader Real Madrid before their critical "clasico" match next week.

The three goals bring Messi's career tally for Barcelona to 371 in all games — including friendlies — breaking the club record of 369 held by Paulino Alcantara since 1927. The 26-year-old Messi was already the club's all-time leading scorer in official games.

Also, striker Imanol Agirretxe's second-half header gave Real Sociedad a 1-0 win at home over Valencia. Sevilla eased to a 4-1 win over Valladolid at home, while Real Betis drew 0-0 at Elche as it remained stuck at the bottom of the standings.

ITALY

Andrea Pirlo's late goal saw Juventus maintain its charge to a third successive Serie A title as it beat Genoa 1-0 to extend its lead to 17 points.

Pirlo fired home a free kick two minutes from time as Juventus struggled to a victory after Gianluigi Buffon had saved Emanuele Calaio's penalty.

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