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Marco Reus, Liverpool top AP weekly football poll

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm •  Published: April 1, 2014
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Liverpool has taken team of the week honors for the third time this season in this week's Associated Press football poll after a 4-0 win over Tottenham propelled it back to the top of the English Premier League.

Marco Reus tops the player vote after scoring a hat trick for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-2 comeback victory at Stuttgart.

"Borussia Dortmund looked set to cede second place to rivals Schalke when it trailed 2-0 at Stuttgart," panelist Mark Rodden of Eurosport said. "Marco Reus picked the perfect time to score his third Bundesliga hat-trick — albeit with the aid of a deflection — to ensure Juergen Klopp's side remain on course for the Champions League."

Luis Suarez stays in second after scoring in Liverpool's win against Tottenham, while Spanish league leader Atletico Madrid is the team runner-up after winning 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao.

Liverpool capitalized on Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Arsenal and Chelsea's 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, which is tied for seventh place this week.

The Reds have not won the English league since 1990, but its fate is now in its own hands. If it wins its remaining six league matches, it will win the Premier League.

"Liverpool as English champions is getting more and more possible," Cedric Rouquette of Eurosport in France said. "Not only did the Reds win the game they had to against Tottenham to make the most of Manchester City's draw with Arsenal, but they did it with aggression, with defensive intent and with efficiency."

Raheem Sterling, who continued his own impressive recent form for Liverpool, polled 10th this week.

In Spain, Atletico is the surprise league leader and flashed its own title credentials with a win at fourth-place Bilbao.

Diego Costa, who equalized for Atletico with his 32nd goal of the season, is third in the player poll.

"Atletico Madrid continues at the top of La Liga after winning in San Mames, where Barca and Real could not win this season," Orfeo Suarez of El Mundo in Spain said.

"'Match by match', said Simeone when anybody asked about the possibility of winning La Liga after years in the hands of the two economic empires: Barca and Real (Madrid)."

Barcelona and Real both kept the pressure on Atletico. Barcelona won 1-0 at Espanyol thanks to a Lionel Messi penalty, which sees him rank fourth this week. A brace from Gareth Bale in Madrid's 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano earned him fifth place while Cristiano Ronaldo, who opened the scoring, is eighth.

In Italy, Napoli inflicted only the second defeat of the season on Juventus, a 2-0 victory over the league leader. Ninth place in the poll went to Jose Maria Callejon, who opened the scoring for Napoli as it built upon a 4-2 midweek win over Catania.

"Rafa Benitez's men not only won twice during the week, they beat runaway Serie A leaders Juventus in an impressive display at the Stadio San Paolo," Marco Monteverde of News Corp Australia said.

Elsewhere, Kaka's two goals in AC Milan's 3-0 win over Chievo means he polled sixth.

Wayne Rooney's brace for Manchester United in a 4-1 win over Aston Villa sees him in seventh.

AP Global Soccer 10 rankings, week ending April 1

Players:

1. Marco Reus, 117 points.

2. Luis Suarez, 90.

3. Diego Costa, 80.

4. Lionel Messi, 66.

5. Gareth Bale, 62.

6. Kaka, 57.

7. Wayne Rooney, 51.

8. Cristiano Ronaldo, 42.

9. Jose Maria Callejon, 33.

10. Raheem Sterling, 20.

Teams:

1. Liverpool, 159.

2. Atletico Madrid, 118.

3. Napoi, 116.

4. Barcelona, 62.

5. Real Madrid, 61.

6. Manchester City, 53.

7. Crystal Palace

Paris Saint-Germain, 40 (tied).

9. Hoffenheim, 34.

10. Borussia Dortmund, 32.


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