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Manchester United, Barcelona roll on in EPL, La Liga

Reuters
Feb 11, 2013 at 10:23am IST

Manchester United, Barcelona cemented their commanding positions at the top of their respective leagues with victories over the weekend.

ENGLAND

Manchester United ruthlessly beat Everton 2-0 on Sunday to move 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League following champions Manchester City's shock 3-1 loss at Southampton on Saturday.

Manchester United, Barcelona roll on in EPL, La Liga

Man United, Barcelona cemented their commanding positions at the top of their respective leagues with victories over the weekend.

Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie struck in the first half for United who are in a commanding position to win their 20th league title with 12 matches left.

City trailed 2-0 at struggling Southampton but Edin Dzeko pulled one back before halftime, only for Gareth Barry's bizarre own goal to restore the home side's two-goal cushion.

Third-placed Chelsea beat Wigan Athletic 4-1 to ease the pressure on interim manager Rafa Benitez and Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also won to stay in the hunt for Champions League places.

Southampton moved four points clear of the relegation zone and Aston Villa climbed out of the bottom three after beating West Ham United 2-1. Queens Park Rangers remained four points adrift at the foot of the standings following a 4-1 defeat at Swansea City.

SPAIN

Barcelona moved 12 points clear at the top of the Primera Liga when they crushed Getafe 6-1 at the Nou Camp and second-placed Atletico Madrid were beaten 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Barca forward Lionel Messi scored his 35th of the campaign and Alexis Sanchez and David Villa made the most of a rare place in the starting lineup with a goal apiece.

Atletico's lead over third-placed Real Madrid was cut to four points after the champions thumped visiting Sevilla 4-1 on Saturday.

Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up in style for Wednesday's Champions League last 16 first leg at home to his former club Manchester United with a hat-trick and an assist.

Malaga cemented their grip on fourth with a 2-1 comeback win at Levante on Saturday, promising playmaker Isco scoring twice to crown the week when he made his debut for Spain in a 3-1 friendly win against Uruguay.

ITALY

Juventus increased their lead at the top of Serie A to five points when they beat Fiorentina 2-0 and second-placed Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw at third-placed Lazio.

Mirko Vucinic and Alessandro Matri scored in the first half for titleholders Juventus, taking them on to 55 points from 24 games.

Napoli trailed for most of their match, Hugo Campagnaro grabbing a point in the 87th minute after Sergio Floccari scored in 11th minute for Lazio who are a further six points back in third.

Inter Milan's 3-1 win over Chievo left them one point behind Lazio in fourth whilst Mario Balotelli scored a late penalty for the second game in a row to salvage a 1-1 draw for AC Milan at Cagliari.

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