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La Liga & Serie A: Valencia stuns Villareal, Napoli defeats AC Milan

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A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…

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Villareal 0-2 Valencia

In a dramatic and purely unexpected result, Salvador González Marco’s side picked up a massive win over the sixth place Villareal in order to give Valencia some space above the bottom three. Valencia has now won two straight matches in league play, after goals from Carlos Soler and Santi Mina lifted the bottom half side.

Real Madrid 2-1 Malaga

Sergio Ramos scored twice in the first half for the hosts, and it turned out to be enough for Real to end its recent losing streak. The Madridistas got back on track Saturday with its victory over Malaga, opening up a four-point lead in La Liga over second place Sevilla. Malaga made the match interesting just beyond the hour mark when Juanpi pulled a goal back for the visitors, however, the 13th place side couldn’t muster up a second tally.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Espanyol 3-1 Granada
Alaves 2-2 Leganes

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Osasuna vs. Sevilla (6 a.m. ET)
Athletic Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid (10 a.m. ET)
Real Betis vs. Sporting Gijon (12:30 a.m. ET)
Real Sociedad vs. Celta Vigo (12:30 a.m. ET)
Eibar vs. Barcelona (2:45 p.m. ET)


 

AC Milan 1-2 Napoli

A lousy start from the hosts couldn’t be overcome on Saturday. Early goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon inside of the opening 10 minutes helped give Napoli the lead, while Juraj Kucka scored the lone goal for AC Milan. The Rossoneri have fallen to fifth place in Serie A following Saturday’s defeat, leaving Milan eight points behind Juventus. Meanwhile, Napoli has ascended to within a single point of the league leaders.

Chievo 0-3 Fiorentina

The Viola were in firm control against their bottom half opposition, and Chievo simply couldn’t come up with an answer at the Stadio Marc`Antonio Bentegodi. Cristian Tello gave the visitors a 1-0 lead heading into the half before Khouma Babacar and Federico Chiesa tacked on two more finishes in the second stanza. Fiorentina currently sits eighth in Italy’s top flight while Chievo trails the Viola by eight points.

Sunday’s Serie A schedule

Bologna vs. Cagliari (6:30 a.m. ET)
Chievo vs. Lazio (9 a.m. ET)
Genoa vs. Fiorentina (9 a.m. ET)
AC Milan vs. Udinese (9 a.m. ET)
Atalanta vs. Torino (9 a.m. ET)
Roma vs. Sampdoria (9 a.m. ET)
Pescara vs. Inter Milan (2:45 p.m. ET)

Leicester City 2-0 Watford: Vardy, Mahrez lead Foxes 7th

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  • Vardy wins, converts PK
  • Mahrez puts win to bed
  • Fifth-straight Leicester clean sheet
  • Foxes go 7th
  • Watford one win in 11 PL matches

Claude Puel’s Leicester City revolution remains pointed upward, as the Foxes moved seventh with a 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez scored for Leicester City, whose 34 points are level with Burnley.

The loss leaves the Hornets just three points clear of the drop zone with 26 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An early chance for Jamie Vardy was denied by Watford backstop Orestis Karnezis, and Shinji Okazaki couldn’t sort himself for the rebound.

The Hornets asserted themselves in looking for an equalizer, as Marco Silva made changes and had three strikers on the pitch at the end of the match.

Karnezis made a two-fisted stop on Wilfried Ndidi as the match neared 90 minutes, allowing Watford late oxygen.

The hope was suffocated by Mahrez’s strike minutes later, as Leicester moved up the table again when Adrien Silva played the Algerian through to dazzle with a fine goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke City 2-0 Huddersfield: Lambert bags debut win

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  • Stoke win their first game with Paul Lambert in charge
  • Huddersfield are winless in six PL games, losing three on the spin
  • Stoke climb out of bottom three; goals from Allen, Diouf

Stoke City beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium with goals from Joe Allen and Mame Biram Diouf handing Paul Lambert a win in his first game in charge of the Potters.

Lambert’s men were the better team throughout and broke through twice in the second half in quick succession against a poor Huddersfield side.

With the win the Potters moved out of the relegation zone on 23 points, while Huddersfield slipped closer to the relegation zone and are just three points above the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Stoke started the better of the two teams as Charlie Adam flashed an effort just wide from long range, while at the other end Steve Mounie flashed an effort just wide. Huddersfield had some

Ryan Shawcross headed over and although Stoke dominated possession, they struggled to get in-behind a stubborn Huddersfield defense.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Potters’ best chance of the first half came last. Xherdan Shaqiri raced free right on half time but Jonas Lossl made a great stop to deny the Swiss winger lobbing him.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Shaqiri had an acrobatic effort ruled out for offside, yet Lambert’s men soon made up for their missed chances. Choupo-Moting’s cross from the right found Allen at the back post and he slotted home to send the home fans, and Lambert, wild.

Soon after Lambert was jumping for joy on the sidelines agains as Choupo-Moting’s pass found Shaqiri who teed up Diouf to finish and make it 2-0.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke almost added to their healthy lead late on but they settled for a massive three points to breath new life into their battle against relegation and drag Huddersfield into the mire.

Everton 1-1 West Brom: Walcott assists equalizer

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  • Krychowiak wonder pass puts WBA ahead
  • West Brom out-attempts Everton 15-9
  • Toffees level through Niasse
  • McCarthy suffers horrible leg break
  • Everton seven winless in all comps

Theo Walcott made an impact on debut as Everton came back to draw West Bromwich Albion 1-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The match was Sam Allardyce‘s 1000th as a Premier League manager as Everton’s onto 28 points, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Walcott’s headed assist of a Wayne Rooney cross was deposited by Oumar Niasse, as Everton canceled out Jay Rodriguez’s opener. The Baggies sit three points back of 17th place Stoke City.

The match was delayed for seven minutes when James McCarthy suffered an ugly double leg break.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Baggies went ahead thanks largely to absurd pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak, who opened the lid on Everton’s back line with an outside of the boot pass to a perfectly-timed running Rodriguez.

What a pass.

A rare shot on target, the first in four hours and 10 minutes of league play for Everton, drew jeers from Goodison Park. Ironically, the shot from Jonjoe Kenny was dangerous and headed for the upper 90 when Ben Foster plucked it out of the sky.

James McCarthy suffered a gruesome injury in the 58th minute, when he lunged to get his leg between Salomon Rondon’s full-vigor shot and the ball. Rondon was close to tears after the incident.

Super sub Niasse made it 1-1 in the 70th minute, as Walcott rose to meet Rooney’s diagonal cross and nodded the ball into the path of the Senegalese striker.

Jordan Pickford made a pair of fine saves as West Brom looked to regain the lead, with Rondon remaining lively.

Mason Holgate headed a promising Gylfi Sigurdsson free kick over the bar in the 89th minute.

Rondon hit the cross bar in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace: Gunners rampant

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  • Arsenal have scored in all 18 home league games against Palace, totally 43 goals – an average of 2.38 per game.
  • The Gunners grabbed their first win in six across all competitions
  • Palace haven’t won away in the PL at Arsenal since October 1994

Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday after a stunning start to the game.

The Gunners were 4-0 up after just 22 minutes with Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscielny and Alexandre Lacazette all on the scoresheet.

Palace grabbed a goal back via Luka Milivojevic late on but the damage was done early on as Arsene Wenger‘s side reminded their doubters just what they’re capable of, even with Alexis Sanchez heading out of the door to Manchester United as he wasn’t involved on Saturday.

With the win Arsenal remain in fifth place on 42 points and are five points off the top four, while Palace remain on 25 place and drop to 13th place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal went ahead early as Granit Xhaka‘s corner found Monreal at the back post and the Spanish defender marked his return to the team with a fine header. 1-0.

Soon it was 2-0 as Monreal was played in down the left following some slick passing from Arsenal saw the Spaniard cross for Iwobi to tap home.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The goals kept coming for Arsenal early on with Monreal involved yet again as a ball to the back post found him unmarked and his cutback was bundled home by Koscielny to make it 3-0.

Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere were then involved in a fine team goal as they set up Laceztte to finish and make it 4-0 with less than 23 minutes on the clock.

Monreal was subbed out before half time after suffering a reaction to his recent injury, while Palace almost pulled a goal back just before half time but Wilfried Zaha‘s shot was tipped wide by Petr Cech.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

Palace improved in the second half and could have had a penalty kick with Zaha going down in the box under a challenge from Mohamed Elneny but nothing was given.

Arsenal had a decent chance as Ozil set up Iwobi but the latter had his shot saved well by Wayne Hennessey.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

At the other end Cech kept out Christian Benteke with a great save but he couldn’t keep Palace out. Benteke’s header across goal found Milivojevic and he chested the ball before firing home on the turn. A fine consolation goal for the Eagles.