Inter maintains lead in Serie A

December 2, 2007

LONDON -- Liverpool moved up to third place in the Premier League on Sunday with a 4-0 win over Bolton.

Sami Hyypia, Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Ryan Babel scored at Anfield to maintain the Reds' unbeaten start to the league season.

Liverpool has scored 25 goals in its past four matches and has 30 points, the same as United and Manchester City, who trail on goal differential. Chelsea is one point ahead, while Arsenal leads with 36.

"The team is playing well," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said. "We are making plenty of chances and scored four, but it could have been many more. I must be pleased with form like this."

Benitez paired Torres and Peter Crouch up front for the first time and started with Harry Kewell on the wing, but it was central defender Hyypia who put Liverpool ahead in the 17th from Gerrard's free kick.

Torres made it 2-0 just before halftime when he collected a long-range through ball from Gerrard and clipped it over goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen for his 12th goal of the season.

Gerrard scored a penalty kick in the 54th after Crouch had been fouled, and substitute Babel rounded off the scoring with six minutes remaining.

Manchester United can move into second place Monday if it beats Fulham.

Birmingham won 3-2 at Tottenham to give Alex McLeish a win in his first game as Blues manager.

Spurs striker Robbie Keane scored twice before being sent off as Tottenham conceded in injury time for the sixth time this season, this time to former Arsenal player Sebastian Larsson.

Spain
MADRID, Spain -- Villarreal lost 2-0 at Valladolid on to remain four points off the lead in the Spanish league.

Third-place Villarreal, which has been enjoying the best start to a season in its history, lost on goals by strikers Joseba Llorente and Victor Fernandez for its first defeat in five games.

Llorente scored with a powerful header in the 19th minute from midfielder Sisi Gonzalez's cross. Victor poked home Jonathan Sesma's low pass in the 57th for his sixth goal of the season.

Also, it was: Getafe 2, Levante 1; Mallorca 1, Murcia 1; Recreativo Huelva 2, Zaragoza 1; and Deportivo La Coruna 1, Osasuna 2. In late games, Real Betis hosted Atletico Madrid, while Valencia entertained Athletic Bilbao.

Italy
ROME -- Inter Milan beat Fiorentina 2-0 to maintain its Serie A lead on goals from Luis Antonio Jimenez and Julio Ricardo Cruz.

Jimenez angled in a shot in the 10th minute at Florence's Artemio Franchi stadium and Cruz slipped behind the defense in the 45th for his seventh goal in the league this season, tying him for the club lead with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

AS Roma edged Udinese 2-1 to remain three points behind Inter.

Brazil defender Juan put Roma ahead in the 11th, Italy forward Fabio Quagliarella equalized in the 12th for Udinese, and Rodrigo Taddei marked his return from injury by scoring the winner in the 27th.

Roma played the final 12 minutes with a two-man advantage following a direct red card to Udinese's Giampiero Pinzi for a hard tackle from behind on Juan and another to Andrea Dossena for protesting.

Roma captain Francesco Totti did not play but was on the bench for the first time after missing more than a month with a right foot injury.

Inter leads with 31 points. Roma is next with 28, followed by Juventus with 26, Udinese with 25 and Fiorentina with 24.

"Right now Inter and Roma are the two best teams," Inter coach Roberto Mancini said.

Inter beat Roma 4-1 in September and the next meeting is in February.

Netherlands
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Ajax lost for the first time this season, going down 3-1 against NAC Breda in the Dutch league.

Jan Vertonghen scored an own goal in the 24th and Matthew Amoah made it 2-0 in the 70th.

Substitute Ahmed Ammi then netted in the 88th to give NAC its first win at the Amsterdam Arena since November 2001. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar pulled one back with his 50th league goal for Ajax in the 90th.

Roy Maakay scored twice to help Feyenoord thump Heracles Almelo 6-0. Makaay scored in the first and 27th and Kevin Hofland added a goal in the 40th. Andwele Slory extended the lead in the 66th with his first goal for Feyenoord before two goals inside two minutes by Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Georginio Wijnaldum completed the rout at the Kuip.

PSV Eindhoven moved to the top of the league standings Saturday when Jefferson Farfan scored in the 1-0 win over De Graafschap. PSV has 30 points, two ahead of Ajax and Feyenoord.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press