Ronaldo leads Real Madrid rout; Messi guides Barcelona
|Manchester City’s Micah Richards (right) is challenged by Sunderland’s Jack Colback on Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
LONDON (AP) ― Manchester City missed the chance to put pressure on Premier League leader Manchester United on Saturday when it stumbled to a 3-3 draw against Sunderland that ended its record winning streak.
With United not in action until Monday, City could have drawn even on points with the defending champions with a Premier League-record 21st straight home win.
Instead, City needed two goals in the last six minutes to salvage a draw.
Sebastian Larsson scored twice and Nicklas Bendtner added a goal to give Sunderland a 3-1 lead before Mario Balotelli scored his second of the game for City and Aleksandar Kolarov tied it in the 86th minute.
Third-place Arsenal lost 2-1 at Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea scored twice in the last six minutes to win 4-2 at Aston Villa. Fernando Torres scored his first Premier League goal in six months as Chelsea kept up its challenge for a top-four finish.
City’s second straight draw means United could take a five-point lead with seven games remaining if it beats Blackburn on Monday. City also had to rally for last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Stoke.
City has 71 points to United’s 73. Arsenal has 58 after former Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt, with his first Premier League goal, and Samba Diakite scored for QPR. Theo Walcott got Arsenal’s reply.
With captain Stiliyan Petrov watching from the stands following his diagnosis with leukemia, Villa fought back from a two-goal deficit to tie it 2-2 before Branislav Ivanovic and Torres clinched a win that moved Chelsea two points behind fourth-place Tottenham.
Daniel Sturridge and Ivanovic put Chelsea ahead before James Collins and Eric Lichaj tied it for Villa.
Sidelined since August until a week ago because of hip surgery, American defender Lichaj scored his first Premier League goal in the 80th. It was the second goal at Aston Villa for Lichaj, who also scored in the League Cup last Aug. 23. He had not started a Premier League match since Dec. 28, 2010.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 37th and 70th minutes after setting up Karim Benzema’s spectacular opener in the seventh as Spanish league leader Real Madrid routed Osasuna 5-1.
Lionel Messi responded with his 56th goal of the season to keep Barcelona within six points with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Ronaldo, whose long cross was volleyed in by Benzema, raised his league goals total to 37, one ahead of Messi, and 47 overall. Gonzalo Higuain also scored twice for Madrid.
The crowd at Barcelona’s Camp Nou paid tribute to Messi before the game by unveiling an enormous banner for his becoming the club’s career scoring leader, and Messi followed Andres Iniesta’s 40th-minute goal with by converting a penalty kick in the 58th.
Serie A leader AC Milan was held to a 1-1 tie at Catania, giving second-place Juventus a boost.
Robinho put Milan ahead in the 34th minute, but Nicolas Spolli tied it in the 57th. A second-half shot by Robinho appeared to have crossed the goal line before it was cleared, but no goal was given.
Juventus, which trails by five points, hosts Napoli on Sunday.
Sergio Floccari, on loan from third-place Lazio, scored twice against his parent club to help Parma to a 3-1 victory.
Arjen Robben scored in the 69th minute to earn a labored 1-0 win for Bayern Munich over Nuremberg in the 184th Bavarian derby, moving his team within three points of Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund.
Last-place Kaiserslautern lost 1-0 at home Hamburg on Marcell Jansen’s 29th-minute goal. Cologne slipped into the relegation zone with a 2-1 defeat at Augsburg, Freiburg won 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen, and Mainz won 3-0 at Werder Bremen. Wolsburg won 4-1 at Hertha Berlin.
Celtic will have to wait at least one more week to clinch the Scottish Premier League title after Lee McCulloch scored in the 89th minute to give second-place Rangers a 2-1 win at Motherwell.