MANCHESTER, England (AP) ― The two Manchester clubs fell and Arsenal moved two points clear with a win at Swansea on Saturday, extending the unpredictable start to the English Premier League.
Five months after capturing a 20th English league title, Manchester United languished in 12th place in the 20-team standings after losing 2-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion in the latest setback to hit David Moyes’ troubled first season in charge.
Amid its worst six-game start since 1989, United slipped eight points behind Arsenal after the London club beat Swansea 2-1 for an eighth straight away victory in the league.
|Bayer Leverkusen’s Son Heung-min (right) and Hannover’s Marcelo challenge for the ball on Saturday. (AP-Yonhap News)|
The only solace for United on an action-packed day was neighbor Manchester City enduring similar misery by losing 3-2 at Aston Villa.
With the Manchester giants showing fluctuating form, their rivals from London are taking full advantage. Tottenham is two points behind in second after drawing 1-1 at home to third-place Chelsea in an entertaining match that saw Fernando Torres sent off for the visitors. “I’m concerned after today’s result, but only because we didn’t play well,” said Moyes, whose team took another blow six days after losing 4-1 to City in the derby. “But there are a lot of games to go and I’ll try to put it right.”
Even promoted teams Cardiff and Hull are above United after six games. Cardiff won its first away match of the season, 2-1 at Fulham, and Hull edged West Ham 1-0.
But another newcomer, Crystal Palace, lost 2-0 at Southampton, which is adding to the surprise factor this season by sitting in fourth place.Spain
Lionel Messi injured a leg for the second time this season in Barcelona’s 2-0 win at Almeria, and Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid 1-0 for its first league victory in the capital derby since 1999.
Diego Costa scored in the 11th minute for Atletico (7-0), which ended a 23-match league winless streak against Real is second to Barcelona in the league on goal difference.
Gareth Bale made his home debut for Real (5-1-1), which dropped five points off the pace.
Barcelona said on Twitter that “Messi has a muscle injury in his right thigh” and he will undergo more tests Sunday. He is doubtful for Tuesday’s Champions League match at Glasgow Celtic.
The four-time FIFA Player of the Year put Barcelona ahead in the 21st minute with his eighth league goal this season and 11th overall.
Eight minutes later, Messi asked coach Gerardo Martino to take him out after making a long sprint to pressure the goalkeeper.
Messi walked off the field and was replaced by Xavi Hernandez. Messi spent the rest of the match on the bench and watched Adriano score in the second half.
Messi missed Barcelona’s second league game this season after bruising his left thigh. He missed several games at the end of last season with a right hamstring pull.Germany
|Wolfsburg’s Koo Ja-cheol (right) looks to control the ball against Bayern. (AP-Yonhap News)|
Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski each scored twice for Borussia Dortmund in a 5-0 win over Freiburg, while Bayern Munich labored past Wolfsburg 1-0 in the Bundesliga.
Bayer Leverkusen beat Hannover 2-0 as the trio of leaders opened a significant gap seven games into the season.
Dortmund leads on goal difference over Bayern (both 6-0-1). Leverkusen (6-1) is a point behind them, six ahead of Hannover (4-3).
In other matches, Hoffenheim rallied from a two-goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Schalke, and Hertha also came from behind for a 3-1 win over Mainz, which lost its fourth straight.
In Bert van Marwijk’s first game as coach, Hamburg came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.