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Liverpool returns to top spot in EPL

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LONDON (AP) - Liverpool reclaimed the lead in England with a 2-1 victory over West Ham while Arsenal slumped to another defeat against a top five team Sunday with a 3-0 loss at Everton.

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In Italy, Roma moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus after beating Cagliari 3-1. In the French league, Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot.

A look at games from the leading leagues in Europe:

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ENGLAND

Steven Gerrard scored twice on penalty kicks to help Liverpool stretch its Premier League winning streak to nine matches and return to first place. The Reds had to play hard for the three points in their prelude to their showdown with Manchester City, which is likely to decide whether they can win a first league title since 1990.

Defender Guy Demel had tied it for West Ham before Gerrard's second-half winner.

''It is going to be a magnificent atmosphere at Anfield,'' Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. ''The supporters really urged us on today and we want to see if we can get 10 in a row.''

With five games remaining, Liverpool leads Chelsea by two points. Manchester City is four points off the pace but has two games in hand.

Earlier, Everton made Arsenal pay for poor defense with strikes from Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku as well as an own-goal from Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal has only two points from its last four matches. The Gunners remain in fourth place but just one point above Everton, which has a match in hand and a better goal difference.

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SPAIN

Malaga's Ignacio Camacho scored twice and drew a penalty for a third goal to lead his team to a 4-1 victory over Granada in the Spanish league.

A last-gasp goal by striker Yiadom Boakye gave Elche a 1-0 win over Getafe in a big boost for the small club's bid to remain in the first division for a second straight season.

Malaga's first home win at La Rosaleda Stadium in five consecutive games lifted Bernd Schuster's club to 11th place and for now eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Atletico Madrid leads the league by one point over Barcelona, with Real Madrid another two points behind after all three title rivals won on Saturday.

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ITALY

Roma moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus when Mattia Destro scored his first hat trick in a 3-1 win at Cagliari. Destro strengthened his case for a place on Italy's World Cup team as well as bolstering Roma's title hopes ahead of Juventus' home match against relegation-threatened Livorno on Monday.

Fiorentina maintained its charge to a Europa League spot with a 2-1 win over Udinese, while Torino reignited its European hopes and Ciro Immobile regained the goal-scoring lead with the winner in a 2-1 victory at Catania.

Torino is three points behind Lazio, which eased to a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. It is one behind Atalanta, which lost 2-0 at home to lowly Sassuolo.

FRANCE

Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot by drawing 1-1 at home with Nice. Mathieu Bodmer nodded home a corner kick in the 58th minute but Saint-Etienne substitute Max-Alain Gradel salvaged a point by converting a penalty kick in the last minute after Nice's Didier Digard was red carded for blocking a goal attempt from Josuha Guilavogui with his hand.

Saint-Etienne trails third-place Lille by five points. Lyon kept its hopes for a European spot alive by edging relegation-threatened Valenciennes 2-1, pulling within four points of rival Saint-Etienne.

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GERMANY

Eintracht Braunschweig grabbed a lifeline in its fight against Bundesliga relegation with a 3-0 win over rival Hannover.

Domi Kumbela got the home team off to a good start in the 14th, scoring after Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler could only parry Ken Reichel's cross to his feet.

Havard Nielsen made it 2-0 with a fine finish inside the far post in the 21st, and Hannover's fate was in effect sealed when Andre Hoffmann was sent off for kicking Mirko Boland from behind in the 62nd.

Braunschweig is still last but close to Nuremberg, Hamburger SV and Stuttgart with five games remaining.

Hertha Berlin and visiting Hoffenheim drew 1-1.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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