Euro roundup: Man U now 3-0 in Premier League

August 26, 2006

LONDON -- Manchester United improved its English Premier League record to 3-0 Saturday, beating newly promoted Watford 2-1 on Ryan Giggs' goal in the 52nd minute.

United, trying to re-establish itself after two years of domination by Chelsea, took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute on Mikael Silvestre's goal. Damien Francis tied it in the 34th, and Giggs scored the winner when he capitalized on a poor pass by substitute Matthew Spring.

"They are a very, very difficult team to play against," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "They make you work the whole game. You're never going to get an easy game here. They are a handful."

Everton moved into second place with seven points in three games, defeating Tottenham 2-0 at White Heart Lane. Calum Davenport scored an own-goal and Andy Johnson added the other.

It was U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard's first shutout for Everton.

Liverpool picked up its first league victory of the season, beating West Ham 2-1 on first-half goals by Daniel Agger and Peter Crouch.

Liverpool opened last weekend with a 1-1 tie at newly promoted Sheffield United. On Tuesday, the Reds reached the group stage of the Champions League, advancing 3-2 on total goals over Israeli champion Maccabi Haifa.

Bobby Zamora gave West Ham a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. The loss was West Ham's first this season after a victory and tie. West Ham has not won at Anfield since 1963.

Manchester City upset Arsenal 1-0, giving the Blues four points in the three games. Arsenal, the runner-up last season in the Champions League, has only one point in two games.

Joey Barton scored the winner for Man City on a 41st-minute penalty.

Italy
MILAN, Italy -- Luis Figo curled in a free kick four minutes into extra time to complete Inter Milan's rally from a three-goal deficit for a 4-3 victory over AS Roma -- and give it the Italian Supercup title.

The Portuguese midfielder curled the ball over the Roma defensive wall from 25 yards to hand Inter a second consecutive victory in the traditional Italian season opener.

Roma led 3-0 after 34 minutes before Patrick Vieira scored the first of two just before halftime. Hernan Crespo pulled Inter within a goal in the 65th and Vieira equalized nine minutes later to send the Supercup to force extra time for a second year.

Spain
MADRID, Spain -- Goals by Fernando Morientes and Raul Albiol gave Valencia a 2-1 win over Real Betis in the opening match of the Spanish league season.

With the game 1-1, Albiol restored Valencia's lead following a 61st-minute corner with a shot that bounced before finding its way into the net.

Defending champion FC Barcelona doesn't play its first game, at Celta Vigo, until Monday because it played for the European Super Cup against Sevilla on Friday. Last season's runner-up Real Madrid kicks off its campaign on Sunday with a home match against Villarreal.

Germany
BERLIN -- FC Nuremberg earned a surprising 0-0 tie at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, getting several good saves from Raphael Schaefer.

Nuremberg's Ivica Banovic wasted the best of several chances with a fourth-minute shot that skimmed the crossbar. Bayern's attack got rolling after halftime when Lukas Podolski and Mehmet Scholl were inserted.

Still, Bayern could not beat Schaefer. In one 27-second stretch, he warded off Roque Santa Cruz's 18-yard shot, then Podolski's rebound attempt. Schaefer, relatively unknown in the Bundesliga, hasn't yielded a goal this season.

Bayer Leverkusen was held to an unexpected 1-1 tie by VfL Wolfsburg. Both goals were by Leverkusen players. Juan made it 1-0 in the 49th, then Ahmed Madouni headed in a 70th-minute own-goal.

Borussia Moenchengladbach moved into fourth place under new coach Jupp Heynckes, edging Arminia Bielefeld 1-0 on a 60th-minute header by Brazil's Kahe.

France
PARIS -- Florent Malouda scored one goal and set up two others to help Lyon beat Nice 4-1 in the French league, keeping it unbeaten through four games.

The victory gave Lyon 10 points, one better than Lille, which beat Bordeaux 3-0. Sochaux is another point back in third after a late penalty kick gave it a 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain 3-2.

On Sunday, Marseille hosts Le Mans in a match where the winner would join Lyon atop the standings.

Greece
ATHENS, Greece -- Giorgos Xenidis and Benjamin Onouaci scored a goal each to help Ionikos win 2-0 at Panathinaikos and give it a share of the Greek first-division lead after two rounds. The result gave Ionikos four points atop the table, same as PAOK, which beat crosstown rival Thessaloniki 3-1 on three goals by Polish striker Marcin Mieciel.

Defending champion Olympiakos Piraeus can claim the league lead when it plays Panionios on Sunday.

Scotland
GLASGOW, Scotland -- Celtic and Hearts each won to share the lead in the Scottish Premier League.

Celtic defeated Hibernian 2-1, with newly acquired Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scoring the winner in the 66th minute. Scott Brown put Hibs ahead in the eighth minute but Maciej Zurawski tied it in the 62nd.

Hearts topped Inverness 4-1 on goals by Mauricio Pinilla, Jamie Mole, Andrew Driver and Bruno Aguiar. Both teams have 10 points from five games.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press