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Lionel Messi, Arsenal lead AP Global Football 10

January 20, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Lionel Messi topped the Associated Press Global Football 10 for the second straight week on Tuesday after his latest hat trick.

His 22nd Spanish league treble in Barcelona’s 4-0 rout of Deportivo La Coruna saw him beat Santi Cazorla, the inspiration of team-of-the-week Arsenal.

Messi is one hat trick away from matching Cristiano Ronaldo’s league record of 23.

“One of the few (records) that is not yet the Argentine’s,” Leonardo Bertozzi of ESPN in Brazil said.

“Since the emergence of the news about his difficult relationship with Luis Enrique (the Barcelona coach), Messi has made a point of showing that it will not affect his performance on the field.”

Cazorla scored one goal from the penalty spot and assisted on another in Arsenal’s impressive 2-0 away win against English Premier League defending champion Manchester City on Sunday.

“Winning against top teams has been Arsenal’s biggest challenge in past seasons,” Ubiratan Leal of trivela.com in Brazil said. “Wenger’s side urgently needed a victory like the 2-0 away over Manchester City.”

Ronaldo was third in the poll for netting two as Real Madrid won 3-0 at Getafe to remain in first place in the Spanish league.

Chelsea attacker Oscar rose to fourth, with teammate Diego Costa taking fifth.

The pair was instrumental in Chelsea’s ruthless display against Swansea, where it won 5-0. They both hit the back of the net twice before halftime, and Oscar scored the first after only 50 seconds.

“Oscar is a fantastic talent and is showing his real potential under Jose Mourinho’s influence,” Aurelio Capaldi of Italian broadcaster RAI Sport said.

Carlos Tevez is also in the top 10, with Fernando Torres, Eljero Elia, Gonzalo Higuain and Paul Pogba.

In the team poll, last week’s winner, Barcelona, dropped to second with Premier League leader Chelsea third.

Juventus was fourth after beating Verona 6-1 in the Italian Cup and 4-0 in Serie A to extend its advantage over second-place Roma to five points.

“Juventus scored 10 goals last week, affording them pride of place in Serie A,” Chris Tait of The Herald in Scotland said. “With Paul Pogba in demand across Europe, and Carlos Tevez on form, the Old Lady has started to flutter her eyelashes.”

Real edged city rival Atletico Madrid into fifth after its win over Getafe. Defending Spanish league champion Atletico won 2-0 at home to Granada on Sunday.

There followed Napoli, Southampton, French league leader Lyon, and Marseille.

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AP Global Football 10:

Players:

1. Lionel Messi, 134 points.

2. Santi Cazorla, 81.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, 80.

4. Oscar, 74.

5. Diego Costa, 73.

6. Carlos Tevez, 67.

7. Fernando Torres, 39.

8. Eljero Elia, 38.

9. Gonzalo Higuain, 25.

10. Paul Pogba, 20.

Teams:

1. Arsenal, 127.

2. Barcelona, 121.

3. Chelsea, 120.

4. Juventus, 100.

5. Real Madrid, 66.

6. Atletico Madrid, 54.

7. Napoli, 52.

8. Southampton, 40.

9. Lyon, 27.

10. Marseille, 21.

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