Bayern 1st again in weekly AP football poll
LONDON (AP) — Bayern Munich has topped the Associated Press weekly football poll in a fifth straight month after thrashing Wolfsburg 6-1 for a German-record 16th consecutive victory.
Thomas Mueller, who scored twice in the rout, takes top player honors and is the third different Bayern player to head the poll this season, after Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.
“Can anyone stop Pep Guardiola’s men? It’s not looking likely at the moment whether it’s in the Bundesliga or the Champions League,” Marco Monteverde of News Corp Australia said. “With two goals and an assist, Mueller was a standout.”
Chelsea’s 4-0 drubbing of London rival Tottenham sees it in second, while Cristiano Ronaldo’s spectacular header against Levante in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win means he is runner-up in the player vote.
Atletico Madrid kept up the pressure on its city rival with a 2-0 win at Celta Vigo. David Villa’s brace in the game secures him third place in the poll, while Atletico is ninth.
Wins for both Madrid clubs meant they moved ahead of Barcelona, which was surprisingly defeated 1-0 by Real Valladolid. It was only Valladolid’s fifth win in La Liga, and it earned a seventh-place polling.
In what was another shock in England, second-tier Wigan won away at Manchester City 2-1 in the repeat of last year’s final result in the FA Cup. Wigan polled fourth and defender Emmerson Boyce is seventh.
“This was a week for the underdog,” voter Mark Rodden of Eurosport in France said. “Emmerson Boyce was a colossus at the back for Wigan and the veteran club captain’s last-ditch tackle on Edin Dzeko will go down in FA Cup folklore.”
Arsenal won 4-1 against Everton in the FA Cup for eighth in the team vote, while Mesut Ozil is 10th of the players after opening the scoring.
French league leader Paris Saint-Germain won at Bastia 3-0 to poll fifth. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 23rd of the season and was fourth this week while teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi, who scored the other two in the game, was eighth.
Juventus won 1-0 against Fiorentina and extended its lead to 14 points atop the Serie A, thanks to Napoli’s 1-0 win against second-placed Roma.
Napoli was 10th this week and Juventus sixth, and voter Paolo Condo of Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy drew parallels between Juventus’ and Bayern’s league form.
“What Bayern in Bundesliga and Juventus in Serie A are doing is really incredible,” Condo said. “Superiority is a nice thing, dominance is better.”
Elsewhere, Klaas Jan Huntelaar of Schalke polled fifth after a hat trick in his side’s 4-0 thrashing of Hoffenheim.
AP Global Football 10 rankings, week ending March 11:
1. Thomas Mueller, 103 points.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, 77.
3. David Villa, 73.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 70.
5. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 62.
6. Samuel Eto’o, 50.
7. Emmerson Boyce, 37.
8. Ezequiel Lavezzi, 25.
9. Kwadwo Asamoah, 23.
10. Mesut Ozil, 22.
1. Bayern Munich, 148.
2. Chelsea, 102.
3. Real Madrid, 88.
4. Wigan, 80.
5. Paris Saint-Germain, 75.
6. Juventus, 74.
7. Real Valladolid, 67.
8. Arsenal, 59.
9. Atletico Madrid, 47.
10. Napoli, 42.