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Monaco returns to top of French league

September 15, 2013

PARIS (AP) — Newly-promoted Monaco beat Lorient 1-0 on Sunday to return to the top of the French league.

Radamel Falcao won and converted a penalty in the sixth minute for his fourth goal of the season after the Colombia striker was tripped by Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard.

Monaco moved back to top spot, a point ahead of Saint-Etienne, having won four of its opening five matches.

The principality club and defending champion Paris Saint-Germain — which is two points behind Monaco — are the only unbeaten sides in Ligue 1.

Elsewhere, Lille slipped to its first home defeat since March as it lost 2-0 against Nice, while Rennes secured a 0-0 draw at Lyon in the evening match.


BERLIN (AP) — Eintracht Braunschweig earned its first Bundesliga point in 28 years Sunday by fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw with Nuremberg.

Adam Hlousek gave Nuremberg the lead in the 28th minute, but Omar Elabdellaoui equalized in the 70th, when Karim Bellarabi held up the ball before setting the defender up to strike to the far corner.

Braunschweig made its return to the topflight this season after a 28-year-absence, but lost its first four games of the season.

Earlier, Hoffenheim withstood a late revival from Borussia Moenchengladbach to win 2-1 for its first league victory at home.


SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen made a string of saves Sunday to help West Ham hold Southampton 0-0 in the Premier League.

Neither side could get the upper hand at a windswept St Mary’s Stadium, but Southampton created the better chances.

West Ham dominated possession in the early stages but was lucky not to concede after Pablo Daniel Osvaldo’s side-footed shot from Jay Rodriguez’s cross was saved by Jaaskelainen in the 10th minute.

The 38-year-old Jaaskelainen proved decisive again in the 49th when he tipped the ball out for a corner from Victor Wanyama’s volley. The Finnish goalkeeper then made a stunning one-handed diving save to parry Morgan Schneiderlin’s volley in the 67th.

Both teams now have five points from four games, four less than league leader Arsenal, which is even on points with Tottenham after a 3-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday.

Liverpool can reclaim the first spot and maintain its perfect record in the league with a win at Swansea on Monday night.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Morocco striker Mounir El Hamdaoui scored a hat trick and set up another goal in his first start for Malaga in a 5-0 thrashing Sunday of Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league.

El Hamdaoui joined Malaga in the summer transfer window, and with one game he has already equaled his goal scoring tally from last season with Italian club Fiorentina.

Elsewhere, Real Betis dealt Valencia its third straight loss, a 3-1 defeat in Seville, with midfielder Salva Sevilla scoring twice. Espanyol won 1-0 at 10-man Granada thanks to Manuel Lanzarote’s 76th-minute free kick, while Getafe striker Nicolas “Miku” Ladislao netted a double in a 2-1 win over last-place Osasuna.


MILAN (AP) — Fiorentina was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cagliari on Sunday after a late equalizer ended its perfect start to the Serie A season.

Vincenzo Montella’s team dominated but failed to make the most of its opportunities. It eventually took the lead in the 71st minute when Giuseppe Rossi nodded Alberto Aquilani’s cross on for Borja Valero to head home.

Fiorentina looked set to clinch a third straight victory but Mauricio Pinilla headed Victor Ibarbo’s cross in off the inside of the post in the final minute.

Genoa picked up its first points of the season with a 3-0 win at city rival Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna. In the afternoon matches, a clinical Lazio cruised to a 3-0 victory over Chievo Verona, with all its goals coming in the first half.

Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale snatched a point for his side as a late goal on his 300th appearance for the club secured a 1-1 draw against Bologna.

Sassuolo remains pointless after wasting a number of chances in a 2-0 loss at fellow promoted side Hellas Verona.

The other promoted side, Livorno, beat Catania 2-0 with a second-half brace from Paulinho. Catania is also still to pick up a point.


AMSTERDAM (AP) — United States forward Aron Johannsson converted a first-half penalty Sunday to help AZ Alkmaar earn a 3-0 victory over Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch league.

Johansson converted the spot kick in the 31st minute and AZ held onto the lead until injury time, when Viktor Elm and Steven Berghuis added two insurance goals.

AZ is in fifth place with 10 points from six games.

Also Sunday, Heerenveen beat Groningen 4-2 to move into third place, level on points with Ajax, which beat leader PEC Zwolle 2-1 a day earlier.

PSV Eindhoven missed the chance to go top when it drew 2-2 with FC Twente in Enschede on Saturday.

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