United stun City, Barca lose ground in Spain

Jan 09, 2012, 16:19 IST | AFP

Manchester United knocked rivals Manchester City out of the FA Cup while Spanish champions Barcelona were held 1-1 by Espanyol to fall five points behind Real Madrid in the title race.

Manchester United knocked rivals Manchester City out of the FA Cup while Spanish champions Barcelona were held 1-1 by Espanyol to fall five points behind Real Madrid in the title race.


- On a dramatic weekend in England, Manchester United knocked holders Manchester City out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 third round win.

Wayne Rooney scored twice, netting either side of the controversial sending off of City captain Vincent Kompany, with Danny Welbeck also on target to make it 3-0 before the break.

But City pulled a goal back early in the second half when Aleksandar Kolarov bent a free-kick round the wall from the edge of the box.

And 10-man City struck again when Sergio Aguero made it 3-2 in the 65th minute following a mistake by United substitute Paul Scholes, summoned out of retirement by manager Sir Alex Ferguson following an injury crisis.

United's reward is a fourth round trip to Liverpool who beat Oldham 5-1.

That game at Anfield was overshadowed by allegations of racial abuse made by Oldham player Tom Adeyemi against fans seated on the Kop.

A 20-year-old fan was arrested and bailed by Liverpool police.

Neil Warnock was sacked as manager of struggling QPR, just eight months after leading the London club to promotion from the Championship.


- Barcelona suffered a major setback to their hopes of retaining their La Liga title when they were held to a 1-1 draw by city rivals Espanyol, a result which left them five points behind Real Madrid.

Barcelona took a 16th-minute lead through a header from Cesc Fabregas -- the club's 100th goal in all competitions this season -- but were rocked when Alvaro Vazquez scored an 86th-minute equaliser.

Gerard Pique hit the woodwork in injury-time as Barca's last chance for the three points went begging.

Real had coasted to a 5-1 win over Granada on Saturday. The home side went in 2-1 at the break with goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos while Mikel Rico scored in between for Getafe.

The game turned straight after the restart with strikes from Gonzalo Higuain and another for Benzema before Cristiano Ronaldo, with his 21st of the league season, wrapped up the scoring a minute from the end.


- AC Milan, Juventus and Udinese all won to put daylight between themselves and the pack in the Serie A title race.

Milan won 2-0 at Atalanta to remain level on points with Juve, who beat Lecce 1-0, but Udinese are just two points back after they thumped 10-man Cesena 4-1.

Milan had what on paper looked the toughest task of the day but they were given a helping hand in the first half.

Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato collided with Thomas Manfredini as the pair chased a loose ball in the box, with both crumpling to the ground.

The referee pointed to the spot and Zlatan Ibrahimovic shot home low to goalkeeper Andrea Consigli's right.

Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the clincher eight minutes from time after being set up by Ibrahimovic.

At rock bottom Lecce, Juve won thanks to a horror error from home goalkeeper Massimiliano Benassi.

Mirko Vucinic's shot from outside the box didn't look too troublesome but Benassi failed to hold it and Alessandro Matri ran in to head home the rebound.


- Diego Lugano's 93rd-minute header gave Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 victory over fifth-tier Saint-Colomban Locmine in the French Cup and spared Carlo Ancelotti from humiliation in his first game as PSG coach.

The game at Lorient's Stade du Moustoir was heading to extra time when Uruguay captain Lugano converted Nene's cross at the back post to send PSG into the last 32 and end Locmine's brave resistance.

It meant Ancelotti escaped unscathed from his first official game at the PSG helm, but the players and fans of Locmine -- 85 places below PSG in the French football pyramid -- are unlikely to forget their moment in the spotlight.


- Benfica went two points clear at the top after a 4-0 rout of Uniao Leiria while champions FC Porto were held 0-0 at Sporting Lisbon.

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