Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand helped put Manchester United back in first place in the English Premier League after a 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday. Scholes, making his 500th appearance for United, scored in the 39th minute and Ferdinand added the second in the 66th as United reclaimed first place above Chelsea.
El Hadji Diouf scored two goals in three minutes on Sunday to help Bolton come from behind and beat Newcastle 2-1 in the English Premier League. Shola Ameobi's penalty gave the Magpies a 19th-minute lead at St James's Park, but the Senegal striker punished two lapses in the Newcastle defence with goals in the 55th and 57th minutes.
Substitute Lomana LuaLua scored on Saturday to give Portsmouth a 1-0 at Charlton that took it to the top of the Premier League. Manager Harry Redknapp's team, which only just avoided relegation last season, jumped above Manchester United after a fourth victory in five games and is the only team yet to concede a goal.
World Cup winners Italy better finish their long lap of honour before Wednesday. Otherwise they may not make it to Euro 2008. Held 1-1 at home by Lithuania on Saturday, the lacklustre Italians play in France less than two months after the two sides met in the World Cup final.
Chelsea began their title defence with a 3-0 victory over Manchester City on Sunday, and Wayne Rooney scored twice to lead Manchester United over Fulham 5-1 in the English Premier League. ''We played very good, better than we could believe after such a difficult [pre-season] period,'' Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said.
Manchester United won 2-1 at Bolton on Saturday to cut Chelsea's Premier League lead to seven points after the champions were held 0-0 by relegation-threatened Birmingham. Substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the winner at the Reebok Stadium after United had trailed to Kevin Davies's 25th-minute goal and Louis Saha equalised.
Arsenal moved halfway toward their first appearance in the Champions League semifinals with a 2-0 victory over Italian league leaders Juventus on Tuesday and showed Patrick Vieira they don't miss him at all. Goals by Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry gave the Gunners a quarterfinals first-leg lead that they defend next week in Turin.
Thierry Henry scored twice and Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 on Sunday, while two goals from Wayne Rooney gave Manchester United a 2-0 win over Newcastle in the English Premier League. Henry punished a rare blunder from Steven Gerrard to score the winner at Highbury.
Tottenham let in an 89th-minute equaliser on Sunday to draw 1-1 at Sunderland, missing the chance to move further clear of local rivals Arsenal in the Premier League standings. In Sunday's other game, Joey Barton scored one goal and set up two more in Manchester City's 3-2 win against Charlton.
Arsenal and Manchester United ground out a tedious 0-0 draw on Tuesday for a result that delighted runaway English league leaders Chelsea. Needing a victory to cut Chelsea's lead to 11 points, United were frustrated by a Gunners side that seemed intent on avoiding defeat.
Hernan Crespo scored within seconds of going on as a substitute on Monday to help Chelsea move 14 points clear atop England's Premier League with a 3-1 victory at West Ham. Liverpool's 10-game winning streak ended with a 2-2 at Bolton to leave them in third place, 17 points behind Chelsea with two games in hand.
Hernan Crespo and Arjen Robben scored first-half goals on Saturday to lift Chelsea to a 2-0 win over 19th-place Birmingham City and keep it 11 points clear in the English title race. Second-place Manchester United outplayed Bolton 4-1 with two strikes by Cristiano Ronaldo, and third-place Liverpool made it 10 straight wins by edging relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion 1-0.