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2. WORLD: Leaders win in England, Spain and Germany
March 18th, 2007 10:08PM



The first- and second-place teams in England, Germany and Spain all won this weekend.

In England, Manchester United and Chelsea both won easily to maintain the six-point gap between them with eight games remaining.

Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in all three goals -- two by Park Ji-sung and and the first of two by Wayne Rooney -- as United opened up a three-goal lead against Bolton after only 25 minutes and cruised to a 4-1 win, its sixth consecutive league victory. Andriy Shevchenko, Salomon Kalou and Michael Ballack scored for Chelsea in the Blues' 3-0 victory over Sheffield United.

The goal of the season in England came in Tottenham's 3-1 win over Watford. Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson scored from just outside his own area with a free kick that bounced over the head of Watford keeper Ben Foster -- a challenger for his England goalie job.

Barcelona and Sevilla remained tied for first place at the top of Spain's La Liga with 53 points after they both recorded wins. Samuel Eto'o scored twice, while Gianluca Zambrotta and Lionel Messi scored one apiece as Barca won 4-0 at Recreativo Huelva on Saturday. Sevilla kept pace, beating Celta Vigo, 2-0, at home with a penalty from Mali star Frederic Kanoute and a late goal from Russian Alexander Kerzhakov.

In Germany, Schalke 04 won for the first time in five games with a 1-0 win over VfB Stuttgart on a goal by Mladen Krstajic, but second-place Werder Bremen stayed three points behind with a 2-0 win over Mainz thanks to second-half goals from Jurica Vranjes and Diego on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in a 2-1 win over last-place Ascoli to extend Inter's lead at the top of Italy's Serie A to 18 points.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck twice as Ajax stunned Dutch league leader PSV, 5-1, on Sunday and closed with five points of PSV with five matches remaining.

In France, Paris St. Germain lost for the fourth straight game as it fell, 1-0, at Rennes on Jimmy Briand's late header and moved closer to relegation. PSG, which has never been relegated since joining the top flight in 1974, remained second from last, just one point ahead of last-place Sedan.

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