[EUROPEAN RACES]What could 17-year-old Italian Federico Macheda do for an encore? A week after coming off the bench and scoring in his debut to give Manchester United a 3-2 win over Aston Villa, Macheda came on as a substitute at Sunderland and scored to give United a 2-1 victory that kept it a point ahead of Liverpool and four ahead of Chelsea with a game in hand in the tight English Premier League race.
United looked to be in danger of losing the EPL lead when Trinidadian Kenwyne Jones scored for the Black Cats in the 55th, but Macheda scored on his first touch after entering the game to give United the win.
Liverpool got two goals from Spaniard Fernando Torres in a 4-0 win over Blackburn Rovers. Chelsea got a scare, going up 4-0 at Stamford Bridge against Bolton Wanderers before the visitors pulled to within 4-3 with three unanswered goals.
ITALY. Even after blowing a two-goal lead against Palermo at home and having to settle for a 2-2 draw, Inter Milan extended its lead in Serie A. The defending champion increased its lead to 10 points over second-place Juventus, which lost, 3-2, at Genoa.
Game of the Week: There was some doubt that the Lazio-Roma derby would be played Saturday following last week's earthquake in the nearby Abruzzo region of central Italy that left 289 people dead. Neither team is in title contention, but the Roman neighbors produced a six-goal derby full of excitement. Goals by Goran Pandev and Mauro Zarate in the first four minutes gave Lazio a 2-0 lead, and it cruised to a 4-2 win.
FRANCE. Seven-time defending champion Lyon lost the lead for the first time since mid-September when it was held to a 2-2 tie at home by Monaco. Marseille overtook OL thanks to a 4-1 victory over Grenoble. Marseille, which got two goals from Nigerian Taye Taiwo, has 61 points, Lyon 60 and third-place Bordeaux 59 with seven games to play.
GERMANY. Wolfsburg won its ninth straight game, winning, 2-1, at Borussia Moenchengladbach thanks to a late goal from Sascha Riether to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga. Pressure on Coach Juergen Klinsmann eased as defending champion Bayern Munich moved into second place, ahead of Hamburg on goal difference with a 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
NETHERLANDS. AZ is one game away from winning its first Eredivisie title since 1981. Its 1-0 win at NAC thanks to Belgian international Moussa Dembele's goal gave it an 11 point lead over Twente with four games to play.
SCOTLAND. Rangers moved to within one point of leader Celtic with a 3-1 win over Motherwell. Celtic had to settle for a 1-1 tie at third-place Hearts. Rangers got two goals from Kris Boyd, who has scored 28 goals on the season.
SPAIN. Barca and Real Madrid both won, 2-0, at home to maintain the status quo at the top of La Liga standings. Barca, which beat Recreativo Huelva thanks to a goal by Andres Iniesta in the first minute and an own goal, remained six points ahead of Real Madrid with eight games to play. The Merengues beat Real Valladolid on goals by Raul and Arjen Robben for their 13th win in 14 matches since a 2-0 loss to Barca in December.
PORTUGAL. Despite resting several players for Wednesday's Champions League game against Manchester United, Porto beat Estrela da Amadora 3-0 (two goals from Argentine striker Ernesto Farias and a free kick by Bruno Alves) at home to remain four points ahead of Sporting.