The Full 90

Euro Roundup: Friedel makes error as Villa lose to Blackburn

LONDON (AP) — Brad Friedel, Aston Villa's American goalkeeper, conceded a soft goal and Blackburn began life under its new Indian owners with a 2-0 victory in the Premier League on Sunday.

Friedel misjudged Morten Gamst Pedersen's free kick in first-half stoppage time. The ball sailed over him into the far corner for the crucial opening goal.

Pedersen then sent a second goal past Friedel in the 66th minute, securing Blackburn's victory in front of two directors of Asian poultry giant Venky's. They paid $36.8 million to buy out the club on Friday.

"To concede with the last kick of the first half is hard to take," Villa manager Gerard Houllier said. "It could have been avoided."

The result lifted Blackburn above Villa and into 11th place.

Argentine striker Carlos Tevez scored twice and set up another goal as big-spending Manchester City moved three points behind leaders Chelsea and Manchester United with a 4-1 thrashing of Fulham. With former national team manager Diego Maradona watching, Tevez scored City's first and last goals, in the fifth and 56th minutes.

Pablo Zabaleta made it 2-0 in the 32nd with a swerving long kick. Yaya Toure completed the first-half scoring after running onto Tevez's through-ball in the 35th.

Zoltan Gera sored a 70th-minute consolation for Fulham, whose manager Mark Hughes endured a rough day against the club that fired him last December.

With Chelsea and Arsenal both losing Saturday, City's victory means the top four teams are separated by just three points. Chelsea and Manchester United, which beat Wigan 2-0 on Saturday, have 28 points, two more than Arsenal.


ROME (AP) — Inter Milan failed to ease the pressure on beleaguered coach Rafael Benitez after slumping to a 2-1 loss at Chievo Verona in the Italian league.

Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier scored in the first half and teammate Davide Moscardelli added the second near the end of the match, before Inter's Samuel Eto'o pulled a goal back in injury time.

Eto'o earlier escaped punishment despite being caught on camera head-butting Chievo defender Bostjan Cesar in the chest. The play was reminiscent of Zinedine Zidane's infamous clash with Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.

Cesar threw a weak punch that hit Eto'o in the face in the 38th minute. The Cameroon star initially started to jog away before turning around and butting Cesar. No action was taken against either player.

"I didn't see what happened, but I know he was hit before," Benitez said.

Inter also lost 1-0 in the Milan derby last week, prompting club president Massimo Moratti to criticize the team's approach to the match and warn Benitez that he expects a return to form.

"I'm a professional coach and I have faced this type of situation before," Benitez said. "The only solution to it is to keep working hard."

After Sunday's loss, Inter is sixth in the standings with 20 points, nine behind leader AC Milan, which beat Fiorentina 1-0 on Saturday.

Lazio stays in second place with 26 points after drawing 1-1 with Parma. Former Lazio striker Hernan Crespo gave Parma the lead in the 23rd, before Sergio Floccari drew Lazio even with a header in first-half injury time.

Third-place Juventus' Claudio Marchisio and Milos Krasic scored in the first half to give their team a comfortable 2-0 win at Genoa

Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni made a winning return when Cagliari came back from a goal down to beat Brescia 2-1.


MADRID (AP) — Pablo Osvaldo scored a penalty kick and set up another goal as Espanyol beat Hercules 3-0 to move into fourth place in the Spanish league.

The Argentine striker fed Joan Verdu to set up the goal in the 15th minute and scored from the penalty spot in the 81st. Osvaldo beat backup Unai Alba after goalkeeper Juan Calatayud was red carded for tripping him up moments earlier. Luis Garcia's injury-time penalty kick completed the victory.

Espanyol is two points behind third-place Villarreal, with Real Madrid and Barcelona already well clear at the top after 12 games.

Madrid is still the leader after beating Athletic Bilbao 5-1 on Saturday, on the same day Barcelona routed Almeria 8-0 to stay a point behind on 31.


MUNICH (AP) — Lukas Podolski converted a late penalty kick to give Cologne a 1-0 victory in Stuttgart and lift his team from the bottom of the Bundesliga, and Edin Dzeko salvaged a 1-1 draw for Wolfsburg at St. Pauli.

Podolski scored after Milivoje Novakovic had been pulled down by Gregor Niedermeier in the 82nd minute, allowing Cologne to move above Borussia Moenchengladbach.

On Saturday, Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund rallied to win 2-1 at Freiburg for a record seventh straight away victory, and Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich. The draw dropped Leverkusen to third place.


PARIS (AP) — Ludovic Obraniak scored in the 78th minute, and Lille downed Monaco 2-1 to move top of the French league.

The Poland midfielder beat goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier after Eden Hazard outpaced the defense to cut the ball back for Obraniak. Monaco's Adriano earlier offset the opening goal by Pierre-Alain Frau.

Lille and Montpellier have 24 points from 14 matches, but Lille takes top spot on goal difference.

Bordeaux beat 10-man Arles-Avignon 4-2 after a hat trick from Anthony Modeste to move to 22 points.


AMSTERDAM (AP) — Tim Matavz scored twice to give FC Groningen a 2-0 win over Feyenoord, sending the club to third place in the Dutch league.

Michel Breuer and Roy Beerens each scored two goals to help Heerenveen rout last-place Willem II 5-0. Mika Vayrynen had the opening goal, scoring off Oussama Assaidi's pass.

PSV Eindhoven leads the standings with 34 points after holding Ajax to a 0-0 draw Saturday.

Defending champion FC Twente lost 2-1 to AZ Alkmaar a