Man U, Chelsea play to draws in Premier League

Manchester United, with Wayne Rooney not playing until the last 20 minutes, drew 2-2 with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after blowing a two-goal lead. It was the third straight tie for Man United.

In another key Premier League game, U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel helped Aston Villa hold first-place Chelsea to a scoreless tie.

Chelsea has just four points from its last three matches. It has 19 points and is five ahead of Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham. City, however, has played one less game.

Rooney was benched days after contradicting manager Alex Ferguson by denying he had missed games because of an ankle injury.

United didn't appear to be missing Rooney when Javier Hernandez scored his first Premier League goal in the fifth minute and Nani made it 2-0 in the 25th, But after the break, Chris Brunt's free kick went in off Patrice Evra before Somen Tchoyi tapped in from 6 yards after Edwin van der Saar dropped a cross from Brunt. By the time Rooney entered the score was 2-2.

"It turned from a fantastic first-half performance to one where we have given the game away. We should have punished them and scored four or five before halftime."

The North London clubs both rallied to win 2-1, with Arsenal downing Birmingham and Tottenham stopping Fulham.

Tottenham's winning goal was disputed. Tom Huddlestone's strike initially was disallowed because William Gallas was offsides. The decision was overruled by referee Mike Dean, with the ball never touching the defender.

American Clint Dempsey trapped a ball with his chest, took a few touches and sent a cross that was turned in by Diomansy Kamara to put Fulham ahead. Roman Pavlyuchenko tied it shortly after the ensuing kickoff.

Bolton, with Stuart Holden again in the starting lineup, defeated Stoke 2-1; Newcastle tied Wigan 2-2; and Wolverhampton and American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann drew 1-1 with West Ham.

American defender Eric Lichaj, who made his national debut debut Tuesday night, dressed for Aston Villa but didn't get in and awaits his Premier League debut. He has played twice for the Villans: in the Europa League and League Cup.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain scored twice each as Real Madrid won 4-1 at Malaga to take the La Liga lead, while Barcelona used a second-half surge to top Valencia 2-1 and keep pace.

Ronaldo was instrumental in each Madrid goal, starting with his feed to Higuain in the 30th minute and his pass to Mesut Oezil for a 2-0 lead in the 45th.

Oezil was fouled inside the area to set up a 50th-minute penalty kick that Ronaldo sent past goalkeeper Rodrigo Galatto for his league-leading sixth goal of the season.

At Camp Nou, Andres Iniesta scored in the 47th minute and Carles Puyol headed in Xavi Hernandez's cross in the 63rd as Barcelona overcame Pablo Hernandez's 38th-minute goal.

Real Madrid has 17 points, and Barcelona and Valencia 16 each.

Sabrosa Simao and Diego Costa scored to send Atletico Madrid past neighboring Getafe 2-0. Atletico improved to 13 points, while Getafe has 10.


MILAN (AP) — Alexandre Pato's two goals in the first half doubled his Serie A total this season and powered AC Milan past Chievo Verona 3-1 into first place pending Sunday's games.

Chievo fought back in the second half and scored on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's own-goal. But as Chievo pushed to even the score, Robinho broke away to score his first goal for Milan.


PARIS (AP) — Loic Remy led defending champion Marseille to a 1-0 victory over Nancy in the French first division.

A week after scoring his first goal for France in a European Championship qualifier against Romania, Remy finished from close range in the 27th minute. It was his first goal for Marseille since joining the club from Nice this summer.

Marseille has 15 points from nine games, two points fewer than second-place Saint-Etienne and three behind leader Rennes. Rennes and Saint-Etienne have played one less game than Marseille.

Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez's 500th career game coaching in French soccer ended in a 1-0 home defeat to Bordeaux. Anthony Modeste scored the winner.

Last-place Arles got its first point of the season following eight straight defeats when it drew 0-0 at Brest.


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Mainz's seven-game winning streak to start the Bundesliga season ended with a 1-0 loss to Hamburg on Paolo Guerrero's goal in the 89th minute.

Mainz fell one victory short of matching the league record for the best season start. Mainz slipped to second place on goal difference behind Borussia Dortmund, which won 2-1 at Cologne on Friday to take first place for the first time in seven years.

Mario Gomez scored a hat trick in Bayern Munich's 3-0 home win over Hannover, his first goals for the club in eight months. American defender Steve Cherundolo captained Hannover; U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley dressed but didn't enter.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted a late penalty kick to salvage a 2-2 draw for Schalke against last-place Stuttgart, which was without American midfielder Jermaine Jones, who was serving a red-card suspension. Werder Bremen edged Freiburg 2-1, and St. Pauli beat Nuremberg 3-2.

American goalkeeper Luis Robles made his second league start of the season for second-division Karlsruhe in a 2-0 home loss to Bochum.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Defending champion Rangers rallied from a goal down to rout Motherwell 4-1 with a ruthless second-half display.

Rangers have won all eight of their games and next week plays rival Celtic, which has a perfect record after seven games and faces Dundee United on Sunday.

Nick Blackman gave Motherwell the lead just before halftime, but the champions responded with goals by Steven Naismith, Steven Davis, Kenny Miller and Vladimir Weiss. American midfielder Maurice Edu started for Rangers.