Move over Real Madrid and Barcelona, the English Premier League is about to serve up its own derby that will decide its winner as well. And that match will pit two teams from one city.
Manchester United and Manchester City will meet next Monday in what could be a classic.
Argentine standouts Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tévez played their part for City, which relegated the host Wolverhampton Wolves as City moved within three points of first-place United behind a 2-0 win on Sunday.
ManU, which enjoyed a 3-1 advantage over Everton, allowed two points to flitter away en route to a confounding and disappointing 4-4 home draw only hours prior.
"It's a derby of amazing proportions - probably the most important derby game in my time," said United manager Alex Ferguson, who has been in charge since 1986.
Aguero converted a cross from French left fullback Gael Clichy past goalkeeper Dorus de Vries from 10 yards for his 22nd goal this season.
Tévez, who recently returned to manager Roberto Mancini's good graces, set up Samir Nasri's insurance tally in the 74th minute as the Frenchman ran onto his pass.
At Old Trafford, Javier Hernández got on the field for the final minutes, but even Chicharito could not salvage's United's great meltdown. The Mexican international striker came on for the Ecuadorean Antonio Valencia.
United grabbed a 3-1 lead against Everton and U.S. international goalkeeper Tim Howard before the visitors rallied. Everton's Nikica Jelavic started the scoring fest with the first of his two goals in the 33rd minute before England striker Wayne Rooney countered with the tying goal eight minutes later. Danny Welbeck lifted ManU into the lead in the 57th minute before Nani struck for a 3-1 advantage two minutes later.
Marouane Fellani closed the gap in the 67th minute, but Rooney’s second score restored United’s two-goal margin at 4-2 in the 69th minute. But Everton refused to die. Jelavic connected for his brace in the 83rd minute before South African international Stephen Pienaar struck for the equalizer against the EPL leaders only two minutes later.
Vidal, a Chilean midfielder, enjoyed a dream start as he had a brace in the opening eight minutes to boost Juventus to a 4-0 win past AS Roma. The leaders took a three-point lead over A.C. Milan with five matches remaining in the season. Vidal put home Paolo De Ceglie's cross in the fourth minute and fired in a Mirko Vucinic feed in the eighth minute.
The 21-year-old Uruguayan tallied in the 26th minute in Bolgona's 1-1 draw at A.C. Milan before Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalized in the 80th minute. Alessandro Diamanti set up Ramírez, who slotted the ball home as Milan failed to win for the third time in four matches.
The Uruguayan striker connected for the first goal and set up the second score of Napoli's 2-0 win over Novara, taking advantage of a poor defensive clearance in the 29th minute. Novara goalkeeper Alberto Fontata caught Filippo Porcari's back pass. However, he sent a clearing attempt to Napoli’s Blerim Dzemali, who set up Cavani, who scored into an empty net. In the 37th minute, Cavani beat an offside trap and fired a shot that Fontana saved. However, Paolo Cannavaro put home the rebound.
The Argentine started Catania on its way to a 2-0 victory over Atalanta with a 30-yard goal in the 31st minute.
Mauro Zarate, Diego Forlan
A tough day for the Argentine and Uruguayan, respectively, in Inter's scoreless draw with Fiorentina. Forlan's left-footed attempt was saved by goalkeeper Artur Boruc and Zarate squandered a good scoring chance when he decided to shoot from a tight angle instead of passing to a better positioned teammate.
Pastore and his Paris Saint-Germain teammates had a relatively easy time en route to a 6-1 romp at home over Sochaux. The Argentine forward scored one goal and set up two others at Parc des Princes as PSG remained within two points of first-place Montpellier. Pastore found the back of the net, converting a Nene feed in the sixth minute before the visitors equalized. Pastore created PSG's third goal late in the half, finding Siaka Tiene on the left flank as he set up Jeremy Menez's goal. Just prior to the final whistle, Pastore set up Sylvain Armand for the final goal.
The Argentine defender converted his seventh penalty kick of the season to lift Nice to a 1-0 win over last-place Auxerre, assuring the visitors of being five points adrift of the relegation in Ligue 1. Monzón tallied in the 36th minute.
One point was better than none, but certainly not as good as three for Ajaccio and the Mexican international goalkeeper, who recorded a scoreless tie with visiting Nancy. The draw meant Ajaccio moved out of the dreaded relegation zone, although three points would have given the side some much needed breathing room. Nancy came close to scoring in the second half, forcing Ochoa to save Lossemy Karaboue's effort in the 66th minute. Romania forward Daniel Niculae sent a 25-yard shot just wide in the 88th minute.
Just in case you were hiding in a cave this weekend, Real Madrid all but sewed up La Liga crown with a 2-1 win over host Barcelona in El Clasico. Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in the 73rd minute broke a 1-1 tie for Real, which opened up a healthy seven-point advantage over Barca and Messi with only three games remaining. Barca and Real face must-win situations in the UEFA Champions League as Barca on Tuesday hosts Chelsea (England), which won the first leg, 1-0. Real on Wednesday will welcome Bayern Munich (Germany), who recorded a 2-1 triumph.
Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to officiate the Barca match. Several players could miss the final if they incur another yellow card. The list includes Barca's Carles Puyol and Argentine standout Javier Mascherano and Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires of Chelsea.
Vela certainly has the flair the spectacular and dramatic. The Mexican international striker scored on a bicycle kick in the 86th minute to lift Real Sociedad to a 1-1 draw with Villarreal. It was Vela's 11th La Liga goal. The result left Sociedad six points above the relegation zone.
The Uruguayan defender scored the first goal off a header to start Atletico Madrid to a 3-1 triumph over Espanyol.
Jara, an Argentine forward who is on loan from Benfica (Portugal), scored an early goal off a counterattack that was set up by Carlos Martins to give Granada a 1-0 home victory over Getafe. The result helped Granada climb eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Andrés Guardado, Diego Colotto
Guardado, a Mexican international, set up two goals, including the game-winner from Colotto, an Argentine, in the 88th minute to lift Déportivo la Coruña to a wild 4-3 home victory over Elche. Guardado, who also hit the crossbar off a free kick in the 29th minute, also created a goal that gave Deportivo a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute. He sent a high cross to Bruno Gama, who scored.
The Peruvian striker created Werder Bremen's lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich. Brazilian defender Naldo put home Pizarro's header in the 51st minute to give the hosts a one-goal lead before Bayern rallied with a pair of second-half goals.
The Argentine scored late in the first half to start Blackburn Rovers to a 2-0 victory over Norwich City. Formica, who started in place of Stephen N’zonzi, put home Morten Gamst Pedersen's cross at the farpost for a 1-0 advantage.
The Chilean ignited Sporting CP to a 3-2 road vitory over Nacional. Rubio struck in the 12th minute. Sporting lost a 2-0 lead, but managed to win on a late penalty kick by Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Rodolfo, Salinas, Carlos Quintero, Juan Pablo Rodríguez, Humberto Suazo, Daniel Arreola
Santos Laguna warmed up for its CONCACAF Champions League second-round confrontation with Monterrey with a win in the Mexican Clausura. Santos grabbed the league league behind a 3-0 triumph over Tigres. Salinas, a Mexican,and Carlos Quintero, a Colombian, scored in the 20th and 24th minutes, respectively, before Mexico's Rodríguez converted a penalty kick in the 66th minute.
Defending CCL champion Monterrey, which will bring a 2-0 lead into the encounter, played Pacuhua to a 1-1 home tie. Chilean Suazo, the star of last week’s first leg, equalized in the 90th minute after Arreola, a Mexican, gave the visitors the lead in the 15th minute.
The game is set for Torreón, Mexico at 8 p.m. ET, 5 pm PT on Wednesday (Fox Soccer Channel).
Segares hasn’t scored very many goals in his eight-year Major League Soccer career. But when he does, they usually are important ones. Take, for example, what transpired in the Chicago Fire’s 3-2 comeback victory over host Toronto FC. The Costa Rican international defender tallied the equalizing score just before halftime, his ninth goal of his MLS career. Only a minute after Bermuda international Reggie Lambe scored twice within a four-minute span, Segares struck. Sebastian Grazzini sent a a free kick to the back post, where Segares evaded his marker and flicked the ball over goalkeeper Milos Kocic and into the net to tie things up at 2-2.
Michael Lewis, who has covered international soccer for more than three decades, can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com.