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European Roundup: Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal win

Chelsea and Manchester City secured convincing wins in the Premier League on Wednesday to fuel expectations that it will be a two-team fight for the title this season, while Alexis Sanchez was a match-winner again for Arsenal.

Here's a roundup of the action from Wednesday's top European soccer leagues and tournaments.


Chelsea and Manchester City secured convincing wins in the Premier League on Wednesday to fuel expectations that it will be a two-team fight for the title this season, while Alexis Sanchez was a match-winner again for Arsenal.

Chelsea preserved its unbeaten start and six-point lead by defeating London rival Tottenham 3-0 thanks to first-half goals in a three-minute span by Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba, followed by a third from substitute Loic Remy.

It was a predictable loss for Spurs, which hasn't won at Stamford Bridge since 1990 - a run that now extends to 28 games.

Sergio Aguero is leading City's attempts to haul back Chelsea, with the Argentina striker taking his league-high tally to 14 goals by scoring in each half in a 4-1 win at Sunderland. The champions had to come from a goal down in the 19th minute, with Stevan Jovetic and Pablo Zabaleta also scoring at the Stadium of Light.

With four straight wins in all competitions, City has clearly overcome an earlier wobble. By scoring 10 goals in its past three games, City looks to be back to the kind of form that swept the team to a second title in three years last season.

"The team is coming again in their performances and all the players are having more trust in what we are doing," said City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who hailed the continued excellence of Aguero.

"At the moment, we are seeing very high performances from him. Not only is he scoring but he's playing well as well."

City opened up a four-point gap on third-place Southampton, which conceded an 89th-minute goal to Sanchez in a 1-0 loss at Arsenal.

The Chile forward has scored 14 goals in 22 games in all competitions in his first season in English football, with his latest strike hauling Arsenal up a place to sixth - three points behind Southampton.

"We were jaded physically but Alexis Sanchez can dig deep and has such desire and a will to win," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "He still finds that resource to get you something special."

Coming soon after a 3-0 loss to City on Sunday, Southampton's fast start to the season is being derailed and the team could drop out of the Champions League places if it loses to fourth-place Manchester United on Monday.

Everton drew 1-1 at home to Hull in the other game, with Sone Aluko scoring an equalizer for the visitors as they ended a run of four straight losses and climbed out of the relegation zone. Romelu Lukaku gave Everton the lead.

Diego Costa was suspended for Chelsea and his replacement - veteran striker Drogba - made the most of a rare start.

The Ivory Coast great set up Hazard for the opener in the 19th and then scored himself - for the fifth time since his return to Chelsea - after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' weak clearance was seized on by Hazard and Oscar.

"It's remarkable," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said of Drogba. "He's a team player . not selfish, not vain, a humble guy who plays and fights for the team. Fantastic."

Tottenham's feeble defense was breached again in the 73rd when substitute striker Remy sidefooted after brushing off Jan Vertonghen.

Chelsea is undefeated this season in 20 matches and its 23-game unbeaten run in the league and cup equals a club record.


Andres Iniesta scored once and provided two assists to help Barcelona romp to a 4-0 rout of third-tier Huesca in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 12th minute when he struck a free kick into the top left corner beyond Huesca goalkeeper Daniel Jimenez's reach.

Iniesta, who returned from an injury sustained in his team's 3-1 loss at Real Madrid on Oct. 25, netted four minutes later after he latched onto Rakitic's pass.

"We're confident in what we do and I think this will take us closer to success," said Iniesta. "Our effectiveness and the way we played this game made us feel quite relaxed," he said. "What's important is that the players who are in the squad are well equipped to play because titles aren't won by just five or six, but by a whole team."

Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an athletic save from Tyronne del Pino in the 32nd and looked solid throughout the match.

Pedro Rodriguez controlled Iniesta's pass, ran forward and unleashed a powerful shot inside the near post in the 39th before Rafinha deflected his shot off Alex Garcia into goal for Barcelona's fourth in the 72nd.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid swept to a 3-0 victory over third-tier L'Hospitalet.

France midfielder Antoine Griezmann broke the deadlock in the 67th minute of the first leg match when he headed home defender Jesus Gamez's cross from the right.

Gabriel Fernandez converted a penalty in the 81st after Atletico's attacking midfielder Alessio Cerci was held by Agustin Fernandez as he advanced in the area.

Cristian Rodriguez struck the third from outside the area in the second minute of stoppage time.

Malaga drew 1-1 with Deportivo La Coruna. Ignacio Camacho scored the opener for Malaga in the 11th from an assist by Luis Alberto and Deportivo forward Jose Verdu equalized in the 68th.

Also, Granada beat Andalusian rival Cordoba 1-0 thanks to a goal by Colombian forward Jhon Cordoba in the 24th.

In another match, Sevilla routed Sabadell 5-1 with striker Iago Aspas scoring a four-minute hat trick.


Paris Saint-Germain missed the chance to leapfrog Marseille and move into first place in the French league after drawing 1-1 at struggling Lille on Wednesday.

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani put two-time defending champion PSG ahead in the 29th minute but a blunder from goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu gifted Lille an equalizer just before halftime.

Sirigu came to collect a corner and turned the ball into his own net. He strayed too far off his line, then let the ball slip under his body, and ended up kicking it over the line as he tried to make amends.

The draw means that PSG remains one point behind Marseille, which drew 1-1 at Lorient on Tuesday night.

Although PSG extended its unbeaten run to 22 games this season, coach Laurent Blanc acknowledged that it was yet another below-par performance, following Saturday's drab 1-0 home win against Nice.

"We have mixed feelings because we came here to get three points and take first place. We didn't manage to do it," Blanc said. "We're not happy with the result but Lille deserved to get a point. We still have a lot of room for improvement in terms of how we're playing."

Saint-Etienne moved up to third place with a 2-0 win at Montpellier, thanks to goals from defenders Florentin Pogba and Paul Baysse.

Rennes improved to fourth place after winning 2-1 at Nice, with goals from winger Paul-Georges Ntep and Danish midfielder Anders Konradsen.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc's decision to rest star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of next week's Champions League game away to Barcelona left PSG short on attacking options.

"We decided to rest him because he's played three games in a row," Blanc said. "I think he needed to rest before we tackle a run of five games (leading up to the winter break)."

Despite not winning any of its past 10 games and only one in the past 14, Lille started brightly and had PSG on the back foot.

Striker Divock Origi forced Sirigu into an early save and the Italian goalie tipped midfielder Florent Balmont's shot onto the crossbar shortly after.

PSG hit back and took the lead when Brazilian winger Lucas broke through several tackles and released Ezequiel Lavezzi down the right, and his cross was turned in by Cavani for this seventh league goal of the season.

The teams were even in the second half, although Lucas went closest when his shot was pushed onto the bar by Nigeria goalie Vincent Enyeama.

"I'm very happy with the attitude of my players. I think it was pretty even in terms of chances," Lille coach Rene Girard said. "We tried to stand up to them with a lot of aggression and determination."

Bordeaux dropped down to fifth place and behind Rennes on goal difference after drawing 0-0 at Metz.

Elsewhere, there were important wins for Evian and Guingamp.

Denmark midfielder Daniel Wass scored his seventh league goal of the season - and his second in the space of four days - to help Evian secure a 2-1 win at Corsican side Bastia. Forward Clarck Nsikulu got Evian's other goal as it moved up to 13th place.

Guingamp routed Caen 5-1 to move one place out of the relegation zone as Caen dropped down into 18th spot.

Striker Christophe Mandanne and midfielder Claudio Beauvue scored two goals each and midfielder Thibault Giresse - the son of famed France midfielder Alain Giresse - got the other.

In Thursday's only match, Lyon can reclaim third place from bitter rival Saint-Etienne if it beats Reims at home.