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When Sunday Comes: Chelsea Stay Top, West Brom Comes Back, And Messi Is Injured

With so many matches happening on Sunday nowadays, there seems no point in having a Saturday roundup, so we'll give you a Sunday one instead. Yes, I know that there's often some Monday football as well, but you'll have to look up those results yourself.

After last week's upsets, I was rather hoping for some more underdog triumphs, but the giants of the European football world must've grown tired of the mockings they received last week, and decided to bring their A-game this week. Well, sorta.

Arsenal, fresh off an impressive 6-0 thumping of Braga in the midweek Champions League ties, found themselves outplayed by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. While they managed a freak long-distance goal off the shin of the ever-fragile Cesc Fabregas, the squad looked out of sorts, and allowed a 95th minute equalizer from Darren Bent. For more on this match, head to The Short Fuse.

Manchester United, who were coming off a last-minute draw against Everton last week and a midweek goalless affair against Rangers in the Champions League, nearly found themselves again knocked down to just a point by Liverpool. Steven Gerrard converted a penalty and then put away another ten minutes later, making the match even with twenty minutes to go. Fifteen minutes later, Dimitar Berbatov sent in United's winner, bagging a hattrick in the process. No post-match coverage is up.

Chelsea kept up their perfect record, beating Blackpool 4-0 and pulling four points clear of Arsenal and United. The Blues scored all four in the first half while squandering quite a few chances. To their credit, the Tangerines kept up the attack and looked much stronger in the second. We Aint Got No History always has plenty of post-game coverage to keep you occupied, but for now just read the recap.

Tottenham almost embarrassed themselves yet again, allowing Wolverhampton to take a one goal lead into the half, but three goals in the final fifteen minutes saved Spurs. There's a post-match reaction up at Cartilage Free Captain.

Speaking of spectacular comebacks, West Brom scored three in the second half as well, giving the Baggies their second win of the season and giving Aston Villa fans a little something to smile about, considering Albion's opponents were Birmingham City.

Blackburn and Fulham played to a 1-1 draw, with some thoughts up at Cottagers Confidential. Wigan lost to Manchester City, 2-0, and if you wish to read more visit Bitter and Blue, and for the perspective of a dismayed new Wigan fan, read Dreaming of Wigan. Finally, Everton still can't win, losing 1-0 at Goodison to Newcastle. We've got no post-match coverage for that one.

On to the continent...

In the Bundesliga, FC Koln found a draw away to Bayern Munich, which made me pretty happy. The big result this weekend, though, was Stuttgart bulldozing Borussia Mönchengladbach 7-0, scoring nearly as many goals as the letters in their opponents' name.  Pavel Pogrebnyak opened the scoring in the second minute and had his hattrick by the 60th.

Over in Spain, Jose Mourinho threw a temper tantrum when Sociedad equalized against Real Madrid, but Los Galácticos found a win through Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona was also back on form, finding a 2-1 win against Atlético, but the real story there is Leo Messi's injury. Messi was stretchered off the pitch after an ugly tackle in the final minute of the match, for which Tomas Ujfalusi was shown a straight red. Messi's ankle blew up like a balloon and I highly discourage seeking out photos--at least, not while eating. 

And in Italy. Cesena are sharing the top of Serie A with Inter after beating Lecce 1-0. Inter left their win against Palermo until late, letting Palermo have the lead until the 62nd minute, when Samuel Eto'o bagged a brace in less than ten minutes. Juventus kicked some Udinese rear, literally, with a 4-0 win complemented by four cards. But the big story was Napoli beating Sampdoria 2-1. Although Napoli had been the better side for most of the match, Samp took the lead through Antonio Cassano's converted penalty in the 78th minute. But Napoli came roaring back, with Marek Hamsik scoring off a free kick before Edinson Cavani sent the equalizer through keeper Gianluca Curci legs. For more on this one, visit Two Footed Tackle.

Of course, I can't let this end without mentioning one spot of American soccer: The Seattle Sounders trounced the team currently atop the Eastern Conference, Columbus Crew, beating them 4-0 in Columbus. Blaise Nkufo, the Swiss international, scored his first goal for Seattle and followed that feat by completing a hattrick. In addition, the Sounders converted their first penalty in Major League Soccer, giving Nathan Sturgis his first goal as well. The two teams will meet again in the US Open Cup Final on October 5.