Liverpool end Blues’ unbeaten home run

London, October 26:

Xabi Alonso was Liverpool’s hero as they went three points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League by ending the Blues’ 86-match unbeaten league run here at Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 win today.

Alonso struck in the 10th minute when his shot was deflected past goalkeeper Petr Cech by Chelsea full-back Jose Bosingwa, whose side came into this match as leaders on goal difference. Just after the hour mark, Alonso almost made it 2-0 when his free-kick from the edge of the box hit the foot of the post with Cech beaten.

This defeat, Chelsea’s first in over four years in the league at home, was also their first in 13 matches since Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari took charge of the west London club. For Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez it was a first away win during his four year tenure against one of their major three rivals -- Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United - which had seen Liverpool garner just two points and score four goals in 12 matches against them.

On Saturday, Hull City’s fairytale start to life in the Premier League continued with a 3-0 win over West Brom. Meanwhile, Manchester United’s title challenge was checked when Marouane

Fellaini rescued a point for Everton in a 1-1 draw after the Red Devils had taken a 22nd minute lead through Darren Fletcher. Elsewhere Kieran Richardson’s free-kick sealed Sunderland’s first home win in the Wear-Tyne derby for 28 years as second from bottom Newcastle were beaten 2-1.

Spanish La Liga

Madrid: Samuel Eto’o scored a hat-trick inside the first 24 minutes as Barcelona powered to the summit of the Spanish La Liga with a 5-0 win over ten-man Almeria on Saturday.

Barcelona replaced Valencia at the top of the table on goal difference after a scintillating display which saw the hosts score five times in the first half. Eto’o opened the scoring after just four minutes and Thierry Henry netted on 13 minutes after brilliant play from Lionel Messi. The floodgates opened on 20 minutes when Eto’o scored his second and his quick-fire hat-trick was completed four minutes later.

Eto’o becomes the league’s top-scorer with nine goals after his treble -- he now has one goal more than Valencia’s David Villa.

Almeria’s cause was not helped when striker Alvaro Negredo was dismissed for a crude challenge on the half hour mark and shortly afterwards Dani Alves scored his first Barca league goal from a free-kick.

Earlier on Saturday, Osasuna’s miserable start to the season continued with a 2-0 home loss to Real Betis with Mehmet Aurelio and Hugo Pavone scoring a goal apiece.

Italian Serie A

ROME: Juventus eased the pressure on coach Claudio Ranieri with a vital 1-0 victory at home in the Turin derby. Catania missed a chance to go top of Serie A, for 24 hours at least, as they drew 1-1 at Siena.

Brazilian Amauri was the Juve match winner as the Italian giants ended a run of four Serie A matches without a victory and moved up into the top half of the table.

Catania were lucky to escape with a point in a game the hosts dominated throughout. Siena took a lead on 75 minutes when Emanuele Calaio ghosted between two defenders and headed home a deep cross from Cristiano Del Grosso.

But just five minutes later Siena were stung on the counter-attack as Michele Paolucci broke from the halfway line before being brought down by Gianluca Curci after he had rounded the goalkeeper. Giuseppe Mascara made no mistake from the spot, sending Curci the wrong way.