Liverpool returns to top spot in Premier League

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LONDON (AP) - Liverpool reclaimed the lead in England with a 2-1 victory over West Ham while Arsenal slumped to another defeat against a top five team Sunday with a 3-0 loss at Everton.

In Italy, Roma moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus after beating Cagliari 3-1. In the French league, Saint-Etienne lost ground in the race for a Champions League spot.

A look at games from the leading leagues in Europe:

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ENGLAND

Steven Gerrard scored twice on penalty kicks to help Liverpool stretch its Premier League winning streak to nine matches and return to first place. The Reds had to play hard for the three points in their prelude to their showdown with Manchester City, which is likely to decide whether they can win a first league title since 1990.

Defender Guy Demel had tied it for West Ham before Gerrard’s second-half winner.

“It is going to be a magnificent atmosphere at Anfield,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “The supporters really urged us on today and we want to see if we can get 10 in a row.”

With five games remaining, Liverpool leads Chelsea by two points. Manchester City is four points off the pace but has two games in hand.

Earlier, Everton made Arsenal pay for poor defense with strikes from Steven Naismith and Romelu Lukaku as well as an own-goal from Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal has only two points from its last four matches. The Gunners remain in fourth place but just one point above Everton, which has a match in hand and a better goal difference.

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SPAIN

Malaga’s Ignacio Camacho scored twice and drew a penalty for a third goal to lead his team to a 4-1 victory over Granada in the Spanish league.

A last-gasp goal by striker Yiadom Boakye gave Elche a 1-0 win over Getafe in a big boost for the small club’s bid to remain in the first division for a second straight season.

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