- Associated Press - Sunday, December 8, 2013

LONDON (AP) - First-place Arsenal lost momentum in the Premier League Sunday, allowing a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Everton, while Fulham beat Aston Villa to give new manager Rene Meulensteen his first victory.

Arsenal failed to take advantage of its main rivals’ stumbles on Saturday, as Everton substitute Gerard Deulofeu scored from a tight angle in the 84th minute.

With upcoming matches against Napoli in the Champions League, Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal leads by five points. Chelsea lost 3-2 at Stoke and Manchester City was held 1-1 at Southampton on Saturday.

Arsenal nearly won in stoppage time, but striker Olivier Giroud’s shot hit the crossbar. Seeking their first title since 2004, the Gunners got off to a strong start this season.

“As long as we are five points ahead you cannot rule ourselves out even with the best desire,” manager Arsene Wenger said. “So let’s keep that cushion. It shows you that it will be a tough Premier League and the consistency in the end will be rewarded.”

Fulham had lost six in a row before beating Aston Villa 2-0.


BERLIN (AP) _ Wolfsburg beat Freiburg 3-0 to go fifth in the Bundesliga, while Hertha Berlin beat last-place Eintracht Braunschweig 2-0.

Maximilian Arnold put Wolfsburg ahead in the eighth minute. Ivica Olic doubled the lead three minutes later, after Luiz Gustavo set him up.

“When you start a game like that you have no chance against a team like Wolfsburg,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.

Freiburg remains in the relegation playoff place after 15 games played, three points ahead of Braunschweig.

Hertha striker Adrian Ramos scored with a diving header to open the scoring in the 20th. Tolga Cigerci sealed the win from a narrow angle with 10 minutes remaining.

On Saturday, league leader Bayern Munich cruised past Werder Bremen 7-0, while second-place Bayer Leverkusen won 1-0 at Borussia Dortmund.


ROME (AP) _ Mattia Destro came off the bench and scored the winner in his first appearance of the season as unbeaten Roma ended a streak of four draws with a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in Serie A.

The win moved Roma back within three points of Italian league leader Juventus, which beat Bologna 2-0 Friday.

“We’re following our own road and we’re never going to stop fighting,” Destro said. “We realize we’re a great squad.”

Gervinho set up right back Maicon to put Roma ahead seven minutes in at the Stadio Olimpico. Juan Vargas equalized for Fiorentina in the 29th minute.

Destro’s winner came in the 68th after he also was set up by Gervinho.

Among Europe’s major leagues, only Roma and Bayern Munich remain unbeaten. Roma visits Juventus in January.

Roma opened the season with a record 10 wins but had struggled in recent matches without 37-year-old captain Francesco Totti. On Sunday, Totti was on the bench for the first time since injuring his hamstring in October.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) _ Odion Ighalo scored two goals to guide Granada to a 2-0 win at second-division Alcorcon, giving the a first-division team a lead in its Copa del Rey series.

Also in the round of 32, seven-time winner Valencia was held to a 0-0 draw at third-division Nastic Tarragona, while Espanyol needed a late goal from Christian Stuani to secure a 2-2 draw at second-division Real Jaen.

Almeria scored three times in the first 11 minutes to earn a 3-1 victory at second-tier Las Palmas.

Ighalo headed in Fran Rico’s free kick to open the scoring for Granada, and the Nigerian striker added a second goal in the 81st minute.


PARIS (AP) _ Bordeaux earned a third straight win by defeating second-place Lille 1-0 in the French league.

Bordeaux midfielder Landry N’Guemo fired a long-range strike in the 27th minute that deflected off Lille defender Simon Kjaer to beat goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who had not conceded a goal in his previous 11 league games.

Lille lost ground in the title race, trailing leader Paris Saint-Germain by four points, while Bordeaux moved into a tie with fifth-place Marseille.

Meanwhile, Lyon beat Bastia 3-1 to move into the middle of the table and Toulouse drew 1-1 with Montpellier.

Monaco played Ajaccio later Sunday.

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