- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Liverpool earned team of the week honors for the third time this season in The Associated Press soccer poll after a 4-0 win over Tottenham propelled it back to the top of the English Premier League.

Marco Reus leads the player vote after scoring a hat trick for Borussia Dortmund in a 3-2 comeback victory at Stuttgart.

“Borussia Dortmund looked set to cede second place to rivals Schalke when it trailed 2-0 at Stuttgart,” panelist Mark Rodden of Eurosport said. “Marco Reus picked the perfect time to score his third Bundesliga hat-trick - albeit with the aid of a deflection - to ensure Juergen Klopp’s side remain on course for the Champions League.”

Luis Suarez remained in second after scoring in Liverpool’s win against Tottenham, while Spanish league leader Atletico Madrid was the team runner-up after winning 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao.

Liverpool capitalized on Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at Arsenal and Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, which tied for seventh place this week.

The Reds have not won the English league since 1990. If it wins its remaining six league matches, it will win the Premier League.

“Liverpool as English champions is getting more and more possible,” Cedric Rouquette of Eurosport in France said. “Not only did the Reds win the game they had to against Tottenham to make the most of Manchester City’s draw with Arsenal, but they did it with aggression, with defensive intent and with efficiency.”

Raheem Sterling, who continued his own impressive recent form for Liverpool, polled 10th this week.

In Spain, Atletico was the surprise league leader and flashed its own title credentials with a win at fourth-place Bilbao.

Diego Costa, who equalized for Atletico with his 32nd goal of the season, was third in the player poll.

Atletico Madrid continues at the top of La Liga after winning in San Mames, where Barca and Real could not win this season,” Orfeo Suarez of El Mundo in Spain said.

Barcelona and Real Madrid both kept the pressure on Atletico. Barcelona won 1-0 at Espanyol thanks to a penalty by Lionel Messi, who was ranked fourth this week. Two goals from Gareth Bale in Madrid’s 5-0 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano earned him fifth place and Cristiano Ronaldo, who opened the scoring, was eighth.

In Italy, Napoli inflicted only the second defeat of the season on Juventus, a 2-0 victory over the league leader. Ninth place in the poll went to Jose Maria Callejon, who opened the scoring for Napoli as it built upon a 4-2 midweek win over Catania.

Elsewhere, Kaka’s two goals in AC Milan’s 3-0 win over Chievo put him sixth.

Wayne Rooney was seventh after two goals for Manchester United in a 4-1 win over Aston Villa.

AP Global Soccer 10 rankings, week ending April 1


1. Marco Reus, 117 points.

2. Luis Suarez, 90.

3. Diego Costa, 80.

4. Lionel Messi, 66.

5. Gareth Bale, 62.

6. Kaka, 57.

7. Wayne Rooney, 51.

8. Cristiano Ronaldo, 42.

9. Jose Maria Callejon, 33.

10. Raheem Sterling, 20.


1. Liverpool, 159.

2. Atletico Madrid, 118.

3. Napoi, 116.

4. Barcelona, 62.

5. Real Madrid, 61.

6. Manchester City, 53.

7. Crystal Palace

Paris Saint-Germain, 40 (tied).

9. Hoffenheim, 34.

10. Borussia Dortmund, 32.

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