LONDON (AP) - Liverpool took team of the week honors for the fourth time this season in The Associated Press weekly football poll following its 3-2 victory over English Premier League title rival Manchester City.
Marco Reus leads the player vote for the second time, after scoring three goals in games against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Liverpool’s result against City on Sunday was its 10th consecutive win to remain top of the Premier League. It has three players in the top 10: Philippe Coutinho, who scored the winner, Raheem Sterling, who netted the opening goal, and captain Steven Gerrard rank fourth, fifth and ninth respectively.
“What a weekend for Liverpool,” voter Julian Bennetts of Hayters news agency in England said. “The raw emotion at Anfield on Sunday was quite astonishing, as were the scenes after Brendan Rodgers’ team beat Manchester City 3-2 in a quite pulsating game. Steven Gerrard shed tears and we could expect many more over the next few weeks.”
Reus scored both goals as Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the second leg of its Champions League tie, though the result was not enough to overturn the 3-0 loss in the first leg. The Germany attacker also scored in the 3-0 Bundesliga win against Bayern Munich. Dortmund polled third.
Spanish league leader and Champions League semifinalist Atletico Madrid was second to Liverpool by four points. Atletico maintained its position atop La Liga with a 2-0 away win against Getafe. Diego Costa, who secured the win with six minutes remaining, rated 10th.
“Many supporters from Atletico Madrid say, ‘Yes, we can,’” panelist Orfeo Suarez of El Mundo in Spain said on whether Atletico could win both competitions. “After a great week with its victories over Barcelona and Getafe, Atletico arrives in the semifinal of the Champions League after 40 years, and is closer to the title in La Liga.”
Atletico midfielder Koke was tied for seventh in the player poll with Angel Di Maria, who helped Madrid rout Almeria 4-0 to stay on Atletico’s tail in the La Liga title race.
Madrid was fifth and a third Spanish club, Granada, featured at seventh, after stunning Barcelona 1-0.
Gonzalo Higuain was runner-up to Reus for scoring a hat trick as his Napoli team, ninth in the team poll, won 4-2 against Lazio in Serie A.
Demba Ba of Chelsea placed only third for his key goals in bigger games; in the Champions League quarterfinals, and the 1-0 Premier League victory against Swansea.
“It has been an amazing week for Demba Ba. From zero to hero in a few days,” said Aurelio Capaldi of RAI Sport in Italy. “He made the headlines by scoring two decisive goals: The first one was vital to make Chelsea progress to the Champions League semifinals as it destroyed Paris Saint-Germain’s European dreams; and the second kept the Blues going in the race for the Premier League title.”
Juventus moved closer to winning the Serie A with a 2-0 away win over Udinese for sixth, two places above its main challenger Roma, which beat Atalanta 3-1.
Valencia’s Paco Alcacer, who scored a hat trick as his side beat Basel 5-3 in the Europa League to progress to the semifinals, was sixth. Valencia was 10th after it followed that win with a 2-1 triumph over Elche.
AP Global Football 10 rankings (week ending April 15):
1. Marco Reus, 136 points.
2. Gonzalo Higuain, 102.
3. Demba Ba, 98.
4. Philippe Coutinho, 77.
5. Raheem Sterling, 49.
6. Paco Alcacer, 47.
1. (tie) Koke,Angel Di Maria, 35.
9. Steven Gerrard, 30.
10. Diego Costa, 25.
1. Liverpool, 150.
2. Atletico Madrid, 146.
3. Borussia Dortmund, 125.
4. Chelsea, 101.
5. Real Madrid, 47.
6. Juventus, 45.
7. Granada, 37.
8. Roma, 35.
9. Napoli, 34.
10. Valencia, 33.
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