- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Real Madrid replaced Barcelona at the top of the Associated Press Global Football 10 on Tuesday after extending its record run of wins to 20 in all competitions with two four-goal victories in a week.

Madrid followed its 4-0 demolition of Ludogorets in the Champions League with a 4-1 thrashing of Almeria on Friday to take the record tally of consecutive wins for a Spanish club to 20.

“Whether it’s the Champions League or La Liga, Carlo Ancelotti’s men just keep getting the business done,” voter Marco Monteverde of News Corp. Australia said.

Real had two members of its squad in the top 10 players this week, with Cristiano Ronaldo third after scoring three times across the two games, and Gareth Bale sixth.

Arjen Robben is the leading player, after his double for Bayern Munich propelled it to a 4-0 rout of Augsburg to surge nine points clear at the summit of the Bundesliga.

Pep Guardiola’s team is runner-up to Madrid in the club vote, with Manchester United third after its 3-0 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Goalkeeper David de Gea, who made a number of outstanding saves for United, enters this week’s poll in second.

While United easily dislodged Liverpool’s fragile defense through the attacking prowess of Robin van Persie, who polls ninth this week after scoring United’s third, its fierce rival was repeatedly denied by De Gea.

“Goalkeepers rarely get the credit they deserve. Even when they make saves, it is the strikers that get the glory,” Mike McGrath of The Sun in England said. “But David De Gea rightly took the plaudits for his performance against Liverpool. His saves were the difference between the two teams despite the 3-0 scoreline.”

Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report in England was in agreement, suggesting that De Gea’s performance meant the score did not reflect the game.

“De Gea resembled a brick wall on Sunday as Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-0. It wasn’t a 3-0 game - far from it in fact - as Raheem Sterling missed three one vs. one chances due to this Spaniard’s brilliance,” Tighe said.

Manchester City and Samir Nasri are fourth in the club and player votes respectively.

The Premier League champion secured its place in the final 16 of the Champions League with a 2-0 win at Roma in the Stadio Olimpico, where Nasri scored a stunning opener for Manuel Pellegrini’s side and then laid on his team’s second goal.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is fifth, after opening the scoring in his team’s 2-0 win against Hull at Stamford Bridge. The result maintained Chelsea’s three-point lead over City at the top of the English standings.

Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud continued his comeback from a broken leg by spearheading Arsenal’s attack with two goals in a 4-1 win at home to Newcastle. His performance earned him seventh place in the player vote.

Arsenal polls fifth this week with the result, which followed another 4-1 win at Galatasaray in the Champions League.

In France, Monaco beat league leader Marseille 1-0 to poll seventh.

Paris Saint-Germain, a point behind Marcelo Bielsa’s team, could not take advantage of Marseille’s defeat as it slipped to a similar 1-0 loss to Guingamp, which enters the team poll in ninth.

Villarreal is eighth, after beating Spanish champion Atletico Madrid 1-0 thanks to an 84th minute goal from Luciano Vietto, who is eighth in the player rankings.

Basel’s qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League sees it enter the team poll in 10th place following a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield. Fabian Frei, who scored for Basel, is 10th in the player vote.

AP Global Football 10


1. Arjen Robben, 121 points.

2. David de Gea, 87.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, 80.

4. Samir Nasri, 66.

5. Eden Hazard, 53.

6. Gareth Bale, 51.

7. Olivier Giroud, 49.

8. Luciano Vietto, 36.

9. Robin van Persie, 29.

10. Fabian Frei, 25.


1. Real Madrid, 125.

2. Bayern Munich, 121.

3. Manchester United, 92.

4. Manchester City, 82.

5. Arsenal, 72.

6. Chelsea, 62.

7. Monaco, 53.

8. Villarreal, 41.

9. Guingamp, 37.

10. Basel, 30.

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