- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) - Wolfsburg has taken team of the week honors in the Associated Press Global Football 10 after thrashing Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich 4-1.

It was the first league match of 2015 in Germany, with teams returning to action after a winter break. Wolfsburg’s emphatic victory reduces Munich’s lead to eight points at the top of the German league.

“Wolfsburg re-opened the Bundesliga season in electric fashion, inflicting Bayern Munich’s first defeat of the campaign and scoring as many goals against them in one night (four) as they’d conceded in the entire first half of the season,” Sam Tighe of Bleacher Report in England said.

Arsenal takes the runner-up spot after a 5-0 rout of Aston Villa maintained its pursuit of a place in the top four of the Premier League.

Mesut Ozil inspired Arsene Wenger’s side with an assist for Olivier Giroud’s opener with a sublime back-heeled flick into the striker’s path from the halfway line before adding the second goal himself.

“With a goal and a magical assist, Ozil regained his highest level of football to guide Arsenal to win 5-0 against Aston Villa,” Tito Puccetti of ESPN in Argentina said.

Real Madrid is third after coming from behind to beat Real Sociedad 4-1 and ranks a place above its fierce rival and last week’s winner Barcelona, which also fought back to beat Villarreal 3-2.

Torino takes fifth after demolishing Sampdoria 5-1 in Serie A and the top 10 is completed by Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Madrid striker Karim Benzema is player of the week for scoring a spectacular double to propel his side to victory over Sociedad. Kevin De Bruyne, who also notched two in the second half of Wolfsburg’s win, is second.

“To pull off a win like Wolfsburg’s over Bayern Munich, it takes a special performance,” voter Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States explained. “There were some hat tricks out there that normally would have fought for top honors, but Wolfsburg’s win was so stunning, and overwhelming, it called for special attention.”

Lionel Messi takes third for netting Barcelona’s winner in the 3-2 victory over Villarreal as it remained a point behind Madrid.

“I keep having some doubts about Luis Enrique’s ability to manage a top club and Barcelona’s dressing room problems are proof of his limits to deal with big players,” Aurelio Capaldi of RAI Sport in Italy said. “But it’s a fact he has got eight wins in a row. Not so easy, even if you can count on Messi and Neymar.”

Fabio Quagliarella enters the poll in fourth for his hat trick in Torino’s victory while Bas Dost, who scored Wolfsburg’s other two goals against Bayern, is fifth.

Mario Mandzukic is sixth for scoring twice in Spanish league champion Atletico’s 3-1 win against Eibar.

Ozil is seventh while Harry Kane, Jonathan Walters and last week’s winner Neymar occupy the remaining places.

AP Global Football 10:


1. Karim Benzema, 105 points.

2. Kevin De Bruyne, 104.

3. Lionel Messi, 75.

4. Fabio Quagliarella, 62.

5. Bas Dost, 55.

6. Mario Mandzukic, 54.

7. Mesut Ozil, 51.

8. Harry Kane, 43.

9. Jonathan Walters, 40.

10. Neymar, 37.


1. Wolfsburg, 132.

2. Arsenal, 103.

3. Real Madrid, 85.

4. Barcelona, 76.

5. Torino, 50.

6. Atletico Madrid, 48.

7. Chelsea, 37.

8. Tottenham, 36.

9. Manchester United, 32.

10. Liverpool, 30.



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