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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Barcelona Defeated by Real Zaragoza, Spurs Lose Again

MADRID -- Spanish champions Barcelona crashed 6-3 away to Real Zaragoza in a dramatic match which extended their run of bleak form and made a fourth consecutive league title look remote.


Three goals by Argentine Juan Esnaider highlighted a sparkling performance by Zaragoza, who frequently looked likely to swamp Barcelona completely in front of one of their biggest crowds of more than 43,000.


Two goals by Brazilian striker Romario and one by Dane Michael Laudrup kept the champions just in the game but they never looked likely to close the gap.


Barcelona's defeat left Deportivo Coruna even more securely at the top of the table after their 2-0 home win over Sevilla.


They are now six points clear of Barcelona and seven ahead of Sporting Gijon, beaten 2-0 away by Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid moved into second place above Barcelona and five points behind Deportivo through a 1-0 away win over Real Oviedo.


In English premier league action Saturday, Alan Shearer scored his 50th goal for Blackburn Rovers to extend Tottenham Hotspur's nightmare run of results in the premier league.


Shearer's 61st-minute header and a second goal from Kevin Gallacher gave Blackburn a 2-0 win which cut Manchester United's lead at the top to 10 points and inflicted Spurs' sixth successive league defeat, a new club record.


Newcastle, the only other side in the top seven in action on Saturday, suffered an appropriate end to a dismal week with a 4-2 defeat at Wimbledon.


On Sunday, Ryan Giggs kept Manchester United on course to reach next month's League Cup final at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday. A left-footed shot from an almost impossibly narrow angle by Giggs in the 19th minute was enough to give United a 1-0 advantage to take to Hillsborough on Feb. 23 for the second leg of a closely contested semifinal.


In Italy on Sunday, Marco Simone hit the only goal of the match to help Milan beat Cremonese and open up a five-point lead in the first division as Sampdoria slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Parma and lost their second place.


Simone's 63rd-minute goal spared the blushes of Dejan Savicevic and Alessandro Costacurta who each failed to convert a twice-taken penalty kick in the first half.


Gianfranco Zola scored with a last-minute free-kick to help Parma complete a dramatic comeback against Sampdoria.


Sampdoria, without the injured Ruud Gullit, took a 28th-minute lead against the run of play when Vladimir Jugovic combined neatly with Attilio Lombardo before unleashing a powerful shot into the roof of the net.


Parma drew level in the 71st minute with a volley from captain Alessandro Minotti before Zola's last-minute winner torpedoed Sampdoria's title hopes.


In Holland on Sunday, Ajax Amsterdam tightened their grip on the Dutch first division with a 1-0 away win over mid-table Sparta Rotterdam. The league leaders never looked likely to concede a goal but had to wait until the second half before Frank de Boer clinched the winner in the 57th minute.


Victory gave Ajax a six-point lead over Feyenoord Rotterdam but last season's champions have two games in hand.


In Germany on Sunday, Franz Beckenbauer's first game as Bayern Munich trainer ended in defeat when his team went down 3-1 to VFB Stuttgart in the German first division.


Beckenbauer, who coached Germany to World Cup victory four years ago, has taken over his old club until the end of the season which resumed this weekend after the two-month winter break. But instead it was J--rgen R?ber, also making his debut as coach of VFB Stuttgart, who was the hero of the hour as his side won in Munich for the first time in 24 years.