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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aston Villa Stymies United's Treble

LONDON -- Aston Villa has shattered Manchester United's dream of a unique English treble by beating the league leader 3-1 in the League Cup final at Wembley.


Villa went ahead in the 25th minute Sunday when Dalian Atkinson ran on to a square pass from fellow striker Dean Saunders and slid the ball beyond United goalkeeper Les Sealey.


Welsh international Saunders scored twice in the final 15 minutes, including a 90th minute penalty after United's Andrei Kanchelskis had blocked a certain goal on the line with his arm.


Eight minutes earlier Kanchelskis had laid on United's goal for Mark Hughes as the defending league champions, who lead the title race and are also in the FA Cup semifinals, fought to get back into the match.


Eric Cantona, so often United's inspiration, had a subdued game and looked as if his main concern was to avoid a hat trick of red cards after being sent off in his side's last two league games against Swindon and Arsenal. He begins a five-match suspension next weekend.


Sealey played in place of Peter Schmeichel, suspended after being sent off in United's FA Cup quarterfinal victory over Charlton two weeks ago.


In English premier league action Saturday, Blackburn Rovers tightened the screw on Manchester United as they moved within just three points of the leaders after beating bottom side Swindon 3-1. England striker Alan Shearer scored twice, once from the penalty spot, after Swindon had rocked Blackburn with a goal after just four minutes.


Manchester United visits Blackburn next Saturday.


In Italy, Paolo Di Canio struck a superb individual winner against league leader AC Milan as the champions slipped to only their second defeat of the season with a 1-0 defeat by Napoli on Sunday.


Di Canio dribbled past three defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot 10 minutes from time to give Napoli its first win over Milan since Diego Maradona led the club to the 1991 championship.


Milan's rare defeat allowed second-placed Juventus and Sampdoria, winners over Cagliari and Foggia respectively, to narrow the champion's lead to seven points and keep their faint championship hopes alive.


In Holland, second placed Feyenoord Rotterdam beat Dutch league leader Ajax Amsterdam 2-1 on Saturday to keep alive their championship hopes.It closed the gap between the arch rivals to four points but Ajax has a game in hand.


Defeat for Ajax was the third in a dismal run which has seen the Amsterdam team knocked out of the European Cupwinners Cup and the national cup competition in successive matches.


Missing key players Jari Litmanen and Tarek Oulida through injury, Ajax still managed to take the lead in the 32nd minute through young Nigerian striker Kanu. But Feyenoord fought back strongly in the second half, with a powerful header from Dutch international John de Wolf leveling in the 58th minute.


Three minutes later Ajax keeper Edwin van der Sar felled Feyenoord's striker Gaston Taument inside the penalty area. Midfielder Ruud Heus scored from the spot to give Feyenoord a lead that it never looked like losing.


In Spain, Brazilian marksman Bebeto defied injury and fired in two goals as Deportivo Coruna trounced Athletic Bilbao 4-1 to stay two points clear at the top of the league on Sunday.


Bebeto struck in the seventh and 55th minutes despite an ankle injury he suffered while inspiring Brazil to a 2-0 victory over Argentina in a World Cup warm-up match last Wednesday.


The Brazilian, who scored both his country's goals, limped his way through 70 minutes of the home league game before being substituted by Pedro Riesco.


Bebeto put Deportivo ahead before Brazilian-born Donato extended the lead in the 17th minute. After Bebeto's second strike, Riesco completed the tally eight minutes after being sent on.