Jermaine Jones debuts for Blackburn
American midfielder Jermaine Jones made a strong debut at Blackburn on Sunday, helping his English Premier League team to a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
Jones, on a six-month loan from the German club Schalke, slipped a pass to David Dunn. Dunn's angled cross was headed into his own net by defender Gabriel Tamas in the 41st minute. Canada's David Hoilett sealed victory in the league's only match with a 25-yard shot in the 47th.
Blackburn temporarily moved into seventh place.
It was a successful weekend for U.S players in the Premier League. Midfielder Clint Dempsey scored both of Fulham's goals in its 2-0 win at home to Stoke on Saturday, and defender Jonathan Spector netted his first goal in the division in West Ham's 2-2 draw at Everton.
Former U.S international Brad Friedel played a key role in Aston Villa's 1-0 victory over Manchester City, which dropped to third.
Unbeaten leader Manchester romped to a 5-0 victory at home against Birmingham on Saturday. Arsenal beat Wigan 3-0 to move into second, overtaking City. Arsenal is two points behind United, having played a game more, and a point ahead of City.
On Monday, ninth-place Bolton plays fourth-place Chelsea.
Karim Benzema answered his critics by scoring in the 61st minute to lead Real Madrid over visiting Mallorca 1-0.
Benzema had been a substitute the previous two games and endured a week in which both coach Jose Mourinho and Kaka criticized his failure to establish himself as the team's No. 1 striker with Gonzalo Higuain out injured.
An ineffective Kaka was replaced at halftime by Madrid, which remained four points behind first-place Barcelona.
Also, New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi scored in the 41st and 47th minutes as third-place Villarreal rallied for a 2-1 win over visiting Real Sociedad, which had gone ahead on Josebal Llorente's goal in the 30th minute. Rossi has 19 goals this season, including 11 in the league.
Sporting Gijon defeated Atletico Madrid 1-0, Zaragoza beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0, Espanyol won 3-1 at Getafe and Almeria defeated visiting Osasuna 3-2.
Maximiliano Pelligrino scored an own goal in first-half injury time Zlatan Ibrahimovic added his 12th league goal of the season in second-half injury time as AC Milan beat Cesena 2-0 to maintain a four-point lead in Serie A.
Udinese exploited poor defense by Inter Milan, rallying past the defending Italian league champions 3-1 and sending coach Leonardo to his first loss following a 5-0 start since replacing Rafa Benitez.
Dejan Stankovic gave the visitors the lead in the 16th minute. Udinese tied it soon after on Cristian Zapata's goal and by halftime was ahead 2-1 when Antonio Di Natale scored from a free kick. In the second half, Maurizio Domizzi added a third goal after the defense was again unable to clear.
Second-place Napoli won 2-0 at Bari on goals by Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 38th and Edinson Cavani in the 87th. Bari played the last 23 minutes with 10 men after Alessandro Parisi earned a second yellow card for elbowing Christian Maggio in the face.
Bologna won 3-1 at home to Lazio; Chievo Verona drew 0-0 against Genoa; and Juventus was held to a 0-0 tie by Sampdoria.
Gonzalo Castro scored twice and Bayer Leverkusen won 3-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach to move into second place in the Bundesliga.
Michal Kadlec scored with an excellent free kick in the 37th minute, and Castro doubled the lead at the end of the half. Martin Stranzl pulled one back in the 65th, but Castro lifted the ball over advancing goalkeeper Christofer Heimeroth in the 73rd to seal Leverkusen's victory.
Leverkusen has 36 points, 11 behind Borussia Dortmund. Moenchengladbach remains last with 13.
On Saturday, Dortmund drew 1-1 at home to Stuttgart, and Bayern Munich thrashed Kaiserslautern 5-1 and is fourth.
Edouard Duplan scored twice to give FC Utrecht a 3-0 win over Ajax, handing new coach Frank de Boer his first Dutch league defeat.
Ajax stayed third with 38 points but lost ground to league leader PSV Eindhoven, which beat VVV-Venlo 3-0. PSV has 44 points, one more than defending champion FC Twente, which dismissed FC Groningen 2-1.
Wilfred Bouma, Jeremain Lens and Atiba Hutchinson each scored in PSV's win at struggling VVV while Marc Janko had a goal in each half in Twente's comeback win. The Austrian forward missed a penalty kick in the 84th.
Goals by Jimmy Hempte, Pa Modou Kah, Morten Skoubo led Roda JC over Exelsior Rotterdam 3-0.
Tettey opened the scoring for Rennes in the 50th minute, and Brahimi beat goalkeeper Eddie Rion from close range in the 74th.
Vaulx-en-Velin is the lowest-ranked club left in the competition.
Lyon lost 1-0 at Nice in the only match between first-division teams. Nice's Francois Clerc scored in overtime against his former club.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press