Soccer

Bayern, Lewandowski top weekly AP soccer poll

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MANCHESTER, England (AP)

After dominating the first legs of their Champions League semifinals, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund lead the latest Associated Press global soccer poll.

Bayern, which routed Barcelona 4-0, edged Dortmund and was voted the world's top team for the fifth straight week by a panel of 15 journalists.

Dortmund had the player of the week in Robert Lewandowski. He had four goals in a 4-1 victory over Real Madrid. Three more players from Juergen Klopp's team also made the top 10.

''The Polish striker managed the performance of his life against Real Madrid,'' said Cedric Rouquette, of Eurosport in France. ''One that the press will talk about when he retires, one that he'll tell his grandchildren about and one that will feature in his obituary.''

The best of the rest came from Manchester United. The newly crowned Premier League champion was third in the team poll and Robin van Persie - who had four goals in the past week, including a title-clinching hat trick against Aston Villa - was fifth in the player vote. He trailed Dortmund's Lewandowski and Marco Reus and Bayern's Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben. Mueller and Robben were second and third, with Reus fourth.

Germany signaled a shift in European soccer's balance of power by beating Spain by a combined total of 8-1 in the first legs of the Champions League semifinals, but it's been that way in the AP poll for a while.

''Never has choosing my top two teams been easier,'' said Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ''The two German clubs showed themselves to be so much better than the Spanish clubs, and if they're not playing in the Champions League final, I'll be amazed.''

Mike McGrath, of Wardles news agency and The Sun newspaper in England, chose Bayern over Dortmund because the German champions produced a ''team performance'' against Barcelona while Dortmund's success was largely the work of Lewandowski.

Only Mueller, who scored twice for Bayern at the Allianz Arena, came close to challenging Lewandowski in the player vote.

''That's outstanding, that's magnificent, that's Robert Lewandowski!'' said Soeren-Mikael Hansen of Politiken in Denmark.

Gareth Bale dropped to sixth place despite a goal and a late assist in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Wigan, which kept his team in contention for a finish in the Champions League positions in the Premier League.

Stifled by Bayern, Lionel Messi crept into the top 10 in seventh place by virtue of his goal in Barca's 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. That left the club on the brink of wrapping up the Spanish league title. Barca still managed to place 10th in the team vote.

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AP Global Football Rankings for the week ending April 29.

Based on 15 voters: 10 points for first, nine for second, etc. Previous rankings in parentheses.

Teams:

1. Bayern Munich (1), 147 points.

2. Borussia Dortmund (7), 136.

3. Manchester United (5), 80.

4. Juventus (2), 71.

5. Chelsea, 58.

6. Liverpool, 50

7. Real Madrid (4), 36.

8. Paris Saint-Germain (6), 30.

9. Real Sociedad, 27

10. Barcelona (5), 24

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Players:

1. Robert Lewandowski, (3), 139 points.

2. Thomas Mueller, 116.

3. Arjen Robber, 63.

4. Marco Reus, 57.

5. Robin van Persie (6), 53.

6. Gareth Bale (2), 41.

7. Lionel Messi, 36.

7. (tie) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 36

9. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, 31

9. (tie) Ilkay Gundogan, 31

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