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Atletico Madrid tops AP football poll after beating rival Real Madrid; Diego Costa top player

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LONDON — Spanish champion Atletico Madrid replaced Chelsea at the top of the AP Global Football 10 on Tuesday after beating Real Madrid 2-1 over the weekend at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Chelsea dropped to second in the poll despite extending its winning start in the Premier League to four matches. Inter Milan is third.

Victory for Diego Simeone's side was secured by an Arda Turan strike in the second half, and the midfielder's performance impressed voter Paolo Condo of Gazzetta Dello Sport in Italy.

"I enjoyed the Madrid derby very much - I was at the Bernabeu - and I can say that the impact over the match from Turan was enormous before his beautiful goal," Condo said of Turan.

Fellow panelist Marco Monteverde of News Corp. Australia felt the result showed that Atletico will put up a fearsome defense of its league title.

"For a team that got decimated in the off-season, Atletico have shown that they are not about to fall over in defending their La Liga title," Monteverde said.

One of those players to leave Atletico in the summer was striker Diego Costa, and he tops the player poll this week after scoring a hat trick in Chelsea's comeback 4-2 win over Swansea.

"Diego Costa is an insatiable striker, with 14 shots on goal in the Premier League, and seven goals," Tito Puccetti of ESPN in Argentina said.

Inter striker Mauro Icardi, who also scored three in a 7-0 rout of Sassuolo, finished behind Costa, with Neymar in third after his two goals led Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

"Neymar and Messi should almost be a joint entry," Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the United States said. "There will be a lot of Barcelona goals this season that both of them will figure prominently in."

Elsewhere, Manchester United's first victory under new manager Louis van Gaal, an aggressive 4-0 home rout over Queens Park Rangers, sees it poll fifth. Angel Di Maria, who opened the scoring in his first match at Old Trafford after joining from Real, was United's most dangerous player in the game and enters this week's poll in fourth.

"This is what Manchester United in 2015 is supposed to be: a wonderful attacking team, with plenty of stars, some creativity, all driven by a strong feeling of revenge on the past year," Cedric Rouquette of Eurosport in France said.

Aston Villa finished only one vote behind United after its surprise 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield. AC Milan is seventh, after an incredible 5-4 win against Parma on Sunday. Jeremy Menez scored the winner for Milan with a brilliant back-heeled flick, and is fifth in the player vote.

Bayern Munich is eighth after winning 2-0 against Stuttgart, while a 2-0 win against Udinese sees Juventus poll ninth.

In the player vote, Alexis Sanchez and Jack Wilshere are ninth and tenth, respectively, after each scored in Arsenal's 2-2 home draw with Premier League champion Manchester City.

Shinji Kagawa is eighth after scoring on his return to Borussia Dortmund, who take on Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.

AP Global Football 10 rankings:

Teams:

1. Atletico Madrid, 157.

PHOTO: Chelsea’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Swansea City during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Chelsea’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Swansea City during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

2. Chelsea, 141.

3. Inter Milan, 105.

4. Barcelona, 99.

5. Manchester United, 64.

6. Aston Villa, 63.

7. AC Milan, 60.

8. Bayern Munich, 50.

9. Juventus, 42.

10. Borussia Moenchengladbach, 30.

Players:

1. Diego Costa, 167 points.

2. Mauro Icardi, 109.

3. Neymar, 103.

4. Angel Di Maria, 86.

5. Jeremy Menez, 56.

6. Arda Turan, 46.

7. Lionel Messi, 45.

8. Shinji Kagawa, 38.

9. Alexis Sanchez, 30.

10. Jack Wilshere, 26.

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PHOTO: Chelsea’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Swansea City during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
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