Bayern tops AP rankings for 4th straight week

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By STEVE DOUGLAS, Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — It's turning into a procession for Bayern Munich in the Associated Press global soccer poll.

For the fourth straight week, the German champions were voted the top team by a panel of journalists following back-to-back 6-1 wins — first against Wolfsburg in the German Cup semifinals and then over Hannover on Saturday for its 13th straight Bundesliga victory.

"As much as I like Barcelona, boy is it tough not to like the way Bayern Munich is playing right now," said Tom Timmermann, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Two 6-1 wins in one week? I don't care who you're playing. I like to see that."

There was more good news for Germany with national team playmaker Mesut Oezil voted the best player of the week thanks to his double for Real Madrid in a 3-1 home win over Real Betis.

Oezil's silky display at the Santiago Bernabeu overshadowed that of international colleague Mario Gomez, whose five goals last week earned him a share of second place with Tottenham forward Gareth Bale.

The showy display of scoring last week included Robin van Persie, whose hat trick in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa secured Manchester United a 20th English title. But it landed him only seventh in the player voting.

Whether Bayern stays at the head of the line or is toppled by Barcelona could hinge on the outcome of Tuesday's Champions League semifinal first leg between two of Europe's heavyweight clubs.

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