There was plenty to savour for some of Europe’s leading clubs this weekend as Bayern Munich marched within three points of the Bundesliga title, Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead in France and both Manchester United and Juventus maintained their advantages with wins.
Bayern moved to within one victory of the Bundesliga crown with a scintillating display on Saturday, sweeping aside Hamburge 9-2. Claudio Pizarro struck four goals and Arjen Robben two as Jupp Heynckes’ men also sent a warning to Tuesday’s Champions League last-eight rivals Juve. Anything less than a win for Borussia Dortmund would have handed Bayern the title with seven games to go, but the current champions, who visit Málaga on Wednesday, won 2-1 at Stuttgart, while third-placed Bayer Leverkusen prevailed 4-1 at Düsseldorf.
PSG warmed up for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting with Barcelona by extending their Ligue 1 lead to seven points, substitute Kevin Gameiro sealing a 1-0 win against Montpellier. The capital club were aided by a 2-1 defeat for Olympique Lyonnais at home against Sochaux-Montbéliard, which also allowed Olympique de Marseille to move into second spot, André-Pierre Gignac sealing their 1-0 success at Nice.
Manchester United took another step closer to the Premier League title with a 1-0 triumph at Sunderland, Titus Bramble’s own goal keeping the Red Devils 15 points clear of Manchester City, who saw off Newcastle United FC 4-0. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur won 2-1 at Swansea City to move third ahead of Chelsea, who lost by the same scoreline at Southampton.
Juventus beat rivals Inter Milan 2-1, a result that preserved Juventus’ nine-point lead over second-placed SSC Napoli, who routed Torino 5-3 thanks to a hat-trick from Blerim Dzemaili and an Edinson Cavani double. Meanwhile, AC Milan edged out Chievo Verona 1-0 to stretch their unbeaten sequence to nine Serie A games and move six points clear of fourth-placed Fiorentina, beaten 2-1 at Cagliari.
Lionel Messi found the net for a 19th consecutive league game as Barcelona drew 2-2 at Celta Vigo. The Argentina forward struck on 73 minutes to match Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of scoring against every Liga outfit last season. Due to tackle Galatasaray on Wednesday, Real Madrid were held as well, 1-1 at Real Zaragoza, and that was also the scoreline between third-placed Atlético Madrid and Valencia.