In another interesting weekend of soccer, a draw between Spain’s leading duo played into Real Madrid’s hands, while Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead in France, Juventus won again and Manchester City moved to top of the Premier League.
In a defensive masterpiece Atlético Madrid and Barcelona played out a 0-0 draw in the Estádio Vicente Calderón to remain locked together on 50 points at the top of the table. Real Madrid took advantage of the teams ahead of them dropping points as they beat Espanyol 1-0 to close withhin three points of the leaders. Elsewhere Athletic Bilbao cemented their hold on fourth spot by thumping Almería 6-1.
Can anyone stop Juventus in Italy? It doesn’t appear that they can as Juve clinched a club record 11th successive Serie A win with a 4-1 success at Cagliari. The result maintained Juve’s eight-point advantage over AS Roma, who themselves hit four in a victory against Genoa, while Napoli in third won 3-0 at Hellas Verona. Fourth-placed ACF Fiorentina lost ground in a 0-0 draw at Torino, and 19-year-old Domenico Berardi hit four goals as struggling Sassuolo beat AC Milan 4-3.
Manchester City ended the weekend at the top of the Premier League pile after a hard-fought 2-0 success at Newcastle United. The win was not without controversy as Newcastle had a perfectly good goal ruled out for office when the score was 1-0. One point behind City is Chelsea, who downed Hull City 2-0, with Hazard scoring again. In a normal year Hazard would be a shoo-in for the Premier League Player of the Year award, but that is going to Luis Suarez who scored two more as Liverpool beat Stoke City 5-3.
Paris Saint-Germain resumed their Ligue 1 title defence with a 2-1 comeback win at bottom-of-the-table AC Ajaccio to move five points out in front at the top. PSG was the only club in the top four to win this weekend. Monaco dropped off the pace as they could only draw 1-1 at Montpellier, and third-placed Lille lost 2-1 at home to Stade de Reims. In fourth, Saint-Étienne were held to a goalless draw at Guingamp, while Olympique de Marseille won 2-1 at Évian Thonon Gaillard.