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Weekend Review: Liverpool Stay On Track While Bayern Suffer First League Defeat

mind_the_gap-logoThe title races in both Spain and England look like they will come down to the final weeks of the season after wins for the top three in both countries left Liverpool and Atlético Madrid still holding narrow leads.

England
Two more penalties for Steven Gerrard penalties helped Liverpool beat West Ham 2-1 and lifted them back in front of Chelsea, who bounced back from two straight defeats to beat Stoke City 3-0, with Manchester City four points off the top, but with two games in hand, after beating Southampton 4-1. City travel to Anfield next weekend with the winner odds on favorite to lift the trophy. Meanwhile Arsenal’s season is threatening to come undone as they lost 3-0 at Everton, a result that moved Roberto Martinez’s side to within a point of the Gunners, having played one game less.

Spain
Three points still separate the Liga’s contenders as they all picked up victories on Saturday. Atletico beat Villarreal 1-0 at home to remain a point clear of Barcelona, 3-1 victors against Real Betis the Camp Nou. As for Real Madrid CF, they lie two points back from the Blaugrana following a 4-0 win at Real Sociedad. The title race might well come down to the last weekend when Atletico travel to the Camp Nou.

Germany
Bayern suffered a first defeat in an incredible 54 Bundesliga outings as they lost 1-0 at Augsburg.

“You can’t win them all in football,” explained coach Josep Guardiola afterwards. “We have to accept the defeat and start to prepare for our final against Manchester [United FC] on Wednesday. It’s a true final – a matter of life or death.”

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 at home to Wolfsburg, putting more ground between themselves and Schalke in third, with the Königsblauen drawing 1-1 at Werder Bremen.

Italy
Roma closed within five points of Serie A pacesetters Juventus by defeating Cagliari 3-1 courtesy of a Mattia Destro hat-trick. Juve have the chance to restore their eight-point advantage when they host Livorno on Monday, while Napoli in third lost 1-0 at Parma. Fiorentina are firmly established in fourth following their 2-1 home win against Udinese, and Lazio closed on fifth-placed Inter with a 2-0 win against Sampdoria.

France
PSG did not need injured superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović as they closed in on the title with a 3-0 win against Reims. That leaves Paris 13 points ahead of Monaco, who won 3-1 winners against Nantes. Six points back, Lille strengthened their hold on third by prevailing 2-1 at Toulouse to move five points clear of Saint-Étienne, with Les Verts held 1-1 at home by Nice.

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