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European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid gains momentum, Liverpool rolls & more

Kaka 1 (Reuters) 


Real Madrid has been a long shot to overtake Barcelona for the La Liga title for a while now, but as the Spanish giants reach the midway point of their four-Clasicos-in-17-days stretch, the Merengues look to have momentum and confidence on their side going into this week's first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

The capital-based club followed up its dramatic midweek Copa Del Rey triumph at Valencia's Mestalla stadium with a 6-3 thumping of the stadium's regular tenant on Saturday. Gonzalo Higuain had a hat-trick and Kaka added a brace as the visitors took a 4-0 lead before halftime. They led 5-0 and 6-1 before Valencia netted a pair of late consolation goals.

The most impressive performance in Europe not put on by Real Madrid this weekend may have belonged to Liverpool, which got a hat-trick from Maxi Rodriguez en route to a 5-0 demolition of Birmingham City.

Elsewhere in England, Fernando Torres finally opened his Chelsea account in the Blues' 3-0 victory over West Ham, a result that, combined with Arsenal's Sunday loss at Bolton, lifted Chelsea to second place in the Premier League.

In Italy, AC Milan extended its Serie A lead to eight points with a 1-0 win at Brescia, though it took 82 minutes for the club to find a breakthrough from Robinho. Milan was helped by Napoli's 2-1 loss at Palermo.

Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:


Manchester United is looking increasingly likely to win a record 19th English title this season. With a six-point lead and just four games left to play, the Red Devils would have to mount an impressive collapse in order to surrender the title to either Arsenal or suddenly resurgent Chelsea. That said, if United is going to lose the title, the next two weeks will be the difference. The Red Devils take on their two closest challengers on the next two Sundays, traveling to the Emirates on May 1 and hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford on May 8.

Bolton 2, Arsenal 1

Manchester United 1, Everton 0

Aston Villa 1, Stoke City 1

Blackpool 1, Newcastle United 1

Liverpool 5, Birmingham City 0

Sunderland 4, Wigan Athletic 2

Tottenham 2, West Bromwich Albion 2

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Fulham 1

Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0

Monday: Blackburn v. Manchester City


Barcelona's 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Osasuna Saturday was a less impressive result than Real Madrid's, but it kept the Catalan club on pace to make history. Barca needs 12 points from its remaining five league matches in order to become the first La Liga club to top 100 points in a season. Through 33 matches, the club is 28-1-4 (W-L-T) with as many goals (88) as points and a goal differential of +71. With only two of its five remaining matches against clubs in the top half of the La Liga table – eighth-placed Espanyol and ninth-placed Levante – reaching the 100-point plateau looks well within the realm of possibility. Then again, the Catalan club's only loss this season came at home to Hercules, a club that may not even be in the Spanish top flight next year.

Valencia 3, Real Madrid 6

Barcelona 2, Osasuna 0

Athletic Bilbao 2, Real Sociedad 1

Mallorca 2, Getafe 0

Sporting Gijon 1, Espanyol 0

Racing Santander 1, Malaga 2

Hercules 1, Deportivo la Coruna 0

Atletico Madrid 4, Levante 1

Sevilla 3, Villarreal 2

Monday: Real Zaragoza v. Almeria


Because of this weekend's holidays, all 10 of the week's Serie A matches were played on Saturday, and seven were played simultaneously. This made for some interesting drama during the afternoon games. For instance, things were looking great for second-placed Napoli when Edinson Cavani stroked home a penalty in just the 2nd minute of the club's match at Palermo, and it got even better for the Neapolitan club when Mauro Zarate put Lazio ahead of third-placed Inter Milan in the 24th minute of that match. By the end of the first half of each game, however, the tide had begun to turn. Cesare Bovo put Palermo ahead of Napoli 2-1 with a penalty in first half stoppage time. At roughly the same time, Wesley Sneijder pulled Inter back to level terms with Lazio. By the time both games were over, Inter had moved into second and the stage had been set for AC Milan to extend its league lead in the late game.

AS Roma 1, Chievo 0

Bari 0, Sampdoria 1

Bologna 0, Cesena 2

Cagliari 1, Fiorentina 2

Genoa 4, Lecce 2

Inter Milan 2, Lazio 1

Palermo 2, Napoli 1

Udinese 0, Parma 2

Brescia 0, AC Milan 1

Juventus 2, Catania 2


And just like that, Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga lead is down to five again. The leaders fell 1-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach despite limiting the season-long cellar dwellars to just 40 percent of the possession and only two shots on goal. The result, coupled with Bayer Leverkusen's 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Hoffenheim, leaves the title race open with three matches left. If the results had been reversed, Dortmund would have clinched the title this weekend.

VfL Wolfsburg 4, FC Cologne 1

Nurnberg 0, Mainz 05 0

Bayer Leverkusen 2, Hoffenheim 1

Eintracht Frankfurt 1, Bayern Munich 1

Schalke 04 0, Kaiserslautern 1

St. Pauli 1, Werder Bremen 3

VfB Stuttgart 3, Hamburg 0

Borussia Moenchengladbach 1, Borussia Dortmund 0

SC Freiburg 1, Hannover 96 3


While Serie A played all of its matches on Saturday this week, Ligue 1 opted to schedule all of its matches for Easter Sunday. Though the weekend's results were probably unrelated to the holiday, it ended up being a rather uneventful week for French football, with six of the eight matches ending in draws, and only one – Brest's 2-2 draw with Paris St. Germain – featuring more than a goal per side. Of the two matches that did feature a definitive result, Stade Rennes' 1-0 loss to struggling Monaco had the greatest effect on the top-of-the-table races, leaving the club one point further behind PSG in the race for European qualification.

AJ Auxerre 1, Lens 1

AS Monaco 1, Stade Rennes 0

AS Nancy Lorraine 0, Arles 0

Bordeaux 2, St. Etienne 0

Brest 2, Paris St. Germain 2

Caen 1, Toulouse 1

Valenciennes 1, Sochaux 1

Lorient 1, Lille 1


What did you think of this week's results? Who do you see prevailing in the Real Madrid v. Barcelona semifinal? Think Dortmund can hold on for the Bundesliga title?


  1. Or other champions league opponents that have tried to play anti football against Barca and failed. Barca is a hard team to play only the special one has had some degree of consistent success against them. But even he has been beat 5-0.

  2. this is more easily said than done my man…you think all the other la liga coaches are idiots and dont realize this?

  3. It’s because all teams minus Madrid the past couple (Inter last) just let them pass the ball around. If you get in their face and knock them off the ball constantly, they won’t gain a rhythm and would lose more often.

    Some people say this is anti football, but football is about winning, nothing else.


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