After hitting some roadblocks to start 2018, defending La Liga champions Real Madrid look back to their old selves in February. Zinedine Zidane’s men made it five wins in a row in all competitions, downing Alaves 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo led Los Blancos with a brace, while Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema also got on the scoresheet. Ronaldo’s 44th-minute opener gave the hosts a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Bale scored his ninth goal of the season in all comps, extending the lead to 2-0 in the 46th-minute. Ronaldo slotted home his second of the afternoon in the 61st-minute to make it 3-0 Real before Benzema scored from the penalty spot in the final moments of the match. Real had 10 shots on goal in the home win, while Alaves was kept out five times by Keylor Navas. Zidane’s men are up to third place in the table with 51 points, while Alaves are down to 16th after the defeat.\
Elsewhere in Europe, Bayern Munich was held to a scoreless draw at home in Bundesliga action, while Werder Bremen squeaked out a win at home. Celta Vigo jumped to seventh place in the La Liga standings after a home win over Eibar. Liverpool rolled to three points at Anfield against West Ham United, while Inter Milan triumphed at home in Serie A. Amiens grabbed a huge three points on the road at Nantes in France’s top flight.
Here’s a closer look at all of Friday and Saturday’s European action:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Liverpool continued their push for a top-three finish with a 4-1 home beatdown of West Ham United on Saturday. The Reds led comfortably at halftime, thanks to a 29th-minute header by Emre Can. The German international got on the end of Mohamed Salah’s cross and headed home from close range. Salah’s 31st goal of the season in all competitions extended Liverpool’s advantage to 2-0 early in the second-half. The Hammers defense let up again in the 57th-minute, as Roberto Firmino scored on a breakaway. Michail Antonio’s right-footed finish in the 59th-minute gave the Hammers faithful something to cheer about on the afternoon. Sadio Mane’s close-range finish stamped the final score at 4-1, moving the Reds up to second place for now. West Ham dropped to 13th, after losing their second result in the month of February.
David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town made it three wins in their last four fixtures across all competitions, defeating West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Following a scoreless first-half, the Terriers took control of the match with a pair of goals in quick succession. Rajiv van La Parra opened things after 48 minutes finishing Collin Quaner’s assist. Steve Mounie made it four goals in 2018, curling past Ben Foster in the 56th-minute. Craig Dawson’s close-range header from a corner kick pulled one back for the Baggies but proved to be a mere consolation. Alan Pardew’s men are seven points from safety and winless in five straight in all competitions. Huddersfield are up to 14th with the road win.
Here’s all of Saturday’s EPL results:
Leicester City 1 – Stoke City 1
AFC Bournemouth 2 – Newcastle United 2
Brighton & Hove Albion 4 – Swansea City 1
Burnley 1 – Southampton 1
West Bromwich Albion 1 – Huddersfield Town 2
Liverpool 4 – West Ham United 1
Watford 1 – Everton 0
SPANISH LA LIGA
In Spain’s early showdown on Saturday, Celta Vigo used a pair of second-half goals to down Eibar 2-0 at home. Maxi Gomez’s fast break finish in the 79th-minute gave Celta their insurance goal after Iago Aspas scored their opener after 56 minutes. Aspas was able to finish from close-range, with Emre Mor earning the assist. Gomez’s 13th goal of the season sealed the three points for Celta, who snapped a three-match winless run in the process. Eibar has now lost back-to-back fixtures and drop under Celta in the league table.
Here’s all of Friday and Saturday’s La Liga results:
Deportivo 0 – Espanyol 0
Celta Vigo 2 – Eibar 0
Real Madrid 4 – Alaves 0
Leganes 0 – Las Palmas 0
Barcelona 6 – Girona 1
For the first time since May 2016, Bayern Munich was held scoreless at the Allianz Arena in a 0-0 draw with Hertha Berlin. After dominating in both possession and passing, Bayern could not find the final product at home. Rune Jarstein made six saves in the clean sheet for Hertha, earning them a valuable road point. Robert Lewandowski was kept out on a trio of occasions, while Arjen Robben was stoned from long-range in stoppage time. Sven Ulreich made three saves in the Bayern goal, keeping out Salomon Kalou and Vladimir Darida. Hertha sits in 11th place, while Bayern are in first with a 20 point lead over second-place Borussia Dortmund.
Werder Bremen extended their home unbeaten run to seven matches in league play after a slim 1-0 win against Hamburg. American international Aron Johannsson came on in the second-half and helped make an impact on the winning goal. Johannsson’s left-footed was saved by Philipp Bargfrede before Rick van Drongelen scored into his own net. Hamburg’s winless run has now extended to 11 matches, in which they have only scored five goals. The visitors could only muster one shot on goal in the loss on Saturday. Bremen are out of the bottom three with the win and into 14th, while Hamburg remains in 17th.
Here’s all of Friday and Saturday’s Bundesliga results:
FSV Mainz 1 – VfL Wolfsburg 1
Bayern Munich 0 – Hertha Berlin 0
1899 Hoffenheim 1 – SC Freiburg 1
Hannover 0 – Borussia Monchengladbach 1
VfB Stuttgart 1 – Eintracht Frankfurt 0
Werder Bremen 1 – Hamburg SV 0
ITALIAN SERIE A
Inter Milan bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Genoa by defeating Benevento 2-0 at the San Siro. Milan Skriniar’s 66th-minute header opened things for Inter for his fourth goal of the season. Three minutes later saw Inter pad their lead through Andrea Ranocchia’s 69th-minute header following a set piece situation. Ranocchia headed Joao Cancelo’s cross into the bottom-left corner for his first goal of the season. Nicolas Viola was sent off later for Benevento for earning a second yellow card. The promoted side suffered their fifth loss of the new year, which sees them remain last in the Serie A standings. Inter are up to third place ahead of Sunday’s fixtures.
Here’s all of Saturday’s Serie A results:
Bologna 2 – Genoa 0
Inter Milan 2 – Benevento 0
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Amiens snapped a four-match winless run in Ligue 1 play, defeating Nantes 1-0 on the road. The lone goal in the match came from a long-range left-footed effort by Congo international Gael Kakuta. Kaktua’s strike beat Ciprian Tatarusanu to the bottom-left corner, giving Amiens a halftime lead. Nantes, who had the bulk of the possession in the match, could not beat Amiens keeper Regis Gurtner who made four saves in the clean sheet. Lucas Lima’s 52nd-minute free kick struck the left post which was the hosts best chance of scoring. Nantes dropped into sixth place with the home defeat, while Amiens are up to 15th.
Here’s all of Friday and Saturday’s Ligue 1 results:
Strasbourg 0 – Montpellier 0
Toulouse 3 – AS Monaco 3
Dijon 2 – Caen 0
Guingamp 2 – Metz 2
Lille 1 – Angers 2
Nantes 0 – Amiens 1
Rennes 2 – Troyes 0