Real Madrid move ten points clear


Givemefootball rounds up the action from an enthralling weekend of European football...

Spain - La Liga

Real Madrid took full advantage of Barcelona's defeat to Osasuna on Saturday evening by moving ten points clear of the latter at the top of La Liga.

Barca were defeated 3-2 in Pamplona after Pep Guardiola decided to rest the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas with a midweek encounter against Bayer Leverkusen on the horizon.

However, the Barca boss' decision to play an experimental midfield of Thiago, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberto backfired, to provide Real with the opportunity to edge closer to a first league title since 2008.

Playing on Sunday, Jose Mourinho's side did fall behind against Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu but recovered sufficiently to take all three points, as Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick.

Karim Benzema also scored for Los Blancos in the 4-2 triumph and, as it stands, they seem destined to lift the Primera Division crown.

Italy - Serie A

Inter Milan endured a third defeat in four games to increase the pressure on manager Claudio Ranieri.

Andrea Caracciolo scored the only goal of the game as rock-bottom Novara triumphed over the Nerazzurri for the second time this season, to seemingly end any faint title hopes still harboured by Inter.

Inter's chances of qualifying for the Champions League also look increasingly in doubt with Udinese five points clear in fourth place, although they did lose to Serie A leaders AC Milan.

This 2-1 victory saw Milan move two above Juventus, although the Bianconeri retain two games in hand after Sunday's encounter with Bologna fell victim to the weather.

Germany - Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund remain on course to defend their Bundesliga title after the weekend defeat of Bayer Leverkusen ensured they retained a two point lead over Bayern Munich.

A solitary strike from Shinji Kagawa was enough to ensure Dortmund captured all three points against Leverkusen, while Bayern triumphed over Kaiserslautern.

Mario Gomez scored his 26th goal of another quite astonishing season to provide Bayern with the lead, before Thomas Muller netted the second an a 2-0 triumph.

Meanwhile, Borussia Monchengladbach are still very much in the title race, having climbed above Schalke into third place with a 3-0 victory over the latter.

Marco Reus, Mike Hanke and Juan Arrango all scored for Gladbach, who are only three points behind league leaders Dortmund.

France - Ligue 1

Defending champions Lille saw their title aspirations severely dented once again as they lost to Bordeaux in quite extraordinary style.

Bordeaux had taken a 4-1 lead against Michel Seydoux's side, who fought back valiantly to restore parity with only a minute of the allotted 90 remaining.

However, Ludovic Obraniak snatched victory in stoppage time to leave Lille some 11 points adrift of league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG failed to win for the first time during Carlo Ancelotti's tenure at the Parc des Princes as they were held to a goalless draw by relegation-threatened Nice.

A point, however, was enough for PSG to reclaim top spot after relinquishing the position when Montpellier beat Ajaccio 3-0 a day earlier.

Holland - Eredivisie

PSV Eindhoven maintained their spot at the top of the Eredivisie with a 4-1 defeat of De Graafschap, which sent the latter into bottom place.

PSV raced into a four goal lead before half-time, as Dries Mertens, Ola Toivonen, Tim Matavz and Jermain Lens all found the net.

Graafschap rallied somewhat in the second half, and Gil Vermouth pulled a goal back, but the damage had already been done.

PSV lead the division only on goal difference, as AZ ensured they kept the pace with a 2-0 defeat of relegation-threatened Excelsior.

Maarten Martens scored twice for AZ who, like PSV, have acquired 45 points from their 21 league outings this season.

Ajax, meanwhile, remain in sixth place - eight points behind the leaders - following a 2-0 win away at NAC Breda on Saturday.

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