Football Article

Weekend Developments From Europe's Top Leagues

It was a momentous weekend for German leaders Borussia Dortmund who firmed for the Bundesliga title, while big guns FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Inter Milan all enjoyed a good weekend too.Dortmund look like champions>

German Bundesliga

Pos Team Pts
1 Borussia Dortmund 58
2 Bayer Leverkusen 46
3 Hannover 96 44
4 Bayern Munich 42
5 FSV Mainz 40

Leaders Borussia Dortmund took a big stride towards the German title after a 3-1 triumph at Bayern Munich moved them 12 points clear. Lucas Barrios, Nuri Sahin and Mats Hummels got the goals at Dortmund won at Bayern for the first time in 19 years.

Meanwhile, second-placed Leverkusen let slip to a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with struggling Werder Bremen. Hannover 96 moved into the Champions League spots after Christian Schulz scored late to clinch a 1-0 win at St Pauli.

Pos Team Pts
14 VfL Wolfsburg 26
15 Werder Bremen 25
16 Kaiserslautern 24
17 VfB Stuttgart 22
18 Moenchengladbach 19

VfL Wolfsburg ended a run of four consecutive defeats with a crucial 2-1 win over Moenchengladbach in a big relegation battle on Friday, with Diego scoring twice. VfB Stuttgart gave themselves hope and dragged Eintracht Frankfurt down to 13th after a 2-0 win, while Werder Bremen fought back to claim an important 2-2 draw with Leverkusen.

Spanish La Liga

Real couldn't find a way> |Pos|Team|Pts| |—|—-|—| |1|FC Barcelona|68| |2|Real Madrid|61| |3|Valencia|51| |4|Villarreal|47| |5|Espanyol|40|

Barcelona moved a step closer to clinching the Spanish title after second-placed Real Madrid drew 0-0 at Deportivo Coruna. Real dominated the game and the chances but were frustrated by a combination of the woodwork, poor finishing and some good keeping by Daniel Aranzubia.

Meanwhile the Spanish champions cruised to a 3-0 win at Real Mallorca with Pedro scoring the best of the goals. Valencia firmed for third spot with a 2-1 win at Bilbao, where they scored twice in the final 15 minutes. Midtable pair Atletico Madrid and Sevilla could only draw 2-2.

Pos Team Pts
16 Osasuna 25
17 Sporting Gijon 25
18 Real Zaragoza 24
19 Almeria 21
20 Malaga 20

In a true relegation scrap, Gijon and Zaragoza ended goalless to remain precariously placed. On Monday, bottom two Almeria and Malaga face off in a hugely important duel. Meanwhile, Levante’s 2-1 win over Osasuna saw Granotes move up to 13th following four wins in their past five matches.

English Premier League

Red Devils restore lead> |Pos|Team|Pts|Pl| |—|—-|—|–| |1|Manchester United|60|27| |2|Arsenal|56|27| |3|Manchester City|50|28| |4|Tottenham|47|27| |5|Chelsea|45|26|

Manchester United restored their four-point advantage at the top of the table after a comfortable 4-0 win at Wigan on Saturday, with Javier Hernandez scoring twice. The Gunners were busy with the Carling Cup this weekend – which they lost 2-1 to Birmingham City.

Manchester City were underwhelming and appear well-and-truly out of the title race after a 1-1 home draw with Fulham. The big game is to come on Tuesday when Chelsea host the Red Devils.

Pos Team Pts
16 Birmingham City 30
17 Wolverhampton 28
18 West Ham United 28
19 West Bromwich 28
20 Wigan 27

There’s been plenty of movement down the bottom in England, with Wolverhampton’s emphatic 4-0 victory over Blackpool skyrocketing them out of the drop zone. Blackpool, 15th on the table, are looking over their shoulders nervously now. West Ham beat Liverpool 3-1, while Wigan dropped into last after their loss to Manchester United.

Italian Serie A

Udinese tore apart Palermo> |Pos|Team|Pts| |—|—-|—| |1|AC Milan|55| |2|Internazionale|53| |3|Napoli|52| |4|Lazio|48| |5|Udinese|47|

Inter Milan jumped into second spot and moved to within two points of leaders AC Milan after scoring inside the final 20 minutes to defeat Sampdoria 2-0, thanks to goals from Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o. AC Milan and Napoli meet in Monday night’s big clash.

Udinese, though, grabbed the headlines with an unbelievable 7-0 victory at Palermo. Chilean Alexis Sanchez netted four goals while Antonio Di Natale grabbed a hat-trick in the stunning rout.

Pos Team Pts
16 Parma 28
17 Lecce 28
18 Cesena 25
19 Brescia 24
20 Bari 16

Luis Jimenez’s last-gasp penalty clinched a crucial 1-0 win for struggling Cesena over Chievo Verona to give them hope in their bid to avoid the drop. In a big relegation battle, Lecce fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Brescia, while Catania moved up to 15th after a 2-1 win over Genoa.

Random League: French Ligue 1

Kallstrom hit a screamer> |Pos|Team|Pts| |—|—-|—| |1|Lille|46| |2|Stade Rennes|46| |3|Olympique Marseille|45| |4|PSG|44| |5|Olympique Lyon|42|

Leaders Lille drew 1-1 with Olympique Lyonnais in Sunday’s late kick-off clash with Kim Kallstrom scoring a cracker for Lyon. Lille have now only won one of their past four Ligue 1 matches and only lead the league on goal difference from Rennes who beat Lens 2-0 on Saturday. Meanwhile, Lyon won’t be satisfied with a draw which keeps them off the pace.

Elsewhere, reigning champions Marseille can thank Andre Ayew for their 2-1 win at Nancy which keeps them in the title race, while PSG> beat Toulouse 2-1 to also stay in touch. There’s no doubt Ligue 1 offers one of the tightest title races in Europe this season.

Ben somerford
Ben Somerford Sports Pundit staff writer

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