Weekend Developments From Europe's Top Leagues 5/3
AC Milan took a big stride towards the title in Italy, along with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, while Manchester United claimed a crucial win in the EPL.
Italian Serie A
Weekend Results, Saturday; Palermo 0 AC Milan 4, Juventus 1 Chievo Verona 1, Sunday; Internazionale 2 Catania 2, Bologna 1 Novara 0, Udinese 0 Atalanta 0, Siena 3 Cagliari 0, Lecce 2 Genoa 2, Fiorentina 2 Cesena 0, AS Roma 1 Lazio 2, Parma 1 Napoli 2
AC Milan moved three points clear in the race for the Scudetto, with a 4-0 triumph at Palermo with Zlatan Ibrahimovic hitting a hat-trick. The result was made all the more important after Juventus stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Chievo Verona on Saturday. Lazio kept alive their title ambitions with a 2-1 Rome derby victory over AS Roma with Stefano Mauri hitting a second-half winner. Inter boss Claudio Ranieri remains under pressure after they drew 2-2 with Catania at home.
Siena claimed back-to-back wins with a 3-0 victory over Cagliari which boosted their hopes of survival as they moved four points clear of the bottom three. Lecce managed a 2-2 draw with Genoa, although they will regret allowing Giuseppe Sculli late leveller. Fiorentina and Bologna celebrated key wins over struggling pair Cesena and Novara respectively.
Topscorers, Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) 18 goals, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) 18 goals, Edinson Cavani (Napoli) 16 goals, German Denis (Atalanta) 15 goals, Rodrigo Palacio (Genoa) 14 goals
English Premier League
Weekend Results, Saturday; Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2, Blackburn 1 Aston Villa 1, Manchester City 2 Bolton 0, QPR 1 Everton 1, Stoke City 1 Norwich City 0, West Bromwich 1 Chelsea 0, Wigan 0 Swansea City 2, Sunday; Newcastle 1 Sunderland 1, Fulham 5 Wolverhampton 0, Tottenham 1 Manchester United 3
Manchester United kept close to leaders Manchester City with a big 3-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday, with Ashley Young hitting a second-half brace. Spurs’ title hpoes are all but gone now. Elsewhere, Arsenal got past Liverpool 2-1 to firm up their Uefa Champions League spot, while Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas got the sack after losing against West Bromwich.
Wigan had a dismal 2-1 home loss to Swansea City but the club have backed coach Roberto Martinez. Bolton suffered their fourth straight defeat, losing against Manchester City, while Wolverhampton were hammered 5-0 by Fulham which sees them drop into the bottom three. Blackburn and QPR both claimed handy 1-1 draws in their respective games.
Topscorers, Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 25 goals, Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 18 goals, Demba Ba (Newcastle) 16 goals, Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) 16 goals
Spanish La Liga
Weekend Results, Saturday; Real Mallorca 1 Osasuna 1, Getafe 1 Malaga 3, Rayo Vallecano 4 Racing Santander 2, Barcelona 3 Sporting Gijon 1, Sevilla 1 Atletico Madrid 1, Sunday; Real Zaragoza 2 Villarreal 1, Athletic Bilbao 2 Real Sociedad 0, Granada 0 Valencia 1, Real Madrid 5 Espanyol 0, Monday; Levante 3 Real Betis 1
There were more goals for league leaders Real Madrid as they hit Espanyol for five, with Gonzalo Higuain grabbing a double. Barcelona didn’t fall any further behind with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Sporting Gijon, where they went down to 10 men but had Seydou Keita and Xavi’s late goals to thank for the victory. The top six all won, including sixth-placed Malaga who kept alive their Uefa Champions League ambitions.
Five of the bottom six in Spain’s top flight suffered defeats over the weekend, however bottom-club Real Zaragoza were the big winners knocking off Villarreal 2-1 with goals coming from Luis Garcia and Abraham Fernandez.
Topscorers, Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 30 goals, Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 28 goals, Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) 16 goals, Radomel Falcao (Atletico Madrid) 15 goals
Weekend Results, Friday; Saturday; Bayer Leverkusen 2 Bayern Munich 0, Hamburg SV 0 VfB Stuttgart 4, Hannover 96 2 FC Augsburg 2, SC Freiburg 2 Schalke 04 1, Kaiserslautern 0 VfL Wolfsburg 0, Hertha Berlin 1 Werder Bremen 0, Borussia Dortmund 2 FSV Mainz 1, Sunday; FC Nurnberg 1 Monchengladbach 0, Hoffenheim 1 FC Koln 1
Three of the top four clubs lost in Germany over the weekend, however it was leaders Borussia Dortmund who didn’t, despite a laboured 2-1 win over FSV Mainz. Bayern Munich slipped to a 2-0 loss at Bayer Leverkusen, which is a result which leaves them seven points behind the leaders. Monchengladbach and Schalke also were beaten, while Leverkusen moved within range of a push for the Uefa Champions League.
It was a huge weekend of results for the relegation battlers, with Otto Rehhagel’s Hertha Berlin ending their 12-game winless run and six-game losing streak with a 1-0 victory over Werder Bremen. Freiburg got past Schalke 2-1 for a crucial three points, while Augsburg controversially levelled with a late penalty to draw 2-2 with Hannover 96. Kaiserslautern dropped into bottom spot despite a goalless draw with Wolfsburg.
Topscorers, Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich) 18 goals, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Hamburg SV) 18 goals, Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund), 16 goals, Lukas Podolski (FC Koln) 16 goals
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