Chelsea FC and FC Internazionale Milano both had their title defences damaged by rare home defeats over the weekend, while life became easier for Borussia Dortmund as they extended their lead to seven points in the Bundesliga. UEFA.com looks back at the recent action across the continent.
Arsenal FC enjoyed the most fruitful weekend of the Premier League pacesetters, winning 2-1 at Everton FC to go second, within two points of leaders Chelsea. The titleholders endured a wretched day in west London, losing 3-0 to Sunderland AFC despite not having conceded a home league goal since 27 March. Their previous league defeat at Stamford Bridge came on 27 February. "Everything went wrong; we didn't play well or how we wanted," said manager Carlo Ancelotti. "It was a bad day." Manchester United FC are a further point behind the Gunners in third, having struck twice in the final nine minutes to come from two down and salvage a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa FC.
AC Milan had a double dose of joy on Sunday night when they defeated Inter to resume their place at the front of the pack. The Rossoneri had been knocked off their perch by S.S. Lazio – 2-0 victors at home to third-placed SSC Napoli – but swiftly clambered back on top thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimović's fifth-minute penalty. It was a first home loss in Serie A for Inter since 22 March 2008 and means Rafael Benítez's side are now fifth and trail their city rivals by six points. They are level on points with fourth-placed Juventus, who drew 1-1 with AS Roma on Saturday.
Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona continued their fine domestic form with vastly contrasting victories. Josep Guardiola's side set the bar high on Saturday, beating Villarreal CF 3-1 to inflict a first defeat since the opening day of the season on the Yellow Submarine. Lionel Messi scored twice for Barça and it was his fellow Argentinian, Gonzalo Higuaín, who did the damage for Madrid. He struck with eight minutes remaining to ensure a 1-0 victory against Real Sporting de Gijón which maintained José Mourinho's unbeaten record as coach and restored Los Merengues' one-point advantage. Villarreal are now six points off the pace in third.
Dortmund are an imposing seven points clear in the Bundesliga after posting a 2-0 win against Hamburger SV on Friday. 1. FSV Mainz 05 failed to keep up the pressure as they suffered a third consecutive loss the following day, succumbing 1-0 to Hannover 96, and that allowed Bayer 04 Leverkusen to go second – level on points with Mainz – with a 1-0 victory at FC St Pauli. Champions FC Bayern München are now up sixth, meanwhile, Mario Gomez scoring twice in their 3-0 Bavarian derby win against 1. FC Nürnberg. "I still believe that the title is a possibility," said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal afterwards. "Dortmund are a very good team but they've enjoyed a lot of good fortune."
It is incredibly tight at the top in France, with no fewer than 12 teams within four points of leaders Stade Brestois 29, who drew 1-1 with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. The promoted side's nearest rivals are LOSC Lille Métropole, for whom Moussa Sow hit a hat-trick in a 5-2 triumph at SM Caen, with Montpellier Hérault SC on the same points total after they downed Toulouse FC 1-0. Paris Saint-Germain FC had an opportunity to move top away against FC Lorient on Sunday but were ultimately grateful to escape with a 1-1 draw, and that was also the scoreline between sixth-placed Olympique de Marseille and struggling RC Lens. "That wasn't good enough compared to what this team is capable of," said OM coach Didier Deschamps.
There were some familiar names etched on trophies across the continent, with FC BATE Borisov claiming their fifth straight Belarusian title on Saturday and FC Pyunik their tenth Armenian crown in a row on Sunday. FC Zenit St Petersburg wrapped up the league in Russia for just the second time, while there cup triumphs for Sligo Rovers FC in the Republic of Ireland, Strømsgodset IF in Norway and FC Lokomotiv Astana in Kazakhstan. In Turkey, Bursaspor lost for the first time this term, going down 2-0 to leaders Trabzonspor AŞ, and finally Jagiellonia Białystok remain atop the Polish First Division following a 1-1 draw with second-placed Korona Kielce.
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