Usually accustomed to having things their own way, FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund received jolts over the weekend, the Liga leaders having their record run of victories brought to a halt and their Bundesliga counterparts pegged back by a last-minute leveller. Elsewhere, the likes of AC Milan and Manchester United FC recorded morale-boosting results, as UEFA.com recaps in this look back at the recent action.
Real Madrid CF received a welcome fillip in their bid to overhaul long-time leaders Barcelona. Josep Guardiola's side, victorious in their last 16 league fixtures, were finally held to a 1-1 draw against Real Sporting de Gijón. "Sporting are very strong at home and it showed – I have a lot of respect for them," said Guardiola. Madrid captain Iker Casillas was dismissed just two minutes into their trip to RCD Espanyol on Sunday, but his side nevertheless prevailed courtesy of a solitary Marcelo goal. That hauled them to within five points of their rivals.
Dortmund's advantage atop the Bundesliga is down to ten points after Jan Morávek struck in the final minute to earn 1. FC Kaiserslauten a 1-1 draw. "We may have been the better team but we did not do enough to deserve more," said Jürgen Klopp, whose team have now won just two of their last six outings. Bayer 04 Leverkusen beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 to stay second, three points clear of FC Bayern München, with the champions 4-0 victors against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Bottom-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach sacked Michael Frontzeck after a 3-1 reverse at FC St Pauli.
It is as you were in the upper echelons of Ligue 1, with LOSC Lille Métropole still at the head of the title pretenders after defeating Toulouse FC 2-0 on Sunday. Stade Rennais FC remain five points behind after they saw off OGC Nice by the same scoreline and champions Olympique de Marseille lie another point adrift following their 2-1 win against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. "In terms of the title race, we'll have to see where we are at the end of March or beginning of April," said OM coach Didier Deschamps. "It's good to have won for our confidence, but I don't know if we can call this a turning point."
There was no change to the top two in Serie A, Milan upholding their three-point cushion over SSC Napoli following a resounding 4-0 win against Parma FC. Robinho scored twice as the Rossoneri kept clear of the Partenopei, 2-0 winners at AS Roma. "Up until we were leading 2-0 we played well, then we slowed a bit, but in the second half Robinho and the like were the difference," said coach coach Massimiliano Allegri. S.S. Lazio moved into third, a further four points off the pace, after they defeated Brescia Calcio 2-0, and FC Internazionale Milano were beaten 1-0 at Juventus.
Manchester United took a sizeable step towards shaking off the Premier League chasing pack with a 2-1 win against third-placed Manchester City FC. Wayne Rooney's stunning overhead kick proved decisive for United, who are eight points clear of City having played one game fewer. "All the talk will be about that winning goal – unbelievable," said Sir Alex Ferguson. Arsenal FC remain second, four points adrift, after a 2-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers FC which came courtesy of Robin van Persie's ninth and tenth goals in his last seven appearances.
Rangers FC issued a statement of intent in the Scottish Premier League with a 6-0 triumph against Motherwell FC on Saturday. Celtic FC, having played two games more, nonetheless maintained their five-point lead by prevailing 3-1 at Dundee United FC. The gap at the Turkish Super League summit stands at two points after Trabzonspor AŞ won 3-2 at Sivasspor and second-placed Bursaspor were held 1-1 at Eskişehirspor. KRC Genk, three points shy of Belgian First League pacesetters RSC Anderlecht, beat R. Standard de Liège 2-0.
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