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City and Dortmund edge ahead in title quests

Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 0.15CET
Manchester United FC may have caught the eye, but it was an even better weekend for Manchester City FC as they and Bundesliga top dogs Borussia Dortmund built two-point leads.

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Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 0.15CET

City and Dortmund edge ahead in title quests

Manchester United FC may have caught the eye, but it was an even better weekend for Manchester City FC as they and Bundesliga top dogs Borussia Dortmund built two-point leads.

There were fireworks at Stamford Bridge as Manchester United FC clawed back from three goals down to draw with Chelsea FC, but it was a result that played into the hands of Manchester City FC as the Premier League leaders joined Bundesliga top dogs Borussia Dortmund in moving two points clear. The teams at the top in Spain, Italy and France preserved their advantages, meanwhile, despite Juventus drawing a blank at home. recaps the best of the action.

Manchester City ended the weekend with a two-point advantage atop the Premier League after they defeated Fulham FC 3-0 and nearest rivals Manchester United drew 3-3 with Chelsea. "We know, if we want to win this league, we should just try and win all the games and not think about other teams," said City manager Roberto Mancini. His team looked certain to be sitting even prettier when United fell 3-0 down on Sunday, but a stunning second-half comeback earned Sir Alex Ferguson's side a point in west London. Tottenham Hotspur FC, eight points behind City in third, play Liverpool FC on Monday.

It is advantage Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race after the reigning champions were the only club among the leading quartet to clinch victory. Jürgen Klopp's men triumphed 2-0 at 1. FC Nürnburg on Friday and were then able to sit back and watch their rivals with delight, FC Bayern München drawing 1-1 at Hamburger SV, FC Schalke 04 recording the same outcome against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach unable to find a way past VfL Wolfsburg. "To finish as champions, you have to win a lot of matches," said Bayern forward Thomas Müller, whose side lie level with Schalke and a point clear of Gladbach, but crucially two behind Dortmund. "I'm immensely annoyed about the draw, because we could have come away with more."

Slender wins maintained the status quo at the Liga summit as Sergio Ramos gave Real Madrid CF a 1-0 success at city neighbours Getafe CF to keep them seven points clear of Barcelona CF. A Lionel Messi volley was the difference for the title holders in their 2-1 triumph against Real Sociedad de Fútbol at Camp Nou, after Cristian Tello had earlier scored on his debut. "There's a lot of the Liga season left and a lot of points [to play for]," said the 20-year-old. "We have to fight until the end." In third, Valencia CF were held 0-0 at Club Atlético de Madrid, while fourth-placed Levante UD have now gone six matches without a win following their 1-1 stalemate with struggling Real Racing Club.

There was little movement in the upper echelons of Serie A as the top five all failed to prevail. Leaders Juventus were held 0-0 by AC Siena and that was also the scoreline between second-placed AC Milan and SSC Napoli, a game in which Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimović saw red. A pair of 3-2 reverses undermined the teams in third and fourth, Udinese Calcio losing at ACF Fiorentina and S.S. Lazio going down at Genoa CFC, but the result of the weekend surely came in the capital, where AS Roma swept aside fifth-placed FC Internazionale Milano 4-0. "For the last few weeks we've no longer been ourselves," said Inter coach Claudio Ranieri. "We concede too many goals and can't seem to play the football we know we can."

Paris Saint-Germain FC continue to look down on the rest of their rivals thanks to a pair of Nenê goals in a 3-1 defeat of Évian Thonon Gaillard FC. That protected their three-point cushion after closest pursuers Montpellier Hérault SC edged Stade Brestois 29 1-0, but PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti is still hoping for more from his troops. "I think we must play better, with more order, more confidence and more rigour, because we allowed Evian to get the ball forward too easily," commented the Italian. Olympique de Marseille hosted Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday night with both looking to move third after LOSC Lille Métropole's game at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard was postponed due to the weather, but a 2-2 draw kept the clubs fifth and fourth respectively.

Galatasaray AŞ's lead in Turkey remains three points after they beat Gaziantepspor 2-1 and nearest challengers Fenerbahçe SK overcame third-placed Beşiktaş JK 2-0. In Greece, Panathinaikos FC's cushion is down to two points after they lost 1-0 at Levadiakos FC and Olympiacos FC posted a 2-0 victory at PAOK FC. Over in Cyprus, meanwhile, AC Omonia are two points in the clear following a 2-0 triumph against Anagennisis Derynia FC, with AEL Limassol FC second in the wake of their goalless draw with third-placed APOEL FC. There was Portuguese League Cup action too, finally, and holders SL Benfica will face FC Porto in the semi-finals after both ended the group stage with perfect records.

Last updated: 05/12/13 19.14CET