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United and Milan make their moves

Published: Monday 12 March 2012, 0.15CET
Manchester United FC ended the weekend top of the Premier League for the first time since October, while AC Milan extended their lead atop Serie A. recaps the action.

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Published: Monday 12 March 2012, 0.15CET

United and Milan make their moves

Manchester United FC ended the weekend top of the Premier League for the first time since October, while AC Milan extended their lead atop Serie A. recaps the action.

Manchester United FC may have played second fiddle to rivals Manchester City FC for much of the season, but Sir Alex Ferguson's side look to be timing their run to perfection after ending the weekend at the Premier League summit. AC Milan also enjoyed a successful Sunday, extending their lead in Serie A, while Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund were overshadowed by FC Bayern München. recaps the action.

Manchester United are back on top of the Premier League with ten games to go after jumping a point ahead of neighbours Manchester City FC. A pair of Wayne Rooney goals – the second a penalty – sealed a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion FC for United, while City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Swansea City AFC. "Only a few weeks ago we were seven points behind," said Sir Alex Ferguson, whose side are in pole position for the first time since 15 October. "We've turned round eight points, which is a credit to the players and to the resilience of our squad." Chelsea FC improved their prospects of finishing fourth with a 1-0 victory against Stoke City FC, and that was also the scoreline as Liverpool FC lost at Sunderland AFC.

Milan have room to breathe at the Serie A summit after they defeated US Lecce 2-0 and nearest challengers Juventus were held to a goalless draw at Genoa CFC. The Bianconeri now trail the leaders by four points. "We have to focus on what we have to do without making any calculations," said Rossoneri coach Massimiliano Allegri. "Only the numbers will tell you who won at the end of the season. You don't win or lose the league every [weekend]." Third-placed S.S. Lazio missed the chance to close on Juve as they went down 3-1 at home to Bologna FC, while Udinese Calcio's 1-0 loss at struggling Novara Calcio helped SSC Napoli take over in fourth, their 6-3 defeat of Cagliari Calcio also costing Davide Ballardini his job.

Bayern enjoyed a fruitful weekend, triumphing 7-1 against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim with the help of Mario Gomez's 11th top-flight hat-trick. "It was a classy performance," said coach Jupp Heynckes. "The way we made our goals was straight out of the textbook. It was a joy to watch." Bayern are five points behind leaders Dortmund after the champions were held 0-0 at FC Augsburg. Heynckes' side received a further fillip as third-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach drew 0-0 with SC Freiburg. FC Schalke 04 trail Mönchengladbach by a point following a 3-1 win against Hamburger SV.

Real Madrid CF continue to edge closer to their first Liga title since 2008 after preserving their ten-point advantage at the top for another week. Madrid celebrated José Mourinho's 100th game in charge with a 3-2 win at Real Betis Balompié – their 11th successive league victory. "I'm more than happy with the three points, but Betis deserved more," said the Portuguese. "We gave our all. There was no control and we never knew who would win." Lionel Messi scored two more goals as second-placed FC Barcelona responded in kind, winning 2-0 at Real Racing Club, while Valencia CF dropped further off the pace with a 2-2 draw against RCD Mallorca.

Paris Saint-Germain FC continue to lead the way in Ligue 1 following a 2-1 success at Dijon FCO, Kevin Gameiro burying the winner in added time after Mohamed Sissoko had been dismissed in the first half. "We know what we want and we'll chase our objectives match after match and win after win," said Gameiro. "If we don't slip up, we'll go all the way." Second-placed Montpellier Hérault SC remain a solitary point behind the capital club after they dispatched SM Caen 3-0, while Olympique Lyonnais saw off LOSC Lille Métropole 2-1, leaving the champions 11 points off the pace in third.

FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven suffered blows in the Eredivisie title race after respective losses to NEC Nijmegen and NAC Breda left them four points behind leaders AZ Alkmaar. Over in Portugal, meanwhile, FC Porto's lead is down to a single point as their 1-1 home draw with A. Académica de Coimbra allowed SC Braga and SL Benfica to turn up the pressure. There was a change at the summit in Austria as FC Salzburg beat previous pacesetters SK Rapid Wien 3-1, and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Premier League top dogs FK Željezničar increased their advantage to four points by edging NK Široki Brijeg 1-0.

Last updated: 05/12/13 9.22CET