It proved an excellent weekend for the leaders in all five of Europe's most heralded top flights, with Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern München, Manchester United FC, Juventus and FC Barcelona all increasing their advantages at the summit. UEFA.com looks back on the best of the action.
Manchester United are in fine fettle ahead of Wednesday's trip to Real Madrid CF. Buoyed by Manchester City FC's 3-1 defeat by Southampton FC, United capitalised with a 2-0 victory against Everton FC on Sunday. They are now 12 points clear at the Premier League summit. "We've got to win our games regardless of what happens with City," said Sir Alex Ferguson. Chelsea FC are third, four points off City, after beating Wigan Athletic FC 4-1, with Tottenham Hotspur FC a further point adrift having won 2-1 against Newcastle United FC.
Zlatan Ibrahimović struck his 21st goal of the campaign as PSG dispatched SC Bastia 3-1 to stretch their unbeaten run to nine Ligue 1 outings. "We got the three points and that was very important, not only for the league, but also to prepare in the best possible way for the Champions League," said coach Carlo Ancelotti. PSG's lead stands at six points after they were given a helping hand by their faltering challengers. Olympique Lyonnais fell to a 3-1 home defeat to LOSC Lille, while Olympique de Marseille ended with nine men as they came away from Évian Thonon Gaillard FC with a point.
Bayern's Bundesliga cushion is 15 points, with 13 games remaining, after a 4-0 victory against FC Schalke 04. "It was an important game for us because we knew we could profit from other results and take a big step forward," said Bayern's Mario Gomez, who rounded off the scoring. Hamburger SV helped out the leaders with a 4-1 win at Borussia Dortmund, while third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen were held 3-3 at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. "It is one of those bad days that you experience, but life goes on," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp.
Juventus continued to recover from their wobble at the turn of the year, a 2-0 victory against ACF Fiorentina securing their first back-to-back wins since mid-December. The Bianconeri's advantage atop Serie A is five points after SSC Napoli were held by third-placed S.S. Lazio. "We wanted a victory and we got it," said Juve administrator Pavel Nedvěd. "It was important after a difficult January; now we are ready for Europe." FC Internazionale Milano replaced AC Milan in fourth, capitalising on their city rivals' 1-1 draw against Cagliari Calcio with a 3-1 triumph over AC Chievo Verona.
"He plays with such ease. He makes football look so easy. This is what makes him great," said FC Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura of Andrés Iniesta, after the 28-year-old played a pivotal role in the Blaugrana's 6-1 defeat of Getafe CF. Barça's lead is 12 points after Club Atlético de Madrid were unable keep pace, losing 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. Never far from the headlines, Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-1 win against Sevilla FC to draw level with Francisco Gento on 182 goals for the Merengues.
Feyenoord were the big movers in the Netherlands as their 3-1 win against AZ Alkmaar took Ronald Koeman's side third, level with AFC Ajax, and three behind leaders PSV Eindhoven, who both drew. Over the border in Belgium, RSC Anderlecht took advantage of SV Zulte Waregem's draw at KSC Lokeren OV to move eight points clear with a 2-1 win at Waasland-Beveren. Scottish leaders Celtic FC defeated second-placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC 3-1 in Scotland, while in Portugal FC Porto stay ten points ahead despite drawing 1-1 with SC Olhanense.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.