Fernando Hierro struck a hat-trick to lead Real Madrid CF to a 3-1 win at home to Real Zaragoza on Sunday and keep his side top of the Spanish first division. The Spanish international defender's treble gives Real 56 points from 31 games and secures their position at the top of the table for at least another week.
Valencia CF are level on points with Madrid as they kept pace with the leaders with a 2-1 home victory against Club Atlético Osasuna. RC Deportivo La Coruña remain third, two points behind Madrid and Valencia thanks to a 3-1 win at home to CD Tenerife. The big winners of the weekend were RC Celta de Vigo, as they maintained their push for a UEFA Champions League place with a stunning 6-1 win at Athletic Club Bilbao. Real Betis Balompié's title hopes took a knock as they were held to a 0-0 draw in Saturday's Seville derby.
Inter take top spot
Sunday's game of the day in Italy's Serie A saw the top two going head to head at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, with Internazionale stealing a march on AS Roma with a comprehensive 3-1 victory. Alvaro Recoba (2) and Christian Vieri scored the goals as Roma's week went from bad to worse. The Rome club were eliminated from the Champions League by Liverpool FC on Wednesday and their weekend defeat sees them trail Inter by three points with only six league games remaining.
Juventus FC's Serie A title hopes suffered a setback as they slipped to their fourth Serie A defeat of the season against Parma AC. Marcello Lippi's side looked set to secure a point but were denied a share of the spoils when Sabri Lamouchi struck the only goal of the game two minutes from time. The defeat saw Juventus lose ground on Inter and Roma.
AFC Ajax maintained their push for the Eredivisie title, and a place in the UEFA Champions League next season, with a 1-1 draw at PSV Eindhoven on Sunday. Tomás Galásek gave Ajax the lead with a clinical finish 23 minutes but PSV defender André Ooijer equalised eleven minutes later to secure a share of the spoils.
Feyenoord close gap
Feyenoord made the most of the drawn match of the day with an emphatic 5-0 derby win over Sparta Rotterdam, while SC Heerenveen moved up to third in the table with an convincing 4-0 victory against NEC Nijmegen on Saturday.
Liverpool in charge
An injury-time winner from Vladimír Šmicer saw Liverpool FC move to the top of the FA Premiership with a dramatic 1-0 home victory against Chelsea FC at Anfield on Sunday. Manchester United FC's 1-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough FC and Arsenal FC's participation in the FA Cup allowed Liverpool the opportunity to take top spot.
Leeds hopes alive
Leeds United AFC improved their chances of a place in the Champions League next season, as goals from Mark Viduka and Robbie Fowler secured a 2-0 victory over bottom club Leicester City FC. Leeds are now just two points behind Newcastle United FC, who lost 3-0 to Arsenal FC in an FA Cup quarter-final replay on Saturday.
Dortmund in contention
BV Borussia Dortmund ruthlessly disposed of FC Energie Cottbus 3-0 to maintain their hopes of claiming the 1. Bundesliga title. The UEFA Cup semi-finalists are now just one point behind leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who beat TSV 1860 München 4-0 with Zé Roberto, Diego Placente, Dimitar Berbatov and Yildiray Basturk grabbing the goals.
Champions League quarter-finalists FC Bayern München are now four points behind Dortmund following their 3-0 win against 1. FC Köln. FC Schalke 04 are level with Bayern after their 3-0 victory against sixth-placed 1. FC Kaiserslautern 3-0.
Lens lose ground
Olympique Lyonnais closed the gap at the top of Le Championnat to four points as leaders RC Lens slipped up for the second straight week. Lyon made hard work of beating lowly FC Lorient 2-0, while Lens, who went down 2-1 to FC Girondins de Bordeaux last weekend, could only manage a 1-1 draw with CS Sedan-Ardennes. Paris Saint-Germain FC and AJ Auxerre maintained their drive for a Champions League place with hard-fought wins at En Avant Guingamp and Lille OSC respectively.
AEK Athens reclaimed top spot in Greece with a 4-1 win against Panahaiki GC on Saturday but the big game of the weekend saw arch-rivals Panathinaikos FC and Olympiakos Pireaus FC play out a 1-1 draw. Panathinaikos, through to the last eight of the Champions League, took the lead through Emmanuel Olisadebe after 77 minutes but Predrag Djordjevic's last-minute penalty earned his side a point.
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