There was another twist in the Liga title race as Real Madrid CF pulled three points clear at the top, while Juventus stretched their own advantage in Serie A to 14 points. Fellow frontrunners Chelsea FC, FC Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain also prevailed, but there was misery for Manchester City FC as they fell to second-division Wigan Athletic FC in the FA Cup. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Real Madrid finally managed to establish daylight between themselves and the chasing pack at the top of the Liga after defeating Levante UD 3-0 on Sunday, taking advantage of another defeat for FC Barcelona. Madrid stand three points above Club Atlético de Madrid, 2-0 victors at RC Celta de Vigo, with Barça a point back in third after the Catalan giants suffered a surprise loss at Real Valladolid CF, Fausto Rossi hitting the only goal in a 1-0 reverse. "We lacked what makes us Barça: good elaboration in our build-up, the ability to find spaces, breakthroughs on the wings and depth," said Blaugrana coach Gerardo Martino. "But we didn't lack attitude."
Chelsea were the only leading side in league action and made no mistake as they hauled themselves seven points clear at the top with a 4-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur FC. "All we can do is keep winning our home games," said Blues captain John Terry. "At times, we are not playing at our best but we are still grinding out results." Manchester City hold three games in hand on the pacesetters, but they tumbled out of the FA Cup with a shock 2-1 home defeat by second-tier holders Wigan Athletic FC, who set up a semi-final meeting with Arsenal FC, 4-1 winners against Everton FC. Hull City AFC and Sheffield United FC likewise progressed to the last four.
Juventus continued their forward motion towards retaining their Serie A crown with a slender 1-0 defeat of fourth-placed ACF Fiorentina, Kwadwo Asamoah hitting the decider as Antonio Conte's men recorded their fourth successive league victory. "The boss often tells me: 'Try cutting inside.' I give it a go all the time at the moment and today it went well," commented the Ghana midfielder. "I've never scored a right-footed goal before, let alone one as good as that." The result lifted the Bianconeri 14 points ahead of AS Roma, who slipped to a José Callejón goal in a 1-0 defeat at third-placed SSC Napoli, while AC Milan slumped to a 1-0 loss at Udinese Calcio.
Bayern made it a record 16 Bundesliga wins in a row, scoring five times in 17 second-half minutes in a 6-1 win against VfL Wolfsburg to maintain their 20-point lead. "It was a brief frenetic burst where we mercilessly exploited the space we created," said two-goal Thomas Müller of his team's goal flurry. "That makes football fun." Borussia Dortmund cemented themselves in second spot by winning 1-0 at SC Freiburg, while third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen drew 1-1 at Hannover 96. FC Schalke 04, in fourth, also improved their chances of securing UEFA Champions League football next season as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck a hat-trick in a 4-0 win against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Paris remain eight points clear at the Ligue 1 summit thanks to a 3-0 success at SC Bastia, Ezequiel Lavezzi registering twice after Zlatan Ibrahimović had opened the scoring. The capital side have now registered 102 goals in all competitions this term, an achievement that left coach Laurent Blanc purring. "To go beyond 100 goals means we're creating a lot of chances," he said. "But you mustn't forget that we're also very strong defensively as well." Second-placed AS Monaco FC made sure not to lose further ground by edging FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2-1, while LOSC Lille moved four points clear of fourth-placed AS Saint-Étienne – beaten 1-0 at FC Lorient – by defeating Montpellier Hérault SC 2-0.
After their 47-game unbeaten run ended last week, Olympiacos FC suffered a second straight loss on Sunday, PAOK FC keeping their very slim title hopes alive via a 2-1 defeat of the Greek Super League leaders – who still retain a 16-point lead. In Russia, the Premier League kicked off again after the winter break and leaders FC Zenit could only draw 0-0 with FC Tom Tomsk, while FC Dinamo Moskva won a Moscow derby 4-2 against PFC CSKA Moskva. As for Galatasaray AŞ, they closed the gap to Turkish Super League leaders Fenerbahçe SK to three points by downing Akhisar Belediyespor 6-1, with their rivals facing Trabzonspor AŞ on Monday. Lastly, FC Aktobe lifted the Kazakh Super Cup, dispatching FC Shakhter Karagandy 1-0.
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