Paris Saint-Germain overcame two of its title rivals — Lille and Marseille — in contrasting fashion to assert itself at the top of the Ligue 1 table with an eight-point lead.
The Paris side had to dig deep to overcome Lille, with late goals from Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi guiding it to an exciting 4-3 win, with the Argentine scoring the winner through a freekick, in injury time.
Second-placed Marseille, which came on the back of a 3-2 win over Toulouse, was blown apart by the Messi-Mbappe duo, who combined for all three goals in a comprehensive 3-0 win. Messi’s goal against Marseille was the 700th in his club career, keeping him in the neighbourhood of Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally of 709.
Champions League spot-chasing Monaco was dealt a 3-0 thrashing at home by Nice, with Nigerian attacker Terrem Moffi grabbing a brace.
The point of interest in Serie A is gradually reducing to a matter of when Napoli will stitch its flag onto the Scudetto, with the southern Italian side bulging its lead to 18 points. Napoli added two more easy wins, both by 2-0 margins away from home, with Sassuolo and Empoli the victims, while Victor Osimhen found the net once in each game.
Inter Milan’s distant hopes of catching up to Napoli were trampled by a 0-1 defeat away to Bologna, giving its city rival AC Milan to pull level following a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Atalanta.
Bayern Munich’s surprise 2-3 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach briefly opened the doors for fellow-title hunters — Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin and RB Leipzig. But Bayern Munich was quick at hand to squash Union Berlin’s unlikely title aspiration with an authoritative first-half performance leading it to a 3-0 win over the surprise package of the Bundesliga season.
Dortmund, though, kept abreast of the Bavarians with wins over Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin.
Dortmund’s 1-0 victory over Hoffenheim came thanks to a moment of innovation from Julian Brandt, who used his back to deflect a Marco Reus freekick into the goal. Leipzig kept itself within the reach of the leaders with comfortable wins over Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg as Bundesliga continues to witness the most competitive title race in recent years.
Real Madrid couldn’t replicate its Champions League heroics in the Madrid derby, as it required teenage forward Alvaro Rodriguez to score an 84th-minute header to rescue a point against Atletico.
The Los Blancos had come into the game on a hot streak in the league, having dispatched Elche and Osasuna 4-0 and 2-0, respectively.
But Madrid was offered a glimmer of hope as Barcelona crashed to a shock 0-1 defeat to bottom-dweller Almeira. But the Catalan giant, which had earlier beaten Cadiz 2-0, still holds a seven-point cushion at the top.
Further down the pecking order, relegation-threatened Valencia’s flailing season finally showed signs of revival as it beat third-placed Real Sociedad 1-0.
Arsenal recovered from the 1-3 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City, to record back-to-back wins — against Everton and Leicester – and regain its foothold at the top of the Premier League.
Pep Guardiola’s City settled for a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, as it fumbled the advantage it seized at the Emirates Stadium. A 4-1 mauling of Bournemouth regained a bit of momentum for the Manchester side, which will now have to rely on Arsenal’s failings to make it back into the title race.
Manchester United didn’t let its continental and domestic engagements distract its Premier League commitments as it clinched a confident 3-0 win over Leicester at Old Trafford. The Red Devils were charged on by a brace from the seemingly unstoppable Marcus Rashford as they kept themselves at throwing distance of the top two.
Tottenham Hotspur overtook Newcastle to take up the final Champions League spot after the Magpies collapsed to a 0-2 defeat to Liverpool. Spurs dismantled two of its London rivals — Chelsea and West Ham — by an identical scoreline of 2-0 to bring itself closer to Manchester United.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, which saw the wind knocked out of its sails by an indomitable Real Madrid in the Champions League, was trapped to a goalless stalemate by Crystal Palace as the Reds continue to struggle to stay consistent.
Chelsea’s woeful run under Graham Potter continued as it conceded defeats to Southampton and Spurs. The Blues have won just one of their seven Premier League games since the turn of the year and have scored only four goals in the process.
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