For the second time in a month, football was plunged into darkness as events on the field were overshadowed by a player collapsing.
For Piermario Morosini, there was not to be the happy ending there seems to be for Fabrice Muamba, as the 25 year old midfielder, described as a ‘golden boy’ by his former trainer at Atalanta, passed away after suffering cardiac arrest playing for Livorno against Pescara in Serie B. Italian football paid its respects by calling off all the weekend’s matches. Against such a tragic event, some of Chelsea’s fans chose Sunday to disgracefully disrupt a one minute’s silence in tribute of Morosini and the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster. Other fans, from those at Everton and Manchester United, were able to show their respect without such idiots among their rank.
In Germany, the title moved closer to resolution, with Borussia Dortmund beating Schalke 2-1 to move them eight points ahead of Bayern Munich, who drew 0-0 with Mainz. Bayern can now only win the league by winning all their games and hoping Dortmund lose all of theirs.
Manchester United beat Aston Villa 4-0 in England to continue their irresistible march towards the title. Manchester City showed some fight as they beat Norwich 6-1, with Carlos Tevez scoring a hat trick. They are five points adrift still though in the title race.
In Spain, Real Madrid won 3-1 against Sporting Gijon after coming from behind, with Cristiano Ronaldo breaking a record by scoring 41 goals in a La Liga season. Leo Messi soon replicated that by reaching the same milestone in Barcelona’s 2-1 win at Levante.
In France, both title challengers slipped up, with Montpellier losing 2-1 at relegation haunted Lorient. PSG then missed the chance to go top with a 1-1 draw at Auxerre. Lille won 4-1 against Ajaccio to retain a faint hope of winning the title.
Ajax beat De Graafschap 3-1 in Holland to move closer to retaining their title. AZ are six points adrift after losing 3-2 at PSV, whilst Feyenoord are also six off the pace despite a 3-0 win over Excelsior. Sporting beat Benfica in Portugal 1-0 to dent their title hopes, whilst Porto beat Braga 1-0 to improve theirs. In Russia CSKA Moscow lost 2-0 at Zenit St Petersburg as the reigning champions moved closer to retaining their title. Spartak Moscow are now second after beating Rubin 2-0.
Boca Juniors lost 2-1 at Tigre in Argentina, with Newell’s Old Boys beating Banfield 3-0. Arsenal lost 1-0 at Union whilst Velez Sarsfield’s game with San Martin was abandoned.
LA Galaxy snapped their losing run in the US with a 3-1 win over Portland Timbers, whilst Real Salt Lake still lead after losing 1-0 to Sporting Kansas. New York Red Bulls drew 2-2 with San Jose Earthquakes.