Corinthians honour Sócrates’ memory to clinch Brazilian title on sombre afternoon

It was a sombre weekend though in Brazil as legendary midfielder Sócrates died in a São Paulo hospital at the age of 57. Corinthians dedicated the success to their former player, and finished two points clear of Vasco de Gama, who could only draw 1-1 at home to Flamengo.

In Argentina, controversy reigned when Tigres’ clash on Saturday was postponed, thus delaying potential title celebrations for Boca Juniors. Boca on Sunday clinched the Apertura anyway, defeating Banfield 3-0.

In Europe and in Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid both won comfortably to continue their dominance of La Liga. Barcelona beat Levante 5-0 and Real beat Sporting Gijon 3-0, meaning the latter are three points clear with a game in hand going into next week’s Clasico at the Bernabeu.

Valencia once more had Roberto Soldado to thank as they beat Espanyol 2-1. Malaga lost 3-2 at Real Sociedad as they stayed fifth, and Atletico Madrid won 3-1 against Rayo Vallecano.

Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal struck as Juventus continued their winning ways and unbeaten run with a 2-0 win over Cesena, also taking them above AC Milan and Udinese at the top of the table.

AC Milan won 2-0 at Genoa whilst Udinese beat Inter 1-0 at the San Siro in a feisty encounter.

Napoli beat Lecce 4-2 to warm up well for their crunch European clash with Villarreal, whilst Fiorentina beat 8 man Roma 3-0.

In France, Montpellier crushed Lorient 4-0 as they remain three points clear of Paris St. Germain, who beat Auxerre 3-2. Lille had Eden Hazard to thank for a late win at AJ Ajaccio by the same score. Rennes lost 2-0 at Nice. Olympique Lyon resisted a late Toulouse fightback to win 3-2, having led 3-0 with 25 minutes left.

In Germany Bayern Munich beat Werder Bremen 4-1 to go back to the top of the table after previous occupants and champions Borussia Dortmund drew 1-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach. Schalke beat Augsburg 3-1 to remain fourth whilst Werder are fifth and Bayer Leverkusen sixth following their 2-0 win over Hoffenheim.

Manchester City continued their unbeaten record with a 5-1 win over Norwich City, whilst Manchester United kept touch with a 1-0 win at Aston Villa. Tottenham beat Bolton 3-0, Chelsea won by the same score against Newcastle and Arsenal are in fifth after beating Wigan 4-0.

In Holland leaders AZ Aalkmar were stunned 5-1 at Heerenveen, though PSV, in second, also lost, 2-0 at Feyenoord. FC Twente are third after winning 6-2 at Utrecht, whilst Ajax’s 4-1 win at home to Excelsior put the champions fourth and gave them their first home win since August.

Thousands of miles away in Japan, Kashiwa Reysol became the first team to win the J-league in their first year after promotion, following a 3-1 win over Urawa Reds. They will now compete in the Club World Cup later this month against the likes of Monterrey and Auckland City for a chance to face Barcelona or Santos.