Title rivals draw in France, Spanish, Italian and German league leaders march on

The Parisians went ahead, but Montpellier came from behind to take the lead late on, before another late equaliser meant the shares were spoiled and the Parisians remained top of the table.

Below them, Lille won at Lorient 1-0 to keep up faint hopes of the title, whilst Lyon were surprise 1-0 losers at Bordeaux, Marseille drew at home to Valenciennes and St Etienne crushed Rennes 4-0.

In Spain, Real Madrid’s 4-0 win over Racing Santander kept them 10 points clear of Barcelona, who enjoyed a super Sunday against Valencia. Having fallen behind early on to Pablo Piatti’s strike, Leo Messi gave yet another display of his brilliance and status as the world’s best player. He scored four times with Xavi adding a fifth late on for the Catalans.

Espanyol drew 1-1 at Getafe and are still in fourth place, whilst Athletic Bilbao are fifth after beating big spending Malaga 3-0. Atletico Madrid are in sixth having drawn at Sporting Gijon this weekend. Rayo Vallecano crushed Levante 5-3, Mallorca did likewise to Villarreal (4-0) and Granada also enjoyed a big win over Real Sociedad (4-1). Sevilla beat Osasuna 2-0.

There was another intriguing twist in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday. Borussia Dortmund built up their Bundesliga lead with a 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin thanks to a goal from Kevin Grosskreutz. Borussia Moenchengladbach also won away from home at Kaiserslautern to go second in the league, but Bayern Munich slipped four points adrift of Dortmund after their 0-0 draw at Freiburg. Schalke won 4-0 against Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen won 3-1 at Hamburg, whilst Bayer Leverkusen crushed Augsburg 4-1.

AC Milan are still top of Serie A after beating Cesena 3-1, having temporarily lost the lead to Juventus. The Bianconeri are still unbeaten in all competitions after their 3-1 win against Catania. Udinese drew 0-0 with Cagliari to dent their fading title hopes, and the result of the day was fourth placed Lazio’s 5-1 defeat at Palermo. Roma beat Parma 1-0 and Inter Milan suffered another serious reverse, losing 3-0 at home to Bologna.

In Portugal Porto beat Vitoria Setubal to close the gap on Benfica at the top, who have a game in hand. Braga beat Gil Vicente 3-0 and Sporting Lisbon beat Pacos de Ferreira 1-0. Mersin Imdanmernyu lost 3-1 at home to leaders Galatasary in Turkey, with second placed Fenerbahce beating Sivasspor 4-2, Besiktas won 3-2 against Genclerbirligi and Trabzonspor in fourth drew 3-3 with Kayserispor.

PSV lost 3-0 at Gronigen in Holland but remain top as second placed AZ lost by the same score at Utrecht. Heerenveen beat Breda 1-0 to go third whilst Twente are fourth after their 4-1 win at Vitesse. Feyernood are still fifth after drawing at home to Waalwijk (1-1) and Ajax beat NEC 4-1 to remain sixth.

In South America, Apertura champions Boca Juniors drew 0-0 at Union Santa Fe in Argentina, Independiente lost 1-0 at home to Lanus, Velez Sarsfield won 4-0 at Banfield and Estudiantes de la Plata drew 1-1 at San Lorenzo. Godoy Cruz beat Racing Club 1-0.

Santiago Wanderers beat Audax Italiano 4-2 in Chile and are top of the fledgling Clausura table, whilst Copa Sudamericana champions Universidad de Chile beat Palestino 3-1. Colo Colo beat Union de Calera 3-1. Nacional beat River Plate 3-2 in Uruguay to remain clear of Penarol.