Weekend round up; Barcelona and Manchester United close in on titles

Barcelona are also still on course to break a points record in La Liga, and can afford to drop four points and still break that record. Real Madrid remain second after beating Athletic Bilbao, also 3-0, whilst Atletico Madrid remain third after crushing Granada 5-0. Real Sociedad beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 to strengthen their grip on fourth, and Malaga are fifth still after winning 1-0 against Osasuna. Valencia’s Champions League hopes took a blow after a 3-3 draw at Espanyol. Real Betis and Sevilla drew 3-3 in their local derby.

Manchester United are moving ever closer to lifting the Premier League title. They beat Stoke City 2-0 on Sunday and now need just seven points to clinch the title. If Manchester City drop points either on Wednesday against Wigan or at the weekend at Tottenham, United could be champions as early as this weekend. City beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup semi final on Sunday, and meet Wigan in the final. In the Premier League, Arsenal beat Norwich 3-1 to move up to third place, and Everton keep their top four hopes alive after a 2-0 win over QPR.

In Italy Napoli and AC Milan drew 1-1 in the weekend’s big game, as they both remain well adrift of Juventus. The result means Napoli remain in control of the battle for second place though. Fiorentina remain fourth after a 2-0 win at Atalanta. Roma beat Torino 2-1, and Udinese beat Parma 3-0. Inter Milan were beaten 2-0 at Cagliari.

Bayern Munich, recently crowned German champions, beat Nurnberg 4-0 this weekend as they continue their emphatic form. Borussia Dortmund beat Greuther Furth 6-1 to cement their second position. Bayer Leverkusen drew 2-2 at Schalke as they stay third and fourth respectively. Freiburg’s European hopes are still alive after a 3-1 win over Hannover, but Eintracht Frankfurt lost 2-0 at Augsburg. Stuttgart beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0.

Paris St Germain are nine points clear in France after they won 1-0 at Troyes this weekend. Marseille were held 0-0 by Lille and remain second, whilst St Etienne also drew 0-0 at Valenciennes. Lyon ended their bad run with a 3-1 in over Toulouse, but Nice beat Sochaux 3-0. Lorient beat Bastia 4-1, and champions Montpellier lost 4-2 to Bordeaux.

In the Netherlands Ajax took a decisive step towards the title as the back to back champions beat nearest rivals PSV Eindhoven 3-2 away from home. They are now five points clear at the top, ahead of Vitesse, who climbed above PSV despite drawing 3-3 with Roda JC.

In Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk won 3-0 against Zarja Lugansk and Dynamo Kiev beat Karpaty Lyiv 1-0. CSKA Moscow are top in Russia still despite being held 0-0 by Dynamo Moscow. Anzhi Makhachkala won 3-0 at Nizhny Novgorod. Spartak Moscow beat Amkar Perm 2-0, and Zenit beat Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0. Rubin Kazan were held 1-1 by Rostov. In Greece Olympiakos and Panathinaikos drew 1-1 in the Athens derby, but city rivals AEK Athens saw their game with Panthrakikos abandoned after their fans invaded the pitch. The club are still in deep relegation trouble.

In Argentina it was an action packed weekend as Lanus beat All Boys 2-1 to remain top, whilst Newell’s Old Boys are still in touch after a 3-1 win over Tigre. River Plate and Arsenal remain third and fourth after they drew 1-1. Colon Santa Fe beat Velez Sarsfield 2-1, but the big news of the weekend came from the games between San Martin and Boca Juniors, which the former won 6-1, and Independiente’s draw with Union 1-1, with their manager fired afterwards.

There was tragedy in Brazil as two Ceara supporters were reportedly shot dead by a passing vehicle containing Fortaleza fans as they made their way to the match between the two sides. Ceara won the bitter derby game 1-0 at the Castelao stadium that will host World Cup matches next year.

Diego Forlan struck twice as Internacional beat Juventude 4-1 in the regional state championship. Corinthians were beaten by Linense 2-1 in the Paulista championship, and Santos won 4-0 at Uniao Barbarense, Neymar scoring all of the goals. Sao Caetano, featuring a certain Rivaldo, were relegated after drawing 1-1 with Penapolense.

Tigres’ unbeaten record in Mexico ended in a 2-1 defeat to Pumas on Sunday but they remain ahead of Atlas. Guadalajara’s play off hopes took a blow after losing 2-1 to Atlante, whilst Cruz Azul beat Tijuana 5-0.