(Apart from wishing you all a Happy Easter and all that stuff, Vishal Savalani is back to give you a briefing on what happened across Europe's top leagues)
PSG vs Marseille was the game to watch this weekend. With 9 defeats in their last 10 games, there isn’t much left for Marseille to play in the league, however they were determined to stop PSG from winning the league. The match was a disappointment overall. PSG won 2-1 thanks to a good display from Jeremy Menez.
Montpellier beat Sochaux at home and are top of the table on goal difference and have a game in hand. They play Marseille in midweek so they could extend their lead to 3 points. Third place in the league is all for grabs. Lille surprisingly lost to relegation candidates Brest which means that Lyon are only 3 points behind them now following their 2-1 victory over Auxerre 2-1 at home.
Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne were held to a 1-1 draw at Ajaccio, Toulouse lost 2-0 at Valenciennes, Nancy beat Dijon 2-0 to continue their good run of form, while Rennes won 3-1 at Evian. Lorient, managed by Gourcuff’s father, lost to Nice and are now in the relegation zone. Teams like Caen (despite beating Bordeaux), Sochaux, and Nice are also fighting to avoid relegation.
Milan have failed to win in their last 4 games. Despite opening the scoring from a penalty by Zlatan, the Rossoneris lost 2-1 at home to Fiorentina. Jovetic scored for the visitors. Antonio Cassano is also now back in contention for AC Milan.
This meant that Juventus could go top. And this is exactly what they did by beating Palermo 2-0 in Sicily. Lazio beat Napoli 3-1. They look like they will be holding on to 3rd place. Napoli are now 6 points off a CL spot. Di Natale and his mates ended their bad run of form as Udinese, who are still hunting for a CL spot, beat Parma 3-1. Surprisingly Roma lost 4-2 at relegation battlers Lecce while Inter got a point at Cagliari.
La Liga’s title race is turning out to be quite exciting. The gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona is now down to 4 points. Barcelona beat Zaragoza 4-1 with Messi scoring twice while Real were held to a frustrating goalless draw against Valencia. With Barcelona playing on Tuesday, they could cut down the gap to just one point, as Real play Atletico Madrid the following day.
Simeone’s men lost to Levante who are fighting for a CL spot and could even challenge Valencia for 3rd spot. Malaga play Santander on Monday and are also in the hunt for a CL place. Llorente scored a header as Bilbao beat Sevilla. Real Betis seem to have secured their place in La Liga for next season with a 3-1 victory over Villareal. Espanyol came from 2-0 down to draw against Sociedad. Rayo thumped Osasuna 6-0 while Mallorca vs Granada ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Gomes scores as Bayern Munich beat Augsburg. Dortmund beat Wolfsburg 3-1, while Raul scored for Schalke 04 who easily beat Hannover 3-0. The gap between the top 2 is 3 points, and Bayern could go top on goal difference this midweek if they beat Dortmund. Schalke look like they will finish third. Raul and Huntelaar are working well together. Gladbach’s slump continues as they were held 0-0 at home against relegation side Herta Berlin.
Manchester United are top of the table and have now increased the gap to 8 points after beating QPR 2-0. A debatable penalty (and red card) and a Paul Scholes screamer giving United all 3 points. City lost at Arsenal with Balotelli getting sent off.
The fight for the CL and Europa League spots is really intense as it involves Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Newcastle. The Magpies won their 4th straight game in a row beating Swansea, whereas despite Chelsea struggling against Wigan, they managed to conjure up all 3 points. Spurs were held to a 0-0 draw at Sunderland. Arsenal are currently sitting in 3rd place but Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle are not that far behind.
Liverpool are struggling as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Villa. Dempsey scored a cracker as Fulham won 3-0 at Bolton. Norwich vs Everton ended in 2-2 draw, while West Brom beat Blackburn 3-0 and seem to have secured their league status for next season. The Baggies are looking to extend Roy Hodgson’s contract.