The eyes of the world were on Madrid, where a Lionel Messi hat-trick took Barcelona to within a point of the La Liga summit, whilst Carlos Tevez fired Juventus a step closer to the Serie A title
Cristiano Ronaldo has blamed referee Alberto Undiano for the ‘unbelievable decisions’ which led to Real Madrid’s 4-3 loss to Barcelona, a result which ensures that the top three in La Liga are now separated by just a point.
In an enthralling match, Unidano gave three penalties in the second half , including one to Ronaldo when he had been tripped outside the box by Dani Alves.
The Portuguese converted that spot kick to put his side 3-2 up in the second half, but he was then left raging as Barca were awarded two penalties at the other end – the first one leading to Sergio Ramos’ 19th red card for the club following a slight clip on an onrushing Neymar.
Lionel Messi blasted home from 12 yards to level the scores, before completing his hat-trick six minutes from time with another penalty after Andres Iniesta – who had scored Barca’s opener – was sandwiched in between Xabi Alonso and Dani Carvajal.
Real, who picked up five bookings to go with the red for Ramos, had come from a goal down to lead through two Karim Benzema strikes, but they have now lost leadership of the division to city rivals Atletico.
Diego Simeone’s men coasted to a somewhat more routine win at bottom club Real Betis, where second half strikes from Gabi and Diego Costa sealed a 2-0 victory.
Juventus haven’t been at their best in recent weeks, but that hasn’t stopped them running away with the Serie A title.
Antonio Conte’s men chalked up their fourth 1-0 victory in their last five league matches as Carlos Tevez struck a second half winner at Catania, a result which leaves his side 14 points clear at the top ahead of second-placed Roma’s game in hand on Tuesday.
The Romans were comfortable 2-0 victors at Chievo on Saturday, whilst Napoli slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Fiorentina, who moved to within seven points of their third-placed opponents with Joaquin’s late winner.
As predicted by Raphael Honigstein, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus played starring roles as Borussia Dortmund swept to a 3-0 win at Hannover, with the Armenian setting up the German international for the third goal in a match which also included this fine strike from Robert Lewandowski.
Raphael was also brave enough to suggest that Mainz could frustrate Bayern Munich on Saturday, tipping a draw at half-time at 2.80. He was right, with goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze in the final eight minutes eventually sealing a 2-0 success which ensures that, following Dortmund’s win, Bayern would secure a second consecutive Bundesliga title with a win at Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen’s tumble down the table continued with a 3-2 defeat at home to Hoffenheim, whilst Schalke cemented their place in third as they beat Braunschweig 3-1.
A solitary goal from Thiago Motta was enough to give Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 win at Lorient on Friday night, and PSG were then able to sit back and watch their title rivals drop points on Sunday.
Monaco could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Lille despite taking an early lead through Mounir Obbadi, with the draw leaving them 10 points off the pace with eight games remaining.
Saint-Etienne stay fourth as they beat Sochaux 3-1, whilst bottom of the table Ajaccio recorded only a third win of the season as two goals in the final three minutes from Issa Baradji saw them come from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at Valenciennes.