European Football Results: Ronaldo in top form ahead of United showdown


Cristiano Ronaldo fired Real Madrid to a convincing win over Sevilla, picking up his 21st (yes, seriously) career hat-trick in the process. The Portuguese forward is clearly in top form as his side prepares for the Champions League showdown with former club Manchester United. Will Sir Alex Ferguson be able to come up with a gameplan to thwart his former protege? Barcelona were even more impressive, racking up six goals against poor Getafe (see video below). The goals were shared around evenly: Alexis Sanchez, Leo Messi, David Villa, Tello, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique all added to their season tallies. Barca's lead at the top was extended to 12 points later on Sunday, when Atletico Madrid slumped to a surprise loss at Rayo Vallecano.


Juventus extended their lead at the head of Serie A with a comfortable 2-0 win over Fiorentina. The Old Lady's second goal was a collector's item, Alessandro Matri finishing calmly despite losing his boot in the build-up (see below).  Lazio and Napoli, the two sides most likely to mount a challenge to Juve, drew 1-1 at the Olimpico, while Milan also dropped points against Cagliari. Internazionale leapfrogged their city rivals, Antonio Cassano scoring within ninety seconds to put the Nerazzuri on the way to victory against Chievo.


The shock of the round in the Bundesliga came at Signal-Iduna Park, where reigning champions Borussia Dortmund were humbled 4-1 by Hamburg. Jurgen Klopp put out a strong side despite looming Champions League commitments, but had to watch in horror as his side surrendered an early lead to the Red Shorts. Robert Lewandowski was send off for Dortmund, who must now regroup ahead of the resumption of their European campaign. There were no such troubles for Bayern Munich, who strolled to a 4-0 win over crisis-stricken Schalke. 'FC Hollywood' have now conceded just once in ten games - an incredible record, even for them.


Salomon Kalou was on the scoresheet for Lille as they picked up an impressive 3-1 win away to Lyon. That result leaves l'OL six points off the top of the table, after a late PSG blitz gave them all three points against Bastia. Elsewhere there were wins for Saint-Etienne and Rennes, both of whom have aspirations of nabbing a Champions League spot at the expense of Marseille, who could only draw against Evian. Winger Jordan Ayew picked up two yellow cards within two minutes of coming off the bench, which annoyed a certain Monsieur Barton...