Messi showed his magic, Inter claimed bragging rights, while an Italian giant fell for the first time this season.

La Liga

Barcelona avenged their defeat earlier this season to Real Betis by winning the reverse fixture 4-1 at the Benito Villamarín. A stunning hattrick from Lionel Messi shocked the Betis crowd as the Argentine executed three magnificent goals. A Luis Suarez strike added to Barça’s tally who have all but wrapped up the La Liga title.

Zinedine Zidane made his return to Real Madrid a victorious one, as Los Blancos defeated relegation strugglers Celta Vigo 2-0. It took some time before Real were able to break the deadlock, as Isco fired from close range to open the scoring in the 62nd minute. Gareth Bale added a second 15 minutes later to secure the three points and potentially send Celta Vigo to the Segunda División.

Atlético Madrid would have hoped for a strong response after their Champions League exit, however it was anything but. They went down 2-0 on the road to Athletic Bilbao, further highlighting the club’s struggles away from the Wanda Metropolitano. Atléti remain in second but their slim title hopes are all over.

Other results:

Real Sociedad 1-1 Levante

Huesca 1-3 Alavés

Leganés 0-2 Girona

Eibar 1-2 Real Valladolid

Espanyol 0-1 Sevilla

Valencia 0-0 Getafe

Villarreal 3-1 Rayo Vallecano

  

Bundesliga

You felt Bayern Munich would respond against Mainz after their humiliation at the hands of Liverpool midweek, and that they did. A 6-0 win for the second consecutive week sees them hold their spot at the top of the table and assert themselves as heavy favourites to end the season as champions. A James Rodríguez hattrick was added to by goals from Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies, as the Bavarian club send a stern warning to their rivals.

Borussia Dortmund’s title hopes seemed to be slipping away, however a 93rd minute Marco Reus strike changed that. Locked at 2-2 with Hertha, the German stepped up to finish calmly past Rune Jarstein to steal the win for BVB and remain level on points with Bayern. A massive Der Klassiker awaits in just three weeks’ time.

RB Leipzig went to Schalke knowing that any slip-up could result in them dropping out of the top four. However, after Timo Werner scored in the 14th minute, their stubborn defence wasn’t going to be broken down easily. Leipzig kept their 13th clean sheet of the season to see out the 1-0 win and remain in third.

Other results:

Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Freiburg

VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Hoffenheim

FC Augsbug 3-1 Hannover

Wolfsburg 5-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Werder Bremen

Eintracht Frankfurt 1- FC Nürnburg 

 

Premier League

Liverpool went to Fulham knowing they had the chance to go top of the table, albeit with an extra game played. Sadio Mané opened the scoring, before former Reds man Ryan Babel equalised 15 minutes from time. Fulham’s joy was short-lived, as James Milner converted from the spot minutes later to win it for Liverpool.

Chelsea may have shot themselves in the foot, failing to capitalise on their game in hand in their clash with Everton. The Blues could have gone level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal, however stumbled to Marco Silva’s men. Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson both struck, putting a dent in Chelsea’s top four hopes and perhaps one of the final nails in Maurizio Sarri’s coffin.

West Ham and Huddersfield played out one of the games of the season, as the Hammers came out 4-3 winners at Olympic Stadium. Huddersfield’s fourth win of the season was looking likely when they went up 3-1 in the 65th minute, however West Ham went on a frenzy, scoring three times in the last 15 minutes to record a remarkable victory.

Other results:

Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle

Burnley 1-2 Leicester

 

Serie A

Despite a horror 2019, Inter have claimed bragging rights in the Milan Derby, overcoming Milan in a 3-2 thriller. Inter started like a house on fire and were rewarded when Matias Vecino put his side ahead inside four minutes. In a 20 minute second-half spell, each side found the back of the net twice and the Nerazzurri were able to hold on for a crucial derby win.

Juventus have suffered their first loss of the Serie A season, going down 2-0 to Genoa. With no Cristiano Ronaldo nor Giorgio Chiellini in the side, Genoa were able to pounce, scoring two late goals to ensure they go unbeaten against the champions this season. Current Juve player on loan to Genoa Stefano Sturaro scored the opener to rub further salt in the Bianconeri’s wounds.

Roma’s season in under serious threat after they lost to SPAL for the second time this season. The Giallorossi had a chance to gain points on their rivals from Milan, however failed to capitalise in a lethargic performance under Claudio Ranieri. Failure to make the Champions League would be disastrous for the Roman club but things are heading that way with Inter, Milan and Lazio all looking more likely at this point.

Other results:

Cagliari 2-1 Fiorentina

Sassuolo 3-5 Sampdoria

Torino 2-3 Bologna

Atalanta 1-1 Chievo

Lazio 4-1 Parma

Napoli 4-2 Udinese

 

Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain claimed bragging rights of their own in Le Classique, winning 3-1 against rivals Marseille. PSG had no regard for Marseille’s resurgence as Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria led their side to a commanding win. Di Maria’s brace will go down as perhaps the best of the European season – two stunning strikes Marseille could do little about.

Monaco have stunned Champions League certainties Lille with a last-minute 1-0 win on the road. Carlos Vinicius found the net in the 90th to ensure the principality club’s safety in Ligue 1. Leonardo Jardim’s return to the club has given them a much-needed spark and a mid-table finish is now on the cards.

Lyon gained some breathing space in their quest for a top three finish with a 3-2 win over Montpellier. Goals to Martin Terrier, Moussa Dembele and Houssem Aouar were enough to see out a Montpellier side who have dropped off dramatically since the beginning of the season. Lyon look heavy favourites to clinch France’s third and final Champions League spot.

Other results:

Nice 1-1 Toulouse

Angers 0-0 Amiens

Caen 0-5 St Etienne

Guingamp 1-0 Dijon

Nîmes 2-2 Strasbourg

Reims 1-0 Nantes

Bordeaux 1-1 Rennes

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Damon Palmar
damon@footballnationradio.com