Sunday 18 February 2018 / 01:54 PM

European Weekend Wrap

Barcelona moved ever closer to the La Liga finish line on Sunday evening after a cosy 0-3 success against strugglers Real Zaragoza at La Romareda.

Tito Villanova’s side was reshuffled following on from their midweek Champions League exertions but as expected they still had far too much in hand for Los Blanquillos who remain firmly in the drop zone thanks to a goal from Thiago Alcantara and a brace from exciting wing man Cristian Tello.

The win maintained the Catalan giants’ huge 13 point advantage at the summit of the table with seven matches to go and there was no change to the Primera Division top four at the weekend following equally comfortable victories for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.

Cristiano Ronaldo was at the double as Los Merengues triumphed 0-3 away to Athletic Bilbao whilst Sociedad also experienced joy on the road beating Rayo Vallecano 0-2.

Atletico were emphatic in accounting for Granada 5-0 at the Vicente Calderon as in demand star Falcao once again displayed his talents with a goal either side of the break – and Diego Simeone’s team will feel capable of challenging cross-city rivals Real for the runners-up berth in the final weeks of the season after playing their way back into form.
In Serie A, Napoli’s faint title hopes faded for good after they failed to take control against ten man AC Milan at the San Siro.

Goran Pandev’s 33rd minute strike swiftly had the visitors back on terms following Mathieu Flamini’s opener for the Rossoneri just a few moments earlier-  and the Azzurri were fancied to go on and steal all three points after former Arsenal man Flamini was sent off with twenty minutes to go.

Walter Mazzarri’s side were denied a priceless victory nonetheless and the Serie A title will now surely head to Turin if Juventus can dispatch of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico on Monday night.

Bayern Munich stylishly knocked the Bianconeri out of Europe in midweek and Jupp Heynckes’ men showed no signs of letting up their blistering recent run against Nuremburg on Saturday despite having already sewn up the Bundesliga championship seven days ago.

Jerome Boateng and Mario Gomez were amongst the goals as Bayern eased to a 4-0 success in front of a packed crowd at the Allianz Arena which will play host to a mouth-watering Champions League last four clash with Barcelona in a fortnight’s time.

Fellow semi-finalists Borussia Dortmund look booked for second spot this time around after smashing Greuther Furth 1-6 whilst Schalke and Leverkusen consolidated their positions in the top four after sharing the points in a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen.

Elsewhere around the continent, Ajax stole a march in the Eredevisie after overcoming PSV 3-2 in a thriller at the Amsterdam Arena – a win which now takes Frank De Boer’s charges five points clear of the chasing pack with just four games of the campaign remaining.

And in France, PSG got past their midweek European disappointment with a narrow 0-1 victory at Troyes which keeps Carlo Ancelotti’s side on course for the Ligue 1 title.

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Chris Kisby

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