• Tuesday, 27 March 2012

    TW3 #4

    The weekend in a nutshell.

    Inter go down in Turin, Ranieri offed as a result though in reality it had long been coming. Milan continue to lead, that man Zlatan with both goals in a 2-1 win over Roma. Cesena are almost down, but it is just a matter of time.

    Real Madrid's little wobble is over following a 5-1 thumping of Real Sociedad. Barcelona also won, away to Mallorca, so the gap remains six points with a Clasico still to come. Málaga are the new incumbents of fourth and it could get better yet for the nouveau riche Los Boquerones as Valencia's second straight loss means it's tied on 47 points for third. At the bottom, Zaragoza's second straight win has pulled them level with both Racing and Sporting Gíjon, albeit still six points adrift of Granada and Villarreal. A fighting chance, nothing more.

    Montpellier return to the top of Ligue 1 with a win over St Etienne combined with PSG being held 1-1 by Bordeaux. Lille remain third after cruising past Evian. Auxerre are in all sorts of trouble and hit the bottom after defeat to fourth-placed Toulouse.

    A good weekend for Ajax in the Eredivisie who continued their great run with a win over PSV. They're a point behind AZ - 1-0 winners over RKC Waalwijk - but Twente fall away after a draw with ADO. Big wins for Feyenoord and Heerenveen see them make up a trio on 51 points with PSV a point further behind Steve McClaren's team.

    New leaders in Portugal where Benfica and Porto both drew - Pablo Aimar sent off in a 0-0 draw for the former against Olhanense, the latter pegged back late on by Paços de Ferreira - and Sporting Braga beat Académica to go past them both.

    The Belgian regular season has ended and now they go into their play-off frenzy. Anderlecht finished top and Kortijk sneak into the top six who play off for the championship as Cercle Brugge buggered it up against Lokeren and drop into the Europa League play-offs for the teams finishing 7th to 14th. Westerlo and Sint-Truiden play-off to avoid relegation. Clear? As mud.

    Celtic have to wait at least a week for the Scottish title after defeat to Rangers in a feisty, tempestuous game, but they will be champions. So will Manchester United, south of the border, after rivals City extended their worrying run of complete inability to win away from home.

    The fall-out from the trouble at the Panathiaikos-Olympiakos game saw the Greek FA award the match as a 3-0 to Olympiakos, fine Panathinaikos and order them to play four games behind closed doors. Both sides won this weekend - a 7-2 thumping of Asteras for Olympiakos for whom Kevin Mirallas got three - which leaves Olympiakos ten points clear.

    Finally, Germany. Wins for the top three leaves the status quo intact, but a surprise loss for Gladbach at home to Hoffenheim sees them fall away and their season is in danger of fizzling out. They are a long way clear of Leverkusen though, so a top four finish is still very much on. 2.Bundesliga is finally taking shape. Of the top five, only Greuther and Eintracht Frankfurt won - Greuther against an increasingly dismal Lautern, Eintracht 4-0 away to Union Berlin - and they're away and over the hill now.

    A busy midweek sees the Champions League quarter-finals hog the headlines and an emotional return to White Hart Lane for Bolton in the rearranged FA Cup tie, the game that was abandoned after Fabrice Muamba's heart attack.

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