Duo on verge as Blues stay alive
While the Spanish, German and Italian league leaders all claimed
three points to take a decisive step towards their respective
titles, the English Premier League crown is still very much up for
grabs thanks to Michael Ballack. Elsewhere, there were plenty of
other top-of-the-table clashes including some pulsating derbies,
notably between Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow and Fenerbahce and
Galatasaray in Istanbul.
FIFA.com reflects on the latest happenings across
Europe's major leagues.
Premier League: Ballack keeps title race alive
Two goals from Chelsea's Michael Ballack against Manchester United mean that the Premier League is still up for grabs. The 31-year-old Germany captain scored just before the break and then hit a penalty four minutes from time to snatch the Blues a 2-1 win after Wayne Rooney had equalised on 57 minutes.
This leaves the two UEFA Champions League semi-finalists level
at the top on 81 points, although United remain in the driving seat
due to a vastly superior goal difference.
Top three: Manchester United (81 points), Chelsea (81), Arsenal (74)
Bottom three: Birmingham City (32 points), Fulham (30), Derby County (11)
Top scorers: Cristiano Ronaldo (28 goals), Fernando Torres (22), Emmanuel Adebayor (21)
Weekend stat: Chelsea have not lost at Stamford Bridge in the league for over four years now - a total of 81 matches.
La Liga: Real on the brink
Holders Real Madrid can put the champagne on ice after their 3-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao, with Javier Saviola, Arjen Robben and Gonzalo Higuain notching their goals.
Bernd Schuster's men need just one more victory from their remaining four games, second-placed Villarreal lying ten points adrift even after a 1-0 success at Real Betis. Barcelona fell out of the title race for good after their 2-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna.
Top three: Real Madrid (75 points), Villarreal
(65), Barcelona (61)
Bottom three: Real Zaragoza (38 points), Real Murcia (30), Levante (25)
Top scorers: Luis Fabiano (23 goals), Daniel Guiza (22), Raul (17)
Weekend stat: If Barcelona finish the season in third place, it will be their worst showing since 2003/04, when they ended up sixth.
Bundesliga: Bayern make all but sure
After their 4-1 win over current holders Stuttgart, Bayern Munich are within touching distance of the Bundesliga title. With four rounds to go, the record 20-time champions are 12 points clear of both Werder Bremen and Schalke and, therefore, need just a point to bring the trophy back to Munich. Luca Toni, Mark van Bommel and two-goal Franck Ribery were on the scoresheet for Bayern, while Antonio da Silva scored for Stuttgart, temporarily cancelling out the leaders' opening goal.
In the battle for the other Champions League slots, Hamburg dropped out of the running when they lost 1-0 to direct rivals Schalke, German international striker Kevin Kuranyi netting the all-important goal. Werder Bremen, meanwhile, shared six goals with Karlsruhe.
Top three: Bayern Munich (66 points), Werder
Bremen (54), Schalke (54)
Bottom three: Nuremberg (27 points), Hansa Rostock (27), Duisburg (26)
Top scorers: Luca Toni (21 goals), Mario Gomez (15), Kevin Kuranyi (15)
Weekend stat: Hamburg have now gone six matches without a win, including four in the Bundesliga without a goal.
Serie A: Roma and Juventus keep pace with Inter
Serie A's top three made no mistake in Round 35 of 38. Leaders Inter Milan beat Cagliari 2-1, while Juventus and Roma were very much in the mood for goals. La Vecchia Signora raced into a 4-0 lead over Lazio after barely 30 minutes and ultimately ran out 5-2 winners, while Roma strolled to a 4-1 victory over Torino.
Inter already have one hand on the
Scudetto with three games to go, holding as they do a
six-point lead over Roma and boasting a far superior goal
Top three: Inter Milan (81 points), Roma (75), Juventus (70)
Bottom three: Reggina (33 points), Parma (31), Livorno (30)
Top scorers: Marco Borriello (19 goals), David Trezeguet (19), Alessandro del Piero (18)
Weekend stat: Next Sunday, Inter will be looking to become the first side to win three successive crowns since city rivals AC Milan achieved the feat in 1993.
Ligue 1: Lyon and Bordeaux held
Ligue 1's front two were both denied victory this weekend. Pacesetters Lyon came from behind to draw 2-2 with 11th-placed Caen, despite being down to ten men after Fabio Grosso was sent off just before half-time. Karim Benzema was Lyon's saviour, scoring both goals.
Their closest rivals Bordeaux could not take advantage, however, with Laurent Blanc's men held to a 0-0 draw against Nice. In and around the relegation zone, Paris Saint-Germain beat Auxerre 3-1 to retain their survival hopes.
Top three: Lyon (72 points), Bordeaux (68),
Bottom three: Paris Saint-Germain (38 points), Strasbourg (35), Metz (20)
Top scorers: Karim Benzema (19 goals), Mamadou Niang (16), Fernando Cavenaghi (14)
Weekend stat: PSG's success was only their second in their last 13 games.
A brace from Scott McDonald helped Celtic beat Rangers 3-2 and move five points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League, though their Old Firm adversaries have three games in hand. Over in Istanbul, Galatasaray undid Fenerbahce 1-0 to go three points clear of their city rivals at the top of the Super League in Turkey, with Shabani Nonda's 37th-minute goal the difference between the two sides.