Lyon extend lead as Spanish title race remains wide open

After an international break where the remaining places at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at Rio 2016 were booked and the well-attended SheBelieves Cup joined the Algarve and Cyprus Cups on the women’s football calendar, action resumed in several European leagues. takes a look at the latest news from France, Italy and Spain.

France: Lyon set the pace While Paris Saint-Germain are currently dominating proceedings in the French men’s top flight after clinching the championship on Sunday, 62 days before the end of the season, Olympique Lyon are the team to beat in the women’s league. Gerard Precheur’s side celebrated their 15th win in 17 games during this campaign as goals from Eugenie Le Sommer, Corine Franco, Louisa Necib, Claire Lavogez and Amandine Henry steered Lyon to a resounding 5-0 victory over La Roche-sur-Yon. Montpellier’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of ASPTT Albi meant they missed the chance to climb to second ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, who were not in action this weekend. Coach Farid Benstiti’s team will play their 17th game of the season on 19 March knowing that a win will narrow the gap to Lyon.

Top three: Olympique Lyon (64 points), Paris Saint-Germain (57), Montpellier (56)

Italy: Top-of-the-table clash ends in stalemate In the eagerly awaited Serie A encounter between ACF Brescia and ASD Mozzanica, the leading duo shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Second-placed Mozzanica took the lead after a minute thanks to Valentina Giacinti’s strike, before English defender Paige Williams levelled the scoring six minutes after half-time. Elsewhere, Fiorentina cemented their third place with a convincing 5-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Bari to leave them just three points adrift of the summit. Verona remain determined to have their say in the outcome of the championship despite having to content themselves with a 2-2 draw against Res Roma. The Gialloblu are just four points behind the leaders with seven games to go, keeping them in contention for the title.

Top three: ACF Brescia, ASD Mozzanica (both 36), Fiorentina (33)

Spain: Leading trio still marching in step The title race is still wide open in Spain. Athletic Bilbao’s 3-0 triumph over Transportes Alcaine on Saturday piled pressure on their rivals to score maximum points if they were to keep pace with the league leaders. Atletico Madrid responded emphatically by thrashing second-from-bottom UD Collerense 5-0 at home, while defending champions Barcelona beat Valencia 2-1.

Top three: Athletic Bilbao (51), Barcelona, Atletico Madrid (both 47)