Welcome to FIFA.com’s rolling round-up of the weekend’s action, where we keep you in the loop on the major happenings on the field in world football. This week there is a key clash between local rivals at the top of the table in Russia, while there is more drama set for the summits in Spain and England.
Check back in with us as the weekend progresses to get the key results from across the planet. Want to find out more from the globe’s top divisions? Check out our new Live Scores section for results, scorers and tables from right across the planet following its makeover.
The Big Matches
Lokomotiv Moscow 1-1 CSKA Moscow
Vedran Corluka (22), Aaron Samuel Olanare (84)
Rivals Lokomotiv Moscow and CSKA Moscow played out a 1-1 draw at the Lokomotiv Stadium on Saturday as the battle for supremacy in Russia became even more intriguing. Vedran Corluka opened the scoring for the hosts, but a late goal from Aaron Samuel Olanare rescued a much-needed point for the visitors. Saturday's stalemate meant CSKA were leapfrogged by Rostov, who defeated Kuban Krasnodar on Sunday to move one point clear at the top of the table. Third-placed Zenit Saint Petersburg will also want to have their say before the season's end, however, who lie just two points behind the leaders after beating Spartak Moscow 5-2.
Leicester City 2-2 West Ham United
Jamie Vardy (18), Jose Ulloa (pen. 90); Andy Carroll (pen. 84), Aaron Cresswell (86)
A mouthwatering match in prospect did not disappoint as a feast of football was served up in England on Sunday lunch time. Jamie Vardy set English Premier League leaders Leicester on their way in the first half after a trademark counter-attacking goal and all seemed set for another sturdy victory for Claudio Ranieri's side. The visitors had not read the script though and, after Vardy had seen red for two bookable offences, the Hammers grabbed two quickfire goals in the final ten minutes - first through an Andy Carroll penalty and then a stunning strike by Aaron Cresswell - to leave the Foxes facing a first league defeat since mid-February. Their never-say-die attitude kicked in though, and Leonardo Ulloa stepped up to score a dramatic stoppage time penalty to secure a point. Tottenham Hotspur will attempt to gain ground on the league leaders when they play Stoke tomorrow.
The talking points
Lionel Messi bagged his 500th career goal as Barcelona slipped to a 2-1 home defeat against Valencia on Sunday, meaning the title race in Spain is wide open with five games remaining. The visitors went into the break with a 2-0 lead before the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner bagged his 450th goal for the hosts - the other 50 scored on international duty with Argentina - as Barça suffered their third successive league defeat. Barcelona remain top of the pile in Spain - but only on goal difference - after second-placed Atletico Madrid defeated Granada 3-0 to draw level on points. Third-placed Real Madrid lie just one point adrift of their rivals after they comfortably beat Getafe 5-1.
Brisbane Roar put a bad week behind them – where they went from first to third in the final round of A-League games – to bounce back by booking themselves a spot in the play-off semi-finals. Conceding in the 86th minute, they hit back twice to see off ten-man Melbourne Victory 2-1. Victory's neighbours City saw off Perth Glory 2-0 to secure fourth spot ahead of their opponents, who finished the regular season in fifth. In China PR, reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande similarly fought back from a goal down, with Ricardo Goulart and Gao Lin sending Henan Jinaye packing, while Jiangsu Suning sit top of the league after defeating Shanghai Shenhua 2-0.
There was also a huge game in Iran as the Surkhabi derby saw Persepolis host Tehran rivals Esteghlal. With three games remaining and both two points off the top it was a must win for both, with the home side coming out on top, in part thanks to Mehdi Taremi’s brace, as the 4-2 scoreline saw them become favourites for the title.
In France, the battle for second started on Friday with Lyon two points clear of Nice as both sides faced off. Visitors Nice got on the scoresheet first through Valere Germain in the 17th minute but striker and 2014/15 league top scorer Alexandre Lacazette salvaged a point for ten-man Lyon—Maxwell Cornet was red carded in the 25th minute—and scored in the 82 minute, following up from Mathieu Valbuena's free-kick which hit off the crossbar. By the end of the weekend, it was Monaco who moved into second spot, however, thanks to their 2-1 win against Marseille.
There was a surprising result in Germany as bottom side Hannover defeated fifth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 at the HDI-Arena in Hannover. For Gladbach, the defeat is a blow as they are looking to strengthen their bid for a top four finish. And for Hannover, goals from Waldemar Anton and Artur Sobiech keep their faint survival hopes alive. At the top of the table, Bayern Munich had extended their lead to 10 points on Saturday after they saw off Schalke 3-0 at home, but second-placed Borussia Dortmund reduced that advantage to seven points on Sunday after they defeated Hamburg 3-0.
The Polish championship round kicked off and Legia Warsaw's 1-0 win over Lech Poznan moved them four points clear at the top of the table. In Mexico, CONCACAF Champions League finalists America slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Queretaro to see them fall further behind leaders Monterrey CF. Andre-Pierre Gignac grabbed a brace as Tigres saw off Dorados.
Aston Villa's relegation to England's second tier was confirmed after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United. 18-year-old Marcus Rashford grabbed the only goal of the game as Villa slipped from the top flight for the first time in 28 years. Meanwhile, Manchester City recorded a 3-0 win against Chelsea with Sergio Aguero netting a hat-trick, as Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace.
In New Zealand, the OFC Champions League's semi-finalists have been confirmed, with 'hosts' Auckland City and Team Wellington to face Tahiti's Tefana and New Caledonia's Magenta respectively, while in India, Bengaluru were crowned the new I-League champions after defeating Salgaocar.
FC Dallas stayed top of the MLS Western Conference thanks to a 2-1 comeback win over Sporting Kansas City. Mauro Rosales proved the match-winner when he scored a free-kick from just outside the penalty area.
What they said
“The players are devastated. It's been coming, we know that. But once the 'R' is against your name, it's difficult. It's been difficult for everyone at the club.”
Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black after his side’s relegation from the English Premier League was confirmed after a 1-0 loss at Manchester United
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 17, 2016
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) April 16, 2016
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) April 16, 2016
3 more points & we keep going! pic.twitter.com/JXo6xVeHPu
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) April 16, 2016