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 a continental champion was crowned in Oceania, while the latest chapter in arguably South America’s biggest rivalry was written.
Want to find out more from the globe’s top divisions? Check out our new Live Scores section for results, scorers and tables from Argentina to Zambia following its makeover.
The big matches
Auckland City 3-0 Team Wellington
Micah Lea'alafa (2', 84'), Clayton Lewis (67')
Auckland City are set for yet another appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup after retaining their OFC Champions League title with a tough victory over compatriots Team Wellington. A lone strike from Micah Lea’alafa in just the second minute separated the teams at half-time, as the Solomon Islander scored with an impressive individual effort. Clayton Lewis doubled the lead on 67 minutes as the Navy Blues struck on the counter-attack. Team Wellington were reduced to ten men when former Auckland City midfielder Alex Feneridis received a second caution, and Lea’alafa rubbed salt into the wounds with his second goal six minutes from time. It is a sixth title in a row – and eighth overall - for Auckland City.
Boca Juniors 0-0 River Plate
Sunday 24 April
Argentina’s Superclasico is a game whose passion cannot remotely be done justice in the space of a paragraph. However, the latest edition of the derby will likely not be one that lives long in the memory. A packed La Bombonera saw an early red card for Pablo Javier Perez in the 12th minute, which forced the home side to play defensively for the rest of the match. Both teams had chances in the game, however neither side was able to find the breakthrough—the first time since 1989 that two consecutive Superclasicos ended goalless. With this result, both sides' hopes of climbing in the standings became dimmer. The challenge of doing so will be even harder with both teams having an eye on the second round of the Copa Libertadores.
The talking points
Real Madrid jumped to the top of the table for a couple of hours in Spain after a Gareth Bale-inspired comeback 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano. Zinedine Zidane's side, without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, were 2-0 down but showed character to come back with a brace from Bale and another goal from Lucas Vazquez. Their city rivals Atletico Madrid then leapfrogged them at the top with a 1-0 win at the Vicente Calderon over Malaga.
Barcelona then became the third different team to be at the top of the table in one day after they eased to a 6-0 victory against Sporting Gijon. Luis Suarez scored four goals in a second consecutive league match. The Catalans will go into matchday 36 as league leaders, level on points (82) with Atleti and one point ahead of Real (81).
Fresh from teeing up a Der Klassiker cup final this week, Borussia Dortmund cruised to a 3-0 victory at Stuttgart. Hertha Berlin couldn't do Dortmund a favour in the title race when Bayern Munich visited the capital, with second-half goals from Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa seeing them maintain a seven-point lead at the top. Bayer Leverkusen developed a buffer between them and fourth-placed Hertha when they came all the way from 2-0 down to defeat Schalke 3-2.
In France, Nice defeated Reims 2-0 in Ligue 1, leaving them just a point behind Monaco to stay in the race for second, while Reims remain in the relegation fight. On Saturday in a game that burst into life in the second half, Lyon defeated Toulouse 3-2 in a thrilling match to move them into second place. Saint-Etienne's 2-0 win over Lorient on Sunday makes the race for second all the more intriguing with four teams in with a chance of securing Champions League football next year. Monaco missed the chance to go back into second with their 1-1 draw at Rennes. In the first game of the final stage of the Scottish season, St. Johnstone beat Aberdeen 3-0 at home. The visitors needed a win to try and chase leaders Celtic, however they are nine points behind the Hoops, who were held by Ross County in a 1-1 draw at home on Sunday.
Over the Channel in England, Leicester City took a significant step towards a fairytale Premier League title with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Swansea City to move eight points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, who play West Bromwich Albion on Monday, at the top of the table. The Foxes managed just fine without suspended striker Jamie Vardy as goals came from Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton and a double from Leonardo Ulloa. Manchester City leapfrogged Arsenal into third with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Stoke City, with Kelechi Iheanacho bagging a brace. The Gunners were held to a goalless draw at Sunderland on Sunday. The point took Sam Allardyce's men out of the relegation zone on goal difference as they are level with Norwich City on points (31). In Italy, Inter Milan kept their hopes alive of snatching third place off Roma with a 3-1 win over Udinese thanks largely to a Stevan Jovetic double.
Premiers Plate winners Adelaide United made it into the Australian A-League Grand Final, with Western Sydney Wanderers joining them. The 4-1 win over Melbourne City secured it for Adelaide, in part thanks to Bruce Djite's brace, a result which looked a breeze compared to the Wanderers' test. In one of the greatest games in Australian club history, the Sydney outfit came from 3-0 down to eventually win 5-4 after extra time against Brisbane Roar, with Romeo Castelen hitting a hat-trick and Dario Vidosic's winner ensuring there will be a new name on the A-League title.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Eastern have already sewn up the title, with their 2-1 win over South China getting the job done with a game to go. Eastern head coach Chan Yuen-ting made history in becoming the first female coach of a men's team to win the league title in Hong Kong. Bulgaria saw Ludogorets crowned champions after their goalless draw at second-placed Levski Sofia.
The battle for a CAF Champions League spot in Algeria heated up as MO Bejaia visited JS Saoura. The hosts won 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from Nadjiib Maaziz in the 37th minute. The result saw Saoura jump to second place, while Bejaia dropped to fifth. Guangzhou Evergrande bounced back from AFC Champions League elimination with victory in the Chinese Super League as Gao Lin scored twice in a 4-0 win over Tianjin Teda.
In the Canadian derby in MLS, Toronto defeated Eastern Conference leaders Montreal 2-0 as last season's Most Valuable Player Sebastian Giovinco scored a brace at Stade Saputo, while in Uruguay, Nacional stayed a point off top with a 1-0 win over third-placed Fenix. Russia’s intriguing title race continued, with Rostov defeating Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0 to go top, while CSKA Moscow trail by one point after they edged Dinamo Moscow 1-0 with a second-half goal from Alexsei Berezutsky.
In Czech Republic, Viktoria Plzen went within a point of the title with a 3-0 win at Sparta Prague. The top two in Saudi Arabia – Al Ahli and Al Hilal – faced off and it was leaders Al Ahli who took the opportunity to extend their lead at the top with a 3-1 win after being down 1-0.
What they said
Great day for our club. Huge congrats to the team, staff, club and supporters. Another massive moment to cherish. pic.twitter.com/n9Anwwsu63
— Ivan Vicelich (@IvanVicelich) April 23, 2016
“We've proved that we can turn a game around after conceding two goals. My players showed a lot of patience and they made the difference. We've got players with the quality to turn things in your favour when things are going against us from the off.”
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane after his side’s come-from-behind 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano
CLAUDIO: "We had a dream. Now we must fight to make the dream a reality." #LeiSwa
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 24, 2016
Words I never thought I would utter: mathematically, only Leicester or Tottenham can win the @premierleague
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 24, 2016
Very proud of my team with this good result this afternoon. Keep going boys . Thanks to the fans to have been behind us. #NUFC
— Moussa Sissoko (@MoussaSissoko) April 23, 2016
Will that sort of performance be enough on Wednesday? Pep: "It'll be a completely different game." pic.twitter.com/8VHfB1KrCK
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 23, 2016
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 23, 2016
— Bruce Djite (@BDjite) April 24, 2016
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) April 24, 2016