European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid shocked, Inter improving and more

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By IAN HOLLIDAY

Real Madrid did something Sunday that it had only done once before during this season. It lost. The Merengues fell 1-0 to the 17th-placed Pamplona club despite taking 21 shots and controlling 66 percent of the possession. Even the debut of on-loan Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor couldn't keep Jose Morinho's side from falling 7 points behind Barcelona in the Spanish title race.

In Italy, Inter Milan climbed into a Champions League berth by battling back from a 2-0 deficit against Palermo. The visitors opened the scoring in the 5th minute and doubled their lead before halftime, but Inter got two goals from Giampaolo Pazzini in his debut, and Samuel Eto'o scored the winner on a penalty in the 76th minute. The win leaves Inter on 38 points, good enough for fourth in Serie A.

Like Inter, last year's Champions League finalist Bayern Munich continued ascending its respective table this weekend with a 3-1 win over Werder Bremen.

In England, league play gave way to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, which yielded few surprise results. No Premier League team fell to lower-division opposition, though Manchester City will have to replay Notts County after drawing 1-1. Perhaps the most surprising result of the round was Fulham's 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, which was notable more for the margin of victory than for the clubs' positions in the table.

Here is a rundown of all the weekend scores from Europe's top leagues:

FA CUP

Conference National side Crawley Town became the first non-league club to reach the Fifth Round of the FA Cup since 1994 with its 1-0 defeat of Torquay United on Sunday. The club's reward? A trip to Old Trafford. The Red Devils were nearly upended by League One opponents Southampton, which took a 1-0 lead into halftime, only to see goals from Michael Owen and Mexican striker Javier Hernandez lead a United comeback. Several Americans also saw FA Cup action this weekend, with Fulham's Clint Dempsey leading the way. Dempsey made a nuisance of himself around the Tottenham net all day, drawing the penalty that lead to the Cottagers' first goal.

Arsenal 2, Huddersfield Town 1

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0, Stoke City 1

Notts County 1, Manchester City 1

West Ham United 3, Nottingham Forest 2

Fulham 4, Tottenham 0

Everton 1, Chelsea 1

Swansea City 1, Leyton Orient 2

Aston Villa 3, Blackburn 1

Birmingham 3, Coventry City 2

Bolton 0, Wigan Athletic 0

Burnley 3, Burton Albion 1

Sheffield Wednesday 4, Hereford United 1

Stevenage 1, Reading 2

Torquay United 0, Crawley Town 1

Watford 0, Brighton 1

Southampton 1, Manchester United 2

SPAIN

Barcelona exacted a small amount of revenge on Hercules with its 3-0 win on Saturday. The promoted club was the only team to beat Barca this season, earning a 2-0 win at Camp Nou on the second weekend of the season. Since that loss, the Catalan club has gone 18-0-1 in La Liga and racked up some impressive victories, including 5-0 over Clasico rivals Real Madrid and 8-0 over bottom dwellers Almeria. Hercules' fortunes have been markedly less positive since the club's September victory. While not currently in the drop zone, the club is far from out of the relegation woods. Hercules is one of four La Liga clubs currently on 22 points, and while that's good enough for 13th place, it's only four points better than Levante, which currently occupies the first relegation slot.

Atletico Madrid 0, Athletic Bilbao 2

Osasuna 1, Real Madrid 0

Espanyol 0, Villarreal 1

Levante 2, Getafe 0

Malaga 1, Real Zaragoza 2

Mallorca 0, Sporting Gijon 4

Real Sociedad 2, Almeria 0

Hercules 0, Barcenlona 3

Deportivo La Coruna 3, Sevilla 3

Monday: Racing Santander v. Valencia

ITALY

Bari wasn't expected to stay in Serie A last season after winning promotion to the league the year before. This year, it looks like the pressures of top-flight football might be catching up to the Southern Italian club. Bari has won only three matches so far this season and earned a total of just 14 points. The club sits in last place in Serie A, four points behind 19th-placed Brescia and seven points from safety. Bari will have a chance to gain ground when it travels to Brescia next Sunday, but the club's task will be complicated by a midweek visit from defending champions Inter Milan.

Brescia 0, Chievo 3

Cagliari 2, Bari 1

Genoa 3, Parma 1

Inter Milan 3, Palermo 2

Lecce 1, Cesena 1

Napoli 4, Sampdoria 0

Juventus 1, Udinese 2

Lazio 2, Fiorentina 0

Catania 0, AC Milan 2

Bologna v. AS Roma (abandoned due to weather)

GERMANY

Borussia Dortmund kept on rolling this weekend with a 3-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg. The club has scored five more goals than any other Bundesliga team this season, while allowing nine fewer, a recipe for success that shows in the club's 11-point lead over second-placed Bayer Leverkusen. At the other end of the table, Dortmund's namesake Borussia Moenchengladbach has allowed a league-high 50 goals this season en route to just 16 points and a league-worst -21 goal differential. That said, 'Gladbach was able to pull even with 17th-placed Stuttgart on points this weekend with a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

VfB Stuttgart 0, SC Freiburg 1

Eintracht Frankfurt 0, Borussia Moenchengladbach 1

Nurnberg 2, Hamburg 0

Schalke 04 0, Hoffenheim 1

St. Pauli 3, FC Cologne 0

VfL Wolfsburg 0, Borussia Dortmund 3

Werder Bremen 1, Bayern Munich 3

Kaiserslautern 0, Mainz 1

Bayer Leverkusen 2, Hannover 96 0

FRANCE

Finally, some separation has come to the Ligue 1 table. Leaders Lille maintained a four point lead over Paris St. Germain this weekend by defeating Lens 1-0. PSG took care of business against woeful Arles 2-1, pulling three points clear of the pack in the process thanks to losses from Lyon and Stade Rennes. Lyon moved ahead of Rennes in the standings, despite both sides losing, because Rennes was trounced 5-1 by Sochaux. There are still three clubs within two points of the final Champions League spot (currently held by Lyon) and another handful bunched together after that, but for now, at least, the elite clubs have begun to sort themselves out in France.

AS Nancy Lorraine 1, Montpellier 2

Bordeaux 2, Nice 0

AS Monaco 0, Marseille 0

Arles 1, Paris St. Germain 2

Caen 2, AJ Auxerre 0

Lorient 2, Brest 0

Sochaux 5, Stade Rennes 1

St. Etienne 2, Toulouse 1

Valenciennes 2, Lyon 1

Lille 1, Lens 0

What did you think of this week's results? Surprised by Real Madrid's loss? Glad to see Inter and Bayern returning to power? Rooting for Crawley Town to upset Man United?

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6 Responses to European Weekend Rewind: Real Madrid shocked, Inter improving and more

  1. Jack says:

    It looks like La Liga might fast becoming a one horse race, unless Barca starts picking up some losses.

  2. BCC says:

    Hard to be optimistic for Real Madrid, but it also occurs to me that there are many factors that could potentially shake things up in La Liga. If Messi or Xavi picked up an injury and were out for the season, would you still favor them to win it all?

    La Liga is famously the league no one wants to win in that it always seems to become dramatic in the second half.

  3. Lorenzo says:

    Anyone think or hear of Real Madrid possibly giving Mourinho the axe, or do they think he has more building to do?

  4. BCC says:

    Seems to me that Perez is going to have to decide between Valdano and Mourinho. My guess is that club members would prefer the latter of the former.

  5. BCC says:

    *over the former.

  6. DC Josh says:

    It will be interesting to see if anyone can stop Barcelona in the Champions League. They have pretty much wrapped up La Liga. Barca needs to concede 7 points to allow Real Madrid a sniff of the title. I don’t see that happening.