By JOHN BOSCHINI
Real Madrid couldn't have asked for a better way to all but wrap up the La Liga title.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored just three minutes after Alexis Sanchez briefly gave Barcelona hope to send Madrid seven points clear with a 2-1 win at the Camp Nou. It was Jose Mourinho's first league win over the Catalan club and all but assures that Madrid will win their 32nd title and first since 2008.
Sami Khedira toe-poked the opener past Victor Valdes in the first half, taking advantage of Carles Puyol's inability to clear the ball. Sanchez brought a goal back for Barcelona with a close-range rebound, but Ronaldo rounded Valdes just three minutes later and fired into an open net to wrap up a victory. Madrid need six points from their final four games to clinch the title.
The Bundesliga became the first major European league to crowned its domestic champion on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund officially clinched the German title. The repeat champions easily dispatched Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 to claim their eighth title, third most in league history. Ivan Perisic and Shinji Kagawa scored in the early stages of either half to spearhead the victory.
Dortmund are the first repeat champions since Bayern repeated in 2006. Bayern will most likely finish second for the second consecutive year, and the two teams will meet for the German Cup final in May.
Here are the rest of the results from a big weekend in Europe:
Just when you thought the race was all over, Manchester City have forced their way back into the title discussion. Manchester United saw their lead over their blue neighbors shrink to three points with a 4-4 draw at home to Everton. Steven Pienaar scored in the 85th minute to draw Everton level in a second half that saw six goals. United held an eight-point lead two weeks ago but have won only one of three since then.
Manchester City kept pace with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers as Wolves became the first EPL team assured of relegation. Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri scored for City, while Wolves continue the winless streak that stretches back to the departure of former manager Mick McCarthy. Newcastle are in prime position to make next season's Champions League, as Tottenham lost to Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea, whose best hope for playing in the Champions League next season is to win it this year, were held to a scoreless draw by Arsenal.
PREMIER LEAGUE SCOREBOARD
Arsenal 0, Chelsea 0
Aston Villa 0, Sunderland 0
Blackburn Rovers 2, Norwich City 0
Bolton Wanderers 1, Swansea City 1
Fulham 2, Wigan Athletic 1
Newcastle United 3, Stoke City 0
Queens Park Rangers 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Manchester United 4, Everton 4
Liverpool 0, West Bromwich Albion 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0, Manchester City 2
Valencia finally earned a much-needed emphatic win on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing of Real Betis. With Malaga not playing until Monday and Levante slumping to a draw with Sevilla, Valencia hold a four-point advantage in third place.
Athletic Bilbao has also crept into the Champions League race as a win over Racing Santander takes them to within three points of fourth place having played a game more.
LA LIGA SCOREBOARD
Mallorca 1, Real Zaragoza 0
Sporting Gijon 2, Rayo Vallecano 1
Barcelona 1, Real Madrid 2
Sevilla FC 1, Levante 1
Granada 1, Getafe 0
Real Sociedad 1, Villarreal 1
Racing Santander 0, Athletic Bilbao 1
Atletico Madrid 3, Espanyol 1
Valencia 4, Real Betis 0
Osasuna vs. Malaga, 3 p.m.
Stuttgart's slim hopes of chasing down Borussia Monchengladbach for the fourth and final Champions League spot is all but gone following a 1-1 draw with FC Cologne. While not mathematically secure, Monchengladbach can wrap up fourth place with a single point in either of their last two games.
Hertha Berlin is guaranteed at least a place in the relegation playoffs as the gap between them and safety has widened to six points. SC Freiburg and Mainz have guaranteed their spots in the Bundesliga for next season
Mainz 0, VfL Wolfsburg 0
FC Cologne 1, VfB Stuttgart 1
Hertha Berlin 1, Kaiserslautern 2
Nurnberg 1, Hamburg SV 1
TSG Hoffenheim 0, Bayer Leverkusen 1
Werder Bremen 1, Bayern Munich 2
Borussia Dortmund 2, Borussia Monchengladbach 0
FC Augsburg 1, Schalke 04 1
Hannover 96 0, SC Freiburg 0
Juventus kept their foot on the gas as a 4-0 demolition of AS Roma extends their lead to three points over AC Milan. Juventus were up 3-0 by halftime and now hold a plus-three advantage over Milan on goal differential. Arturo Vidal scored a double while Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio added the other goals for Juve.
AC Milan conceded more ground in the race of the Scudetto with a 1-1 draw to Bologna. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the final minute to salvage at least a point for the visitors. Despite the humiliating loss, AS Roma isn't out of the race for third as both Lazio and Udinese could only manage draws. Lazio currently holds third place with a three-point lead over Udinese and a five-point lead over sixth-placed Roma. Napoli moved into fifth with a 2-0 win over Novara.
In a bizarre turn of events in a clash towards the bottom of the league, Siena's 4-1 victory over Genoa was halted for 45 minutes because of fan disturbance. After Siena went ahead 4-0, Genoa supporters gathered around the tunnel and threatened to invade the pitch unless the Genoa players removed their shirts, claiming the players were not worthy to wear the jersey. Only an emotional intervention by Genoa midfielder Giuseppe Sculli was successful in restoring calm and the match could conclude. Genoa is now only one point clear of relegation.
SERIE A SCOREBOARD
Chievo Verona 0, Udinese 0
Parma 3, Cagliari 0
Catania 2, Atalanta 0
Napoli 2, Novara 0
Fiorentina 0, Inter Milan 0
AC Milan 1, Bologna 1
Cesena 2, Palermo 2
Genoa 1, Siena 4
Lazio 1, Lecce 1
Juventus 4, AS Roma 0
Paris Saint-Germain were utterly dominant in their 6-1 win over Sochaux but still find themselves two points behind Montpellier in the race for the Ligue 1 title. Five different players scored for PSG with Nene getting the brace. Souleymane Camara's goal after just five minutes was enough for Montpellier to dispatch Valenciennes.
Lille maintained their six-point lead in third place with five games to play. Lyon kept the pressure on with a win over Lorient but time is running out for them to close the gap.
Brest 0, Stade Rennes 1
Caen 1, St. Etienne 4
Dijon FCO 0, Lille 2
Evian Thonon Gaillard 2, Toulouse 1
Montpellier 1, Valenciennes 0
Nice 1, AJ Auxerre 0
Bordeaux 2, Marseille 1
AC Ajaccio 0, AS Nancy Lorraine 0
Paris Saint-Germain 6, Sochaux 1
Lyon 3, Lorient 2
Ajax realistically need only three points over their final three games to wrap up the Eredivisie title. A 2-0 win over FC Groningen takes them to the brink of a 31st league title. AZ Alkmaar kept the pressure on with a 2-1 victory over VVV Venlo. The main focus for AZ is to hold off the challenge for second place being mounted by Feyenoord Rotterdam. The two teams are level on points with AZ holding a one-goal advantage on goal differential.
FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven also won as they lurk one point behind third place.
NAC Breda 0, Roda JC Kerkrade 3
Heerenveen 1, Vitesse Arnhem 1
De Graafschap 2, SC Heracles Almelo 3
RKC Waalwijk 0, FC Utrecht 2
Exclesior 0, FC Twente 1
ADO Den Haag 1, Feyenoord Rotterdam 2
AZ Alkmaar 2, VVV Venlo 1
PSV Eindhoven 2, NEC Nijmegen 1
Ajax Amsterdam 2, FC Groningen 0
What do you think of this weekend's fixtures? Were Real Madrid worthy winners on Saturday? Can Borussia Dortmund become a force on the European stage? Will Juventus continue their unbeaten season and win the title?
Share your thoughts below.