European Rewind: Real Madrid take El Clasico, Dortmund repeat and more

Real madrid getty

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:


ENGLAND

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

SPAIN

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

MONDAY

Osasuna vs. Malaga, 3 p.m. 

GERMANY

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

BUNDESLIGA SCOREBOARD

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

ITALY

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

FRANCE

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.

SATURDAY

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

SUNDAY

AC Ajaccio 0, AS Nancy Lorraine 0
Paris Saint-Germain 6, Sochaux 1
Lyon 3, Lorient 2

NETHERLANDS

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.

EREDIVISIE SCOREBOARD

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

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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.

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15 Responses to European Rewind: Real Madrid take El Clasico, Dortmund repeat and more

  1. Kevin_Amold says:

    Was it really an “open net” goal for Ronaldo? I saw it as a one-on-one with Valdes that Ronaldo blasted past him near-post. Am I remembering the goal incorrectly?

  2. Mig22 says:

    Not incorrectly, K_A. He took the ball at a near dead run and cleared Valdes so that his shot was fairly open but I wouldn’t call it an “open net”. He MADE it open with his run and his shot was crisp but not really a ‘blast’.

    Just a matter of semantics, I think.

  3. William the Terror says:

    As a Manchester United fan since the time I was stationed in England in the early eighties, I can only say that United deserves no silverware this year. The team has played lazily in all competitions and has shown no fire at all. The only thing that minimizes my displeasure is the sheer joy of seeing Barca lose this weekend. And although it is blasphemy to say so from the stanpoint of a United Fan, I hope Chelsa show Barca the door this week.

  4. K Bone says:

    Certainly was not an open goal. After Ronaldo beat Valdes he still had plenty of work to do to get it in the net…

  5. Jay says:

    Lol theu won’t. They may have had a chance of Barca had beat Madrid and may have had a let down but now the champions league is all they have. Chelsea will be under the gun from minute one. Oh and as for Manchester united, I think its part laziness but also lack of talent. Ok Roney,Welbeck, Nani and Young who are good not great United is old lacking in talent. City has twice the talent of United.

  6. William the Terror says:

    Young? He has dived so much this year he might as well transfer to Barca. As for lack of talent, that may be true. United has not don much on the transfer marker for the last couple of years and their next generation of vaunted youth stars have yet to show much on the filed. But, laziness was definitely the culprit against Basel when they exited the Champions League, and there has been some lazy defending in the Premiership as well.

    City has more talent, but at what cost? I’m a big fan of finacial fair play. But, like campaign finance reform, peole will always find a way around it.

  7. Jay says:

    Lol young may be at home studying Dani Alves diving clips every night but he is talented is a starter on most teams in Europe. It’s hard to compete being smart with your money. That’s why what the Bundisliga teams are doing is so impressive. But unless Man U spends or their academy starts pumping out more Welbecks they will continue to struggle. But hey Chelsea Liverpool and Arsenal are in the same boat.

  8. TheFrenchOne says:

    yeah, deuce and jozy should definitely go to Roma …

  9. A.S. says:

    Most telling thing I read about el Clasico was from Sid Lowe in the Guardian:

    “The more Barcelona have focused on controlling the game, the less they seem to have been able to kill it. Against Madrid they completed well over 700 passes; Madrid completed just over 200. Madrid had six shots on target, Barcelona just three.”

    Barca just doesn’t seem to have the same ability to attack as they had in the past. Control the ball, sure. But really put pressure on the keeper, not as much – there is no Eto’o, Henry, or even Ibrahimovic on this team.

  10. sly says:

    I wouldnt mind if Jozy stays in Holland for a little longer. If they can maintain their strike rate theyll be in the champions league qualifying next season. Thats a big if though, tied for second and one point ahead of third which is the europa league spot.

  11. Kevin_Amold says:

    I do think that Saturday Clasico was screaming out for an Ibrahimovic type of player from Barca’s standpoint.

    I can’t say I’m with you on your main point though. Barca have had a poor couple of games in a row. To me, it’s nothing more than that.

  12. Did you guys notice he didn’t look up before he shot over Valdes. Wow! :)

  13. jon says:

    it seems ridiculous to say, that if barcelona had this one player or that, they could put it all together, when they already have one of the most amazing and complete squads in the history of the game. That said, an in form and healthy eto’o or villa (i.e, the kind of quick, technical, mobile forward who fits in with them) and barcelona is much much more dangerious. i don’t think they are any better with ibra.

  14. jai_brooklyn says:

    The angle was acute and he had to hit it while in stride and past Valdez. No ‘open net’ there.

    It truly was a remarkable goal. He looked up when he received the ball. That was it.

  15. bryan says:

    most certainly his comment was sarcastic. Roma isn’t even the best team in Rome and will end up missing or barely making Europa. in other words, Jozy and Dempsey have no reason to go there.