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March 1, 2011

Around the first four of the big four III

Setback for Real Madrid in La Liga, the Premier League continues with Manchester United on top, key win for Borussia Dortmund towards Bundesliga championship, and in the Serie A Inter snatches second place from Napoli.

By Andrew Hill

Barcelona increases lead to seven points

On Saturday February 26 La Liga solo leader, Barcelona, visited Mallorca for match day 25 without four of their starters: golie Valdes, defenders Alves and Puyol, and their playmaker Xavi. Despite these important absences the team didn’t suffer them thanks to the great performances of their substitutes: Pinto, Adriano, Maxwell and Keita respectively.

Messi's 26th goal of the season.

At minute 37 Keita was responsible for assisting Messi in the first goal, after a brilliant pass on top of the Mallorca defenders that saw how the top scorer in the championship headed the ball to the back of the net for his 26th goal of the season. In the second half Villa and Pedro scored one goal each for the final 0-3, and Barcelona reached 68 points.

With this result Real Madrid couldn’t afford to lose points on Sunday in their visit to Deportivo de La Coruña, but they did by tying 0-0 and watched how the 5-point difference against Barcelona was increased to seven.

In their visit to Athletic, Valencia overcame an early goal from Llorente in the first half, with two goals in the second one from Mata and Jonas for the 1-2 win. As for Villareal, their visit to Racing was not as positive, but could have been worst, as they where down twice in the score. In the first half Ariel gave Racing the lead, in the 66th minute Marco Ruben tied to one, two minutes later Giovani gave the home team the lead again, and in injury time Nilmar rescued one point for the final 2-2.

With 51 points Valencia leads the battle for the third place against Villareal that has 50.

Comfortable win for Manchester United

The Premier League leaders, Manchester United, suffered no surprises in their visit to Wigan Athletic for match day 28, in a game that they controlled from beginning to end. Chicharito Hernandez opened the scored at minute 16 and got one more at minute 74. With six minutes to go Rooney and Fabio had enough time to add one more goal each, and the Red Devils now have 60 points and a pending game against Chelsea.

Second place Arsenal remains in 56 points as they will play until Wednesday against fourth place (47 points), Tottenham Hotspur, on the road. With this match Gunners and Spurs will be completing round 28.

That is the fifth point the Citizens let slip in two games.

And third place Manchester City couldn’t recover from the loss against Everton last week, and this weekend they tied to one at home against Fulham. That is the fifth point the Citizens (50 points) let slip in two games. Balotelli’s goal at the 26th minute was not enough for the win, as Duff put the equalizer in the second half for the visitors.

Borussia Dortmund is unstoppable in Germany

Visiting the defending champions was not a problem for Borussia Dortmund to continue with an unstoppable pace after 24 rounds in the Bundesliga. The first 18 minutes of game where the most exciting of the match as three goals where scored: at minute 9 Barrios gave visitors the lead, Dias tied at the 16th minute and two minutes later Sahin tipped the balance for the visitors again. And in the second half Hummels put the final 1-3.

They reached 58 points, 12 more than their closest contender.

Despite this setback Bayern Munich continues in fourth place with 42 points, while Borussia took another big step towards the championship as they reached 58 points, 12 more than their closest contender, Bayer Leverkusen.

No.2 Leverkusen (46 points) was only able to tie in their visit to Werder Bremen, in a game that they were winning 2-0 with eight minutes to go, thanks to the goals form Derdiyok and Rolfes in the second half. But an own goal from Kiebling in minute 82 and anther from Prodl in injury time made the victory slip from their hands.

This result benefited Hannover 96, that thanks to their on the road win reduced the difference with Leverkusen to two points through a lonely goal from Schulz, with one minute before the end. That was enough for Hannover 96 to defeat St. Pauli. With this result Hannover now has 44 points.

Milan’s win helps Inter climb to second place

Match day 27 was very positive for Inter in the Serie A thanks to the 2-0 road victory against Sampdoria, in combination with a loss from Napoli, results that allowed them to snatch the second place in the standings, which they now occupy with 53 points. Sneijder and Eto’o scored the goals in the second half for the defending champions.

Milan reached 58 points and continues as the leader.

Napoli received the solo leader Milan with the chance of snatching the first place from them, but instead they suffered a resounding 3-0 defeat that also cost them the second place. They are now third with 52 points.

A penalty from Ibrahimovic opened the score for Milan, Boateng gave the 2-0 lead and Pato left Napoli knockout with the third goal of the night. With this victory Milan reached 58 points and continues as the leader of the Serie A.

Lazio suffered a setback in their visit to Cagliari due to an own goal from Dias that cost them a 1-0 loss. Despite this loss the Biancocelesti keep on holding to the fourth place with 48 points.

About the Author
Andrew Hill has been a prominent writer on sports news and the sports betting industry for many exceptional sports web sites. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.