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April 5, 2011

Around the first four of the big four VIII

It was a positive weekend for the leaders of the Spanish, Italian, English and German leagues as all of them achieved key victories that bring them closer to the title when there are less than nine games to go.

By Andrew Hill

Sporting was Barcelona’s best ally towards their third La Liga championship in a row, as they knocked out No. 2 Real Madrid 0-1 on the road. The second half goal from De las Cuevas gave the defending champions a hand, for they had the opportunity to open an eight point gap with their closest contender if they defeated Villareal during week 30.

Real Madrid is KO at home by Sporting.

No. 1 Barcelona didn’t fail to do so thanks to Pique’s goal at minute 67, which was enough to win the game 0-1 on the road and reach 81 points. This way Real Madrid’s chances to win the title are almost vanished, for they have 73 points and only eight more games to go.

Villareal’s setback cost them the third place in the standings, which was snatched by Valencia after they defeated Getafe 2-4 on the road. Manu opened the score for the home team, and Valencia’s response came through Soldado, who scored four goals in the come-from-behind victory. Getafe was going to score the final 2-4 through Sardinero, but there wasn’t time for more. Now Valencia has 57 points and Villareal 54.

Milan humiliates Inter.

The first place was at stake in the Serie A, but the solo leader Milan wasn’t planning to give it up against their city rival No. 2 Inter, and they made that very clear with a resounding 3-0 victory at home. Two goals from Pato and one penalty kick from Cassano ended with the defending champions’ aspirations and helped the Rossoneri reach 65 points after 31 rounds.

Inter was left stuck in 60 points and had to move to the third place, for Napoli reached 62 points with their victory against Lazio at home by 4-3 in the most exciting game of the weekend.

Napoli found themselves down in the score twice, but they were able to overcome this situation through Cavani, who scored three goals. Lazio took the 2-0 lead with Mauri’s and Dias’ goals. Then Dossena and Cavani scored one each to put things 2-2. An own goal from Aronica gave Lazio the lead once again, but only momentarily for Cavani was going to transform a penalty to goal to tied the score in three, and with two minutes to go he scored the definite 4-3 for the joy of their fans.

No. 4 Udinese suffered a 2-0 defeat in their visit to Lecce, therefore they remain with 56 points. Bertolacci in two occasions was responsible of scoring the goals.

Rooney makes come from behind win possible.

The Premier League leaders Manchester United visited West Ham United for match day 31 and found themselves 2-0 down early in the game. Luckily for them Wayne Rooney took charge of the situation and the Red Devils outplayed the Hammers 4-0 in the second half. Rooney scored the first three goals and Chicharito sealed the victory with his goal. This way Man U continues on top of the standings with 66 points and only seven games remaining.

No. 2 Arsenal was unable to defeat Blackburn Rovers at home and tied 0-0, reaching 59 points, but they have one game pending that if won could put them back in the fight for the title.

Manchester City defeated Sunderland at home by a resounding 5-0 (goals from Johnson, Tevez, Silva, Vieira and Toure) that helped them to snatch No. 3 from Chelsea, squad that tied to 1 in their visit to Stoke City and moved down to No. 4. The defending champions suffered an early goal from Walters, and Drogba got the equalizer with which they reached 55 points. Like Arsenal they also have one game pending.

Borussia Dortmund is back on the right track.

After two weeks without winning (one loss and one draw) the Bundesliga leaders have won again. It was a solid 4-1 victory against No. 4 Hannover 96 for Borussia Dortmund at home, which allows them to maintain their seven point (65) lead over No. 2 Bayern Leverkusen that has 58. Abdellaoue gave the visitors the lead, but Gotze once, Barrios twice and Grobkeutz once made the come from behind victory possible.

Bayern Leverkusen got a 1-0 victory from their visit to Kaiserslautern thanks to Sam’s second half goal, which helps them to add a little bit of pressure to No. 1 Borussia Dormund.

As for Bayern Munich their 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach at home added to Hannover 96’s loss helped them to climb to No. 3. The goal was product of Robben in the second half. This way Bayern Munich has 51 points against the 50 from their closest contender: Hannover 96.

About the Author
When it comes to sports, Andrew Hill is more than just a passionate fan. Despite being in the early years of his career as a journalist, which began in 2006, he has proven that he can translate that passion into truthful and objective information of interest for the sports betting industry. As of today he specializes in the coverage of European soccer and NCAA basketball for BetIAS’ website.

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