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European review

La Liga leaders Real claimed a sixth successive win, while the Serie A top five all dropped points.

Los Blancos maintain seven-point lead; Milan miss chance to go top

Real Madrid claimed a sixth Primera Liga win on the bounce to keep Barcelona at bay at the top, while the Serie A top five all dropped points. Borussia Dortmund pulled two points clear at the Bundesliga helm, while in Ligue 1 title rivals Paris St Germain and Montpellier continued to trade blows. PSV dropped points in the Eredivisie title race, while Rangers suffered a shock exit in the Scottish Cup.
Primera Liga
Real Madrid kept themselves seven points clear at the top of the Primera Liga after clinching a 1-0 triumph at Getafe, with Sergio Ramos providing the firepower in the first half. Title rivals Barcelona kept up the chase on Real with a 2-1 success over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou, with Cristian Tello and Lionel Messi firing the hosts ahead before Carlos Vela pulled one back. Sunday brought more woe for rock-bottom Real Zaragoza after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home by Rayo Vallecano, leaving them without a La Liga win in 14 games.
Serie A
Juventus held onto the top spot in Italy after results around them in the table meant their goalless draw at home to Siena did not damage their title hopes. Nearest rivals AC Milan were similarly held to a 0-0 stalemate at home, with Napoli causing their frustration. The rest of the leading pack also dropped points, with Udinese, Lazio and Inter Milan all suffering costly defeats on the road. Inter were on the end of the heaviest setback after Roma romped to a 4-0 victory, inspired by Fabio Borini's brace, to leave the capital side just five points adrift of the UEFA Champions League places.
Leaders Borussia Dortmund pulled two points clear at the top of the standings after enjoying a 2-0 triumph at Nurnberg, with goals from Sebastian Kehl and substitute Lucas Barrios capping an impressive display. Fellow high-fliers Bayern Munich, Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach could only manage frustrating draws, allowing Dortmund some breathing space at the helm. Basement-dwellers Freiburg twice came from behind to hold Werder Bremen, with goals from Cedrick Makiadi and Jonathan Schmid cancelling out a Claudio Pizarro brace.
Ligue 1
French leaders Paris St Germain marched on at the top with a 3-1 home success over Evian, during which Brazilian winger Nene notched a brace. Montpellier prevented them from stretching their three-point lead after clinching a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home to mid-table Brest, with Geoffrey Dernis finding the decisive winner. Benoit Cheyrou and Evanilson Brandao salvaged a point for Lyon after they came from two goals down to snatch a draw at Marseille.
PSV missed the chance to move five points clear at the top of the Eredivisie after nearest rivals FC Twente and AZ Alkmaar saw their matches postponed due to bad weather, with Heracles Almelo holding the Eindhoven club to a 1-1 draw. Excelsior climbed off the bottom of the table with a 3-1 home triumph over fellow strugglers VVV Venlo, who were reduced to 10 men in the first half. Heerenveen kicked off the weekend's Dutch action on Friday evening when they moved into fourth place with a 4-3 success at home to Roda JC, with Bas Dost finding the winner for the hosts.
Scottish Cup
Rangers suffered a shock exit from the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after Dundee United caused a 2-0 upset at Ibrox. Old Firm rivals Celtic, as well as Motherwell and Hibernian, had no such trouble progressing, with all three securing wins to advance. Hearts and St Johnstone will meet again in a fifth-round replay after drawing 1-1 at Tynecastle on Sunday.
Best of the rest
Anderlecht maintained their dominance at the top of the Belgium top-flight with a convincing 4-2 triumph at home to Genk, while fellow high-fliers Club Brugge demolished Beerschot 5-1. Greek leaders Panathinaikos suffered a 1-0 defeat at Levadiakos, allowing second-placed Olympiakos to close the gap at the top of the table to just two points with victory at PAOK Salonika. In Turkey, Galatasaray triumphed 2-1 at Gaziantepspor to maintain their three-point lead over Fenerbahce at the top.
Ranking Player Team Competition Rating (10) Key stats
1 Robin van Persie Arsenal Premier League 10 Scored a hat-trick and made two assists
2 Lionel Messi Barcelona La Liga 10 Scored a goal and assisted another
3 Wayne Rooney Manchester Utd Premier League 10 Attempted the most shots on the last PL match-day (7), scored a brace
4 Fabrizio Miccoli Palermo Serie A 10 Attempted nine shots, scored a goal, became Palermo's best ever goal scorer (65 goals)
5 Nenê Paris Saint Germain Ligue 1 10 Attempted six shots, scored two goals
6 Andrea Pirlo Juventus Serie A 9 Completed more than 100 passes in a Serie A game for the second time this season (103)
7 Juan Mata Chelsea Premier League 9 Scored a goal and assisted another
8 Romaric Espanyol La Liga 9 Scored a goal, completed 60 of his 66 passes vs Athletic Bilbao
9 Cristian Tello Barcelona La Liga 9 Scored a goal on his debut as a starter in La Liga for Barça
10 Claudio Pizarro Werder Bremen Bundesliga 9 Scored a brace from just two shots on target vs Freiburg

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