European review

Barca closed the gap on Real Madrid to eight points, while Arjen Robben's hat-trick boosted Bayern.

Real drop two points; Juve storm to victory; Dortmund still on top

Barcelona closed the gap on Real Madrid to eight points in La Liga, while an Arjen Robben hat-trick helped Bayern Munich to an emphatic Bundesliga victory. Juventus ran riot at Fiorentina to keep the pressure on Serie A leaders AC Milan, while in France Eden Hazard starred as Lille demolished Valenciennes. The top of the Eredivisie table remains tight after the weekend's action, with just five points now separating leaders AZ Alkmaar from sixth-placed Heerenveen.

Primera Liga

Barcelona closed the gap on leaders Real Madrid after Jose Mourinho's side dropped two points in a 1-1 draw at home to Malaga, with Santi Cazorla's stoppage-time strike handing the visitors a share of the spoils. Pep Guardiola's men had shaved Real's lead the previous day after securing a 2-0 victory at Sevilla thanks to goals from Xavi and in-form forward Lionel Messi, who took his Primera Liga tally this season to 31. Valencia strengthened their position in third place with a convincing 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, while Levante also remain on course for a UEFA Champions League spot after seeing off Villarreal 1-0.

Serie A

Juventus kept the heat on AC Milan at the top of the table after storming to a 5-0 demolition of 10-man Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday. Milan were less decisive in maintaining their four-point advantage after being made to work for a 2-0 win against a lively Parma side, with in-form Zlatan Ibrahimovic opening the scoring from the penalty spot early on. Sunday's action saw Lazio lose ground in the title race as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Catania, while Inter Milan dropped two points after they could only manage a goalless draw at home to Atalanta.

Bundesliga

Bayern Munich stunned Hertha Berlin with a 6-0 thrashing after Arjen Robben netted a hat-trick but they could not close the gap on leaders Borussia Dortmund, who beat Werder Bremen 1-0 thanks to Shinji Kagawa's eighth-minute winner. European contenders Schalke poured more woe on rock-bottom Kaiserslautern after thumping them 4-1 on their own turf, leaving the basement-dwellers six points adrift of safety. On Friday, Stuttgart lifted themselves into contention for a UEFA Europa League place after Vedad Ibisevic's brace sealed a 2-1 derby triumph at local rivals Hoffenheim.

Ligue 1

Leaders Paris St Germain and nearest rivals Montpellier both suffered setbacks on the road in the French title race but the former managed to extend their advantage at the top to two points. PSG snatched a dramatic last-gasp equaliser through substitute Christophe Jallet at Caen to earn a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw, but Montpellier endured a night to forget as Andre Luiz's penalty condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Nancy. Lille kept themselves firmly on course for a Champions League spot on Sunday with a 4-0 thrashing of Valenciennes, during which midfield star Eden Hazard claimed a goal and three assists in front of watching Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, having been linked with the Premier League giants.

Eredivisie

Ajax closed the gap on leaders AZ Alkmaar to just a point after goals from Jody Lukoki and reported Premier League target Jan Vertonghen sealed a 2-0 win at 10-man ADO Den Haag. AZ dropped two points in a goalless draw with NAC Breda, while PSV Eindhoven kept themselves in contention for the trophy after thumping title rivals Heerenveen 5-1. Steve McClaren's FC Twente suffered a blow to their own title challenge after they were beaten 2-0 at home by Feyenoord but remain ahead of the Rotterdammers in the table on goal difference. Bottom side De Graafschap lost 1-0 at RKC Waalwijk to add to their relegation fears, while Vitesse closed the gap on the top six after beating Heracles Almelo 2-0.

SPL

Administration-hit Rangers suffered more woe at Dundee United as the Terrors claimed a 2-1 victory at Tannadice, with Ally McCoist's decimated side unable to find an equaliser after Sone Aluko pulled one back. Motherwell moved level on points with second-placed Gers after Steven Hammell's long-range stunner handed them a 1-0 win over Aberdeen. On Sunday, Craig Beattie and Suso Santana were on target as Hearts saw off Hibernian 2-0 in the Edinburgh derby at Tynecastle.

Best of the rest

Galatasaray moved nine points clear at the top of the Turkish Super Lig after pulling off an impressive comeback to draw 2-2 with second-placed Fenerbahce in a dramatic Istanbul derby. In the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Braga moved within a point of leaders FC Porto after storming to a 4-1 triumph at lowly Feirense. Crowd trouble forced the postponement of the Greek Super League derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos on Sunday, while AEK Athens missed the chance to move third the day before after being held to a 1-1 draw with Asteras Tripolis.
Ranking Player Team Competition Rating (10) Key stats
1 Roberto Soldado Valencia La Liga 10 Scored a hat trick in Valencia's 3-0 win in Bilbao
2 Andrea Pirlo Juventus Serie A 10 154 Touches of the ball, a goal and an asist
3 Danny Welbeck Manchester United Premier League 10 Scored his seventh goal of the season in 5-0 win over Wolves
4 Arjen Robben Bayern Munich Bundesliga 10 Scored a hat trick in Bayern's 6-0 win over Hertha
5 Shinji Kagawa Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga 10 Scored the only goal and hit woodwork as Dortmund overcame Werder 1-0
6 Eden Hazard Lille Ligue 1 10 Scored a goal and provided two assists in a 4-0 derby win over Valenciennes
7 Mauricio Pinilla Cagliari Serie A 10 Scored a hat trick in Cagliari's 3-0 win over Cesena
8 Mirko Vucinic Juventus Serie A 9 Scored a goal and provided two assists in a 5-0 win over Fiorentina
9 Marco Reus Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga 9 Scored a goal and provided an assist in his side's 2-1 win at Leverkusen
10 Mario Mandzukic VfL Wolfsburg 1 FC Koln 9 Scored an equaliser and set up his side's other two goals

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