Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Corner” where we take a look at what’s happening in European football.
There’s no time to relax in Spain as the race to the title between the big three clubs continues.
Real Madrid went to the top of the table on Saturday evening beating Villarreal at home.
Karim Benzema was the man of the match there with two goals to join Brazilian great Ronaldo on 104 career goals in a Real shirt.
Gareth Bale and rising star Jesé completed the scoring for a 4-2 triumph.
A few minutes after the final whistle at the Santiago Bernabeu, Atletico Madrid slipped up again on the back of their defeat in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
Diego Simeone’s team came unstuck in Almeria where Verza struck twice to hand the hosts the win.
Atletico’s stay at the top on their own lasted only seven days. Barcelona joined Atletico and Real Madrid on 57 points on Sunday with 4-1 win at Sevilla. The three-horse race for the La Liga title goes on.
Arsenal gunned down at Anfield
The 25th day of the Premier League started with a surprise at Anfield. Arsenal suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Liverpool, who thrashed the Londoners 5-1.
It’s not quite crisis time for Arsene Wenger’s men but their track record against all their current title rivals is cause for concern this term.
The Gunners, on average, have picked up one point per game against their principle rivals – and boast only one win – which came against Liverpool in November.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea continue to set the pace in the English topflight, their latest victims at the Bridge being Newcastle.
Eden Hazard starred for the Blues and enjoyed his first hat trick for the London club in their 3-0 win over the Magpies. (See video below)
Six points now separate the top four clubs fighting for the Premier League title. Chelsea took full advantage of Arsenal’s defeat to jump to the summit a point clear of Arsene Wenger’s men and two ahead of Manchester City who drew at Norwich.
video: Hazard warning to rivals with first Blues hat-trick
A top of the table stalemate in France
In France Monaco shared the spoils with Paris Saint Germain in a top of the table clash on matchday 24 – a match without the injured Edison Cavani and Radamel Falcao.
Just like the pair’s first encounter this season it ended one all.
Javier Pastore scored for the first time since April last year while an own goal from Brazilian Thiago Silva leveled the match.
The Parisians won’t be too unhappy with a draw in the principality. They maintain a five-point cushion over their title rivals at the top of Ligue 1. Third placed Lille beat Sochaux but are 11 points off the leader’s pace.
Napoli gain ground but still way off
After two draws and a defeat Napoli returned to winning ways in the Serie A beating AC Milan 3-1. Gonzalo Higuain with a double at the Stadio San Paolo to reach 12 league goals for this season.
Whilst it was all smiles for Higuain, it was a dreadful night for Mario Balotelli who had a bad day at the office and was reduced to tears on the bench following his substitution.
The Rome derby between AS Roma and Lazio ended in a goalless stalemate.
AS Roma dominated the evening but failed to break down their opponent’s stubborn defense.
With leaders Juventus drawing at Verona, Roma missed the chance to nibble away at their lead, instead they stay nine points adrift in second place but with a game in hand. Napoli are third four points further back.
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