Zlatan’s heroics helped United towards a possible road to success, but what happened across the top European leagues this weekend?
The Spanish League was threatened to be blown wide open when Sevilla went joint top with a win at Betis, however Real Madrid and Barcelona showed their determination to regain the top two spots with crucial victories. Real came from 2-0 down to beat 6th placed Villarreal as Bale and Ronaldo scored again, while another late Messi goal helped his side defeat fellow league challengers Atletico Madrid. Messi landed his 20th league goal at the weekend, with Ronaldo grabbing his 16th.
Ligue 1 also took an interesting turn as the top three all picked up vital wins, with Nice and PSG just three points off leaders Monaco. Nice came from behind in their latest victory to beat Montpellier 2-1, however PSG stole the show by thumping Marseille 5-1 away from home. Cavani added his 26th goal of the season, while Lacazette scored his 22nd in a 5-0 thrashing of Metz by Lyon, in a game where ex-United player Memphis Depay grabbed two goals and an assist.
Lewandowski managed another hat-trick as Bayern completed an 8-0 rout at home to Hamburg to keep them five points clear at the top, as RB Leipzig kept up the pressure by beating Cologne 3-1. Dortmund moved to third as Aubameyang scored a brace in a 3-0 victory over Freiburg, joining Lewandowski on 19 at the top of the scoring charts. Ex-Arsenal youngster Serge Gnabry scored two more as his Werder Bremen side beat Wolfsburg 2-1 in a 14th v 15th clash, an affair between two teams usually associated with the other end of the table.
Juventus marched on towards another title with another win, and Napoli’s shock loss at home to Atlanta, where defender Caldara scored both goals in a 2-0 win, allowed Roma to slide into second as Nainggolan scored two wonder-goals in a 3-1 victory at Inter. AC Milan required a Bacca penalty to overcome Sassuolo 1-0, where the home side incidentally missed a penalty, leaving the former Champions League champions and their San Siro counterparts in 7th and 6th place respectively. No goals for either Higuain or Dzeko allowed Icardi to catch up in the race for the golden boot, while Immobile kept his foot in the door with another for Lazio.
The game of the weekend transpired in France, where 5th place Bordeaux overcame Lille in 15th place. The match ended 3-2 as Adam Ounas scored a brace for the away side after entering as a 75th minute substitute, while Euro 2016 winner Eder scored for the home side. Nine cards where shown in the match, including two reds for Lille.