European Roundup: Barca and Madrid neck and neck while Monaco surge towards Ligue 1 title

Euro Roundup

Chelsea finally have a strong grip on the title after another slip up for Spurs in London, but what happened throughout the other top leagues in European football?

Barcelona went ahead in Spain after thrashing Villarreal 4-1 at the Camp Nou, where they scored their 158th goal this season, 100 of which have been by Messi (50), Suarez (34) or Neymar. Furthermore, Messi became the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to hit 50 goals this season, an astonishing feat for the Argentinian. Real Madrid, however, didn’t let Barca’s lead at the top last long as they thumped already relegated Granada 4-0, with all four goals coming in the first 35 minutes of the game. Elsewhere, Atletico all but secured third place thanks to Saul’s winner, although Godin received a late red card in the 1-0 win over Eibar. Sevilla drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad and all but secured fourth place unless Villarreal miraculously win their two remaining fixtures and Sevilla lose theirs, with goal difference also favouring the latter.

German Champions Bayern Munich could only defeat bottom club Darmstadt 1-0, yet still sit 10 points above RB Leipzig in second, who put four past Hertha thanks to braces from Werner and Selke. Dortmund edged out Hoffenheim to maintain their third place spot as Aubameyang scored his 40th goal in his last 50 Bundesliga games in the 2-1 win. The relegation battle continues, yet the fight for Europa League football became even closer as Cologne beat Werder Bremen in a seven-goal thriller, with Cologne stepping into sixth place with a 4-3 win on Friday night. Modeste hit a brace to leave him just three goals off the pace in the race for the golden boot, with Lewandowski and Aubameyang both sitting on 28.

Monaco’s 3-0 win at Nancy keeps them three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with a game in hand, although PSG continued their pursuit for the title as they put five past Bastia, with Cavani bagging a brace and missing a penalty in the comfortable win in Paris. Depay assisted both of Cornet’s goals for Lyon as they left it late to beat Nantes 3-2 to cement fourth place, while another Balotelli goal wasn’t enough for Nice as they lost 2-1 at Marseille, with fellow Premier League old-boys Gomis and Evra also on the score sheet.

Juventus had an early scare in the Turin derby when Ljajic’s stunning free-kick put visitors Torino 1-0 up, but Higuain bagged his 23rd in the league this season with a 90th-minute equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw for the Old Lady. Roma put four past ten-man AC Milan to go second, with Dzeko’s brace sending him to a mighty 27 Serie A goals this season. Lazio meanwhile have almost secured fourth place after incredibly scoring 10% of their Serie A goals this season in the 7-3 win over Sampdoria, with Immobile scoring a brace for the home side and Quagliarella doing likewise for the away side, who were reduced to ten men just 18 minutes into the ten-goal thriller.