Barcelona, PSG Maintain Title Momentum With Wins; Napoli DrawsPeter-Joseph Hegarty
Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 3-0 to stay on course for a 22nd La Liga soccer title as the top three teams won in Spain. Napoli missed the chance to close within six points of Italian leader Juventus by tying AC Milan.
Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring for Barcelona last night before Cristian Tello added the others. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid also had a 3-0 away win, at Athletic Bilbao. Third-place Atletico Madrid earlier beat Granada 5-0 at home, with Radamel Falcao getting two goals.
Barcelona, which was without injured world player of the year Lionel Messi, tops the standings with 81 points, a lead of 13 over defending champion Real with seven games remaining. Third-place Atletico is three points further back.
In Italy, Napoli was unable to increase the pressure on Juventus atop the standings as it was held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man AC Milan, which lost goalscorer Mathieu Flamini to a second-half red card. Goran Pandev scored Juventus’s goal to make it 1-1 four minutes after Flamini’s 29th-minute opener.
Juventus, which leads with 71 points ahead of Napoli on 63, visits Lazio tonight.
Paris Saint-Germain won 1-0 at Troyes two days ago to maintain its momentum atop the French league, which it leads by nine points. Lyon beat Toulouse 3-1 yesterday to move up to third before second-place Marseille drew at Lille in the night game. PSG has 67 points with Marseille on 58 and Lyon 56.
Bayern Munich, which clinched its 23rd German league championship the previous weekend, beat Nuremberg 4-0 two days ago, while Borussia Dortmund had a 6-1 victory at Greuther Fuerth. Bayern has 78 points, 20 clear of Dortmund.
In the Dutch league, Ajax extended its lead at the top to five points with a 3-2 win at PSV Eindhoven yesterday, when fourth-place Feyenoord drew 1-1 at RKC Waalwijk.
Defending champion Ajax has 66 points, followed by Vitesse Arnhem, which drew 3-3 at Roda JC two days ago. PSV and Feyenoord both have 60 points.