The business end of the season all around European football is ready to come at full speed, and bring along with it an increase in drama, quality, nail biting results, and magical matches to be played over a span of approximately 3 remaining months.
The big boys will face each other for the last time this season, and each match will be more important than the previous one, with victory bringing them steps closer towards glory, and losses resulting in the possibility of year long efforts going down in vain.
With everything on the line, Saturday saw three huge matches played across Europe which produced brilliant results and gave us moments to write about.
Here they are:
Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid
The all important and utterly crucial Madrid Derby was the first big title influencing match played in the La Liga this weekend, and as the fixture promised, it wasn’t short of quality, drama, and moments of brilliance from either team involved.
Zidane’s men had the chance to go 6 points clear of Barca with two games in hand, who would play later, but they couldn’t take advantage of such an opportunity, as the result was a draw between the teams from the same city, keeping Barca in the title hunt, which is sure to go down until the very last game of the season.
The match was witness to a first half full of action at both ends, as Real were the team dominant in possession while Atleti were a threat on the counter. However, the second half started differently, as Real took the lead in the 53rd minute through a thundering header from Pepe via Kroos’s brilliant set piece delivery.
Torres missed a glorious chance to get the away side level soon after, after which Pepe came off injured due to a collision with his own teammate, Toni Kroos. However, Real looked set to go ahead and win the match and tilt the title more so in their favour, only for Atletico’s star man Antoine Griezmann to step up to the occasion and score a sublimely finished goal in the 85th minute.
This left the home side frustrated, and meant both teams had to eventually settle for a point a piece. This now leaves Real on 72 points from 30 games – a 3 point lead at the top.
Malaga 2-0 Barcelona
Yes, you read that right. As Real Madrid slipped up with a draw against their neighbours, Barca had the perfect chance to catch them up and be level on points with a regular away win against Malaga. However, the home side had another script in mind, as they went on to turn the tables by not only stopping the away side from winning, but also taking all three points for themselves.
Luis Enrique’s men were left bewildered and frustrated, and the red card to Neymar through two yellows did not make the situation better one bit. Sandro Ramirez came back to haunt his former team, as he gave his side a first half goal and lead, before Jony Rodriguez ultimately finished off the game in the dying minutes to secure a 2-0 shocking win over the reigning La Liga champions.
As expected, Barcelona were the dominant force since the word go, but poor finishing from MSN did not help their cause, as they slipped to a defeat at Malaga’s home ground for the first time since 2003. The home side have managed to take 4 out of 6 points from Barca this season, a stat they will be proud of.
Bayern Munich 4-1 Borussia Dortmund
The reigning Bundesliga champions, and current table toppers showed exactly why these stats are in their name, as they ruthlessly thrashed Borussia Dortmund 4-1 at the Allianz Arena in the latest meeting between the two mega Bundesliga clubs yesterday.
It was former Dortmund man, Robert Lewandowski, who was back bigger and better to tear apart the away side with 2 goals to his name, with French wizard Ribery getting an early goal in the fourth minute to kick things off, along with Arjen Robben scoring a traditional left foot wonder early in the second half.
The away side were toothless and helpless in defence, and despite an unstoppable goal from Raphael Guerreiro, there was nothing much they could do except agree on who the better side on the day was.
The result was probably fitting to show where both teams stand this season, as Munich now lead the table with 68 points while Dortmund follow in third place, trailing by a staggering 18 points total. Leipzig are closest to Munich in second place, as they gained a crucial last minute win against Leverkusen to keep any hopes of an almost dead title race alive.