The weekend witnessed a number of surprises across Europe and today we take a look at the winners and losers.
Bayern Munich obliterated Borussia Dortmund’s two-point advantage to upstage them from the summit of the Bundesliga table. The Bavarians scored four goals in the first half to reclaim top spot and get back on course for a record seventh straight league title. The advantage is now firmly with Niko Kovac’s side and they will take positives from their performance. The fact that they were hardly tested on Saturday was commendable and it will give them a good platform to finish the season on a high.
Ajax regained top spot in the Eredivisie with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Willem II as PSV squandered their chance of retaining top spot after drawing away to Vitesse. The two are now tied on points but Ajax are on top of the table courtesy of a superior goal difference. Ajax still have the Champions League to compete in and this might take its toll on them going forward. However, they might choose to concentrate on the league seeing that they are already punching above their weight in the continental stage.
As Bayern Munich bulldozed their way to the summit of the table, Robert Lewandowski was busy writing history for himself. The Polish international scored a brace with a goal in each half in a day that saw him complete the 200 goal milestone in the Bundesliga. By doing this, he became the only the fifth player in Bundesliga history to reach the 200-goal mark and the first foreigner to do so. He has 21 goals to his name this season and he has an opportunity of bettering that in the coming days.
Diego Costa was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons once again during the weekend following his straight red card when Atletico played Barcelona. The striker had just returned from injury and this was his first game and his indiscipline ended up costing them. His red card came after just 28 minutes and the Colchoneros had to defend for a majority of the match. Barca finally broke the deadlock in the last few minutes of the game to extend their lead in the table to 11 points.
Villarreal suffered another defeat to push them right back in the relegation zone and they will rue missed opportunities. Their hosts Real Betis raced out of the blocks very early in the game but Villarreal responded immediately before Real Betis re-established their dominance in the second half. Santi Carzola missed a penalty that should have seen them move above Real Valladolid. They still have a few games to go and if they turn things around they could avoid the drop, but it will remain to be seen.
Ligue 1 top five teams
Ligue 1’s top five sides, led by PSG, had a weekend to forget as they all failed to register wins. PSG have themselves to blame after surrendering a 1-0 lead in the first half to draw 2-2 against Strasbourg. Lille for their part also drew away to Reims even after leading 1-0 for a majority of the second half. Lyon and Marseille suffered defeats against the lowly Dijon and Bordeaux respectively whilst St. Etienne drew against Amiens.