Real Madrid are now just a few wins shy of winning the La Liga title, while Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City suffered another embarrassing loss in the Premier League. This is your roundup of this weekend’s biggest headlines in football.
Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid team keep squeezing out positive results, week after week, as VAR once again helped Madrid pick up all three points in their 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Madrid have kept a perfect record ever since football returned in June, winning all of their seven games and conceding just two goals in the process. And, once again, it was not Madrid’s attacking players that stole the show in Sunday’s win, but its defenders. While Eder Militao attracted a lot of attention for his work at the back, in the absence of the injured Raphael Varane, Marcelo was the player to win the penalty (after VAR reviewed the decision) and none other than captain fantastic himself, Sergio Ramos, stood up again to convert what has now been his 22nd successful penalty in a row. Madrid’s win took them temporarily to a seven point lead at the top of the Spanish La Liga table, with Barcelona pulling off a 4-1 comeback victory away at Villarreal last night to cut the difference between Spain’s top two to four points. With only four games to play this season and Athletic arguably being Madrid’s greatest hurdle en route to the title, those four points could prove to be decisive and Zidane will have the consistency of his back four to thank.
Elsewhere, in the English Premier League, Manchester City once again suffered an unexpected defeat, this time at the hands of Southampton. Che Adams scored an incredible effort from a distance to catch Ederson offside, with Southampton holding off City with just 26% of possession throughout the game. It will be another gut-wrenching defeat for Pep Guardiola, whose team have been some way off of the side they were last season. The 4-0 win over champions Liverpool, earlier last week, appeared to have injected life into the City team that will already be looking forward to August’s Champions League campaign. However, another defeat away from home against mid-table opposition will be cause for concern for the Spanish tactician as he hopes to salvage what remains of City’s season.
Elsewhere, goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones gave Liverpool a 2-0 win over Aston Villa, while Chelsea beat Watford 3-0, Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners against Wolves and Man United beat Bournemouth 5-2 at Old Trafford to keep themselves within 2 points of Chelsea in the race for the top four.
And finally, the Serie A title race could effectively have been put to an end this weekend when Lazio lost 3-0 to AC Milan and Juventus ran out 4-1 winners over Torino, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his first free-kick for the Italian giants. With eight games to go, Juve hold a seven point lead at the top of the table with Inter, who lost 2-1 against Bologna, 11 points off the pace. However, Juve still have tough fixtures against AC Milan, Atalanta, Lazio and Roma to come, and there’s still a chance that Lazio could come back into the race as Italy’s will be the last of Europe’s major leagues to conclude this unusual season.