1. European football league roundup: Barcelona winning streak end, Chelsea held

European football league roundup: Barcelona winning streak end, Chelsea held

Fuming Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side had Nemanja Matic sent off and the hosts were also denied two strong penalty claims...

By: | London | Published: February 23, 2015 10:00 AM
Chelsea, Premier League

Fuming Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side had Nemanja Matic sent off for retaliating to an awful challenge from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and the hosts were also denied two strong penalty claims. (Reuters)

Barcelona lost ground on La Liga leaders Real Madrid when their 11-match winning streak was snapped by Malaga, while Premier League pacesetters Chelsea dropped points at home to Burnley.

Bayern Munich enjoyed a second-successive goalrush in the Bundesliga after routing Paderborn 6-0 while AS Roma lost ground to Serie A leaders Juventus after yet another draw.

SPAIN

Barcelona’s 11-match winning streak came to an end on Saturday when Malaga pounced on a bad mistake by defender Dani Alves to score a shock 1-0 win in La Liga.

The surprise result allowed Real Madrid, who won 2-0 at Elche on Sunday thanks to goals by Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, to open up a four-point lead at the top.

Seventh-placed Malaga grabbed the only goal when Alves tried to nonchalantly sidefoot a back pass to his keeper but Juanmi nipped in and rounded stopper Claudio Bravo before slotting the ball into an empty net after seven minutes.

Lionel Messi had scored 12 goals in the previous eight games but could not provide a spark as Barca failed to win a match for the first time since Jan. 4.

Antoine Griezmann struck twice as Atletico Madrid produced a devastating performance to sweep Almeria aside 3-0 and move within three points of Barca.

ENGLAND

Leaders Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Burnley as rivals Manchester City thrashed Newcastle United 5-0 to give the Premier League title race a new lease of life at the weekend.

Fuming Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side had Nemanja Matic sent off for retaliating to an awful challenge from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and the hosts were also denied two strong penalty claims.

Second-placed City exposed Newcastle’s failings with a David Silva double among the highlights of a crushing win that reduced their deficit at the top of the standings to five points.

Arsenal are third thanks to a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace while struggling Manchester United slipped to fourth after losing by the same score at Swansea City.

Liverpool are a point behind fifth-placed Southampton after beating them 2-0 away while Tottenham Hotspur stayed in touch with a 2-2 draw at home to London rivals West Ham United thanks to a controversial last-gasp goal by striker Harry Kane.

ITALY

Serie A leaders Juventus will go into their top-of-the-table clash against second-placed AS Roma on March 2 with a nine-point cushion after extending their lead again.

Andrea Pirlo’s dipping long-range strike gave Juventus a 2-1 win over Atalanta to leave them with 57 points from 24 games.

Roma drew for the sixth time in their last seven matches when they were held 1-1 at lowly Verona where Bosko Jankovic’s deflected header cancelled out Francesco Totti’s earlier strike for the fading title challengers.

Lazio moved into fourth (40 points) with a 2-1 win over Palermo while Fiorentina’s Champions League hopes suffered a setback in a 1-1 draw at home to Torino, leaving them fifth (39). Third-placed Napoli (42) host Sassuolo on Monday.

GERMANY

Leaders Bayern Munich demolished Paderborn 6-0 with Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben scoring twice each as they bounced back from their goalless Champions League draw against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.

The Bavarians, in a class of their own in the Bundesliga after scoring 14 goals and conceding none in their last two league games, are eight points clear at the top.

Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg beat Hertha Berlin 2-1 with two goals from in-form striker Bas Dost, who has netted seven times in the last three league games.

They are 10 points clear of third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, who rescued a 1-1 draw at Hamburg SV courtesy of a 90th minute Branimir Hrgota equaliser

Borussia Dortmund edged VfB Stuttgart 3-2 to record their third consecutive win and climb into 12th place.

FRANCE

Nabil Fekir struck midway through the second half as Olympique Lyonnais reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 thanks to a 1-0 home win against Nantes.

Fekir poked the ball into the net after being set up by Ligue 1 top scorer Alexandre Lacazette, who was returning after being sidelined with a hamstring injury for almost a month.

Lyon, on 54 points from 26 games, lead French champions Paris St Germain, who beat Toulouse 3-1 at the Parc des Princes, by two points.

Olympique de Marseille are third, four points off the pace, after conceding a last-gasp 2-2 draw at St Etienne.

NETHERLANDS

PSV Eindhoven beat bottom side FC Dordrecht 3-0 to stretch their runaway lead at the top of the Dutch league to 14 points as second-placed Ajax Amsterdam were held to a goalless draw at Willem II Tilburg.

PSV found it difficult to dominate struggling visitors Dordrecht, who fired their coach after a big loss last weekend, but still emerged as comfortable winners to reach 64 points.

Ajax, who were aiming to become the first club to win five successive Dutch championships, dropped points at Tilburg, who might have won had they not squandered a late chance.

The Amsterdam side have 50 points from 24 games, with 10 left to play.

GREECE

Panathinaikos blew the Greek Super League title race wide open by beating leaders and arch rivals Olympiakos Piraeus 2-1 in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.

An own goal by Olympiakos left back Arthur Masuaku four minutes after halftime and a Mladen Petric goal in the 78th saw Giannis Anastasiou’s team claim the spoils.

The win means Panathinaikos, who now have 55 points from 25 games, have moved within three points of Vitor Pereira’s Olympiakos team with nine matches to play.

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