European league roundup: Gareth Bale is real deal for Real Madrid; Chelsea extend lead

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Updated: March 16, 2015 9:10:14 AM

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale ensures his second-placed side will head to Barcelona for next weekend's 'Clasico' a point behind the leaders...

Real Madrid, Gareth Bale, La LigaRal Madrid?s Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Levante with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. (Reuters)

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale hit back at his critics with a double in a 2-0 win over Levante to keep them on the coattails of Barcelona, who won 2-0 at Eibar with two Lionel Messi goals.

Premier League champions Manchester City suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Burnley that left Chelsea six points clear at the top after they drew 1-1 at home to Southampton.

Juventus opened a 14-point gap at the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Palermo and Bayern Munich stayed 11 points clear in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 win at Werder Bremen.


Manchester City’s fading Premier League title hopes were dealt another blow as the champions lost 1-0 at struggling Burnley and although leaders Chelsea were held 1-1 at home by Southampton they moved six points clear.

Second-placed City were undone when George Boyd’s rifled finish handed Burnley a precious three points in their relegation battle on Saturday and Manuel Pellegrini’s stuttering side can count themselves lucky that Chelsea did not win.

The London side took the lead through Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge, but Dusan Tadic’s penalty levelled the match early in the first half and Southampton kept the hosts at bay for the remainder of the match.

Chelsea, who also have a game in hand over City, extended their lead at the top by a point, with Jose Mourinho’s side on 64 from 28 matches.

Arsenal and Manchester United both won to improve their chances of a top-four finish.

Olivier Giroud was on target for the third-placed Gunners in a 3-0 home win over West Ham United on Saturday, while Manchester United in fourth showed some of their long-lost verve in a 3-0 win against sorry visitors Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.


Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale ensured his second-placed side will head to Barcelona for next weekend’s ‘Clasico’ a point behind the leaders when he struck twice in 2-0 win at home to Levante on Sunday.

Barca had moved four points clear on Saturday when Lionel Messi struck twice in a 2-0 success at Eibar, putting the Argentina forward two clear of Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the La Liga scoring charts on 32 goals.

Barca lead on 65 points with 11 games left, with Real, who ended a run of three games without a victory, on 64.

Valencia climbed to third on 57 points with Friday’s 2-0 win at home to Deportivo La Coruna, above champions Atletico Madrid, who were held 0-0 at Espanyol on Saturday and have 56.

Sevilla strengthened their grip on fifth spot and closed within four points of Atletico when Carlos Bacca struck twice in a 3-0 triumph at home to Elche on Sunday.


Juventus moved 14 points clear in Serie A when Alvaro Morata’s curling shot gave them a 1-0 win at Palermo.

On course for a fourth successive title, Juventus moved onto 64 points from 27 games while AS Roma, who have 50 points from 26, host Sampdoria on Monday (2000 GMT).

Napoli, who have taken one point from their last three games, stayed joint third alongside Lazio (46 points) after they lost 2-0 at modest Verona, where 37-year-old Luca Toni scored both goals. Lazio visit Torino on Monday (1800).

Cagliari stayed in the relegation zone after drawing 1-1 against Empoli as Zdenek Zeman, fired as coach just before Christmas, began his second stint at the club this season.


There was no change at the top of the Bundesliga as the leading four sides all enjoyed comfortable wins.

Runaway leaders Bayern Munich (64 points from 25 games) won 4-0 at Werder Bremen thanks to first-half goals from Thomas Mueller and David Alaba and two in the last quarter of an hour from Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern stayed 11 points clear of VfL Wolfsburg, who thumped relegation candidates Freiburg 3-0 with Kevin de Bruyne, Ricardo Rodriguez, from a penalty, and Maximilian Arnold sharing the goals.

Borussia Moenchengladbach are a further nine points back in third after Patrick Hermann’s brace gave them a 2-0 win over Hanover 96.

The Foals are two points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen who thumped bottom club VfB Stuttgart 4-0, helped by two Josip Drmic goals.


Olympique Lyonnais extended their Ligue 1 lead to two points with a 0-0 draw at third-placed Olympique de Marseille on Sunday.

Lyon have 58 points from 29 games, two clear of Paris St Germain, who lost 3-2 at Girondins de Bordeaux.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored PSG’s two goals before launching a foul-mouthed rant on his way back to the dressing room, later apologising for saying France was a “shit” country”.

Monaco are fourth on 50 points after beating Bastia 3-0 on Friday. (Editing by Toby Davis)

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