Real on the march; Inter lose ground; Lyon held
By James Pearson. Last Updated: March 2, 2009 11:11am
Aguero's brace sinks Barcelona
Real Madrid are piling the pressure on out-of-sorts Barcelona, while Juventus are gaining ground on Inter Milan in Italy.
Hertha Berlin are the new Bundesliga leaders after Hamburg and Hoffenheim dropped points. PSG have cut the gap to Lyon in France.
Rangers and Celtic remain level on points at the top of the SPL table while AZ Alkmaar look odds-on to claim the Dutch title.
Inter Milan's lead at the top of the Serie A table has been cut to seven points after they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by Roma on Sunday. Mario Balotelli bagged a brace as Inter twice battled back from a two-goal deficit to claim a share of the spoils. The pressure on AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti is mounting after they went down 2-1 at Sampdoria.
On Saturday, Juventus maintained the pressure on Jose Mourinho's side following a 1-0 success over Napoli on home soil. Rock-bottom Reggina could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Fiorentina while Lecce have now lost four straight after going down 2-0 at Udinese.
Barcelona's recent struggles continued on Sunday as they lost a seven-goal thriller to Atletico Madrid. After going on a 22-game unbeaten league run, Josep Guardiola's side have now lost back-to-back games after slipping to a late 4-3 loss at Vicente Calderon.
Real Madrid are almost within touching distance of arch-rivals Barca after securing a 2-0 win in less than impressive circumstances at strugglers Espanyol. Juande Ramos' side were not at their free-flowing best, but did enough to secure a priceless success.
It is as you were at the top of the SPL table with Rangers and Celtic both securing victories, although the Bhoys greatly improved their goal difference with an emphatic 7-0 drubbing of St Mirren. Barry Ferguson's goal gave Gers a 1-0 win over Hamilton, but it was the Shunsuke Nakamura show at Celtic Park as the Japan international helped himself to a hat-trick in their success over the 10-man Buddies.
Inverness remain bottom after losing 2-1 on home soil to Motherwell, although they are now two points adrift of safety following Falkirk's goalless draw at Easter Road against Hibernian.
In a weekend of dropped points by the league leaders Lyon's lead at the top of the French table has been cut after they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Rennes. Kim Kallstrom's effort had Lyon in front late on until Jimmy Briand snatched a last-gasp point.
Le Havre's third straight defeat leaves them with little chance of avoiding the drop, however, Sochaux's second consecutive success sees them level on points with fourth-from-bottom Caen, who lost 1-0 at Marseille.
Hertha Berlin are the new Bundesliga leaders following a 2-1 success over Borussia Monchengladbach. On-loan Andriy Voronin and Pal Dardai both netted for the home side. A win for Hamburg would have seen them top of the table, but they suffered a 3-1 reverse against in-form Wolfsburg.
Former table-toppers Hoffenheim have now gone four games without success after securing a goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund. Both sides finished a man light after Sebastian Kehl and Tobias Weis were given their marching orders late on. The bottom three clubs, Energie Cottbus, Karlsruhe and Gladbach all lost.
AZ Alkmaar's imperious form continued following a 3-0 success over Groningen, who have now lost two on the bounce. Graziano Pelle helped himself to a brace as AZ secured their 20th league win of the season.
Steve McClaren's FC Twente kept pace with AZ with a 1-0 win over relegation-threatened ADO Den Haag. At the foot of the table Volendam drew 1-1 with NEC Nijmegen while De Graafschap have now lost three straight after going down 3-1 at Roda JC.
Best of the rest
Benfica have closed the gap on Porto in Portugal after they beat Leixoes on Friday. League leaders Porto were held to a goalless draw against third-placed Sporting.
Trabzonspor's 1-0 success at Antalyaspor means they are now level on points with leaders Sivasspor in Turkey, who suffered a 4-2 defeat by fourth-placed Fenerbahce.
In Greece, leaders Olympiakos were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Panathinaikos. That meant PAOK Salonica's 2-1 win at Panionios has moved them second in the table. However, they are still nine points adrift of Olympiakos.