European review

Milito nets hat-trick in dramatic Inter win; Real stroll to victory

Diego Milito: Netted a hat-trick during Inter's dramatic 5-4 win over Genoa

Arjen Robben: Grabbed Bayern's winner to close the gap on Dortmund

Real Madrid and Barcelona both claimed crucial wins in the Spanish title race, while in Italy Juventus closed the gap on AC Milan and Inter Milan emerged the victors of a nine-goal thriller against Genoa.

Bayern Munich trimmed Borussia Dortmund's advantage in the Bundesliga after the leaders shared eight goals in a draw with Stuttgart.

Six teams remain in contention for the Eredivisie title in what is shaping up to be an excruciatingly tight run-in, while Paris St Germain's bid for the French trophy suffered a blow after they were beaten by Nancy.

Primera Liga

Real Madrid maintained their six-point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga in style with an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of Osasuna at the Reyno de Navarra, during which Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain grabbed a brace apiece.

Los Blancos' victory piled the pressure on Barcelona to claim three points but Pep Guardiola's men responded in kind, with Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi firing them to a 2-0 home success over Athletic Bilbao.

Malaga's 2-0 defeat against Real Betis handed Valencia and Levante's hopes of securing a UEFA Champions League spot a boost but the European hopefuls shared the spoils on Sunday after Arouna Kone's equaliser sealed a 1-1 draw.

Serie A

Andrea Stramaccioni got off to a winning start as Inter Milan coach as the Nerazzurri edged out Genoa 5-4 in a dramatic nine-goal thriller at Giuseppe Meazza, with Diego Milito netting a crucial hat-trick for the hosts in a fiery clash which included four penalties and two red cards.

Goals also flowed freely in Roma's comfortable 5-2 thrashing of struggling Novara, while Juventus cut AC Milan's lead at the top to two points after strolling to a 3-0 home triumph over Napoli.

The Rossoneri had been pegged to a 1-1 draw the day before at Catania, with Nicolas Spolli cancelling out Robinho's first-half opener.

Bundesliga

Leaders Borussia Dortmund dropped two points in the title race on Friday evening after their visit of Stuttgart ended in a 4-4 draw thanks to Christian Gentner's last-gasp leveller in stoppage time.

Bayern Munich took advantage of that slip-up the following day, narrowing Dortmund's lead to three points after Arjen Robben's winner edged out Nurnberg 1-0.

Borussia Monchengladbach's hopes of securing a European place suffered a blow after their trip to Hannover ended in a 2-1 defeat, while fellow Champions League hopefuls Schalke took a point from their visit to Hoffenheim after a 1-1 draw.

Ligue 1

Paris St Germain's title hopes were dealt what could be a crucial blow after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Nancy, with Yohan Mollo clinching the winning strike in the 89th minute.

Star midfielder Eden Hazard was on target to help Lille close the gap on the second-placed capital side to four points as they saw off Toulouse 2-1.

At the other end of the table, Nice climbed out of the relegation zone after coming from behind to claim a dramatic 3-2 success over St Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Eredivisie

Six different scorers were on target for Ajax as they stormed to a 6-0 thumping of Heracles Almelo at the Amsterdam ArenA to climb into the top spot, leapfrogging AZ Alkmaar, who were forced to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Vitesse.

Bas Dost grabbed a double as Heerenveen kept themselves in contention for the title with a 3-1 victory at Groningen, while FC Twente, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord all claimed crucial wins.

Utrecht edged out Excelsior 3-2 in Friday night's thriller, with Tommy Oar grabbing the winner in the 89th minute.

Scottish Premier League

Rangers ensured Celtic would have to wait at least another week to claim the SPL title after beating Motherwell 2-1, with Lee McCulloch finding a late winner.

The Hoops are now within one point of clinching the trophy after seeing off St Johnstone 2-0 at Parkhead on Sunday.

Hibernian pulled six points clear of the drop zone after securing a dramatic 3-2 success at Inverness.

Best of the rest

Kevin Mirallas scored his 19th goal of the season as Olympiakos recorded a ninth straight win which could be enough to retain the Greek Super League title.

The result took the Piraeus club 10 points clear of bitter rivals Panathinaikos, who are appealing against a three-point deduction for crowd trouble during a match against Olympiakos which would reduce that gap to seven, with nine points still on offer.

Second-placed Fenerbache let slip a half-time lead as they were held 1-1 by third-placed Trabzonspor, leaving them nine points behind leaders Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Lig standings, with Trabzonspor a further 10 points back.

Beira Mar claimed a crucial win in their bid to avoid the drop from the Portuguese top flight as they won 3-1 at relegation rivals Feirense.