Weekend Round-up: Premier League and Bundesliga title races still running while PSG and Juve stumble

Title races in both England and Germany remain tight after the weekend's action with the all four of the teams involved picking up victories to keep things interesting.

Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League and FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga all won to make sure the quest for the league championship remains interesting until the end.

There was plenty of action across Europe in the battle for UEFA Champions League and Europa League places while, in North America, the defending champions picked up their first win of the season.

We recap the weekend's action from across the world of soccer.

Premier League

Mohamed Salah and Raheem Sterling showed why they are among the best players in the division, and in Europe, coming up big when their teams needed them.

Sterling helped himself to a brace in Manchester City's 3-1 win at Crystal Palace while Salah netted a Goal of the Season contender in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield.

The wonder-strike added to Sadio Mané’s earlier header helped keep Liverpool at the top of the table, though City have a game in hand.

Away from the title race, the battle for the top four is maintaining interest in most of the other remaining fixtures.

Chelsea are one of four teams behind Liverpool and City vying to sit at Europe’s top table next season, but only two will qualify.

Tottenham Hotspur did their job, and Mauricio Pochettino was even able to rotate his team as his side saw off Huddersfield Town 4-0. Lucas Moura came into the side and bagged a hat-trick, giving his coach a selection headache for their Champions League quarter-final second leg against City on Wednesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted his Manchester United team were fortunate to defeat West Ham 2-1 at Old Trafford. United had to rely on two Paul Pogba penalty kicks to get the job done, as West Ham missed a number of chances at the other end.

Arsenal travel to Watford on Monday looking to close the gap on the Premier League's top four.

Bundesliga

It’s was a similar story in Germany where there were victories for title challengers FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern travelled to Düsseldorf to face Fortuna, who managed a 3-3 draw at the Allianz Arena earlier in the season thanks to the goalscoring heroics of Dodi Lukebakio.

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This time Die Bayern showed no mercy, easing to a 4-1 win to maintain a point's advantage over Dortmund. Kingsley Coman scored twice while Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretza also netted. Lukebakio was on target once more, but his 89th-minute penalty was a mere consolation. 

Having lost top spot last week, Dortmund got a morale-boosting 2-1 win over Mainz. Jadon Sancho scored twice in the first 24 minutes for BVB before Robin Quaison pulled one back late on.

Serie A

Juventus’ title celebrations are on hold after a shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of SPAL. A heavily rotated Juve side took the lead through Moise Kean, scoring in his sixth consecutive game for club and country, but second-half strikes from Kevin Bonifazi and Sergio Floccari turned the game on its head. 

Still, anything but a win for Napoli would seal the title for the Bianconeri. However, Carlo Ancelotti's side ensured the race will continue for another week at least by winning 3-1 at Chievo thanks to goals from Kalidou Koulibaly (2) and Arkadiusz Milik.

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AS Roma picked up a 1-0 win over strugglers Udinese, Edin Džeko the difference maker, while AC Milan were 1-0 victors against Lazio thanks to Franck Kessié's late penalty.

Inter rounded off the weekend with a 3-1 triumph at Frosinone. Radja Nainggolan, Ivan Perišić and Matías Vecino all found the back of the net for the Nerazzurri. All of which leaves Inter in third, five points clear of Milan, while Roma are a point back in fifth.

LaLiga

With the title all but secured, Barcelona were able to rest a number of players in preparation for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi was left out of the squad altogether after suffering a blow to the nose at Old Trafford, but the positives were that Barça fans got to see Malcom and Ousmane Dembélé in action together and witness a first league start for promising teenage midfielder Riqui Puig – a star of the 2018 International Champions Cup.

They were only able to draw, 0-0 at strugglers Huesca, though.

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Atlético de Madrid did their job and kept a little pressure on the leaders with a 2-0 win at home to Celta de Vigo – Álvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann getting themselves on what could become a familiar looking scoresheet for Atleti.

Real Madrid face Leganés later today.

Liga NOS

Benfica kept their place at the top of the Portuguese league thanks to a 4-2 win at home to Vitoria de Setubal.

João Félix kept his name in the headlines with two assists for Rafa and a goal of his own, with Haris Seferović adding the fourth.

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It was an important win which keeps Benfica level on points with FC Porto at the top, but ahead of them thanks to two wins in the games between the pair.

Their rivals secured a 3-0 win at Portimonense, and this one looks set to go down to the wire.

Ligue 1

Like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain were made to wait to mathematically secure their league title after they suffered a 5-1 defeat to second-place Lille.

A Thomas Meunier own goal gifted the hosts an early lead, then they were given another present when Juan Bernat got himself sent off for fouling Nicolas Pépé who was through on goal.

Pépé helped himself to a goal and two assists in the second half, and though this will not affect the title race it was PSG’s worst defeat since December 2000.

Major League Soccer

Reigning MLS Cup champions Atlanta United picked up their first league win under new coach Frank de Boer, as talented Argentine Ezequiel Barco finally made his mark on the league with two goals.

Their 2-0 victory came against a New England Revolution side who are also struggling this season, and they now take Atlanta’s place at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Los Angeles FC have earned the mantle as the best and most exciting team in the league. If Mexican star Carlos Vela continues his current form then he will be a shoo-in for end of season awards.

Vela assisted Mark-Anthony Kaye’s opener in their 2-0 home win over FC Cincinnati and added one of his own in stoppage time for good measure.

LAFC have won six of their opening seven games, in which Vela has notched up eight goals and five assists.

Elsewhere, Minnesota United opened their new home at Allianz Field with a dramatic 3-3 draw against New York City FC.

There were five goals in just over half an hour with Osvaldo Alonso scoring the first goal in the Loons’ new home, and there was a blooper from NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson which, unfortunately for him, will be replayed for years to come.

Liga MX

Chivas de Guadalajara suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Morelia which means they remain lodged near the bottom of the table alongside Saturday evening’s opponents.

Table-topping León continued their impressive early season form with a 3-0 win at Puebla. Ecuadorian winger Ángel Mena kept his name atop the scoring charts with another strike, making it 12 for the season to go with nine assists.

Elsewhere Pachuca, managed by Martín Palermo, boosted their goal difference with a 9-2 win at home to Veracruz. Former Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa scored three in the rout.

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