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The week in football: Who impressed and where?

It's time for a quick glance at the week in football, focusing on the European leagues. Find out which sides got the glory and which ones stumbled.

Lennart Preiss

Premier League

First and most important: Aston Villa won!!!! They're not in the relegation zone anymore! We're still doing a happy dance!

Most of the other results favored the Villa as well, with Chelsea beating Wigan, Swansea thrashing QPR and Reading falling to Stoke City. If only Manchester City had managed to beat Southampton. Seriously, how does Roberto Mancini still have a job? That puts Manchester United 12 points clear at the top, after their win over Everton.

La Liga

In an absolutely unprecedented turn of events, Barcelona beat Getafe 6-1, with only one goal coming from Lionel Messi. Real Madrid weren't quite as impressive, only winning 4-1 over Sevilla. Atlético Madrid, meanwhile, fell to Rayo, creating a 12 point gap between first and second.

In other news, Mallorca managed a last minute draw with Osasuna, another side struggling against the drop. Alan Hutton must not be the shining beam of light Mallorca were hoping for, as he was replaced at the half.


If you thought Spain and England already had their title races decided, well, Germany should just hand the trophy to Bayern Munich. Bayern's 4-0 victory over Schalke -- who've somehow dropped to 10th, probably due to Champions League action -- lifted them 15 points over Dortmund. BvB did themselves no favors, losing 4-1 at home to Hamburg.

And in those weeks I was trying to pretend football didn't exist, Fortuna Düsseldorf went from being fantastic for a freshly promoted side to hovering just above the relegation zone. Fortunately for Fortuna, the worst in the Bundesliga are really quite terrible, and they're still eight points above Hoffenheim.

Serie A

Thank goodness for Italy -- despite pundits calling the scudetto for Juventus in, say, Round 2, the title race there has yet to be decided. Juve are still in first, thanks to a 2-0 thumping of Fiorentina, who apparently forgot to show up for the second half. The Viola have slipped down to sixth, by the way. Sorry, guys.

Napoli are still using Mazzarri-time, with Hugo Campagnaro scoring a tremendous goal in the 87th minute to grab a draw with Lazio. That keeps them second, five behind the Old Lady. Inter Milan, with a win over Chiveo Verona, are back up over rivals AC Milan, who could only manage a draw with Cagliari.

Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain are finally pulling away at the top of Ligue 1, now six points above Lyon and eight above Marseille. PSG beat Bastia 3-1, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a penalty and the magnificently named Wahbi Khazri scoring for Bastia.

The race for the bottom is quite tight in France, and I can't imagine any of those in the bottom eight are feeling very safe.


The Dutch title race remains the tightest in the top European leagues. This week, PSV are on top, but could only draw with Vitesse. But Ajax, in second, were even worse, drawing with relegation battlers Roda at home.

Then comes Feyenoord, now even with Ajax after a victory over AZ Alkmaar. Twente is still within reach as well, just another point back, although their draw against Zwolle, also in the relegation zone, didn't do much to advance their case.

Africa Cup of Nations

Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 1-0, with a spectacular goal by Sunday Mba, to win their first Africa Cup of Nations in 19 years. And hey, how about Burkina Faso getting to the final? Not many expected that at the start of the tournament.

Mali and Ghana played out a horribly dull draw for third place, which Mali won.