Chelsea builds EPL lead; Bayern 20 points in front
LONDON (AP) As the tightest English Premier League title race in years is playing out, the Bundesliga is witnessing its most one-sided.
Although Chelsea moved four points clear at the top of the English standings with a 3-1 victory at Fulham on Saturday, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City remain in close reach. In Germany, though, Bayern Munich powered a Bundesliga record 20-points clear after 23 games by beating Schalke 5-1.
Here is a look at the action from the leading leagues in Europe:
Chelsea recovered from a sluggish first-half performance to see off bottom-place Fulham, with Eden Hazard setting up two of Schuerrle’s goals and Fernando Torres the creator of the third.
Arsenal made it eight winless trips to Stoke after Jonathan Walters’ late penalty secured a 1-0 victory. Liverpool was the main beneficiary of Stoke’s win, dislodging Arsenal from second on goal difference with another devastating attacking display. Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard produced a 3-0 win at Southampton.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is facing a touchline ban after being sent off for an apparent head-butt on Hull midfielder David Meyler in his team’s 4-1 win. Everton recovered from back-to-back league losses by beating West Ham 1-0 and returning to sixth place.
Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes described his team’s loss to Bayern as ”embarrassing.” Arjen Robben scored a hat trick – with one coming from the penalty spot – and David Alaba and Mario Mandzukic also scored for the runaway leaders. Borussia Dortmund took advantage of Bayer Leverkusen’s freefall by beating Nuremberg 3-0 at home to move to second. Leverkusen lost 1-0 at home to Mainz for its fifth consecutive defeat across all competitions.
With nearly half the stadium closed to fans as punishment for territorial chants, not much was missed in a 0-0 draw between second-place Roma and fifth-place Inter Milan in Serie A.
Although Roma went within eight points of Juventus, the leaders play AC Milan on Sunday.
Fabien Lemoine and Romain Hamouma gave Saint-Etienne as 2-0 win over Monaco to go third and within eight points of the losers.
Paris Saint-Germain holds a five-point lead over Monaco at the top of the league and hosts Marseille on Sunday.
The tussle for the title resumes Sunday, with Real Madrid playing Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona also in action. In Saturday’s main game, 10-man Levante climbed into seventh place by beating Osasuna 2-0, provisionally going ahead of Sevilla and Valencia.