From Cristiano Ronaldo’s peculiar comments about his teammates, to Leicester keeping their Cinderella run alive, we take a look at Saturday’s top storylines:
Wheels falling off for Real Madrid
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Not even a Barcelona fan could have written a worse script for Real Madrid on Saturday. Atletico Madrid not only all but ended their crosstown rival’s bid for the league title, Cristiano Ronaldo put himself and his team under a massive microscope. ‘If everyone was as good as me, maybe we would be first,’ Ronaldo initially said after the match, apparently throwing his teammates under the bus.
The Portuguese clarified the comments soon after, saying he was referring to their health … and claiming ‘I am not better than any of my teammates.’ No matter the case, the ship for Los Blancos looks to be sinking. Time will tell if this wake-up call will be the tonic to push them to a pain-easing Champions League title, or leave them wanting at the season’s end.
Atletico Madrid wreck Real’s slim title hopes
After two, back-to-back goalless draws, Atletico returned to winning ways and strengthened their grip on second place in La Liga. And what better place to do it than at the Santiago Bernabeu. Antoine Griezmann’s cool finish eight minutes into the second half propelled Los Colchoneros to a huge victory over their hated rivals, and as a result, became the first side to beat Los Blancos at the Bernabeu in three consecutive seasons in league play.
Bayern Munich continue Bundesliga march
For large stretches, it appeared as if it was just going to be one of those days for Bayern Munich. Matched up against an unrelenting Wolfsburg outfit, the Bavarians made hard work of it, but ultimately persevered and provisionally extended their lead atop Bundesliga to 11 points.
At just 19, Kingsley Coman is embodying the old adage that "if you’re good enough, you’re old enough." The France international showed great composure to give Bayern a deserved lead and did all the dirty work in the buildup to the second goal, allowing Robert Lewandowski to take his season tally to a league-leading 23 goals.
Leicester keep Premier League push alive
It was the sort of match that, among a slew of weekend blockbusters, may have not drawn all the headlines. Against relegation-threatened Norwich â 13 days after enduring a damaging defeat at fellow challengers Arsenal â the Foxes outlasted the Canaries thanks to Leonardo Ulloa’s 89th-minute strike. The result lifted Claudio Ranieri’s side five points clear of Tottenham and Arsenal, putting more pressure on Spurs ahead of their home tilt against Swansea and the Gunners’ clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Surprising rally keeps Blues unbeaten in league under Hiddink
Chelsea’s title defense has been off the books for quite some time now, but Blues fans can at least take solace in the team’s current form. After Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win against Southampton, Chelsea pushed their Premier League unbeaten run under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink to 11 games.
Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, in particular, seem to have been enjoying their lives without Mourinho at the helm. The question going forward is: When will Eden Hazard finally round into form?