Jose Mourinho Real isolation, Lionel Messi rescues Barca

Real Madrid coach Real Madrid

La Liga's big two may have been second best in the Champions League semi-finals, but they cannot stay out of the news for long. Outgoing champions Real Madrid beat Valladolid 4-3 on Saturday, but there was little focus on the football after the match.

After Jose Mourinho's statement on Saturday that he wished he had signed goalkeeper Diego Lopez in 2011, El Real's players broke ranks to stand up for benched Spain captain Iker Casillas.

"Nosotros estamos con Iker" - "we are with Iker" - said the headline in Sunday's Marca newspaper, with Portugal defender Pepe significantly being the player to come forward in support of the legendary goalkeeper.

Pepe's stand blurred the lines of the supposed Portuguese-Spanish split in El Real's dressing-room, leaving Mourinho as an increasingly isolated figure. His popularity at the club and in the Madrid media is at an all-time low.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo has now scored 200 goals for Real Madrid

It all overshadowed another landmark night for Cristiano Ronaldo, whose double strike saw him reach 200 goals for the club in all competitions. He has achieved it in only 196 matches.

The next milestone for the Portugal captain is the club's all-time top five, with Mexico's Hugo Sanchez currently in fifth with 208. With four games to go in Spain's season, you wouldn't put it past Ronaldo to get there before summer.

After their midweek humbling by Bayern Munich, Barcelona strengthened their grip on La Liga - but not without a few scares. Dorlan Pabon gave visitors Betis a second-minute lead at Camp Nou after a misjudgement by ex-Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, and led again through Ruben Perez after an Alexis Sanchez equaliser.

As so often, Lionel Messi rode to the rescue in the second half, notching a brace as substitute after David Villa levelled for a second time. A win at second-placed Atletico Madrid next Sunday would clinch the title, though a Real Madrid loss at Espanyol the night before would also do the job.


Juventus have already secured a second successive title. They beat relegation-threatened Palermo 1-0 with a second-half goal by Arturo Vidal.

Midfielder Paul Pogba was sent off late on, but the Bianconeri have an unassailable 11-point lead with three games left.

Second-placed Napoli all but confirmed a return to the Champions League by beating Inter Milan 3-1 with an Edinson Cavani hat-trick.

Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli's late winner against Torino extended AC Milan's lead in third to four points over Fiorentina.


Galatasaray also sealed their second successive Turkish Super Lig crown with a 4-2 win over Sivasspor. Two apiece from Selçuk Inan and Champions League goal machine Burak Yilmaz mean Cim Bom now lead the all-time list with 19 title wins.


Ajax were also writing history on Sunday, securing a 32nd championship in the Netherlands with a 5-0 rout of Willem II.

Goals by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, Christian Eriksen, Viktor Fischer, Siem de Jong and Danny Hoesen gave coach Frank de Boer a third Eredivise crown in three attempts.

Rivals PSV Eindhoven at least sealed a Champions League place.

They beat NEC Nimegen 4-2, with defeats for Feyenoord and Vitesse Arnhem meaning PSV are uncatchable in second spot.


Across the border in Germany the title has long since been decided, but last season's winners Borussia Dortmund and this year's Bayern Munich played out an entertaining dress rehearsal for the Champions League final at Wembley.

Schaaf is the longest serving coach in the Bundesliga, thanks to his 14-year reign at Werder Bremen
Schaaf is the longest serving coach in the Bundesliga, thanks to his 14-year reign at Werder Bremen

Both sides made a series of changes for the 1-1 draw at the Signal Iduna Park - with two of this season's bench-warmers, Dortmund's Kevin Grosskreutz and Bayern's Mario Gomez, getting the goals. The point means Dortmund are confirmed in second place barring a mathematical miracle.

Arguably the real story of the Bundesliga weekend was the latest trough in Werder Bremen's fortunes. The 2004 champions - who still have the same coach, Thomas Schaaf - have spent the second half of the season sliding down the table.

Werder, including on-loan Chelsea star Kevin de Bruyne, took a 2-0 lead, but conceded twice in the last five minutes to second-bottom Hoffenheim. This means they remain precariously perched just three points above Augsburg, who occupy 16th - the relegation play-off place.


Paris St-Germain's title celebrations will have to wait for at least another week as they were held at home by Valenciennes. Second-placed Marseille - for whom Joey Barton started - beat Bastia 2-1 on Saturday, strengthening their grip on the automatic Champions League qualification spot.

Carlo Ancelotti's side went one down to a Gael Danic strike and lost captain Thiago Silva, sent off for dissent, before half-time. Former Chelsea defender Alex's late headed leveller means a win at third-placed Lyon will see PSG crowned next Sunday - should Marseille fail to beat Toulouse.

Ligue 2 leaders Monaco had hoped to have their own party this weekend. A win over Caen on Saturday would have seen the wealthy principality club return to Ligue 1 after a two-year absence, but an early Romain Poyet goal for the visitors means it will have to wait for a week.


Champions Porto's 3-1 win at Nacional on Saturday night (James Rodriguez, Eliaquim Mangala and Lucho Gonzalez scoring) means that Benfica cannot clinch the title against Estoril on Monday night.

If Porto win the title, it will be their ninth league triumph in 11 seasons
If Porto win the title, it will be their ninth league triumph in 11 seasons

Instead, next weekend's mouthwatering classico between the two deadly rivals at the Estadio do Dragao is likely to settle matters, just days before Benfica face Chelsea in the Europa League final.

Meanwhile, there is a real story developing below the top two, with modest Pacos de Ferreira set to grab third spot and a Champions League qualifying place.

Tony's flying header sealed a 1-0 win over Sporting Lisbon and leaves the Mata Real side four points clear of Braga in fourth, with just two games to go.

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