1. Chelsea moved to another step closer to winning the Premier League title with a 3-1 away win over Leicester in a game which went some way to showing why they are champions elect. After Mark Albrighton put Leicester ahead just before half time, the Foxes must have gone in at the break pretty confident that they could continue if not their winning streak then certainly their unbeaten streak. Unfortunately for them they let their lead slip within two minutes of the break when Didier Drogba restored parity to level things up, Sky’s Dave Jones was guilty of some hyperbole when he mentioned going into the half time ad break “that Leicester are surely on their way to safety” this wasn’t set to be the case (at least for last night) as additional goals from firstly John Terry and then a pinger from the edge of the box from Ramires demonstrated their champion like quality. Even as shouts of “Boring, Boring Chelsea” rang out around the ground, I don’t think people could beat them with that stick after their performance last night especially when coming back from 1-0 down. So for Chelsea the title could be won on Sunday with the next hurdle being Crystal Palace at home and the chance to win the league in front of their own fans. As for Leicester then they now will have to pick themselves up in time for the relegation “6 pointer” against Newcastle on Saturday, I don’t think before the game Leicester fans would have had too many complaints at losing to Chelsea but with them going ahead they may have felt that at least a point was in there grasp. Nigel Pearson will be looking for his players to bounce back but first he’ll have to deal with the attention after this press conference last night (Full transcript in the link below)
Certainly never a dull moment at the King Power stadium that’s for sure.
2. Real Madrid disposed of Almeria 3-0 at The Bernabeu to cut the gap to Barcelona back down to 2 points. It wasn’t particularly one of their best performances and they didn’t break the deadlock until just before half time, but the golazo from James Rodriguez was certainly worth the wait.
The second half was a routine performance in which Almeria’s Mauro Dos Santos turned in under pressure from Cristiano Ronaldo for an own goal, with Alvaro Arbeloa adding the gloss as Real cruised home. Although it was Arbeloa’s first goal in 5 years, it will be more remembered for this show of petulance from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Anyone would think Real had just conceded the way he reacted, it’s moments like that where you have to wonder “hmm why is he so unlikeable?”. In a game in which 16 year old wonderkid was an unused substitute for Real, they also kept up their record of winning every game in which Gareth Bale has been out injured (10) so it must be said they seem to be a better side when Bale isn’t in the side, the big question for Gareth Bale is will he be able to a get fit in time for the Champions League Semi Final and subsequently force himself back into the side. This weekend Barcelona should have a routine fixture against nearly relegated Cordoba while Real have a potential banana skin away at Sevilla, the side that managed to claw back a 2-2 draw against Barcelona after being 2-0 down so it certainly won’t be easy pickings for Real at the Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Will there be another twist in the race for La Liga?
3. No more twists in Italy as Juventus moved to within a point of a fourth consecutive Serie A title as Carlos Tevez’s double helped them come from behind to beat Fiorentina. (Apologies my maths let me down as I thought a win was enough for the title last night as I alluded to in Yesterday’s preview column). A 3-2 win over the fiercest rivals Fiorentina means one more win will be enough for the title at the weekend. Fiorentina did go ahead but then goals from Fernando Llorente and a brace from Carlos Tevez put them in a unassailable 3-1 lead, although Fiorentina did get a late consolation it didn’t prove to be enough and the celebrations have nearly started in Turin. Elsewhere Lazio did all they could to keep the title race going for another fixture as they won 4-0 at home to Parma which consigned the Gialloblù to Serie B in a terrible season in which they were declared bankrupt and docked seven points for financial irregularities. Spare a thought for Parma and the wonder team of the late 90’s/early 2000’s when they went onto win the Uefa Cup back in 1999, since then they have fallen a long long way and you wonder how much worse it’s going to get before it gets better.