Pitchside

European Review: Bayern go 50 unbeaten

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Every Monday morning we keep fill you in on the latest action from Europe's top football leagues...

GERMANY

Bayern Munich extended their unbeaten league run to 50 matches and stretched their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to 23 points with a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Mario Mandzukic, with his 17th goal of the season, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, from a long-range free-kick, scored for Bayern before Stefan Kiessling replied for Leverkusen, whose 2-1 win over Bayern in October 2012 was the last time the Bavarians lost in the league.

Bayern have 71 points with second-placed Borussia Dortmund on 48 after a 2-1 home defeat by Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Third-placed Schalke 04, who won 2-1 at Augsburg, are third with 47. With nine matches to go, Bayern need only two more wins to wrap up a second successive title and could even clinch it next week if they beat Mainz 05 and both Dortmund and Schalke fail to win.

SPAIN

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Cristiano Ronaldo struck midway through the first half as leaders Real Madrid won 1-0 at Malaga on Saturday as Atletico Madrid stayed hot on their heels after Diego Costa netted in a 1-0 victory over Espanyol.

Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer as they warmed up for next weekend's El Clasico against Real with a 7-0 victory over Osasuna on Sunday.

FRANCE

Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his season tally to a club record 40 goals when his double led runaway leaders Paris St Germain to a 2-0 home win against St Etienne on Sunday.

PSG have 70 points with nine games remaining and lead second-placed Monaco, who beat Olympique Lyon 3-2 away thanks to a goal and two assists from Dimitar Berbatov, by eight points.

With his 24th and 25th league goals, Ibrahimovic took his tally to 40 in all competitions, one more than Argentine Carlos Bianchi's previous record set in 1977-78.

Lille are third in Ligue 1 on 53 points after a goalless draw against Nantes on Saturday.

ITALY

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Leaders Juventus won 1-0 at Genoa thanks to a typical late free kick by playmaker Andrea Pirlo and a second-half penalty save from Gianluigi Buffon. The champions have 75 points from 28 games, 17 clear of second-placed AS Roma who host Udinese on Monday.

Napoli, a further three points behind in third, visit Torino the same evening. Germany forward Mario Gomez was among the scores as fourth-placed Fiorentina beat Chievo 3-1 and Inter Milan's revival continued with a 2-0 win at Hellas Verona.

Crisis-club AC Milan were beaten 4-2 at home by Parma as they slumped to a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

PORTUGAL

Porto's unhappy season continued when they were beaten 1-0 at Sporting, where Algeria forward Islam Slimani scored the only goal early in the second half. Third-placed Porto, champions for the previous three seasons, dropped five points behind their opponents who are second with 51 points. Leaders Benfica (55) visit Nacional on Monday.

NETHERLANDS

Runaway Dutch league leaders Ajax Amsterdam were held for a second successive week as they played out a goalless draw at NAC Breda on Sunday and are now seven points clear in search of a fourth successive championship.

The result stretched to six months their unbeaten run in away league matches but will come as scant consolation to Ajax, who had an effort from striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson cleared off the line by the NAC defence just before halftime.

FC Twente, in second, beat AZ Alkmaar 2-1, but third- placed Vitesse Arnhem were beaten 2-1 at home by PSV Eindhoven.

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