Harry Kane scored on his return to the starting lineup after his injury lay-off as Tottenham thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 to move within four points of Premier League leaders Chelsea. Mousa Dembele opened the scoring for Spurs, the midfielder finding the back of the net in the league after 48 games. Heung-min Son kept up his fine run of recent form, scoring Spurs’ second, before Kane marked his return with his 20th league goal of the season.
To round off Spurs’ perfect day Vincent Janssen scored from open play in the Premier League for the first time. With Spurs in this form, Chelsea will feel the pressure going into their Sunday game against Manchester United.
With Kane scoring, Romelu Lukaku made sure he got a goal of his own to keep his four-goal lead at the top of the Premier League scoring charts. Lukaku scored Everton’s third in a 3-1 win over Burnley which saw the Toffees move up to fifth, above Manchester United on goal difference, albeit having played three games more than the Red Devils.
Crystal Palace were seemingly suffering a hangover from their stunning 3-0 win against Arsenal, as they were floundering against Leicester City at home on Saturday. The defending champions went up 2-0 in the second half, but Sam Allardyce’s men rallied to grab a point, Christian Benteke getting Palace’s equaliser.
It was a significant result in the relegation battle, as fellow strugglers Swansea and Hull lost to Watford and Stoke City respectively. Bottom of the table Sunderland rescued a point against West Ham, but they remain nine points adrift of safety.
In the day’s late game, Manchester City saw off Southampton with a clinical performance. The 3-0 scoreline perhaps flattered the visitors as Southampton were in this contest for a long while, but after grabbing the goal City could afford to sit back and pick Southampton apart on the counter.
Isco’s last-gasp goal gave Real Madrid a hard-fought 3-2 win away to Sporting Gijon as Los Blancos kept their La Liga title destiny in their own hands.
Gijon had twice taken the lead, but Isco’s first goal cancelled out the hosts’ opener before Alvaro Morata equalised for 2-2 after Gijon restored their lead. Isco’s winner briefly took Madrid six points clear at the top of the table, before Barcelona’s game later in the day.
Atletico Madrid kept pace with their local rivals with a 3-0 win over Osasuna, despite resting several of their key players. Yannick Carrasco scored a brace and Filipe Luis added Atletico’s third. The game ended in comical fashion, as Atletico missed two penalties in the final few minutes, although the game was settled by then.
In the late game, an inspired Lionel Messi performance led Barcelona to a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad to cut Real Madrid’s lead back down to three points. Messi scored twice, the second a long-range stunner, in an entertaining game at the Camp Nou which saw four goals in the last eight minutes of the first half.
Messi scores his second goal.
In Serie A, Cristian Zapata scored with the last kick of the game as AC Milan battled from 2-0 down to grab a point in the Milan derby. Inter players claimed Zapata’s effort hadn’t crossed the line, but goalline technology came to Milan’s rescue, confirming the goal. Antonio Candreva and Mauro Icardi had put Inter in front, only for Alessio Romagnoli to peg the hosts back before Zapata’s intervention.
Both Milan sides are still in the hunt for the European places, and the teams directly above them all drew to keep that race full of intrigue. 4th-placed Lazio drew 2-2 away to Sampdoria, while 5th-placed Atalanta held Roma to a draw in Rome.
The Roma draw meant Juventus stretched their lead at the top to eight points thanks to Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half brace at Pescara, whose relegation is all but confirmed at this point as the result leaves them twelve points from safety.
Monaco restored their lead over PSG at the top of Ligue 1 with a hard-fought home win over Dijon, who had taken a shock lead at the Stade Louis. Radamel Falcao came off the bench and hit two stunning free kicks, one which came off the crossbar for Nabil Dirar to slot home for the equaliser and the second which settled into the net to seal the comeback.
Nice kept pace with the top two, coming from behind to beat Nancy 3-1. The result guarantees a top-three finish and thus Champions League football next year for Nice, marking a return to Europe’s premier competition after 57 years.
Bayern Munich’s title procession was put on hold as Bayer Leverkusen held the league leaders to a 0-0 draw, despite finishing the game with 10 men. Phillip Lahm missed a golden opportunity in the dying minutes for Bayern, whose lead at the top of the league was cut to 8 points.
RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim, and Borussia Dortmund all won on Saturday, with the Bayern result meaning Leipzig can still harbour faint hopes of a shock league title after cruising to a 4-0 win over Freiburg, a result that confirmed a Champions League spot for next year. Hoffenheim emerged on top after an entertaining game against Borussia Monchengladbach, winning 5-3, while Dortmund ran out 3-1 winners over Eintracht.
In more good news for Dortmund, defender Marc Bartra was released from the hospital today following his wrist surgery earlier in the week for the injury he suffered when an explosion rocked Dortmund’s team bus on Tuesday before their Champions League game against Monaco.
MOST DOMINATING WIN – SPURS ROUT BOURNEMOUTH TO KEEP TITLE PRESSURE UP
At this point, all Spurs can do is keep winning and hope Chelsea slip up. On Saturday, they kept up their end of the bargain in style, routing Bournemouth at home to make sure Chelsea’s tough Sunday assignment against Manchester United is even more pressure-packed.
BEST CONTEST – INTER MILAN 2-2 AC MILAN
Both of this year’s Milan derbies have been settled with the last kick of the game. Ivan Perisic had snatched a 2-2 draw for Inter in November, and Cristian Zapata returned the favour in a pulsating contest between the two heated rivals on Saturday.
BEST GOAL – ISCO
There were a few good contenders. Messi’s rocket from range, Shaqiri’s curler that found the top corner and Radamel Falcao’s free-kick as well.
But Isco weaving run inside the penalty box and emphatic finish with his left foot was the pick of the bunch.
PLAYER OF THE DAY – LIONEL MESSI
The Argentine scored his 44th and 45th goals of the season against Real Sociedad and also produced an assist to seal three points for Barcelona in a 3-2 win. His first goal in particular was a class apart.