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Title procession takes shape for Bayern

European round-up


Thomas Muller. Photo: Reuters

Thomas Muller. Photo: Reuters

Thomas Muller. Photo: Reuters

Champions Bayern Munich opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga after dishing out a 4-0 thrashing of bottom club Schalke 04 helped by a Thomas Muller double yesterday.

With title rivals RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund all losing over the weekend, Bayern remain firmly on course for a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title.

"I am not totally satisfied," said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. "Yes, we scored four goals but I could see that at times we could improve our possession game."

"We sometimes play too fast, sometimes too slow, sometimes with too much risk. There is lost possession which we can avoid."

It was also a notable result for Manuel Neuer who recorded his 197th clean sheet in the Bundesliga, eclipsing former Bayern stopper Oliver Kahn whose record he had matched against Augsburg last Wednesday.

In Italy, Juventus got their Serie A title defence back on track with a hard-fought 2-0 home win over Bologna that moved Andrea Pirlo's side into the top four.

It was a much-needed victory for Pirlo and Co following the disappointment of their 2-0 defeat by Inter Milan last weekend as it cut the gap behind league leaders AC Milan to seven points and the champions also have a game in hand.

Substitute Riqui Puig struck at the death, adding to Frenkie De Jong's 39th-minute opener as Barcelona left it late to secure a fifth-successive La Liga win on the road after they were made to work hard for the points at lowly Elche.

They're now three points behind Real Madrid in second who sit seven adrift of the leaders, Atletico, who came from behind to beat Valencia 3-1 last night with goals from Joao Felix, Luis Suarez and Angel Correa.

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