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From the brilliance of Lionel Messi, the luck of Liverpool and a weekend to forget in Milan, here are the big winners and losers

Winners

Liverpool

After Manchester City’s victory the day before on Saturday, Liverpool had only one way to respond – claiming all three points against Tottenham. Jurgen Klopp’s side did it, but only just, as the Reds made the most of Tottenham’s late suicidal move to get back to being top of the Premier League.

Lionel Messi

There’s hardly any way to describe Lionel Messi without sounding weak. Perfection. Another two goals to his tally, to make it the tenth consecutive season with at least 40 goals scored. Unreal stuff, as per usual, by Messi, who single-handedly lead Barcelona to victory in the derby against Espanyol with a fine brace.

Borussia Dortmund

Paco Alcacer was the hero as Dortmund made the most of Bayern Munich’s slip to return to being top of the Bundesliga all alone. The Spaniard scored two goals in the dying minutes of the game against Wolfsburg to secure a fundamental win and three huge points in the title race. Coming up next is Der Klassiker against Bayern.

Lazio

The race for a Champions League finish in Serie A is now lit, with five teams separated by six points chasing four spots. All of this thanks to the perfect round for Lazio, as Inter, AC Milan and Roma all lost, and the Biancocelesti got a massive three points by beating the Nerazzurri at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, courtesy of a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic header.

Ajax

Ajax continue to impress this season. They beat PSV Eindhoven 3-1 at the Johan Cruyff Arena in the clash that could be key in assigning the league title in the Eredivisie, with Dusan Tadic and David Neres netting the winning goals despite their side being down to ten men.

Losers

Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski’s goal wasn’t enough, as the Bavarians were held to a 1-1 draw in Freiburg and had to drop two points in the title race. Dortmund are now two points clear as we head into the decisive week with the two top German clubs going face to face in the next round.

Luciano Spalletti

The Inter coach decided to leave out former captain Mauro Icardi from the clash against Lazio, despite him returning to full-time training with the team this week and Lautaro Martinez being sidelined with an injury. Spalletti was upset to say the least and punished Icardi for his behaviour – having refused to play for two months – but the coach ended up with a defeat in a vital match, in which Inter really lacked a real striker.

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Tottenham

With Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United winning, Spurs decided to make things complicated for themselves in the race for a top-four finish by conceding Toby Aldereireld’s own goal and coming out with no points from Anfield.

Monaco

After a positive spell in which they moved away from the bottom of Ligue 1, Monaco fell at home against Caen in a relegation six-pointer, as Enzo Crivelli’s goal was enough to give all three points to the visitors.

Marseille

A place in next year’s Champions League is further away, as Marseille were held to a 2-2 draw against Angers. Mario Balotelli’s double wasn’t enough for Rudi Garcia’s side, who are now eight points behind Lyon, victorious against Rennes.

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