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This weekend brought us a great mix of domestic and international action...

The Competitions

Get ready for a weekend of action...

FA Cup: The world's oldest knockout competition has returned with the quarter-finals. In the big game of the round, an unfamiliar looking Manchester United side knocked out Arsenal with a 2-0 win, which leaves Arsenal fighting on just the Premier League front. There were plenty of goals in the earlier game between Birmingham City and Bolton, with the Trotters emerging victorious with a 3-2 win over the Carling Cup winners. Stoke edged West Ham 2-1 and Manchester City struggled to defeat Reading 1-0 on Sunday.

Spain: Real Madrid pulled within four points of Barcelona as they defeated Hercules on Saturday evening, while Valencia travelled to Zaragoza in a bid to wrap up Champions League qualification early but were destroyed 4-0. Almeria drew 2-2 with Europa League hopefuls Atletico Madrid.

The following day Espanyol dispatched of Deportivo 2-0 but the highlight was Barcelona's trip to inconsistent Sevilla, where the Blaugrana were held to a 1-1 draw in controversial circumstances.

Italy: Serie A opened with Friday's clash between Brescia and Inter. The home side missed a late penalty but scored a late equaliser to earn a point against Leonardo's men. Juventus ended their three-game losing streak but fell short of three points when they were held 2-2 by Cesena.

Palermo's dreadful run continued with a loss to Genoa on Sunday afternoon, while Milan were surprisingly held by basement side Bari, and in the evening Napoli were back on track after beating Parma.

But everyone's eyes were on the Rome derby, and Roma took the points with a brace from Francesco Totti that punished Lazio.

Germany: Borussia Dortmund suffered a minor setback as they went down 1-0 to the mercurial Hoffenheim. Bayern Munich produced a performance worthy of the double winners as Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery ran riot in the 6-0 demolition of their now former bogey team Hamburg.

Angelos Charisteas' first goal for Schalke in a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt ensured that Felix Magath will keep his job for the time being. Leverkusen edged Mainz on Sunday.

Europe: In France, Rennes, joint top of Ligue 1, lost 2-0 at home to champions Marseille but there were no such problems for Lyon, who won with the same scoreline in Sochaux. Title hopefuls Lille won their north-eastern clash against Valenciennes on Sunday and PSG drew Montpellier 2-2.

Over in the Netherlands,  Groningen suffered a setback on Friday night in a 1-0 defeat to Utrecht while AZ reignited their challenge for a European spot with a 2-1 win in Kerkrade against Roda. FC Twente's recent troubles came to an end versus minnows VVV on Sunday, which also sees the traditional top three of Feyenoord, while Ajax were victorious against Willem II PSV dropped points after being held by NEC however. Of course you can catch all the action live with the official, high-quality streams at LiveDutchEredivisie.tv.

In Greece, PAOK defeated Olympiakos 2-1, halting the latter's march to the title, while Panathinaikos made short work of Iraklis in their quest to secure second place. Meanwhile in Turkey, the title race is seemingly going down to the wire. Fenerbahce earned three points at home to Konyaspor and Trabzonspor saw off basement boys Kasimpasa on Saturday with a narrow 1-0 win.

League action is back in Denmark, where Copenhagen bounced back from their first league defeat of the season last week with a 1-0 win in Aalborg on Saturday, while Midtjylland drew 2-2 with Nordsjaelland. OB Odense welcome Lyngby on Monday. In Switzerland Basel are well and truly en route to the league trophy and thumped Bellinzona 4-0, while FC Zurich have already laid down a marker with a 2-0 win at home to Sion.

Things are getting interesting in Poland: Jagiellonia crashed to a 2-1 defeat at home to Lechia Gdansk, while new leaders Wisla Krakow beat Widzew Lodz 2-0.

Looking further east: Dinamo Zagreb sneaked a 1-0 victory against surprise package Cibalia, and Hajduk Split emerged 3-1 winners in the city derby with NK Split in Croatia. Serbia saw table toppers Partizan consolidate their position with a 2-1 win in the derby over OFK Belgrade. Red Star kept their title hopes alive with a 2-0 victory away to Jagodina.

Africa: This weekend in Africa domestic league and cup competitions once again take centre stage. In the Nigerian Premier League table topping Dolphins are at home to Plateau, while Kaduna United will be taking on Warri Wolves. The Ghanaian League has restarted, and league leaders Chelsea will have their work cut out for them at home against second placed Medeama, while Kotoko welcome Aduana in another mouth-watering encounter. In Cameroon the MTN Elite One provides a number of matches to enjoy, with Canon de Yaounde hosting Unisport Bafang, while fan favourites Cotonsport Garoua will be expecting a visit from Caïman de Douala.

In South Africa the Nedbank Cup is in full swing, and in the big game of the weekend, the Orlando Pirates won 1-0 against the Mamelodi Sundowns. Lower league Nathi Lions will be hoping to spring a surprise on Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday. This coming weekend also saw action in Algeria's Championnat National de Première Division, with ASO Chlef opening up a two point lead at the top after a 3-1 win over WA Tlemcen, while CR Belouizdad held Chlef's nearest rivals Es Sétif to a 0-0 draw. Once again, the entire programme in Tunisia was postponed due to the ongoing political instability.

South America: In the Argentine Clausura, league leaders Olimpo bounced back from last week's defeat to defeat All Boys 1-0 and Banfield in second got a third consecutive win with a 2-1 win away to Tigre. On Sunday, River Plate will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run at home to Velez Sarsfield. Uruguay saw Racing Club win 1-0 away to Montevideo Wanderers. 

Asia: Due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, all J-League games were inevitably postponed. In South Korea's K-League, Suwon got their second win in two games by defeating Gwangju 2-1. Asian Champions League winners Seongnam lost 1-0 at home to Jeonbuk Motors. Down under in Australia, the A-League came to a climax with the Brisbane Roar winning the final on penalties after a 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners.

Thanks for choosing Goal.com this weekend.
It's derby galore on Sunday as Birmingham hosted Aston Villa and drew 1-1, Sunderland faced Newcastle United and drew 1-1 and Liverpool entertained Everton for yet another draw, this time a 2-2. But the big clash of the round is saved until last as Manchester United visit Tottenham.

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