MILAN: Claudio Ranieri was teetering on the brink of dismissal after Internazionale lost 1-0 to Napoli in Serie A – a 59th-minute goal from Ezequiel Lavezzi sentencing the former Chelsea manager to an uncomfortable interview with president Massimo Moratti.
Lazio, with Edy Reja still in charge to his own surprise, beat Fiorentina 1-0 with a goal from Germanyveteran Miroslav Klose but neighbours Roma crashed 4-1 to Atalanta for whom Argentinian German Denis scored a hat-trick. Denis is on loan to Atalanta from Udinese.
In Germany Frenchman Franck Ribery, focus of controversy in midweek, put himself back in Bayern Munich’s good books with the two goals which beat title rivals Schalke.
Ribery had attracted negative headlines after it appeared he had snubbed coach Jupp Heynckes during the Champions League defeat in Basel, but he scored after 36 and 55 minutes to end talk of a possible Bayern crisis.
Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid pushed on towards what would be their first league title in Spain since 2007 after a 54th-minute goal from Cristiano Ronaldo earned a 1-0 derby win away to Rayo Vallecano. Also in the Spanish capital, Atletico de Madrid lost 2-1 at home to Barcelona for whom Leo Messi scored a late winner.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said later: “We cannot win the league now.”