MADRID: Real Madrid’s focus was directed ever more firmly at the Champions League after they were held 0-0 away to struggling Osasuna in their fading defence of their Spanish title.
Worse, Brazilian substitute Kaka was sent off shortly after having appeared as a substitute for a Madrid side who already missed top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and topdefender Sergio Ramos through suspensions. The point meant Madrid remained third on 37 points.
In France teenage centre-back Samuel Umtiti’s first league goal sent Lyon two points clear at the top of the table after a 2-1 win over struggling Troyes.
Umtiti, 19 and making his 22nd league appearance, struck with 15 minutes remaining to put Lyon on 41 points from 20 games, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain who had been held 0-0 at home by Ajaccio on Friday.
In Italy Internazionale maintained their hopeful title challenge by winning 2-0 at home to Pescara to move within six points of leaders Juventus.
Goals in each half from Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin gave Andrea Stramaccioni’s side their first win in four games and moved them up to third in the table on 38 points.
** South Africa, who open their hosting of the African Nations Cup on Saturday, drew 0-0 with Algeria in their last warm-up game in Soweto.
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