It's time for this week's European Football Round-Up. We had a lot of action all over the continent, but let's start by looking in England.
It has to be tough being a Manchester City fan. Not only do you live under the constant shadow of neighbours United but all the talk of money in the bank has raised your previously limited expectations. So how do City put this newly found status to use? They grab a draw at Liverpool.
On the face of it it's an excellent result. For most of the season, Liverpool have been nagging away at the top of the Premier League and actually looked at one stage that they might be able to win it. City meanwhile, have spent most of the season in the bottom half of the table. In January they became embroiled in the rather ridiculous Kaka transfer saga and have since climbed to 10th in the league.
You just know that they are desperate to spend some more of that cash and finally get to challenge United. There's a slight problem, though; their draw at Liverpool effectively hands the Championship yet again to, of all people, United. So as the Premier League stands this morning after their Anfield heroics, United are now seven points clear of Liverpool, and ten ahead of Chelsea.
Meanwhile, City are a staggering 30 points behind United, proving that the suffering isn't over yet no matter how much you have under the mattress. Well, let's face it, you wouldn't trust a bank with that sort of money, would you?
Liverpool now have to go to Old Trafford on March 14th and win to stand even the faintest hopes of winning the title. So well done City, you appear to have helped the very club you want to catch up with.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's joy following their win at Aston Villa was also rather premature when United responded by beating Blackburn Rovers 2-1. Guus Hiddink, the new Chelsea manager (for this week at least) simply can't lose in this position. The gap is so great now that despite what he says he can't catch United and make up that ten-point gap. What he can win is the big one, the Champions League.
United are still in that too, and who can forget what happened in last years final on Hiddink's own doorstep in Russia? Step forward, John Terry, or should I fall forward? Cruel, I know, but that's how it ended and how fortunes can be won or lost in an instant. Had Terry not missed that penalty, would Chelsea have been daft enough to sack Avram Grant? If they hadn't sacked him would they be ten points adrift this year? Who knows.
Nicolas Anelka's goal in the 19th minute gave Chelsea the dream start they had wanted under their latest new man. United responded by gaining all three points against lowly Blackburn and extended their unbeaten run despite the visitors becoming the first side to score against them since Arsenal in early November.
It was a week that also saw several notable records being achieved by goalkeepers. As much as we all love a good goal, it is a team's goalkeeper that can actually win you games, and of course lose them. When a keeper makes a great save, it is often overshadowed by the goal scoring exploits of his team mates.
However, when a keeper makes a bad mistake, it is shown on those terrible Christmas "own goals and gaffs" videos time and time again for years. Two Premier League goalkeepers did make their place in history this week. Firstly, Edwin Van der Saar of Manchester United beat the Premier League clean sheet record. Strangely he didn't achieve that in his time at Fulham.
Secondly, Portsmouth's David James overtook Gary Speed's Premier League appearance record and looks fit enough to add quite a few more. It's tempting to make some cheap joke about his back, not being able to last the continual bending down to pick the ball out of the net at Portsmouth but they are getting better. Since ex-manager Tony Adams departed, Pompey have shown a greater determination to pull themselves away from the worries of relegation. They followed last week's win with a 2-2 draw at Stoke City.
Spare a thought too for Fulham's Bobby Zamora, who finally ended his goal drought when he opened the scoring in his club's 2-0 win over rock bottom West Bromwich Albion. You have to be happy for him as his work rate cannot be ignored. Roy Hodgson, the highly experienced Fulham manager and ex-boss of Inter Milan and Blackburn Rovers, would have lost patience long ago with a striker that hasn't scored since mid-September, had it not been for his hard work.
However, he can clearly see his contribution to his teams improvement this year. Quite, how that game was 0-0 at halftime is beyond me. Albion must have had their goal boarded up as shot after shot from the rampant home team hit both posts and the crossbar.
Sadly this weekend was also the end of Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta's season. He ruptured a knee ligament in the 0-0 draw at Newcastle United. Also, Wigan's big signing from Fulham Jimmy Bullard is out with a similar injury. Bullard, of course, has had serious knee problems before.
One player who can thank his luck is Everton's Victor Anichebe, who survived a horrific tackle from Newcastle's Kevin Nolan. As a result, Nolan was shown a straight red card. How stand-in-manager Chris Hughton can claim it was mistimed is beyond me. It matters not whether it was or wasn't it was a career threatening tackle, that was correctly dealt with by a red card and a subsequent ban.
The only thing mistimed about it all is the three-match ban he is likely to pick up just when Newcastle need him most. Good news for the Magpies, though, is that manager Joe Kinnear is out of the hospital following his recent health problems.
Elsewhere in Europe, the David Beckham saga over his move from LA Galaxy to AC Milan drones on. He seems unlikely to be welcomed back to Galaxy having made his intentions to stay in Milan well known. If he does find himself back in California he might find his intended MLS Ambassador role looking a bit flimsy.
As they say in England 'Here We go' with a very brief round up this week of the other European Leagues.
Arsenal spluttered to another disappointing result this time drawing 0-0 at home to Sunderland. Bolton beat West Ham 2-1 with two early goals from Taylor and Davies. Middlesbrough and Wigan drew 0-0.
It's really getting interesting, well as interesting as it ever does in Scotland. A few weeks ago Celtic looked reasonably assured sitting at the top of the SPL significantly ahead of rivals Rangers.
However, the 0-0 Old Firm game at Celtic handed the incentive to Rangers who have home advantage next time the two meet in the league. This weekend Celtic were held to a 1-1 draw at Motherwell. Rangers meanwhile beat Kilmarnock 3-1.
Both Glasgow teams are now on 57 points, however Rangers have the better goal difference, plus 37 to Celtic's plus 27.
Meanwhile, the Scottish F.A. are considering a proposal from Celtic to have a 'B' team in the Scottish Third Division. What would happen if they ever reached the Premier Division? We would have eight Old Firm games and four Celtic v Celtic matches !
Inter warmed up for the game against Manchester United by winning 2-1 at troubled Bologna. Rivals AC beat Cagliari 1-0 thanks to a Seedorf goal. Fiorentina beat Chievo 2-1, Lazio won 1-0 at Lecce.
Juventus kept in touch by winning 2-0 at Palermo. AS Roma won 1-0 against Siena in the capital. At the bottom Torino gained there vital points by beating Udinese 1-0. Reggina stay bottom after losing 2-0 at Catania.
Real Madrid's return to form continued when they walloped Real Betis 6-1 at the Bernabau. Two goals apiece from their big signing from Ajax Huntelaar, and record breaking skipper Raul helped do the damage.
Barcelona lost for the first time since early in the season 1-2 at home to neighbours Espanyol. How good that must have felt to any fan of Barcelona's lesser known club to be in a relegation battle and yet win on the home ground of their illustrious table topping neighbours. Well done Espanyol.
Further talking points were in the match at Deportivo La Coruna. During the 1-1 draw with Valencia, the visitors had nine players booked and goalscorer David Villa sent off. The referee had better watch out for some sort of repetative strain injury.
KSV Roeselare, the team whose struggle against the drop keeps on going, won their must win home match against RAEC Mons thanks to two very late and rather dramatic goals. They are now only a point into the danger zone. Mons meanwhile slip to bottom.
It doesn't take much to work out that the club that could take over Roeselare's relegation slot soon could be AFC Tubize who were thrashed 6-0 at home by Zulte-Waregem.
In the weekends major match at the top Anderlecht beat Standard Liege 4-2 and are now 4 points clear at the top. Other challengers Club Brugge could only manage a 1-1 draw at Westerlo.
AA Gent lost 1-3 at home to a vastly improved Germinal Beerschot Antwerp, Cercle Brugge drew 0-0 at home with Lokeren, and FC Dender stay in trouble losing 2-1 at home to Mechelen.
Yet again Bayer Leverkusen fall on their sword just at the point that they are looking good. Following last week's emphatic 4-1 win at Hoffenheim they lost 1-2 at home to Hamburg. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich also lost at home by the same score to Cologne in the shock of the day.
Borussia Monchengladbach finally won beating Hannover 3-2 in their attempt to avoid going back down a year after gaining promotion. Cottbus also gained three vital points when they beat Werder Bremen 2-1 with an injury time goal.
Troubled Karlsruhe lost 0-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. In a thriller at Stuttgart Hoffenheim fought back to draw 3-3 thanks to a hat trick from striker Demba Ba.
At the top Wolfsburg beat Hertha Berlin 2-1.
So once again it is all change at the top with Hamburg going two points clear of Hertha and Hoffenheim, who are two ahead of Bayern Munich. At the bottom Monchengladbach are now only three points from safety.
There was only one place to be and that was the capital city Lisbon where Sporting took on neighbours Benfica. Sporting ran out 3-2 winners and both Lisbon based teams are now on level points behind Porto. Sporting have yet to play Porto away.
With AZ Alkmaar winning 2-0 at Heracles it looks all over at the top. Ajax did their bit to maintain some sort of a challenge by beating FC Volendam in Amsterdam 2-1. Rotterdam's Feyenoord gained three valuable points by winning 2-0 at De Graafschap.
FC Twente Enschede continued their impressive season winning 2-1 at Sparta Rotterdam and going second. NEC won 2-0 at Utrecht, and PSV Eindhoven won 1-0 at Groningen.
AZ stay top, nine points ahead of Twente who are three ahead of Ajax. Bottom place is now taken by Volendam who are two behind De Graafschap.
It's very much a case of here we go again as far as Lyon are concerned. Their eighth consecutive championship is there to be taken following their 2-0 win at Nancy. Surprise challengers PSG were held to a 0-0 draw at Grenoble, and Marseille also lost ground drawing by the same score at home to Le Mans.
Bordeaux meanwhile drew 1-1 in an exciting game at St Etienne courtesy of a very late goal by Cavenaghi. Bordeaux have now failed to win in their last four games, hardly championship form. Lille beat Monaco, who had Alonso sent off, 2-1, Auxerre won 2-1 at Le Havre a result that all but condemns the home side to a quick return to Ligue 2. Rennes won 1-0 at Nice, and Toulouse were held 0-0 by struggling Valenciennes.
Thought Of The Week
If Celtic are about to introduce a 'B' side into the Third Division in Scotland they will only be following in the footsteps of the likes of Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have had a second string side competing in the lower leagues in Spain for many years.
I only hope that Lyon of France aren't allowed to do the same. The rest of the country needs to be given a chance. Then again, maybe Lyon are the only team capable of stopping themselves winning the title forever more.
Also it wouldn't necessarily work for Manchester United either. If they had a 'B' team who reached the Premier League then poor Sir Alex would have to play mind games with himself. After all he has seen off everyone else doing exactly that over the last few years.