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Muamba overshadows European football

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PARIS, France, March 19- European action took a back a seat when Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba collapsed to the ground in an FA Cup tie at Tottenham having suffered a cardiac arrest.

Muamba was left fighting for his life as a result.

In the Premier League, Manchester United extended their lead while Real Madrid saw their advantage cut to eight points in Spain.

ENGLAND

– Muamba was in a “critical condition” in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest, a joint statement issued by the club and the London Chest Hospital said.

The 23-year-old Kinshasa-born player was rushed to hospital after harrowing scenes towards the end of the first half of an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday, when the midfielder slumped to the turf with no player near him.

The game was abandoned.

In the other quarter-finals, Fernando Torres scored twice to end a goal drought of nearly five months as Chelsea beat Leicester 5-2, Liverpool beat Stoke 2-1 while Everton and Sunderland must replay after a 1-1 draw.

In the Premier League, champions Manchester United won 5-0 at 10-man Wolves to move four points clear of Manchester City.

Goals from Jonny Evans, Antonio Valencia, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez’s second-half double sent Wolves to the bottom of the table.

City can cut the gap by beating Chelsea on Wednesday.

SPAIN

– Real Madrid’s lead at the top of La Liga was cut to eight points on Sunday when a dramatic injury time goal from Santi Cazorla earned Malaga a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.

The home side had been heading for their 12th successive win following a Karim Benzema header after 35 minutes until a Cazorla free-kick flew into the corner in the 92nd minute.

The result left Real eight points clear of Barcelona after the defending champions had beaten Malaga 2-0 on Saturday, a victory that did nothing to force Barca coach Pep Guardiola to change his opinion that Madrid will still take the title.

ITALY

– AC Milan cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win at Parma to maintain their four-point lead over Juventus, who coasted to a 5-0 win at Fiorentina.

A penalty from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Urby Emanuelson’s stunning solo effort secured a win for the rossoneri that never looked in doubt and heaped the pressure on Juve in the late game.

But helped by Alessio Cerci’s first half dismissal, they cantered to victory with goals from Mirko Vucinic, Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Simone Padoin.

It was a crucial success for Juve and only their second win in eight games but with 10 games left, Milan appear to have hit their stride at just the right time.

GERMANY

– Dutch winger Arjen Robben hit a hat-trick as Bayern Munich hammered Hertha Berlin 6-0 but league leaders Borussia Dortmund beat Bremen 1-0 to stay five points clear.

Having hammered Hoffenheim 7-1 last Saturday in the Bundesliga, then demolished Basel 7-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals, Bayern have now scored 20 goals in their last three games.

Germany striker Mario Gomez, the league’s top-scorer with 22 goals in 25 games, netted a second-half penalty to leave him with eight goals from three games having hit four against Basel and three against Hoffenheim.

In total, the 26-year-old has scored 35 in all competitions.

FRANCE

– Relegation-threatened Dijon dented Marseille’s hopes of securing European football next season with a shock 2-1 win.

Leaders Paris Saint-Germain, pushing for their first league title since 1994, were spared similar ignominy when defender Christophe Jallet scored an injury-time equaliser to snatch a share of the points from a 2-2 draw at struggling Caen.

After second-placed Montpellier suffered a 1-0 defeat at Nancy, it meant Carlo Ancelotti’s side lead by two points.

NETHERLANDS

– Leaders Alkmaar were pegged back at the top after being held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened NAC Breda. Ajax beat Den Haag 2-0 to move to just a point behind in second place.

PORTUGAL

– Porto stayed a point ahead of Benfica with a 2-0 win at Nacional while Benfica eased past Beira Mar 3-1 with all of their goals coming in the first half.

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