The start of the Algarve and Cyprus Cups have done little to distract the leading teams in Germany, Italy and Spain, who were all able to consolidate their positions at the top of their respective leagues going into the two-week international break. In France, meanwhile, Lyon cruised into the semi-finals of the domestic cup with victory over Guingamp.
Germany: Little to choose between trio
Bayern Munich men's team may have established eight and 18-point leads over their two closest pursuers in the league, but there are no fewer than four sides jostling for position at the top of the women's Bundesliga. VfL Wolfsburg strolled to a 7-0 success over MSV Duisburg on Friday, before Bayern, FFC Frankfurt and Turbine Potsdam all recorded victories two days later to keep the pressure on the league leaders from Lower Saxony.
Goals from Melanie Behringer and Dutch prodigy Vivianne Miedema earned second-place Bayern a 2-0 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen, while Frankfurt secured a convincing 4-1 victory against FF USV Jena 4-1. Jessica Fishlock, Peggy Kuznik, Kerstin Garefrekes and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic were all on target for Frankfurt, with Julia Arnold grabbing a consolation for Jena. The Hessen-based club remain locked on 37 points with Potsdam, who beat TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-1. Tabea Kemme and Lisa Evans (2) got their names on the scoresheet for die Torbienen, while Kristin Demann netted Hoffenheim's only goal of the contest. At the other end of the spectrum, SC Sand, MSV Duisburg and Herforder SV remain in deep trouble at the foot of the table after all three slumped to defeats on Matchday 16.
Top three: VfL Wolfsburg (42 points), FC Bayern Munich (40), FFC Frankfurt (37)
France: Lyon breeze into cup semi-final
Lyon followed up their 4-0 win over title rivals Paris Saint-Germain last time out with another comprehensive victory in the last eight of the French Cup. Gerard Precheur's star-studded side cruised to a 6-0 success over Guingamp, who had knocked out PSG in the previous round of the competition.
Amandine Henry, Lara Dickenmann, Eugenie Le Sommer, Ada Hegerberg and Mylaine Tarrieu all scored for Lyon, with Guingamp's Charlene Gorce also putting through her own net to complete a resounding win. Lyon will now face FC Rouen in the last four of the competition after the northern club scraped past Vendenheim on penalties, while AS Saint-Etienne and Montpellier HSC meet in the other semi-final after beating Rodez and FCF Juvisy respectively.
Italy/Spain: Front-runners ease to victories
The situation at the top of the women's Serie A remains unchanged, with all three teams at the division's summit recording victories over the weekend. Verona consolidated their position at the top with a comprehensive 6-0 win over ASD Cuneo Calcio, but ACF Brescia remain hot on their heels after beating Bari 3-0. Having played a game less than the league leaders, Brescia will fancy their chances of overhauling Verona at the top of the table in the coming weeks. ASD Mozzanica remain eight points adrift in third, despite their 4-0 success over Pordenone.
Top three: Verona (46), ACF Brescia (44), ASD Mozzanica (38)
There was no change either at the top of the Primera Division, where FC Barcelona continue to lead the way ahead of Atletico Madrid and FC Valencia. The Catalans romped to a 7-0 win over Sporting de Huelva on Matchday 21, while Atletico and Valencia both recorded narrow 1-0 victories against Santa Teresa and Real Sociedad respectively.
Top three: FC Barcelona (57), Atletico Madrid (48), FC Valencia (47)
Belgium/Netherlands: Ajax close in
With Standard Liege not in action until 20 March, Ajax Amsterdam were able to close the gap on the Belgian side at the top of the BeNe League with a comfortable win over OH Leuven. Desiree van Lunteren (2) and Anouk Hoogendijk were on target for the Dutch outfit in a 3-0 victory, while Twente remain in third after beating WD Lierse SK 3-0.
Top three: Standard Liege (46), Ajax Amsterdam (43), FC Twente (38)
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day
World Weightlifting Championships