There was a mixed bag of results for the leaders across Europe at the weekend, as Chelsea, Lazio and Brest all lost but managed to stay in the driving seat in England, Italy and France respectively. By contrast, on-fire Borussia Dortmund opened up a gap at the top in Germany and Real Madrid retained first place in Spain with victory in the capital derby. FIFA.com reflects on the latest developments.
Premier League: Last-gasp United close on Chelsea
Leaders Chelsea remain top despite a 2-0 defeat by a resurgent Liverpool, who jumped to ninth thanks to a Fernando Torres brace at Anfield. Arsenal also lost when newly-promoted Newcastle United won 1-0 at the Emirates to go an impressive fifth.
Manchester United, the only unbeaten side, took second place off the Gunners thanks to Park Ji-Sung's stoppage-time winner against relegation-threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Manchester City climbed to fourth, level on points with Arsenal, following a 2-0 win away to West Bromwich Albion. Elsewhere, Bolton Wanderers beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 and replaced their opponents in sixth.
Top three: Chelsea (25 points), Manchester United (23), Arsenal (20)
Bottom three: Wigan Athletic (10 points), Wolverhampton Wanderers (9), West Ham United (7)
Leading scorers: Florent Malouda, Kevin Nolan, Carlos Tevez (all 7 goals)
Weekend stat: 2 – A Fernando Torres brace for Liverpool sealed Chelsea’s second defeat of the campaign.
La Liga: Real and Barça win in capital
Real Madrid saw off cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid 2-0 to successfully retain pole position. Barcelona were also in the Spanish capital at the weekend, winning 3-1 at mid-table Getafe to remain hot on Los Merengues' heels. Villarreal cemented their grip on third with a convincing 4-1 victory over tenth-placed Athletic Bilbao.
Fourth-placed Espanyol beat bottom club Malaga 1-0, and Real Sociedad bolstered their claims for European football next term with victory over Racing Santander by the same score. In tonight’s game, ninth play fifth when Sevilla take on Valencia.
Top three: Real Madrid (26 points), Barcelona (25), Villarreal (23)
Bottom three: Levante (8 points), Zaragoza, Malaga (both 7)
Leading scorers: Cristiano Ronaldo (11 goals), Lionel Messi (8), Fernando Llorente, Giuseppe Rossi (both 7)
Weekend stat: 1 – Real Zaragoza beat Mallorca 3-2 to win for the first time this season. It was close, though, with Gabi netting a stoppage-time penalty to snatch three points.
Serie A: Lazio lose derby, Milan make ground
Pacesetters Lazio lost for only the second time this term in Round 10. It was a doubly painful reverse, however, as it came at the hands of arch-rivals Roma, who won 2-0 to go seventh. AC Milan are now breathing down Lazio’s necks after a tight 3-2 win at rock-bottom Bari.
Inter Milan failed to make up ground following a surprise 1-1 home draw with 17th-placed Brescia. Fourth-placed Juventus seized the opportunity and moved to within a point of last season's treble winners after beating lowly Cesena 3-1. Napoli overcame Parma 2-0 and remain level on points with Juve.
Top three: Lazio (22 points), AC Milan (20), Inter (19)
Bottom three: Parma, Cesena, Bari (all 8 points)
Leading scorers: Edinson Cavani, Samuel Eto'o (both 8 goals), Marco di Vaio (6)
Weekend stat: 4 – Roma are unbeaten in their last four Serie A fixtures, which have yielded ten points.
Ligue 1: Rivals fail to profit as Brest stumble
In the jostle for positions at the top, Lille moved up to fifth with a 3-1 win over leaders Brest. On the fringes of the leading group, Toulouse and Montpellier, in seventh and eighth, lost ground with 2-0 defeats by Nice and Lens respectively. Reigning champions Marseille could have gone top, but remain fourth after a 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain, who leapfrogged OM into third.
Bordeaux and Lyon, the dominant pair of recent years, seem consigned to mid-table mediocrity at present. Les Girondins drew 1-1 with Valenciennes, with Les Gones also held 1-1 by high-flying Rennes. Sixth-placed Saint-Etienne suffered a setback in a 2-1 home upset by Lorient.
Top three: Brest (21 points), Rennes (20), Paris Saint-Germain (19)
Bottom three: Monaco, Lens (both 13 points), Arles-Avignon (5)
Leading scorers: Youssef El-Arabi, Dimitri Payet (both 8 goals)
Weekend stat: 1 – Fully 12 games into the campaign, Arles-Avignon registered a first win of the season. The tailenders beat fellow newly-promoted strugglers Caen 3-2.
Bundesliga: Free-scoring Dortmund march on
Borussia Dortmund made it a remarkable six away wins out of six so far this term with a 4-0 success against Hannover. BVB are now four points clear of second-placed Mainz, who were beaten 1-0 in Freiburg. Bayer Leverkusen moved up to third with a 3-1 win at home to promoted Kaiserslautern.
Team of the moment Eintracht Frankfurt have amassed 16 points from their last six matches, and are up to fourth courtesy of a 3-1 home reverse of misfiring Wolfsburg. Hoffenheim lost ground in fifth with a 2-1 defeat by Hamburg, and Bayern Munich were left treading water in ninth after sharing the spoils with bottom club Borussia Monchengladbach in a six-goal thriller. Stuttgart continued to accelerate out of trouble with a 6-0 victory over troubled Werder Bremen.
Top three: Borussia Dortmund (28 points), Mainz (24 points), Bayer Leverkusen (21)
Bottom three: Schalke (9 points), Cologne (8), Borussia Monchengladbach (7)
Leading scorers: Theofanis Gekas (11 goals), Papiss Cisse (9), Edin Dzeko (7)
Weekend stat: 1 – Eleven games into the season, expensively-assembled Schalke finally won at home. Raul, twice, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar netted in a 3-0 win over St. Pauli.
Trabzonspor are the new leaders in Turkey after beating ninth-placed Galatasaray 2-0 and overtaking Bursaspor, who were held 2-2 by Antalyaspor. Fenerbahce are the best of the Istanbul clubs, in fourth thanks to a 4-2 victory over mid-table Eskisehispor.
In Russia, leaders Zenit opened up a nine-point gap over closest rivals CSKA Moscow with a 5-2 win away to bottom side Sibir Novosibirsk. Monday’s game pits third against fourth when Rubin Kazan entertain Spartak Moscow.