Four of Europe's five leading championships got straight back down to action on Tuesday and Wednesday, with another instalment in the battles at both ends of the table. Ligue 1 leaders Lyon used the opportunity to return to winning ways at Sochaux, while Hoffenheim continued their blistering start in Germany, AC Milan emerged as genuine Serie A title contenders and Chelsea bounced back at Hull City. FIFA.com brings you the major talking points from the continent's midweek games.
Ligue 1: Lyon assert superiority
Bordeaux kicked things off in France on Tuesday by carving out a comfortable 4-0 success over Le Havre, a result that took them top of the pile and put the pressure on their fellow high-flyers the following night.
Without a win in three Ligue 1 outings, Lyon responded to their rivals with a 2-0 triumph at Sochaux, courtesy of prolific marksman Karim Benzema and summer signing Cesar Delgado. That took Claude Puel's men three points clear of Bordeaux and third-placed Toulouse, who grabbed a 1-0 victory away against an uninspired Paris Saint-Germain side.
Marseille found themselves chasing the game in the second half of their encounter at Nantes and they finally earned a 1-1 stalemate through Bakari Kone with 12 minutes remaining. Elsewhere, Le Mans were undone 2-0 on home turf by an enterprising Auxerre.
Top three: Lyon (24 pts), Bordeaux, Toulouse (21)
Bottom three: Valenciennes, Le Havre (8), Sochaux (6)
Top scorers: Karim Benzema (7 goals), Fernando Cavenaghi, Steve Savidan (6)
Midweek stat: 450 minutes - The length of time Rennes have gone without a goal on their travels this term, the Brittany side having drawn four times and lost once.
Premier League: Chelsea back on track
It took Chelsea just three days to digest their defeat to title adversaries Liverpool on Sunday, the Blues easing to a 3-0 win at third-placed Hull after the hosts were hit by Frank Lampard's third-minute opener. For their part, leaders Liverpool recorded a slender 1-0 victory over Portsmouth thanks to a Steven Gerrard penalty.
Manchester United emerged 2-0 winners against West Ham United, meanwhile, with Cristiano Ronaldo in superb form and firing both goals. The real excitement was at the Emirates Stadium, however, where new Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp took a hard-fought point from his first north London derby. Leading 4-2 with a minute to go, Arsenal seemingly had the match sewn up before allowing their local foes to draw level in a thrilling denouement.
Top three: Liverpool (26 pts), Chelsea (23), Arsenal (20)
Bottom three: Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers (8), Tottenham (6)
Top scorers: Amr Zaki (7 goals), Robinho, Gabriel Agbonlahor (6)
Midweek stat: 8 - the number of goals registered in the match between Arsenal and Tottenham. The two sides matched the record for the most goals scored in an English Premier League draw.
Bundesliga: Hoffenheim keep winning
Under the spotlight after Bayer Leverkusen triumphed 2-0 at Werder Bremen to go top a day earlier, Hoffenheim passed yet another test by returning to the summit on Wednesday. The top-flight newcomers trailed 1-0 at Bochum after 45 minutes but hit three unanswered efforts after the restart to prevail.
In the day's highest-profile encounter, Hamburg got the better of visitors Stuttgart, crafting a stylish 2-0 success, while Miroslav Klose and Franck Ribery were both on target as Bayern Munich came back from behind to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1. That result leaves Jurgen Klinsmann's side four points behind the leaders.
Top three: Hoffenheim (22 pts), Leverkusen (21), Hamburg (20)
Bottom three: Bochum, Borussia Monchengladbach (7), Energie Cottbus (5)
Top scorers: Vedad Ibisevic (11 goals), Patrick Helmes (8), Arthur Wichniarek (7)
Midweek stat: 43,192 - The average attendance in Bundesliga stadiums in midweek. Germany's top tier attracts the biggest crowds on the continent, boasting around 10,000 supporters more per game than the Premier League.
Serie A: AC Milan move into position
Jose Mourinho had demanded a reaction from his players but he failed to get one as Inter recorded their second goalless draw in three days at Fiorentina. That slip played right into the hands of Napoli and Udinese, who pounced to surge two points clear at the top.
In Udinese's case, that meant a straightforward 2-0 triumph at Catania, making light work of the home side's supposedly steadfast defence. Napoli had life even easier, meanwhile, building a two-goal lead over visitors Reggina in the opening 15 minutes, before German Denis added his and their third shortly after the hour mark.
AC Milan enjoyed the evening's events too, jumping ahead of their city rivals into third spot after seeing off Siena 2-1. Elsewhere, Pavel Nedved struck twice to give Juventus a 2-1 win at Bologna that keeps the Turin outfit within five points of the frontrunners.
Top three: Udinese, Napoli (20 pts), Milan (19)
Bottom three: Bologna, Chievo (6), Reggina (5)
Top scorers: Alberto Gilardino (7 goals), Mauro Zarate (6), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (5)
Midweek stat: 1.87 - The number of goals conceded per match by Roma. Having shipped 15 in eight games, Philippe Mexes and Co make up the second weakest rearguard in Serie A, behind Reggina's.
The eighth round of matches in the Eredivisie increased the tension in the upper reaches, with pre-match leaders Groningen held to a draw while second-placed NAC Breda succumbed to FC Twente, who climbed into third. AZ Alkmaar now lead the way after overcoming Roda JC.
Ajax and PSV Eindhoven remain in touch after winning their respective fixtures, the capital side defeating Heracles Almelo 3-1 and PSV winning 2-0 at ADO Den Haag. Lastly, the Rotterdam derby ended in a 2-1 victory for Sparta over Feyenoord.