United and Barça maintain charge

Manchester United kept another clean sheet as they maintained their lead in England, with only Liverpool managing to keep pace over the weekend. Barcelona chalked up yet another win in Spain, while AC Milan rekindled their scudetto hopes. Hoffenheim returned from the Bundesliga break in fine fettle, extending their lead over Bayern Munich at the top, and Paris Saint-Germain climbed into the top three in France. FIFA.com reviews the latest developments from Europe.

Premier League: Torres topples Chelsea
Winless in the league since the start of the year, Liverpool picked up a timely three points by edging out title rivals Chelsea 2-0 on Sunday. Fernando Torres scored both goals for the Reds as they stayed within two points of Manchester United.

A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty gave the leaders a 1-0 win over Everton 24 hours earlier, their seventh straight league victory. Aston Villa and Arsenal were held to 0-0 home draws by Wigan Athletic and West Ham United respectively, and now find themselves five and ten points behind the defending champions.

Top three: Manchester United (53 pts), Liverpool (51), Chelsea (48)
Bottom three: Blackburn Rovers (23), Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion (22)
Top scorers: Nicolas Anelka (14 goals), Robinho, Cristiano Ronaldo (11)
Weekend stat: 1122 - The number of minutes Edwin van der Sar has gone without conceding a goal, a new English league record. In denying Everton on Saturday, the Manchester United keeper surpassed the previous best of 1103 minutes set by Reading's Steve Death in 1979.

La Liga: Nine straight for Barça
A Lionel Messi brace secured a ninth consecutive La Liga win for Barcelona, who came from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1. The Argentinian's winner was also the Catalans' 5,000th Spanish league goal.

The battle for the placings continues to rage behind them, with Real Madrid winning 2-0 at Numancia and Valencia seeing off Almeria 3-2. Sevilla and Villarreal both lost ground, going down 1-0 to Sporting Gijon and 3-0 to Deportivo respectively.

Top three: Barcelona (56 pts), Real Madrid (44), Sevilla (38)
Bottom three: Osasuna, Espanyol, Mallorca (17)
Top scorers: Samuel Eto'o (19 goals), David Villa (17), Lionel Messi (16)
Weekend stat: 307 - Raul scored his 307th league goal to pull level with the great Alfredo di Stefano as the highest scorer in Real Madrid's history.

Serie A: Inter held, Juve stunned
Juventus suffered a second defeat inside four days, losing 3-2 at home to Cagliari, who dented their hosts' title chances with a surprise second-half comeback.

Pacesetters Inter Milan failed to take full toll of their slip-up, however, after playing out a 1-1 draw at home to Torino. AC Milan moved second with a fine 3-0 win at Lazio, while Roma's recent spurt came to a halt at Reggina, who grabbed a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Top three: Inter (50 pts), AC Milan (44), Juventus (43)
Bottom three: Torino, Chievo (18), Reggina (15)
Top scorers: Marco di Vaio (15 goals), Diego Milito (14), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (13)
Weekend stat: 11 - That is how many years Lazio have gone since beating AC Milan at home in the league. Their last victory over i Rossoneri at the Stadio Olimpico was a 2-1 win on 8 February 1998.

Bundesliga: Hamburg upset Bayern
Urged on by a 57,000 capacity crowd, Hamburg pulled off something of a shock on Friday by snatching a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich. Mladen Petric capped a dominant first-half performance by the hosts by scoring the only goal of the game a minute before the interval. Although the Bavarians pressed hard after the break, Hamburg held out for a vital win.

Leaders Hoffenheim continued to amaze by beating Energie Cottbus 2-0, despite the absence of the prolific Vedad Ibisevic. The villagers are now two points clear of Hamburg and Hertha Berlin, who overcame Frankfurt 2-1, and three ahead of Jurgen Klinsmann's men.

Top three: Hoffenheim (38 pts), Hertha Berlin, Hamburg (36)
Bottom three: Karlsruhe, Energie Cottbus (13), Borussia Moenchengladbach (11)
Top scorers: Vedad Ibisevic (18 goals), Patrick Helmes (13), Grafite (12)
Weekend stat: 2 - This is only the second time that Bayern Munich have found themselves out of the top three after Matchday 18 since the 1995/96 season.

Ligue 1: Lyon treading water
Lyon and Saint-Etienne shared the spoils on Sunday, with the keenly-contested Rhone derby ending all square at 1-1. With second-placed Bordeaux drawing 2-2 with Lille earlier in the day, Les Gones maintained their one-point advantage at the summit.

Marseille's recent decline continued with a 1-0 loss at Sochaux, Mevlut Erding scoring the winner. That result allowed Paris Saint-Germain to move into third after they eased to a 2-0 win over Caen. Rennes and Toulouse played out an entertaining 0-0 draw and stand one point behind the Parisians.

Top three: Lyon (43 pts), Bordeaux (42), Paris Saint-Germain (39)
Bottom three: Sochaux (20), Valenciennes (19), Le Havre (12)
Top scorers: Andre-Pierre Gignac, Guillaume Hoarau (13 goals), Fernando Cavenaghi (12)
Weekend stat: 27 - The number of years Valenciennes have now gone since their last victory over Nice in Ligue 1; a 2-1 away win on 24 July 1981.

In the Eredivisie, Ajax suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Heerenveen and now lie nine points behind leaders AZ Alkmaar, who won 2-0 at Sparta Rotterdam.

Liga Sagres frontrunners Porto consolidated top spot with a 3-1 defeat of Belenenses, while Benfica downed Rio Ave 1-0 to stay a point behind. Sporting were held to a goalless draw by Trofense and stand two points further back.