Mixed weekend for pacesetters
© AFP

While Chelsea and Valencia sauntered to big wins over Middlesbrough and Numancia respectively, their fellow frontrunners in Europe's other major championships did not fare quite so well. Lazio relinquished top spot in Italy after losing 3-1 to Bologna, German leaders Hamburg were held to a 1-1 draw by Schalke 04, and Lyon had to share the points at home to French rivals Lille.

FIFA.com rounds up all the latest domestic news from the continent's top leagues and beyond.

Premier League: No let-up from Chelsea
Leaders Chelsea shrugged off their continuing injury problems by putting five past Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, leaving many to ponder what sort of damage the Londoners might inflict when they get back to full strength.

Manchester United hauled themselves further up the table after turning in a fine second-half performance to see off West Bromwich Albion 4-0, Wayne Rooney leading the way with another world-class showing. Arsenal and Liverpool made slow starts before overcoming Everton 3-1 and Wigan 3-2 respectively, and Hull City are still trading blows with the big boys after edging out West Ham 1-0 on Sunday.

Top three: Chelsea, Liverpool (20 pts), Hull City (17)
Bottom three: Stoke City (7), Newcastle United (5), Tottenham Hotspur (2)
Top scorers: Amr Zaki (7 goals), Jermain Defoe (6), Fernando Torres, (5)

Weekend stat: 17 - The number of points new boys Hull City have accrued from eight games, the second-best ever start by a newly promoted side in the English top flight. The only team to have outdone them are Sheffield United, who racked up the equivalent of 21 points way back in 1893/94, some 115 seasons ago.

La Liga: Sparks fly in Madrid
The Madrid derby is no place for the faint-hearted and Saturday's coming-together at the Vicente Calderon proved a typically intense affair. Real got the better of Atletico yet again after taking an early lead, conceding a late equaliser and scoring an even later winner. Gonzalo Higuain was the man who gave them the three points, stroking home from the spot deep into injury time.

Villarreal's 0-0 draw at Espanyol on Saturday allowed a resurgent Valencia to move into the lead on their own with a 4-0 rout of Numancia, two of the goals coming from the inevitable David Villa. Barcelona stayed in touch courtesy of a solitary Samuel Eto'o goal at Athletic Bilbao.

Top three: Valencia (19 pts), Sevilla, Villarreal (17)
Bottom three: Recreativo Huelva (5), Osasuna, Numancia (4)
Top scorers: David Villa (8 goals), Samuel Eto'o (6), Alvaro Negredo (5)

Weekend stat: 1998/99 - That was the last time Atletico Madrid beat city rivals Real at home. The Merengues have won six times and drawn twice at the Vicente Calderon since then.

Serie A: Inter stamp their authority
Italy's most eagerly awaited clash of the weekend took place at the Stadio Olimpico. Home side Roma were no match for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his cohorts, however, the Swede striking twice as Jose Mourinho's men strolled to a 4-0 victory that puts them back on top of the table. The reverse leaves the Giallorossi teetering above the drop zone.

Chasing Inter are the unlikely trio of Udinese, Catania and Napoli. The Neapolitans brought back memories of their glory days by momentarily leading the championship after disposing of Juventus 2-1 on Saturday.

AC Milan were in no mood to mess around against Sampdoria. Ronaldinho scored twice and Filippo Inzaghi was also on target as they ruthlessly exposed the shortcomings of the Samp defence. And Fiorentina maintained their challenge thanks to two more goals from Alberto Gilardino in their 3-0 win against Reggina.

Top three: Inter Milan (16 pts), Udinese, Catania (14)
Bottom three: Sampdoria, Cagliari (4), Reggina (2)
Top scorers: Mauro Zarate, Alberto Gilardino (6 goals), Fabrizio Miccoli (5)

Weekend stat: 8 - The number of goals Roma have conceded in their last two league encounters against Inter Milan at home, the Nerazzurri winning 4-1 at the Olimpico last season and surging to another big win on Sunday.

Bundesliga: Bayern breathe easy again
Miroslav Klose came to Bayern Munich's rescue in the closing stages at Karlsruhe. The Bavarians looked to be heading for another unsatisfactory point until the international striker intervened in the 86th minute to give them a much-needed triumph.

The top-of-the-table clash between Hamburg and Schalke 04 ended in a 1-1 draw, a result that allowed the home side to stay top, one point clear of Bundesliga debutants Hoffenheim, who thrashed Hanover 5-2 to keep their mesmerising start to the season going. Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Cologne all won to stay in touch, Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller and VfB Stuttgart went down to Hertha Berlin.

Top three: Hamburg (17 pts), Hoffenheim (16), Bayer Leverkusen (15)
Bottom three: Energie Cottbus (5), Borussia Moenchengladbach (4), Eintracht Frankfurt (3)
Top scorers: Vedad Ibisevic (9 goals), Patrick Helmes (8), Arthur Wichniarek (6)

Weekend stat: 9 - That is how many goals Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic has struck in eight games so far this season, a mightily impressive average of 1.12 goals per match.

Ligue 1: Lyon held in check
The French championship has sprung back to life in the last two weeks. Just when it looked as if Olympique Lyon might walk away with the title again, the seven-time champions drew at the weekend and now find Marseille, Le Mans, Bordeaux and Toulouse breathing down their necks.

Marseille moved second again after maintaining their fine form with a 3-1 defeat of Valenciennes, while Le Mans continued their eyebrow-raising start by downing Nancy 2-0 to move into third. The in-form Yoann Gourcuff scored as Bordeaux ran out 2-1 winners in the Garonne derby against Toulouse. Laurent Blanc's side now lie fourth.

Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain were relieved to get the better of their bogey team Lorient, the Parisians coming from behind twice to win 3-2.

Top three: Olympique Lyon (20 pts), Marseille (19), Le Mans (17)
Bottom three: Lorient (6), Sochaux, Le Havre (5)
Top scorers: Karim Benzema (6 goals), Andre-Pierre Gignac (5), Thorstein Helstad (4)

Weekend stat: 22 - The number of goals scored in the five Ligue 1 meetings between PSG and Lorient at the Parc des Princes, an average of 4.4 goals per game.

Elsewhere
Ajax brought surprise Eredivisie leaders Groningen down to earth in the Netherlands with a 1-0 win. The new leaders are NAC Breda, who stunned PSV Eindhoven 2-1.

Trabzonspor lost their lead at the top in Turkey when they fell to a 3-0 defeat away to Galatasaray. Replacing them at the summit are Besiktas, who beat Genclerbirligi 3-1.