Frontrunners keep their grip

The weekend ahead of the latest international break produced more than its fair share of surprises, the biggest arguably a first defeat of the season for French champions Lyon. Elsewhere, it was a disappointing round for Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Juventus, all of whom failed to win. reviews the latest action from Europe’s biggest leagues.

Premier League: Blues and Reds set the pace
Three of the 'big four' won at the weekend, but Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland, where they came within a whisker of a second defeat on the bounce. Cesc Fabregas netted a rare headed goal in the last minute to spare the Gunners' blushes.

Chelsea and Manchester United chalked up comfortable 2-0 victories over Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers respectively. The Blues remain top but only on goal difference from Liverpool, who came back from two down to win 3-2 at Manchester City. Fernando Torres levelled things up with a brace, before Dirk Kuyt netted the Reds' last-gasp winner.

Top three: Chelsea, Liverpool (both 17 points), Hull City (14)
Bottom three: Newcastle United (5 points), Stoke City (4), Tottenham Hotspur (2)
Leading scorers: Jermain Defoe (6 goals), Fernando Torres, Amr Zaki (both 5)
Weekend stat: At the age of just 22, Wayne Rooney became the youngest-ever player to pass the milestone of 200 Premier League appearances.

La Liga: Mixed fortunes in double-header
Madrid took on Barcelona in two separate fixtures this weekend. In the first, Barcelona overwhelmed Atletico Madrid 6-1, Lionel Messi turning in another stunning display for the Catalan giants. The second match pitted champions Real Madrid against Espanyol. The visitors led and looked set to make off with the points, before Raul struck to earn Real a 2-2 draw.

At the top of the standings, Valencia scored the only goal at Valladolid and Villareal defeated Betis 2-1 to stay level on points. Barcelona moved up to fourth, with Real Madrid directly behind them.

Top three: Valencia, Villareal (both 16 points), Sevilla (14)
Bottom three: Recreativo Huelva (4), Sporting Gijon (3), Real Betis (2)
Leading scorers: David Villa (6), Alvaro Negredo, Samuel Eto'o (both 5)
Weekend stat: Just six matches into the campaign, Barcelona struck six goals in a match for the second time this term

Bundesliga: Bayern woes continue, Hamburg stay top
Unease and misgiving erupted into a full-blown crisis at Bayern this weekend. Following defeats by Werder Bremen and Hanover, Jurgen Klinsmann’s side led 3-1 at home to Bochum with just seven minutes left, but somehow conceded twice to seize only a point. The double winners lie a lowly 11th in the table.

Last season’s runners-up, Werder Bremen, lost 4-1 at Stuttgart, but stoppage-time goals saved the day for Schalke and leaders Hamburg. Mladen Petric struck the last-gasp winner as the latter overcame Energie Cottbus 2-1 away, a result which sent them three points clear at the top. In Gelsenkirchen, Kevin Kuranyi completed his double from the last move of the match to salvage Schalke a 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg.

Top three: Hamburg (16 points), Hoffenheim, Stuttgart (both 13)
Bottom three: Energie Cottbus (5 points), Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Monchengladbach (both 3)
Leading scorers: Vedad Ibisevic, Patrick Helmes (both 7), Arthur Wichniarek (6)
Weekend stat: Dutchman Jos Luhukay from bottom club Borussia Monchengladbach became the first coaching casualty of the season on Sunday.

Ligue 1: Lyon suffer first defeat
Eight games into the campaign, holders Lyon suffered a first defeat, 3-0 at Rennes. Mickael Pagis was the star of the show, scoring all his side's goals.

The pursuing pack took advantage of the leaders’ loss. Toulouse beat Auxerre 1-0 to move to within two points of Lyon, with Marseille just a point further back following a 2-1 win over Caen.

Top three: Lyon (19 points), Toulouse (17), Marseille (16)
Bottom three: Lorient (6 points), Sochaux, Le Havre (both 4)
Leading scorers: Karim Benzema (6), Andre-Pierre Gignac (5), Thorstein Helstad (4)
Weekend stat: Before losing in Rennes, Lyon had gone a total of 13 league matches undefeated.

Serie A: Trio level at the summit
Inter put last weekend’s 1-0 defeat in the Milan derby firmly behind them with a 2-1 win at home to Bologna, their fourth victory in six matches. Jose Mourinho’s men duly climbed to third, level on points with leaders Lazio, who were held 1-1 by promoted Lecce, and Udinese, 2-0 winners at home to Torino.

By contrast, Juventus are languishing in 11th after their first defeat of the season, a 2-1 reverse at home to Palermo. AC Milan are just three places ahead of Juve following a goalless draw at tailenders Cagliari. The strugglers picked up a first point of term, while Carlo Ancelotti's team missed out on going fourth.

Top three: Lazio, Udinese, Inter (all 13 points)
Bottom three: Bologna (three), Reggina (2), Cagliari (1)
Leading scorers: Mauro Zarate (6), Diego Milito, Fabrizio Miccoli (both 5)
Weekend stat: Inter Milan striker Adriano scored against Bologna 350 days after his last goal for the club. The 26-year-old’s previous Serie A goal came on 20 October 2007 against Reggina.

On Matchday 6 in Turkey, champions Galatasaray suffered a setback. Michael Skibbe’s team, third before kick-off, fell 2-1 to second-placed Bursaspor.

Porto won the big game in the Portuguese Liga, beating Sporting 2-1 in Lisbon to go top.

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