European Leagues review
Liverpool's 2-0 defeat of Manchester United and Nice's 4-1 win over Lyon were just some of the headline stories on a weekend that ended with a spectacular display from Barcelona, who were back to their best in a 6-1 reverse of Real Zaragoza. Also making the news were Inter Milan and Juventus, who both won in Serie A, while Schalke and Hamburg played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in Germany. FIFA.com brings you up to date with the developments in Europe's major leagues.
Premier League: Liverpool beat United, Chelsea go top
Goals from Fernando Torres and David N'Gog set Liverpool on the road to a much-needed win over north-west rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. That result helped Chelsea, emphatic 5-0 winners at home to Blackburn Rovers the day previous, move two points clear at the top. Arsenal climbed into third despite letting a two-goal lead slip at West Ham United.
A late goal from Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan allowed Stoke City to snatch three points at Tottenham Hotspur, while big-spending Manchester City were forced to share the spoils with Fulham after an entertaining 2-2 draw. Finally, Bolton Wanderers pulled clear of the drop zone when they edged a five-goal thriller with Everton, Croatian forward Ivan Klasnic hitting the winner late on.
Top three: Chelsea (24 pts), Manchester United (22), Arsenal (19)
Bottom three: Hull City (8), West Ham United (6), Portsmouth (4)
Leading scorers: Fernando Torres (9 goals), Darren Bent, Didier Drogba (8)
Weekend stat: 9 - The number of goals Stoke City have scored so far this season, a tally that has still been enough to take the Potters up to a healthy ninth place.
La Liga: Barcelona impress, Real falter
Under pressure after drawing their last league match and losing in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, Barcelona responded in style by hitting Real Zaragoza for six at Camp Nou. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Seydou Keita led the Catalan charge, scoring a brace and a hat-trick respectively. The defending champions are now three points clear of Real Madrid, who spluttered to a 0-0 draw at Sporting Gijon.
Despite conceding two penalties and having two men sent off, Mallorca earned the unlikeliest of 1-1 draws at crisis-stricken Atletico Madrid. Real Valladolid thwarted Deportivo La Coruna's hopes of climbing up to third with a thumping 4-0 home win, while Valencia moved into the top four after prevailing 3-0 at Almeria. Down at the bottom, goals from Nilmar and Joan Capdevila helped Villarreal see off Malaga and secure their maiden win of the season.
Top three: Barcelona (22 pts), Real Madrid (19), Sevilla (16)
Bottom three: Villarreal (6), Jerez (5), Malaga (4)
Leading scorers: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa (7 goals), Lionel Messi, Walter Pandiani (6)
Weekend stat: 8 - The number of games Villarreal had to wait before notching their first league win of the season, at home to bottom-placed Malaga.
Serie A: Contenders make no mistakes
The weeks may pass but the top of the table shows no sign of changing, with Inter Milan staying out front after early goals from Sulley Muntari and Wesley Sneijder gave them a 2-1 win over Catania. Their closest challengers kept the pressure on with respective wins, Sampdoria beating Bologna 4-1 and Juventus sneaking past Siena 1-0.
Fiorentina lost ground on the top three when they were stunned 1-0 at home by Napoli, while Roma went down by the same scoreline to lowly Livorno, who relegated Siena to bottom place. Elsewhere, two goals from Alessandro Nesta in the final ten minutes helped AC Milan to come from behind to beat Chievo and move into the top six.
Top three: Inter Milan (22 pts), Sampdoria (20), Juventus (18)
Bottom three: Bologna, Livorno (6), Siena (5)
Leading scorers: Antonio di Natale (9 goals), Giampaolo Pazzini, Francesco Totti (6)
Weekend stat: 10 - The shirt number worn by Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzini, which also appears on the protective face mask he now has to wear after breaking his nose against Lazio last week.
Bundesliga: As you were at the top
Bayer Leverkusen's 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Friday gave Hamburg the opportunity to move out front when they visited Schalke on Sunday. Two goals to the good at the interval, Bruno Labbadia's men let slip their advantage and had to settle for a 3-3 draw that left them second. Werder Bremen capitalised on the frontrunners' stumbles by closing to within a single point courtesy of a 4-1 romp at Bochum.
Arjen Robben and Daniel Van Buyten scored Bayern Munich's goals as they fought back to down Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at home. The Bavarians are now fifth, four points adrift of Leverkusen. Struggling Hertha Berlin picked up only their fourth point of the season in a goalless stalemate at home to Wolfsburg, and Stuttgart slid closer to the relegation zone after going down 1-0 at Hanover.
Top three: Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg (22 pts), Werder Bremen (21)
Bottom three: Bochum (8), Nuremberg (8), Hertha Berlin (4)
Leading scorers: Stefan Kiessling, Claudio Pizarro (6 goals)
Weekend stat: 39 - The number of seconds it took Stanislav Sestak to score Bochum's opener against Werder Bremen, the second-fastest Bundesliga goal this term. Sestak's quick finishing was not enough to prevent his side from going down to a heavy defeat, however.
Ligue 1: Lyon slide, swine flu hits Le Classique
Defeated at home by Sochaux last week, Lyon dropped down to third after crashing to 4-1 loss at Nice, with Bordeaux taking their place at the summit thanks to a 3-0 victory over Le Mans. Nene kept his goalscoring streak going with two goals in Monaco's 3-1 win at Boulogne, a result that takes Guy Lacombe's side up to second.
The big match of the weekend between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain was postponed after PSG players Jeremy Clement, Ludovic Giuly and Mamadou Sakho were all diagnosed with swine flu. Saint-Etienne were probably wishing their game against Valenciennes had suffered a similar fate, Les Verts going down 2-0 to move ever closer to the wrong end of the table. And Grenoble's miserable luck shows no sign of changing, the bottom club falling to their tenth straight defeat after conceding a late penalty to hand Nancy a 2-1 win.
Top three: Bordeaux (22 pts), Monaco (21), Lyon (20)
Bottom three: Le Mans, Lens (8), Grenoble (0)
Leading scorers: Nene (9 goals), Mamadou Niang (6)
Weekend stat: 1 - The cancellation of the match between OM and old rivals PSG represents a first in the French championship: never before has a Ligue 1 match been postponed for health reasons.
Rangers' 1-1 draw with Hibernian allowed Glasgow rivals Celtic to take over at the top in Scotland following a 2-1 win at Hamilton Academical. Shaun Maloney and Scott McDonald were the men on target for the Bhoys.
Rubin Kazan continue to rule the roost in Russia, doing just enough in the first half to secure a 2-1 win at Rostov. Spartak Moscow stayed within a point of the leaders thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Khimki, a result that also helped them pull away from third-placed Zenit, who drew 2-2 with Spartak Nalchik.