Weekend of surprises and setbacks
Usual suspects Barcelona, Bayern Munich were Juventus back firing on all cylinders, while promoted clubs continued to blaze a trail in England and Germany. On a weekend packed with surprises and setbacks, the most stunning result of all came from Stamford Bridge, where Liverpool handed Chelsea a first home defeat in four-and-a-half years. FIFA.com reviews the latest developments in Europe's biggest leagues.
Premier League: Reds stun at the Bridge
Liverpool registered a valuable 1-0 away win to Chelsea to go clear at the top. Xabi Alonso scored the only goal after ten minutes at Stamford Bridge, handing the Blues their first home defeat in four-and-a-half years. The Spaniard beat goalkeeper Petr Cech with a shot which took a wicked deflection off defender Bosingwa on its way in.
Arsenal also won on their travels, an own-goal from Julien Faubert and an Emanuel Adebayor effort enough to down West Ham United. Champions Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Everton.
Top three: Liverpool (23 points), Chelsea, Hull City (both 20)
Bottom three: Stoke City (7), Newcastle United (6), Tottenham Hotspur (5)
Top scorers: Amr Zaki (7), Robinho, Jermain Defoe (both 6)
Weekend stat: 86 – the number of games in Chelsea’s astonishing unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge until Liverpool’s weekend triumph.
Serie A: Juve earn Turin bragging rights
Amauri’s goal separated the sides as Juventus shaded the Turin derby against Torino. The Brazilian struck on 48 minutes to end Juve’s four-game winless streak in the league.
Udinese beat last season’s Coppa Italia winners Roma 3-1 to go top of the standings ahead of Inter Milan, who were held to a goalless draw by Genoa. Ronaldinho failed to score, but fellow superstar Kaka netted the all-important winner as fast-improving AC Milan won 1-0 at Atlanta.
Top three: Udinese, Inter Milan, Napoli (all 17 points)
Bottom three: Chievo (6), Torino, Reggina (both 5)
Top scorers: Alberto Gilardino (7 goals), Mauro Zarate (6)
Weekend stat: 1 – Juventus forward Amauri earned his side a 1-0 win for the third time this term.
La Liga: Barça stroll, Real do enough
Barcelona won by five goals or more for the fourth time in little over a month. After 6-1 defeats of Sporting Gijon and Atletico Madrid, and a 5-0 UEFA Champions League reverse of Basel, Barca hit another five without reply against Almeria, completing their scoring after just 37 minutes. Meanwhile, champions Real Madrid edged Athletic Bilbao 3-2.
The meeting between Villareal and Atletico Madrid turned into a veritable goal-fest, with the sides eventually sharing the spoils following a 4-4 draw. The capital club were two up at the break, but the home side nosed in front with three goals in the first 13 minutes after the restart. Villareal netted again on 68 minutes and the game appeared over, but a late Atletico double salvaged them a deserved draw.
Top three: Valencia (20 points), Barcelona, Real Madrid (both 19)
Bottom three: Recreativo Huelva (6), Athletic Bilbao (5), Osasuna (4)
Top scorers: Samuel Eto'o, David Villa (both 9 goals), Gonzalo Higuain (5)
Weekend stat: 5 – In the meeting with Almeria, Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o fired the fifth hat-trick of his career.
Bundesliga: Bayern bounce back, but new boys roar to top
Bayern Munich staged a stunning second-half comeback to stave off a second home defeat of the campaign. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men were two down to Wolfsburg after barely half an hour, but Frank Ribery, Mark van Bommel, Tim Borowski and Bastian Schweinsteiger scored to earn the holders a 4-2 victory.
Promoted Hoffenheim continued to hit the headlines, beating previous leaders Hamburg 3-0 to leapfrog their opponents into top spot. Wins proved elusive for the other big names in German football. Werder Bremen were held 1-1 in Hanover, while Schalke were also forced to settle for 1-1 draw at home to Arminia Bielefeld.
Top three: Hoffenheim (19 points), Bayer Leverkusen (18), Hamburg (17)
Bottom three: Arminia Bielefeld (7), Borussia Monchengladbach (7), Energie Cottbus (5)
Top scorers: Vedad Ibisevic (10 goals), Patrick Helmes (8), Arthur Wichniarek (8)
Weekend stat: 10 - Leaders Hoffenheim have made the best start to a top flight season by a promoted club since Kaiserslautern in 1997/98, fully ten years ago. Kaiserslautern incredibly went on to seal the title that year.
Ligue 1: Marseille fail to capitalise
Marseille proved unable to profit from Lyon's recent run of indifferent form. Had they won on Sunday evening, the men from the south coast could have gone a point clear of the champions, but instead OM went down 4-2 at home to Paris Saint-Germain. Earlier in the weekend, Lyon were held to a goalless draw in Auxerre.
Basement side Sochaux avoided defeat, but again failed to register a first win of the campaign. The strugglers’ 1-1 draw in Nancy was their sixth stalemate in ten league games so far.
Top three: Lyon (21), Marseille (19 points), Le Mans (18)
Bottom three: Le Havre (8), Valenciennes (7), Sochaux (6)
Top scorers: Karim Benzema (6 goals), Steve Savidan, Loic Remy (both 5)
Weekend stat: 3 – Lyon are faltering with their winless run now at three matches, a 3-0 defeat preceding successive draws.
The big game in Denmark saw second-placed Copenhagen entertain leaders Odense. Neither side hit the target in a match which failed to live up to its billing. On double derby day in the Serbian SuperLiga, Crvena Zvezda beat OFK 5-1, while Cukaricki overcame Partizan Belgrade 1-0.