It was a case of missed opportunities in Germany and Italy as FC Schalke 04 and AC Milan failed to capitalise on slip-ups from their respective league leaders, while Lionel Messi's breathtaking form for FC Barcelona continued. UEFA.com rounds up the weekend action.
FC Bayern München were leading 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in the closing stages on Saturday, heading for a 20th Bundesliga game without defeat. Two goals in the final three minutes turned the game on its head, earning the hosts a 2-1 victory, yet neither Schalke nor Bayer 04 Leverkusen could capitalise. The latter lost 3-0 at BV Borussia Dortmund and remain three points adrift; second-placed Schalke, who could have gone top with a win, drew 2-2 with Hamburger SV.
It was a similar story in Serie A, where FC Internazionale Milano's 1-1 draw with US Città di Palermo afforded Milan the chance to usurp their city rivals at the summit. The Rossoneri could only match Inter's result at home against SSC Napoli, meaning José Mourinho's charges continue to lead the way, albeit by a point. The biggest beneficiaries were AS Roma, who are four points off the pace in third after Mirko Vučinić's hat-trick inspired them to a 4-2 triumph over Udinese Calcio.
Having been displaced by ten-man Arsenal FC following the Gunners' 2-0 defeat of West Ham United FC, Manchester United FC regained control of the Premier League on Sunday courtesy of a 2-1 home victory against Liverpool FC. While that restored their two-point lead over the north Londoners, perhaps of greater significance was Chelsea FC's failure to win at Blackburn Rovers FC. The Blues ended a disappointing week with a 1-1 draw in Lancashire and are four points behind United with a game in hand.
AJ Auxerre enjoyed a brief spell at the Ligue 1 summit on Saturday night thanks to a 2-1 success against Le Mans UC 72, before FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Montpellier Hérault SC resumed their battle for supremacy 24 hours later. Bordeaux saw off fifth-placed LOSC Lille Métropole 3-1, while their closest rivals overcame Valenciennes FC 2-1. Laurent Blanc's side lead the way on goal difference, having played a game less. Olympique de Marseille are up to fourth, three points behind the top two after beating Olympique Lyonnais 2-1.
Goal difference continues to split Real Madrid CF and Barcelona atop the Liga after the pair both triumphed. Madrid stole a march by coming from behind to beat Real Sporting de Gijón 3-1 before the titleholders responded with a 4-2 victory at Real Zaragoza, Messi taking his tally to ten goals in his last four matches via a second successive league treble.
Rangers FC and SL Benfica prevailed in their respective League Cup finals, albeit in contrasting circumstances. The Eagles eased past FC Porto 3-0 in the Portuguese version while in Scotland, Rangers made light of red cards for Kevin Thomson and Danny Wilson against Saint Mirren FC by scoring the only goal through Kenny Miller late on.
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