S.S. Lazio and Levante UD shared the plaudits on Sunday, with the Serie A side seizing the Rome derby spoils in added time and lowly Levante keeping pace with FC Barcelona in Spain, but the weekend also produced impressive wins for table-topping trio Manchester City FC, FC Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain FC.
Levante continued their fairy-tale start to the Liga season with a 3-0 defeat of Málaga CF that kept them level on points with leaders Barcelona. The Valencia-based outfit have now won five consecutive games and trail Barça on goal difference alone, the champions having seen off Real Racing Club 3-0 on Saturday as Lionel Messi fired his 195th goal for the club to move second on their all-time scorers' list. "He's the best player in the world and he always helps us to improve," said Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés. A point behind in third, Real Madrid CF swept aside Real Betis Balompié 4-1 courtesy of another Gonzalo Higuaín hat-trick, while Valencia CF drew 1-1 at RCD Mallorca.
Lazio ended a run of five consecutive defeats in the Rome derby as they came from behind to defeat AS Roma 2-1 courtesy of a Miroslav Klose goal in added time. The win moved Lazio a point behind league leaders Juventus and Udinese Calcio, who both played out goalless draws. Brazilian midfielder Hernanes converted a penalty to draw Lazio level and said afterwards: "It feels like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders. It was a deserved victory. We tried to achieve it in every possible way, but Klose's cool head made sure the ball went in the net." Meanwhile, there were contrasting fortunes for the two Milan sides, FC Internazionale Milano losing 2-1 at Calcio Catania, and AC Milan defeating US Città di Palermo 3-0 with goals from Antonio Nocerino, Robinho and Antonio Cassano.
Manchester United FC surrendered top spot in the Premier League following a 1-1 draw at Liverpool FC, Javier Hernández cancelling out Steven Gerrard's opener for the hosts to leave United manager Sir Alex Ferguson pleased with a point. "When you're 1-0 down with 15 minutes to go you can't be confident [of equalising], but we've got the players who can do that," he said. Neighbours Manchester City nonetheless took advantage to go first with a 4-1 triumph against Aston Villa FC, while Chelsea FC's fine form continued with a 3-1 home success against Everton FC. Tottenham Hotspur FC twice relinquished the lead to share the points with Newcastle United FC, and their north London rivals Arsenal FC returned to winning ways after Robin van Persie's double inspired a much-needed 2-1 win against Sunderland AFC.
Bayern extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to five points with a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Hertha BSC Berlin as Franck Ribéry and Bastian Schweinsteiger complemented Mario Gomez's double. Second-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach were denied maximum points by André Schürrle's 87th-minute equaliser for fellow challengers Bayer 04 Leverkusen, while Borussia Dortmund consigned SV Werder Bremen to a second consecutive defeat, triumphing 2-0. Ten-man FC Schalke 04 lost further ground after suffering their fourth reverse of the season at home to 1. FC Kaiserslautern and VfB Stuttgart were 2-0 victors against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
PSG continue to lead the way in Ligue 1 courtesy of a Kevin Gameiro hat-trick in their 3-1 success at promoted AC Ajaccio. "My goals tonight were reminiscent of [Filippo] Inzaghi and I'm not used to that," said the French international. "The most important thing is that we won and we want to continue like this to stay top as long as possible." Three points off the pace, Montpellier Hérault SC and Olympique Lyonnais also emerged victorious, Montpellier fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Dijon FCO 5-3 and Lyon handling AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-1. As for champions LOSC Lille Métropole, they climbed to fourth via a 3-1 comeback triumph at AJ Auxerre.
Czech league leaders AC Sparta Praha were brought down to earth on Saturday after suffering a 3-0 home loss to FC Slovan Liberec as they sought a tenth consecutive victory, but despite the loss they boast an eight-point cushion. AZ Alkmaar still lead the way in the Netherlands, meanwhile, following their 2-2 draw with AFC Ajax, with PSV Eindhoven two points back. There was drama in Scotland as Celtic FC battled back from 3-0 down at Kilmarnock FC to seal a 3-3 stalemate, though they trail Rangers FC – who drew 1-1 with Saint Mirren FC – by seven points. Russian Premier League pacesetters FC Zenit St Petersburg were also held, 0-0 by FC Dinamo Moskva, but second-placed PFC CSKA Moskva were unable to profit as they played out a 2-2 scoreline with FC Terek Grozny.
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