It was a weekend of humbling results for some of Europe's biggest names with Manchester City FC recording an incredible 6-1 win away against city rivals Manchester United FC and sensational surprise package Levante UD climbing to the top of the pile in Spain. Udinese Calcio are top in Italy, meanwhile, and Hannover 96 handed FC Bayern München a rare defeat in the Bundesliga. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Mario Balotelli and Edin Džeko each scored twice to help Manchester City move five points clear at the top of the Premier League as they inflicted an emphatic 6-1 win on neighbours Manchester United. "United are still one yard above us and we can only change this if we win the title," said City manager Roberto Mancini. "After that it might be different but until then United are better than us." Despite the heavy loss the Red Devils remain second, after third-placed Chelsea FC, who were reduced to nine men, lost 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers FC. There were also wins for Newcastle United FC, Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Levante's incredible season just got better on Sunday as they recorded a 3-0 win at Villarreal CF to move a point clear at the summit, Juanlu Gómez registering twice in their sixth consecutive victory. Real Madrid CF now lie second after they dispatched Málaga CF 4-0, Cristiano Ronaldo hitting another hat-trick to take his tally for the season to ten. Madrid coach José Mourinho said: "We gave a fantastic performance in the first-half. I liked my team in every aspect of the game and we scored all sorts of goals." FC Barcelona had shared the lead with Levante before the weekend but were unable to break through Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou, Lionel Messi missing a penalty in a 0-0 draw.
Kevin-Prince Boateng notched a treble to help AC Milan come from 3-0 down to win 4-3 at US Lecce. The victory lifted the Rossoneri up to seventh, four points adrift of Udinese at the head of the class following their 3-0 triumph at home to Novara Calcio. "I'm very happy with the result and our position in the table," said Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. "We had a good game, deserved to win and being top is great. We can do well if we continue as we are, with the same attitude and work rate." FC Internazionale Milano's revival under Claudio Ranieri continued courtesy of Thiago Motta's headed winner against AC Chievo Verona, while S.S. Lazio beat Bologna FC 2-0 to go second and there were also wins for Atalanta BC, AS Roma and AC Siena.
Bayern missed the chance to open a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after losing 2-1 at Hannover, Mohammed Abdellaoue's first-half penalty and Christian Pander's strike after the break sealing their fate. Defending champions Borussia Dortmund moved to within striking distance, meanwhile, just three points off the pace thanks to a 5-0 win at 1. FC Köln. "The old Borussia is back," announced midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz, who set up Shinji Kagawa's opener. "We pressed from the start, and we did it really well." Jefferson Farfán's strike earned FC Schalke 04 a 1-0 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen to take them within four points of the summit, while TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and 1. FC Kaiserslautern were the only other teams to triumph.
Paris Saint-Germain FC and Montpellier Hérault SC continue to battle it out at the top of Ligue 1. Montpellier moved level on Saturday as Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, John Utaka and Younés Belhanda registered in a 3-1 win at SM Caen, but two goals from Nenê against Dijon FCO put PSG three points clear and left victorious coach Antoine Kombouaré delighted with the outcome. "It was a wonderful win because it showed that we were able to hang on and succeed on the break," he said. "Today, things are going well, but the road is still long." Champions LOSC Lille Métropole moved up to third, four points shy of PSG, as they came from behind to see off Olympique Lyonnais 3-1 with goals from Moussa Sow, Marko Baša and Joe Cole.
AZ Alkmaar opened up a four-point gap at the Eredivisie summit following their 1-0 win at home to Roda JC, while PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente were held away from home. In Austria, FK Austria Wien could manage no more than a 1-1 draw with city rivals SK Rapid Wien and remain four points behind leaders FC Admira/Wacker Mödling. As for FC Dynamo Kyiv, they hit six past FC Zorya Luhansk to remain top of the pile in Ukraine, two points clear of FC Metalist Kharkiv, who ran out 2-1 winners at FC Shakhtar Donetsk. In the Russian Premier-Liga, finally, the top two secured convincing away victories, PFC CSKA Moskva prevailing 5-3 at FC Anzhi Makhachkala thanks to a hat-trick from UEFA Champions League hero Seydou Doumbia, and FC Zenit St Petersburg defeating FC Rostov 3-1.
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