There is a new look to the top of the tables in Germany and France after previous leaders FC Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain FC both lost again, allowing Borussia Dortmund and Montpellier Hérault SC to take their place. It also proved a frustrating weekend for the top two in England, while Juventus claimed a big win in Serie A and FC Barcelona slipped further behind Liga leaders Real Madrid CF. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Dortmund and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach are level at the Bundesliga summit after weekend wins. Mönchengladbach held the outright lead after triumphing 3-0 at 1. FC Köln on Friday, but title holders Dortmund followed suit with a 2-0 home victory against FC Schalke 04, who are four points adrift in fifth. "We didn't let our opponents play out from the back and we were always in control," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. "It was a good game of football from us, from the first minute until the last." Previous pacesetters Bayern could have gone two points clear at the top but ended the weekend a point back after losing 3-2 at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Sunday. SV Werder Bremen are another two points behind in fourth having defeated VfB Stuttgart 2-0.
Montpellier are the new Ligue 1 leaders after winning 3-1 against FC Sochaux-Montbéliard thanks to Olivier Giroud's second-half hat-trick − his second treble of the season. Former incumbents PSG are now second, three points in arrears, having fallen to a 3-0 reverse at 2009/10 champions Olympique de Marseille. Last season's title winners, LOSC Lille Métropole, and Stade Rennais FC are both another two points back after respective home victories against Stade Brestois 29 and Évian Thonon Gaillard FC.
The leading duo both had to settle for 1-1 draws with Manchester City FC held at Liverpool FC after losing Mario Balotelli to a red card and Manchester United FC unable to finish off ten-man Newcastle United FC at Old Trafford, the Magpies ending the game without Jonás Gutiérrez. "Our attitude and defending deserved a point," said Newcastle manager Alan Pardew. His side nonetheless dropped to fourth as Tottenham Hotspur FC climbed ahead of them courtesy of a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion FC, Emmanuel Adebayor scoring twice. Fifth-placed Chelsea FC also triumphed, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 3-0 to ease their recent worries.
Real Madrid had plenty of reason to smile on Saturday after stretching their Liga lead to six points. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the spot as the Merengues came back to defeat nine-man capital rivals Club Atlético de Madrid 4-1, while second-placed Barcelona suffered their first reverse in 28 outings in all competitions as they succumbed 1-0 at Getafe CF. "They don't hand out the trophy now," said Barcelona full-back Daniel Alves. "Luckily for us, there is still a long way to go." In third, Valencia CF closed to within a point of Barça by winning 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, and fourth-placed Levante UD bounced back from three consecutive defeats to down Real Sporting de Gijón 4-0.
Juventus enjoyed a particularly fruitful weekend in Serie A, taking sole charge at the top of the table with a 1-0 win against S.S. Lazio, who were previously level on points with the Bianconeri. "We're happy because we have won against a very strong team that will fight for first place until the end," said Juve coach Antonio Conte. "For our part, it was an important test of our maturity." A point off the pace are second-placed AC Milan, 4-0 victors against AC Chievo Verona on Sunday, and Udinese Calcio, who beat AS Roma 2-0 on Friday. Fourth-placed Lazio are a further two points back.
SL Benfica enjoyed a successful round of action in the Portuguese Liga, seeing off Lisbon rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 to keep pace with leaders FC Porto, who beat SC Braga 3-2. "It was an intense match," said Benfica coach Jorge Jesus. "We made the difference at set pieces, where we were stronger." Sporting now trail by four points in third. In Serbia, FK Partizan laid down an impressive marker, winning 2-0 at Belgrade rivals and nearest challengers FK Crvena zvezda to open up a seven-point advantage at the head of the table. In the Israeli Premier League, finally, Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC climbed a point clear with a 3-1 derby win at Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, who are seventh.
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