The leaders in England, Germany and France respectively, Manchester City FC, FC Bayern München and Montpellier Hérault SC made eye-catching statements of intent over the weekend. UEFA.com looks back at the best of the domestic action.
Montpellier retained top spot with a 4-0 win against FC Lorient on Saturday but LOSC Lille Métropole found life harder against bottom-club AC Ajaccio, who were denied a share of the spoils by Eden Hazard's 80th-minute penalty. "I was waiting to see how we would get on in this game because we have a new status and I did not know how we would cope," said Montpellier coach René Girard. "I am quite surprised by my team. By the football we are playing, but also by the players' mentality. It is really super." Paris Saint-Germain FC kept the pressure on at the top with a 3-2 victory at home to AJ Auxerre and Olympique Lyonnais took advantage of Stade Rennais FC's defeat at lowly OGC Nice to go fourth.
Bayern are the new team to catch in the Bundesliga after they beat Werder Bremen 4-1 on Saturday to capitalise on the 1-1 draw between previous pacesetters Borussia Dortmund and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. "I'm relieved that we bagged the full three points," said Bayern coach Juup Heynckes. "We had a really good team out there today. We were clearly in the groove, and our communication was excellent." Dortmund and Mönchengladbach are a point off the summit in second and third respectively, with FC Schalke 04 trailing by two more points having won 3-1 against FC Augsburg.
Manchester City offered more impressive substance to their Premier League title credentials by beating promoted Norwich City FC 5-1. Robert Mancini's men stay five points ahead of rivals Manchester United FC, who were 1-0 winners at Aston Villa FC. "It was not easy because it was only 1-0 in the first half and if you don't score the game can change," said Mancini, whose team will play United in the FA Cup third round in January following Sunday's draw. Two points off United with a game in hand are Tottenham Hotspur FC, who beat Bolton Wanderers FC 3-0, with Chelsea FC three more points behind having won at Newcastle United FC by the same scoreline.
The status quo was preserved in the Liga, with Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona recording victories against Real Sporting de Gijón (3-0) and Levante UD (5-0) respectively. Madrid stay three points clear of the title holders despite having played a game fewer, though the top two meet at the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday. "There isn't a game where I do not come to any conclusions, it's impossible not to," said Josep Guardiola after the Levante triumph. "The fact that we did well tonight doesn't mean we'll do well tomorrow, because Madrid play differently." Valencia CF stay four points behind Barcelona in third after beating RCD Espanyol 2-1, with Levante a further four points off the pace in fourth.
AC Milan went to the top of the Serie A standings by beating Genoa CFC 2-0 on Friday, but finish the weekend where they started it – second and two points behind pacesetters Juventus. The Bianconeri had dropped to third by the time of their game against AC Cesena on Sunday, but went back to the summit with a 2-0 victory. "I really liked the attitude of my players today," said Juve coach Antonio Conte. "They continued to push patiently knowing that sooner or later the goals would arrive." Udinese Calcio beat FC Internazionale Milano 1-0 to stay level on points with the Rossoneri in third.
In Austria, FC Admira/Wacker Mödling drew 1-1 with SV Ried while SK Rapid Wien and FK Austria Wien were held to goalless draws to leave all four teams joint top on 28 points. There were 44 goals in the Netherlands this weekend with leaders AZ Alkmaar going down 5-1 at sc Heerenveen in only their second defeat of the season. "This is just one setback," said AZ defender Simon Poulsen. "It is always possible to have a bad game but with a 5-1 loss, it is dramatic. Such a thing should not happen." Also in the Eredivisie, Heracles Almelo beat VVV-Venlo 7-0 and FC Twente triumphed 6-2 at FC Utrecht. The top two went head-to-head in Switzerland with FC Basel 1893 edging out FC Luzern 1-0 to move six points clear of their opponents.
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