FC Barcelona's Clásico win at Real Madrid CF captured headlines across the continent, but there were plenty of significant results elsewhere as FC Bayern München stretched their lead in Germany, Udinese Calcio went top in Italy and Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier Hérault SC suffered defeat. UEFA.com looks back at the best of the action.
The Liga focus fell squarely on the Santiago Bernabéu this weekend as Barcelona injected fresh drama into the title race with a 3-1 comeback win at Madrid. Karim Benzema gave the hosts the lead after just 23 seconds against their arch-rivals, but Alexis Sánchez, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas hit back to send the visitors level at the top – though Madrid possess a game in hand. "In life you have to choose to be brave or very brave," said Barça coach Josep Guardiola afterwards. "To win here you need to play a very good game, and that's what we did." In third, Valencia CF fell to a 2-1 loss at Real Betis Balompié following Rubén Castro's remarkable added-time double, which paved the way for Levante UD pull to within a point by edging Sevilla FC 1-0.
Mario Gomez struck twice against his former club as Bayern came from behind to beat ten-man VfB Stuttgart 2-1 and open up a three-point gap at the summit. Jupp Heynckes' men took advantage as rivals Borrusia Dortmund and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach both failed to win against lowly opposition. Reigning champions Dortmund were pegged back by 1. FC Kaiserslautern's Olcay Sahan in a 1-1 home draw, while Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker's deflected free-kick gave FC Augsburg victory against Mönchengladbach. FC Schalke 04 are level with second-placed Dortmund after defeating Hertha BSC Berlin 2-1 on Friday evening. "If we keep winning, we can do some great things this season," said Teemu Pukki, who scored Schalke's second. "We've won a couple in a row and we have to continue that next week against Bremen."
Udinese maintained their perfect home record in Serie A as goals from Antonio Di Natale and Dušan Basta gave them a 2-1 win against AC Chievo Verona, moving the Zebrette a point clear at the top from Juventus, who face AS Roma on Monday. "It's wonderful looking at the table and it's an extraordinary period for us," said coach Francesco Guidolin. "It's a magical moment that keeps on going, we hope, for as long as possible." AC Milan missed their chance to join Udinese as they were held 2-2 at Bologna FC, Alessandro Diamanti equalising two minutes after Zlatan Ibrahimović's 71st-minute penalty had put the Rossoneri in front. S.S. Lazio are also two points off the summit as they overcame rock-bottom US Lecce 3-2, while FC Internazionale Milano saw off ACF Fiorentina 2-0.
Manchester United FC bounced back from their midweek UEFA Champions League exit in the best possible fashion as Wayne Rooney and Nani struck two goals apiece in a 4-1 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. "On Wednesday, we worked our socks off and didn't get a break – today we worked our socks off and we did get the breaks," commented United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, whose side now lie two points shy of Manchester City FC , who tackle Chelsea FC on Monday. Meanwhile, third-placed Tottenham Hotspur FC lost 2-1 at Stoke City FC, Liverpool FC defeated Queens Park Rangers FC 1-0 and Robin van Persie made the difference again as Arsenal FC saw off Everton FC by the same scoreline.
There was a tightening at the top in Ligue 1 after pacesetters Montpellier Hérault SC suffered their first loss in nine outings with a 1-0 reverse at Valenciennes FC. That allowed Paris Saint-Germain FC to move back level on points as Kevin Gameiro swung a 1-0 victory at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, though PSG centre-back Mamadou Sakho professed to pay no attention to their rivals' misfortune. "I don't care about Montpellier," he said. "We're focused on our own play so that we can achieve our goals at the end of the season." Third-placed LOSC Lille Métropole demonstrated similar focus as they put their UEFA Champions League elimination behind them to beat Dijon FCO 2-0 and move within two points of the leading duo, while Olympique Lyonnais won 1-0 at FC Lorient.
FC Dynamo Kyiv have entered Ukraine's winter break on top of the pile after prevailing 1-0 at FC Karpaty Lviv to remain unbeaten in their 20 matches so far this term, though FC Shakhtar Donetsk are just a single point back courtesy of their 4-0 success at FC Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih. In the Netherlands, AZ Alkmaar secured their own place at the head of the class until the new year after bettering De Graafschap 4-0 to keep themselves four points clear of PSV Eindhoven with one league game still to play in 2011. As for FC Basel 1893, conquerors of Manchester United on Wednesday, they were brought back down to earth with a 1-1 draw at Neuchâtel Xamax FC, though they still lead the way by seven points.
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.