An array of heavyweight derbies dominated the landscape this weekend and the games did not disappoint, with some of football's most lauded talents making their presence felt. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo struck two goals apiece as FC Barcelona held Real Madrid CF to a 2-2 draw, and that was also the scoreline between French rivals Olympique de Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain FC, for whom Zlatan Ibrahimović hit a double. FC Internazionale Milano took the honours in the Milan derby, while elsewhere Chelsea FC won again and FC Bayern München reached a landmark. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Messi and Ronaldo showed that they do not tend to dominate the headlines without reason as both scored twice in Sunday's Clásico, a pulsating encounter at the Camp Nou. "Messi and Cristiano are from another planet," admitted Madrid coach José Mourinho, whose side remain eight points adrift of their perennial title rivals in fifth. "I want my player to win, but they are both fantastic." The result presented Club Atlético de Madrid with a chance to move level with Barça at the summit and they duly seized it, Falcao forcing a last-gasp winner to seal a 2-1 defeat of Málaga CF. Valencia CF are languishing in 14th, meanwhile, after suffering their third defeat of the season, a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Levante UD.
The Milan derby spoils went to Inter thanks to Walter Samuel's third-minute header and a committed display after Yuto Nagatomo was dismissed right after half-time. Despite their numerical advantage, AC Milan could not get back into the game and they now lie 11th, with their city rivals up to fourth. "Of course, it's odd to see Milan in the bottom half of the table," commented Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. "This derby hasn't changed anything. I even enjoyed it, as the team played very well and created so many chances." At the summit, Juventus and SSC Napoli both won to stay level on 19 points, Juve edging AC Siena 2-1 and the Partenopei beating Udinese Calcio by the same margin. Third-placed S.S. Lazio triumphed 3-0 at Pescara.
The big game in Ligue 1 got off to a spectacular start as leaders Marseille and closest pursuers PSG shared four goals in the opening 32 minutes at the Stade Vélodrome, André-Pierre Gignac grabbing both for the hosts and Zlatan Ibrahimović doing the same for PSG. The scoring ended there, however, as Marseille held firm to maintain their three-point cushion at the top. "The important thing was not to lose this match," explained OM midfielder Benoît Cheyrou. "The second half was pretty tight, neither team could make the difference and I think there was tiredness on both sides." A point behind PSG, Olympique Lyonnais drew 1-1 at FC Lorient to hold onto third spot, and LOSC Lille downed AC Ajaccio 2-0 for their first league success since 11 August.
Chelsea remain out of reach atop the Premier League standings after easing to a 4-1 victory over Norwich City FC, Eden Hazard among the goals for the European champions. Roberto Di Matteo's men have dropped just two points this term and stand four clear of both Manchester United FC and Manchester City FC, United prevailing 3-0 at Newcastle United FC and City sweeping aside Sunderland AFC by the same scoreline. "It's nice to keep a clean sheet – we've not kept a clean sheet yet this season," said City defender Micah Richards. "I thought the back four was outstanding today." Elsewhere, high-flying Everton FC drew 2-2 at Wigan Athletic FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC downed Aston Villa FC 2-0 and Arsenal FC fought back to beat West Ham United FC 3-1.
Bayern put their midweek UEFA Champions League blip in Belarus behind them by recording a tenth consecutive Bundesliga success. Franck Ribéry scored twice in a 2-0 home victory against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim that left coach Jupp Heynckes lauding his side's stylish swagger. "You have to take into account that we had another tough game on Tuesday, but we still played intelligent and clever football," said Heynckes. Seven points back in third are FC Schalke 04, who posted a comfortable 3-0 home win against VfL Wolfsburg. On Sunday, Borussia Dortmund's stuttering start to the season continued with a 1-1 draw at Hannover 96 and Eintracht Frankfurt lost their unbeaten record in a 2-0 reverse at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.
There were derbies throughout Europe. Fenerbahçe SK overwhelmed Beşiktaş JK 3-0, PFC CSKA Moskva won 2-0 at FC Spartak Moskva while AC Omonia and APOEL FC played out a goalless draw in Nicosia. There was a surprise in Ukraine, where FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk beat FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-1 to leapfrog their opponents into second, and another UEFA Champions League side endured similar disappointment in Romania as CFR 1907 Cluj lost 1-0 at leaders FC Steaua Bucureşti.
Sporting Clube de Portugal's travails continue and 48 hours after sacking Ricardo Sá Pinto they lost 2-0 to FC Porto. In Belgium R. Standard de Liège came from behind to beat RSC Anderlecht 2-1, allowing Club Brugge KV to stretch their advantage at the summit to three points despite being held by KRC Genk. There is still a long way to go, but not in the Faroe Islands where EB/Streymur wrapped up the title on the last day of the season.
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