Some of Europe's grandest clubs made big statements over the weekend and none more so than Manchester United FC, who defeated Premier League leaders Arsenal FC to restate their pedigree. As for FC Bayern München, they broke a 30-year-old Bundesliga record while increasing their advantage at the top of the pile, while the likes of FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also extended their leads. UEFA.com recaps the action.
Manchester United continued their recent recovery by claiming the scalp of Premier League leaders Arsenal FC, ex-Gunner Robin van Persie sealing a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. "We're right back in it now," said United forward Wayne Rooney, whose side climbed up to fifth, five points behind their visitors. "Arsenal have a lot of smaller players in the team, so we thought we could score from set pieces; we worked on that." The gap at the top is down to two points after Luis Suárez struck twice in Liverpool FC's 4-0 defeat of Fulham FC, while Southampton FC downed Hull City AFC 4-1 to go third. As for Manchester City FC, they succumbed 1-0 at Sunderland AFC, with Chelsea FC drawing 2-2 against West Bromwich Albion FC.
"It's a very, very good weekend for us," said Bayern's Philipp Lahm after his side set a new Bundesliga record of 37 games without defeat by downing FC Augsburg 3-0. The triumph also lifted them four points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who succumbed 2-1 at VfL Wolfsburg. "We made too many errors and we were punished for them," explained BVB midfielder Nuri Şahin. Jürgen Klopp's men have been joined on 28 points by Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who won an eight-goal thriller 5-3 against Hamburger SV with Son Heung-Min striking a hat-trick, while fourth-placed VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach earned a 3-1 success against 1. FC Nürnberg.
AS Roma's lead has been cut to a single point after Rudi Garcia's charges were pegged back by Domenico Berardi's late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to US Sassuolo Calcio – their second consecutive stalemate after kicking off with ten consecutive wins. "When you don't score the second goal, anything can happen, including a moment of bad luck or a set piece right at the end," said Garcia. "The most important thing for me is that we are playing good football." His side are nonetheless under pressure from champions Juventus, who swept aside third-placed SSC Napoli 3-0, while FC Internazionale Milano, in fourth, overcame AS Livorno Calcio 2-0 and ACF Fiorentina edged UC Sampdoria 2-1.
Barcelona made second-placed Club Atlético de Madrid pay for stumbling at Villarreal CF by defeating Real Betis Balompié 4-1 to open up a three-point gap at the top. Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos traded own goals with Villarreal CF in a 1-1 draw as they missed out on victory for just the second time this season. That allowed Real Madrid CF to climb within three points of their city rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo firing a hat-trick in a 5-1 success against Real Sociedad de Fútbol. "The team is finding its stride," said the Portugal forward after taking his league tally to 16 goals. "We've met our objective and it was a good win. We're very happy. The season is going well thanks to the work we're doing."
A hat-trick from Zlatan Ibrahimović helped Paris Saint-Germain extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to four points, as LOSC Lille and AS Monaco FC both failed to pick up wins. "It was a good night," commented the Sweden forward following his side's 3-1 success against OGC Nice. "For the moment, everything is going very well. We are playing well and staying focused." Second-placed LOSC could only grind out a goalless stalemate with EA Guingamp, while Monaco came from behind to earn a 1-1 home draw with Évian Thonon Gaillard FC. FC Nantes won again, 3-0 at FC Girondins de Bordeaux, to remain fourth, while Olympique de Marseille edged FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2-1.
A quartet of league titles were decided across Europe, with FC BATE Borisov securing an eighth successive league honour in Belarus while VMFD Žalgiris were crowned for the first time in 14 years in Lithuania, despite a final-day loss. FK Ventspils defeated FK Daugava Riga 1-0 to reclaim the Latvian league and Strømsgodset IF overcame FK Haugesund 4-0 to seal the Norwegian championship. Meanwhile, FC Zenit's advantage in Russia was cut to three points as the pacesetters fell 4-2 at FC Spartak Moskva, and the lead changed hands once again in the Netherlands, with Vitesse defeating FC Utrecht 3-1 to displace AZ Alkmaar.
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