It was business as usual for many of Europe's leading lights, with the likes of FC Bayern München and Juventus pulling further clear at their respective league summits. FC Barcelona got back on track, but Arsenal FC suffered a considerable blip. UEFA.com rounds up the best of the action from across the continent.
Manchester City FC displayed their Premier League title credentials with a thrilling 6-3 win against leaders Arsenal on Saturday to climb within three points of the Gunners at the summit. "I don't think it was our best performance of the season because Arsenal scored three goals," said boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC now trail Arsenal by just two points after beating Crystal Palace FC (2-1) and Tottenham Hotspur (5-0) respectively. Everton FC also won again, 4-1 at home to Fulham FC, while Manchester United FC ended a four-match winless sequence with a 3-0 success at Aston Villa FC.
Paris Saint-Germain made sure they will be top of Ligue 1 going into next week's trip to title rivals LOSC Lille as they battled to a 3-1 success at Stade Rennais FC on Saturday. "When we put all the ingredients into a match like tonight, we are very hard to beat," said coach Laurent Blanc. AS Monaco FC remain two points behind after first-half goals earned them a 2-0 success at EA Guingamp. Third-ranked LOSC Lille, two points off Monaco, overcame SC Bastia 2-1, while FC Girondins de Bordeaux won 2-1 against Valenciennes FC. Olympique de Marseille missed the chance to replace Bordeaux in fourth, drawing 2-2 with Olympique Lyonnais.
Another weekend, another win for Bayern, who made it nine Bundesliga victories in succession by sweeping aside visitors Hamburger SV 3-1 on Saturday ahead of next week's FIFA Club World Cup. "We're not finished yet," said Philipp Lahm. "We have high hopes for next week. We'll give it our best to ensure we win our next trophy, then we can be happy."
Second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen slipped to a first home league defeat of season, against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, leaving them seven points adrift, while Borussia Dortmund failed to win for the fourth time in five top-flight games by drawing at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. This allowed fourth-ranked VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach to join them on 32 points as the Bundesliga shuts down for the winter break.
Juventus capitalised on AS Roma not playing until Monday by opening up a six-point lead at the head of the Serie A standings. The Bianconeri bounced back from their midweek UEFA Champions League exit with a 4-0 thrashing of US Sassuolo Calcio in Turin, Carlos Tévez scoring a hat-trick. "We're all upset about being knocked out but we've moved on quickly, as you should do," said coach Antonio Conte.
In third, two points shy of Roma, are SSC Napoli – another side knocked out of Europe's premier club competition – after a 4-2 home victory against FC Internazionale Milano, also on Sunday. Defeat for the Nerazzurri means ACF Fiorentina are fourth, courtesy of a 3-0 win against Bologna FC.
Defeated at Athletic Club in their last Liga outing, frontrunners Barcelona returned to winning ways courtesy of a Neymar-inspired 2-1 home success over Villarreal CF on Saturday. "It's been a very special night because of the importance of the win," said Jordi Alba. "It's vital we end the year as leaders."
Club Atlético de Madrid, though, stay level on points with the Azulgrana following Sunday's 3-0 triumph against Valencia CF in the capital. However, Real Madrid CF lost ground after falling two behind at CA Osasuna before salvaging a draw. "We are upset because we have dropped two points, but the important thing is that we fought until the end," said goalkeeper Diego López.
Vitesse continue to lead the way in the Dutch Eredivisie, a 3-2 home success against NAC Breda keeping them two points above AFC Ajax and three clear of FC Twente. In Turkey, meanwhile, Fenerbahçe SK are eight points ahead at the Super League summit after they won 4-0 against Akhisar Belediyespor and second-placed Kasımpaşa SK were held 1-1 by Beşiktaş JK. Belgian First League pacesetters R. Standard de Liège are four points superior to both RSC Anderlecht and Club Brugge KV following a 3-1 victory over KRC Genk.
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