Club Atlético de Madrid and Arsenal FC moved to the front of the pack in Spain and England respectively, while the pacesetters in France and Italy both cemented their existing advantages. UEFA.com rounds up the best of the weekend action.
Atlético are the new Liga leaders after capitalising on previous incumbents FC Barcelona losing 3-2 at home to Valencia, only their second defeat of the campaign. "I'm concerned and I want to bounce back from this as soon as possible – we cannot give up," said Azulgrana coach Gerardo Martino. Atlético duly made hay on Sunday courtesy of a 4-0 success over Real Sociedad de Fútbol. Diego Simeone's team are three points clear of Barcelona and Real Madrid CF, held 1-1 at Athletic Club.
Juventus moved closer to a third successive Serie A title, pulling nine points clear thanks to a 3-1 victory against FC Internazionale Milano. Nearest challengers AS Roma had their game with Parma FC abandoned, enabling the Bianconeri to increase their lead at the head of the standings. "The best aspect of the game is that we scored three goals and we could have scored even more," said Juve coach Antionio Conte. "We are very happy that we are the team who have scored most goals." Third-placed SSC Napoli, and ACF Fiorentina, in fourth, both failed to close the gap, losing to Atalanta BC (3-0) and Cagliari Calcio (1-0) respectively.
Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead atop Ligue 1 to five points. Laurent Blanc's charges went six clear on Friday night, defeating FC Girondins de Bordeaux 2-0 with the help of Zlatan Ibrahimović's 18th top-flight goal this season. Though AS Monaco FC could only claw back one point on Saturday, drawing 2-2 at FC Lorient, Blanc remains wary. "We have some important matches coming up in February and we need to recover well," he said. Third-placed LOSC Lille also dropped further off the pace, due to a 1-0 loss at OGC Nice.
Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League for now with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace FC, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring both goals. "Crystal Palace were well organised and united in their desire to do the job," said Gunners manager Arsène Wenger. "They are a physically strong side and we knew we had to take advantage of our chances, and we did." Manchester City FC can reassume ascendancy with three points against Chelsea FC on Monday. Still in fourth are Liverpool FC, despite a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion FC. Merseyside rivals Everton FC are two points adrift in fifth having defeated Aston Villa FC 2-1. Title holders Manchester United FC lost again, 2-1 at Stoke City FC.
There was no change at the top of the Bundesliga as all three leading sides recorded victories, with leaders FC Bayern München maintaining their 13-point cushion with an impressive 5-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt. "I am happy, it was our best Bundesliga performance this season," said Bayern coach Josep Guardiola. Second-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen were forced to come from behind but recorded a 2-1 win against VfB Stuttgart, while Borussia Dortmund won by the same score at TSV Eintracht Braunschweig. FC Schalke 04 are up to fourth courtesy of a 2-1 home win against VfL Wolfsburg.
In Northern Ireland, Cliftonville FC are now just two points off the summit with 11 games remaining after winning 1-0 against leaders Linfield FC. In Switzerland, meanwhile, Grasshopper Club are up to second – three points shy of FC Basel 1893 – following a 3-1 victory against FC Luzern. Lastly to Portugal, where Sporting Clube de Portugal are still two points behind SL Benfica after the former drew 0-0 against A. Académica de Coimbra and the latter were held 1-1 at Gil Vicente FC.
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